Courtesy of Blue Diamond Almonds
F&W food editors apply their incredible cooking knowledge to explaining what to do with a variety of interesting ingredients.
A big part of the pleasure of eating pistachios is getting them out of the shell. It slows you down, of course, and spares you from mindlessly grabbing a handful, which is good. Plus, every pistachio presents its own little challenge of how to get the nut out in one piece without hurting your fingers or your teeth, or cracking a nail. Now the folks at Blue Diamond have jumped into the game with dry-roasted thin-shell almonds, which come salted and unsalted. I can’t tell you how they make the shells thinner, because they weren’t willing to share their secret. But the almonds we tried were superfresh and crisp, with great almond flavor, and they definitely made mindful snacking on almonds a lot more fun.
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Andrew Zimmern's Kitchen Adventures
OK, so I was with Hot and Hot Fish Club’s amazing chef Chris Hastings, standing in his Birmingham, Alabama, restaurant kitchen and eating my way through his mise en place about an hour before service. He hated me. But before I left, he fed me some shrimp and grits, and the shrimp were some of the most miraculous I have ever had. So I started quizzing him. He freely told me that while fresh Gulf shrimp, just hours out of water, help immensely, it’s the cooking technique that results in their perfect flavor and sinful texture. I can’t even begin to tell you how good these are. Anyway, I adapted his trick and, inspired by some local cress I had eaten in a salad dish earlier that day with him, I created this riff on his dish. That man is a genius, truly. SEE RECIPE »
See More of Andrew Zimmern’s Kitchen Adventures
Grace in the Kitchen
These grown-up lemon bars are made with paper-thin slices of lemon, giving
the sweet filling a pleasant bitterness. © 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.
At a recent trip to a great new restaurant in my neighborhood, 606 R&D, I had a most intriguing dessert called Shaker Lemon Pie—a double-crusted pie with a flaky crust and almost lemon-marmalade–like filling. It was quite good, but not flawless—the crust was a bit soggy and the filling was dry, but the flavor was intoxicating. I knew if I did a bit of work it could be even better. I asked my husband, Chris, from Shaker Heights, Ohio, the resident expert (at least in our house) on Shaker culture, but he’d never heard of it.
I was obsessed and had to know more, so I read a number of recipes online and found a few books about Shaker/Mennonite cooking. Obviously, lemons don’t grow in the Midwest, so it’s a relatively modern recipe (last century). Whole lemons are shaved superthin with skin (pick out the seeds) and macerated with sugar for a day or longer, then mixed with eggs, flour and butter and layered between two crusts. The rind softens and cooks like marmalade but with all of the other ingredients, it has more of a cakey/lemon curd/marmalade texture. I opted for something a little different. I made a shortbread-type bottom crust, which I topped with the lemon filling and a lattice of more shortbread. The result is a delicate, yet pick-up-able lemon bar that is tangy, sweet and buttery. It’s totally perfect to take to a Shaker church social or in my case, my back deck with a hot cup of milky, sweet coffee. SEE RECIPE »
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