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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Test Kitchen Tease

Snack-Perfect Tarte Flambée

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Warning: Test Kitchen Tease snapshots may cause cravings, lip-smacking and an unshakeable desire to cook.

Tarte Flambée

Justin Chapple

Occasionally in the F&W Test Kitchen we revisit recipes because they need some tweaking, but more often we revisit recipes just because they’re delicious and we’re hungry. This week we were craving this snack-perfect version of tarte flambée from Vermont bakery Vergennes Laundry. It’s much lighter than classic recipes, which traditionally include bacon, and highlights simple, earthy flavors like potato and thyme. Vergennes Laundry uses house-made sourdough for the crust, but we simplified things and used bakery-bought dough. The crust is spread with luscious crème fraiche and topped with ultra-thin slices of red potato, thyme, lemon zest, coarse salt and freshly ground pepper. It takes only minutes on a scorching hot pizza stone for the tarte to become perfectly crisp and even less time to chow it down. This recipe will debut in the coming months, but for now, try this equally delicious Two-Potato Flatbread with Olives and Feta.

Related: Easy Pizza Recipes

Vergennes Laundry's Perfect Tarts and Desserts

 

Taste Test Tuesday

Best Greek Yogurt

Full-Fat Fage Greek Yogurt

Full-Fat Fage Greek Yogurt

Indulgently thick, with up to double the protein of traditional styles, Greek yogurt now rules the dairy aisle. With so many brands dabbling in the strained category, choosing one can seem daunting. Food & Wine sampled a heap of plain-flavored supermarket offerings that ranged from non to full-fat in order to find the most luscious, satisfyingly tangy options available. The results. »

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Test Kitchen Tease

Ultimate Parker House Rolls

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Warning: Test Kitchen Tease snapshots may cause cravings, lip-smacking and an unshakeable desire to cook.

Jonathon Sawyer's Parker House Rolls

Justin Chapple

This week, while working on a terrific story for our December issue, F&W's Grace Parisi tested this phenomenal cheesy version of Parker House rolls from The Greenhouse Tavern's Jonathon Sawyer in Cleveland. They were supertender and we loved pulling apart each buttery piece. One secret to the recipe's awesomeness: Old Bay Seasoning. We know what you're thinking—how can a spice blend that's typically served with seafood be at all tasty with bread? You'll have to wait a few more months to taste his clever recipe, but in the meantime, try Grace's pull-apart Caraway Parker House Rolls.


Related: Breads of the World

Taste Test Tuesday

Best Coconut Water

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In the space of a few years, bottled coconut water went from surprising celebrity food product to supermarket staple, with new brands rushing to satisfy growing demand for the healthy refresher. F&W sampled the most familiar products, and while nothing replaces the pure flavor of a freshly tapped coconut, one brand comes close with a price to match. Here, the newcomer and other options to suit every buyer’s taste >

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Taste Test Tuesday

Best Store-Bought Vanilla Ice Cream

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Haagen-Dazs Five

 

Think all vanillas are created equal? F&W staff sampled some of the most popular supermarket ice creams to find the creamiest, most deliciously vanilla offerings available for your summer pies. Here, the results >

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Test Kitchen Tease

Figs Squared

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Warning: Test Kitchen Tease snapshots may cause cravings, lip-smacking and an unshakeable desire to cook.

Grilled Figs with Fig Jam

Justin Chapple

This week in the F&W Test Kitchen, we enjoyed a double dose of figs when testing this superb recipe for grilled figs with fig jam and blistered jalapeños.

First, we made the jam by simmering dried Black Mission figs and brown sugar in red wine until soft and plump, then we coarsely pureed the mixture to form a savory-sweet accompaniment to what comes next—grilled figs! What's so clever about these grilled figs? We halved each one, then dusted the cut sides in sugar before marking them on a scorching hot grill. The result: A crème brûlée-style crust that was perfectly caramelized and just lightly charred.

To contrast the sweet figs and jam, we added salty feta cheese, cilantro leaves, lime wedges (for squeezing) and grill-blistered jalapeño peppers. This recipe won't be published for a few months, but in the meantime, this Fig, Orange and Pistachio Conserve would make a great alternative to fig jam in an easy grilled fig salad. It's also a fantastic summer starter, especially when served on grilled bread with fresh ricotta cheese.

