All Posts By Maria Russo

Maria Russo is an associate 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.

Sunny Anderson + The Kitchen + Twitter = A Bright Saturday Morning

by in Community, Shows, January 23rd, 2014

Sunny AndersonAs you begin your weekend with a brand-new episode of The Kitchen (Saturday at 11a|10c), log in to Twitter during the show and follow along with @FoodNetwork‘s tweets, because co-host Sunny Anderson will be taking over the account to give fans an insider’s perspective of the show.

Saturday’s show is all about kicking off game-day preparations, and as the ultimate football fanatic, Sunny will be sharing her signature tailgating tips and ideas, plus dishing on behind-the-scenes moments on set. On the episode, she, Geoffrey, Jeff, Katie and Marcela are going to indulge in classic football fare like hearty sandwiches and dips, as well as refreshing cocktails, while they build the ultimate snack platter — an over-the-top snackadium featuring party-ready munchies. Tune in to watch the snackadium come to life, and tweet @FoodNetwork to chat with Sunny about The Kitchen or to ask her questions about your big-game bash — she just may give you an answer.

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#TBT: Geoffrey Zakarian

by in Food Network Chef, January 23rd, 2014

Geoffrey ZakarianIt’s Thursday, and while that means everyone is just one day away from the weekend, it also means it’s time to throw back — to an earlier period in Food Network’s history. Check back on FN Dish every Thursday to find the latest #tbt of your favorite chefs and get a retro look at their earliest days on TV.

Although he’s a relatively new addition to Kitchen Stadium and recently launched a brand-new series, The Kitchen, with four other co-hosts, Geoffrey Zakarian is a longtime Chopped judge, having been part of the panel since the show’s premiere season in 2009. Now recognized equally for his dapper ensembles and his harsh critiques at the Chopping Block, Geoffrey is a no-nonsense judge, able to note the intricacies of a competitor’s dish and offer constructive reviews on how to better it in the future.

A pillar of the restaurant industry, Geoffrey has two eateries in Manhattan, serves as the culinary director for The Plaza Hotel in New York City, and has ventures in Miami and at The Water Club at Borgata in Atlantic City. Despite these commitments, however, and his dedication to serving only the finest cuisine at his restaurants, Geoffrey connects to viewers with ease and shares quick-fix, crave-worthy recipes that home cooks can surely replicate. His Caesar Salad with Red Romaine is a hearty, simple salad that can be on the table in a quick 20 minutes, and just this month on The Kitchen, Geoffrey offered a recipe for Italian Chicken Pasta Salad that takes advantage of store-bought rotisserie chicken.
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Best 5 Baked Chicken Recipes

by in Recipes, January 22nd, 2014

Baked Sweet-and-Sour ChickenWhether you’re entertaining a crowd, feeding your family or simply cooking for one, chicken is a go-to dinner option, thanks to its budget-friendly nature, ease of preparation and endless versatility. While grilled chicken may be a summertime favorite and fried chicken a comfort food classic, baked chicken is a family-friendly option year-round, no matter the occasion. It’s a blank canvas you can dress up with your favorite flavors or whatever ingredients you happen to have on hand, and since it’s cooked in the oven, much of the prep time is largely hands-off. Check out Food Network’s top-five baked chicken dishes below to find simple supper ideas from Rachael, Giada and more of your favorite chefs.

5. Italian Baked Chicken and Pastina — An all-in-one supper that comes together in less than an hour, Giada’s simple casserole is reminiscent of classic chicken Parmesan, as it features garlic-laced chicken tossed with noodles, plus tomatoes and creamy mozzarella cheese. Click the play button on the video after the jump to watch her make it.

4. Baked Chicken Breasts with Parmesan Crust — After dunking lean chicken breasts in a mustard-thyme mixture, Ted covers them with nutty Parmesan cheese and crunchy breadcrumbs, so they turn out moist on the inside with a crispy coating on the outside after baking.

