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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Expert Guide

Daniel Boulud’s Oscar Party Tips

Red Carpet Cocktail

Red Carpet Cocktail Courtesy of Justine Sterling

On Sunday, star chef Daniel Boulud is hosting the only official East Coast Oscar party with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences at his flagship restaurant, Daniel. The evening mirrors the West Coast’s most glamorous Oscars event, the Governors Ball, which Wolfgang Puck has overseen for the past 19 years. “I always envy Wolfgang Puck in Los Angeles, so I am very proud to be doing my share in New York,” says Boulud.

While Boulud might make it to Hollywood one day—spot his cameo in the in the film Final Recipe this spring—he’s going all-out for the Academy in New York. Boulud created nominee-inspired dishes, like the Life of Pi tiger shrimp samosas, as well as sparkling Red Carpet cocktails with a vibrant base layer of cranberry gelée, and a three-course dinner. Here, he offers tips for adapting his megawatt viewing party at home. MORE »

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Supermarket Sleuth

Best Popcorn Crunch Ever!

Courtesy of Pop'd Kerns.
Courtesy of Pop'd Kerns.

Courtesy of Pop'd Kerns.

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

I’m a sucker for popcorn and all other toasty, savory corn snacks, from chips to corn nuts, to Halfpops and those Spanish imports called Quicos. Recently, one of my favorite versions, which was called Glad Corn and sold in pocket-size bags, disappeared from my health food store, only to reappear in a larger format and renamed Pop’d Kerns.

It resembles classic popcorn without the fluff, and with the kernel portion fried (I assume) until exploded and super-crispy. I’ve only had the plain version—and I think I’ll stick to that. They’re awesome and addictive straight out of the bag, but they also make wicked-good, nut-free, sweet-and-salty bark or rochers if you fold them into melted dark, milk or even white chocolate.

Related: F&W Editors' Favorite Snacks
Healthy Snacks
Tasty Snacks

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

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