All Posts By Maria Russo

Maria Russo is an editor at Food Network, now living in New York City after being born and raised in the great state of Michigan. She likes her eggs runny, her pasta cheesy and has been known to throw back dozens of oysters at a time.

The Basics of (Oversize) Stir-Frying — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, December 20th, 2015

After finishing up his judging duties for tonight’s all-new episode of Cutthroat Kitchen, Jet Tila experienced life as a competitor during the After-Show when he was tasked with taking on a sabotage from the shrimp stir-fry test in Round 2. One particularly evilicious sabotage required one chef to cook with a tiny wok and chopsticks while the other was saddled with an oversize pair — and that’s what Jet was forced to contend with as well.

As he finagled with the extra-large chopsticks as he chopped his vegetables, the situation appeared to be somewhat under control. But that was quickly lost when he attempted to lift and pour his mise en place setup into the wok. After several dropped bowls, host Alton Brown couldn’t help but lend Jet a hand — by covering the camera lens so Jet could cheat the sabotage (or not) and manually add his ingredients to the wok without anyone noticing. “Go ahead and do whatever you need to do,” Alton told him, and sure enough, after just a few seconds, the camera returned to a full wok.

Even while Jet worked with this trick equipment, he and Alton were quick to dole out what it takes to make a classic stir-fry. After all, as the world record holder for the largest stir-fry ever made, Jet knows just how to execute it properly. “The wok should give a little smokiness to the dish,” he explained, and he and Alton noted the importance of the wok being steel. When it comes to accomplishing the right taste, Alton and Jet note that it’s best to deglaze the pan as the stir-fry comes together. “The deglazing is absolutely important because all of that fond that was stuck in there from the ginger, garlic and the shrimp has to come back in,” Jet said.

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Ina’s Parmesan Smashed Potatoes — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, December 20th, 2015

Parmesan Smashed PotatoesBeef, chicken, pork, seafood — no matter what main dish you’re cooking up, chances are you can round out the meal with the ultimate in family-friendly side dishes: the potato. Ina Garten dresses up the humble spud in this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week with a few indulgent ingredients to turn out creamy, comforting smashed potatoes. Her secret ingredient? A bit of sour cream, which delivers welcome tang in this cheesy recipe, featured in Food Network Magazine.

For more crowd-pleasing recipes, check out Food Network’s Let’s Entertain board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Ina’s Parmesan Smashed Potatoes in Food Network Magazine

Sweet vs. Savory: Oatmeal

by in Recipes, December 19th, 2015

Savory Oatmeal RisottoJust as everyday rice is a blank-canvas ingredient that can be transformed into something new (rice pudding or paella, anyone?), oatmeal too brings with it many opportunities. Think beyond serving it up in the morning alongside brown sugar and a few raisins. On this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, the co-hosts introduced two new ways to take your oatmeal: one savory and one sweet, for dinner and even as a drink. Check out their recipes below, then browse all the recipes from today’s show.

You’ve seen farro and barley take the place of rice in risotto, but now Geoffrey Zakarian is letting oatmeal have the starring role in his Savory Oatmeal Risotto. Laced with nutty Parmesan cheese and rich butter, GZ’s recipe comes together just as a traditional risotto recipe does, with slow and steady stirring as the oats simmer in chicken stock. GZ opts for steel-cut oats instead of the old-fashioned variety, as the steel-cut kind offers the heft needed to stand up to the cooking process.

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Restaurant Ambush Revisited: Special Delivery at La Casa Bianca

by in Shows, December 17th, 2015

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: ImpossiblePaul Liscio was struggling in his work as the owner of La Casa Bianca in Whitehouse Station, N.J., a restaurant that had seen significant declines in recent years. But it was his daughter, Megan, who was determined to remedy the situation as she reached out to Robert Irvine for help in rescuing her father and his business from impending failure. After ambushing Paul with a Restaurant: Impossible renovation, Robert and his team managed to not only reopen La Casa Bianca with the tools it needs to succeed, but also help Paul find the inspiration to manage his eatery. Read on below to hear from Paul and find out how La Casa Bianca is doing today.

“Business is picking up,” Paul explains. “[The experience] has brought new customers. The combo of my food and what [Robert and the team] did is clicking more and more every day. It’s special.”

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The 10 Most-Popular Recipes on FoodNetwork.com in 2015

by in Recipes, December 17th, 2015

The 10 Most-Popular Recipes on FoodNetwork.com in 2015Food fans, 2015 has been one downright tasty year, from made-over spins on classic comfort foods in January and warm-weather-ready cocktails in the summer to fall’s best harvest feast and now the holiday cookies that will surely make your “nice” list. But as the days and weeks ticked away, there were a handful of recipes that you kept coming back to time and time again. Read on below as we count down the best-of-the-best plates of the year, those 10 recipes that fans made the most popular.

