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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Andrew Zimmern's Kitchen Adventures

Pork and Asparagus with Chile-Garlic Sauce

Pork and Asparagus with Chile-Garlic Sauce

Photo © Kate N.G. Sommers

So if you regularly cook out of this column, you already have a bottle of fermented chile-garlic bean sauce (toban djan) in your fridge. If not, go get some now. It will change your cooking life. You can marinate with it, use it as a rub, in a sauce or any way you can imagine. The fermented beans in this stuff supply all the punch of authenticity and honesty you need to make some great Chinese food, starting with this recipe. I make it with veal, beef, shrimp or chicken, but it works so well with pork you should try that first. SEE RECIPE »

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Andrew Zimmern's Kitchen Adventures

Whole Roasted Red Snapper

Whole Roasted Red Snapper

Photo © Kate N.G. Sommers

This is the simplest way I know to roast a fish. Yes, you can rub with oil, dust with salt and roast. And I do that a lot. But you need a sauce, and the vegetable one here combined with the wine makes this the roasted fish I crave most, the one that takes me back to that Mediterranean beach and that girl and those stars. I think it will do the same for you. By the way, kids adore this because red snapper isn’t fishy. SEE RECIPE »

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Andrew Zimmern's Kitchen Adventures

Steamed Natural Chicken with Scallion and Ginger

Steamed Natural Chicken with Scallion and Ginger

Photo © Kate N.G. Sommers

This is the dish to make when you get a fresh, natural chicken at the farmers’ market and you really want to show off its insane flavor. I use heritage chicken breeds and the results are stellar. It’s a take on the classic Malay-style Hainanese Chicken Rice dish, but it’s served a little differently. Frequently, I make the rice that accompanies this meal but most often it’s too much trouble on a school night at home, so I serve this with plain streamed sticky rice and a nice green vegetable, and there are never any leftovers. Don’t be fooled: This recipe is simple, but the flavors are complex. SEE RECIPE »

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Andrew Zimmern's Kitchen Adventures

Halibut with Brown Butter, Lime and Aged Fish Sauce

Halibut with Brown Butter, Lime and Aged Fish Sauce

Photo © Kate N.G. Sommers

I take any excuse I can find to make Louisville chef Ed Lee’s frog legs in fish sauce. I had the opportunity once to stand next to him while he made the dish and I was hooked right away. One day, however, I found myself without frog legs. Shocking, but true. Turns out, the warm, toothy texture of cooked halibut is a perfect substitute in Ed’s dish, so I started playing around and came up with this take on a modern-Asian, backwoods-Kentucky frog dish. You almost never get to say that, do you? I serve this with plenty of rice and a side of grilled miso-glazed eggplant. SEE RECIPE »

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Andrew Zimmern's Kitchen Adventures

Flan de Caramelo

Flan de Caramelo

Photo © Stephanie Meyer

I make a dozen desserts and this is one of them. It’s flawless and will be the best flan you ever tasted—seriously, even chef José Andrés would be impressed. My Spanish food mentor from decades ago, cookbook author Penelope Casas, inspired me with a flan recipe she used to cook. The orange is a classic Iberian Peninsula flavoring addition (no surprise here), but resting the flan out of the water after cooking is key. You will not be able to keep these around, so always make extra. SEE RECIPE »

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Andrew Zimmern's Kitchen Adventures

Gravlax of Salmon

Gravlax of Salmon

Photo © Stephanie Meyer

I adore curing, pickling and fermenting foods. However, most cured fish recipes like gravlax are tricky because they require weighting down the fish to expel moisture. For me, that ruins the texture. My stellar version uses salt and sugar to draw out the liquid from the fish, so the texture and flavor is superb. This gravlax works equally well on bagels or toasted and buttered brioche; as a sliced, plated appetizer; cubed and toothpicked as hors d’oeuvres, or however you like to use herb-cured fish. With all the fresh wild salmon coming into the market this month, there’s no better time to make this dish. SEE RECIPE »

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Andrew Zimmern's Kitchen Adventures

Roast Chicken and Ratatouille

Roast Chicken and Ratatouille

Photo © Stephanie Meyer

Family meal night across America just got easier, and so did entertaining on a budget. Don’t wait for August to make ratatouille; paired with roast chicken pieces, it’s a classic combination that even your kids will devour. If you care to, this dish works equally well with turkey quarters on the grill: Use the same marinade, but roast using indirect heat over wood coal for about 80 to 90 minutes for dark quarters, and 70 minutes for turkey breast. SEE RECIPE »

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Andrew Zimmern's Kitchen Adventures

Cold Poached Salmon

Cold Poached Salmon

Photo © Stephanie Meyer

Congrats to F&W contributing editor Andrew Zimmern, who just won the 2013 James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding TV Host!

Boiling Water 101 was a class I taught for 10 years at a local school in Minnesota. This recipe was one I designed to teach a basic skill but also deliver complex flavors and serve as a touchstone for family meals or entertaining. You really need to practice braising/poaching/blanching as often as you can because wet-heat cooking is much more subtle than dry-heat cooking but so much easier. Recipes like this will change your outlook on cooking for sure. Get wet! SEE RECIPE »

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Andrew Zimmern's Kitchen Adventures

Hastings-Style Shrimp

Hastings-Style Shrimp

Photo © Stephanie Meyer.

OK, so I was with Hot and Hot Fish Club’s amazing chef Chris Hastings, standing in his Birmingham, Alabama, restaurant kitchen and eating my way through his mise en place about an hour before service. He hated me. But before I left, he fed me some shrimp and grits, and the shrimp were some of the most miraculous I have ever had. So I started quizzing him. He freely told me that while fresh Gulf shrimp, just hours out of water, help immensely, it’s the cooking technique that results in their perfect flavor and sinful texture. I can’t even begin to tell you how good these are. Anyway, I adapted his trick and, inspired by some local cress I had eaten in a salad dish earlier that day with him, I created this riff on his dish. That man is a genius, truly. SEE RECIPE »

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Andrew Zimmern's Kitchen Adventures

Battle-Tested Classic: Beef, Beet and Cabbage Borscht

Beef, Beet and Cabbage Borscht

Photo © Stephanie Meyer.

This was all I ever wanted to eat growing up, and I still crave it more than I care to admit. This Eastern European cabbage soup is really more of a schi than a borscht, but why quibble over names? In America in the ’60s, unless you were Russian, this was borscht. Funny how that works. It’s a meal in a bowl to be sure, but small portions are a great starter. I have been making this for decades; it’s a battle-tested classic. SEE RECIPE »

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