This end-of-summer salad takes care of the biggest problem in my kitchen as August turns to September: what to do with all of my tomatoes. I serve lamb chops or grilled chicken right on top of this all the time so the elements here are all multipurpose. I often use the grilled lettuce technique elsewhere, and the tomato vinaigrette is perfect with shellfish or as a kind of sauce for just about anything that benefits from the bright acidity. The trio of grilled radicchio (I prefer the long-leaf varietal for this recipe), goat cheese and tomato is about as essential as it gets, focusing heavily on sour-salty-bitter-sweet. The first time I saw this dish was during a press tour, I am guessing about 25 years ago, by Sir Terence Conran in support of one of his books or stores. I was part of the team in New York City, making the food for a massive dinner celebrating his incredible influence on the culinary world and I was assigned to prepare one of his chefs to make this dish as a small course. I have been cooking it ever since. Paired with crusty bread it stands on its own, thanks to the cheese pairing, but it's also killer with something off the grill as part of a meal. SEE RECIPE »
The Internet is a black hole for strange, weird and wonderful things—especially when it comes to food. Rather than dive in yourself, let F&W do it for you. Here, five of the most absurd food items we saw this week.
Megaburgerpizza: Move over, ramen burger. There’s a new hybrid food in town and it’s a college kid’s dream. The Megaburgerpizza is exactly what it sounds like: an enormous sandwich made up of burger patties sandwiched between two 11-inch cheese pizzas, dressed with ketchup, onions, pickles and mustard, weighing in at nearly 3 lbs. Japan’s Pizza Little Party chain will be selling the gut-busting dish through November 22.
Salad Dating App: Long walks on the beach and piña coladas are overrated. What you really need to know when you’re looking for a mate is if they share your taste in salad toppings. At least, that’s what Just Salad, a salad restaurant franchise, is counting on with their new SaladMatch app, which matches you and your salad eating habits with others of the same ilk.
Bacon Car: We keep thinking that bacon has jumped the shark once and for all. But then some one else finds a new and more ridiculous way to repurpose the crispy, meaty, obsessed-over breakfast meat. Ford recently announced the availability of giant vinyl bacon strips to decorate the new 2014 Ford Fiesta. Those who want the full bacon treatment should be willing to shell out some serious cash. It costs $3,347 plus installation fees for ten strips.
Toast Art: The perfect activity for insomniacs: Creating intricate anime portraits on toast using cocoa, green tea powder and clear plastic sheets for stenciling. Start your toast art at 3 a.m. and by the time you’re done, it’s breakfast!
Pizza Button: We can all agree that room service is one of the best things about staying in a hotel. But one hotel has figured out something better: pizza service. Every room at the Country Inn & Suites in Niagara Falls, NY includes a phone equipped with a pizza button, which connects guests to a local pizza parlor. If only all phones came with such a button.
F&W food editors apply their incredible cooking knowledge to explaining what to do with a variety of interesting ingredients.
I love the flavor of whole-wheat pasta, and I have the patience to stand over the pot while pasta is cooking to get the texture just right. Unfortunately, I’ve been largely unsuccessful with most of the brands of dried whole-wheat pasta I’ve tried. It’s not that the flavor is bad, but I just can’t find that perfect al dente window, when the pasta offers just the slightest bit of elastic resistance when you eat it, but it no longer has a true crunchy bite. I finally found the magic al dente window in the hard red winter wheat linguine from the San Francisco Bay Area company Community Grains. I don’t know whether it is the wheat itself (California grown and milled), the fact that the whole grain is milled together (rather than separated and then recombined, as is often the case in commercial whole-wheat milling) or that the pasta is cut and dried in the traditional (old-fashioned) manner, but the texture is at once hearty, slippery smooth and chewy, and the wheat flavor is super-prominent. We had it with a sauce of spicy sausage, broccoli rabe and pecorino, which stood up to the almost nutty flavor of the wheat.
The perfect nightcap is different for everyone. For some it’s a stomach-settling shot of Fernet Branca, for others it’s a perfectly crafted Manhattan and for many it’s whatever is left in the bottle.
This past Tuesday night at the inaugural Sip a Nightcap competition presented by Santa Teresa, four judges including Leo Robitschek, of Eleven Madison Park and The NoMad, and “King Cocktail” Dale DeGroff judged the ultimate nightcap to be Jessica Gonzalez’s Fortune Teller cocktail: a simple but powerful mix of Santa Teresa 1796 rum, Cynar (an artichoke-based Italian liqueur) and Bonal (a bitter French aperitif wine). It is exactly what Robitschek looks for in a nightcap: Four ingredients or less. Strong and stirred. “Something that makes you want another sip but also doesn’t make you want to drink it too quickly.”
While Gonzalez’s drink falls in line with the modern cocktail trend of brown and boozy, nightcaps weren’t always like that. Here, cocktail historian DeGroff shares four examples of some historic nightcaps that probably wouldn't have stood a chance in the competition.
Coffee Cocktail “It was half Cognac, half port, an egg and a teaspoon of sugar, shaken very hard. There was no coffee in it. They called it the coffee cocktail because it looked like coffee with cream and sugar. That was a nightcap from the turn of the century from the 19th to the 20th—when everything was richer and sweeter.”
Stinger “Half Cognac, half white crème de menthe, shaken very hard, served over crushed ice. In the ’70s and ’60s we were eating these rich French foods, so when you got to the end of a meal of wine and multicourses and cheese and creamy this and saucy that, you had this minty, icy cold Cognac–crème de menthe drink. It was kind of an adult after-dinner mint.”
Frappés “In the ’60s you had women—mostly—who after dinner would order frappéed liqueurs like green crème de menthe and white crème de cacao. It was a crème over crushed ice.”
Brandy Alexander “Around the same time as the frappés, the last thing you had at night if you were a kid out with a phony ID was a Brandy Alexander: Cognac, white crème de cacao and heavy cream, shaken.”
Ever wondered where the experts stand on the best wine practices and controversies? In this series, wine blogger, teacher and author Tyler Colman (a. k. a. Dr. Vino) delivers a final judgement.
Don’t you think buying a fancy corkscrew is a waste of money? For me, the best is also the most simple: the classic waiter’s corkscrew. I’d suggest a double-hinged Pulltap’s, which is very reliable and available for less than $10. It makes more sense to devote your wine budget to wine, rather than gizmos. But if you really want to spend money, you can find a gorgeous version from Laguiole, perhaps with a wood handle carved from a 250-year-old tree from Versailles.