F&W Free Preview All You Coastal Living Cooking Light Food and Wine tab Health myRecipes Southern Living Sunset
My F&W
quick save (...)

Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

RSS
Supermarket Sleuth

Okra: The Best Unsung Frozen Vegetable

default-image
© John Kernick

Chef Marcus Samuelsson's Roasted Sweet Potato and Sautéed Okra Salad.
© John Kernick

F&W Executive Food Editor Tina Ujlaki applies her incredible cooking knowledge to explaining what to do with a variety of interesting ingredients.

I’m usually very pleased with certain frozen vegetables from the supermarket, like baby peas, edamame and whole leaf spinach. Frozen baby okra is at the top of my list right now. I know there are a lot of okra haters out there, but if you’ve never tried it or you’re willing to give it another chance, you just might be pleasantly surprised. Frozen baby okra, in a bag or a box, is actually as good a vegetable as I have ever bought from a farmer. The pods are small and firm and never seem waterlogged or freezer distressed like other frozen green vegetables, and you never have to deal with the prickly fuzz that covers superfresh pods.

Related: Fantastic Okra Recipes
Vegetable Dishes for Carnivores
Quick Vegetable Main Dishes

Supermarket Sleuth

Pim's Marmalade

default-image

F&W Executive Food Editor Tina Ujlaki applies her incredible cooking knowledge to explaining what to do with a variety of interesting ingredients.

I never knew I loved marmalade until I tried the ones made by the extraordinary blogger/cooking teacher/globe-trotter/marmalade mistress Pim Techamuanvivit, who you can find at chezpim.com. Pim’s marmalades are almost like confections, because they are chock-full of chunky strips of candied peel. (I sometimes pick the peels out, chop them up and add them to scones and muffins.) Every marmalade I’ve tried—and Pim makes different ones every year—has been fantastically delicious and never too sweet. They’re all you need to turn morning toast with butter into a special event.

If you have any left over or are looking for other ways to use the marmalade, here are some great ideas:
White Chocolate Cake with Orange-Marmalade Filling
Prosciutto-Wrapped Shrimp with Orange Marmalade 
Orange-Cranberry Scones with Turbinado Sugar


Related: Jam Recipes
How to Cook with Oranges
Delicious Breakfast Pastries

Supermarket Sleuth

On a Search for Toasty Granola

default-image
© Zubin Schroff

When making granola at home, toast it to maximize its nutty flavor.
// © Zubin Schroff

F&W Executive Food Editor Tina Ujlaki applies her incredible cooking knowledge to explaining what to do with a variety of interesting ingredients.

F&W thought the granola boom was over a few years ago, but the category keeps expanding like crazy! Personal taste when it comes to granola is sort of like chocolate chip cookie appreciation—some people prefer the dough raw, some like their cookies soft and almost gooey, some soft and chewy and some supercrisp.

Whether I make granola at home, which I do all the time, or I buy it (for a change of pace), I’m the charter member of the toasty camp. I think baking brings out the flavor of the oats, seeds and nuts, and since I usually have it as a topping or mix-in with tangy yogurt and supercrisp apples, flavor and texture are key. My favorite brands are the slightly salty Early Bird, which is made with olive oil; the almond-packed Bola granola, from the Berkshires; and one I just tried for the first time at the Natural Foods Expo called Viki’s.

If you want to make your own, where you’re in charge of toastiness and what goes in, here are a couple of my favorite recipes: Grace Parisi’s granola with maple-glazed walnuts and Jessamyn Waldman’s nutty granola from the awesome Hot Bread Kitchen in New York City.


Related: More Granola Recipes
Tasty Snacks
Healthy Snacks

Supermarket Sleuth

Toasted Sesame Oil: Finishing Oil for Vegetables and Fish

default-image
Courtesy of La Tourangelle

Courtesy of La Tourangelle

F&W Executive Food Editor Tina Ujlaki applies her incredible cooking knowledge to explaining what to do with a variety of interesting ingredients.

I’ve been buying toasted sesame oil in glass bottles for years. Even at its best, I’ve never been thrilled with the flavor, which always had a bit of a burnt aftertaste. I recently picked up a can of La Tourangelle’s toasted sesame oil—I’ve always been a fan of the company’s roasted nut oils, which are made in France and California—and I was happily surprised. The flavor is clean and toasty, not oily or bitter. It’s become one of my go-to finishing oils for steamed vegetables and roasted fish.

Here are some other great recipes to try it in:
Cold Peanut Sesame Noodles
Salmon Sashimi with Ginger and Hot Sesame Oil
Tomatoes with Sesame-Miso Sauce and Plum Vinaigrette


Related: More Alternative Oils
Fast Asian Dishes
Healthy Fish Recipes

Supermarket Sleuth

Almond Brittle: Nutty, Buttery and Great Over Ice Cream

default-image
Courtesy of Paso Almond Company

Courtesy of Paso Almond Company

F&W Executive Food Editor Tina Ujlaki applies her incredible cooking knowledge to explaining what to do with a variety of interesting ingredients.

I made my own nut brittle for years, until I stumbled on this hall-of-fame version made by the Paso Almond Company in San Luis Obispo, California. The brittle is so crisp and buttery, and jam-packed with the most delicious almonds ever (the makers are almond-growers, after all!). I buy pounds of the brittle at a time and repackage it in pretty tins or jars or bags to give as gifts. Or I smash some to sprinkle over ice cream, garnish a frosted cake or fold into melted chocolate to make bark.

