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 10 Most-Comforting Fall Flavors We Tasted at Katie and Marcela’s Harvest Party

by in Events, October 16th, 2016

New York City Wine & Food FestivalNow that fall has officially arrived, you could celebrate the return of colorful leaves, crisp air and comfy sweaters with a trip to the orchard or perhaps an apple pie. But on Saturday during the New York City Wine & Food Festival, Katie Lee and Marcela Valladolid hosted a Harvest Party that brought together all the best sights, smells and flavors of the season — including pumpkin pie, instead of apple, as it turns out.

Guests gathered inside the seasonally decorated Highline Stages in New York City not just to taste fall fixings like butternut squash soup, turkey sandwiches and that creamy pumpkin pie, but also to meet the hostesses. When we caught up with Katie and Marcela recently, they both said how eager they were to mingle with fans of The Kitchen at their event. “I’m excited because it’s the one time a year that we get to be in the presence of the fans — of the people that are being supportive and the people that watch the show and the people that take their time out of their way, of their schedules, spend money to buy a ticket to come and see us,” Marcela explained. “And that’s kind of huge. And I’m super grateful and I’m super excited to get the opportunity to actually be with people face to face.”

As for the food, Katie told us: “I just love fall harvest season in general. I love the food that comes along with it. It’s warm; it’s cozy.” She also noted that she was excited to have one vendor in particular in attendance, Carissa’s Breads, from East End, N.Y. “It’s my favorite bread,” she said. And we quickly realized why. Her offering made our list of the best fall bites of the Harvest Party. Read on to get all the details.

Sweet Potato Soup (pictured above): We’d heard positive rumblings from guests about how stellar this soup from Primal Cut was, and after trying it for ourselves, we realized just how right the others were. Luxuriously smooth and creamy but oh so light, this soup had subtle tang from mascarpone cheese. The toppings of crispy, salty pancetta and sweetened pecans were bonuses in the flavor and texture departments. Primal Cut also served a sweet side dish — Pumpkin Infused Caramel Cheesecake — which featured a similarly silky filling.

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Your Whole-Week Shopping List: Here’s What You Need to Make Dinner Monday Through Friday

by in Shows, October 15th, 2016

The KitchenKids’ sports practices, your pets’ vet appointments, your work demands and all the things that will inevitable arise at the very last minute — there are countless reasons why weeknights are hectic, but that doesn’t mean dinner should get pushed to the bottom of the to-do list. Instead of resorting to delivery pizza or your usual takeout order when time is tight, opt for these family-friendly meals from The Kitchen. On this morning’s all-new episode, the co-hosts devoted the entire hour to showcasing recipes that are both quick to prep and easy enough to make on busy evenings. The secret lies in being prepared — having everything you need to make dinner on hand — and relying on a few no-shame shortcuts from the grocery store.

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Burger Bash 2016 Winners: David’s Cafe and Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer

by in Events, News, October 14th, 2016

New York City Wine & Food FestivalIf you’ve ever reveled in the smoky air of your backyard while grilling up a burger or two, you can imagine what guests of Friday night’s Burger Bash were in for when they walked into Manhattan’s Pier 92. Not one but dozens of chefs and restaurateurs came together at this rooftop party to serve up hundreds of juicy, cheesy, piled-high burgers to hordes of hungry fans, all eager to get their hands on the between-the-bun creations.

2016 marks the ninth year of this beloved New York City Wine & Food Festival event, and like in festivals past, the burger offerings put forth ranged from the classic (hello, American cheese) to the downright creative — think lamb-beef-combo patties and lobster toppings, which kept partygoers coming back for more. With so many burgers on display, it was up to both guests and judges — such famous, food-loving figures as Chopped judge Marc Murphy, Josh Capon, Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka — to decide which was worthy of the People’s Choice and Judges’ Choice awards, respectively. We caught up with judge Josh, who knows what it takes to make a winning burger — he’s won a whopping six Burger Bash competitions — and he told us that the perfect burger would have “perfect meat, perfect bun, perfect toppings and perfect execution.” Simply put, he said he’d be looking for “balance.”

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The 9 Best Bites from Giada’s Ultimate Italian Dinner at the New York City Wine & Food Festival

by in Events, Food Network Chef, October 14th, 2016

New York City Wine & Food FestivalIf the Italian feasts you know and love are reminiscent of lively parties full of friends, a bounty of pasta and pizza, and a seemingly never-ending flow of wine, you’ll be happy to know that the Italian Table that Giada De Laurentiis hosted on Thursday night was just like that — only her bash featured hundreds of guests and dozens of dishes. (They needed more than one table.)

Giada kicked off the ninth-annual New York City Wine & Food Festival in true big-city fashion, bringing together chefs and restaurateurs for the ultimate rooftop soiree at Pier 92, located high atop Manhattan’s Midtown. While guests enjoyed such savory and sweet bites as squid-laced pasta, chicken Parm-meatball combos and creamy panna cotta, Giada mingled with fans and took pictures with partygoers while wood-burning ovens blazed in the background.

Instead of delivering the usual red-sauce staples, chefs dished out inventive, surprising dishes, including a muffuletta sandwich, a super-spicy pizza and a seasonal panna cotta dessert. Check out 10 top bites of the night.

