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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

Expert Lessons

4 Quick and Easy Recipes from Star Blogger Ashley Rodriguez

4 Quick and Easy Recipes from Star Blogger Ashley Rodriguez

Ashely Rodriguez shares modern comfort-food recipes on her blog, Not Without Salt. Here, 4 of her favorite savory dishes.

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Grace in the Kitchen

Fast Southern Italian: The 45-Minute Nonna

Grace Parisi in the Kitchen

Photo © John Kernick

F&W’s Grace Parisi reinvents her Calabrian grandmother’s favorite recipes so they’re lighter and speedier.

Creating recipes that hit all the high points of southern Italian cooking is a no-brainer for me—one set of my grandparents came to this country from Palermo, the other from Messina and a town in Calabria. My maternal grandfather was a baker, pizzaiolo and restaurateur, and my paternal grandmother (my namesake) was an amazing home cook who taught me that not every southern Italian dish comes with a red sauce. My recipes here are a tribute to her. Southern Italians love their raisins, pine nuts and capers, all of which I mix into meatballs simmered in a sweet-and-sour braising sauce: agrodolce. Our beloved raisins and capers appear again with stewed peppers in a luscious side dish, peperonata, that I serve with grilled baby lamb chops. Aside from the chops, which may have been a bit fancy for my grandma, I think everything here would have been quite at home on her table.


Grilled Eggplant Parmesan This grilled-vegetable version of eggplant Parmesan, like the one Grace Parisi's Calabrian grandmother used to make, is much lighter than the fried kind.

Grilled Lamb Chops with Peperonata A hearty mix of stewed peppers, onions, raisins and anchovies makes this peperonata more of a side dish than a condiment.

Agrodolce Meatballs Even in southern Italy, not every meatball is drenched in tomato sauce. These are cooked in a sweet-and-tart mixture of balsamic vinegar and chicken broth.

Oil-Poached Tuna with Fennel and Orange In this clever one-pot dish, Grace Parisi poaches fennel, shallots and orange zest in extra-virgin olive oil. She then cooks a tuna steak in that oil, making the fish incredibly moist and flavorful.

Related: More Fast Recipes from Grace
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Grace in the Kitchen

Superquick Posole

© Lucy Schaeffer
© Lucy Schaeffer

A mix of mild chiles (poblano, Anaheim) and hot
ones (serrano) gives body and heat to this quick
made with boneless pork shoulder.
© 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.

It’s rare that I get to develop recipes in the same season in which they’ll appear in the magazine. There’s lots of extrapolating about how great the dish would be if only we had good, seasonal…(tomatoes, corn, berries, peaches…).

Like broccoli, asparagus and zucchini, chiles are pretty good all year round. Of course, they’d be amazing fresh from the farmers’ market, but I'm pretty happy with what I can get at Whole Foods or Fairway. Especially for this delicious braised pork stew. The chiles—poblano, Anaheim and Serrano—are thinly sliced, and they melt into a silky sauce as the pork braises in the liquid. The heat is mild but it does build, so I sometimes stir in canned hominy or just serve it with rice and warm corn tortillas. SEE RECIPE »

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Grace in the Kitchen

Coke, No Pepsi

© Yunhee Kim

Greeks make souvlaki by marinating chunks of meat in oil, lemon juice
and oregano, then skewering and grilling them. This version uses
pork shoulder because it's so tender and succulent. © Yunhee Kim

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.

It was sort of a revelation to me that you could quickly cook pork shoulder. I’d always assumed that it needed hours of slow braising or roasting to get the meat meltingly tender. But then I remembered (vaguely) a recipe for spareribs that were high-heat roasted for a relatively short time. They were a bit chewy, yeah, but still juicy and really meaty. The little bit of fat self-bastes and helps caramelize the meat. It occurred to me that I could use shoulder in a whole host of recipes that seemed destined for quicker-cooking pork loin or, even worse, tenderloin.

The key is (and this is probably totally obvious, but...) cutting the meat into small pieces. For this souvlaki, I cut the pork into 1/2-by-3-inch strips and let it marinate with onions, lemon, herbs, salt and pepper for about 10 minutes. Maybe the salt and acid help to tenderize the meat? I don’t know, but they do infuse a bit of flavor, which is important in something that cooks quickly. I heated a cast-iron griddle until smoking hot, and cooked the meat and onions until tender and charred in spots. (Think short-order cook at your favorite Greek place.) I’m kind of addicted to Fabulous Flats Tandoori Naan, which is really just a pocketless pita. It makes the best wrap for this souvlaki, but any brand will do. Do not forget the tzatziki—it keeps everything deliciously creamy and rich! SEE RECIPE »

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Grace in the Kitchen

Egg Sammy Reinvented

© Stephanie Foley

This witty take on a breakfast staple stirs delicious
herbed croutons right into soft, creamy scrambled
eggs—eliminating the need for a side of toast.
© Stephanie Foley

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.

I managed to squeak in a 12-mile run this morning before work (yeah, I’m just about an hour late…oops!). I’m a few weeks away from a big race and I thought it would be fun to kill myself before I have to stand on my feet all day and cook. A consolation is that I have a gigantic pantry at work, which means there’s always something to make for breakfast (my favorite meal of the day!).

