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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Supermarket Sleuth

Okra: The Best Unsung Frozen Vegetable

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© 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

Grace in the Kitchen

Gnarly

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Spicy Cheddar Witch Fingers // © David Malosh

Come Halloween, shape cheesy crackers into creepy witch fingers,
pressing a sliced almond into each one to make the nail. // © David Malosh

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.

Practically any recipe can be adapted for Halloween with just a few changes. Of course, changing the name is purely conceptual unless you make physical changes to match the name. I turned my favorite cheese coin recipe into perfectly ghoulish Halloween tidbits by rolling the dough into long cylinders, putting an almond “fingernail” at one end and calling them Spicy Cheddar Witch Fingers. SEE RECIPE »


Related: Spooky Halloween Recipes
Ghoulish Halloween Cocktails
Frightening Halloween Desserts

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

Supermarket Sleuth

3 Tasty Ways to Flavor Edamame

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Indian-Spiced Edamame // © James Baigrie

Give healthy, protein-packed edamame a flavor
boost with different sauces and spices.
© James Baigrie

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

A little light went off the first time I tried Daniel Orr’s olive-oil-and-spice–tossed edamame recipe, and I haven’t eaten a plain pod since. The genius lies in the fact that to get to the beans, you have to sort of bite them out of the pods anyway, so why not add flavor to suit your mood. Some of my favorite iterations include olive oil and curry powder, soy sauce and toasted sesame oil, and cumin, roasted pumpkin seed oil and lime.

 

Related: More Healthy Snacks
Healthy Asian Recipes
Fantastic Recipes Using Beans

Grace in the Kitchen

Healthy & Delicious From the Farmers' Market

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Braised Greens with Tomatoes // © James Baigrie

This fast dish combines antioxidant-packed dark, leafy greens and lypocene-rich grape tomatoes. / © 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.

Sometimes I could eat nothing for dinner but a mess of greens. Unfortunately, my family requires protein and a starch. But on the rare occasion when I'm alone (four weeks each summer when the kids are at camp and eating camp food—which is one step above hospital food—I can indulge in the opposite of indulgence. SEE RECIPE »

Related: More Greens Recipes
Vegetable Side Dishes
30-Minute Sides

Grace in the Kitchen

Roasted Tomatoes: Better than Canned

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Oven-Dried Tomatoes // © Petrina Tinslay

Hours of cooking help these tomatoes develop concentrated, sun-dried flavor while retaining the juiciness of ones that are fresh-off-the-vine. / © 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.

I remember the first time I tested a recipe for oven-dried tomatoes—it was eye-opening and (I thought) completely original, until I learned that my little Italian grandmother had been doing it for decades. There's really no mystery. You apply gentle heat to ripe tomatoes to remove some of the moisture and concentrate the flavors and then preserve them in oil for use in the winter. Canned tomatoes don't hold a candle to these silky, plump and intensely flavored filetti di pomodoro. SEE RECIPE »

Grace in the Kitchen

A Fruit Salad for Adults

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Melon-and-Strawberry Salad with Spicy Lemongrass Syrup // © Hallie Burton

Chilies add subtle heat to this exceptional fruit salad. / © Hallie Burton

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 dare you to bring this sophisticated fruit salad to a picnic! Not sure if the kids will go crazy for it, but the grown-ups certainly will. Especially if you bring icy cold bottles of white rum and seltzer to mix with the fruity juices left in the bottom of the bowl. SEE RECIPE »

Related: More Fantastic Fruit Salads
Healthy Summer Fruit Recipes
Fruit Desserts

Grace in the Kitchen

Double Fake-Em Cheeseburger — Hold the Cheese

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Spiced-Tofu Sandwiches

Even meat-loving Texans love Grace Parisi's Spiced-Tofu Sandwiches. // © Lucas Allen

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.

Our staff is pretty tough when it comes to recipe critiques—especially something as "fringe" as tofu. They hear "come to the kitchen to try a tofu blah blah blah…" and either come by reluctantly, or tune it out altogether. I had to tempt them back with a pork sandwich in the same message. In this dish, extra-firm tofu is marinated in a fragrant mix of coriander, fennel, black pepper, bay, paprika and garlic for 48 hours to soak up the spices' flavors. Then it's grilled and sandwiched with sweet pickles, lettuce, tomato and BBQ mayo in brioche buns. This "burger" ended up getting more kudos than the pork sitting on the adjacent platter. Texan and big meat guy Ray Isle was impressed—that's extraordinarily high praise! SEE RECIPE »

Related: More Recipes with Tofu
Vegetarian Sandwiches
Healthy Sandwiches

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
More Breakfasts with Eggs
Healthy Mexican Recipes

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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.

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.