Get the top-three recipes

15-Minute Burrito — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, January 20th, 2014

Brown Rice and Bean Burrito
“It’s like eating a hidden salad,” Food Network Kitchens chefs say of their healthy, fuss-free Brown Rice and Bean Burrito (pictured above). “Burritos are a great way to introduce vegetables and salads to your kids.” The quick-fix recipe, ready to eat in only 15 minutes, is rolled full of better-for-you brown rice and protein-packed black beans, plus cheddar, creamy avocado and fresh carrots, so it’s every bit as hearty as meat-filled burritos, but lighter and fresher than the classic variety. If you’ve struggled with rolling burritos or sandwich wraps before, know that the process goes smoothly here, thanks to the avocado, which is gently mashed with zesty lime juice and will act like glue.

This recipe makes enough for just one burrito, so it’s a go-to option when prepping an after-school snack for your child or packing a lunchbox for yourself, but you can also increase the amount of each ingredient and feed a family. Let your kids have a hand in mealtime by rolling their ultimate burrito. Just set up a fillings bar complete with the prepared ingredients, and allow them to add what they’d like to the tortilla and roll it up.

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Payback, Cutthroat-Style — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, January 19th, 2014


While competitors may not know the dishes they’ll be tasked with cooking on Cutthroat Kitchen, or the specifics of the challenges that will befall them in battle, a few things are certain about the contest: Chefs will sabotage each other and be sabotaged in return. It’s how contestants cope that will ultimately determine the success of their food, and while much of their adaptation involves recipe tweaks and ingredient swap-outs, it also requires strategy in bidding and the assigning of a particular sabotage once it’s been earned.

On this week’s episode of Cutthroat Kitchen, Chef Leah wasted no time in gifting a doozy of a challenge to all three of her rivals during Round 1′s quesadilla test. She paid a whopping $6,900 to force the other competitors to use a high-powered work lamp, a kitchen torch and a hair-straightening flat iron as their sole heat sources. “So, at this point, Chef Leah is hated by almost everyone universally. When the mid-challenge item came up, it was almost a fait accompli that somebody would make sure she got it,” Alton revealed to judge Simon Majumdar on the host’s After-Show. Sure enough, as a form of evilicious retribution, she was tasked with making two pitchers of margaritas using a human-powered blender attached to a bicycle, so she ultimately learned the sting of sabotage as she peddled to make the motor run. “But in the end, I don’t know how bad it hurt her,” Alton explained to Simon. Not only did Chef Leah survive the round, but she went on to win the entire competition after outcooking her rivals in rounds of chicken noodle soup and fish fries.

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Sweet vs. Spicy Wings: Which Team Are You On?

by in Recipes, Shows, January 18th, 2014

Classic Hot WingsJust this morning on a brand-new episode of The Kitchen, co-hosts Sunny Anderson and Geoffrey Zakarian showed off a duo of recipes for the humble chicken wing. This game-day favorite is a blank canvas for almost all ingredients, but often one of two tastes ends up reigning supreme: spicy or sweet. While both Geoffrey and Sunny deep-fried their wings until the skin was deliciously crispy and the meat juicy, Geoffrey opted for a slightly spicy rendition with piquillo peppers and cumin in his BBQ Chicken Wings with Blue Cheese Butter, and Sunny celebrated the sweeter flavor of pomegranate juice and hoisin sauce in her Sticky Onion Crunch Wings. Both finished wings proved deliciously sticky, but Geoffrey’s featured smoky notes while Sunny’s were subtly sweet without losing their savory bite.

Before you pick which team you’re rooting for in this year’s big game, FN Dish is challenging you to select which side you’re on in the great debate of sweet versus spicy chicken wings. Cast your vote below to tell us which flavor profile you prefer, then find party-ready recipes for both kinds of wings after the jump.

Get recipes for spicy and sweet chicken wings

#TBT: The Neelys

by in Food Network Chef, January 16th, 2014

The NeelysIt’s Thursday, and while that means everyone is just one day away from the weekend, it also means it’s time to throw back — to an earlier period in Food Network’s history. Check back on FN Dish every Thursday to find the latest #tbt of your favorite chefs and get a retro look at their earliest days on TV.

The king and queen of down-home barbecue, husband and wife Patrick and Gina Neely are best when they’re together, one of only a few groups on Food Network to co-host a show. Their first-ever series on the network, Down Home with the Neelys, featured Pat and Gina cooking alongside each other, swapping stories about their family’s recipes, tips on executing their dishes at home and surely plenty of laughs.

