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.

The 2015 South Beach Wine & Food Festival Kicks Off with a Seaside Al Fresco Feast

by in Events, February 20th, 2015

Gabriele Corcos and Debi MazarWhen Italian food is the name of the game, no two will do it better than Cooking Channel’s own Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos, so it’s no surprise that this husband-and-wife duo was on hand to host as the South Beach Wine & Food Festival inaugurated its first-ever Al Fresco Italian Feast last night. The hosts of Extra Virgin, plus native Italian and fearless Food Network competitor Fabio Viviani, as well as dozens of America’s greatest Italian chefs, came together underneath the colorfully lit tents along the sandy shores of Miami to dish out a true feast of a meal celebrating the best of Italian comfort foods and pay tribute to pay tribute to Ronzoni Pasta’s 100th anniversary. Though Mother Nature surprised partygoers with unseasonably low temperatures for Florida, the cool air didn’t stop anyone from cozying up to heaping plates of classic-red-sauce pasta, cheesy ravioli and plenty of sweet roasted meats as they danced to a DJ-band mash-up in the sand.

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If You Can’t Attend the Oscars on Sunday, Eat Like You’re a Celebrity Anyway

by in Recipes, February 19th, 2015

Pepped-Up PopcornThe 87th Academy Awards will be held in Los Angeles this Sunday night, and while you may not be able to score a coveted ticket to the ceremony, there’s no reason you can’t roll out the red carpet at home and make like you’re famous by indulging in awardworthy eats and drinks (even if you happen to be in fuzzy sweatpants instead of a skintight gown). From bubbly Champagne cocktails and easy crostini to tender short ribs, rich chocolate cupcakes and more, Food Network’s ultimate collection of Oscar Sunday specialties is brimming with 5-star flavor, and it’s deceptively simple to pull off.

If movies equal popcorn, then there’s no better way to kick off an evening of reviewing the best in big-screen dramas than with a bowl of Pepped-Up Popcorn (pictured above). Our Food Network Kitchen’s next-level recipe yields a trio of tastes: a savory pick with nutty Parmesan, plus chili powder-dusted and chocolate-coated snacks as well. If you’re feeling more classic than creative, however, dig into Food Network Magazine’s tried-and-true Theater-Style Buttered Popcorn for a traditional salty, crunchy bite.

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Restaurant Revisited: Bene Pizza and Pasta

by in Shows, February 18th, 2015

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: ImpossibleIt’s brother versus brother at Bene Pizza and Pasta, a 13-year-old business in Omaha, Neb., run by Jon and Bobby Lanphier and their mother, Ginger Lanphier. It was up to Robert Irvine and his Restaurant: Impossible team not only to overhaul the interior of the eatery and improve upon the dreary arcade, but also to mend the siblings’ relationship, which had weakened over the years as a result of increasing financial strain on the company. Read on below to hear from Ginger and find out how she and her sons are doing at Bene Pizza and Pasta a few months after their Restaurant: Impossible transformation.

Comparing this December to last December, “business was up 20 percent,” Ginger reveals. “The arcade does well when we are busy. We have talked to customers and are convinced that it brings customers in because it differentiates us from other pizza restaurants.”

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The Pioneer Woman’s Best 5 Potato Recipes

by in Recipes, February 18th, 2015

When it comes to simple side dishes, no vegetable takes the cake quite like potatoes; they’re easy to make in a hurry, endlessly comforting and sure to please even the pickiest eaters at the table. While a classic baked spud is a go-to preparation, a bit of mashing, slicing and dicing, plus indulgent additions like butter and cream, will transform the humble potato into a hearty staple. And no one knows that better than The Pioneer Woman, who has more than a few potato picks in her ranch recipe arsenal. Read on below to get Ree Drummond’s top-five takes on potatoes, including a cheesy twice-baked version and scalloped beauties studded with ham.

5. Perfect Potato Salad — Packed with sweet pickles, hard-boiled eggs and fresh dill, Ree’s easy potato salad features a mix of mayonnaise and mustard for extra tang. Follow her lead and mash the spuds to achieve a fluffy base.

4. Scalloped Potatoes and Ham — “The thinner the better,” Ree says of slicing the potatoes for her big-batch casserole. She layers these fine spuds with chopped ham, a thick, buttery onion sauce and plenty of gooey Monterey Jack cheese to create a stick-to-your-ribs side.

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Join Us at the 2015 South Beach Wine & Food Festival

by in Events, February 18th, 2015

2015 South Beach Wine & Food FestivalIt’s that time of year when cabin fever has hit, and surely there’s no better remedy than a few days of sun, sand and celebration at the 14th annual South Beach Wine & Food Festival. Beginning tomorrow, your favorite Food Network chefs will come together in Miami for a jam-packed weekend of all-star events, including late-night tastings, intimate dinners and culinary demos, while mixing and mingling with fans.