Related: Fig Recipes

F&W's Ultimate Guide to Summer Grilling

 

Test Kitchen Tease

No-Bake Cheesecake Tart with Strawberries and Honey

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Warning: Test Kitchen Tease snapshots may cause cravings, lip-smacking and an unshakeable desire to cook.

No-Bake Cheesecake Tart with Strawberries and Honey

Justin Chapple

It's more than a month away from the start of summer, but we're already on the hunt for outstanding desserts that don't require turning on the oven. This week in the F&W Test Kitchen, we whipped up an especially delicious no-bake cheesecake tart that was slightly sweet and impossibly creamy.

We pressed graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, cinnamon and sugar into a tart pan and chilled it to make a super-simple crust. For the filling, we made a surprisingly light combination of ricotta and cream cheeses flavored with fresh lemon juice, agave nectar and ground ginger. On top: macerated strawberries and a drizzle of honey. The recipe will be published later in the year, but if you're in the mood for something similar now, we suggest these phenomenal Lemon, Poppy and Chèvre Cheesecakes with Rhubarb from our May issue.

Related: Tasty Cheesecake Recipes

Test Kitchen Tease

Fried Egg BLTs with Arugula Aioli

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Warning: Test Kitchen Tease snapshots may cause cravings, lip-smacking and an unshakeable desire to cook.

Fried Egg BLTs with Arugula Aioli

Justin Chapple

This week, the F&W Test Kitchen discovered a unique recipe that satisfies cravings for fried eggs and bacon. We toasted slices of rustic Italian bread until golden, then topped them with a vibrant arugula aioli, succulent heirloom tomatoes, frisée, chewy-crisp bacon and decadent sunny-side up eggs. The only issue we encountered was how quickly six sandwiches disappeared in the presence of marauding editors. The recipe will appear in an upcoming book project, but to make a similar recipe this weekend we recommend trying Thomas Keller's fast and gooey BLT Fried Egg-and-Cheese Sandwich.

Related: Egg Breakfast Recipes

Brunch Recipes

Test Kitchen Tease

Grilled Quail with Shaved Fennel and Yogurt

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Warning: Test Kitchen Tease snapshots may cause cravings, lip-smacking and an unshakeable desire to cook.

Grilled Quail with Fennel and Yogurt

Justin Chapple

This week in the F&W Test Kitchen, we seized a pre-weekend opportunity to use a grill for this terrific quail dish from Justin Smillie of Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria in New York City. Smillie marinates quail in an herbaceous mixture of parsley, oregano, kaffir lime leaves, garlic, chiles, orange juice and toasted spices, which lends tons of flavor to the meat and provides the basis for a perfectly crispy crust. Quail is super-lean and is best served medium-rare, so these little birds only took a few minutes per side over a scorching fire. At his restaurant, Smillie serves the quail with puffed cracked farro and roasted kumquats, but for testing purposes, we tasted it alongside shaved fennel and yogurt.

This recipe is for a future book project, but to experiment with something just as interesting and delicious, try this recipe for Chinese-inspired Grilled Quail with Goji Berries and Pine Nuts from 2012 Best New Chef Corey Lee of Benu in San Francisco.

Related: F&W's Ultimate Guide to Summer Grilling

Test Kitchen Tease

The Spice Table's Fried Cauliflower with Fish Sauce

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Warning: Test Kitchen Tease snapshots may cause cravings, lip-smacking and an unshakeable desire to cook.

Fried Cauliflower with Fish Sauce

Justin Chapple

At The Spice Table in Los Angeles, 2012 F&W Best New Chef Bryant Ng serves this beer-battered cauliflower dish with a tangy dipping sauce. This week, F&W's Test Kitchen had the pleasure of giving it a test fry. The batter is made with cornstarch, beer and whipped egg whites, which create a super-flavorful crust that's perfectly light and crisp. But what makes this dish especially outstanding is the unlikely sauce. Bryant whisks Asian fish sauce with lime juice, garlic, sugar and fiery Thai chiles. The recipe is for an upcoming book project, but this weekend, try these handheld snacks from iconic chef José Andrés: Cauliflower Fritters.

Related: 2012 F&W Best New Chefs

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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.