Related: Crunchy Nut Recipes
Almond Recipes
Snack Bar Recipes

Supermarket Sleuth

A Trio of Costco Cheeses

default-image

F&W Executive Food Editor Tina Ujlaki applies her incredible cooking knowledge to explaining what to do with a variety of interesting ingredients.

We don’t have too many staples in our house, but we always have a black-waxed block of Cabot three-year-aged cheddar, a big wedge of Stravecchio Parmigiano-Reggiano and a tub of Greek feta in the fridge—all from Costco. Big-brand supermarket cheese often gets a bad rap, but every one of these cheeses is delicious on its own, and they’re great to have on hand for any number of dishes. I use the cheddar for quickie eggs, for toasted cheese sandwiches, pimento cheese, mac and cheese, and making crisps; the parm for shaving over vegetables, tossing with bread crumbs, making pestos and adding to pastas and soups; and the feta for crumbling onto salads, turning into dips or whips, and for baking to have with olives or with honey.

Related: Fantastic Cheese Recipes
Grilled Cheese Recipes
Amazing Macaroni and Cheese

Supermarket Sleuth

What to Do with Sunchokes, No Peeling Necessary

Sunchokes (a.k.a. Jerusalem artichokes)

F&W Executive Food Editor Tina Ujlaki applies her incredible cooking knowledge to explaining what to do with a variety of interesting ingredients.

read more
Supermarket Sleuth

Ajvar: A Super Versatile Serbian Salsa (of Sorts)

default-image
Courtesy of TRGOPRODUKT

Courtesy of TRGOPRODUKT

F&W Executive Food Editor Tina Ujlaki applies her incredible cooking knowledge to explaining what to do with a variety of interesting ingredients.

I stumbled on this delicious, garlicky red bell pepper-and-eggplant condiment/spread/dip a couple of years ago when I was looking at jarred tomato sauces. When I looked it up online, I saw that those who make it from scratch refer to it as “Serbian salsa” or “Croatian relish.” Over the weekend, I used ajvar to make a superquick version of muhammara by pureeing it with walnuts (this is an expert’s version of the real thing). Ajvar is also great on its own, whether spicing up sandwiches, with eggs or with roasted meats or chicken. For an almost instant hors d’oeuvre, spread ajvar on toasts, top with goat cheese and broil. Some brands are spicier and more garlicky than others, but the heat level is usually indicated on the jar.

Here’s a nice recipe for starters: Roasted Cauliflower with Ajvar Dressing. Most well-stocked supermarkets carry at least one version of ajvar.

Related: More Amazing Condiments
Fantastic Party Dips
Brilliant Eggplant Recipes

Supermarket Sleuth

Oldie but a Goodie

default-image
Courtesy of The Maldon Crystal Salt Company

Courtesy of The Maldon Crystal Salt Company

F&W Executive Food Editor Tina Ujlaki applies her incredible cooking knowledge to explaining what to do with a variety of interesting ingredients.

I have a few kinds of salts in my pantry, and I actually use them all. But my favorite finishing salt—the one I sprinkle on sunny-side up eggs, on avocado toasts, on simple sautéed sugar snap peas or asparagus, and on caramel sauce or fudge sauce over ice cream—is Maldon salt.

Unlike table salt and kosher salt, Maldon has large, irregular, ultralight flakes that have a fantastic crunch and a mild, clean flavor that lingers in the best possible way. I have never used it to season a soup or a stew, and it would get lost in a pasta sauce. Even though it’s superpopular with chefs today, the company is more than 125 years old. Maldon salt is available at supermarkets and specialty food shops nationwide. If you want to learn more, check out the company here.

Here are a few of my favorite recipes featuring this pantry must-have: 
Crunchy Baked Potatoes with Maldon Salt
Chocolate Wafers with Ginger, Fennel and Sea Salt
Salted Fudge Brownies


Related: Sweet and Salty Desserts
Salt Recipes

Supermarket Sleuth

The Crunchiest Gluten-Free and Multi-Grain Crisps

default-image

F&W Executive Food Editor Tina Ujlaki applies her incredible cooking knowledge to explaining what to do with a variety of interesting ingredients.

I was a work-study student at cooking school in France with Lesley Stowe way back when. I knew that she returned to Vancouver and started a very successful catering business. One day I was nibbling on these fantastic crackers, and found out that Leslie actually made them. Small world!

What makes Raincoast crisps so incredibly delicious is that they're not only as grainy and as light and crunchy as their name implies, but that they’re supertasty as well. I sometimes forget about the cheese or charcuterie altogether, they’re really that good on their own. My favorite flavors are the grainy Original, Cranberry Hazelnut and Rosemary Raisin Pecan, though there are three other varieties as well.

They also have a brand new gluten-free line coming out that we sampled today in the F&W Test Kitchen, and those also have the same satisfying crunch. The crisps are available at specialty food shops coast to coast. They're great with this pimento-goat cheese spread and creamy pistachio dip.

Related: More Fantastic Crackers
Tasty Snack Recipes
Delicious Party Dips

advertisement
The Dish
Receive delicious recipes and smart wine advice 4x per week in this e-newsletter.
The Wine List Weekly pairing plus best bottles to buy.
F&W Daily One sensational dish served fresh every day.
American Express Publishing ("AEP") may use your email address to send you account updates and offers that may interest you. To learn more about the ways we may use your email address and about your privacy choices, read the AEP Privacy Statement.
How we use your email address
advertisement
Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

Run with chefs and wine experts in the Celebrity Chef 5K and dance all night at Gail Simmons’ Last Bite Dessert Party during the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, June 20-22.