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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Supermarket Sleuth

Bottled Umami: Blis Barrel-Aged Fish Sauce

© Wendell T. Webber

© Wendell T. Webber

F&W Executive Food Editor Tina Ujlaki applies her incredible cooking knowledge to explaining what to do with a variety of interesting ingredients.

For centuries, Southeast Asian cooks have relied on deeply savory fish sauce as a primary seasoning in many of their dishes. Here, in the past couple of years, fish sauce, like so many other uniquely ethnic ingredients, has wandered into the universal pantry and is now used as a seasoning in non-Asian dishes as well. Red Boat has been my favorite brand of fish sauce because it’s fresh tasting, vibrant and light, and unlike some brands, there’s actually nothing fishy about it. Now, Red Boat has teamed up with the artisans at Michigan-based Blis Foods: They start with Red Boat’s finest 40*N fish sauce, which has already spent a year aging in wooden barrels, and age it for another 17 months or so in proprietary bourbon barrels previously used to age Blis maple syrup. Between the smoke from bourbon and wood and the mellow sweetness from the maple, the fish sauce becomes a rich-tasting, deeply nuanced condiment that’s as delicious in aioli and vinaigrette as it is in the classic Vietnamese condiment called nuoc cham.

Here are some great ways to use it:

Pok Pok Fish Sauce Chicken Wings
Fish Sauce Caramel
Grilled Rib Eyes with Mushrooms and Fish Sauce


Related: How to Cook with Fish Sauce
Delicious Southeast Asian Recipes
More Chicken Wings Recipes

Grace in the Kitchen

Wine Braised Lamb Chops with Garlic and Dried Fruit

© Lucy Schaeffer

A jammy Zinfandel and dried fruit lend a ton of flavor to
these lamb-shoulder chops. / © Lucy Schaeffer

Food & Wine's senior recipe developer, Grace Parisi, is a Test Kitchen superstar. In this series, she shares some of her favorite recipes to make right now.

Cooking with wine has been a thread these past few days. Braising, poaching, making pan sauces…all good. I love how when heat is applied, wine goes through dramatic changes with wildly varying results. Best of all is a braising liquid that reduces and becomes a slightly sweet, silky sauce. For this braised lamb dish, I browned shoulder chops and simmered them with lots of garlic, dried apricots and cherries and a full-bodied, jammy red Zinfandel. In a relatively short time, the lamb became tender and glazed with a rich, winey, fruity sauce. SEE RECIPE »

Related: Fast Lamb Chop Recipes
Wine Pairings for Lamb
More Amazing Lamb Recipes

Test Kitchen Tease

Crazy-Good Chicken-Fried Rabbit

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Warning: Test Kitchen Tease snapshots may cause cravings, lip-smacking and an unshakeable desire to cook.

Crazy-Good Chicken-Fried Rabbit

Justin Chapple


Despite cuteness concerns, rabbit is one of the most sustainable meats available today. It’s surprisingly healthy and leaner than chicken, but still exceptionally flavorful and just as versatile. If you're still thinking rabbit isn’t your thing, just imagine it fried. This week, F&W’s Test Kitchen made this crazy-good chicken-fried rabbit. Like traditional recipes, the rabbit pieces were tenderized in buttermilk, then coated with a combination of all-purpose flour, stone-ground cornmeal, sage, cayenne pepper and salt. The pieces cooked to a golden brown with an extremely crunchy crust in less than ten minutes. A sprinkle of salt and a dash of Tabasco made them even better. This recipe will be revealed in our January issue, but in the meantime, practice with this Crispy Buttermilk Fried Chicken from F&W’s Grace Parisi.

Related: Fried Chicken Recipes

Test Kitchen Tip

How to Make Ethiopia's Famous Flatbread

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Injera

Photo by John Kernick

To make the Ethiopian bread injera, you have to ferment the batter. But how do you know it has fermented long enough? Read about how I found out the hard way >

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Test Kitchen Tease

Outstanding Triple-Decker Lemongrass Pork Burgers

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Lemongrass Pork Patties with Quick Cucumber Kimchi

Justin Chapple

Warning: Test Kitchen Tease snapshots may cause cravings, lip-smacking and an unshakeable desire to cook.

There’s nothing better than testing a burger recipe to bring back a whisper of summer. This week, F&W’s Test Kitchen made these fantastic lemongrass pork patties with quick cucumber kimchi from Chicago chef Bill Kim of Urban Belly. The patties are super-thin, but powerfully flavored with minced fresh lemongrass, ginger, citrus and Thai sweet chile sauce, which added a bit of sweetness and helped produce a nicely charred crust while grilling. They cooked in only a few minutes and each sandwich was piled high with three patties. But the best part was topping them with the spicy kimchi, which came together in only two hours (traditional kimchi can take days or even weeks to prepare). After salting and rinsing the cucumbers, we simply marinated them with garlic, onion, ginger, sesame and gochugaru—coarse red pepper powder from Korea. These recipes will be available in a few months, but for now, try these panko-coated Crunchy Pork Kimchi Burgers from F&W’s Grace Parisi.

Related: Favorite Burger Recipes
Amazing Korean Recipes
Traditional Napa Cabbage Kimchi

 

Test Kitchen Tease

The Most Amazing Lemon Bundt Cake

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Warning: Test Kitchen Tease snapshots may cause cravings, lip-smacking and an unshakeable desire to cook.

