All Posts By Maria Russo

Maria Russo is an associate 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.

How to Put Your Freezer to Work, Plus Frozen Meals Made Fresh

by in Family, Recipes, April 6th, 2013

Homemade Frozen Chicken FingersOn hectic weeknights when it seems like there’s just no time to cook, few things are more welcome than ready-to-go meals that require little-to-no prep time. Occasionally that may mean takeout or delivery dinners, but it certainly doesn’t need to, especially when you have a fully stocked freezer on which to rely. Whether you find yourself with extra food after a party or a lazy weekend of making big-batch soups or casseroles, commit to building up your freezer supply by saving the leftovers for those nights when you can’t get to the grocery store or be bothered to make supper from scratch.

The secret to increasing your freezer supply is knowing how to freeze food safely and properly for best-tasting results later. No matter what it is you want to freeze, be sure to let it come to room temperature after it’s cooked and before you add it to the frigid-cold freezer; doing so will help avoid spoiled food and the overwarming of anything surrounding it.

Get freezer-friendly recipes

Want to Be on Food Network? Apply Now to Get Cast on Future Shows

by in Community, Shows, April 4th, 2013

Tyler Florence on The Great Food Truck RaceIf you’ve ever found yourself watching Food Network in your living room and thinking, “I can do that, too,” or, “I want try what they’re doing on television,” now is your chance to go from Food Network viewer to on-air contestant.

We’re currently accepting applications for the fourth season of Tyler Florence‘s The Great Food Truck Race — the multi-week showdown that challenges food truck teams to outsell one another in a coast-to-coast road trip — plus an all-new competition series hosted by Tyler, Food Court Wars. Whether you’re an experienced restaurant chef or a novice home cook, if you think you have the dedicated passion, enthusiasm and charisma to impress Tyler and a national audience, we want to hear from you.

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Best 5 Asparagus Recipes

by in Recipes, April 4th, 2013

Roasted AsparagusGiven that most produce is available in grocery stores year round, it’s easy to forget that fruits and vegetables indeed have seasons in which they’re at their peak of freshness, when they’re the most colorful and flavorful — and not to mention the most economical. For asparagus, that time to shine is early-to-middle springtime, which means that the bundles at farmers’ markets and supermarkets right now are some of the best you’ll find all year. Celebrate the season’s bounty by putting asparagus to work in quick, family-friendly recipes like vegetable side dishes, healthful salads and quick pastas. We’ve rounded up Food Network’s top-five asparagus dishes — a mix of traditional and creative takes on this simple-to-make vegetable — ideal for casual weeknight suppers and dressed-up dinners alike. Check out our favorite picks below, then browse Food Network’s entire collection of asparagus recipes to find more fresh inspiration.

5. Corn and Asparagus Salad — In just 20 quick minutes, Paula dresses tender asparagus and vibrant corn with a sweet and tangy vinaigrette for a light side dish that complements any hearty entree.

4. Quinoa Salad With Asparagus, Goat Cheese and Black Olives — Think of quinoa as a blank canvas through which you can showcase favorite ingredients and textures, like Bobby does in his five-star recipe by adding to it trimmed asparagus, fresh thyme and creamy goat cheese.

Get the top three recipes

Chopped Judges Take Over the Kitchen in After-Hours Competitions

by in Shows, April 2nd, 2013

Chefs Aaron Sanchez, Marc Murphy and Chris SantosNo strangers to the uncommon, unusual ingredients that make their way into mystery baskets, Chopped judges have tasted myriad plates of eccentric eats after more than 14 seasons of competition, but they rarely are able to cook with those ingredients for themselves. That is, until now.

In Chopped After Hours, an all-new series on FoodNetwork.com, the panel is taking over the kitchen. For the first time, the judges are trying their hands at identical combinations of ingredients that have sent home chef competitors. They’ll cook against the clock in the same amount of time as traditional contestants, but among these friends and colleagues there will be as much eating, drinking and playful joking happening at each station as there is high-quality food preparation. None of the judges will settle for creating anything less than masterful meals, but they know well how to balance work and play — and will surely make time for a cocktail or two and even subject their fellow judges to a few hilariously timed interruptions.

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Fan-Chosen Hot Spots, International Eats and Hawaiian Classics on Triple D Tonight

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, April 1st, 2013

Guy Fieri at Pies N ThighsIf you’ve ever written to Guy with suggestions for Triple D-worthy restaurants in your neighborhood, know that he’s been paying attention and wants to visit the area standbys that you love most.

During tonight’s marathon of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives episodes, Guy sets off to discover some of the local favorites that you, the fans, have recommended to him. He’s off to Eischen’s Bar & Grill in Oklahoma first to taste their decades-old fried chicken recipe, then travels to Kenny and Ziggy’s, a Houston deli that’s making corned beef and traditional Jewish comfort food just like they do in New York City.

Later, Guy finds the best of the best in Basque, Salvadorian and Spanish fare — all without leaving the country — with tastes of oxtail stew, tomato-chile pork and spiced tasso at spots from Florida all the way to California. He then sets off on a Hawaiian adventure to sample Windy City-style hot dogs on the island of Oahu before partaking in a luau that’s special to locals.

