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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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The Hungry Crowd

Olivia Wilde's Favorite Comfort Foods

Actress Olivia Wilde.

Olivia Wilde, star of the new comedy Drinking Buddies, loves good IPAs and deep-fried PB&Js.

You recently Tweeted about eating a deep-fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich: "Never in my life has my stomach orgasmed so mightily." Where did you encounter such a thing?
Yeah, I didn't know that existed, and now I'm ruined. I'm gonna turn into Marlon Brando. I had it at the Malibu Inn, which is a great music venue and bar right on the Pacific Coast Highway. My fiancé ordered the deep-fried PB&J—they use waffle batter, so it's not too bready. The way the peanut butter and jelly melt together is far better than I could have imagined. It's pretty much the ultimate stoner food.

Your character in Drinking Buddies works at a brewery and constantly drinks beer—usually stout. What did you actually drink during production?
It was always real beer. I drank gallons of beer for this movie! We were getting a lot of it from Revolution Brewing, where our characters work in the movie, which is a real brewery in Chicago. Even though I'm Irish and I love Guinness, dark, dark, dark beers aren't usually my thing. I like a good, aromatic IPA.

Did you have a decent knowledge of beer before doing the movie?
It was all acquired in the process. On the first day, we were doing research at Three Floyds Brewing Company, and the wort—this boiling, thick, serum-y liquid—splashed into my eyeball. It did not feel good, but I wanted to play it cool and be tough, you know, because I didn't want to be a sissy. So I kept it together. Now I have become a total beer snob. I'm the annoying person who takes forever in the beer aisle at Whole Foods, because I'm standing there going, "Hmm. I'm not sure. I'm not sure if that's a good selection. Do you have anything in the back? Is this local? I've never heard of this one. How hoppy is this?" And other people are just like, "Please, move on."

How about wine?
Oh yeah, I'm a wino. I won't say there's one grape I like best, though, because I do like blends. Do you know The Prisoner? That's a blend of Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. That's just a fabulous wine. But my favorite wine of all time is a Napa Valley Cabernet called Scarecrow. It's mailing-list only, so it's hard to find, but if you ever see a bottle of Scarecrow, get it.

You mostly live in New York City these days. Any favorite restaurants?
I have recently fallen in love with an Italian restaurant downtown called Carbone. I've always found sea urchin to be too fishy, but at Carbone, they serve a sea urchin dish that is incredible. It's just garlicky and buttery and amazing. They also make the best linguine vongole I've ever had.

You've spoken about "self-medicating" with food during tough times. What are your comfort foods of choice?
For me, my number one comfort food—the food that really feels like a hug on the inside—is pasta. Probably a fresh linguine with arrabbiata sauce would be my top pick. Maybe I'd have some bread on the side, with some cheese or olive oil, too. I guess I crave the basic, carby things that we're not supposed to eat.

When I was in Japan a little while ago, I picked up the idea of having miso soup for breakfast, which I think is genius. When you wake up at 5 a.m. and you feel cold and nauseous, it fills you up and warms you up, and it's loaded with nutrients.

Related: The Hungry Crowd: Hugh Jackman
The Hungry Crowd: Scarlett Johansson
The Hungry Crowd: Anna Kendrick

Supermarket Sleuth

Chile Crush

F&W food editors apply their incredible cooking knowledge to explaining what to do with a variety of interesting ingredients.

Every few years we totally fall in love with a new chile, and this year’s crush is the awesome piment d’Espelette, which is produced exclusively in and around the town of Espelette in the Basque region of France and Spain. The pepper came from Mexico in the 16th century and it has been widely cultivated since then; in fact, it quickly replaced the then-more-costly black pepper in many of the traditional regional dishes. You can think of it as a milder, nuanced cousin of cayenne.

Here, it’s turning up on menus from coast to coast, in savory dishes from vegetables and fish to poultry and meats, and in cocktails, too. It’s prized for its nuanced flavor and subtle heat. Because of its AOC designation, piment d’Espelette is pricier than cayenne or any ground Mexican chiles. You can buy it on its own, but it’s also sold mixed with sea salt, in infused oil and as a sweet jelly—all forms are delicious. Watch out, chipotles, whole oil-packed piment d’Espelette peppers can’t be far behind. My current favorite way to use the chile it to mix it with mayonnaise and slather it on fish fillets or steaks before broiling.

