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.

Caption It: Way to Go, Bro

by in Shows, November 7th, 2015

Caption It: Way to Go, BroThe Kitchen co-hosts are known for doling out countless good-to-know tips, family-favorite recipe ideas and tried-and-true culinary hacks — and having their share of fun on set. (Remember that time Jeff Mauro donned his best bodysuit and performed an impromptu floor-skating routine?) Just this morning, Jeff and Geoffrey Zakarian once again showed off their silly sides as they put the finishing touches on their banana breads. After Katie Lee declared his rum-soaked banana bread a “home run,” Jeff could hardly contain his excitement and met GZ in the kitchen for a hearty high-five.

Take a look at the photo above that captures the guys’ grinning moment. We’re challenging you, The Kitchen fans, to write your best captions (tastefully appropriate, please) for this moment in the comments below.

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Restaurant Ambush Revisited: Eyes on the Surprise at Copper Still CD Vodka Lounge and Eatery

by in Shows, November 5th, 2015

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: ImpossibleWhile Stephanie, the bar manager at Copper Still CD Vodka Lounge and Eatery, had reached out to Robert Irvine for help in reviving business, she never could have expected that he’d turn up unannounced. In a tricky double elimination, when he arrived with his Restaurant: Impossible team in tow, Robert shocked not only Stephanie but also Christina, the owner of the Crestwood, Ill., restaurant. Eight months after opening the doors to Copper Still, Christina had yet to make a profit on the eatery, and the financial struggle had begun to put a strain on her marriage to her husband, Dominic. It was up to Robert to reinvigorate Christina, mend her relationship and transform Copper Still — and he almost had to do it alone. Stephanie was so upset by Robert’s ambush that she nearly didn’t help in the renovation, but ultimately, in true Irvine fashion, that didn’t stop Robert from completing his mission. Read on below to hear from Christina and see how Copper Still is faring a few months since it reopened.

“The ambush has definitely opened my eyes to the different problems that we had with staff and training,” Christina says, reflecting on her Restaurant: Impossible experience. “I have now since become more aggressive with the direction I would like the staff to go into. I have had less toleration for the behavior we once overlooked.” She adds that there are now “new rules and procedures that the staff must understand and follow,” and she says that there is “a different training process” in place for new staff members.

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Ree Sets the Table for a Cowboy-Friendly Feast on The Pioneer Woman’s Ultimate Thanksgiving

by in Shows, November 5th, 2015

Ree Drummond on The Pioneer WomanWhether it’s a steak-and-potato dinner or a hearty pasta buffet, Ree Drummond is known for offering up a bounty of hearty plates to her brood of kids and ranch hands on The Pioneer Woman. So you can imagine the feasts she puts forth come the holiday season. Just last year she hosted the first-ever Cowboy Christmas, and next week she’ll welcome fans to the ranch once again for a look at how she does turkey day on The Pioneer Woman’s Ultimate Thanksgiving.

Airing Monday, Nov. 16 at 8|7c, Ree’s brand-new special will not just showcase family-friendly recipes ideal for a seasonal centerpiece, but it will also introduce The Pioneer Woman’s tricks for making classic dishes ahead of time — without sacrificing flavor. Her secret? Starting preparations three days prior to turkey day, counting down and checking off all of the tried-and-true elements of a down-home feast. To guarantee a stress-free Thanksgiving, she gets a head start on preparing the bird — her Maple Whiskey Turkey — and then preps the dessert, a party-perfect Gingerbread Cheesecake with Salted Caramel Sauce, so that come turkey day, she’ll only have to complete some last-minute quick fixes before savoring the holiday meal with her family.

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“Richard Actually Got All of My Best Sabotages” — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, November 5th, 2015

The second-ever Superstar Sabotage tournament kicked off in the Cutthroat Kitchen arena last night, and in true evilicious fashion, host Alton Brown held nothing back in the way of diabolical challenges for the first lot of A-list chefs to do battle. Richard Blais, normally a judge on Guy’s Grocery Games, was one of the chefs competing for Cutthroat glory last night — and indeed he achieved it, but not without perhaps more than his share of sabotages. “Richard actually got all of my best sabotages,” Alton told Simon Majumdar, who joined the host and Richard on the After-Show for a look back at Richard’s road to victory.

Simon, always game to attempt the sabotages himself, walked on set in full body armor so he could begin to understand just what Richard endured in the first round’s English-breakfast test. “It gets hot in there,” Richard told Simon, who also saw firsthand the limited ingredients available to Richard when he was saddled with yet another English-breakfast sabotage: a mandate to use only the items set up on an English breakfast table. “Very rarely does someone in the first round with two sabotages survive,” said Alton to Richard, who agreed that it came down to “absolutely survival.”

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One-on-One with the Heat 1 Winner of Cutthroat Kitchen: Superstar Sabotage

by in Shows, November 4th, 2015

Cutthroat Kitchen: Superstar SabotageFrom grandmas and firefighters to even the roster of judges he keeps on hand, Alton Brown isn’t shy about doling out diabolical sabotages to anyone and everyone who enters the hallowed Cutthroat Kitchen arena, including the A-list chefs on Superstar Sabotage. In this brand-new series, 16 all-star professionals, all renowned in their field, have agreed to subject themselves to Alton’s eviliciousness. While most will ultimately fall in their quest for Cutthroat glory, a few will shine — one in each of the four preliminary rounds and one of them again in the tournament finale. Check back to FN Dish after each episode to hear from the latest round’s winner in an exclusive interview. If you haven’t watched tonight’s new episode, read no further, because we’re about to break down the ins and out of the battle.

