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By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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F&W Entertaining

A Star Photographer's Elegant Fall Gathering

Nicole Franzen Hosts and Photographs an F&W Party

Photographer and trained cook Nicole Franzen, of the blog La Buena Vida, hosts an intimate fall rooftop party starring F&W recipes—and captures the results.

My friends and I wanted to get together outside before it got too cold out. This was the last hurrah on our friend Kristy's roof until spring comes. We hosted the party on a Saturday afternoon and decided to serve small bites so people could pick and choose what they wanted. Along with some of our entertaining standbys, we served these dishes from the November issue of Food & Wine: Layered Citrus Salad, Carrot Salad with Mushrooms and Herbs, Spinach-and-Artichoke Galette and Creamed Kale Toasts. Click through the F&W Entertaining slideshow to see Franzen's fall party.

Follow Nicole Franzen on Instagram @nicole_franzen.

Related: Best Recipes for Fall Produce
Great Squash Dishes Around the Country
Beautiful Fall Cocktails

Expert Guide

Daniel Boulud’s Oscar Party Tips

Red Carpet Cocktail

Red Carpet Cocktail Courtesy of Justine Sterling

On Sunday, star chef Daniel Boulud is hosting the only official East Coast Oscar party with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences at his flagship restaurant, Daniel. The evening mirrors the West Coast’s most glamorous Oscars event, the Governors Ball, which Wolfgang Puck has overseen for the past 19 years. “I always envy Wolfgang Puck in Los Angeles, so I am very proud to be doing my share in New York,” says Boulud.

While Boulud might make it to Hollywood one day—spot his cameo in the in the film Final Recipe this spring—he’s going all-out for the Academy in New York. Boulud created nominee-inspired dishes, like the Life of Pi tiger shrimp samosas, as well as sparkling Red Carpet cocktails with a vibrant base layer of cranberry gelée, and a three-course dinner. Here, he offers tips for adapting his megawatt viewing party at home. MORE »

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Supermarket Sleuth

Party-Ready Red Walnuts

© Con Poulos

Red walnuts' bright hue gives party dishes a festive touch. / © Con Poulos

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

I was shopping for stemmed artichokes at Eataly the other day when I came across the most beautiful walnuts I've ever seen. They were grown and packaged by the appropriately named Sanguinetti family in the Central Valley of California.

When you see their vibrant purplish-red color, you would swear they had been dyed (like they sometimes dye pistachios). The color actually comes from their red-skinned Persian parentage. With closed eyes, these large walnut halves taste just like a very fresh, crisp version of the brown English walnuts we”re familiar with, but they're so festive for parties—especially in nut mixes, salads, brittles, barks, breads and in other baked goods. Here are a few recipes that I love that would show off their gorgeous hue:

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Capers, Walnuts and Anchovies
Smoked-Duck Salad with Walnuts and Raspberries
Aged Gouda Biscotti with Walnuts


Related: Crunchy Nut Recipes
Fantastic Main Course Salads
Tasty Snacks

Kitchen Trash

Pippa Middleton's Kooky Halloween Party Tips

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Spicy Cheddar Witch Fingers

© David Malosh

“It is a bit startling to achieve global recognition before the age of 30 on account of your sister, your brother-in-law and your bottom,” admits Pippa Middleton in her new book Celebrate: A Year of British Festivities for Families and Friends, which will be released next week. Also a bit surprising: the socialite's kooky Halloween party tips.>>

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Beer

How to Throw the Ultimate Super Bowl Party

How to Throw the Ultimate Super Bowl Party

F&W's Tina Ujlaki, who happens to be known for her Hall of Fame-worthy Super Bowl parties, reveals her top tips for throwing fantastic, stress-free game-day bashes.

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Recipes

F&W Exclusive: Chefs' Super Bowl Smackdown

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Super Bowl

As the big game approaches this weekend, Patriots and Giants fans are making final preparations for their Super Bowl parties. Beyond menus to plan and guests to invite, there are wagers to be made. A group of northeast chefs just revealed the terms of their “Super Bowl Restaurant Smackdown” to Food & Wine, pitting New England vs. New York. Representing the Patriots are Jamie Bissonnette from Boston’s Toro and Coppa, Tiffani Faison from Sweet Cheeks, Matt Jennings from Providence’s La Laiterie and Farmstead and Gabriel Frasca of Straight Wharf and Provisions. They’re facing off against New York chefs and Giants’ fans Harold Dieterle of Perilla and Kin Shop, Lee Anne Wong of Vynl and Michael Ferraro of Delicatessen. This wager is not about money, it’s about maximum humiliation. Here are the terms:

 

 For seven consecutive days, the representatives of the LOSING TEAM must:

-Wear the opposing team’s jersey in their restaurant .The jersey cannot be removed during work hours for any reason.

