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.

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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Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, October 3rd, 2016

Cream of Wild Mushroom SoupIf you’re skipping meat this Monday (or any day), look to mushrooms to bulk up a dish that would otherwise be made heftier by the addition of meat. Like beef, mushrooms are hearty and earthy, and they pack a filling punch that delivers the satisfaction you crave.

In her recipe for Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup, Ina Garten opts for three varieties of fresh mushrooms — shiitake, portobello and cremini — to add not just flavor but also welcome texture to her fan-favorite soup (there are a whopping 400-plus user reviews of this top-rated recipe). The secret to her soup is making a homemade stock; it’s simmered with mushroom stems and fresh thyme to create a full, bold taste, then it’s used to make up the soup’s broth, which is studded with buttery leeks and the mushroom caps. To add richness, Ina adds white wine, half-and-half and cream for next-level decadence and warming comfort.

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What You Won’t See on TV: Behind the Scenes of All-Star Halloween Spectacular

by in Shows, October 3rd, 2016

All-Star Halloween SpectacularThis Halloween, five of your favorite stars from Food Network, HGTV and Travel Channel are coming together for the first time ever — and it’s not to go trick-or-treating. On All-Star Halloween Spectacular, airing Saturday, Oct. 8 at 8|7c, they’ll face off in teams — Drew Scott and Tia Mowry versus Jonathan Scott and Duff Goldman, with Adam Richman and Egypt Sherrod on hand as well — in an extravaganza of building, cake baking and downright scary-good times as they create life-size haunted houses right in the heart of Sin City. They’ll be working against the clock to not only wow with a ghoulish display fit for fright night, but also sweet-tooth-satisfying confections worthy of the competition.

We joined the crew in Las Vegas to watch some of the creations come together behind the scenes and to catch up with the crew. Click here and here to watch two Food Network Facebook Live videos of cakes in progress, then check out more Facebook Live videos from HGTV here and here to see Drew and Jonathan on set — with some tricks and treats of their own.

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