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Do You Need a Recipe for Avocado Toast? Not According to the Internet

by in News, November 4th, 2015

Avocado-Toast Breakfast SaladAvocado, bread, seasonings — done. Those three ingredients are all it takes to make a basic slice of avocado toast. And when it comes to the directions to prep the toast, they’re not much more complicated: slice, smash, sprinkle. But when Nigella Lawson debuted such a how-to on Simply Nigella, her series that recently premiered in Great Britain, it seems that the Internet was not too pleased with her simple step-by-step, as fans took to Twitter to share their frustration over the apparently too-basic dish. Check out Mashable to see what some are saying about the now-infamous non-recipe.

And if you, like Nigella, love avocado toast (who doesn’t, really?) and want to dress it up, check out Food Network Kitchen’s next-level how-to for Avocado-Toast Breakfast Salad. While this is indeed an easy recipe, it goes beyond the slice-smash-sprinkle-serve staple we’ve all had before. Here the toast is topped with a light but satisfying arugula-feta salad featuring toasted sliced almonds for welcome texture.

10 Thanksgiving Appetizers (Because There’s More to the Holiday Than Turkey)

by in Holidays, Recipes, November 3rd, 2015

Best Thanksgiving AppetizersWhile some celebrations call for hours of slow grazing (those tailgate snacks are an all-afternoon affair, right?), Thanksgiving is often set up into distinct parts: appetizers, the main spread, dessert and leftovers. Since you’re likely spending most of your time prepping the bird and its fixings, keep the starter game simple, for both you and your company. After all, you don’t want to serve hors d’oeuvres that are so filling that your guests are not craving turkey. The key is to whet their appetites with a few seasonal bites that will only prime them for what’s to come, and these go-to picks surely fit the bill.

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All-Star Chefs’ Advice to First-Time Thanksgiving Cooks

by in Food Network Chef, Holidays, November 3rd, 2015

All-Star Chefs' Advice to First-Time Thanksgiving CooksThe all-important turkey, the creamy potato side dish, the golden-brown roasted vegetables, the tart-sweet cranberry sauce and the buttery rolls (not to mention the desserts) … there are surely multiple pieces of the meal to contend with come Thanksgiving, so it’s understandable if you’re feeling some pre-holiday jitters. And if you’re a newbie to turkey-day cooking, there’s likely the added pressure of the unknown. That’s where these tips come in. According to many of your favorite Food Network chefs, there are indeed ways to make the celebration simpler, so much so that you won’t have to stress. The key takeaway? You don’t have to tackle the entire buffet on your own. “Do a potluck!” Giada De Laurentiis recommends. “Do not try to do it all yourself.” Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli adds, speaking to both Thanksgiving novices and returning hosts alike, “The best thing to do is write out your whole menu and then cross off at least two things.”

Click the image below to hear more from other chefs, including Bobby Flay, Michael Symon and Anne Burrell, to learn their go-to tips and tricks for entertaining with ease this year.

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Speedy Baked Eggs with Salsa Verde — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, November 2nd, 2015

Baked Eggs with Salsa VerdeWhile eggs are likely part of your weekend brunch routine, there’s no reason these protein-packed beauties can’t make an appearance at during the week — at any time of day. They cook up in mere minutes and are hearty enough to keep you feeling full, which is why they’re often called upon to beef up meatless meals.

In Food Network Kitchen’s 25-minute recipe for Baked Eggs with Salsa Verde (pictured above), eggs are the centerpiece of the dish, which is a top-rated fan favorite. Think of this fuss-free meal as eggs in purgatory gone green; while the traditional dish features eggs baked in a spicy tomato sauce, this version lets a tomatillo-based salsa verde act as the sauce. Studded with garlic and jalapeno, this simple homemade sauce is blended until smooth, but the chefs in Food Network Kitchen advise, “If pressed for time, use a mild store-bought salsa, either red or green.” Once the eggs have cooked in the salsa, blanket them with Monterey Jack cheese for a gooey finish, and sprinkle with fragrant cilantro before serving.

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Celebrate National Deviled Egg Day with These Egg-cellent Ideas

by in Recipes, November 2nd, 2015

Celebrate National Deviled Egg Day with These Eggscellent IdeasNo, the calendar hasn’t fast-forwarded to spring. Today, Nov. 2, is indeed National Deviled Egg Day, and while deviled eggs often take on a shining role come Easter, they’re also a go-to appetizer for that other holiday just around the corner: Thanksgiving.

Since they’re hearty and comforting, deviled eggs will surely please your hangry turkey day guests when they arrive, but they’re not so large that partygoers will fill up before the feast. No matter if you opt for the tried-and-true classic recipe or decide to dress up the traditional deviled egg, you’ll be able to do much of the prep for this starter ahead of time, which means you’ll have one less thing to focus on as mealtime inches closer.

Check out some of our favorite ideas below for egg-cellent deviled egg inspiration. Read more