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.

Did You See What Giada Had to Eat? — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, January 5th, 2014

From prohibited cooking utensils to forced ingredient swaps and mandatory products, Cutthroat Kitchen sabotages are the ultimate in culinary challenges. While these sabotages may send contestants into fits of panic during the competition, most rivals manage to turn out acceptable dishes for the judge of the day. No matter if chefs unapologetically show off or brilliantly hide the obstacles that befell them, it’s up to the judges to taste the plates before them and unknowingly eat sometimes hilariously inferior ingredients.

That’s what happened on today’s brand-new episode of Cutthroat Kitchen when special guest Giada De Laurentiis stopped by to judge. In Round 2, Chef La Salle presented her with a dish of chicken and waffles, but instead of using fresh chicken, Chef La Salle featured canned chicken. This chicken, which was packed in liquid, was first ground through a food processor and ultimately turned into chicken pate. When Giada finally saw — and smelled — the canned chicken firsthand during Alton’s After-Show, she couldn’t help but look away and hold her nose to avoid the stench. “The whole thing really reeks,” she admitted of the meat before Alton told her, “You put that in your mouth.”

Read more

Garlic-Roasted Chicken — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, January 5th, 2014

Garlic-Roasted ChickenJust when you think you’ve exhausted every chicken dinner recipe available, this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week is offering one more tried-and-true supper that’s sure to become a weeknight pick in your home. Made with just a handful of ingredients, Food Network Magazine’s Garlic-Roasted Chicken (pictured above) is a top-rated family favorite that’s ready to eat in only 30 quick minutes. This one-pan recipe calls for two heads of garlic, but don’t be worried about a pungent garlic flavor; the cloves are roasted whole inside their paper, which makes them become soft and sweet in the oven.

For more everyday recipe inspiration, visit Food Network’s Let’s Get Healthy board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Food Network Magazine’s Garlic-Roasted Chicken

Tool Takedown Poll: Which Gadgets Do You Prefer?

by in Shows, January 4th, 2014

The Kitchen's Tool TakedownThe New Year brings with it the chance for fresh starts and clean slates, and in the spirit of new beginnings, The Kitchen‘s co-hosts set out to help you declutter your kitchen once and for all by ridding it of nonessential gadgets. On the series premiere this morning, Jeff, Geoffrey, Katie, Sunny and Marcela kicked off the show’s first-ever Tool Takedown, a segment dedicated to finding out which of those specialized tools, like strawberry hullers and egg yolk separators are in fact more efficient than traditional, everyday items you likely already have on hand, like a simple knife.

Although the worth of each gadget comes down to personal preference, the group found after a few rounds of friendly competition that while all of the tasks can be done with paring or chef’s knives — or by hand — the dedicated tools may be nice to have if you want to involve kids in the cooking or if you don’t mind how neatly the job gets done.

FN Dish wants to know which tools you prefer. Are you hooked on specialized gadgets like strawberry hullers and avocado cubers, or do you rely on everyday knives to get the job done? Vote in the poll below to tell us which tools you use.

Cast your vote

Cutthroat Kitchen Outtakes: Behind the Scenes with Alton and Giada

by in Shows, January 3rd, 2014

Fans of Cutthroat Kitchen may think that, given the timed pantry shopping, high-stakes bidding and ruthless sabotaging that takes place in each and every round, there would be few opportunities for laughs or games in the midst of the competition. But Giada De Laurentiis disproves that idea this week when she drops by to guest judge a special episode of the show. She and Alton Brown, longtime colleagues and familiar judge-mentors on Food Network Star, have seemingly developed an almost sibling-like relationship, so it’s no surprise that when they teamed up on Cutthroat Kitchen, playful bickering and well-meaning, friendly scoffs ensued.

Just in time for this Sunday’s episode with Giada, airing at 10pm/9c, we’re giving FN Dish readers the first look at some of the most-hilarious bloopers from the show. Click the play button on the video above to watch bonus outtakes of Giada and Alton in action, and see how these two worked together.

Read more

Happening Saturday: Geoffrey Zakarian’s Twitter Takeover

by in Community, Shows, January 2nd, 2014

Geoffrey ZakarianGeoffrey Zakarian may be an all-star Iron Chef, a no-nonsense Chopped judge and, most recently, one of five co-hosts to join Food Network’s brand-new series The Kitchen. But for one hour this Saturday, Jan. 4, he’ll prove that he’s a social media maven too.

To coincide with Saturday’s series premiere of The Kitchen, Geoffrey will take over Food Network’s Twitter account, @FoodNetwork, beginning when the show starts at 11am/10c. He’ll be live tweeting until noon, giving fans an all-access look at the making of The Kitchen and sharing behind-the-scenes snapshots of him and his fellow co-hosts, Jeff Mauro, Katie Lee, Marcela Valladolid and Sunny Anderson, and insider tidbits about what fans can expect from the group this season.

Stay tuned to Food Network’s Twitter page this Saturday beginning at 11am and tweet @FoodNetwork using #TheKitchen to hear from Geoffrey and ask him your most-pressing questions about The Kitchen. He may answer some of them online.

