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.

Beware of Oncoming Eviliciousness

by in Shows, October 31st, 2014

Chefs know that when they compete on Cutthroat Kitchen, they’re subjecting themselves to all manners of ruthless sabotages, but  now it seems that even host Alton Brown will come face-to-face with eviliciousness. Check out the GIF above to see him try to outrun a rolling boulder, and tune in Sunday at 10|9c to see what challenges are in store on an all-new episode of Cutthroat Kitchen.

Cook the Superstar Sabotage Contest: Banana Bread

by in Recipes, October 30th, 2014

Banana BreadIn this week’s latest installment of Cutthroat Kitchen: Superstar Sabotage, a seemingly approachable dessert, banana bread, was nearly insurmountable for Pastry Chef Elizabeth Falkner once she felt the full weight of her duo of sabotages: firm green bananas and the mandate to mix and cook the loaf in banana leaves. But for fans watching at home, classic banana bread is indeed doable, and it’s one such recipe that surely all home cooks can — and should — master.

From school bake sales and simple family desserts to DIY holiday presents, Food Network’s go-to Banana Bread recipe (pictured above) will prove useful time and again. The key to making this tried-and-true recipe is not overworking the batter; once you’ve incorporated the dry ingredients into the cinnamon-laced mashed bananas, the batter is complete and ready to bake. For an extra-special presentation, serve the sliced loaf with sweet honey or creamy vanilla ice cream once the bread has cooled.

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From Leaves to Loaves — Testing the Cutthroat Kitchen Sabotages

by in Shows, October 29th, 2014

Ingredients, utensils and heat — that’s all that is needed to create most of the dishes on Cutthroat Kitchen, but as fans know, those three elements aren’t always available to the contestants, at least not in their expected and desired forms. On tonight’s all-new episode of Superstar Sabotage, host Alton Brown doled out a dooming challenge that seemed nearly insurmountable: a mandate forcing Chef Elizabeth Falkner, a famed pastry chef, to prepare and bake her banana bread in banana leaves. While most classic recipes would recommend that she mix the dry and wet ingredients in several sturdy bowls, then cook the batter in traditional loaf pans, she had to do all of that with and in the leaves.

Before Alton could auction off that sabotage, however, the Cutthroat Kitchen culinary crew first had to attempt the challenge. After all, would such a sabotage be feasible, and would it be fair to ask a contestant to attempt it given the time constraints? The team testing the sabotage approached the banana bread in two ways before ultimately finding the challenge possible for future contestants.

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Best 5 Roast Beef Recipes

by in Recipes, October 29th, 2014

Herb-Crusted Roast Beef with Horseradish CreamForget the dry, chewy meat you may have been served as a child — today’s roast beef is tender, juicy and packed with flavor. Whether you dress them up with herbs and sauces or you let the natural taste of the beef speak for itself, roasts will wow your family and guests alike, and most are simple to prepare. Plus, while fancy steak dinners may be pricey, roast beef allows you to enjoy a more budget-friendly cut of meat without sacrificing flavor or texture. Read on below to find Food Network’s top-five roast beef recipes from Giada De Laurentiis, Rachael Ray, Trisha Yearwood and more of your favorite chefs.

5. Roast Beef with Spicy Parsley Tomato Sauce — Easy to prepare yet impressive enough to serve to guests, Giada’s fuss-free roast is topped with a drizzle of tangy roasted tomato-studded parsley sauce.

4. Italian Roast Beef — Follow Rachael’s lead and dot the beef with garlic cloves before letting it simmer in a rosemary-white wine sauce. She serves the roast alongside tender vegetables and buttery pasta to make it a complete meal.

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The Ins and Outs of a Showstopping Pumpkin Roll

by in Recipes, October 28th, 2014

Pumpkin RollWhile your friends and family are likely to appreciate any sweet treat you send their way, chances are you’ll receive hearty oohs and aahs when you present Trisha Yearwood’s impressive Pumpkin Roll (pictured above).

Once you’ve baked the cinnamon-scented cake, the trick to executing this recipe lies in rolling it. To make the process easier, Trisha recommends flipping the cake out of its pan while it’s still warm and using a sugar-dusted towel to roll it up. She lets the cake cool in the refrigerator, which will help the dessert settle into its log shape, before unrolling it to fill it with fluffy cream-cheese frosting. Just reroll the cake before slicing and serving for an extra-special presentation.

