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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Easy Meals from a Recipe Goddess

Over nearly 18 years in the F&W Test Kitchen, former senior editor Grace Parisi created more than 1400 recipes including reader favorites like grilled eggplant parmesan and her perfect herb-and-lemon roasted chicken. Grace's dishes have been widely adored because they're delicious, but also because they often incorporate just the right twist to make a simple recipe really great (like baking a whole stack of pancakes at once as one fluffy cake). It's no surprise that she's now doing the same thing on her blog, Tales of a Recipe Goddess, which she's writing while working on a new memoir-style cookbook. Her recent take on shakshuka is not to be missed.

 

Related: All of Grace Parisi's Recipes
Grace's Weeknight Dinner Party Menu
Grace's Easy Holiday Brunch

 

 

Restaurants

You Might be a Foodie If…

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Loving food can turn ugly.

© The Delicious Life
Loving food can turn ugly.

The Office's Mindy Kaling ignited a minor Tweetstorm last week when she posted that she's "over foodies," and suggested a name change. "Fooders are foodies but keep a lid on it a little bit," she proposed. "They let you order in under 10 minutes."


 

While "foodies" have been teased in the past, the backlash is intensifying. Chef-author Gabrielle Hamilton, of NYC's Prune, recently called them "a bummer." The Atlantic ran a long piece arguing that food-obsessing crosses into nebulous moral territory. And of course, we recently decried the overuse of farm-to-everything.

F&W staffers have learned to watch out for the moment when simply loving food becomes an ugly obsession, and we helpfully came up with the following list of danger signs. You might be a foodie if…

 

1. It takes more time to decide where to dine than to have dinner.

2. You know the names of meat distributors other than Pat LaFrieda.

3. You ask the waitress to be specific about the kind of kale in the salad.

4. You've paid to eat dinner at a stranger's apartment.

5. You've joined a line with more than five people in it, for a sandwich, from a truck.

6. Your entrée choice hinges more on where it was raised than on what it is.

7. You tweet your meals before dessert.

8. Your coffee has a proper name.

9. You've tasted single udder butter.

10. You've made your own sausage. After meeting the pig.

11. Your closets are being used as cheese caves or beer cellars.

12. Queens is a culinary destination.

13. Your pick-up line asks "What's your favorite restaurant."

14. You've spent more than $10 on a cocktail outside of a club.

15. You roll your eyes at molten chocolate cake.

Farms

The One Really Dead Food & Dining Trend

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© Courtesy of The Breakers Palm Beach.
Let's Retire the Farm-to-Fill-in-Blank Phrase

At Food & Wine, we might respectfully disagree with some of the items on Eater NY’s recent dead trends list (small menus are working quite well for NYC's Torrisi Italian Specialties and Mile End, among other spots). But there is a ubiquitous phrase that we’re very ready to say good-bye to: farm-to-everything. (Credit to Frank Bruni, the New York Times's newest Op-Ed columnist, for sounding the alarm on Twitter: “Today someone said, re cocktails, ‘from farm to tumbler.’ May be time we all retired the ‘farm to fill-in-blank’ construction.”)

Don’t misunderstand: We are not knocking the concept of fresh ingredients straight from the farm. We’re just tired of the very overused phrase. Here, then, is our list of just some of the farm-to-anything/everywhere claims, complied by F&W’s new senior digital editor, Alex Vallis.

Farm to Cubicle: A report from Crain's on corporate CSAs.

Farm to Cup
: “Delicious coffee straight from the farm” from Stanford Business School students.

Farm to Friends
: CSA cooking series at the New York Wine & Culinary Center. (They’re repeat offenders: They also offer the Farm to Plate series.)

Farm to Fuel: The Florida-based initiative to promote renewable energy from local crops.

Farm to Fork: A marketing stunt from the international seed company Pioneer Hi-Bred and the Soyfoods Council.

Farm to Bakery; Farm to Factory: Two mentions in one article from the New York–based community organizer Pratt Center about the honorable push to get New York State grains into New York City bakeries.

Farm to San Francisco: From the community-building, California-based organization Project Fresh.

Farm to Folk
: An Iowa CSA.

Farm to Consumer: A Virginia-based non profit that spotlights sustainable farming.

Farm to Glass: Cocktails featuring straight-from-the-garden ingredients.

And a dishonorable mention to our very own F&W for:
Farm to Bottle: An item about spirits infused with, you guessed it, ingredients from the garden, that you'll see in our upcoming August issue.

Farms

Tonight's Fabulous Beekman Boys Finale

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Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge are The Beekman Boys.

© Planet Green
Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge are The Beekman Boys.

 

I'm a fanatic for The Fabulous Beekman Boys (look for a feature on them in the August issue of F&W) and am super-excited for tonight's season finale at 10 pm ET on Planet Green. Just two seasons ago the duo made their TV debut as a couple of professional Manhattanites-turned-goat-farmers and already they've become an inspiration for anyone (including me) who has ever dreamed of leaving the big city for the simple life. Although if you ask me — it's really not so simple! 

I reached out to the Boys — aka Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge — who shared a few thoughts about season two and their future plans. Here are the highlights:

What's your favorite moment from season two?

We loved the barn-raising episode, "Food and Whine." It showed how wonderful the community of Sharon Springs, New York really is. 

What is your most memorable meal from season two?

