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.

It Doesn’t Get More Authentic Than a Concrete Made in a Cement Mixer — Testing the Cutthroat Kitchen Sabotages

by in Shows, March 6th, 2016

On tonight’s new episode of Cutthroat Kitchen, the name of the game in Round 3 was concrete, both literally and figuratively. Not only were chefs tasked with prepping this frozen concoction, but a doozy of a sabotage mandated that one chef had to make the dessert in — what else? — a cement mixer. Such a challenge was new for competitors and the Cutthroat culinary crew alike, so the team behind the scenes attempted the sabotage before host Alton Brown could sell it at auction.

Cutthroat Kitchen food stylist Abel Gonzalez took control of this latest test, pouring the essentials for classic custard — eggs, sugar and cream — into the deep, wide-mouthed mixing machine. “So I have to say, this is looking great,” Abel admitted after using the machine and his own whisk to thoroughly blend the ingredients. “I have a custard base here.”

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Ree Drummond’s Easy Baked Fudge — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, March 6th, 2016

Baked FudgeSix ingredients — that’s all it takes to turn out this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week, a surprisingly simple dessert that’s ideal for not just a family-friendly treat but also your next dinner party. “It’s sort of like a brownie that hasn’t been allowed to cook all the way through,” The Pioneer Woman explains of her deep-chocolate indulgence, which boasts the gooey richness you know and love. Follow Ree’s lead and finish each individual serving with a scoop of fluffy whipped cream or ice cream for added decadence.

For more sweet-tooth-satisfying desserts, check out Food Network’s Let’s Bake! board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Baked Fudge

How to Make Restaurants’ Special Burger Sauce at Home

by in Recipes, March 5th, 2016

Special Burger SauceJust the idea of a sauce being “special” implies ambiguity and an air of secrecy. After all, when you glance at this item on the menu of your favorite burger joint, there’s no telling what’s in it and what you’d need to make it at home. That is, until now. This morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen exposed the mystery behind this seemingly elusive condiment and revealed more chef tricks for creating favorite restaurant-inspired dishes in your own kitchen. Read on below for the ins and outs of special sauce, and get the recipe to try it yourself.

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The 12 Best Bites from the 2016 South Beach Wine & Food Festival

by in Events, February 29th, 2016

2016 South Beach Wine & Food FestivalWe’re back from the beach, now in New York City instead of walking around the seaside tents and tasting all manner of Italian bites, juicy burgers and smoky meat that the South Beach Wine & Food Festival had to offer last weekend. Though the Festival’s landmark 15th year may have officially ended with Sunday night’s Lucky Chopsticks event, showcasing Asian-inspired eats, we’d still like to daydream about the days and nights we spent digging into fried bologna, burgers dripping with cheese sauce and thick-cut bacon. Join us as we look back on these and more of our most-memorable savory and sweet selects from a jam-packed weekend.

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Soft Scrambled Eggs with Brie — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, February 29th, 2016

Soft Scrambled Eggs with BrieOn their own, scrambled eggs can satisfy a craving for simple comfort food, and since they take just minutes to prepare, they’re often a go-to pick for speedy meals any time of day. But when you take just a bit more care about exactly how they’re scrambled and then dress them up just a bit, the results are anything but ordinary.

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Feast Your Eyes on “Popcorn Shatner” — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, February 28th, 2016

It’s not every day that famed producer, director and actor William Shatner drops by on Cutthroat Kitchen, so when he does, it’s no surprise that special attention must be paid. The guest joined the judges’ panel tonight for a brand-new man-cave-themed episode, and as the “manliest of all men,” he was well-equipped to critique chefs’ dishes of bacon, burgers and booze. Come the After-Show, host Alton Brown showed off some of the day’s challenges — and even let Shatner shoot a bit of pool on set — but the real surprise for the judge came not from a sabotage but from Cutthroat Kitchen culinary team member Chelsey.

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South Beach Meets Southern Cooking at Trisha Yearwood’s Down-Home Festival Brunch

by in Events, February 28th, 2016

2016 South Beach Wine & Food FestivalThe beauty of brunch is that there’s no need to decide in which direction you want to take the meal — sweet, savory, breakfast or lunch — instead, just enjoy all of the above (and perhaps a cocktail as well). That was the scene this morning on Day 4 of the South Beach Wine & Food Festival; after a weekend of late-night soirees and beachside bashes, festivalgoers woke up to the promise of an epic feast at Trisha‘s Southern Kitchen Brunch, featuring a down-home menu of Southern classics from chefs across the country.

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When Duff Goldman Hosts a Dessert Party, You Go and Try as Many Sweets as Possible

by in Events, February 28th, 2016

2016 South Beach Wine & Food FestivalFood Network’s baker extraordinaire Duff Goldman is known for crafting over-the-top desserts at his own bakery, Charm City Cakes, and judging them on various baking championships. So it’s no surprise that when he hosts Sweet 15: A Dessert Party, the sugar showing is going to be downright epic. During the South Beach Wine & Food Festival on Saturday night, just as partygoers felt their meat sweats fade and started to crave another bite to eat, Duff and some of the most-famed pastry chefs and bakeries from across the country took over the elegantly adorned The Villa Casa Casuarina for an epic late-night soiree that was enough to make any sweets lover smile.

Not one to present any ordinary dessert, of course, Duff showed up with a cotton-candy display featuring his Grapefruit Meringue Crumble Push Pops (pictured above). These layered beauties boasted the showstopping presentation you’d expect from Duff — and, perhaps more importantly, all the expert tangy, creamy flavors and crispy texture, thanks to the crumble atop each pop.

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Fettuccine with Creamy, Cheesy Red Pepper Sauce — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, February 28th, 2016

Fettuccine with Creamy Red Pepper-Feta SauceA filling, family-friendly weeknight dinner that’s not only quick to make but also healthy: Sound too good to be true? Not anymore, thanks to this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week. Ready to eat in less than 40 minutes, this easy pasta brings together sweet roasted peppers and tangy feta cheese to create a rich, creamy sauce with — wait for it — no cream in sight, making it a surprisingly light supper. By using whole-wheat noodles in place of the traditional variety, you can boost the nutritional value of the meal even more while satisfying your carb craving.

For more made-over recipe ideas, check out Food Network’s Let’s Get Healthy board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Fettuccine with Creamy Red Pepper-Feta Sauce

Super-Carnivore Michael Symon Hosts a Smoky Meatopia at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival

by in Events, February 28th, 2016

2016 South Beach Wine & Food FestivalAfter digging into a combined mountain of meat at Friday night’s Burger Bash, we thought Saturday night seemed like as good a time as any to showcase — wait for it — more meat. Food Network’s own resident super carnivore, Michael Symon, hosted the sold-out Meatopia, which featured all manner of beef, pork and chicken cooked over an open flame. This meat lovers’ paradise is new to the South Beach Wine & Food Festival — just two years old — but that didn’t stop fans from packing the seaside tents and waiting in line for their taste of the succulent, slow-roasted ribs, strips and tips the chefs were dishing out. “Just the smell of this place makes you happy,” Michael, a longtime lover of meat in its many forms, proclaimed from the stage as he welcomed partygoers to the event. And indeed the smoky scent was something to behold — even blocks away fans could get a whiff of what awaited them.

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