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By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Grace in the Kitchen

Char Siu, Anyone?

© Christina Holmes

These crispy, sweet-and-spicy pork spareribs are a
hundred times better than Chinese takeout char siu ribs,
and they’re a good example of what’s so
great about using a pressure cooker.
© Christina Holmes

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.

By now I probably sound like a broken record, and I’m not afraid to shout it out, but I love my pressure cooker! Tough cuts, like ribs, need a long time to get tender, but literally 15 minutes at pressure and these ribs are almost falling off the bone.

Char Siu Spareribs, those sticky, chewy ribs from Chinese restaurants, though delicious, frighten me with their nuclear-reactor-red food coloring. Mine hit all of the high points without the scary DNA-altering potential. I cut them into three-rib sections, marinate them in a mixture of hoisin, honey, ginger, soy and garlic, then pressure cook them for 15 minutes. Next the ribs get brushed with honey and broiled until browned and shiny. While they’re broiling, I boil the cooking liquid down to a sticky, spicy sauce to serve on the side. Maybe it’s faster than take out. Who knows? But it definitely is better and safer. SEE RECIPE »

Related: Takeout Classics
Fast Chinese Recipes
How to Find an Authentic Chinese Restaurant

Grace in the Kitchen

Superquick Posole

© Lucy Schaeffer
© Lucy Schaeffer

A mix of mild chiles (poblano, Anaheim) and hot
ones (serrano) gives body and heat to this quick
braise
made with boneless pork shoulder.
© Lucy Schaeffer

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’s rare that I get to develop recipes in the same season in which they’ll appear in the magazine. There’s lots of extrapolating about how great the dish would be if only we had good, seasonal…(tomatoes, corn, berries, peaches…).

Like broccoli, asparagus and zucchini, chiles are pretty good all year round. Of course, they’d be amazing fresh from the farmers’ market, but I'm pretty happy with what I can get at Whole Foods or Fairway. Especially for this delicious braised pork stew. The chiles—poblano, Anaheim and Serrano—are thinly sliced, and they melt into a silky sauce as the pork braises in the liquid. The heat is mild but it does build, so I sometimes stir in canned hominy or just serve it with rice and warm corn tortillas. SEE RECIPE »

Related: More Pork Soups and Stews
Hearty Stews
F&W Editors' Favorite Pork Recipes

Grace in the Kitchen

Coke, No Pepsi

© Yunhee Kim

Greeks make souvlaki by marinating chunks of meat in oil, lemon juice
and oregano, then skewering and grilling them. This version uses
pork shoulder because it's so tender and succulent. © Yunhee Kim

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 was sort of a revelation to me that you could quickly cook pork shoulder. I’d always assumed that it needed hours of slow braising or roasting to get the meat meltingly tender. But then I remembered (vaguely) a recipe for spareribs that were high-heat roasted for a relatively short time. They were a bit chewy, yeah, but still juicy and really meaty. The little bit of fat self-bastes and helps caramelize the meat. It occurred to me that I could use shoulder in a whole host of recipes that seemed destined for quicker-cooking pork loin or, even worse, tenderloin.

The key is (and this is probably totally obvious, but...) cutting the meat into small pieces. For this souvlaki, I cut the pork into 1/2-by-3-inch strips and let it marinate with onions, lemon, herbs, salt and pepper for about 10 minutes. Maybe the salt and acid help to tenderize the meat? I don’t know, but they do infuse a bit of flavor, which is important in something that cooks quickly. I heated a cast-iron griddle until smoking hot, and cooked the meat and onions until tender and charred in spots. (Think short-order cook at your favorite Greek place.) I’m kind of addicted to Fabulous Flats Tandoori Naan, which is really just a pocketless pita. It makes the best wrap for this souvlaki, but any brand will do. Do not forget the tzatziki—it keeps everything deliciously creamy and rich! SEE RECIPE »

Related: Fantastic Pork Recipes
Quick Pork Dishes
Easy Ethnic Recipes

Grace in the Kitchen

Baa Baa Green Sauce

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Lamb Burgers with Green Harissa // © Lucy Schaeffer

Made with Anaheim and serrano chiles, this green gersion of Tunisian
and Moroccan harissa adds bright flavor to grilled lamb. // © Lucy Schaeffer

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.

