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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Best Cookbooks of All-Time

The Book That Changed How America Cooked

The French Laundry Cookbook

Getting a chef to pick a favorite cookbook is like asking a parent to choose her most-loved child. But F&W pressed great cooks around the country to reveal their top picks of all-time.

Chef: Michael Voltaggio

The Book: The French Laundry Cookbook by Thomas Keller, 1999

The French Laundry Cookbook changed everything in America,” Voltaggio says. “My mom bought it for me when I was an apprentice at The Greenbrier hotel, my first important job. It was unlike any other book by an American chef. You opened it and it made you start dreaming immediately about what you could do. It wasn’t just a book, it was a new standard, a new goal line for everyone else to aim for. The scary part is that now people cook out of it regularly at home. The other day I gave a regular customer a vacuum-sealed bag of our short ribs, with instructions on how to simmer them in a pot of hot water on his stove. He replied, ‘Can’t I just put it in my immersion circulator?’”

Related: Best Books for Food Lovers
Recipes from Thomas Keller
Recipes from Thomas Keller's Network

Beer Craft

4 Great Hoosier Beers

Pogue's Run Porter from Flat 12 Bierwerks

Indiana has one of the fastest-growing craft beer scenes in the country. So we asked Indianapolis chef Micah Frank of Black Market, who is collaborating on a beer with Sun King, for some of his favorite Hoosier brews.

Daredevil Brewing Co.: Muse
"An unfiltered and food-friendly Belgian-style ale."

Union Brewing: Apollo's Space Flight
"They make beer, like this Imperial Double IPA, two barrels at a time."

Three Floyds: Alpha King
"A big pale ale, from probably the state's best-known craft brewer."

Flat 12 Bierwerks: Pogue's Run Porter
"It has a lighter body than many porters, which makes it really drinkable."

Related: Ultimate Beer Guide
Train Yourself to be a Better Beer Taster
American Beer, Bourbon and More

Chef or Zombie?

Anita Lo From Head to Toe

Zombies are coming. You know it. We know it. But just because we'll all be joining the ranks of the undead doesn't mean we'll be giving up our foodie sensibilities. We're getting a head start on the impending zombie apocalypse by asking chefs how they hope to be consumed when the inevitable happens.

Here are chef Anita Lo's cannibalistic creations:

Knee Tartare with Marrow: If I were to be eaten by zombies, I would recommend they start with a tartare. I'm thinking my knees would make a good one, something along the lines of Andrew Carmellini's steak tartare at Lafayette. Those joints are pretty much pre-ground anyway with easy access to the bone marrow.
Grilled Heart with Anchovies: Next up, my heart. That would be good grilled. At least all of my exes seemed to think this was the best way to treat it. While its on the mend now, you'd want to pair it with some strong salty ingredients (such as anchovies) and some bracing acidity to counter any residual bitterness.
Slow Roasted Belly: For a main course, a long, slow roast or braise of the belly might be nice. Hopefully those methods would help tenderize the meat and the ample fat would help to keep it moist (generally, its better to go for younger, less stressed meat).
Whipped Brain with Fall Fruit: For dessert you could try using the brain. Here's where age might be advantageous--that muscle mass is semi coddled already so it would be easy to make a smooth, creamy dessert by whipping it up with some sugar and fall fruit.

Related: Offal Recipes: Nose to Tail Cooking
Delicious Chicken Liver Recipes
The World's Best Cities for Street Food

Expert Guide

11 Ways to Use Canned Coconut Milk

Coconut Chicken with Pickled Pepper Collards

The coconut water boom has ushered in something of a coconut milk renaissance. With its delicate tropical flavor and luscious texture, coconut milk remains an enduringly popular dairy alternative and a go-to pantry item for home cooks who love curry. Here, more ways to put the can in the cabinet to work. Read more >

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Andrew Zimmern's Kitchen Adventures

Bavarian Beer Hall Schweinshaxe

Bavarian Beer Hall Pork Shanks

This is the crispy beer hall pork shank that I have loved all over Austria, Germany and Eastern Europe. One night in Salzburg I went to the Augustiner beer hall with some friends for dinner and left there bound and determined to re-create this dish at home. It’s brined, cooked in fat and then quickly crisped in the same lard. It’s decadent. This is food for cold weather that’s meant to be shared with friends. Be sure to serve the shanks with plenty of red cabbage or kraut and rye bread, and go for a long walk after dinner. READ MORE »

See More of Andrew Zimmern's Kitchen Adventures

Related: More German Recipes
Pork Recipes and Cooking Tips
Fantastic Food Pairings for Beer

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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.

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