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.

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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Watch the Premiere of Food Network Star Kids to Enter Our Lucky Star $10K Giveaway

by in Contests, Shows, August 22nd, 2016

Food Network Star KidsIt was just last month that Tregaye Fraser joined the Food Network family after besting 12 finalists in a game-changing season of Food Network Star. Now the search for Star power is on again, but this time it’s all about the next generation.

Food Network Star Kids premieres tonight at 8|7c with a pintsize competition featuring 10 ambitious young cooks, each with uncanny culinary chops and a too-cute-for-words personality. These finalists must prove to mentors Donal Skehan and Tia Mowry that they have skills in the kitchen and a natural air on camera, if they want to be crowned Food Network’s first-ever Star Kid in just six weeks. And fans watching at home can take home a starry prize just by tuning in.

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2 Ways to Update Basic Banana Bread

by in Recipes, Shows, August 20th, 2016

2 Ways to Update Basic Banana BreadMoist, sweet and ideal for morning treats and after-dinner snacks alike, banana bread is a back-pocket staple that delivers tried-and-true results every time. But when you’ve just about had your fill of the classic version you know and love, and want something a little different, look no further than these transformed banana breads from The Kitchen. On this morning’s new episode, the co-hosts shared two new takes on the traditional banana bread, and both recipes are easy to make and full of craveable flavors.

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“This Always Gives Me Anxiety” — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, August 17th, 2016

Following tonight’s brand-new fried-food episode of Cutthroat Kitchen, the After-Show started innocently enough: Judge Jet Tila had his shopping basket in hand, ready to take on the pantry and gather ingredients to cook. “This always gives me anxiety,” he admitted. And no sooner did the judge voice that admission did he start to experience the all-too-familiar pain of host Alton Brown‘s eviliciousness. First up: the basket. Alton ditched it and instead saddled Jet with a long-billed fish onto which he had to thread his pantry ingredients. From there the situation simply turned more and more diabolical.

“Bring in the giant chicken leg, please,” Alton called out as Jet attempted to start his tempura-fried shrimp. Sure enough, Jet found himself about to cook with one leg inside that oversize chicken leg, but he took it in stride — until Alton gave him yet another sabotage, a chicken wing, of course. “Oh, come on,” Jet proclaimed. “I’m going to cheat,” he added, resorting to using both of his hands to prep, though the competitor wasn’t so lucky in the cooking round. With both hands in motion, Jet managed to prep his shrimp and the corresponding batter, and the situation looked manageable. But then eviliciousness struck again: Enter the churro Bobs. “Call your Bobs off!” Jet pleaded with Alton as two Bobs sandwiched Jet as he attempted to move about the kitchen. Both the judge and the host managed to present fried shrimp, though Alton wasn’t shy about proclaiming which he thought was the strongest. (Spoiler alert: It wasn’t Jet’s shrimp.)

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2 New Ways to Wrap and Roll Chicken

by in Recipes, Shows, August 13th, 2016

Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken BreastSlicing and stacking is well and good, of course, but today’s episode of The Kitchen put the spotlight on wrapping and rolling, showcasing all the ways to deliver bold boosts of flavor in easy-to-eat packages. Both Geoffrey Zakarian and Jeff Mauro delivered new ideas for transforming chicken with the help of a wrap, GZ going the elegant dinner route and Jeff opting for a next-level sandwich. Read on below to get their recipes.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken Breast (pictured above)
Not only does GZ cover his lean chicken breasts in a snug overcoat of prosciutto, but he also packs flavor inside the meat. He carves a pocket in the chicken and fills it with a Mediterranean-inspired mixture of creamy ricotta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and fragrant sage. After searing the chicken on the stove, Geoffrey moves it to the oven to finish cooking, and what results is a just-crispy-enough exterior of prosciutto and a tender inside featuring juicy chicken and rich, melty ricotta. The finish is all about the lemony butter sauce, laced with sweet shallots and salty capers.

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