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Grannies Get Competitive on the Upcoming Series Clash of the Grandmas

by in Shows, October 13th, 2016

Clash of the GrandmasJust when you think you know what to expect from grandmas — knitted scarves, cozy quilts or sweet apple pies, perhaps — the ladies competing on the all-new series Clash of the Grandmas are here to dispel those stereotypes once and for all (though they may still bring the apple pie).

Premiering Sunday, Nov. 13 at 10|9c, Clash of the Grandmas will feature four grandmothers each week as they battle in a series of holiday-themed face-offs. These grannies, each boasting undeniable culinary chops, have time-honored recipes in their repertoires and a knack for delivering tried-and-true comfort. It will be up to them to showcase their skills in unexpected challenges if they want to outcook each other and take home the coveted prize of $10,000.

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“I Couldn’t Put You in a Box in a Box” — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, October 10th, 2016

If the first two weeks of Cutthroat Kitchen: Tournament of Terror were any indication, Alton Brown is not holding back when it comes to his or the judges’ costumes. (Remember when Alton rolled in on a dolly while wearing a Hannibal Lecter mask in Heat 1?) This week’s installment, the third heat in the tournament, was no exception, with Alton sporting an alien getup and Jet Tila transforming himself into Jetbot 2000, a straightedged robot with decidedly clunky arms and legs. During the competition, Jet had a tricky time navigating the stairs into the kitchen, and on the After-Show, his struggles only continued.

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Giada’s Creamy, Cheesy Baked Fettuccine — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, October 10th, 2016

Creamy Fettuccine with Asiago and ThymeMacaroni and cheese is great and all (actually, it’s really great — a timeless classic if ever there was one), but sometimes you want something a bit more unexpected, something that delivers the ooey-gooey comfort you know and love but is also refined. And for that there’s Giada De Laurentiis’ next-level take on a baked pasta, which she deems “a really sophisticated and elegant mac and cheese.”

Just as quick to make as a classic homemade mac and cheese, Giada’s Creamy Baked Fettuccine with Asiago and Thyme replaces the usual stovetop cheddar sauce with a mixture of two cheeses and cool creme fraiche that can simply be combined in a single bowl. Similar to sour cream, creme fraiche boasts a subtle tang, which, along with the fragrant fresh thyme, balances the richness of the Asiago and the nutty Parmesan. When the pasta is ready — Giada skips the old-school elbow noodles and opts for thick, hearty fettuccine — she tosses it with the cheese blend to create a decadent mixture that’s ready for baking. Just top it with a blanket of Asiago and let the casserole turn golden in the oven.

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Trisha’s Un-Fried Chicken — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, October 9th, 2016

Un-Fried ChickenTrisha Yearwood has done the seemingly impossible. In her easy recipe for baked-not-fried chicken, this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week, she’s turned lean chicken breasts into the crispy, crunchy, golden chicken pieces you’d expect after giving them a dip in the deep fryer — but without that oil bath. She dredges the chicken in tangy buttermilk, then coats it in a blanket of cheesy breadcrumbs before baking, to deliver the texture and flavor you know and love, in a lighter way.

For more chicken dinner ideas, check out Food Network’s Let’s Cook: Main Dishes board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Un-Fried Chicken

Caption It: Big Points for Tailgate Food

by in Shows, October 8th, 2016

The KitchenEver the enthusiastic cook and co-host, Jeff Mauro isn’t shy about showing his excitement on The Kitchen, no matter if he’s prepping a recipe on set, learning the latest craft project or welcoming a new guest to the party. And when it comes to football season, he’s every bit as game for the occasion as he is any other, as he proved during today’s all-new Tailgating 2.0 episode.

Take a peek at the photo above. With his head thrown back and a fist raised in the air, Jeff exuded football fervor as he shouted, “Touchdown!” He had just tasted Katie Lee’s warming Slow-Cooker Buffalo Chicken Chili and was quick to get fans just as hyped as he was for everything else set to go down this week.

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“Best. Day. Ever.” — Alton’s Tournament of Terror After-Show

by in Shows, October 5th, 2016

No stranger to Cutthroat Kitchen — or the evilicious escapades it’s been known to dish out to chefs and the judges alike — Antonia Lofaso had every right to be suspicious of a seemingly too-good-to-be-true sabotage during tonight’s new After-Show. Alton Brown introduced her to what he deemed “a little bitty haunted kitchen,” and he set her up with everything she’d need to execute deviled eggs: the ingredients, the tools and the space. But that didn’t stop her from trying to find out the horrors she (rightly) imagined would be there. After all, this was following Heat 2 of the Tournament of Terror, where the situation has been known to take a diabolical turn.

“You’re going to, like, start throwing things at me,” she predicted plainly. “Nothing is going to, like, grab me?” she questioned Alton. “OK, so what are they — what are you going to do?” she asked. “Is there something inside of my egg that shouldn’t be there?” Alton assured her there were no such surprises in store. But that didn’t mean there weren’t other horrors awaiting her. With a swift double knock on the exterior of the contraption, Antonia’s kitchen started to move, beginning its eventual 360- degree rotation right before her eyes. “Stop it! You were supposed to let me know that it was going to do that,” she shrieked as she attempted to grab her quickly falling equipment. Meanwhile, Alton, who was much too pleased with the surprise he pulled off, couldn’t help but smile and say: “Best. Day. Ever.”

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