Eat this Word: Huckleberries

huckleberriesWHAT? Berry trails. Perhaps more associated with Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn than with fine cuisine, huckleberries grow most widely in the West, and along Midwestern rivers, like the Mississippi, on which Huck spent so many days lazing. Huckleberries come in many shades, including pink, white, blue-black, and purple, with the blue-black variety being the firmest and most widely available in the marketplace. James Beard was a fan, writing in American Cookery that they were “wonderful to the taste.” Unlike their close relatives, blueberries and cranberries, which have a multitude of soft, little seeds in their center, each huckleberry contains ten hard, small seeds, and their flavor is more tart. Huckleberries are not cultivated; their growing season is typically from June through August. According to Beard, they “make good pies and cakes and other typically American delights.” WHERE?

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On the Menu: December 6 to December 12

Kitchen Here’s what happening at the Beard House and around the country next week: Sunday, December 6, 6:00 P.M. 8th Annual Greens Holiday Party Join the James Beard Foundation Greens as we celebrate the holidays with great food and drink at the 8th Annual JBF Greens Holiday Party at the historic James Beard House. Don't miss this chance to explore our muse's home and sample culinary delights from some of the city's most exciting chefs. Master mixologist Michael Waterhouse will create delectable holiday cocktails using Bison Grass Vodka and Bull Dog Gin and a selection of fine wines from Palm Bay Imports and Stella Artois beers will also be served to keep everyone in good spirits. Monday, December 7, 6:30 P.M. Friends of James Beard Benefit: Milkwaukee

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Tastebud: Let Them Eat Brioche!

brioche

Once a symbol of luxury, brioche is a classic, egg and butter–enriched French bread that is traditionally baked in a circular, fluted pan. Crowned with a smaller globe of dough, it becomes brioche à tête. The richness of brioche stands up to intensely savory foods like foie gras and also works well in decadent desserts. Shortly before the French Revolution, shortages of plain bread were common in poor communities. To curb starvation (and prevent uprisings), the law required that fancier breads like brioche had to be sold at a lower, regulated price. The expression “Let them eat cake,” frequently misattributed to Marie Antoinette, actually stems from this 18th-century mandate.

Brioche is no longer inciting revolution, but it is showing up on many plates at the Beard House. In fact, Michael Giletto will serve it twice, placing fennel aspic on slices of caramel brioche with fried salsify

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Eye Candy: Beard House

carrots A variety of heirloom carrots soak up a generous dollop of butter in the Beard House kitchen. Take a look at more photos from the dinner prepared by Mark Porcaro, Jason Banusiewicz, and Tak Kuen "Tommy" Choi of Boston's Top of the Hub. (Photo by Lisa Ozag)

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On the Menu: 8th Annual Greens Holiday Party

ornaments It's never too early to get your holiday cheer on, especially if fantastic food and cocktails are involved! Come help us kick off the season at the 8th annual Greens Holiday Party. Even if your inner Grinch is recoiling, we're sure the menu below will make you have a change of heart. The festivities start at 6:00 P.M. sharp on Sunday, December 6, at the historic James Beard House. Call 212.627.2308 to reserve. Cocktails by Michael Waterhouse of Dylan Prime and Drink Tank Ltd., NYC Bull Dog Cinnamon Pear > Bull Dog Gin, Maple Syrup, Fresh Pear, Cinnamon, and Lemon Pepper Bull > Bison Grass Vodka, Apple Cider, and Freshly Ground Black Pepper Rhubarb Sparkle > Aperol, Rhubarb Bitters, and Cinzano Sparkling Wine Stella Artois, Hoegaarden, and Leffe Blonde Twin Vines Vinho Verde 2008 Periquita 2006

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Eye Candy: Beard House

chefs on stairs Chefs who cooked at our Fall Flavors: Six Plates, Six Pinots dinner climb the stairs up to the Beard House dining room to meet the night's guests. Check out more images from the evening here. (Photo by Erin Gleeson)

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On the Menu: November 29 to December 5

Kitchen Here’s what happening at the Beard House next week: Monday, November 30, 7:00 P.M. Boston’s Grand Dining Soaring 52 stories above Boston’s Back Bay, the Top of the Hub is a city landmark, a can’t-miss dining experience that offers guests the rare combination of a breathtaking view and phenomenal food. Chef Marc Porcaro oversees the kitchen, where he crafts inventive interpretations of classic New England cuisine. Tuesday, December 1, 7:00 P.M. Piedmontese White Truffle Dinner Under the tutelage of JBF Award winner Paul Bartolotta and Bartolotta’s own mentor Valentino Marcattilii, chef Juan Urbieta has mastered the art of Italian cooking. At this special event, he’ll pair decadent white truffle creations with the wines of Italy’s Piedmont region for

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Eye Candy: Beard House

OctopusJeremy Culver of New York's Fulton served this grilled octopus with hen of the woods mushrooms, sea beans, and squid at his seafood-centric Beard House dinner last week. See more images from the dinner here. (Photo by Joan Garvin)

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Eye Candy: Beard House

Kitchen Scott Dolich of Park Kitchen plates a course of roasted chilies with beets and walnuts in the Beard House kitchen. View more images from the Portland chef's dinner here. (Photo by Bobbi Lin)

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Recipe: Pumpkin Soufflé with Parma Ham Chips

Savory pumpkin soufflé As promised, we're bringing you the recipe for the savory pumpkin soufflé with prosciutto di Parma chips (not shown) that Paolo Parmeggiani served at the Beard House last Tuesday. Make it as a delicious, unexpected part of your Thanksgiving spread.

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