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.

Popcorn Like You’ve Never Seen It Before

by in Recipes, Shows, February 20th, 2016

Silver and Golden Popcorn Confetti Bundt CakeNo matter if you’re a butter-and-salt purist, a fan of the vibrant-orange cheese powder or a sweets lover who’s craving all things gooey caramel, the popcorn you’re most used to having is likely simply popped and served in a big ol’ bucket or bag. But these puffy corn kernels can indeed rise above the ordinary toppings and presentation — all it takes is a few how-tos. On this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, the cast introduced a duo of next-level takes on popcorn just in time for awards season, which celebrates perhaps the ultimate popcorn-eating pastime: movie watching. Read on below for two sweet and savory renditions, both easy to make and endlessly impressive.

Read more

Vegetarian Sloppy Joes — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, February 15th, 2016

Vegetarian Sloppy JoesGround beef may be the usual centerpiece of a classic sloppy joe, but these family-friendly favorites can indeed be made meatless. All it takes is one key ingredient: tofu. Even if you think you’re not a fan of tofu or if you’ve simply never tried it before, we’re here to tell you that it’s just what you need to use in these hearty, flavor-packed Vegetarian Sloppy Joes from Food Network Magazine.

Since tofu on its own is mild, it picks up the taste of whatever you cook it in; think of it as a blank culinary canvas. And when you opt for the extra-firm tofu, which this recipe calls for, it can be crumbled and sauteed just like ground meat. Here it’s simmered in a homemade sloppy joe sauce studded with fresh vegetables and laced with bold chili and garlic powders, plus tangy ketchup and a splash of chili sauce. For added taste and texture, finish each sloppy joe with a slice of gooey cheddar cheese and crunchy pickles, then round out the dish with a tried-and-true sloppy joe side dish: golden Tater Tots.

Read more

“No Bowl, No Dignity” — Testing the Cutthroat Kitchen Sabotages

by in Shows, February 14th, 2016

Where there’s a kitchen mixer there’s often a mixing bowl, right? Wrong, in fact. At least insofar as Cutthroat Kitchen is concerned. On tonight’s brand-new chocolate-themed episode, chefs were forced to prep chocolate cookies with a trio of diabolical mixing devices, including a stand mixer that forbid the use of an accompanying bowl, which meant one competitor was left using his hands to keep the batter fixings together. If such a challenge seems too evilicious to overcome, the Cutthroat culinary crew is here to dispel those worries: Jamie Peterson tested this very sabotage and the results were downright surprising.

“I’ve set up a baking sheet underneath my stand mixer because I’m going to need to catch all of the product that’s going to come running out of it and going everywhere,” Jamie explained of his first steps of prep. After that, the name of the game was keeping the speed on slow and using his hands to form the ingredients. “Time is definitely going to be an issue with this sabotage,” he explained as he attempted to combine the butter and sugar. “This is a very time-consuming process.” Despite the minor chaos of the flour mixture being incorporated — “It’s going everywhere,” Jamie revealed — he managed to combine the dry ingredients with the wet ones, and he was able to form the dough into balls for baking. “No bowl, no dignity — I still came out with chocolate cookies,” he said after tasting the results. While perhaps a bit tricky to manage, this sabotage was indeed ready for auction, thanks to the golden finished product.

Read more

Giada’s Top-Rated Mozzarella Sticks — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, February 14th, 2016

Mozzarella SticksCrispy on the outside and ooey-gooey on the inside, mozzarella sticks are a go-to bar snack, but with the help of this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week, you don’t need to belly up to the bar to enjoy them. Giada De Laurentiis’ 5-star recipe comes together with only a handful of ingredients, including creamy fresh mozzarella, which stars in the filling. In place of a traditional breadcrumb blanket, Giada opts for a coating that’s laced with Parmesan cheese, which offers a rich, slightly nutty flavor. Serve the fried sticks with a homemade tomato-garlic sauce for hands-on dipping.

For more snack inspiration, check out Food Network’s Let’s Game Day board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Mozzarella Sticks

How to Have Chocolate for Dinner (and Dessert, Of Course)

by in Recipes, Shows, February 13th, 2016

Cocoa-Rubbed New York Strip Steak for TwoNot only is Valentine’s Day a chance to celebrate your love for the special someone in your life, but it’s also an ideal time to profess your devotion — to chocolate. This fan-favorite ingredient is a go-to pick in rich sweet treats, but believe it or not, it can also star in savory dishes. As you plan tomorrow’s menu, try treating your sweetie to a dinner featuring cocoa powder, like the one Geoffrey Zakarian made on this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, and finishing with a decadent dessert to wrap up the meal. Get the recipe for GZ’s impressive steak for two below, and check out the trio of chocolatey desserts for next-level dessert inspiration.

