Eat this Word: Rillettes [ree-YEHT]

RillettesWHAT? Coveted crock. "I certainly had never had the happiness of seeing that brown mess spread on slices of bread and butter," recalled Honoré de Balzac of watching his schoolmates eat the savory spread he so desired. A native of Tours, the French literary legend may have belonged to one of the few families that couldn't afford the humble specialty of the region, where the fatty favorite is lovingly referred to as "brown jam." As with other pâtés and terrines, rillettes begin with chopped meat, salted and cooked slowly in fat (the recipe dates back to the 15th century Loire Valley, where it was likely created to use up leftover scraps of pork). The tender morsels are then shredded and stored in ramekins or crocks covered with additional fat. This age-old technique results in a rustic yet deliciously creamy paste that has aromas of garlic, bay leaf, thyme, and wine. Literally translated, rillettes means "plank," which probably refers to its appearance when

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On the Menu: July 26 to August 1

Kitchen Here’s what happening at the Beard House and around the country next week: Tuesday, July 28, 7:00 P.M. Swine and Wine Though the Year of the Pig is technically over, chefs across the country are still going hog-wild for pork. Join us for a spectacular snout-to-tail dinner that will be prepared by chefs Brad Farmerie and Christopher Rendell of the perennially popular Public and newcomers Double Crown and the Monday Room. Wednesday, July 29, 7:00 P.M. Best of D.C. Chefs It’s a new day in the nation’s capital: there’s a new President, a new majority in the Senate, and a new way of doing things. Change is good, but we’re happy to report that Washington, D.C.’s dynamic food scene remains as deliciously compelling as ever. Find out for yourself when this

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Recipe: Drunken S'more Cake

S'moreAfter posting an Eat this Word about s'mores last month, we heard from several readers about their favorite versions of this marshmallow treat, as well as requests for the recipe for Michael DiBianca's Drunken S'more Cake. We tested it, and we're happy to report that it's some seriously good stuff. A riff on the composition of a s’more, this dessert was the finale of chef DiBianca’s playful and flavorful Beard House dinner. His version calls for the nutty Nocello and Frangelico, but we think that fruity liqueurs, like Grand Marnier or Chambord, would work nicely, too. Whatever you choose, just be sure to top this treat with a mighty dollop of whipped cream.

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Recipe: Drunken S'more Cake

S'moreAfter posting an Eat this Word about s'mores last month, we heard from several readers about their favorite versions of this marshmallow treat, as well as requests for the recipe for Michael DiBianca's Drunken S'more Cake. We tested it, and we're happy to report that it's some seriously good stuff. A riff on the composition of a s’more, this dessert was the finale of chef DiBianca’s playful and flavorful Beard House dinner. His version calls for the nutty Nocello and Frangelico, but we think that fruity liqueurs, like Grand Marnier or Chambord, would work nicely, too. Whatever you choose, just be sure to top this treat with a mighty dollop of whipped cream.

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Eye Candy: Beard House

Peaches on Daikon This hors d'oeuvre of Georgia sturgeon caviar with pickled peaches, mimosa, and daikon was served by Hugh Acheson and Peter Dale at their Beard House dinner; the meal featured peaches in every course. Want to put a savory twist on peaches for dinner tonight? Try chef Dale's flavorful Roasted Red Pepper, Peach, and Sweet Onion Salad as an accompaniment for fish, pork, or even simple slices of grilled bread. July 9, 2009, The Beard House, NYC (Photo by Michael Johnston)

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On the Menu: July 19 to July 25

Kitchen Here’s what happening at the Beard House and around the country next week: Tuesday, July 21, 6:30 P.M. The Farm Stand Join us for a delicious evening filled with all things local and sustainable. Guests will sample great food prepared by some of New York City’s most talented farm-dedicated chefs, along with delectable New York State wines and beers. You’ll also have a chance to win restaurant gift certificates and other prizes as you support a great cause. Funds raised from this event will support both the James Beard Foundation and Food Bank For New York City. The proceeds will be used to purchase farm shares from Roxbury Farm, so members of the Food Bank's Community Kitchen will have access to fresh fruits and vegetables during the growing season. Wednesday, July 22, 7:00 P.M.

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Eye Candy: Beard House

Enzo Fargione While plating the first course of his inventive and ambitious dinner, Enzo Fargione finished his branzino carpaccio with a citrus dressing. Every Beard House diner received the course in their own cigar box, which chef Fargione pumped full of smoke for added flavor and theatrical effect. June 17, 2009, The Beard House, NYC (Photo by Tom Kirkman)

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On the Menu: July 13 to July 18

Kitchen Here’s what happening at the Beard House and around the country next week: Monday, July 13, 6:30 P.M. Friends of James Beard Benefit: Chefs for Scher Chef Laurent Tourondel of the BLT empire hosts a group of illustrious chefs—including Bobby Flay, Scott Conant, and Jean-Georges Vongerichten—at this exciting walk-around tasting event in celebration of late restaurateur Steven Scher. Proceeds will benefit the Steven Scher Memorial Scholarship for Aspiring Restaurateurs and the Beard Foundation. Monday, July 13, 7:00 P.M.

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Eye Candy: Beard House

Monkfish Last month Top Chef alum Ariane Duarte prepared some special dishes—including this monkfish with New Jersey corn salsa and mushroom broth—to pair with exceptional summer rosés. June 29, 2009, The Beard House, NYC (Photo by Joan Garvin)

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Eye Candy: Beard House

WingsJoshua Thomas's sticky tamarind–glazed chicken wings, one of the many foods served at a special cocktail party honoring the Stonewall Riots and New York's Gay Pride Week. June 27, 2009, The Beard House, NYC (Photo by Philip Gross)

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