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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

Supermarket Sleuth

Ajvar: A Super Versatile Serbian Salsa (of Sorts)



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

I stumbled on this delicious, garlicky red bell pepper-and-eggplant condiment/spread/dip a couple of years ago when I was looking at jarred tomato sauces. When I looked it up online, I saw that those who make it from scratch refer to it as “Serbian salsa” or “Croatian relish.” Over the weekend, I used ajvar to make a superquick version of muhammara by pureeing it with walnuts (this is an expert’s version of the real thing). Ajvar is also great on its own, whether spicing up sandwiches, with eggs or with roasted meats or chicken. For an almost instant hors d’oeuvre, spread ajvar on toasts, top with goat cheese and broil. Some brands are spicier and more garlicky than others, but the heat level is usually indicated on the jar.

Here’s a nice recipe for starters: Roasted Cauliflower with Ajvar Dressing. Most well-stocked supermarkets carry at least one version of ajvar.

Related: More Amazing Condiments
Fantastic Party Dips
Brilliant Eggplant Recipes

Drink This Now

American Sparkling Cider Cocktails

Woodberry Tavern: Whiskey Smash

Whiskey Smash © Dusan Vuksanovic

With lightly sweet flavors and a soft fizziness, hard sparkling ciders from American craft producers are a fantastic fall alternative to sparkling wine or soda water in cocktails. At Woodberry Kitchen, the Whiskey Smash calls for cider that is made in the same way it was during colonial times. »

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Michael Mina to the Rescue


Despite the ocean of culinary wisdom floating around the F&W offices, I’m definitely guilty of not always fully reading recipes before creating a meal. Luckily, superstar chef Michael Mina has my back. He’s developed a new web video series called Cook Taste Eat, where he offer tips and tricks on how to prep a meal from start to finish. >>

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Wine Wednesday

5 Grapes to Expand Your Wine Horizons

© Cedric Angeles

© Cedric Angeles

Here in the U.S. of A., we drink a lot of Chardonnay—over 53 million cases of it from California alone. Cabernet Sauvignon, too; we love the stuff. Merlot, Pinot, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, bottle after bottle of those, too. And that's all well and good. But there are thousands of different wine grapes out there in the world, and with all that abundance, why not take a flier on an oddball but tasty option? Here are five lesser-known but nifty varieties to look for. »

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Style Find

3 Tips for Mixing Fall Florals at Home

Orangerie-Rose Zephirine Wallpaper

Photo courtesy of Designers Guild / Osborne & Little.

Florals for spring are nothing new, but this season fashion designers such as Dolce & Gabbana, Suno and Derek Lam unveiled them in dark, bold colors like burgundy, burnt orange, navy and magenta. To apply the look indoors, Dutch interior designer Barbara Groen recommends juxtaposing various prints as she did earlier this year for her project “Flower Power 101.” Here, Groen’s tips for creating the supermodern look at home, along with a slideshow of floral accents.

1. Focus. Pick one room or area of the house and try to stick to a certain style of patterns: big flowers or mini flowers, bright colors or soft colors.

2. Repeat colors. For example, if the pattern is pink, try to put something pink in the room, or let the same pink come back in another pattern.

3. Try wallpaper as art. You can cover a big board in a special pattern, then hang it on your wall or put it on a side table or fireplace.


Related: How to Work Neon at Home
Ikat: Modern Designs for a Traditional Pattern

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