Silken tofu blended with lemongrass and lime juice is a terrific dairy-free stand-in for mayonnaise in this riff on the Vietnamese banh mi sandwich. Adam Erace sometimes makes the sandwich with local scrapple (a hash of pork scraps and trimmings combined with cornmeal and shaped into a log or loaf).
"I've never met a wine I didn't like," says Lou Amdur of Lou in L.A. One of the wackiest he's ever tasted is the amphorae-aged Vinoterra Kisi, made from the indigenous Georgian white grape Kisi. It's unexpectedly delicious with smoked fish.
"We get these crazy organic pears that are ugly as sin," says Tory Miller of the Moon-glow variety he uses throughout the cold winter months. Peeling them, though, reveals a fruit so beautiful and juicy that he prefers a minimalist approach, either serving them raw or poaching them in wine, such as the Riesling he uses here.
Pairing: A sweet Riesling like a late-harvest bottling: 2007 Kendall-Jackson Late Harvest or 2007 Inniskillin Riesling Icewine.
Tory Miller works with the Uplands Cheese Company's co-owners, Mike and Carol Gingrich, to raise pigs that taste of Wisconsin terroirthey're fed local apples, hickory nuts and acorns, as well as whey and cream from the dairy. The addition of brown sugar and mixed spices to the brine for this pork loin enhances the meat's natural sweet, spiced flavor.
Pairing: Vibrant white like Albariño: 2009 Doña Rosa or 2009 Santiago Ruiz.