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Reporting Live from Santa’s Lap — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, December 16th, 2015

In a ball pit, strapped to a life-size rotisserie, high atop a high chair, on top of a mechanical bull — the Cutthroat Kitchen After-Show has seen the judges in some downright diabolical (and downright hilarious) locales. But on tonight’s all-new installment, the scene turned a bit more seasonal when host Alton Brown and judge Jet Tila found themselves atop Santa’s lap following the Holi-Dazed and Confused holiday special.

“Alton, I’ve never felt this uncomfortable,” Jet — clad as what else but a holiday elf, of course — told Alton as the duo landed atop Santa’s lap. “Oh, we’re just getting started,” Alton joked. Not only did the guys have to work while seated, but they each had an additional sabotage to simultaneously contend with. Since Alton won the coin toss, he chose the spinning-dreidel challenge for himself — which meant that he had to keep a dreidel spinning during the whole time he was cooking — while Jet was forced to send all of his ingredients down an ice luge before working with them. “You’re, like, weighing [ingredients]?” Jet asked Alton as the host used a kitchen scale to precisely measure the components. “I won’t even be able to get sugar down the luge.” Sure enough, though, Jet as well as Alton did manage to create presentable eggnog, and even Santa was able to partake in the holiday cheer with a cup for himself.

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Speak Up, Fans: New Year, New Cocktail Segment on The Kitchen

by in Community, Shows, December 15th, 2015

Speak Up, Fans: New Year, New Cocktail Segment on The KitchenFor many, the new year brings with it a time of change and opportunity, and as the cast of The Kitchen looks ahead to 2016, they’re getting set to switch up their popular cocktail segment. Instead of “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere,” the wonderfully boozy close to the show will be renamed. What, exactly? That’s where you come in. Yes, you, fans.

The Kitchen is looking for the best fan suggestions for the new name of the cocktail segment. If you have an idea or two, please share it in the comments below. It may end up being chosen and revealed on-air!

Meet Your New Party Planner: Giada De Laurentiis to Help You Throw Your Best Events Ever on Giada Entertains

by in Shows, December 15th, 2015

Giada De LaurentiisIf the mere thought of opening up your home to guests and hosting a party sends chills down your spine, you’re not alone. But it doesn’t have to be all work and no play for you as the host. On her all-new series Giada Entertains, Giada De Laurentiis is out to prove that throwing a party can be downright easy — and also enjoyable for both you and your guests. All you need are a few good-to-know strategies and tried-and-true recipes, which Giada is set to share.

Premiering Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016, at 11a|10c, Giada Entertains proves that the season of celebration doesn’t have to end with the holidays. No matter if you’re inviting the gals over for a casual night in or you’re gathering fellow football fans for a tailgate of epic proportions, Giada has the tricks to help you execute the party with ease. In each episode she’ll dish out crowd-pleasing eats and drinks, as well as offer her secrets for setting up and maintaining the best vibe for the event you’re hosting. With her simple how-tos in your back pocket, you’ll not only feel comfortable entertaining but also look forward to it.

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Kale and Pistachio Pesto Spaghetti — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, December 14th, 2015

Kale and Pistachio Pesto SpaghettiWhile basil often claims the starring role in traditional pesto recipes, this vibrant green sauce can surely be made with just about any other green, which means that even when fragrant basil is out of season, like it is now, post-steamy days of summer, you can enjoy this quick-fix favorite. Food Network Kitchen’s recipe for Kale and Pistachio Pesto Spaghetti not only calls for kale as the leafy green, but it also puts pistachio nuts to work in place of the classic pine nuts.

“Kale adds a rich earthy note and brilliant green color to this hearty pesto,” the chefs in Food Network Kitchen said, and because this top-rated recipe comes together in only 35 minutes, it’s a go-to pick for those nights when you’re strapped for time. To boost the healthy factor here, Food Network Kitchen chefs opt for whole-wheat spaghetti, but they don’t compromise on flavor: Bold garlic and nutty Parmesan cheese round out the flavor of the sauce. According to the chefs, “This makes about 1 to 1 1/2 cups pesto, which would also be good on fish, chicken, pork or steak,” so keep this recipe in your back pocket even when you’re cooking for Meatless Monday.

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Wake Up to Holiday Cheer: The 6 Best Christmas Breakfast and Brunch Recipes

by in Holidays, Recipes, December 14th, 2015

Panettone Bread PuddingIf the seasonal tradition in your home calls for a wake-up-worthy breakfast or brunch on Christmas morning instead of a grand feast at dinnertime, you’re in luck, because these savory and sweet recipes will start your holiday on a hearty note. Read on below for classic picks like baked eggs as well as crowd-pleasing ham, dressed-up bacon and cornbread casseroles.

Panettone Bread Pudding
A favorite among many Italians during the holiday season, panettone is a sweet, soft-inside bread often studded with dried fruits. Here Ina Garten lets the bread sop up a rich, creamy custard laced with almond extract, so when it bakes, it’s full of moisture and flavor. For welcome crunch, she blankets the top of the bread pudding with sliced toasted almonds before it goes in the oven.

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