Read more

Restaurant Revisited: Clueless in the Country at Heather’s Country Kitchen

by in Shows, January 1st, 2014

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: ImpossibleWhile the inferior food and uninspired decor were in desperate need of Robert Irvine‘s attention when he arrived at Heather’s Country Kitchen in Plains, Mont., owner Heather Worrall’s lack of leadership was of far more concern to Robert, given how little Heather seemed to know about running her business. With just two days to work and a budget of just $10,000, it was up to Robert and his Restaurant: Impossible team to overhaul all aspects of Heather’s Country Kitchen and to give Heather the tools she needed to manage her business alongside her family so they could ultimately reopen Heather’s as a welcoming business with a confident leader at the helm. Read on below to hear from Heather and find out how her restaurant is doing today.

“Business was really steady” immediately after filming, according to Heather, who says that the updated design “makes you smile when you walk in the door.” She adds, “People just love the new flooring. Everyone wants to know where it was purchased so they can put it in their homes.”

Read more

Enter for a Chance to Win an Apron Signed by the Cast of The Kitchen

by in Contests, December 31st, 2013

Enter for a Chance to Win an Apron Signed by the Cast of The KitchenFor the first time ever, five of your favorite Food Network stars are coming together every weekend for the ultimate celebration of everyone’s favorite room in the house: the kitchen. On their all-new Saturday-morning series, The Kitchen, Geoffrey Zakarian, Jeff Mauro, Katie Lee, Marcela Valladolid and Sunny Anderson will cook their favorite tried-and-true recipes together while sharing their top tips for making easy family meals, saving money at the supermarket and getting the most out of everyday kitchen gadgets.

Just in time for the premiere this Saturday, Jan. 4 at 11am/10c, FN Dish is giving away aprons signed by all five co-hosts of The Kitchen to four lucky, randomly selected fans. To enter to win an apron, leave a comment below telling FN Dish what you’re most excited about seeing on The Kitchen.

Read official rules before entering

Guy’s Ginger-Carrot Soup — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, December 30th, 2013

Carrot-Ginger SoupWhile some soups and stews require hours of slow simmering to achieve their fullest flavor, long cooking times aren’t always required, and it’s indeed possible to turn out a ready-to-eat bowl in well under an hour. Guy Fieri’s big-batch recipe for Ginger-Carrot Soup (pictured above) from Food Network Magazine is one such fuss-free dish, as it can be simply and quickly prepared on a weeknight.

The flavors of fresh carrots and subtle spicy ginger naturally complement each other, and in Guy’s family-friendly soup, they’re combined with sweet caramelized onions and garlic for added depth of flavor. Thanks to a few russet potatoes, Guy manages to make the texture of this soup creamlike, although there’s no heavy cream used; when the potatoes are cooked and pureed along with the rest of the vegetables, their starch will naturally thicken the broth. Just before serving, top each bowl with a tangy mixture of Greek yogurt and thyme, and finish with a sprinkle of pine nuts for welcome crunch.

Read more

Watch the Top 5 Design Updates on Restaurant: Impossible

by in Shows, December 30th, 2013

While much of Robert Irvine‘s Restaurant: Impossible mission involves him overhauling the menu and bettering the interpersonal relationships among business owners and staff, time and time again one of the most-striking elements of his transformations proves to be the all-new decor of the restaurants. From fresh coats of paint and hand-laid flooring to knocked-down walls, custom artwork, signature signs and improved lighting, Robert and his design team will take on almost anything when it comes to updating the interior of restaurants, and they’re committed to working within their budget to giving eateries the best look and feel within their space.

Since owners are often sequestered from the transformations taking placing inside their restaurant, most are simply overwhelmed with surprise and emotion when Robert reveals their brand-new business. Tears, hugs, wide eyes and dropped jaws are just a few of the reactions Robert has witnessed when they’re finally able to see their revitalized restaurant for the first time.

Read more

Cooking Without Necessities — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, December 29th, 2013

While Cutthroat Kitchen judges are quick to taste the food before them in each round of evilicious competition on the show, they don’t know exactly how that dish came to be, what ingredients were used to prepare it and which methods were undertaken to produce it. For help in clarifying the unknown, host Alton Brown sits down with the judges in his Web-exclusive After-Show to break down the ins and outs of the challenges; this week, he and Antonia Lofaso chatted about the latest contest to unfold.

Traditional wonton wrappers may seem like a must-have ingredient for chefs tasked with preparing pot stickers, but in Round 1, three of the four competitors were forced to work with wontons in other forms, like honey-soaked wontons, frozen wontons and wonton soup. Thinking about the offerings she had just tasted, Antonia correctly guessed that Chef Velez was the one fortunate enough to work with the fresh product. Although she was initially hesitant about Chef Miranda’s dish, which was crafted out of frozen wontons and featured cabbage-wrapped bites, Antonia ultimately told the finalist, “I’m not mad at it.” Later she explained to Alton: “When someone says ‘pot sticker,’ you have this idea in your head of exactly what you want. So when I walk over and there’s cabbage, and I’m like, am I going to get that texture on the outside? Am I going to get that little bit of, like, char? And then I really enjoyed it.”

Read more