Traditional Carolina barbecue begins with a whole hog smoked over coals; here, Sean Brock cooks pork shoulder for 12 hours in a 275° oven before smoking it for about 1 hour in a backyard grill. Click through the slideshow for his grill-and-oven method for Carolina pulled pork, plus three key sauces.
New Slideshow: DIY Pulled Pork
Chef Andrew Carmellini, of New York’s Locanda Verde, The Dutch and Lafayette, treasures the handmade pasta tools he purchased while living in Italy. To see them, click through the slideshow, Treasured: Andrew Carmellini's Pasta Tools. Carmellini uses them sparingly, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world if they broke. “I don’t even want to know if you can buy these online because I want to have an excuse to go back to Parma, check out some cute girls on bikes, buy some pasta tools and then come back.” Here, his top three tips for making fresh pasta, no precious tools needed.
1. Forget about tricks and just have fun. Try not to take it too seriously; it should be a fun experience, not a stressful one.
2. Use your hands, flour is going to go everywhere. If you follow the recipe and have a good dough recipe, it won’t fail.
3. Let it rest overnight, there is a little bit of science to that. We do that at Locanda Verde but you could probably let it sit out for an hour and you’d be OK. Room temperature is best because then you don’t have to deal with a big cold lump. In Italy, they just let it sit out with a towel over it.
The coconut water boom has ushered in something of a coconut milk renaissance. With its delicate tropical flavor and luscious texture, coconut milk remains an enduringly popular dairy alternative and a go-to pantry item for home cooks who love curry. Here, more ways to put the can in the cabinet to work. Read more >
America's legendary Spanish food authority Penelope Casas died last week, having just completed her final tome: 1,000 Spanish Recipes (2014). A prolific writer whose recipes appeared in Food & Wine, Casas's most famous and influential works include The Foods and Wines of Spain (1982) and Tapas: The Little Dishes of Spain (1985). Here, Spain-obsessed chef Seamus Mullen of New York's Tertulia honors her legacy.
Penelope Casas and I shared a mutual love for the foods of Spain that ran deeper than just olive oil, Jamon Iberico and paella. Just like Penelope Casas, I first learned about Spain in 9th grade. I was a below-average student in most subjects, however I had an unusual disposition for the Spanish language thanks to an encouraging teacher. Just like Penelope Casas, I went to Spain on an exchange program, both in high school and then again in college. And just like her I also fell for the cuisine.
After returning from Spain in the spring of 1992, I decided to cook a proper Spanish feast for classmates at my teacher's house so I asked him for help. The assistance I received came in the form of a well-worn copy of The Foods and Wines of Spain, Casas's seminal cookbook published in 1982. At the time I didn't pay the book much mind beyond that I had very much enjoyed both the "food" in Spain and (even more so) the "wine" and it seemed to be exactly what I needed for my project.
I don't remember exactly what I made, though I do recall my first attempt to perform la vuelta de la tortilla, the infamous flipping of the Spanish tortilla, which ended with, how shall I say, egg on my face. I'd like to say that I cooked my way through her book, learning the regional dishes of traditional Spanish cookery, experimenting and exploring. But in all honesty, as an 18-year-old high school student, I think I surveyed the book, choosing only the dishes that included wine for cooking so that I could sneak a little pull. Thinking back on that Friday evening in my teacher's kitchen, I wonder if that was the last time I actually followed a recipe word for word? I think it might have been.
I went on to college, both here in the states and in Spain and I cooked in restaurants, both grand and diminutive and just like Casas I returned to New York with a distinct love for the foods of Spain. While I have never yet returned to cooking from cookbooks (I'll look at the ingredients and improvise), her books, all of them, occupy a large chunk of my bookshelf, smack in the middle of the Iberian section. She was one of the first Americans to champion the cooking of Spain and fight tirelessly to keep it from being muddled up and confused with the cuisines of Latin America and for that, I owe her a debt of gratitude. I was lucky enough to meet Casas and even cook for her, and while I never told her that it was her cookbook that, somewhat indirectly, helped launch my career, I'm sure she could see her books in my food. Casas did more, perhaps, than any single other person to bring the foods of Spain to our shores and her love for, and knowledge of, the foods of Spain will live on in our kitchens. She will be dearly missed.