[BRENT] It had to be when we first started working on our forthcoming book, The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Recipe Cookbook, and Josh was trying to convince me that we needed a recipe involving eggplant. Personally I have never found a recipe that I liked that used eggplant as a main ingredient, though Josh did end up sneaking one into the book.

If you had to summarize this past season in one sentence, what would you say? 

A million dollars is just not what it used to be.

What is the most significant lesson that you learned during season two?

That dreams sometimes do come true, but more often than not it takes longer than you would like.

What are you most excited for in the upcoming year?

In the fall and through the holiday season (when things on the farm start to slow down), we'll get to tour around the country with our cookbook and hopefully learn about a lot of regional heirloom recipes (every family has at least one).

Events

Nationwide Sugar Rush for a Cause

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Great American Bake Sale


Bloggers around the country are turning off their computers and getting their hands floury this weekend to raise funds for Share Our Strength, a D.C.-based nonprofit that fights childhood hunger. The Great American Bake Sale, now in its ninth year, has raised over $6 million to date to support S.O.S.’s mission to make sure no child in America goes hungry. A huge network of fantastic bloggers are hosting bake sales, like the folks behind Peanut Butter and Julie in Nevada, Green Eats in Durham, NC, What’s for Dinner Mom? in Alaska and Rhubarb and Honey in St. Louis. You can find a bake sale near you on the Great American Bake Sale website.

Cooking

Chicken Brining Snafu

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Spicy Southern Barbecue Chicken

© Quentin Bacon

I like to figure out recipe shortcuts, but sometimes my so-called shortcuts backfire. Case in point: I needed to defrost a whole, cut-up chicken so I could grill it for a picnic on the beach. My go-to recipe (at left) involves brining the meat overnight, so I thought, Why don't I just defrost the chicken in the brine and save a step? Wrong. When I uncovered the chicken on Sunday afternoon, with the grill ready to go, it was still a semi-solid frozen mass. The lessons learned: Always thaw chicken before brining, and if you're trying something new, don't assume it's working without checking along the way.

Recipes

World Cup Party: U.S. vs. England

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Corn salad

© Kristen Strecker

I've always been a fan of Super Bowl parties, but I'm even more excited for soccer's World Cup—who can resist a monthlong extravaganza as an excuse to throw a summer barbecue? A friend of mine is hosting a party on Saturday afternoon to watch the U.S. vs. England game. She's British, as are most of the guests, but there's  a strong American contingent attending to keep the emotions running high. The host is making Pimm's Cup —a great drink for a crowd, and very British to boot—and grilling hot dogs and hamburgers. I'm planning on bringing a Chipotle-Corn Salad (at left), though other room-temperature salads, like Pasta Salad with Grilled Sausages and Peppers, would be fantastic as well. Here are 25 more recipes to bring to a World Cup party.

Baking

Reviving Freezer-Burned Ice Cream

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ice cream maker

© Michelle Shih

A few weeks ago, my house lost power for two days. My coffin freezer was pretty packed, so most things made it through okay, but the ice cream developed a granular texture. It was still good for milkshakes, but I wanted to eat regular ice cream. And I had about 10 pints of Ben & Jerry's and Häagen Dazs, so I didn't want to throw them all away (I'd bought them on sale; what can I say, I love a good deal). The Harold McGee in me thought, what if I melted the ice cream, then refroze it in an ice cream maker? Success! The zombie Cherry Garcia (pictured) was slightly denser than the original, but still delicious. Grace Parisi in the F&W test kitchen had another great suggestion: using melted ice cream in bread pudding instead of milk or heavy cream. Recipes after the jump:

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Recipes

Vacation-House Cooking

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Chef Thomas Keller fried egg BLT

© Kana Okada

What can you cook with no spices other than salt? This is not a Top Chef Quickfire Challenge—it's just the issue I had to deal with last week, when I stayed at a beachside condo in the Florida Keys and needed to make dinner for my family. I wanted to spend my time relaxing, not cooking (not that cooking isn't fun, but you know what I mean), and I didn't want to buy a lot of ingredients that I’d just have to throw away when we left. Two recipes that fit the bill: chef Thomas Keller’s BLT Fried Egg-and-Cheese Sandwich (pictured)—I buttered the toast instead of using mayo and added sliced avocado—and Spaghetti with Shrimp and Spicy Tomato Sauce from my friend (and former F&W editor) Jane Sigal. This easy recipe uses mostly pantry ingredients (I often substitute a 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes for the fresh if tomatoes aren't in season), plus I skipped the basil and substituted a jalapeño for the dried chiles. I'd love to hear other recipe suggestions for future trips, if anyone has thoughts.

News

Another Reason to Eat Chinese

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Stir-fried Chinese vegetables

© Evan Sklar
Stir-fried Chinese vegetables

The New York Times Sunday Business section published a jaw-dropping chart showing how much packaged versus fresh food people eat around the world. Not surprisingly, Americans consume the most packaged foods—31 percent more than fresh. Americans also eat more pounds of food per person than citizens of any other country (though the Spanish aren't far behind). People in China, on the other hand, consume almost as many vegetables as Americans do fresh food. I may be biased (I'm Chinese-American), but that's got to be a healthier way to eat. I grew up with a mom who'd make dinner every night by stir-frying a vegetable, along with a few other dishes with both meat and vegetables. Here are some Chinese dishes to help get more vegetables into your diet:

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