The farmers’ market is overflowing with loads of fiery chiles. A favorite meal of mine is an overstuffed pita filled with grilled meats, tomatoes, feta and harissa. I am addicted to harissa—especially the one I developed for my book Get Saucy. It uses ancho chiles, caraway, cumin and sun-dried tomatoes, and is delicious on everything. But for a change, I wanted something fresh and green tasting. This green harissa uses fresh green chiles of varying heat. Serranos are pretty hot, but Anaheim and banana chiles are pretty mild. Together, along with some cilantro, scallions and garlic, they make the brightest, most refreshing (albeit spicy) sauce that is the perfect accompaniment to lamb, grilled bread and juicy tomatoes. SEE RECIPE »

Related: More Fantastic Burger Recipes
Delicious Lamb Recipes
Best Burgers in the U.S.

Grace in the Kitchen

More Than the Sum of Its Parts

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Grilled Okra with Red Curry-Lime Dressing // © Con Poulos

Okra gets charred and tender on the grill; tossing it with lime and store-bought curry paste gives it great flavor. / © Con Poulos

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.

We've done a few really great okra recipes over the years. The ones I love the most have been grilled or pan roasted until lightly charred and tender. The recipe I developed for our September three-ingredient story uses grilled okra that gets glazed with a simple dressing of Thai red curry paste, lime juice and olive oil. It's so easy and quick, it almost doesn't feel right to call it a recipe, but sometimes the simplest things can have the most complex flavors. SEE RECIPE »

Related: More Great Okra Recipes
Grilled Vegetable Recipes
Three-Ingredient Recipes

Grace in the Kitchen

Carbo-Load

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Flatbread Lasagna // © Tina Rupp

This decadent lasagna is made with pocketless pita or naan bread instead of traditional lasagna noodles. / © 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.

My husband's been on a low carb diet kick for several months now (he looks great!), and you'd think that we all would be dropping pounds, since I cook nearly all of the dinners. I'm not making tons of pasta these days, and rice or bread is always now an accompaniment. But I've got to say, I've been craving a great big plate of gooey baked pasta.

This flatbread "lasagna" is probably the most carb-y casserole I've ever made, but it's delightfully evil and, I think, worth the splurge. I developed this recipe for an old column of mine—Tasting and Testing—this particular one about using flatbreads in somewhat unexpected ways. Though I'd never seen anything like this, I'd imagined (when I was hatching ideas) that it would be as if bread pudding and baked ziti got together and made a flatbread lasagna baby.

Aside from not boiling noodles, I tried to make the dish as simple as possible. It calls for jarred marinara sauce (I love Rao's—it's convenient and delicious, but kind of expensive). At home, I always have several quart containers of homemade sauce in the freezer. I've only ever used plain naan or pocketless pita, but now that there are so many flavors, it might be time to try it with onion,  garlic, olive or whole grain.  A futile nod to the health conscious? I think not. In any case, it will certainly test my husband's resolve. Never a saboteur, maybe I'll wait until he's reintroduced bread to his diet or maybe just until he's out for the night. SEE RECIPE »

Related: More Gooey Casseroles
Fantastic Baked Pasta Dishes
Terrific Lasagnas

Grace in the Kitchen

Sardines, My Solitary Pleasure

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Open-Face Sardine Sandwiches with Tangy Aioli  // © Sally Gall

Pair these simple open-faced sandwiches with a fresh, lemony white like an Albariño. / © Sally Gall

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.

Oh, Costco, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways: Chinese sausages, chapati flour, Israeli quark, Lundberg rice (at a fraction of retail) AND eight packs of Season brand sardines packed in olive oil (yay!). My go-to quick meal often includes opening a tin of sardines, mixing them with some type of onion and mayo or mustard and slapping it on grainy crackers. These open-face sandwiches are definitely a more complex step up but still fast, easy and supernutritious. After my long Saturday morning runs, this so totally hits the spot. My kids aren't convinced (neither is my husband, but at least he doesn't wrinkle his nose), so I tend to enjoy them in relative solitude, which is all right by me, especially after a long run.

