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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Grace in the Kitchen

Three Easy Pieces

© Con Poulos

The chocolate cookies soften as the cake chills overnight for a perfectly
moist, “cheater’s” cheesecake. // © 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.

I've had such a blast working on these three-ingredient recipes. I really liked the challenge—it forces me to think in a clear and direct way, which is kind of great in the kitchen, especially when your pantry or wallet is limited. This icebox cake was superfun because the ingredients are completely accessible and not at all elevated: cream cheese, Hershey's chocolate syrup and Nabisco's Original Chocolate Wafers. The texture is like a very light chocolate cheesecake, but it looks more like a five-layer chocolate-buttercream cake.

My first test was with mascarpone instead of cream cheese, but it was a bit problematic because the particular brand of mascarpone I used (though delicious!) always breaks when whipped. Cream cheese is much more sturdy, almost too sturdy, so I had to thin it with a little water (I'd have used milk, but that would have put me over the three-ingredient limit). The chocolate syrup needed to be a thin, pourable kind. Though I'd have prefered a bittersweet hot fudge sauce, I really needed the viscosity and sweetness of the Hershey's. After sitting in the fridge overnight, it came together beautifully and was way more than the sum of its parts. Now all I can think of are all the cool variations: passionfruit juice, cream cheese and Nilla wafers; raspberry jam, cream cheese and chocolate wafers; apricot preserves, cream cheese and gingersnaps; espresso shots, cream cheese and chocolate wafers...Crazy! SEE RECIPE »

Related: More Chilled Chocolate Desserts
Amazing Cheesecake Recipes
Brilliant Three-Ingredient Recipes

 

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 »

Related: Savory Bread Pudding Recipes
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Grace in the Kitchen

Decadent Candy Cookie

© Christina Holmes

A buttery shortbread crust forms the base for these chewy, chocolaty bars.
© Christina Holmes

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.

These have to be one of my favorite chocolate bar cookies. The crust is buttery and crunchy and the topping is fudgy and chewy and completely indulgent. I have to admit, though, that the method is not entirely my own. We tested a homey baking book many months ago that had you combine chocolate (it used semisweet chocolate chips) with sweetened condensed milk to create a sort of quick fudge. It then got combined with something else, so you lost a little of its specialness. For my bars, the fudgy filling takes center stage. I used bittersweet chocolate (the darker the better, I think!) and spread the fudge over a buttery shortbread crust. The mixture is then topped with a pecan streusel and baked. When cooled sufficiently, these cut into the most perfect little bars. I love the high ratio of chocolate to crust—the opposite of a more delicate chocolate-dipped cookie. Most cookies scream for milk, but I have coffee with these because the warmth of the coffee melts the filling, making it ridiculously decadent. SEE RECIPE »

Related: Best Chocolate Desserts
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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 »

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Grace in the Kitchen

Wine Braised Chicken with Parsnips

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© Lucy Schaeffer

In this easy one-pot braise, you get the best possible combination:
crisp-skinned chicken and a luscious wine sauce.
© 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.

One of the great perks of working at Food & Wine is that my kitchen is conveniently located about 15 feet from the wine tasting room. When Ray Isle and Megan Krigbaum, our wine gurus, have finished tasting a few wines, they often give us the nearly full bottles to cook with (uh, yeah, cook).

In true quid pro quo fashion, they eat what we produce and we drink what they discard (which is fine by me). Everybody’s happy! This quickly braised chicken dish calls for a bold, fruity white wine with a nice balance of sweetness and acidity, which is why a California Chardonnay, not too oaky, works extremely well. The acidity mellows the buttery richness of the chicken while toning down some of the sweetness of the parsnips. The recipe serves 4—in my case, my husband and I and our two kids, which works out nicely since it calls for an entire cup of wine, leaving just enough for my husband and I to enjoy with the meal. SEE RECIPE »

Related: More Braising Recipes
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Grace in the Kitchen

Multilayered Crêpe Cake

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© William Meppem

Turning crêpes with a spatula often causes them to break. The easiest way
to flip them is with your fingers. Use a spatula or a table knife to lift up
the edge, then gently pick up the crêpe and flip it over.
© William Meppem

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 funny thing about crêpes is that I always forget just how easy they are to make until I have to test or develop a recipe for them. Then, I remind myself to make them more often (which I never do). I have started tearing out, bookmarking and flagging old recipes that I’ve either developed or tested and loved and have forgotten about. (I may have to try get a Pinterest account.)

