Eye Candy: Cajun-Style Boudin Balls

boudin balls JBF Award Winner Donald Link, Ryan Prewitt, and Stephen Stryjewski passed around these traditional Cajun-style boudin balls—battered and deep-fried globes of pork sausage and rice—during the reception of their Big Easy–style Beard House dinner. Click here to see more images of the meal. (Photo by Tom Kirkman)

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JBF News: Deadline Approaching for NYC Public Schools Recipe Contest

vegetables We've been impressed by the response to our healthy school lunch recipe contest, but there's no such thing as too much delicious and healthy food! We'll continue to accept chefs' recipes for plant-based and meatless entrées through January 15 (that's next Friday), so keep 'em coming! Send your submissions to info@healthyschoolfood.org. (You can learn more about the contest rules and recipe guidelines here.) Special thanks to our partners, New York Coalition for Healthy School Food, the NYC Office of SchoolFood, and Candle Café/79, for helping our kids eat well.

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Eye Candy: Stephanie Izard Cheeses It Up

dessert For her dessert course, Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard served creamy, caramelized slabs of Rogue Creamery Smokey Oregon Blue Cheese with bacon-glazed apples and marcona almond butter. Click here to view more photos of her event. (Photo by Joan Garvin)

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Eye Candy: Burger 'Bun'anza

burger duo At last week's Burger 'Bun'anza, an exciting lineup of New York chefs put their unique spin on the hamburger. Madeline Poley of New York Burger Co. stacked some bacon burgers with heirloom tomatoes and leek–thyme aïoli (top left), while Anita Lo packaged her patties, pickled vegetables, and Korean barbecue sauce in steamed buns (top right). See more photos from the event here. (Photos by Philip Gross)

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On the Menu: December 20 to December 26

Kitchen Here’s what happening at the Beard House next week: Monday, December 21, 7:00 P.M. Chicago’s Top Chef Stephanie Izard made television history when she became the first woman to take the top prize on Top Chef. She aims to repeat her success with the opening of her new Chicago restaurant, Girl and the Goat. Join us at the Beard House for a special sneak peek of Izard’s winning cuisine. Tuesday, December 22, 7:00 P.M. Flavors of Barcelona To celebrate the release of The Barcelona Cookbook (named after their award-winning Connecticut-based tapas bars), Andy Pforzheimer and Sasa Mahr-Batuz will pour bold Spanish wines and serve a menu of

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On the Menu: A Top Chef Comes to Dinner

Stephanie Izard For those of you experiencing Top Chef withdrawal, here's a little fix: Stephanie Izard, winner of season 4, is cooking at the Beard House on Monday. Take a look at her menu: Hors d’Oeuvre Foie Gras Torchon with Kumquats Broiled Oysters with Horseradish Aïoli and Pancetta Nantucket Bay Scallops with Acorn Squash and Brown Butter Dinner Sweet Onion Soup with Florida Stone Crab Duck Fat–Poached Alaskan Halibut Cheeks with Duck Confit Ravioli, Honeycrisp Apples, and Apple Jus Pan-Roasted Triggerfish with Smoked Goat Ragoût and D’Anjou Pears Roasted Lamb Medallions with Spiced Raisin Sauce and Niçoise Olives Rogue Creamery Smokey Oregon Blue Cheese with Bacon-Glazed Apples and Marcona Almond Butter To view Izard's official event page,

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Eat this Word: Croque Monsieur

croque monsieurWHAT? A ham-'n-cheese sandwich with a French twist. The classic croque monsieur, darling of cash-poor tourists and French folk-on-the-go, is buttered bread, Gruyère cheese, and lean ham, fried in clarified butter. In the good old days before even the French began to rush their meals, it was served as an hors d'oeuvre, a tea sandwich, or the main event in a (pre-cholesterol) light lunch. The modern version of this "crunchy sir" is more often a ham-and-Swiss combo, toasted in a grill press and served hot and delicious at cafes and street stalls, so even those Francophiles most pressed for time don't have to settle for McDonald's. Apparently when it crosses the ocean, this impeccably pedigreed Gallic standard gets some new clothes: this month at the Beard House, for instance, it's served with duck pastrami. WHERE? JBF Award winner Donald Link, Ryan

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Eye Candy: Beard House

éclair In a course that fused the cheese plate with dessert, Scott Gottlich and J. Chastain served Beard House guests Camembert and chervil–filled éclairs with shots of hot chocolate. See more photos from their contemporary dinner here.

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Eat this Word: Eggnog

eggnogWHAT? Holiday spirit. Decking the halls, singing carols, and supping on yuletide fare can render a reveler somewhat parched. Enter eggnog, a seemingly harmless holiday beverage that has been known to lure many naïve merrymakers into making fools of themselves at office Christmas parties. The sweet, creamy concoction is said to owe its heritage to posset, an English drink that early Americans adapted to create eggnog. In The Complete Book of Spirits, Anthony Dias Blue wrote, “[George] Washington’s two favorite drinks were eggnog and rum punch, both of which were served at almost all events in the colonies during…the War of Independence.” Though various recipes exist, the base for eggnog almost always consists of eggs, cream, sugar, and vanilla. And though it most often is mixed with rum, bourbon and whiskey are common alternatives. WHERE?

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On the Menu: Bobby Hellen Cooks a Dream Feast for Meatavores

Bobby Hellen We're doing things a little differently at the Beard House tonight: revered meat "prodigy" and Resto chef Bobby Hellen is roasting an entire pig and lamb for a nose-to-tail, family-style meal of meat mania (we won't tell your doctor if you don't tell ours). Check out the evening's goods: Boudin Noir Tart with Cheddar–Apple Purée Crumble; and Lamb Heart Confit with Celeriac and Chestnuts Pig’s Leg Salad with Chicory, Pig’s Ears, and Warm Guanciale Vin Lamb Neck Salad with Banyuls and Caramelized Yogurt Porchetta with Fennel Pollen, Rosemary, Thyme, and Pig Liver Lamb Roulade with Lemon Zest and Parsley Pork Ribs with Salt and Pepper Lamb Ribs with Belgian Carbonnade Sauce and Pickled Carrots Charcuterie Plate > Boudin Blanc, Lamb–Pepper Sausage, Pork–Garlic Sausage, Andouille Sausage, Pork Liver Pâté, and Head Cheese, Served with Whole-Grain Mustard, Apples, and Frisée From the

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