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Grace in the Kitchen

Hot Tamales in a Hot Minute

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Quick Chicken-and-Cheese Tamales // © Tina Rupp

Make tamales superfast by using store-bought rotisserie chicken and wrapping them in plastic to shorten steaming time. // © 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.

It seems like a common thread is developing here that could be read as laziness. I like to think of it as efficiency and distillation. That and being able to get dinner on my table (and those of my working readers) at a reasonable hour. Tamales traditionally take a long time to prepare: The meat for the filling needs slow braising, the masa needs time to develop, the corn husks need time to soak, the tamales require time to assemble, and they take a surprisingly long time to steam.

Of course it's worth it, but not at 5:45 p.m. on a Tuesday evening after a full day at the office—or in my case, the kitchen. So, I've come up with a few shortcuts. First, I shred rotisserie chicken and fold it into the masa along with the rest of the filling ingredients. Then after forming the tamales, I wrap them in plastic to reduce steaming time to about 25 minutes (enough time to put together a salad and side vegetables). SEE RECIPE »

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How to Make Tamales
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Grace in the Kitchen

Dasvidaniya Vietnam

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Moscow Banh Mi // © Con Poulos

This riff on a classic Vietnamese sandwich uses classic borscht ingredients like chopped beets and horseradish mayonnaise. / © 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.

Honestly, what's better than a sandwich? It's the most efficient vehicle for total food-to-face delivery. It seems, though, that every storefront houses either a burger joint, cupcake café or Vietnamese sandwich shop. Though I will never get tired of traditional banh mi, I was looking for something different when I came up with this riff, which uses quick-pickled carrots, beets and horseradish—classic borscht ingredients—to make a clever and unusual Moscow Banh Mi. SEE RECIPE »

Related: More Satisfying Sandwich Recipes
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Grace in the Kitchen

Common Denominator Brunch

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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.

I had six people coming for brunch on Sunday and thought maybe I'd give myself a break and put out bagels and lox. No such luck! One guest was a vegetarian, another was gluten-intolerant and a third didn't like lox. Who doesn't like lox?

Then I remembered an article I wrote in February for our Fast column called "Family Dinner Without the Drama." I refuse to cater to every individual taste bud in my house, so I must find common denominators. To satisfy all my brunch guests, I needed to find something gluten-free, vegetarian and lox-less. Then it hit me—baked huevos rancheros! Zesty tomato sauce, tortilla chips, and fried eggs come together in ramekins before being smothered in Jack cheese and baked in the oven to create a dish similar to Mexican shirred eggs. The result was a tasty, superfast meal enjoyed by all of my guests. SEE RECIPE »

Related: More Quick Mexican Recipes
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Grace in the Kitchen

One Juicy Bird

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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.

Brining is—hands down—the best way to infuse poultry with loads of flavor. Especially something like Cornish hens, which can be pretty tasteless. I've given these bland little babies a huge boost with Asian flavors like ginger, star anise, kaffir lime leaves and dried chiles and left them to brine for 24 hours. So tender, so flavorful and so much fun to tear apart with your fingers and eat with sticky rice, lettuce leaves and sliced chiles. SEE RECIPE »

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Grace in the Kitchen

Chia - Not Just for Pets Anymore

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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.

I wish I could wake up five times a day just so I could eat breakfast! It's truly my favorite meal of the day. This chia-seed (yes, chi-chi-chi-chia) pudding, aside from being packed with amazing nutrients, is cool, creamy and delicious. The seeds, when soaked in almond milk (or soy if you like), swell and get kind of gooey, like tapioca. Just make sure you check your teeth before you walk out the door! SEE RECIPE »

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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.

Already looking forward to next year (June 19-21, 2015)? Relive your favorite moments from the culinary world's most sensational weekend in the Rocky Mountains.