© Rick Poon / Thai Chicken Soup
London is full of amazing restaurants, but Olympic athletes can’t entrust their diets to just anyone. The U.S. team installed its own nutrition center and dining hall with staff who know exactly what an athlete needs—like a recovery shake for an underweight wrestler or a calorie-packed dinner for an exhausted swimmer. But it’s not just protein shakes and plain pasta. The center provides a wide selection of foods so that the athletes will actually enjoy refueling. “About seven years ago, we took nutrition science and merged it with culinary arts, and we now call it our performance-based menu,” says the U.S. Olympic Committee’s associate director of food and nutrition services to Outside Magazine. “We’re the only country in the world that is providing this level of food service.” While there are burgers, a full salad bar, a deli and more, the most popular dish in the dining hall is a Thai chicken noodle soup. F&W’s version of the tangy, spicy soup uses rice instead of noodles and creamy coconut milk for a filling dinner that's also superfast.
Related: Delicious Chicken Soups
Fast Thai Dishes
Healthy Asian Recipes
© Stephanie Meyer / Chicken Skewers
Tonight, F&W contributing editor Andrew Zimmern will host the 100th episode of Bizarre Foods on the Travel Channel at 9/8 p.m. CST. The season six premiere will be preceded by an hour-long retrospective featuring highlights from Zimmern's quest to travel the globe and sample the world’s weirdest, tastiest and at times squirmiest foods (like giant coconut worms). In his Kitchen Adventures series for foodandwine.com, Zimmern likes to adapt some of his exotic finds into delicious, never-scary recipes for home cooks. He found inspiration for these Golden Coin Chicken-Shrimp Skewers with Peanut Sauce in Guangzhou, China, but likes to serve them Thai-style in lettuce wraps. They're the perfect finger food for a Bizarre viewing party.
Related: More Recipes from Andrew Zimmern
Street Food Adventures
Andrew Zimmern's Kitchen Adventures
As a young boy growing up in New York City, we would spend our summers on the South Fork of Long Island. My dad would take me down to the beach at low tide, we would walk a mile down to the jetties and he would lower me by my ankles into the crevices between the massive boulders to grab at huge ropes of mussels. We would crab on Georgica pond for fun, pull clams out of Gardiners Bay, fish for porgies and snappers and make up any deficits for our Saturday dinners at the local seafood store. I thought we were foraging, but now that I am a dad, I realize this was my pop’s way of staying sane on rainy days with a seven-year-old to look after. We would haul our treasure home and my mother would make a superb summer fish stew out of whatever we brought in the door. My mom was as brilliant a cook as my dad is. She passed away a few months ago, and I am recooking my way through her recipe bin. My mother went to college at Mills, in San Francisco, and she roomed with Trader Vic Bergeron’s daughter. Vic taught them to cook late at night in the kitchen of the original outpost of the international Polynesian restaurant concept that still bears his name. Vic loved to eat, according to my mom, and while pupu platters were more his thing when it came to selling food, he loved the cuisine of northern California and made sure my mom knew how to make a simple cioppino before she graduated.
This easy and simple tomato-and-wine-spiked seafood stew is a Bay Area staple. Cioppino was supposedly created in the late 19th century by Portuguese and Italian fishermen who settled in the region from Genoa, Italy. Like all these types of dishes, it was first made on the boats while the men were out at sea and then found its way into the Italian restaurants that exploded on the scene in San Francisco. The name comes from ciuppin, a Ligurian word meaning “to chop” or “chopped,” which described a fisherman’s chore of chopping up scraps and bits of the day’s catch that weren’t sellable.
This recipe has been in my family since the early ’50s in one way or another and I love it. Serve it with plenty of toasts made from sourdough boule and a large, bracing green salad.
Go to Recipe: Cioppino with Mussels
See More of Andrew Zimmern’s Kitchen Adventures
The Week in Food
Potpie Topped with Sliced Bread; © Stephanie Foley
Sliced bread is such an American standard that it's easy to forget that the boon to quick sandwiches and buttery morning toast is a 20th century luxury. Inventor Otto Frederick Rohwedder spent more than a decade perfecting the prototype for a machine that could both slice bread and wrap it to prevent staleness. Missouri’s Chillicothe Baking Company snagged his revolutionary design, and sold the first loaf of mechanically sliced bread on July 7, 1928.
Today, packaged bread remains a go-to kitchen shortcut. F&W's Grace Parisi even uses it to replace labor-intensive pastry crust in her fast Skillet Chicken-and-Mushroom Potpie, topped with slices of buttered white bread that become beautifully browned in the oven.
Follow Jasmin on Twitter @jasminsun.
Related: F&W’s Ultimate Bread Guide
Best Grilled Cheese in the U.S.