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.

3 No-Recipe Salad Dressing Recipes to Keep in Your Arsenal

by in Recipes, Shows, September 17th, 2016

Sunny's Grilled Chicken and Kale Salad with Creamy The secret is out: To cook a successful dish at home, you need not have a long, intricate recipe on hand or even any recipe at all. Sometimes, a simple how-to for the process or a general method for creating it will suffice. On this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, the cast hosted a Recipe-Free Show, complete with savory and sweet eats and drinks, from saucy meatballs to a buttery fruit crisp, that are easy enough to put together without a recipe. Check out the cast’s easy ideas for making a trio of go-to salad dressings, each quick to prepare and ideal for no-recipe cooking.

Sunny’s Grilled Chicken and Kale Salad with Creamy “Equal-Parts” Harissa Salad Dressing
The name of the game here is 1/4 cup — keep that measurement in your mind. Just as the title suggests, this rich dressing boasts equal parts (1/4 cup) of mayonnaise, tangy buttermilk, spicy harissa and two kinds of fresh greens: cilantro and scallions. Once that mixture is whisked, it’s ready to be tossed with Sunny’s kale salad, which is studded with juicy chicken and grapes.

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“You Are Certainly Rigged for Adventure” — Alton’s Camp Cutthroat After-Show

by in Shows, September 14th, 2016

If the first three weeks of Camp Cutthroat 2: Alton’s Revenge were any indication, anything can happen while chefs are tucked away in the deep woods. And on tonight’s new episode — the fourth heat and the last preliminary battle before next Wednesday’s finale face-off — it seems as if Richard Blais, the judge of the day, had prepared himself for the worst, as he showed up to camp outfitted with not only sunglasses and a hat, but a heavy-duty backpack and a fanny pack as well. “You are certainly rigged for adventure,” Alton Brown told the judge during the After-Show. It turns out it was a good thing that Richard came dressed for a number of occasions, because Alton was quick to test the judge’s outdoor survival skills.

“Think of it as a wax museum of horror,” Alton told Richard, introducing him to a few Heat 4 challenges. Sure, Richard saw the hanging tent, and indeed he came face to face with the snacks-turned-grill-coals. But the main event that awaited him wasn’t on land — it was in the water in the form of an ingredient hunt around the lake on a Jet-Ski-towed sled.

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Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, September 11th, 2016

Shrimp Fettuccine AlfredoThough summer may not officially end for a couple more weeks, we’re already starting to crave the richer flavors of fall now that the Labor Day weekend is behind us. To bridge the summer-fall gap this year, look no further than this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week, a simple pasta dish that marries the light, fresh taste of seafood with a comforting cream sauce that’s warm and cheesy. This recipe can be on the table in just 25 minutes, which means it’s a go-to pick for those first hectic weeks of back-to-school season.

For more hearty recipes, check out Food Network’s Let’s Cook Comfort Food board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo

Prepping by Any Means Necessary — Alton’s Camp Cutthroat After-Show

by in Shows, September 7th, 2016

It’s not unusual for Cutthroat Kitchen challenges to demand that chefs think outside the culinary box when it comes to prepping and cooking their dishes while under the burden of sabotages. After all, success in these contests comes to those who are resourceful and willing to go to any lengths necessary to finish the battle — and host Alton Brown did just that tonight.

On the latest installment of the After-Show, following tonight’s Heat 3 of the Camp Cutthroat 2 tournament, he and judge Simon Majumdar found themselves with one hand apiece “locked” in a boulder, just like two chefs were in Round 1 of the episode. That meant that while Simon’s sole remaining hand was left to cook, Alton’s was on hand to prep the cheese, bread and produce he found in his basket, then ultimately turn the ingredients over to Simon. One loaf of bread, one knife and one hand — how to slice in those conditions? If you’re Alton, the answer is simple: Just sit on the bread to keep it still. He indeed perched himself atop the loaf on the prep table, leaving just enough of the bread exposed to make a few slices. And as for that tricky tomato? Gently suspend it between your legs, of course. “This is a very sensitive operation,” Alton joked, taking care to keep the knife away from his exposed knees.

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The Non-Basil Pesto Recipe You Need to Try

by in Recipes, Shows, September 3rd, 2016

Non-Basil PestoBright, light and full of bold flavor, traditional pesto is a hallmark of the summer season, mainly thanks to the vibrant fresh basil that gives the sauce its famed green hue. But believe it or not, pesto doesn’t have to be all about the basil. In fact, you can make this standard puree with nearly any greens you happen to have on hand.

On this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, the co-hosts checked off items from their summer bucket list and introduced simple ways to savor the tastes of the season, including a five-minute Non-Basil Pesto recipe. It’s easily customizable to whatever greens are available, and it yields craveable results every time. Geoffrey Zakarian starts with a flavorful blend of bold garlic and walnuts for subtle crunch then looks to the greens. He chooses a mix of arugula, kale and mint, but he also suggests fresh herbs and spinach, among other picks. Whirl them in the food processor with the garlic and nuts, then boost the richness by adding Parmesan and a hefty glug of olive oil for smoothness. Perhaps best of all is that this mixture keeps well in the fridge or freezer, so you can hang onto it for later.

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“I Literally Chose Poorly” — Alton’s Camp Cutthroat After-Show

by in Shows, August 31st, 2016

On the set of Camp Cutthroat 2: Alton’s Revenge, the sabotage situation proved to be a mixed bag for judge Antonia Lofaso. While she did find herself stuck in Alton Brown‘s Big Foot, a boot that she shared with the host, she won the opportunity to better her challenge fate after she bested the host in an impromptu rock-paper-scissors face-off. It was up to her to decide which animal-inspired cutting tool he would work with to prep a chopped salad, and ultimately she gave him the cat-claw gloves; the host saddled her with the bird beak. And almost immediately she realized the severity of the eviliciousness before her.

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Cutthroat Kitchen Gets Downright Spooky This Fall with All-New Tournament of Terror

by in Shows, August 31st, 2016

Cutthroat Kitchen: Tournament of TerrorOn any given day, Cutthroat Kitchen is a scary place for chefs to be. It’s full of unforeseen pitfalls, like diabolical sabotages, not to mention an evilicious host who has no qualms about unleashing horror upon the competitors. But beginning next month, things will get a lot more frightening in the Cutthroat arena, as Alton Brown is set to kick off Cutthroat Kitchen: Tournament of Terror.

Beginning Wednesday, Sept. 28 at 10|9c, fearless chefs will come together for a five-part celebration of all things spooktacular. In true Cutthroat fashion, there will be no shortage of startling sabotages, but this time the focus will be on Halloween-themed cooking and challenges. Think witches, mummies and ghosts — and their usual tricks and treats, of course. A total of 16 chefs will face off over four preliminary heats, then it’s on to the grand finale, when the winners of those early rounds will return for an anything-can-happen final showdown.

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Pack a Picnic Like a Pro — INFOGRAPHIC

by in Shows, August 30th, 2016

Pack a Picnic Like a Pro — INFOGRAPHIC

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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