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.

Vegetable Paella — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, September 8th, 2014

Vegetable PaellaWhile some meat-focused recipes may suffer if you remove their beefy components, paella — often made with chorizo, chicken and shellfish — isn’t one of them. This classically Spanish meal is rice based, and so long as you keep the bold flavors of spices like paprika and saffron, it will maintain its tried-and-true flavor when you swap out the meat for nearly any and all of the vegetables in your refrigerator.

Food Network Magazine’s Vegetable Paella (pictured above) is a big-batch dinner that’s surprisingly simple to prepare. This stir-fry-casserole hybrid starts with fresh veggies like fennel, baby artichokes and eggplant seared on the stove, then it’s moved to the oven for the final minutes of cooking. Because this hearty meal is made with short-grain paella rice, similar to risotto rice, it needs that time in the oven so the rice can absorb the rich taste of the tomatoes and white wine and become tender. A final addition of salty capers and sweet piquillo peppers promises next-level flavor and texture, while parsley will offer a welcome burst of freshness before serving.

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Top-Notch Chefs to Turn Evilicious in Cutthroat Kitchen’s First Superstar Sabotage Tournament

by in Shows, September 8th, 2014

Alton BrownFor most A-list chefs, certain things are expected when they enter the kitchen: quality ingredients, sufficient space to work and adequate tools to get the job done. In the first-ever Cutthroat Kitchen: Superstar Sabotage tournament, however, 16 culinary masters will learn the hard way that when it comes to Alton Brown‘s Cutthroat arena, these luxuries aren’t guaranteed.

Beginning Wednesday, Oct. 8 at 9|8c, an impressive roster of famed chefs will try their hands at eviliciousness and face off against each other over the course of four heats, plus a finale of tournament-style competition. While some of the chefs may know each other and have histories of working together, don’t expect the contest to turn friendly. In true Cutthroat Kitchen form, the sabotages will be hilariously brutal, the auctions fierce and the mind games in full effect.

Meet the chefs

Success in the Face of Sabotage — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, September 7th, 2014

There are days in the Cutthroat Kitchen arena when the challenges seem simply too great for any chef to overcome, but of course, all of host Alton Brown‘s evilicious sabotages have indeed been tested and proven possible, so surely victory is achievable, if only through sheer determination and perseverance. One chef learned that lesson firsthand on tonight’s all-new episode after facing — and ultimately overcoming — what judge Simon Majumdar deemed “two of the most-heinous sabotages.”

Chatting with Alton on the host’s After-Show, Simon proclaimed, “I think this makes Chef Todd the best chef that’s ever come into Cutthroat Kitchen” after he learned of the double-decker of doom that the competitor had to endure in Round 3′s crepe suzette test. Not only did Chef Todd face a rotating work station that forced him to walk in circles as he prepared his dessert, but he was also saddled with a warped crepe pan. It turns out that, despite the contestant’s difficulties, he managed to achieve the proper tastes in his offering, and often that’s enough to earn the win on Cutthroat Kitchen. “I can fully understand why it was just a complete mess,” Simon said of Chef Todd’s finished dish, before adding, “but all the flavors I wanted were there.”

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, September 7th, 2014

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip CookiesEven though it’s still technically summer, with the Labor Day holiday come and gone, the shift from light, bright warm-weather foods to autumn’s hearty meals and comforting flavors has started. If you’re already craving the classic tastes of fall, look no further than this week’s Most Popular Pin of the WeekPumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies.

These surprisingly healthy treats are laced with fragrant spices like ground cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger, and thanks to the use of canned pumpkin puree, they’re a cinch to prepare too. Best of all, these chocolate-studded bites are ready to eat in just over 30 minutes.

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Best 5 Hash-Brown Recipes

by in Recipes, September 7th, 2014

Hash Brown CasseroleWhen it comes to lazy weekends, few things are more welcomed than long, leisurely breakfasts, and with that indulgence surely comes a host of sweet and savory morning classics, like French toast, waffles, eggs, bacon and hash browns. The beauty of hash browns is that the dish can be a version of anything from the rustic simplicity of shredded spuds to a dressed-up potato casserole with fresh veggies. No matter if you like your spuds tender, crispy, sweet or fried, check out Food Network’s top-five hash-brown recipes below to find a mix of classic and creative twists on this morning mainstay, and learn new ways to put the everyday potato to work at your breakfast table.

5. Hash-Browns Makeover — Food Network Kitchen relies on a mixture of shredded parsnips and potatoes to achieve lighter results in its scallion-studded hash browns.

4. Sweet Potato Hash Browns with Green Onion Vinaigrette — Bobby Flay’s big-batch hash browns feature diced sweet potatoes instead of shredded russets, and they’re tossed with caramelized onions and a tangy green onion-Dijon dressing.

