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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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What I Learned

Chef Seamus Mullen Remembers a Spanish Food Legend

Bacon-Wrapped Dates

America's legendary Spanish food authority Penelope Casas died last week, having just completed her final tome: 1,000 Spanish Recipes (2014). A prolific writer whose recipes appeared in Food & Wine, Casas's most famous and influential works include The Foods and Wines of Spain (1982) and Tapas: The Little Dishes of Spain (1985). Here, Spain-obsessed chef Seamus Mullen of New York's Tertulia honors her legacy.

Penelope Casas and I shared a mutual love for the foods of Spain that ran deeper than just olive oil, Jamon Iberico and paella. Just like Penelope Casas, I first learned about Spain in 9th grade. I was a below-average student in most subjects, however I had an unusual disposition for the Spanish language thanks to an encouraging teacher. Just like Penelope Casas, I went to Spain on an exchange program, both in high school and then again in college. And just like her I also fell for the cuisine.

After returning from Spain in the spring of 1992, I decided to cook a proper Spanish feast for classmates at my teacher's house so I asked him for help. The assistance I received came in the form of a well-worn copy of The Foods and Wines of Spain, Casas's seminal cookbook published in 1982. At the time I didn't pay the book much mind beyond that I had very much enjoyed both the "food" in Spain and (even more so) the "wine" and it seemed to be exactly what I needed for my project.

I don't remember exactly what I made, though I do recall my first attempt to perform la vuelta de la tortilla, the infamous flipping of the Spanish tortilla, which ended with, how shall I say, egg on my face. I'd like to say that I cooked my way through her book, learning the regional dishes of traditional Spanish cookery, experimenting and exploring. But in all honesty, as an 18-year-old high school student, I think I surveyed the book, choosing only the dishes that included wine for cooking so that I could sneak a little pull. Thinking back on that Friday evening in my teacher's kitchen, I wonder if that was the last time I actually followed a recipe word for word? I think it might have been.

I went on to college, both here in the states and in Spain and I cooked in restaurants, both grand and diminutive and just like Casas I returned to New York with a distinct love for the foods of Spain. While I have never yet returned to cooking from cookbooks (I'll look at the ingredients and improvise), her books, all of them, occupy a large chunk of my bookshelf, smack in the middle of the Iberian section. She was one of the first Americans to champion the cooking of Spain and fight tirelessly to keep it from being muddled up and confused with the cuisines of Latin America and for that, I owe her a debt of gratitude. I was lucky enough to meet Casas and even cook for her, and while I never told her that it was her cookbook that, somewhat indirectly, helped launch my career, I'm sure she could see her books in my food. Casas did more, perhaps, than any single other person to bring the foods of Spain to our shores and her love for, and knowledge of, the foods of Spain will live on in our kitchens. She will be dearly missed.

Related: Spanish Recipes by Penelope Casas
Delicious Seamus Mullen Recipes

F&W Pantry

5 Korean Ingredients Everyone Should Have

The Korean Pantry

The essentials you'll need to create the strong, super-savory flavors of Korean cuisine.

Gochugaru
With a medium heat and a slightly sweet finish, these red chile flakes are what make kimchi red and spicy. At Korean barbecue spots, they're often passed around the table to sprinkle on grilled foods. "Most spice in Korean cooking comes from gochugaru," says chef Hooni Kim.

Soy Sauce
"Every Asian culture has its own soy sauce," says chef Sang Yoon of Father's Office in Los Angeles. The Korean variety is less salty and more earthy than Japanese soy sauce.

Saeujeot
Essential for kimchi, salted baby shrimp also lend seafood flavor to stews. Use them like you would anchovies—to add an intense burst of umami.

Gochujang
This chile paste is fermented, so it has a deep flavor. It's great mixed into condiments or as a thickener for stews.

Doenjang
"This bean paste is like a Korean version of miso," says Yoon. "It has a deep funk that you know as soon as you smell it. It makes a great base for casseroles. Doenjang is stinky, like the Epoisses of the bean-paste world."

Read more from F&W's September travel issue.

Related: F&W Chef Superstar Sang Yoon
Korean Recipes
Japanese Pantry Essentials

Trendspotting

Kimchi: The Korean Gateway Drug

Kimchi

Chef Edward Lee on how a bite of kimchi can turn you into a fire-breathing cabbage fiend.

Kimchi is so obviously and distinctly Korean that it distinguishes the cuisine from the rest of Asia. A verb, rather than a noun, you can "kimchi" anything, the same way you can pickle anything. It's sour, spicy, savory, salty and crunchy, with layers of flavor that come from fish sauce, ginger, garlic and chile flakes.

Kimchi is addictive, like a gateway drug to Korean cuisine. Even non-Korean chefs are finding ways to sneak it into their food. I've had it in paella at Toro in Boston, and stir-fried with tofu skin and served with seafood at San Francisco's State Bird Provisions. I think my absolute favorite example of kimchi fusion is the Korean quesadilla at Kogi in Los Angeles—the perfect American repackaging of melted cheese and kimchi.