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Restaurants Revisited: The Worst of the Worst

by in Shows, October 27th, 2014

Dinner Bell RestaurantFrom filthy kitchens and grimy furniture to mismanaged staff members and owners who’ve lost their passion for the restaurant business, Robert Irvine has seen nearly everything in his nine seasons on Restaurant: Impossible. But while all of Robert’s missions require his and his team’s full $10,000 budget and 48 hours of work, some projects are loftier than others, with the shell of the businesses all but crumbling under their failures when Robert arrives.

On tonight’s episode of Restaurant: Impossible, fans looked back at these seemingly hopeless missions and relived the daunting challenges Robert and his team endured in order to complete their tasks on time. Such restaurants, including Dinner Bell Restaurant, which was just days away from closing before Robert’s mission began, and Frankie’s, which was headed by a pair of sparring owners, have proved to be simply unforgettable and now are among the worst of the worst.

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A Record-Setting Auction and Alton in Handcuffs — Alton’s After-Show

by in Shows, October 26th, 2014

While it’s true that no Cutthroat Kitchen sabotage is simple, many are surely less daunting than others, while some seem so insurmountable that chefs are willing to bid nearly their entire sums in order to avoid them. That’s just what happened on tonight’s all-new episode, when Alton auctioned off a “north-south border thing” that would force two chefs to split the prep work and cooking, one contestant doing either for both of them. Once all of the bidding was done, Alton Brown sold this doozy of a sabotage for a whopping $18,100, the largest amount to date on Cutthroat Kitchen.

Such a challenge is a way of “forcing them to communicate and get along,” according to Alton, who detailed the sabotage to judge Antonia Lofaso during the latest After-Show. Ultimately, however, the sabotage means that rivals are responsible for executing key steps in each other’s dishes, and once again the opportunity for sabotage exists. “Chef Michael definitely set him up by leaving it in,” Alton explained of how a too-fibrous stem found its way onto Chef Luca’s eventually doomed plate.

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The Ultimate Pumpkin Cheesecake — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, October 26th, 2014

Almost-Famous Pumpkin CheesecakeWhether you’ll be entertaining a crowd this Halloween or you have plans for neighborhood trick-or-treating with your kids, indulge your sweet tooth in a seasonal sweet featuring one of autumn’s favorite flavors: pumpkin. Food Network Magazine’s Almost-Famous Pumpkin Cheesecake (pictured above) is this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week, and for good reason, as the decadent dessert features a buttery graham cracker crust and a rich pumpkin-cream cheese filling laced with cinnamon. For an extra-special presentation, finish each piece of cheesecake with a dollop of fluffy whipped cream and crunchy pecans before serving.

It’s not too early to start planning your holiday feast. For Thanksgiving inspiration, check out Food Network’s Let’s Celebrate Thanksgiving board on Pinterest.

Get the Recipe: Almost-Famous Pumpkin Cheesecake from Food Network Magazine

New Takes on Classic Sweet Potato Casseroles

by in Holidays, Recipes, October 25th, 2014

Whipped Sweet Potatoes and Bananas with HoneyFor holiday celebrations and weeknight dinners alike, mashed potatoes often take center stage when it comes to easy, family-friendly spud recipes, but that doesn’t have to be the case. As you’re planning mealtimes this weekend and even looking ahead to next month’s Thanksgiving feast, swap in sweet potatoes for traditional russets or Yukon golds. These brightly hued beauties surely shine when simply roasted, but they offer over-the-top flavor and indulgent richness when they’re turned into a casserole. Read on below to find some of Food Network’s favorite sweet potato casseroles from Tyler Florence, Trisha Yearwood, the Neelys and Anne Burrell.

Tyler deems simply roasted bananas his “secret weapon” in his easy-to-make Whipped Sweet Potatoes and Bananas with Honey (pictured above), as the fruits manage to “develop their natural sugar” while baking.

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POLL: What’s Your Favorite Halloween Candy?

by in Holidays, Shows, October 25th, 2014

Halloween CandyThough you may not be dressing up for Halloween this year, with fright night less than a week away, there’s no reason you can’t indulge your cravings for all things tricks, treats and sweets. The Kitchen co-hosts kicked off their Halloween celebration this morning with a full hour dedicated to next-level jack-o’-lanterns, over-the-top party foods and new twists on classic candies. (Find all of the latest recipes here.)

When it comes to the candy stash at your house, FN Dish wants to know, what kinds of sweet treats do you most prefer? Do you reach for the reddest licorice you can find, or would you rather have gooey caramel covered in chocolate? Are you a fan of the crunch of nuts, or do you prefer a melt-in-your-mouth chocolate bar? Cast your vote in the poll below to share your favorite Halloween candy.

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