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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Recipes

Halloween at Food & Wine’s Office

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© Alessandra Bulow
From left: Rory Tischler, Jon (Smooth) Varriano & Seton Rossini man the bar at The Old F&W Art Saloon

Halloween is two days away but the art department staff of Food & Wine’s marketing team is kicking off the festivities today by transforming their office space into The Old F&W Art Saloon. In addition to dressing up in awesome 19th-century Western costumes, they’re serving beef chili with beans, buttery corn bread and fantastic homemade black pepper beef jerky.

(Last year they dressed as the Simmons Family including Top Chef judge and F&W’s own Gail Simmons, Gene Simmons and Richard Simmons—no relation.)

Scrounging for a last-minute Halloween costume or party idea? Get inspiration from F&W's Dress Like a Chef and Halloween Party slideshows.

Recipes

An Insider’s Guide to Argentine Wine Country

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Last week, Laura Catena of Argentina’s famous Bodega Catena Zapata stopped by the Food & Wine office with her new book, Vino Argentino: An Insider’s Guide to the Wines and Wine Country of Argentina. I was seriously contemplating buying a plane ticket to Buenos Aires as I flipped through the dreamy photos of vineyards in the Uco Valley and enormous asado feasts.

I’ve yet to visit Argentina, but Catena’s guide is an essential primer with fascinating stories of the region’s pioneering winemakers and immigrant history, cultural observations on the Argentine lifestyle, and great travel tips on everything from where and what to eat and drink to asking a local friend to book your hotel (some hotels have special rates for Argentines). In the last chapter, Catena even maps out her perfect 14-day luxe wine country itinerary; she includes maps in the back of the book. I won’t be able to squeeze in a trip this year, so instead, I tried to transport myself by cooking a recipe from the book—spicy emapanadas salteñas from Argentina’s Salta province—and pairing them with Catena’s gorgeous Alamos Torrontés, a white made with grapes from Salta’s high-altitude vineyards.

Recipes

Dave Chang in the Food & Wine Test Kitchen

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© kate krader
Dave Chang and Grace Parisi team up in the F&W Test Kitchen.

I’m so happy about the trend of visiting chefs, who temporarily take over their colleagues’ kitchens (Animal restaurant in Los Angeles has been exemplary in offering up its kitchen to chefs like Jeremy Fox, and you’ll hear more about that in our January '11 issue). And then there’s Dave Chang, who is working on a pop-up restaurant in Food & Wine’s Test Kitchen. Ha! Actually he’s here talking through his Korean vegetable recipes with F&W's Grace Parisi—you’ll see those dishes in our March issue. You can't believe how quickly Dave and Grace teamed up to make hand-torn noodles for an outstanding Korean shiitake soup. So stay tuned. If they start a little pork-bun kiosk in the Test Kitchen, you’ll hear it here first.

Recipes

Dream Cooking with Melissa Clark on GMA

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© Lucy Schaeffer

I don't get to spend much time in the kitchen—one pitfall of being a restaurant editor. But every Wednesday I dream cook via Melissa Clark's excellent Good Appetite series in the New York Times's Dining Out section. (I also cook vicariously when she contributes to F&W magazine.) Now Clark has given me 150 of her recipes in one place—100 of which are brand new—in the just-out cookbook In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite. Each great dish comes with a great story; Clark is as good a storyteller as she is a cook. She’s also sympathetic to lazy cooks; a duck confit from Blue Ribbon's Bromberg brothers inspires her to make a super easy version with no additional fat (it’s called, fittingly, Really Easy Duck Confit). Should you need more evidence of how simple and great Clark's recipes are, you can watch her make her chicken fingers on Good Morning America on Friday, October 1 at 8.50 a.m. They sound so good, it just might get me into the kitchen.

Recipes

Fashionista Recipes

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jason wu

© Michael Turek
Jason Wu learns the secret to perfect macarons.


Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week kicks off in New York City tomorrow and anyone who has been following the September fashion magazine previews should know that the hourglass figure is in this season. To celebrate the backlash of the über-thin model and the comeback of curves, here are some delicious recipes from food-obsessed fashion designers.

Asian party recipes from the boundary-pushing team at Opening Ceremony.

Michelle Obama’s design darling, Jason Wu, is addicted to François Payard’s French macarons.

An over-the-top dinner party menu of braised veal osso buco, saffron risotto and sautéed broccoli rabe from entertaining and design genius Naeem Khan.

Southern-inspired potluck dishes from Natalie Chanin of Alabama Chanin and her closest food and fashion friends.



Recipes

The (Food) Situation on MTV’s Jersey Shore: Season 2 Premiere

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Snooki's discovers fried pickles in the seson two premiere of MTV's Jersey Shore

© Wendell T. Webber

Love it or hate it (4.8 million people seem to love it), MTV’s Jersey Shore is back. Between all the tanning, fist pumping, fighting, “beating up the beat” and GTL (Gym, Tan, Laundry) in last night’s premiere of the second season, the cast surprisingly manages to find time to eat and drink:

- Before leaving for her road trip to Miami with JWOWW, Snooki feeds meatballs using her mouth to her boyfriend of two months, Emilio. "Well, I'm done Snookin' for love," she says. "I found an amazing gorilla juice head.”