Join Guy on his coast-to-coast journey starting at 6pm/5c — follow along and bookmark the restaurants as he goes, and then try your hand at the recipes.

Go on set with Guy

Embracing Tofu — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, April 1st, 2013

Tofu Parmesan SubsAlthough many shy away from tofu on account of its potentially bland taste and at once soft but firm texture, this soybean-based product is a staple in vegetarian cooking and offers meaty substance in ways that vegetables cannot. It indeed has a somewhat plain flavor on its own, but since it’s rarely eaten like that — without having been transformed by sauces or spices — it deserves a chance to shine in meals for non-meat-eaters and carnivores alike. Just like the everyday chicken breast, tofu too is a blank culinary canvas that can easily adopt the bold, full flavors that come from marinating, grilling and sauteing with any number of your favorite ingredients, including barbecue and soy sauces, garlic and curry. By cooking tofu with tastes you already know and enjoy, you can be sure that you’ll appreciate its taste and place in the dish as well.

In its top-rated recipe for Tofu Parmesan Subs (pictured above), Food Network Magazine swapped in slices of tofu for traditional eggplant or chicken, coating each piece in a cheesy breadcrumb crust and sauteing it until deliciously crispy and golden brown. Layer the tofu between a garlic-tomato sauce and creamy mozzarella cheese on Italian bread and finish each sandwich with baby spinach for a satisfying meal that’s ready to eat in only 35 minutes.

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One-on-One With the Worst Cooks in America Winner

by in Shows, March 31st, 2013

Chef Bobby Flay, Alina Bolshakova, Rasheeda Brown and Chef Anne BurrellAfter besting 12 rival recruits in a six-week Boot Camp, the top two Worst Cooks in America contestants took to the professional kitchen at New York City’s The Dutch restaurant for a finale cook-off to be judged by three no-nonsense culinary experts, Chefs Anita Lo, Frank Cardoz and Andrew Carmellini. The Red Team‘s Rasheeda Brown and the Blue Team‘s Alina Bolshakova relied on the teachings of their mentors to successfully compete against the clock and create not just everyday dishes but a restaurant-quality feast, complete with appetizer, entree and dessert courses.

SPOILER ALERT: Find out who won

One-on-One With the Worst Cooks in America Runner-Up

by in Shows, March 31st, 2013

Rasheeda Brown and Alina BolshakovaAfter besting 12 rival recruits in a six-week Boot Camp, the top two Worst Cooks in America contestants took to the professional kitchen at New York City’s The Dutch restaurant for a finale cook-off to be judged by three no-nonsense culinary experts, Chefs Anita Lo, Frank Cardoz and Andrew Carmellini. The Red Team‘s Rasheeda Brown and the Blue Team‘s Alina Bolshakova relied on the teachings of their mentors to successfully compete against the clock and create not just everyday dishes but a restaurant-quality feast, complete with appetizer, entree and dessert courses.

SPOILER ALERT: Find out who went home

Make-Ahead Easter Brunch Menu

by in Family, Holidays, March 30th, 2013

Overnight Cinnamon RollsIt’s Easter morning, your kids have just finished opening their baskets and guests should be arriving for brunch in a few hours. What comes next is the mad holiday dash that inevitably involves tidying the house, setting the table and quickly prepping, cooking and serving a meal, all while attempting to enjoy the morning with your family. Sounds like Easter Sunday at your home, right?

This year, instead of settling for a hectic holiday, look to already made dishes to pull off a stress-free celebration. The secret to easy entertaining is doing as much of the prep work as possible before the day of the event so you can enjoy the party like a guest and not as a frenzied host. That means tonight is when to begin preparations for tomorrow’s brunch. Before you go to sleep, put together a few ready-to-go classics, then look forward to waking up to only the very last steps of cooking to complete. Check out Food Network’s favorite brunch standbys below to find crowd-pleasing recipes from Alton, Paula and Giada that can be made well in advance of tomorrow’s meal.

A deliciously gooey treat that kids and kids at heart will enjoy, Alton’s Overnight Cinnamon Rolls (pictured above) are a top-rated treat bursting with indulgent sweetness. After making a soft, moist dough from scratch, he wraps it around a center of buttery cinnamon sugar, then slices it into a dozen plump rolls. Let them chill in the refrigerator overnight, then bake them in the morning before finishing them with a thick spread of rich cream cheese icing. Watch this video to see Alton make them.

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Watch a Preview of the Worst Cooks in America Finale

by in Shows, March 29th, 2013

After six weeks of Worst Cooks Boot Camp, 12 competitors have fallen in the face of demanding Skill Drills and Main Dish Challenges, and now only two top recruits remain. On Sunday night, the Blue Team’s Alina Bolshakova and the Red Team’s Rasheeda Brown will go head-to-head in the ultimate culinary showdown, where just three dishes and a panel of restaurant-chef judges stand between them and $25,000.

Although Chefs Bobby and Anne are rooting for their respective teams to take the win because of what a victory would mean to their recruits, they’re also hoping their lead contestant bests her competitor on account of the bragging rights they want to have over each other. No stranger to Worst Cooks glory, Chef Anne currently has an undefeated Boot Camp record and is hoping to keep it that way come Sunday night, while Chef Bobby is looking to upset her winning streak with a first-ever Blue Team triumph.

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