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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine


Recipes for New Moon Fans


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© Tina Rupp
Super-Crispy Fried Chicken


Like every teenage girl in America today, I'm super-excited about seeing the new movie New Moon, based on the second book in the Twilight saga by Stephenie Meyer. When Bella Swan (the heroine of the saga) is not being hunted by bloodthirsty vampires or obsessing about her hottie vampire boyfriend Edward Cullen, she's often in the kitchen making home-cooked meals, like Super-Crispy Fried Chicken (pictured).

Find more Recipes for New Moon Fans here.


The Perfect Chili Recipe


I have finally tasted what real chili is after testing Tom Mylan’s Chili with Guajillo and Ancho Chiles and Hominy recipe, from the new December issue. This chili is a deeply flavored bowl of red, beefy goodness that I could not stop eating. There are no tomatoes and no beans—just whole dried chiles, soaked and pureed, plus ground meat, onion, garlic and cumin. Tom adds corn flavor with hominy and a bit of cornmeal to thicken, but I was loving the dish even before I added the corn elements. It has a lightness to it that makes you feel great. I think powdered chiles, tomatoes, beans and bacon are distractions (and give me indigestion).

So without these other elements, the type and combination of dried chiles used are crucial. You want a blend of rich, sweet and hot—the best trio is anchos, guajillos plus just one of the spicy New Mexicos, and all are widely available. I am lucky to grow my own. Every year, I am always amazed at how productive my potted pepper plants are. My garden was bursting with assorted peppers and chiles in late summer, and I’ve just finished putting them up. I pickle the orange and yellow ajis, roast and freeze the poblanos and pimentos, and dry the sweetly hot corno di toro rossos, good-and-hot aji Colorados and long red Koreans. I will use a combo of those to create my own blend. Now that I know there is a chili I can eat and enjoy, I will be making Tom’s recipe all winter.


Park Avenue Potluck Celebrations


© Ben Fink, Park Avenue Potluck Celebrations, Rizzoli New York, 2009.
What can someone like me, a girl living in Queens, NY, possibly learn from a bunch of Park Avenue socialites with names like Muffie Potter Aston? A lot, I learned, after I read Park Avenue Potluck Celebrations, a new book by New York Times columnist Florence Fabrikant; it's a compilation of recipes and entertaining tips from some of the city’s most celebrated hostesses and members of The Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (proceeds from the book will go to the center). Here, a few surprisingly down-to-earth tips from high society that I'll actually adopt:

1. Be worldly—follow the Swedish tradition of eating birthday cake for breakfast on your birthday.
2. Drink a cocktail before party guests arrive—it'll loosen you up and make you a better hostess.
3. Be a gracious and unflappable hostess, unperturbed by spilled wine or a crying child. Note: See #2, which will help.
4. Lottery tickets make great place cards—that’s one way to make it to Park Avenue.
5. Note for next year: Hand out to-go wine cups for parents accompanying trick-or-treaters on Halloween.


Roasting Butternut Squash Seeds


© Gentl & Hyers

Each year on Halloween, my husband and I carve a jack-o’-lantern and then roast the pumpkin seeds to snack on. So a few days ago, while I was cleaning out a butternut squash to make my daughter’s favorite soup, Curried Butternut Squash and Cauliflower Soup (pictured), I thought, Why couldn’t we roast the squash seeds as well? I cleaned the flesh off the seeds, then rinsed and dried them well. I tossed them with olive oil and salt, spread them on a baking sheet and roasted them for about 10 minutes in a 300-degree oven. (Take the seeds out when they start to pop and get golden, because they keep cooking after coming out of the oven.) The hulls are thinner than those of pumpkin seeds, and I think they’re more delicious as well, with a flavor a bit like popcorn.


Terrific Dishes for the Vegetarian (and Almost-Vegetarian)


© Tina Rupp

In Jonathan Safran Foer’s new book, Eating Animals (Little, Brown and Company), out today, the vegetarian writer ponders the ethics of eating meat. Here, outstanding dishes for the vegan, vegetarian and almost-vegetarian:

Vegan: 12 great vegan dishes like a vegetable curry that gets its richness from coconut milk (right), an ultrasimple black bean soup with crispy tortillas, and a spicy chickpea salad, a twist on the classic Indian street food called chana chaat
Vegetarian: 15 excellent vegetarian dishes like a warm spaghetti-squash salad, a cassoulet of slow-cooked leeks with meaty porcini mushrooms and cranberry beans, and a chanterelle and fontina frittata
Pescatarian: 15 delicious fish dishes like snapper with lime-coriander broth, Provençal fish soup, and salmon sashimi with ginger and hot sesame oil


