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.

2 Easy Foil-Packet Dinners That Will Save Your Sanity Come Cleanup Time

by in Recipes, Shows, August 27th, 2016

Grilled Foil-Packed Chipotle ShrimpGrilled dinners are famously quick and fuss-free; they’re essentially just one-pan (one-machine?) dinners that require little more than a quick scrub after cooking. But what if we told you there’s a way to make them even easier? Yes, it’s possible. The secret is a foil pouch. You can make these little packs by folding up a piece of aluminum foil, and not only can they be tossed after cooking — resulting in no cleanup whatsoever — but they also guarantee a moist place for the food to cook, which means your dish will turn out juicy and full of flavor.

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Ready, Set, Take Aim — Alton’s Camp Cutthroat After-Show

by in Shows, August 24th, 2016

Wild, unpredictable and downright diabolical, the sabotages that host Alton Brown is set to unleash upon the Camp Cutthroat 2 chefs are surely going to be some of his most evilicious ever. In tonight’s premiere, we saw just how challenging they would be — for both the competitors and the judge.

Chef Kate, who managed to earn Heat 1 glory and a spot in the finale, was forced to abandon her basket ingredients for meat and potatoes, and instead she had to use what Alton called a “potato gun” to shoot for subpar replacements in Round 2. Come the After-Show, Jet Tila was prepared to take aim with the same rifle, but unfortunately for the judge, he had to wear an unwieldly suit of sticks and moss; Alton said he hoped to “level the playing field a little bit,” noting Jet’s superior shooting skills. “You’re a much better marksman than I am,” Alton admitted. However, that’s not quite what happened when the guys took aim, Jet clad in his camo getup.

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Watch the Premiere of Food Network Star Kids to Enter Our Lucky Star $10K Giveaway

by in Contests, Shows, August 22nd, 2016

Food Network Star KidsIt was just last month that Tregaye Fraser joined the Food Network family after besting 12 finalists in a game-changing season of Food Network Star. Now the search for Star power is on again, but this time it’s all about the next generation.

Food Network Star Kids premieres tonight at 8|7c with a pintsize competition featuring 10 ambitious young cooks, each with uncanny culinary chops and a too-cute-for-words personality. These finalists must prove to mentors Donal Skehan and Tia Mowry that they have skills in the kitchen and a natural air on camera, if they want to be crowned Food Network’s first-ever Star Kid in just six weeks. And fans watching at home can take home a starry prize just by tuning in.

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2 Ways to Update Basic Banana Bread

by in Recipes, Shows, August 20th, 2016

2 Ways to Update Basic Banana BreadMoist, sweet and ideal for morning treats and after-dinner snacks alike, banana bread is a back-pocket staple that delivers tried-and-true results every time. But when you’ve just about had your fill of the classic version you know and love, and want something a little different, look no further than these transformed banana breads from The Kitchen. On this morning’s new episode, the co-hosts shared two new takes on the traditional banana bread, and both recipes are easy to make and full of craveable flavors.

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“This Always Gives Me Anxiety” — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, August 17th, 2016

Following tonight’s brand-new fried-food episode of Cutthroat Kitchen, the After-Show started innocently enough: Judge Jet Tila had his shopping basket in hand, ready to take on the pantry and gather ingredients to cook. “This always gives me anxiety,” he admitted. And no sooner did the judge voice that admission did he start to experience the all-too-familiar pain of host Alton Brown‘s eviliciousness. First up: the basket. Alton ditched it and instead saddled Jet with a long-billed fish onto which he had to thread his pantry ingredients. From there the situation simply turned more and more diabolical.

“Bring in the giant chicken leg, please,” Alton called out as Jet attempted to start his tempura-fried shrimp. Sure enough, Jet found himself about to cook with one leg inside that oversize chicken leg, but he took it in stride — until Alton gave him yet another sabotage, a chicken wing, of course. “Oh, come on,” Jet proclaimed. “I’m going to cheat,” he added, resorting to using both of his hands to prep, though the competitor wasn’t so lucky in the cooking round. With both hands in motion, Jet managed to prep his shrimp and the corresponding batter, and the situation looked manageable. But then eviliciousness struck again: Enter the churro Bobs. “Call your Bobs off!” Jet pleaded with Alton as two Bobs sandwiched Jet as he attempted to move about the kitchen. Both the judge and the host managed to present fried shrimp, though Alton wasn’t shy about proclaiming which he thought was the strongest. (Spoiler alert: It wasn’t Jet’s shrimp.)

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2 New Ways to Wrap and Roll Chicken

by in Recipes, Shows, August 13th, 2016

Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken BreastSlicing and stacking is well and good, of course, but today’s episode of The Kitchen put the spotlight on wrapping and rolling, showcasing all the ways to deliver bold boosts of flavor in easy-to-eat packages. Both Geoffrey Zakarian and Jeff Mauro delivered new ideas for transforming chicken with the help of a wrap, GZ going the elegant dinner route and Jeff opting for a next-level sandwich. Read on below to get their recipes.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken Breast (pictured above)
Not only does GZ cover his lean chicken breasts in a snug overcoat of prosciutto, but he also packs flavor inside the meat. He carves a pocket in the chicken and fills it with a Mediterranean-inspired mixture of creamy ricotta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and fragrant sage. After searing the chicken on the stove, Geoffrey moves it to the oven to finish cooking, and what results is a just-crispy-enough exterior of prosciutto and a tender inside featuring juicy chicken and rich, melty ricotta. The finish is all about the lemony butter sauce, laced with sweet shallots and salty capers.