In this series, expert Josh Ozersky offers a guide to buying, cooking and eating meat, in particular those unusual and obscure cuts that are rarely seen in restaurants.
The Cut: End-cut rib pork chops, as the name implies, are taken from the front end of the rib cage nearest to the animal’s shoulder. Their technical designation in the bible of the meat business, the National Association of Meat Producers guide, is #1410A rib chops.
The Sell: For most of my life, I had a conflicted relationship with pork chops. I loved their golden crescent edges, sickles of the purest and densest pork fat. I loved to gnaw on the bone, too, both for its rugged, toothsome gifts and also for the self-parodic aspects—comic props in the Josh Ozersky Show. However, in between the bone and that rim of lard, I generally found a featureless plain of dry and tasteless meat, a “food desert” if ever there was one.
One day I found some pork chops that had another layer of meat on top of the first; where the chop should have ended was a second thick slab of muscle that was better than the first. I couldn’t understand why this outer piece wasn’t the star of the show. It was like when Hendrix opened for The Monkees. I would later find out that this was none other than the porcine version of the deckle, that precious and obsessed over cap that sits atop rib eye beef steaks. (Rib steaks and rib chops are the same thing, but from different animals.) But whereas serious beef eaters have gotten the memo, pork enthusiasts have not. That ends here. The spinalis muscle’s unique combination of richness, tenderness and firmness outclasses any other muscle by an order of magnitude. And as a bonus, a kind of insider reward, the rhomboideus muscle comes on the bottom of the end cut. Top that, center loin pork chop!
The How-To: Pork chops, unless double cut, rarely achieve that ideal, robust, sizzling browning from a pan or grill. They overcook too fast; the surface buckles against the pan; open flames get one side but not the precious edge; and other misfortunes follow. So predictably, I think they should be fried.
Josh Ozersky has written on his carnivorous exploits for Time, Esquire and New York magazines; he has authored several books, including The Hamburger: A History; and he is the founder of the Meatopia food festival.
In 2011, artist Alisa Toninato created a spectacular map of America made from 48 state-shaped cast-iron skillets. Now, she’s launched a $45,000 campaign on Kickstarter to have the patriotic pans mass-produced and made available to home cooks under the name American Skillet Company. Here, Toninato tells F&W about her quirky cookware project.
Why did you choose cast-iron?
For me, it represents a kickback to the pioneering days, the beginning of America and the beginning of all cooking. Cast-iron is healthy; it doesn’t contain Teflon or aluminum and it aligns well with the message of buying locally and eating home-cooked meals together.
How useful are these for a chef? Do you need a state-shaped burner to use them on the stovetop?
In fact, we’ve done some fun tests and found that they work really well for baking. Making pies, brownies, quiches and corn bread has been very successful, and these also tend to remove from the pan more easily. Also, Montana has been great as a griddle for cooking potatoes! Braise restaurant in Milwaukee is creating a brunch menu every Saturday using the Wisconsin skillets [made during an earlier pilot production run] and local ingredients.
What foods have you heard of people cooking in the skillets?
People in Washington have been making strawberry-rhubarb pie. In the South, people are using the pans to make corn bread and other comfort foods, and in Vermont, a lot of people are making pancakes, which go great with their native maple syrup.
Do you have a favorite state? Least favorite?
Some of the states I wouldn’t have thought much about before but really enjoyed working with (even despite long hours spentsanding edges) are New York and Florida. Most difficult would be Texas: It’s huge and took multiple cutting sessions and some tricky math.
What changes will be made to the commercial versions of the skillets?
Unlike the art piece, which fits together, these skillets will be scaled down; Rhode Island will be the same size as Texas. The handles will be placed strategically for functionality. We’ve also partnered with a manufacturing company in Tennessee to have the skillets pre-seasoned. We had a fun party here in Wisconsin seasoning skillets over an outdoor fire using goat and pork lard, but it was definitely labor intensive.
© 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:
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 »