Nothing beats eggs and toast for an immediate dose of savory protein and carbs. This one is a particular favorite of mine, in that it’s all combined in one dish. I fried bread cubes with herbs and a garlic clove (the garlic gets discarded), then added them to very soft scrambled eggs and cooked everything together for about a minute. All of which I devoured while sitting down, thankfully. Divine! SEE RECIPE »

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Grace in the Kitchen

Baa Baa Green Sauce

Lamb Burgers with Green Harissa // © Lucy Schaeffer

Made with Anaheim and serrano chiles, this green gersion of Tunisian
and Moroccan harissa adds bright flavor to grilled lamb. // © 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.

The farmers’ market is overflowing with loads of fiery chiles. A favorite meal of mine is an overstuffed pita filled with grilled meats, tomatoes, feta and harissa. I am addicted to harissa—especially the one I developed for my book Get Saucy. It uses ancho chiles, caraway, cumin and sun-dried tomatoes, and is delicious on everything. But for a change, I wanted something fresh and green tasting. This green harissa uses fresh green chiles of varying heat. Serranos are pretty hot, but Anaheim and banana chiles are pretty mild. Together, along with some cilantro, scallions and garlic, they make the brightest, most refreshing (albeit spicy) sauce that is the perfect accompaniment to lamb, grilled bread and juicy tomatoes. SEE RECIPE »

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Grace in the Kitchen

One-Pot Wonder

Chilaquiles-Style Roasted Chicken Legs

Chilaquiles is a baked Mexican dish that's often made with leftover shredded chicken, tortilla strips and cheese. This version bakes whole chicken legs with tomatoes, hominy, jalapeños and tortilla chips.

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.

One-pot suppers are kind of amazing—especially if you don't dirty too many bowls in the prep. My favorites are ones where a bready/noodly/potatoey base soaks up all the delicious fat and juices from what's roasted above. Case in point is this muy delicioso Mexican-style casserole that combines tortilla chips with diced tomatoes, hominy, pickled jalapeños and spices and tops it with spicy chicken legs. Some of the chips get soggy, while others get supercrispy—but they get infused with all those flavorful chicken drippings. Which reminds me of Sunday suppers when I was a kid—my mom made the most delicious roasted lemon chicken legs. The juices were crazy delicious and rarely made it to the table because we were practically fighting each other off just to dip hunks of bread into the pan. "Bagna!" as my mom would say. SEE RECIPE »

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Grace in the Kitchen

More Than the Sum of Its Parts

Grilled Okra with Red Curry-Lime Dressing // © Con Poulos

Okra gets charred and tender on the grill; tossing it with lime and store-bought curry paste gives it great flavor. / © Con Poulos

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.

We've done a few really great okra recipes over the years. The ones I love the most have been grilled or pan roasted until lightly charred and tender. The recipe I developed for our September three-ingredient story uses grilled okra that gets glazed with a simple dressing of Thai red curry paste, lime juice and olive oil. It's so easy and quick, it almost doesn't feel right to call it a recipe, but sometimes the simplest things can have the most complex flavors. SEE RECIPE »

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Grace in the Kitchen

The South Meets Spain

Smoky Shrimp and Grits // © Quentin Bacon

This healthier version of old-school Southern grits uses less cheese, no butter and adds iron-rich spinach. / © Quentin Bacon

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.

Shrimp and Grits is one of my favorite all-time dishes. If you're willing to forgo long-cooking grits in favor of quick (not instant) grits, the dish is not only rich, flavorful, creamy and delicious, it's also superfast. I developed this recipe as part of my column on New Southern Classics (Ham Steak with Red Eye Gravy, Biscuits and Sausage Gravy, Etouffee). This is one of those Southern comfort foods that can be ungodly rich, with tons of cream, butter and cheese. I lightened it up considerably by taking out the cream, paring back the butter and cheese (it's still pretty cheesy) and folding in baby spinach to add a nutitious punch. One of my favorite Spanish tapas dishes is gambas al ajillo (shrimp with garlic and oil). I sort of tweaked it a bit by adding smoked paprika, which stands in for smoky bacon, and spooned it over the grits. I'm not a huge calorie counter, though I do watch what I eat. This one never leaves me feeling anything but satisfied and guilt-free. SEE RECIPE »

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Grace in the Kitchen

Sardines, My Solitary Pleasure

Open-Face Sardine Sandwiches with Tangy Aioli  // © Sally Gall

Pair these simple open-faced sandwiches with a fresh, lemony white like an Albariño. / © Sally Gall

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.

Oh, Costco, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways: Chinese sausages, chapati flour, Israeli quark, Lundberg rice (at a fraction of retail) AND eight packs of Season brand sardines packed in olive oil (yay!). My go-to quick meal often includes opening a tin of sardines, mixing them with some type of onion and mayo or mustard and slapping it on grainy crackers. These open-face sandwiches are definitely a more complex step up but still fast, easy and supernutritious. After my long Saturday morning runs, this so totally hits the spot. My kids aren't convinced (neither is my husband, but at least he doesn't wrinkle his nose), so I tend to enjoy them in relative solitude, which is all right by me, especially after a long run.

It doesn't hurt to wash it all down with a cold, crisp IPA or two—I especially like Lagunitas and Sierra Nevada—but then the whole solitude thing can seem a little depressing (by appearances only). I'm reminded of MFK Fisher (that goddess) and how she prepared herself elegant meals that she enjoyed with wine all by herself. SEE RECIPE »

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