The secret to Geoffrey’s Cocoa-Rubbed New York Strip Steak for Two (pictured above) is balancing the flavor of the cocoa with smoky ingredients, like Hungarian paprika and ancho chile powder, to create a bold spice rub. GZ quickly sears the beef so it achieves a golden, caramelized exterior, then moves it to the oven to finish cooking. To round out the meat, opt for a fresh side dish of balsamic-laced beets, which turn tender after roasting.

Read more

Red Velvet Everything: 10 Favorites to Eat and Drink

by in Recipes, February 11th, 2016

The Best Red Velvet RecipesWhile chocolate may claim the spotlight on Valentine’s Day (and for good reason: molten. lava. cake.), there’s another holiday-worthy treat that’s just as decadent and rosy-colored to boot. Red velvet desserts are pretty to look at, and they also boast a flavor all their own, with just a subtle bit of cocoa and plenty of rich moisture from the classic pairing of cream cheese frosting. Check out some of our favorite red velvet showstoppers, including a towering layer cake, fluffy whoopie pies, a crimson cocktail and a warming hot chocolate.

Read more

It’s Anyone’s Game in a Culinary Battle of Cooks vs. Cons

by in Shows, February 10th, 2016

It's Anyone's Game in a Blind Culinary Battle of Cooks vs. ConsWhen professional chefs present their dishes, their years of experience and their reputations for stellar cuisine and expert technique often precede them, so much so that tasters may be biased when it comes to reviewing the food. But what happens when judges don’t know if the meal was prepared by a home cook or a chef? Will perceptions change and critiques differ? That’s where the brand-new series Cooks vs. Cons comes in.

Read more

Rice Bowls with Fried Eggs — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, February 8th, 2016

Rice Bowls with Fried EggsAs with soup and tacos, there aren’t exactly rules when it comes to creating a rice bowl, just a set of loose guidelines that you can follow to craft your ultimate finished product. Rice will provide a blank-canvas base, much like broth in a soup and a shell in tacos; then it’s up to you to pick the veggie add-ins and a protein. The options are seemingly endless — not to mention convenient. If you find yourself with a refrigerator full of strays, like that half-full container of prepared rice, those two random carrots and a handful of black beans, you’re well on your way to a complete dinner. Food Network Magazine utilized a similar approach in its recipe for Rice Bowls with Fried Eggs, which is easy enough that you can execute it on even the busiest of weeknights in just 30 quick minutes.

Featuring a hearty base of ready-to-go brown rice, these fuss-free bowls are topped with earthy shiitake mushrooms and tender broccoli, as well as bright snow peas. Sauteing the veggies in a mixture of tangy teriyaki sauce and a squeeze of Sriracha ensures that there will be plenty of flavor and a bit of subtle spice throughout. To bring even more heft to the bowl, finish the dish with a sunny-side-up egg for a boost of protein, and drizzle with more Sriracha for added heat.

Read more

Spicy Pasta with Garlic and Olive Oil: The Anti-Valentine’s Day Dinner

by in Holidays, Recipes, February 8th, 2016

Spaghetti Aglio e OlioThe hearts, the roses, the chocolate candy … It’s tough to escape the culture of Valentine’s Day once February 1 rolls around. If, for whatever reason, you’re not embracing all things red and pink these days — and instead running away from them — this Valentine’s Day dinner is for you.

It takes just 15 minutes and five everyday ingredients to make Geoffrey Zakarian’s Spaghetti Aglio e Olio, aka spaghetti with garlic and olive oil. This fan-favorite recipe gets a boost of welcome heat from a generous pinch of red pepper flakes, while the sauce comes together in a quick saute; just use a few splashes of pasta water to create a silky sauce out of the garlic slices and oil. Go ahead and slurp up each and every noodle and revel in that garlicky flavor.

Read more

Shockingly Healthy (and Easy) Lemon-Garlic Shrimp and Grits — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, February 7th, 2016

Lemon-Garlic Shrimp and GritsWhile most comfort foods conjure images of hearty decadence and over-the-top indulgence, believe it or not, a satisfying meal can be healthy. This week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week, featured in Food Network Magazine, is a good-for-you take on a traditionally rich pick, shrimp and grits; it features all the flavors and textures you know and crave in the classic rendition, with cheesy, creamy grits and tender, lemony shrimp, but it’s made sans cream and with only a bit of butter, so the results turn out lighter. Perhaps best of all, this fan-favorite dish can be on the table in only 30 quick minutes.

Visit Food Network’s Let’s Cook Comfort Food board on Pinterest for more savory and sweet ideas for fill-you-up fare.

Get the Recipe: Lemon-Garlic Shrimp and Grits from Food Network Magazine