It doesn't hurt to wash it all down with a cold, crisp IPA or two—I especially like Lagunitas and Sierra Nevada—but then the whole solitude thing can seem a little depressing (by appearances only). I'm reminded of MFK Fisher (that goddess) and how she prepared herself elegant meals that she enjoyed with wine all by herself. SEE RECIPE »

Related: More Recipes Using Sardines
Cheap and Delicious Recipes
Affordable Recipes for a Crowd

Grace in the Kitchen

Ribs Under Pressure

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Blueberry-Glazed Ribs // © Petrina Tinslay

Blueberry glaze makes the edges on these ribs nice and sticky. / © 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.

Way back in April, when blueberries were crazy cheap, I made a huge batch of this yummy syrup to keep on hand for all sorts of great applications (ice cream, yogurt, pound cake, etc.).  Last night, though, as I was rummaging through my fridge, I spotted the syrup and remembered these ribs I made a while ago. Easy enough to pick up at my supermarket, but it was already 6 p.m. and cooking ribs conventionally takes an awfully long time.

The pressure cooker, however, is kind of amazing at quickly braising tougher cuts of meats (also beans, stock, and grains, among other things). I sliced two racks into four-rib sections and nestled them into the pot, to which I added a spice blend of garlic, onion, black pepper, cumin, smoked salt and just enough water to fill about 1/3 of the cooker. Once covered and on high power for 20 minutes, the ribs were fork tender. Just enough time to get the blueberry glaze done. A quick pop on the grill, and 10 minutes later they were on the table. I know I sound like a broken record around the Test Kitchen, but pressure cookers are truly astonishing! SEE RECIPE »

Related: More Ribs Recipes
Pressure Cooker Tips
Recipes Using Blueberries

Grace in the Kitchen

Spicy-Sweet Southwestern Summer Salad

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Chipotle-Corn Salad // © Kristen Strecker

The chipotle chiles for this spicy fresh-corn salad are available in the Latin section of big supermarkets around the country. / © Kristen Strecker

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.

We sometimes joke in the kitchen that a particular chef whom I adore, uses the same three ingredients (often in the same dish) over and over and over: honey, lime and chipotle. Yeah, it's a magical combination, and one I've used often enough, so I can't really get too snarky. In this  dish, though, I've allowed the grilled corn and vidalia onions to be the only source of sweetness. It's balanced by the tartness of the lime and the heat of the chipotles is smoothed out by the sour cream. I love it alongside a smoky charred rib eye or even grilled salmon. SEE RECIPE »

Related: More Corn Recipes
Southwestern and Tex-Mex Dishes
Grilled Corn Recipes

Grace in the Kitchen

Guitars & Pizza: Two Passions

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Perfect Pizza Margherita // © James Baigrie

Let the dough for this pizza rest overnight for a chewy, slightly tangy crust. / © James Baigrie

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.

There are three acceptable reasons to play hooky: gorgeous weather (wear sunscreen to avoid tan evidence), meeting your husband for "lunch" and mental burn-out. None of which applied to me today, but I ditched work anyway. I spent the afternoon at Matt Umanov's noodling around on guitars made by Bill Collings, from Austin (who happens to be the cousin of my sister-in-law), and falling in love with a piece of wood that far exceeded my annual dining-out budget (for my entire family, that is). Maybe that sister-in-law can put in a good word...

To console myself after walking out crestfallen and starving, I popped in to Keste pizzeria next door for just about the most delicious margherita pizza in the city. I think my version could be just as good, if only I had a wood-burning stove. Getting that crust just right was a true labor of love. I must have spent weeks perfecting the balance of ingredients, trying a multitude of flours, canned tomatoes and mozzarellas. The margherita is really just a jumping off point—a trip to the farmers' market can be a great inspiration for interesting toppings.

Purslane is awesome when it's available, as are baby kale, green garlic and nettles. It's a good thing I'm a better cook than I am a guitar player, because even if I tried REAL hard, I could never justify buying something so precious for myself. As it is, my husband bought me a gorgeous Breedlove guitar for Christmas, which (it turns out) exceeded my dining-out budget just a smidge. But I'm working it off by making pizza margherita for the family tomorrow night. SEE RECIPE »

Related: More Pizza Recipes
Best Pizza Places in the U.S.
Wine Pairings for Pizza Toppings

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