The Most Amazing Lemon Bundt Cake

Justin Chapple


Citrus zest packs a big punch, so you usually only need a small amount to lend lots of flavor. We test hundreds of recipes for the magazine, books and our website, which has taught us that chefs, bakers and cooks often call for way too much of it in their recipes. That’s why we were a smidge skeptical when testing this lemon bundt cake from Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito (co-founders of Baked in New York City). Their recipe called for the zest of ten lemons, which sounded absurd! But, because these boys haven’t led us down the wrong path before—their cookbooks are F&W staff favorites and they're part of our Masters Series—we elected to trust them. Ten lemons and one dulled Microplane later, this cake was exactly what we’d hoped: tender, moist and incredibly lemony. A good amount of sugar creates a lovely caramel-colored crust, and the cake is drizzled with a tangy lemon glaze before being sprinkled with toasted almonds. Look for the recipe in our December issue, but in the meantime, try this grapefruit-spiked Lemon-Glazed Citrus-Yogurt Pound Cake. For more recipes from Matt and Renato, click here or check out their latest cookbook: Baked Elements.  


Related: More Cake Recipes

F&W's Ultimate Guide to Dessert Recipes

Test Kitchen Tease

The Greenhouse Tavern's Seven Layers of Heaven

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Warning: Test Kitchen Tease snapshots may cause cravings, lip-smacking and an unshakeable desire to cook.

The Greenhouse Tavern's Seven Layers of Heaven

Justin Chapple

If ever there were a perfect centerpiece dessert, The Greenhouse Tavern's Dobos Torte would be it. This lofty tower of tender cake and luscious chocolate buttercream is made even more awesome by a meringue exterior, which is torched like baked Alaska to lend a surprisingly light texture and striking appearance. Also, it could practically feed an army, so it's perfect for large gatherings. This recipe won't be available until December, but in the meantime, Tyler Florence's Towering Coconut Cake is great for the weekend.

Related: More Great Layer Cakes
Fantastic Cake Recipes
Beautiful Desserts

Test Kitchen Tease

Snack-Perfect Tarte Flambée

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Warning: Test Kitchen Tease snapshots may cause cravings, lip-smacking and an unshakeable desire to cook.

Tarte Flambée

Justin Chapple

Occasionally in the F&W Test Kitchen we revisit recipes because they need some tweaking, but more often we revisit recipes just because they’re delicious and we’re hungry. This week we were craving this snack-perfect version of tarte flambée from Vermont bakery Vergennes Laundry. It’s much lighter than classic recipes, which traditionally include bacon, and highlights simple, earthy flavors like potato and thyme. Vergennes Laundry uses house-made sourdough for the crust, but we simplified things and used bakery-bought dough. The crust is spread with luscious crème fraiche and topped with ultra-thin slices of red potato, thyme, lemon zest, coarse salt and freshly ground pepper. It takes only minutes on a scorching hot pizza stone for the tarte to become perfectly crisp and even less time to chow it down. This recipe will debut in the coming months, but for now, try this equally delicious Two-Potato Flatbread with Olives and Feta.

Related: Easy Pizza Recipes

Vergennes Laundry's Perfect Tarts and Desserts

 

Test Kitchen Tease

Ultimate Parker House Rolls

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Warning: Test Kitchen Tease snapshots may cause cravings, lip-smacking and an unshakeable desire to cook.

Jonathon Sawyer's Parker House Rolls

Justin Chapple

This week, while working on a terrific story for our December issue, F&W's Grace Parisi tested this phenomenal cheesy version of Parker House rolls from The Greenhouse Tavern's Jonathon Sawyer in Cleveland. They were supertender and we loved pulling apart each buttery piece. One secret to the recipe's awesomeness: Old Bay Seasoning. We know what you're thinking—how can a spice blend that's typically served with seafood be at all tasty with bread? You'll have to wait a few more months to taste his clever recipe, but in the meantime, try Grace's pull-apart Caraway Parker House Rolls.


Related: Breads of the World

Test Kitchen Tease

Figs Squared

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Warning: Test Kitchen Tease snapshots may cause cravings, lip-smacking and an unshakeable desire to cook.

Grilled Figs with Fig Jam

Justin Chapple

This week in the F&W Test Kitchen, we enjoyed a double dose of figs when testing this superb recipe for grilled figs with fig jam and blistered jalapeños.

First, we made the jam by simmering dried Black Mission figs and brown sugar in red wine until soft and plump, then we coarsely pureed the mixture to form a savory-sweet accompaniment to what comes next—grilled figs! What's so clever about these grilled figs? We halved each one, then dusted the cut sides in sugar before marking them on a scorching hot grill. The result: A crème brûlée-style crust that was perfectly caramelized and just lightly charred.

To contrast the sweet figs and jam, we added salty feta cheese, cilantro leaves, lime wedges (for squeezing) and grill-blistered jalapeño peppers. This recipe won't be published for a few months, but in the meantime, this Fig, Orange and Pistachio Conserve would make a great alternative to fig jam in an easy grilled fig salad. It's also a fantastic summer starter, especially when served on grilled bread with fresh ricotta cheese.

Related: Fig Recipes

F&W's Ultimate Guide to Summer Grilling

 

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Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

Already looking forward to next year (June 19-21, 2015)? Relive your favorite moments from the culinary world's most sensational weekend in the Rocky Mountains.