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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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taste test tuesday

The Top Dip Mixes

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Dip taste test

 

While it’s easy to make a homemade dip, the right dry mix can expedite summer party prep. F&W staff sampled a variety of supermarket offerings, but found many of them to be too salty, too bland, or too processed-tasting. Two products earned top marks and feature the classic flavors our editors crave.

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Grace in the Kitchen

Hot Tamales in a Hot Minute

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Quick Chicken-and-Cheese Tamales // © Tina Rupp

Make tamales superfast by using store-bought rotisserie chicken and wrapping them in plastic to shorten steaming time. // © Tina Rupp

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.

It seems like a common thread is developing here that could be read as laziness. I like to think of it as efficiency and distillation. That and being able to get dinner on my table (and those of my working readers) at a reasonable hour. Tamales traditionally take a long time to prepare: The meat for the filling needs slow braising, the masa needs time to develop, the corn husks need time to soak, the tamales require time to assemble, and they take a surprisingly long time to steam.

Of course it's worth it, but not at 5:45 p.m. on a Tuesday evening after a full day at the office—or in my case, the kitchen. So, I've come up with a few shortcuts. First, I shred rotisserie chicken and fold it into the masa along with the rest of the filling ingredients. Then after forming the tamales, I wrap them in plastic to reduce steaming time to about 25 minutes (enough time to put together a salad and side vegetables). SEE RECIPE »

Related: More Southwestern/Tex-Mex Recipes
How to Make Tamales
Affordable Summer Recipes

Recipes

Thai-Style Grilled Beef and Potatoes Dance Their Dance

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Thai-Style Spicy Grilled Beef Salad with Potato Crisps

© Stephanie Meyer

Yam neua just might be my desert island beef salad. I discovered it about 23 years ago, when I spent a few months doing some restaurant-kitchen consulting work with Brian McNally, who owned Indochine and 150 Wooster—at the time, two of the most popular restaurants in New York City. Read more >

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Grace in the Kitchen

Pesto: A Summer Bounty

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Mixed-Herb Pesto // © Petrina Tinslay

Add butter to this parsley, mint and basil pesto for a sweet richness. // © Petrina Tinslay

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.

A quick trip to the farmers' market yielded huge bunches of basil, parsley and mint, which got put to good use, thanks to my food processor. I love adding butter to my pesto—it gives it such a sweet richness, especially when served with warm pasta, steamed beans or grilled corn. This time, I grilled some thick, well-oiled slabs of peasant bread, spread a good layer of pesto and topped them with gorgeous heirloom tomato slices. Divine! SEE RECIPE »

Related: More Pesto Recipes
Fast Pastas
Recipes Using Basil

Drink This Now

Colicchio & Sons Experiments with Boozy Kombucha

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Beyond Kombucha

Courtesy of Beyond Kombucha

Bars and restaurants across the US are starting to serve alcoholic versions the trendy probiotic tea Kombucha. Read more>

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