-Wear a Statue of Liberty hat (Boston) or a lobster hat (NYC) in their restaurant. The hat cannot be removed during work hours for any reason.

-Feature pastrami on rye (Boston) or New England clam chowder (NYC) prominently on their menu with the following wording:

“In honor of the greatest football team on earth the Patriots/Giants, [Restaurant name(s)] is proudly featuring [name of dish]."

-Tweet a picture of themselves in their hats & jerseys eating the featured dish in their restaurant all seven days.

 

The WINNING TEAM will hand deliver the jerseys and hats to the losing teams and taste the featured menu item.

 

As a Patriots’ fan who now lives in New York City, I’m looking forward to sampling some great clam chowder without the four-hour train ride.

 

For those of you hosting at home check out some of my favorite game-day recipes from F&W.

Spicy Chicken Wings

Double Pork Burgers

Sticky Ribs

More Super Bowl Snacks


 

 

Entertaining

How to Set Up a Thanksgiving Pie Bar

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Tiffany MacIsaac's Holiday Pie Bar

© Neighborhood Restaurant Group
Tiffany MacIsaac's Holiday Pie Bar

Showstopping desserts can outshine buttery mashed potatoes and perfect stuffing on Thanksgiving. That's the opinion of Tiffany MacIsaac, who oversees the pastry program for the Neighborhood Restaurant Group, which operates Birch & Barley and Tallua in the Washington, DC, area. MacIsaac likes to put holiday sweets—in particular, pie—on mouthwatering display from the start so guests can admire dessert from the moment they arrive.

At Buzz Bakery in Alexandria, VA, she's now offering a DIY Pie Bar package that comes with two pies (like Chocolate-Bourbon Pecan and Classic Pumpkin), house-made ice cream, cinnamon whipped cream, caramel sauce and candied cranberries. Since Buzz doesn't ship its baked goods, MacIsaac shared these tips on how to set up a DIY Pie Bar at home.

1. Make it a group project. Guests usually ask the host how they can contribute to the holiday meal. You can plan a cohesive, pie-centric menu for Thanksgiving and delegate specific components to invitees. If one guest brings pumpkin pie, others can take on gingersnap cookie crumbs and caramel sauce, and non-cooks can be in charge of bringing beautiful cake stands. The display will grow into something fantastically unexpected as the guests arrive.

2. Don't pay for props. MacIsaac repurposes items from around the house for the display. A stack of books works as a pedestal; fallen leaves make an easy accent to scatter around the table; an old frame refines the look of a printed menu. Lighting is especially important. Everyone looks good by candlelight and the same goes for food.

3. Incorporate traditional fall flavors. During the holidays, people look for familiar foods. If you experiment with something new like salted-caramel cream pie, you can also offer a super-old-fashioned option like double-crust apple pie or upgrade a classic, as in a meringue-topped sweet potato pie.

4. Consider textures. You don’t want all mush or all crunch when it comes to a pie or the toppings you set out for guests. With the pie bar, everyone gets whipped cream, nuts, cookie crumbs, sauce.

5. Master the pie crust. Besides the logistics of setting up a dessert display, the most basic rule of a great pie bar is to make delicious pies, and that starts with good crust. MacIsaac likes a nice amount of salt in the dough to balance the sweetness of fillings. And she says you might want to add vodka, not to your glass, but to the water as you mix the dough. It evaporates more quickly, so you’re left with less moisture, which makes for a more tender, flaky crust. In a dough recipe calling for water, MacIsaac subs vodka for about 1/6 to 1/4 of the water.

 

Related: Thanksgiving Desserts
Thanksgiving Pies
5 Easy Ways to Ruin the Thanksgiving Turkey

Entertaining

Tailgating 101: What to Drink with Barbecue

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© © James Baigrie
Barbecued Brisket with Burnt Ends

Some time ago, I had the odd honor of being a judge at the Jack Daniels World Championship Invitational Barbecue, one of the bigger meat-fests in the barbecue circuit. I can’t recall who won what, but I vividly recall walking up the stairs to my second-floor motel room, listening to two portly fellows loudly discuss themerits (and drawbacks) of possum and raccoon barbecue. In that context, pairing wine instead of beer with barbecue seems a bit twee, sort of like playing Chopin nocturnes at a Nascar race, but what the heck. What are cliffs for but to fling oneself off of?