Piment d’Espelette is available at specialty food and spice shops, and from The Ingredient Finder.

Related Links: Mild to Spicy Recipes
Global Grilling
How to Cook with Spices

Instanom

Chicken Doughnuts, Tomato Love and Star Chefs Who (Barely) Play Tennis

Why did the chicken cross the road? To gawk at the fried brioche doughnut glazed with maple chicken jus, stuffed with fried chicken and bacon and topped with candied pecans. That is just one of the many amazing dishes featured on F&W's Instagram over the last few days as part of Chicken Week. In fact, there's been so much happening on the platform of late that we felt it called for a song. (For more bad #chickenjokes, go to Twitter.)

To the tune of "My Favorite Things:"

♫ Brunch Bloody Marys and tiny fried fishes,

Braised lamb posole and Chicken Week dishes,

Chocolate chip cookies tied up with string... You get the idea.

Other highlights: Director of photography Fredrika Stjärne (@thirdness) showed us how to take advantage of this fantastic tomato season, while @jksterling sampled some winter-weight Tibetan momo chicken soup dumplings on a food-finding expedition to Jackson Heights, Queens.

The end of August saw the Food & Wine team split not just seasonally but intercontinentally. Restaurant editor Kate Krader was in Scandinavia for the annual food festival MAD as publisher Christina Grdovic @grdovic and others gathered for the Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival with a seemingly endless list of chefs.

Back in New York, the US Open kicked off with an impromptu Canadian-doubles match between chefs Masaharu Morimoto, David Burke and Tony Mantuano. The winner? Daisy the dog, who snuggled up at home reading her August issue of Food & Wine like all good #FWPets. Better late than never Daisy!

Follow F&W on Instagram.

Dr. Vino's Verdict

Why You Should Ask for Boxed Wine

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 we should try to shrink wine's carbon footprint? Drinking local wines helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused by transportation (worldwide consumption is estimated at the equivalent of 32 billion bottles yearly by one trade organization). Not everyone is fortunate enough to live next to a wine producing region of either quality or quantity, though: In the US, while 90 percent of the wine is produced in California, two-thirds of the population lives east of the Mississippi. It takes a lot of trucking to connect the two. Not to mention that most wine obsessives want variety. But an increasing number of good wines are being sold in lightweight packaging, which is a step in the right direction because it saves energy during shipping. The more consumers signal their willingness to buy quality wines in boxes, cartons and plastic bottles, the more good producers will be willing to package their wines in eco-friendlier ways.

An F&W-approved boxed wine to try: The spicy, berry-rich 2011 Domaine La Garrigon Côtes du Rhône.


Related: More from Dr. Vino
Affordable Dry Rosés
Chillable Reds

America's Most Wanted

Tyler Florence’s California-Fried Chicken

Tyler Florence's Fried Chicken

Tyler Florence insists that his signature fried chicken at Wayfare Tavern in San Francisco isn’t Southern-fried. “It’s California-fried,” he says. The intensive cooking process infuses the meat with incredible flavor. Florence starts with Mary’s organic chicken from Petaluma (a town once known as the chicken capital of the world because of its many poultry farms). He sous vides the breasts, legs and wings separately with olive oil, sage, rosemary and thyme then plunges the bags in ice water to stop cooking. After the pieces rest overnight, Florence drops the chicken into a buttermilk wash seasoned with hot sauce and salt. “Then we dip the chicken in my grandmother’s mixture of flour heavily seasoned with garlic powder, onion powder and salt and pepper,” he says. Finally, he fries the chicken in oil seasoned with fresh sage, rosemary and thyme. “The chicken comes out super crispy on the outside and incredibly soft on the inside,” he says. “It’s turned out the be the defining dish in the restaurant, and I’m very proud of it.”

Related: Tips from Chef Superstars
Best Fried Chicken in the U.S.
Delicious Fried Chicken Recipes

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