If you’re not a local Floridian, you can still keep up with the action at SOBEWFF. FN Dish editors will be at the festival all weekend long, attending premiere events with Bobby Flay, Guy Fieri, Alex Guarnaschelli and Rachael Ray, and munching on the best bites up for grabs. And best of all, you’re invited to check out our insider coverage of what’s going down. Keep coming back here for daily reports on the top moments and the most craveworthy dishes and drinks.

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Giada’s Linguini with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Olives and Lemon — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, February 16th, 2015

Linguini with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Olives and LemonSuccessful and satisfying dinners don’t have to require many ingredients or take a lot of time to prepare. In fact, some of the most tried-and-true standbys come together in mere minutes with everyday essentials from the pantry, including crowd-pleasing pastas. Just a box of noodles and a fuss-free sauce are all it takes to pull off tonight’s family meal, and when you use Giada De Laurentiis’ recipe for Linguini with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Olives and Lemon (pictured above), you don’t even have to cook the sauce.

Ready to eat in only 17 minutes, Giada’s bold pasta stars a raw sauce of rich, chewy sun-dried tomatoes, tangy green olives and plenty of fresh basil. For easy prep, she opts to whirl these go-to fixings in the food processor alongside a squeeze of lemon juice for brightness and a heavy handful of nutty Parmesan cheese. There’s no need to cook the sauce, as the heat of the just-drained pasta will gently warm the tomato mixture as they’re combined.

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5 Ways to Turn Your Kitchen Into the French Quarter for Mardi Gras

by in Recipes, February 16th, 2015

Monster MuffalettaMardi Gras, Fat Tuesday — no matter what you call it, tomorrow’s all about indulgent, no-holds-barred eats, drinks and celebrations, especially in New Orleans, where Mardi Gras takes on an over-the-top culture all its own. If you can’t make it to the French Quarter to take part in the annual parades or dress up in the signature purple, green and gold colors, bring a taste of the experience into your kitchen wherever you are by recreating classic NOLA-style classics right at home.

Piled high with layers of Italian deli meats and cheeses and a hearty layer of briny, tangy olive-pepper salad, Jeff Mauro’s Monster Muffaletta (pictured above) serves as a hearty base in your stomach to soak up whatever it is you’ll be drinking all day. But perhaps best of all, this big-batch sandwich is a no-cook standby that can be assembled and ready to eat in only 10 quick minutes.

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Back in the Winner’s Circle: Anne Burrell Dishes on Her Worst Cooks Victory

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, February 16th, 2015

Anne Burrell and Kristen RedmondAfter a three-season winning streak, Worst Cooks in America‘s Red Team coach, Anne Burrell, suffered two back-to-back losses, but just last night she reclaimed her victorious title in a nail-biting finale. “It feels like I’ve been restored to my correct position,” she told FN Dish in an exclusive interview. The veteran mentor spent seven weeks at Boot Camp with her team of recruits, detailing the beginner how-tos of the kitchen and building confidence within the novice cooks, and ultimately her mentee Kristen Redmond proved just how much she’s learned from Anne in a cook-off against the Blue Team’s Genique Freeman.

Read on below to hear more from Anne as she dishes on the finale, shares her proudest moment as a mentor and gives must-know kitchen tips for Worst Cooks fans at home.

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You “Will Eventually Learn to Just Laugh” — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, February 15th, 2015

Cutthroat Kitchen isn’t for the faint of heart, that’s for sure, and Anne Burrell learned that the hard way when she took her place in the arena as a competitor in the Superstar Sabotage tournament a few months ago. But on tonight’s all-new episode, she experienced the contest from a judge’s perspective as she guest-starred in this particularly evilicious battle.

A Round 2 sabotage forced Chef Ventura to dictate to Chef Emily how he wanted his food to be prepared, though he couldn’t see what she was doing because there was a wall between them, and vice versa. So when it came time for Anne to judge the competitors’ taco offerings, she judged Chef Ventura’s on a taco that was ultimately prepared by Chef Emily — and, again, vice versa. “She wildly underseasoned it,” Anne said of Chef Emily’s preparation of Chef Ventura’s taco. And, sure enough, Anne found Chef Emily’s dish to be “delicious,” though of course it was prepared by Chef Ventura.

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Cheesecake-Cookie Mash-Up Wins the Course in the Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, February 15th, 2015

New York Cheesecake CookiesJust when you thought there was no way to improve upon the rich, creamy texture of classic cheesecake or the buttery flavor of a moist cookie, Sandra Lee creates a craveworthy dessert mash-up that brings both treats to new levels of indulgence. These easy-to-make bites feature all of the fixings of traditional cheesecake, like graham cracker crumbs and a soft, decadent filling, but the simplicity of an eat-with-your-hands cookie.

For more dessert inspiration, visit Food Network’s Let’s Bake! board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: New York Cheesecake Cookies (pictured above)