The World's Best Mai Tai


I've always thought Mai Tais were kind of campy, something fun to have with roast pork shoulder and pineapple. Now I know better. Recently my friend Joe Raffa, a Hawaiian native, mixed the world's greatest Mai Tai from his extensive rum collection. He calls it the $100 Mai Tai because it would cost $100 to buy bottles of all the necessary ingredients. But the drink itself costs much less. And with last week's news about the growing GDP, it seemed ok to post. Especially because it's just so good: caramelly yet tart, smooth yet bright, perfectly balanced — and supersmart (case in point: instead of Cointreau, Joe uses Rhum Clement Creole Shrubb, an orange liqueur made from rhum agricole instead of neutral spirits. "It keeps the rum with the rum," Joe says. And in place of ordinary simple syrup, he uses Depaz cane syrup, a Caribbean sweetener gives the Mai Tai a richer maple note.) The best part, Joe is José Andrés' chef de cuisine at Oyamel in DC, and has been dropping hints that his boss should open a Hawaiian restaurant in DC serving roast pork and really good Mai Tais. All I can say is, José, please, listen up. Recipe after the jump.



NYC's Foodie Marathoners



© Quentin Bacon
Marathoner Joe Bastianich's white bean stew with swiss chard and tomatoes


While my colleague Kate Krader is on a permanent sugar high this week from her pre-Halloween candy binge, I am overloading on carbs in preparation for the New York City Marathon. The race takes place this Sunday, the day after Halloween.  This year’s field of 40,000 runners, the largest in history, includes a number of food and wine world stars who’ve been juggling 20-mile training runs with kitchen duties and late-night pasta binges. Mark Bittman, the New York Times Minimalist columnist, has been swapping cooking tips for training tips with America’s fastest woman marathoner, Deena Kastor (rumor has it she’s shopping around a cookbook while in town for the race). F&W Best New Chef 2005 Daniel Humm of NYC’s Eleven Madison Park has been training with a running coach from Kenya to help him beat his insanely fast time from last year.

I’ve been following winemaker and restaurateur Joe Bastianich’s game plan, fueling myself with the complex-carb-heavy recipes he shared with F&W in our October issue and throwing back an occasional beer (for more carbs).

For more pre-marathon carbo-loading recipe ideas, click here.


New England-Style Comfort Food Dishes


© Melanie Acevedo

John Irving’s latest novel, Last Night at Twisted River (Random House), out this week, revolves around cook Dominic Baciagalupo and his son Danny, who hail from a New Hampshire logging and sawmill settlement. Here, stellar New England dishes like chicken stew with cider and parsnips (pictured), molasses-sweetened baked beans, and cinnamon-and ginger-flavored Indian pudding.


World's Best Oatmeal


Matt Cox and Dennis Gilliam of Bob's Red Mill

© Emily Kaiser
Matthew Cox (with spurtle) and Dennis Gilliam (with oats) of Bob's Red Mill

The oatmeals from Bob's Red Mill in Oregon are a longtime staff favorite: Tina Ujlaki swears by their steel-cut oats, and their extra-thick rolled oats are all Grace Parisi uses in her granola. This month, the company beat out competitors from 16 other countries to win Scotland's World Porridge-Making Championship, becoming the first Americans ever to take home the coveted Golden Spurtle (a medieval Scottish oatmeal-stirring tool). Ordinarily the spurtle is stored in the pub of the tiny town that hosts the competition, but it will be in America for the year. Matt Cox and Dennis Gilliam of the winning team stopped by the F&W offices last week to display the trophy and to drop off a bag of their oats. I'm making some this weekend.


Black Tea Vodka


Absolut Vodka Blackberry

© Courtesy of Absolut Vodka
Absolut Boston Blackberry

When angry colonists threw tea into Boston Harbor in 1773, they had no idea that their rebellion would eventually lead to the American Revolutionary War in 1775, or that it would inspire the creation of another kind of beverage in 2009: Absolut Vodka Boston, a limited-edition vodka infused with black tea and elderflower.

Recently, mixologist Jamie Gordon hosted an Absolut Vodka Boston Tea Party at Food & Wine's New York City office. He gave the editorial staff a taste of some fantastic cocktails he created with the spirit, such as the juicy and aromatic Absolut Boston Blackberry.

Makes 1 Drink

4 large blackberries
1 ounce agave nectar
4 ounces Absolut Boston
1 1/2 ounces fresh lemon juice
4 dashes rhubarb bitters

In a cocktail shaker, muddle 2 of the blackberries with the agave nectar. Add the Absolut Boston, lemon juice, bitters and ice. Shake well and double strain into a chilled large martini glass. Garnish with the remaining 2 blackberries.

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