- En route, JWOWW and Snooki stop at a bar in Savannah, Georgia, where they encounter an awkward fist-pumping local and Snooki discovers fried pickles. “It puts pickles on a whole other level,” she says.

- Once the gang arrives at the house, Ronnie makes a batch of his aptly named "Ron Ron Juice," a fuchsia-colored beverage with watermelon, cherries, cranberry juice and vodka. It turns into a filthy night, especially for Ronnie’s ex-girlfriend Sammi “Sweetheart”:  her closet collapses and Ron Ron Juice spills all over her clothes. "Of course it gets on all my white shorts," she says.

We offer more food- and drink-related highlights—or should they be called low-lights?—from season one of the hit show here.

Farms

Favorite New Tool for Summer Preserves

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© Deborah Jones

As farmers' markets burst with tomatoes, blackberries, peaches, plums and nectarines, I unpack and dust off my summer preserving tools. I buy new rubber gaskets for my canning jars, cheesecloth for straining berries, and enough sugar to bury a small animal.

By far my favorite tool for preserving is the food mill. In years past, when making fruit jams or tomato sauce, I would simmer fruit, mash it, then strain it through a fine-meshed sieve—entirely too much work for me nowadays. With a food mill, though, I can combine the mashing and straining into one step. The resulting puree is silky smooth and free of skins and seeds.

In "The Primary Pantry" in our August issue, I preserve a whole bunch of summery things—beans, garlic, tomatoes, corn, chiles, herbs and berriesand recommended a food mill for preparing the tomato sauce and fruit butters

At a recent All-Clad press event, I was super impressed by their brand-new food mill and wished it had been available when I was developing these recipes (in the dead of winter). The discs have tiny raised teeth to catch the skin and seeds as the handle is spun, allowing more of the puree to be passed through. The legs are rubberized for better stability and the knob feels great in my hands. Luckily, with summer in full swing, there’s no lack of fruit and tomatoes to pass through my new food mill. (I got a prototype, but you can get yours in just a few weeks—it lauches in early September, peak tomato and peach month!)

 

Recipes

A Mad Men Star's Cocktail Party

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bryan batt

© Paul Costello
Bryan Batt is mad for cocktails.



I try to boycott TV in the summer, but I totally confess that I’ve been counting down for Sunday night, when season four of Mad Men premieres. It’s the perfect excuse to throw a 1960s-style cocktail party. I asked Bryan Batt, who plays Sal Romano on the show, what he’ll be mixing this weekend. “I’m a purist, so a classic Manhattan or dry Martini,” he said. For more ideas, check out our story with Bryan from the May issue, featuring awesome cocktails and food like paprika-smoked baby back ribs from one of his favorite New Orleans bars, Cure.

Recipes

The Best Way To Bake

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For our July story, "The Year of the Pastry Chef,"  we had the honor of featuring some incredible desserts from some of the country's best pastry minds, including Christy Timon and Abram Faber of Clear Flour Bread in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who gave us the recipe for their amazing airy baked doughnuts. A model professional baking recipe, it used baker's percentages and required an accurate scale and instant yeast, two things that aren't often found in home kitchens, but make for more reliable results. In the magazine, we adapted the doughnuts for home cooks, swapping in easier-to-find active dry yeast, scaling back the portions, and converting weights to cup measures, but Timon and Faber were rightfully concerned that our version wouldn't be as fail-safe. We think we came pretty close, but were we right? For the sake of comparison (and for those who prefer scales), the bakery's original recipe comes after the jump. Which would you rather use?

[More]

Recipes

Sous Vide Sealers

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In our July issue we shared some simple sous vide recipes to try out with new countertop sous vide machines, and a few readers wrote in asking where to get vacuum sealers to try the technique at home. We can recommend two options:

1. The makers of the SousVide Supreme have come out with a terrific countertop vacuum sealer that's sturdy and easy to use, as well as certified food-grade bags (certified to be free of Bisphenol-A, lead and any phthalates). It's great not only for cooking sous vide but for keeping foods fresh in the refrigerator. $130; surlatable.com.

2. Resealable freezer bags also work, if a little less elegantly. At a recent class at the French Culinary Institute, food science whiz Dave Arnold demonstrated the following ingenious method: insert the item to be cooked into the bag and close all but 1/4-inch of the seal. Submerge all but the unsealed corner of the bag in a large, deep bowl of water and let the water press out all of the air. Close the seal and transfer the bag to the prepared water bath.

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Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

Join celebrity chefs, renowned winemakers and epicurean insiders at the culinary world’s most spectacular weekend, the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, June 20-22.