Every year, my friends and I have a designated “Day of Sloth,” when we spend the entire day indoors watching movies and eating gluttonous foods like meatballs
, salted brownies
and “crack dip
.” That last one, the dip, is the creation of a friend who is prohibited under penalty of death to share the recipe. Since she won’t be able to attend this year, she gave me a rare gift: her spice mix (all I have to do is add some cream cheese, sour cream, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco). I passed the mix around the office to see what we could discern, and the guesses were as far-ranging as chile powder, Old Bay, curry and garlic powder. (I’m personally convinced the stuff is laced with MSG.) Until I can squeeze the full recipe out of my friend, I guess I’ll have to be content having these F&W favorites. There are worse fates! Caramelized Onion DipFresh Goat Cheese and Crispy Shallot DipFrench Onion Dip
I've always been a fan of Super Bowl parties, but I'm even more excited for soccer's World Cup—who can resist a monthlong extravaganza as an excuse to throw a summer barbecue? A friend of mine is hosting a party on Saturday afternoon to watch the U.S. vs. England game. She's British, as are most of the guests, but there's a strong American contingent attending to keep the emotions running high. The host is making Pimm's Cup
—a great drink for a crowd
, and very British to boot—and grilling hot dogs
. I'm planning on bringing a Chipotle-Corn Salad
(at left), though other room-temperature salads, like Pasta Salad with Grilled Sausages and Peppers
, would be fantastic as well. Here are 25 more recipes
to bring to a World Cup party.
Poor Heidi Montag. The reality TV star has been relentlessly scrutinized in the tabloids for undergoing ten plastic surgery procedures in a day. And in the recent season premiere of her show, MTV’s The Hills
, she goes home to Crested Butte, Colorado, only to get criticized by her family over dinner at The Timberline Restaurant
. Heidi's stepfather says her face is more structured (“like you’re frozen"). But the biggest embarrassment comes after she attempts to eat her burger
: “I can’t really chew it,” she admits. Her mom's snarky response: “Do you want me to put it in a blender for you?”
Here, a few no-chew post-op recipes for Heidi or anyone who hasn't had an eyebrow lift, nose job, cheek and lip injections, shaved chin, ear pinning, breast augmentation, back “shaping," and inner and outer thigh liposuction:Strawberry-Almond Smoothie
(pictured)Creamy Tomato SoupVanilla Bean-Whipped Sweet PotatoesVenetian Lemon Shake
Our May story on Bonny Doon and the brilliant chef behind their new Tasting Room, Charlie Parker, inspired me to try pairing vegetarian dishes with big red wines at home. If only I had the professional finesse of Bonny Doon. Earlier this week Ray Isle gave me half a case of big reds from the F&W tasting room for the experiment, which I was about to take on the subway when it started to pour. Since I had to hold an umbrella with one hand, I could only grab two of the six bottles with the other: a 2007 Praxis Lagrein and a 2006 Masi Campofiorin. Then, once I was at home I discovered the Campofiorin was corked.
I made my stuffed red bell peppers anyway, filling them with cooked red quinoa and feta cheese, and simmering them in a tomato sauce spiked with a pinch of chile flakes. Finally I tried them with the Lagrein. They tasted just how you'd imagine stuffed bell peppers would, if they'd been garnished with blueberry jam. I had much better luck with the 2009 Hofer Grüner Veltliner in my refrigerator: the faint floral notes married well with the juicy bell peppers, while the white pepper and zippy acidity lightened the rich stuffing. But there is nothing big nor is there anything red about Grüner-Veltliner, though it may be one of the most vegetable-friendly white wines out there. So I'm going to take a page out of Randall Grahm's book and try again.