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Superhero Chefs Take On Sabotages — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, August 10th, 2016

Well, we’ve reached a new dawn in the land of Cutthroat Kitchen. On tonight’s special-edition superhero installment of Alton’s After-Show, host Alton Brown and judge Antonia Lofaso abandoned their earthly bodies and became Fry-der Man and Super Judge, respectively. For Alton, his impersonation involved none other than a jetpack-like backpack of oversize french fries, as well as a mask and hand made out of fry baskets; Antonia found herself flying (that is, hanging) in the air parallel to the floor, at the mercy of what Alton called “the four winds,” aka the Bobs. “It’s not my fault. I’m not in charge of them,” Alton explained to Antonia as she attempted to comprehend the predicament in which she found herself.

For this After-Show challenge, both Fry-der Man and Super Judge were tasked with putting their superhero spins on a classic hero sandwich, a simple task to be sure — or so it seemed. “I can’t even reach my olive oil,” Antonia declared at the outset, stretching her arms from the sling in an attempt to grab the bottle. Meanwhile, Alton was dealing with a struggle of his own. Thanks to the fry basket he was forced to carry in one hand, his chopping abilities were severely lacking, so much so that he resorted to simply smashing a lead of lettuce and a few olives for his sandwich. “That is unnecessary,” Antonia noted of the whacking going down on the station beside her. Both managed to put forth sandwiches, but ultimately only Antonia was able to experience the magic of superhero flight as the Bobs swept her around the kitchen to pick up plates.

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2 Ways to Cool Off with Cold Soups from The Kitchen

by in Recipes, Shows, August 6th, 2016

2 Ways to Cool Off with Cold Soups from The KitchenLet’s be honest. Chicken noodle, broccoli-cheddar and minestrone are all well and good soups, but when it’s roughly 100 degrees outside, the last thing you want to do is cozy up to a bowl of piping-hot liquid, right? But what about chilled soup? It’s just as light and satisfying as its steamy counterparts, but you can enjoy it without all of that … steam. On this morning’s new Chill Out episode of The Kitchen, Jeff Mauro and Katie Lee showed two ways to indulge your craving for soup without sweating it out in the kitchen. The secret lies in their simple recipes for cold soups, both easy to make and full of summertime flavors.

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Chatting with Tia Mowry, a Mentor on the Brand-New Food Network Star Kids

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, August 4th, 2016

Food Network Star KidsYesterday we brought you an exclusive interview with Donal Skehan, one half of the powerhouse duo that’s set to mentor-judge 10 budding culinary talents on the upcoming premiere of Food Network Star Kids. Today it’s all about Tia Mowry, who knows what it’s like to be on TV as a child and what it takes to command a kitchen as the host of Cooking Channel’s Tia Mowry at Home. Read on below to get her take on what’s ahead on Star Kids and learn more about her own style in the kitchen.

What can fans look forward to seeing when this series premieres?
Tia Mowry: Heart. Number one, there’s a lot of heart in this show. I mean, you are seeing these kids’ dreams come true, but I also think why there’s a lot of heart, you see this show is about inspiration, so definitely a lot of heart. Great laughs [too]. These kids are extremely entertaining, because they’re not filtered. So, whatever comes out of their mouth, comes out of their mouth. Gosh, just lots of fun. I think what I love about this show, it’s creative, it’s very entertaining and it’s inspiring. Also, I think there’s some hard competition. You’re going to really see some excellent cooks in the kitchen with these kids. You’re going to see smart kids

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“Fly Vision” Makes Bartending Tricky — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, August 3rd, 2016

Anne Burrell is no stranger to the Cutthroat Kitchen arena, as she’s both competed on and judged this evilicious competition before. But the sabotages took a particularly diabolical turn for her tonight, when she returned to her post as a guest judge and later got to experience a few of the challenges for herself during the After-Show. No sooner did she take in host Alton Brown’s “custom cat condo” did she feast her eyes on an oversize shoe for shoofly pie. “But that was really nothing,” Alton Brown told her, as he prepared to unleash a far trickier test that she’d ultimately be wearing. He gave Anne what he called “fly vision,” thanks to psychedelic goggles that severely warped her vision. “They make you feel kind of drunk,” Alton added.

With the oddball specs snugly on her head, Anne did her best to prep a cocktail — but the task wasn’t without its challenges. “This is hilarious,” she admitted after knocking over a glass and attempting to feel her way around the prep station to land the tools she needed. Though she managed to fill up the shaker with a few liquors and even slice a grapefruit while under the influence of the googles, the real test came when it was time for her to pour the drink. “Did I make any of that in the glass?” she asked.

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