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Poll: What’s for Breakfast on School Days?

by in Recipes, September 6th, 2014

Mixed Berry and Yogurt ParfaitNow that school is back in session, the late-morning breakfasts of summer are surely a thing of a past, and they’ve likely been replaced with a frenzied half hour of packing lunches, gathering supplies to toss into backpacks and tying shoes at the door. But while there may be hardly any time to sit down to extravagant breakfasts on hectic weekday mornings, it’s nevertheless important for little ones to leave the house with full tummies so they can begin to make the grade. When time is tight at your house on school days, what dishes do you reach for to feed your kids? Are you a fan of assemble-and-eat picks like a Mixed Berry and Yogurt Parfait (pictured above), or do you rely on last night’s prep work to save the day, as it does with Alton’s Overnight Oatmeal? When it comes to eggs, do you opt for hard-boiled beauties, or do prefer them scrambled?

Cast your vote below to tell FN Dish what’s for breakfast at your house on school days.

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Restaurant Revisited: Take It or Leave It at El Bistro

by in Shows, September 3rd, 2014

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: ImpossibleWhat was supposed to be a welcome challenge quickly turned into a nightmare when Renae Bowens, the owner of El Bistro restaurant in Titusville, Pa., found herself facing significant financial losses. With nowhere left to turn, the single mother looked to Robert Irvine to reinvigorate her eatery, but it was ultimately up to him to reignite Renae’s hunger for the business as well. After two days of renovations on a $10,000 budget, Robert Irvine and his Restaurant: Impossible team reopened El Bistro as Renae’s Corner to a packed house. Read on below to hear from Renae and find out how her restaurant is doing today.

“After the team left, our profit went up about 50 percent,” Renae explains. ” I have been at the restaurant much more, and I have implemented many of the changes suggested to me.”

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Grilled Shiitake and Tofu Banh Mi — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, September 1st, 2014

Grilled Shiitake and Tofu Bahn MiChicken, burgers, brats and barbecue may be all the rage on Labor Day, but you don’t have to forgo your plans for Meatless Monday on account of the holiday. Celebrate the day with a hearty, satisfying cookout starring tofu instead of traditional meats. If you’ve never before cooked with tofu, know that while its flavor is plain on its own, tofu can easily adopt the bold tastes of marinades, rubs and sauces. Plus, extra-firm tofu is hearty enough to stand up to high heats, so it’s a go-to pick for grilling on this unofficial last day of summer. Try featuring it with barbecue sauce, in tacos or in a next-level take on the classic banh mi sandwich.

Ready to eat in only 35 minutes, Food Network Kitchen’s Grilled Shiitake and Tofu Banh Mi (pictured above) is both easy to make and packed with tastes and texture, boasting layer upon layer of earthy mushrooms, fresh produce and a creamy mayonnaise dressing. The secret to flavor in this sandwich lies in the marinade for the mushrooms and tofu, as this sweet and tangy combination features fresh garlic and hoisin sauce. Once the mushrooms are charred and nearly tender, and the tofu slightly smoky, serve them on a toasted roll and finish with a refreshing salad of cool cucumbers and carrots. Be sure to add a mixture of mayonnaise and Sriracha to the roll for a punch of flavor and subtle heat.

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“It’s Dress-Up Time Again” — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, August 31st, 2014

From souffle suits to Greek-inspired togas, Alton Brown‘s not one to shy away from costumes, as the Cutthroat Kitchen host has gleefully auctioned off the gamut of creative getups. On this week’s new episode, he brought back the idea of dress-up to what he called on his After-Show “the golden American age of the ’50s.” In celebration of the casserole round, one chef was forced to don an apron and oven mitts a la those commonly worn by housewives several decades ago.

“Can I just say these are very, very sweaty inside,” Simon Majumdar noted to Alton after the judge put on the outfit. Chef Ian had to undergo this challenge, but as Alton told Simon, “things get a little bit spicier” when the same chef was forced to balance a cooked pie on one of his hands for the duration of the round. Although Chef Ian managed to present his casserole on time, Simon admitted that the double-decker of interference ultimately did the contestant in. “He’s a good enough chef not to undercook bacon and not to undercook zucchinis, and added to that, the lack of sauce,” Simon said when explaining that sabotages were likely to blame in this elimination.

Click the play button on the video above to hear more from Alton and Simon, and see Simon in costume.

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Quiz: How Well Do You Know the Co-Hosts of The Kitchen?

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, August 30th, 2014

Food Network's The KitchenWeek after week, the co-hosts on The Kitchen come together to celebrate the most-important room in the home. They share their top tips for easy, family-friendly meals, offer new takes on seasonal favorites and even welcome special guests to dish on the latest happenings in the culinary world and beyond. But as fans watching from your living rooms at home, how much do you know about the five faces you see on TV each week? Test your knowledge of Jeff, Geoffrey, Katie, Marcela and Sunny by answering 10 trivia questions, and see if you deserve the title of superfan.

How Well Do You Know the Co-Hosts of The Kitchen?

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