It’s hard to remember what happened last week, let alone in 2001 (unless, of course, you’re Tina Ujlaki, whose memory is positively elephant-like), so forcing myself to look back has been supercomforting. There are dozens and dozens of recipes that I’d always wanted to make again, but then I had to move on to the next thing and poof, they disappeared. I’m going to try this chocolate and dulce de leche torte again—I know my kids will go crazy for it. SEE RECIPE »

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Grace in the Kitchen

Cakey Cookie

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Pumpkin Spookies // © David Malosh

These soft, lightly spiced cake-like cookies are studded with minced
candied ginger and topped with a buttery sugar glaze. / © David Malosh

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 don’t usually go for soft, cakey cookies. I much prefer crispy, chewy ones, like gingersnaps, chocolate chip or biscotti. But these soft, pillowy pumpkin cookies are irresistible. They’re like pumpkin muffin tops, only more delicate, with a healthy dose of chopped crystallized ginger for texture and spice.

I developed this recipe as part of a Halloween story, but make them all year long, provided my supermarket carries canned pumpkin. I’ve tried several brands—organic and mass market—and must admit that Libby’s is the best of all of them. It has a bright pumpkin flavor (not murky or watery, like some of the organic ones) and appealing texture and color. And in baking, the results are always consistent. These are very homey little cakelets, but at last weekend’s dinner party, I served them for dessert with hot toddies made with whiskey, lemon juice, honey and gingersnap liqueur. The kids had hot cider with cinnamon candy stick stirrers. All good. SEE RECIPE »

Related: More Holiday Cookies
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Grace in the Kitchen

Bacon and Beer: True Bromance

© Christina Holmes

Adding Guinness, or any dark beer, to the brine gives the turkey a toasty
flavor and helps give the skin a dark brown color. // © Christina Holmes

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.

This is a real man’s turkey. There’s beer, there’s bacon and there’s the bird. Period! You won’t find any star anise or preserved lemon or lavender sprigs. Just beer, bacon and bird. Now I’m not particularly butch, but I do like some very guy things—guitars, whiskey, baseball, boxing…. I’ve even been known to split logs on occasion, I’ve fixed the toilet in my powder room twice (two different problems, thank you) and I bait my own hooks.

My goal with this recipe was to make a supersimple Thanksgiving turkey that would appeal to a wide audience of both sexes. I specifically left the ingredient list kind of short because guys are commitment-phobes with limited attention spans and more than 10 ingredients may trigger the flight response. I kid...Really, I just wanted to pack a lot of flavor and juiciness into the turkey. Full-bodied Guinness and smoky bacon infuse the meat during an overnight soak in the fridge. While the bird cooks, the fat from the bacon bastes the skin. The meat has a slightly smoky, hoppy flavor that is irresistible. Plus, the pan drippings are out of this world. They go into the gravy, where you really taste the undertones of smoke, coffee and malt. This may be a guy’s turkey, but it still doesn’t give one license to take his plate into the den to watch football while guests are at the table. SEE RECIPE »

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Grace in the Kitchen

Versatile Vegetable

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Butternut Squash Glazed Tart // © Christina Holmes

Look for a squash with a long neck to use in this elegant puff pastry.
© Christina Holmes

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 may seem odd to use butternut squash for a sweet tart, but it’s really just a long pumpkin. Actually, I find these squash much easier to use because they contain fewer seeds and have long, meaty necks that yield large, uniform slices or cubes. For this unusual tart, I roasted thin slices until tender and arranged them over a sweetened cream cheese mixture spread on flaky puff pastry. It’s such a simple recipe—just a few ingredients. Everything can be made ahead and refrigerated separately, then either rewarmed, recrisped or returned to room temperature. If you left out the sugar and cinnamon in the cream cheese and instead seasoned it with salt and pepper, this would  be a lovely first course, especially if you served it with a salad of tangy bitter greens. SEE RECIPE »

Related: More Butternut Squash Dishes
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Grace in the Kitchen

Psychedelic Dip

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Creamy Beet Dip with White Crudités // © David Malosh

This hot pink beet dip is fun to serve with white and pale green vegetables.
© David Malosh

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.

With the holiday season upon us shortly, I look for simple ways to entertain a crowd. I prefer to visit with my guests and not be a slave to the kitchen, unless of course I need a respite from the chaos. One easy way to do just that is to have loads of stuff prepared in advance. Dips and spreads are especially good because they can be made in large quantities and kept in the fridge (in their serving bowls, no less) up until your guests arrive. A departure from the mundane (but delicious nonetheless) hummus is this crazy-good, crazy-colored variation on the classic French onion dip. This one is made with sautéed shredded beets and onions, sour cream, and a splash of vinegar and honey to balance out the flavors. I serve it with an array of vegetables, but it’s also awesome on pita crisps or thick-cut potato chips, especially salt and vinegar chips. SEE RECIPE »

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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.

Run with chefs and wine experts in the Celebrity Chef 5K and dance all night at Gail Simmons’ Last Bite Dessert Party during the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, June 20-22.