Meanwhile, enjoy these brilliant vegetarian pairings from Charlie Parker:
• Savoy Cabbage and Sunchoke Pizzas with a Dolcetto
• Smoky Ribollita with a Sangiovese
• Roasted Turnips and their Greens, with a Syrah
What can you cook with no spices other than salt? This is not a Top Chef
Quickfire Challenge—it's just the issue I had to deal with last week, when I stayed at a beachside condo in the Florida Keys and needed to make dinner for my family. I wanted to spend my time relaxing, not cooking (not that cooking isn't fun, but you know what I mean), and I didn't want to buy a lot of ingredients that I’d just have to throw away when we left. Two recipes that fit the bill: chef Thomas Keller’s BLT Fried Egg-and-Cheese Sandwich
(pictured)—I buttered the toast instead of using mayo and added sliced avocado—and Spaghetti with Shrimp and Spicy Tomato Sauce
from my friend (and former F&W editor) Jane Sigal
. This easy recipe uses mostly pantry ingredients (I often substitute a 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes for the fresh if tomatoes aren't in season), plus I skipped the basil and substituted a jalapeño for the dried chiles. I'd love to hear other recipe suggestions for future trips, if anyone has thoughts.
I'm very lucky to be married to a builder for so many reasons: From major renovations to minor repairs, he's always ready to help. He even customizes kitchen tools for me. My most recent request was for him to cut me an eight-inch length of three-quarter-inch PVC pipe from his scrap pile, so I could roll out dough for Asian dumplings.
Standard rolling pins are too long and heavy. I've made dumplings using wooden dowels, but we don't seem to have many lying around. Broom handles are great, but then you have to cannibalize your broom. PVC (polyvinyl chloride pipe-a combination of plastic and vinyl) is perfect: smooth, lightweight and easy to customize.
While gefilte fish has no symbolic reason for being invited to the Passover table, one cannot underestimate the power of nostalgia. And that’s gefilte fish’s main virtue. (The dish was originally prized for its economy: It stretched a bit of boneless white fish with fillers such as matzo meal, carrots and sweetened fish stock that turned to jelly.) I’ve concluded that the best way to get people to love gefilte fish is not to serve it at all. For the six remaining nights of Passover, here are six delicious alternatives
: herb-broiled fish with lemon aioli
(pictured), grilled halibut with tomato butter
, and tilapia with tomato and artichoke sauce
Although I’m a hard-core fan and consumer of bacon the rest of the year, during the eight days of Passover I keep kosher. After two nights of amazing 10-course meals at my mother’s home for the seders, I’ll be cooking some lighter recipes for the remaining days of Passover. Here are a few kosher for Passover recipes I’m planning to try:
What we love to eat and drink could be more linked to the stars than our stomachs, at least according to astrologist Shelley von Strunckel, who recently attended a tasting with the guys from WineChap for the F&W story A Stellar Zodiac Party. By reviewing restaurant wine lists in New York City, the U.K. and Hong Kong, WineChap’s main objective is to point wine drinkers toward the best bottles. To show off its irreverent side, WineChap holds wacky tastings, including "Drink Like Bond" and “Wines for Signs.” In honor of the beginning of the new zodiacal year tomorrow (linked to the Spring Equinox), here are recipes to please every sign.
Recipes for Zodiac Signs
© Con Poulos
Rice Pudding with Poached Rhubarb
Tomorrow is the first official day of spring and Tom Colicchio is all a-Twitter about ramps
. “It’s spring in NY bring on the ramps,” he Tweeted yesterday. He’s not the only chef excited about spring ingredients: At a recent benefit event for C-CAP
, Shaun Hergatt
from SHO Shaun Hergatt
told me that he can't wait to cook with spring peas and is planning to serve them with sous-vide lamb; Craig Koketsu
of the seasonally-driven restaurant Park Avenue Spring
is impatiently anticipating rhubarb.
Here are a few recipes for ramps, spring peas and rhubarb to help kick off the season. Plus, check out these 100+ recipes in F&W’s Guide to Fresh Spring Produce
:White Cheese Pizza with RampsSpring Peas with Mint Rice Pudding with Poached Rhubarb