Pat and Gina specialize in making traditional barbecue, and while that has different meanings across the United States, the Neelys most often focus on classic Tennessee ’cue, turning out Memphis-Style Hickory-Smoked Beef and Pork Ribs, Barbecue Baked Beans and Honey Cornbread Muffins. Although some barbecue recipes have a tendency to be complicated and require tricky cooking techniques, Pat and Gina’s are simple to follow and deliver tried-and-true results, thanks to their fan-friendly style of breaking down each component of a recipe and showing how it  can be replicated easily at home.

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Restaurant Revisited: Monkey Business at Spunky Monkey Bar and Grill

by in Shows, January 15th, 2014

Restaurant: ImpossibleFrom a filthy interior to seemingly indifferent management, the problems at Spunky Monkey Bar and Grill in Auburn, Wash., were many, and it was up to Robert Irvine and his Restaurant: Impossible team to decipher and ultimately fix them one by one if the business was to have any chance at future success. Over the course of two days and with a budget of only $10,000, Robert overhauled the interior of the eatery, redesigned the menu and worked with owner Donel Brinkman to implement positive changes that ultimately allowed her to reopen Spunky Monkey to a packed crowd. Read on below for an exclusive interview with Donel and find out how her business is faring a few months later.

“Customers are thrilled with the design (as are we),” Donel says of the diners’ reactions to Spunky Monkey’s transformation, “and we are receiving great commentary on the transition.”

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Top 3 Most-Searched Ingredients on FoodNetwork.com, Plus Recipes

by in Recipes, January 13th, 2014

Perfect Roast ChickenJust last week on an all-new episode of The Kitchen, the co-hosts took to FoodNetwork.com to find out which three ingredients were most searched by fans, and it turns out that when it comes to home cooking, simplicity and health reign supreme. Chicken, the ultimate family-friendly dinner, leads the way in searches, followed by good-for-you kale and quinoa, so Marcela combined these picks into one simple dish: Chile-Rubbed Chicken Breast with Kale, Quinoa and Brussels Sprouts Salad. Instead of featuring all three ingredients on one plate, FN Dish is breaking them down, showcasing three of the best recipes for each chicken, kale and quinoa on FoodNetwork.com; read on below to find must-try soups, salads and all-in-one suppers alike for these fan-favorite ingredients.

Chicken:
3. Chicken Piccata — Quickly coated in flour and cooked until tender, Giada’s easy chicken dinner is topped with a classically bold sauce of lemon and capers.

2. Easy Chicken Pot Pie — Thanks to Sunny’s shortcut of using store-bought dough as the pastry topping, this creamy, hearty pot pie can be on the table in less than 45 minutes.

1. Perfect Roast Chicken (pictured above) — Stick with Ina’s no-fail method of buttering the bird and roasting it with lemon and herbs to turn out a juicy, flavor-packed chicken every time.

Get more chicken recipes.

Get top recipes for kale and quinoa

Soba Noodles with Shiitakes and Edamame — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, January 13th, 2014

Soba Noodles with Shiitakes and EdamameWhether it’s because of hectic schedules or simply an undeniable craving, sometimes it’s tempting to pick up the phone and order delivery for dinner. But even on the busiest of weeknights, it’s possible to make some of your favorite takeout picks at home, and the results are often healthier and made with better ingredients. The secret to making supper in a flash is keeping a well-stocked pantry, so on the weekend — or when you find yourself with extra time — head to the supermarket to pick up some essentials like dried pasta and rice, cans of beans and basic condiments. It’s far simpler to recreate classic Asian takeout dishes, for instance, when you already have items like soy sauce, sesame oil and rice vinegar on hand.

Food Network Magazine puts all three of those Asian products to work in Soba Noodles with Shiitakes and Edamame (pictured above), its spin on a traditional Asian noodle dish. Ready to eat in only 35 minutes, this recipe comes together simply thanks to frozen, preshelled edamame and quick-cooking soba noodles, which take only 5-6 minutes to become al dente. This dinner gets it heft from tender, earthy shiitake mushrooms, and boasts a light, fresh finish from a dressing featuring blended cilantro and mint, plus soy sauce and sesame oil. For subtle spice and added flavor, add a bit of Sriracha to the food processor when making the dressing and balance the heat with a sprinkling more of cilantro before serving.

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