Brisket. Being a Texan, my heart believes that real barbecue is made from cow, not pig, despite a lot of Southern evidence to the contrary. Anyway, that’s a battle to be fought by diehards. Ignore them. Drive to Louie Mueller’s in Taylor, TX, order yourself some of their sublimely excellent brisket, and then figure out some way to drink a good Cabernet blend with it. The 2008 Cameron Hughes Lot 249 Alexander Valley Meritage ($12) is a fine choice.

Sausage. On the day that New York’s Hill Country BBQ decided it was a good thing to import sausages up from Kreuz Market in Lockhart, TX, the clouds parted, the sun shone, and all was good upon the land. Seriously. And if one were going to pour a glass ofwine to go with these juicy, sublimely spiced links, I think a Zinfandel—itself a spicy number—would be the answer. The 2009 Bogle Old Vine Zinfandel ($12) is an in-your-face example, in a good way.

Pulled Pork. An excellent counter-argument from the South to this whole Texan beef-business. Good pulled pork (Sweatman’s, in Holly Hill, SC, about 50 minutes outside Charleston, is hard to beat) has a sublime balance of porkiness, juiciness, and smoke thatought to make Pierre Gagnaire wonder if perhaps he picked the wrong cuisine to specialize in. In South Carolina the sauce is mustardy and a bit sweet; in North Carolina, it’s more vinegary. I’d eat both with a dry rosé, though honestly if I did that I’d probably get my butt kicked. Try (if you’re willing to risk it) the fruity 2010 Frog’s Leap La Grenouille Rougante ($14).

Ribs. Frank Zappa, in his little-known but much-loved (ok: by a few freaks) anthem “Muffin Man,” intones this immortal line: “There is not, nor ought there be, anything so exalted on the face of God’s gray earth as that prince of foods…the muffin.” Hm. Let’s change that to ribs, ok? I can think of almost no instance when I wouldn’t trade whatever is on my plate for some truly great bbq ribs, like the ones from Mike Mills’ 17th Street Bar & Grill in Murphysboro, IL. Lots of flavor, lots of juice, and, admit it, lots of fat—if wine is on the table, make it a big, brawny Syrah, like the robust 2008 Cambria Tepusquet Syrah ($19).

Related:Tailgating Recipes

25 Perfect Pork Recipes
Best Burgers in the U.S.
Ultimate Burger Recipes

Entertaining

Last Call for Summer's Best Wines

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East Coasters lost the last weekend in August to tropical storm (née hurricane) Irene, so the pressure is on to get outside for Labor Day. If the weather cooperates where you live, enhance the best summer activities with these perfect wines:

Sula's 2010 Sauvignon Blanc is light and cooling.

© Courtesy of Sula Winery
Sula's 2010 Sauvignon Blanc is light and cooling.


Seafood Extravaganzas: For lobsterfests and clam bakes, there are many options beyond the ubiquitous rich Chardonnay, like melony Godello and crisp, citrusy Vermentino.

Sunning Sessions: When the weather is genuinely hot, superlight whites, like Vinho Verde and Albariño, are good bets.

Park Picnics: Awesome portable dishes include shrimp-and-noodle salad in a gingery dressing, which is great with Riesling.

Backyard Cookouts: Grilled foods need assertive wines to stand up to strong flavors. Moderately oaky wines, which can otherwise be tough to pair with food, are often great with smokey meats.

Sunset Toasts: Try wine with some color, too. There are few things more refreshing than Provençal rosé, and low-tannin Beaujolais are among the best reds to serve chilled.

Beach Trips: Pulling corks with no leverage, while sitting in sand, can be troublesome. Try these 10 excellent boxed wines, plus 10 great-value screw-capped wines.

Entertaining

Wine Bottles Reincarnated

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Wine bottle tumblers from BottleHood.

© Leslie Tiano
Wine bottle tumblers from BottleHood.

 

The other day at the beach, I came across a supercool beer bottle neck that had been so polished down by the waves and sand that it could be worn as a ring. It got me thinking about the many other neat ways to repurpose wine and beer bottles that I've seen lately. Atlanta-based Kathleen Plate transforms recycled glass into jewelry with clean, sleek lines—her new pale-blue chandelier necklace looks like the summer sky to me. The fire escape gardener in me appreciates the compact Grow Bottle, an indoor herb planter crafted from reclaimed restaurant wine bottles. And colored wine bottles look great on the tabletop even long after the last drop has been poured: In San Diego, BottleHood recrafts wine, beer and spirit bottles into unique glassware, from frat-house-ready Red Stripe glasses to funky-elegant green glass tumblers. Its glassware would be perfect on a casual summer table—along with a chilled summer bottle that's still full, of course.

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