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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Tasting Room

The Luke Wilson of Wine, Not Quite the Leading Grape

Ray Isle Illustration by Kathryn Rathke
Ray Isle Illustration by Kathryn Rathke

Ray Isle Illustration by Kathryn Rathke

It’s rare that one family will tolerate two stars. Think about it—Alec Baldwin? Definitely a star. Other Baldwins? Sort of famous, but just not quite real stars. Ditto Owen Wilson and Luke Wilson. Luke, excellent actor, really appealing on-screen, but just doesn’t quite have the particular audience-drawing whatever-it-is-ness that his oddly nosed older brother has. The same is pretty much true of wine regions. Usually, one grape gets to be the star. Napa Valley, for instance, produces a lot of very good Merlot, Petite Sirah, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc—but Cabernet Sauvignon is without doubt the leading grape there. 5 great red wines. »

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Andrew Zimmern's Kitchen Adventures

Perfect Chinese Dumplings at Home

Boiled Chinese Dumplings

Photo © Stephanie Meyer.

Ring in the Year of the Snake with these superb dumplings. The recipe is much easier than you’d think and they can be made in advance, frozen on baking sheets and then bagged. Frozen dumplings take a little longer to boil but the quality is still strong. I have to say, there is something magical about the addition of the minced boiled cabbage—it’s what makes these dumplings light and highly addictive. And you will use this dumpling sauce for the rest of your life, I promise. SEE RECIPE »

See More of Andrew Zimmern’s Kitchen Adventures

Grace in the Kitchen

Microwave Magic

© Jonny Valiant
© Jonny Valiant

Instead of croutons, consider making these crisp little chorizo
bites to crunch up your salad. © Jonny Valiant

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.

Before I had kids, I would never have owned a microwave. It was almost a point of pride that I didn't have one—so bourgeois. Cold coffee would've been poured down the drain and a fresh cup brewed—ah, the indulgences of single living—but now it's indispensable in the kitchen. Baked potatoes can be an afterthought, as can toasting nuts or melting butter. However, I do still finish off the potatoes in a toaster oven for five minutes to crisp the skin. And don't forget the obvious tasks that required lots of gas, electricity and time, like rewarming leftovers and sterilizing manky dish sponges. Mmm.

Recently, I've even used the microwave for more ambitious things, like making beef jerky and homemade vegetable crisps and chorizo chips, which are a crunchy cross between bacon bits and croutons. I've even crumbled the crispy chips and folded them into softened butter, which is amazing on baked potatoes (thank you, microwave X2) or pasta or spreading on crusty bread. They're pretty awesome in salads, which may be my favorite use, because they're salty, meaty and crunchy—and, because the fat has been completely rendered, they're surprisingly lean. SEE RECIPE »

Related: Easy Weekday Recipes
Fast Weeknight Meals
A Lesson in Cupboard Cooking

Tasting Room

President's Day Wines

President Andrew Jackson. © Bettmann / CORBIS
President Thomas Jefferson. © Bettmann / CORBIS

President Thomas Jefferson. © Bettmann / CORBIS

When it comes to Presidents and wine, there’s pretty much one name floating around out there: Thomas Jefferson. He made a number of attempts to grow grapes and make wine at his Monticello estate; during the five years he served as U.S. Minister to France, he undertook at least two lengthy tours of French, Italian and German wine regions; he had wine shipped to him in the U.S. from many of Europe's greatest estates; and he built a subterranean wine cellar for himself, complete with iron-barred, fortified, double-locked door (no one was getting their greedy hands on ol’ Thos. J’s private stash). So what did Jefferson drink? A lot of things: Madeira, Port, Sauternes, Bordeaux (he was particularly fond of Château Haut-Brion), Champagne, Hermitage, Rhine and Mosel Riesling, Sherry, Tuscan reds, Volnay and Montrachets from Burgundy, you name it. Here are a few wines from some of his favorite regions. »

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Supermarket Sleuth

Dreamy Yogurt

Courtesy of Dreaming Cow Creamery
Courtesy of Dreaming Cow Creamery

Courtesy of Dreaming Cow Creamery

F&W Executive Food Editor Tina Ujlaki applies her incredible cooking knowledge to explaining what to do with a variety of interesting ingredients.

Given a choice of yogurt flavors, I’ll always opt for plain, and I prefer it tangy and unstrained. I don’t even mind if it’s runny. That said, I’m always on the lookout for new brands and new flavors, hoping I’ll find one that I like. I just discovered Dreaming Cow—made in Georgia by dairy farmers who learned about yogurt-making on the South Island of New Zealand. It’s a farmstead yogurt, made exclusively from the milk from their grass-fed Jersey-cross herd.

Since there was no plain to be had, I picked up the ginger-maple. Two spoonfuls are enough to get a good sense of what a yogurt has to offer, but I ended up eating the entire container (it was small). It was the best flavored yogurt I’ve ever tried—not too sweet but with a lovely hint of maple and a clean, just-pungent-enough fresh ginger flavor. The texture is luscious and light, somewhere between a light custard and a just-barely-set panna cotta. Of course, it’s not low-fat—that would be asking too much!—but I can’t wait to try the other flavors.

Related: How to Make Homemade Yogurt
How to Cook with Yogurt
Yogurt: The New Superfood

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