This isn't authentic Korean food, clearly, but rather chefs riffing on Korean flavors and expanding the discussion. I'm exploring my own kind of mash-up cuisine at my new restaurant, MilkWood, in Louisville, Kentucky, where a fistful of kimchi lands improbably, but deliciously, in a simmering pot of collard greens.

Edward Lee is the chef-owner of 610 Magnolia and MilkWood in Louisville, KY. His debut cookbook, Smoke & Pickles, is out now. Read more from the September travel issue.

Related: Quick Kimchi Cucumbers Recipe
Traditional Napa Cabbage Kimchi Recipe
More Korean Recipes

Ice Cream

Pastry Chefs' Favorite Ice Cream Shops

Capogiro Gelato

If you're keeping track, there's a fair amount of ice cream–related crime happening. Last month in Washington, DC, a gunman carjacked an ice cream truck (no ice cream was taken). A month or so earlier, in upstate New York, charges were filed after a turf war broke out between Sno Kone Joe and Mr. Ding-a-Ling (those New York state ice cream vendors have inspired names).

I'd like to focus on the lighter side of ice cream. Specifically, F&W's Awesome Best New Pastry Chefs 2013 and their very favorite ice creams, from Pasadena to Brooklyn.

Carole's Custard; South Dennis, NJ
OddFellows Ice Cream Co., Brooklyn
From Bob Truitt; Ai Fiori, New York City and the Altamarea Group
"Carole's Custard was my favorite spot for soft serve and pretzel cones growing up. But the owners are now retired, and I work in NYC these days, so my new favorite spot is Sam Mason's OddFellows." (Mason's inspired flavors include cornbread, chorizo caramel swirl, blueberry buttermilk honey and manchego pineapple.) oddfellowsnyc.com

Capogiro, Philadelphia
From Monica Glass; Clio and Uni Sashimi Bar, Boston
"Capogiro is an awesome gelato place. They have a huge variety of flavors, and I always like to mix a few together—coconut and hazelnut, dulce de leche and goat's milk, macadamia nut and lime..." capogirogelato.com

21 Choices; Pasadena, CA
Black Dog Gelato, Chicago
Nielsen's Frozen Custard, Salt Lake City
From Stephanie Prida; Manresa, Los Gatos, CA
"I consider myself to be a big ice cream consumer. 21 Choices is actually a frozen yogurt shop, but they blend all their own frozen yogurt. I love it when they have the animal cracker flavor available.” 21choices.com

"Black Dog owner Jessica Oloroso used to just sell at small markets all over Chicago; she recently got her own space. My favorite flavor there is sesame fig." blackdogchicago.com

"And Nielsen's Frozen Custard. Fun fact: Utah has the highest amount of ice cream consumers in the country. This frozen custard place is out in the middle ofnowhere. They only serve three flavors: vanilla, chocolate and one rotatingflavor, like chocolate malted almond. I always get the rotating flavor." holladaycustard.com

Margie's Candies, Chicago
From Sarah Jordan; Boka and GT Fish & Oyster, Chicago
"Margie's is a fantastic old-school soda fountain and candy store, and they serve thelikes of turtle sundaes in big seashell-shaped bowls—super neat. I'm old-school; I love the root-beer floats and the fudge-turtle sundae." margiesfinecandies.com

The Ice Cream Man; Greenwich, NY
From Melanie Durant; Empire State South, Atlanta
"My all-time favorite ice cream ever is The Ice Cream Man, near my aunt's house. I always get Almond Joy. The Danish Cream is pretty darn good, too. I've been enjoying this stuff since I was a child. I even think Bobby Flay did a Throwdown there a few years back." (This is true: It was an Ice Cream Sundae Throwdown back in 2007, but Bobby's sundae won.) the-ice-cream-man.com

Related: Best Ice Cream Spots in the U.S.
F&W Bucket List: Best Summer Restaurants
Best Popsicles in the U.S.
Famous Chefs Get Nostalgic About Summer Foods

Andrew Zimmern's Kitchen Adventures

Peach Streusel Pie

Peach Streusel Pie

I love Colorado mountain peaches in August, and I buy cases of them. So the question of what to do with all of that fruit means some serious jam and pie work, come August at the Zimmern house. I am not a baker, not a pastry dude at all, but this "from scratch" pie is simple and easy, and the dough is very forgiving for the first-time pie maker. After you make this once, it's a foolproof experience. Last piece of salesmanship: Let me add my favorite pie noun—streusel. Once again in case you were daydreaming: streusel. It just says it all. SEE RECIPE »

See More of Andrew Zimmern’s Kitchen Adventures

Related: How to Make Perfect Pie Crust
Summer Pie Recipes
The Best Peach Pie Recipes

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