Eat This Word: Membrillo



WHAT? Jam-cestor. Derived from the Latin word melimelum, or "honey apple," the Spanish word membrillo (in Portuguese, marmelada) refers both to fresh and preserved quince, a celebrated fruit that was stored in honey during classical times. According to The Oxford Companion to Food, the thick sweet paste of cooked quince and sugar is the likely ancestor of jam and marmalade. Quince, a large, lumpy, bitter, green fruit that is inedible when raw, is transformed from ugly duckling into swan with the addition of sugar and a little heat, becoming an aromatic, delicious pink jam. In his book The Basque Kitchen, Gerald Hirigoyen describes the transformation of quince into membrillo as "magical," praising the quince, beloved in the French Pays Basque as well as along the Iberian peninsula, for its "delicate, floral, almost citrusy flavor." The paste is often served as a counterpoint to the salty flavors of Manchego cheese and Serrano and Presunto ham.

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Eye Candy: NYCWFF at JBF

Here are our favorite snaps from our weekend with the Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival. We'll be posting galleries for each of the three dinners, so stay tuned!

The Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival at the James Beard Foundation

Marcela Valladolid finishes shooters of Mexican corn soup with a morita chile gastrique during Holy Mole

The Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival at the James Beard Foundation

Smoked Edenbrook Farm rainbow... Read more >

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On the Menu: Sunday Supper

Food Network Wine & Food Festival Sunday Supper at the James Beard Foundation

Every Italian knows that there is no meal more special than the Sunday supper, when the family comes together around the table. For our third and final partnership with the Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival, Food Network star Anne Burell and Mark Ladner of NYC’s Del Posto, who were once co sous-chefs for Mario Batali on Iron Chef America, will join forces with Cesare Casella of New York’s Salumeria Rosi for an Italian feast that’s sure to rival grandma’s. Below, the menu:

Hors d’Oeuvre Cesare Casella Salumi Misti > Italian Cured Meats Leek Tarts Anne Burrell Parmigiano-Reggiano–

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On the Menu: A Symphony of Spice

A Symphony of Spice Saturday night's Beard House dinner, the second of our series with the Food Network Wine & Food Festival, will celebrate the rich and complex flavors of Indian cuisine. Three of the most noted names in Indian cooking—innovative chef Floyd Cardoz of New York’s Tabla, cookbook author and noted Indian cooking authority Madhur Jaffrey, and cookbook author and restaurateur Suvir Saran—have collaborated on a distinctly memorable menu of classic and modern dishes, paired with outstanding Rieslings from the Chateau Ste. Michelle portfolio. Have a look: Hors d’Oeuvre Madhur Jaffrey Dahi Aloo Poori > Chickpea and Potato–Stuffed Semolina Puffs with Yogurt and Tamarind Sauces Floyd Cardoz Goan Braised Oxtail–Ajwain Tarts Suvir Saran Tamarind-Glazed Chicken

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On the Menu: Holy Mole

The Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival kicks off today, and we're psyched to be getting in on the action. Tonight's Beard House dinner, the first of our three partnerships with the massive epicurean event, features some of the brightest stars in Mexican cuisine: cookbook author and star of Food Network’s Mexican Made Easy, Marcela Valladolid; television personality and chef Aarón Sánchez; and mastermind behind some of New York’s hottest Mexican eateries, Patricio Sandoval. Take a look at the menu: Hors d’Oeuvre Patricio Sandoval Queso de Puerco > Housemade Crackers with Añejo Tequila–Marinated Pig’s Head, Roasted Cactus, Crispy Capers, Micro-Cilantro, and Parsley Powder Miniature Tacos

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Eat this Word: Lotus Root

lotus rootWHAT? Lies beneath lilies. Lotus (or water lily) flowers have been prized for their beauty for thousands of years, but below the water is another prize, the edible rhizomes, which are often mistakenly called roots. (Ginger is another type of rhizome.) Lotuses grow wild throughout mainland Asia and were introduced to Japan by China. Light in color, long, and cylindrical, when sliced the lotus root reveals a fibrous, tart flesh with a lovely lacy pattern of holes. Lotus is eaten throughout Asia. It can be blanched or steamed, served cold in salad or hot in soup, pickled, fried for tempura, stir-fried, or braised. WHERE? Shin Thompson's Beard House dinner WHEN? October 12, 2010 HOW? Crispy Suzuki with Grilled Haricot

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On the Menu: Hawaiian Surf and Turf

Carol Wallack and Aleksiy Shalev Even though we've finally come to terms with fall's arrival, tomorrow's Beard House event, which features the Hawaiian-inspired cuisine of Carol Wallack and Aleksiy Shalev, will be as welcome as a warm summer breeze. Check out the menu after the jump (and click here to reserve your seat): Hors d’Oeuvre Unagi with Banana, Bacon, and Avocado Seared Wagyu Beef with Caviar and Truffle Cream on Crackers Beef Carpaccio–Wrapped Oysters Pairing: Champagne Duval-Leroy Brut NV Dinner Sashimi Trio > Hawaiian Big-Eye Tuna, Wagyu

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Eye Candy: Beets and Berries

Matthew Lighnter's beets, berries, and meringue at the James Beard House Matthew Lightner, chef of Castagna in Portland, Oregon, and one of Food & Wine's 2010 Best New Chefs, served this unique and texturally playful dessert at his recent Beard House dinner. It was composed of dehydrated beets, Oregon berries, salted meringue, and tarragon. See more photos of his menu here.

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Eye Candy: World Champion Ribs

award-winning ribs in the James Beard House kitchen At a mid-September Beard House event, lucky diners were treated to a slow-and-low feast prepared by IQUE BBQ, an award-winning team of chefs that has claimed victories throughout the competitive barbecue circuit. Their menu included these pecan-smoked ribs—a rack that helped them win the "Grand Champion" title at the 2009 Jack Daniel's World Championship Invitational Barbecue. Feast your eyes on more photos here.

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On the Menu: West Coast Italian

Christian Caiazzo will cook at the James Beard House It’s fitting that Osteria Stellina, located in Point Reyes, California, is named, in part, for the Italian word meaning “tiny star,” as local ingredients truly shine in chef Christian Caiazzo’s cuisine. Thanks to the chef's talents, the venue has become a popular Marin County destination, as well as a favorite of food critic Michael Bauer. Luckily for us, Caiazzo is bringing a taste of NoCal to the Beard House on September 29. Seats are still available, so book yours here. In the meantime, have a drool over the menu below (we can't wait for those grilled cheese and goat sandwiches!): Hors d’Oeuvre Grilled Point Reyes Farmstead Tomme Cheese Sandwiches with Brick Maiden Sourdough and Braised Goat Shoulder Hog Island Clams with

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