Rosemary won’t just make your food more delicious—it might also make you more intelligent. A recent study from the University of Northumbria, UK, found that the oils responsible for rosemary’s intense scent improve mental speed and accuracy. Improve your cognition with a superfast, one-pan dinner of Sautéed Chicken Breasts with Fennel and Rosemary.
Latina chefs are moving into the spotlight, according to the Associated Press. Miami-based Michelle Bernstein, owner ofboth Michy's and Sra. Martinez, believes that Latin cuisine is matriarchal by tradition. "We all grew up around mom in the kitchen, that's just how it was," she says. "And maybe that just better represents what Latin food is, coming from the momma." Underscoring the importance of gathering around the table, Bernstein's Mixed Grill with Chimichurri Sauces and Roasted Peppers, which features both chicken breasts and livers, is best served family style for a vibrant and hearty feast.
In Well-Fed Vegetarian, chefs spotlight fantastic Food & Wine recipes that are worth forgoing meat.
The Next Iron Chef winner Geoffrey Zakarian created this creamy polenta-and-mushroom-ragout recipe out of his love for porridge. "I wanted to come up with something that was the same consistency," he says, "but could be eaten at other meals." For a more filling main course, Zakarian recommends adding even more mushrooms, like porcini and giant cremini, to the wild mix, which includes chanterelles and shiitake.
While Zakarian originally used chicken stock to enrich the ragout, the natural earthiness of the mushrooms and various herbs will also work well with vegetable stock. For extra umami, you can opt for organic vegetable bouillon cubes (like the ones from from Rapunzel) dissolved in water. As for the polenta, the natural cornmeal flavor comes through most when cooked with plain old H2O.
If you ever get a chance to go into space, don't forget the hot sauce. As strange as it sounds, NPR explains that astronauts crave Tabasco sauce because zero gravity causes them to lose their sense of smell, resulting in dulled taste buds. If scientists could only dehydrate it, the space shuttle could serve this Southern Baked Chicken Casserole from Jennifer Nettles. Nettles adds Tabasco to a quick, creamy white sauce that coats the chicken. Astronaut-level heat-lovers can always add a few dashes more.
Many Americans are taking to the kitchen to better understand their genealogy, according to the Wall Street Journal. Using vintage cookbooks, family testimonials and sense memories, home cooks can recreate long-lost recipes. Chefs have always looked to their family heritage for inspiration. For F&W's Jerk Cornish Game Hens, chef Bradford Thompson honored his wife's Jamaican background, basing the spicy jerk sauce on her family’s recipe. Its complex heat is equally delicious on grilled chicken.
Following a whopping three-out-of-four-starreview of Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria, the casual Italian gourmet-shop-cum-restaurant, New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells continues to surprise readers today by awarding a star to Danny Meyer’s burger chain, Shake Shack. While Wells admits that the quality of a Shake Shack burger can be inconsistent, he declares that, “on occasion it was magnificent, as beefy and flavorful as the outer quarter-inch of a Peter Luger porterhouse.” Even if you can't stop into one of Meyer's cult quick-serve joints, burgers can make fast and satisfying weeknight dinners at home. Healthier than beef, these Spicy Chicken Burgers are poached in broth to keep them moist and flavorful, then served on pita bread with an avocado mash.
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.
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.
© Tina Rupp
Green Chicken Masala.
© John Kernick
Kung Pao Drumsticks
While we know you're consumed by our inaugural race to name the People's Best New Pastry Chef in America (vote here through February 14!), music aficionados will tune in to another competition this Sunday: the Grammy Awards. These party-friendly Kung Pao Chicken Drumsticks are Grammy Award–winning rapper Ludacris’s favorite dish from his Atlanta restaurant, Straits. Though his restaurant recently closed, the Szechuan-inspired dish is still a hot take-away. "The sauce is so well-spiced, and the meat just falls off the bone," Ludacris says.