My F&W
quick save (...)

Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

RSS
Recipes

New Orleans Chef Up for James Beard Award

default-image

This morning, the James Beard Foundation announced the semifinalists for the 2012 James Beard Awards. As if New Orleans didn't have enough to celebrate today with Mardi Gras raging through town, one of the nominees for the esteemed Outstanding Chef category is NOLA's Donald Link of Herbsaint and Cochon. For our Chef Recipes Made Easy column, Link shared this spiced Crispy Chicken Leg Confit, which F&W simplifies by cooking the meat in pantry-ready olive oil as opposed to duck fat. If you season the chicken tonight, you can bake it for a flavorful weeknight meal tomorrow.

Related: More Recipes from New Orleans Chefs
New Orleans Cocktails
Great Chef Recipes Made Easy

Cooking

Chicken Gumbo for Mardi Gras

default-image

In New Orleans on Tuesday, revelers will celebrate Mardi Gras with wild parades, never-ending parties and delicious Cajun and Creole food. Home cooks can take part in the holiday by making Chicken-and-Okra Gumbo. This simplified version of the intensely flavorful stew uses precooked rotisserie chicken, canned stock and easy-to-find Cajun seasoning.

Related: Mardi Gras Recipes
New Orleans Cocktails
More Chicken Recipes

Recipes

The World's Hottest Pepper

default-image

Experts at New Mexico State University’s Chile Pepper Institute announced that a variety of chile known as the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion is the hottest chile pepper in the world. It's the fieriest among a class of peppers so spicy that their heat-creating capsaicin compounds permeated scientists' latex gloves during harvesting. True heat enthusiasts will soon be placing orders for hot sauces made from the ultra-spicy chile, but the rest of us can stick with just-spicy-enough jalapeños. Used fresh in Charles Phan’s Spicy Lemongrass Chicken, jalapeños add bite and desirable heat to this incredibly flavorful and superfast wok dish.

Related: Hot and Spicy Recipes
Southeast Asian Dishes
Fast Chicken Recipes

Cocktails

Rethinking the Bloody Mary

default-image

Typically relegated to brunch and used as a hair-of-the-dog hangover cure, the Bloody Mary is attracting the attention of mixologists, who are blending everything from balsamic vinegar to sausage into the salty-savory mix of tomato juice and vodka.

This month, a refined recipe by Yana Volfson, the head bartender at Freemans and Peels in New York City, took first prize against 17 other restaurants at the inaugural “Eat, Drink and Bloody Mary” contest. When she first arrived at the event, Volfson was intimidated by the variety of over-the-top cocktails, like a Mango Mary and an intense, anchovy-garnished version.

“The Bloody Mary has become a way of having breakfast within a cup,” Volfson says. By comparison, her entry was a relatively subtle departure from the original. Volfson’s requirements: approachable, balanced and not too thick. Instead of Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice (which she thinks can taste harsh), she uses balsamic vinegar and caper-berry brine to add acidity.

Both Peels and Freemans serve the winning recipe as their house Bloody Mary, but Peels also features a Red Snapper, made with floral gin instead of vodka and garnished with a crunchy radish to add a spicy element. A retired Peels favorite, which may soon make a comeback, is the Hairy Mary, made with homemade harissa, spicy ginger and smoky mescal and garnished with a sweet, crunchy carrot to contrast the drink’s heat. While creating it, Volfson was thinking about the spices in merguez, a North African lamb sausage. But unlike some new bars, she chose to simply be inspired by the sausage, rather than include it in the drink. “I generally try to keep the meat out of my cocktail,” she says.

For more inspired Bloody Marys, check out the bars below:

Veselka Bowery, New York City: Veselka’s new outpost uses kielbasa-infused Russian Standard vodka in their signature Bloody Mary and garnishes the hearty drink with a swizzle stick of either cabanossi (a dry sausage) or beef jerky—depending on what looks better at the butcher shop.

Barceloneta, Miami Beach: The South Beach tapas bar blends a fresh gazpacho, made with cream, with vodka and dry Manzanilla sherry for a rich Spanish take on the classic.

Playa, Los Angeles: This Latin spot’s new Via Maria is made with mezcal, seasoned tomato juice and chipotle chiles. With a molecular-gastronomy flourish, mixologistJulian Cox tops the smoky drink with a celery-tomatillo espuma (foam).

Related: 50 Best Bars in America
Delicious Bloody Mary Recipes
Great Brunch Recipes

(Pictured: Zee Spotted Pig Bloody Mary)

Recipes

Fast Indian: Chicken Masala

default-image

Green Chicken Masala

© Tina Rupp
Green Chicken Masala.

By adopting the design-your-own model used by national chains like Subway and Chipotle, some Indian restaurant owners hope to turn curries and roti into popular fast food, reports the New York Times. “We realize that some of this food can be intimidating to non-Indian consumers,” explains Sanjay Kansagra, the owner of Chutney’s in Cambridge, MA, “so we put them in control of their meal.” For those who would rather learn about the cuisine by doing, cooking Indian food can also be quick and easy. This Green Chicken Masala recipe by Vikram Sunderam is a simplified version of a traditionally slow-cooked Indian classic that’s ready in just 45 minutes.

Related: Easy Indian Dishes
Light and Tasty Stews
Fast Chicken Recipes

advertisement
The Dish
Receive delicious recipes and smart wine advice 4x per week in this e-newsletter.
The Wine List Weekly pairing plus best bottles to buy.
F&W Daily One sensational dish served fresh every day.
advertisement

Tune in on Wednesdays at 10PM ET for Top Chef: Boston, the 12th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

Already looking forward to next year (June 19-21, 2015)? Relive your favorite moments from the culinary world's most sensational weekend in the Rocky Mountains.