Wine Wisdom: Tyler Colman's Thanksgiving Picks

wine glass Your turkey is bobbing in brine, you've devised a hard-and-fast schedule for your oven and stovetop, and you've struck the last ingredient off the grocery list—every minutia of your cooking game plan is nailed down, but what about the wine? With so much emphasis weighing on what to eat on Thanksgiving, it's no surprise that pairings can get second billing. Fortunately, we've sought help from our friend Tyler Colman, wine expert and author of A Year of Wine: Perfect Pairings, Great Buys, and What to Sip for Each Season and his Dr. Vino blog. As we learned from his Beard on Books appearance, Colman believes that occasion, setting, and company ought to be taken into greater account when choosing a wine. So what does this mean for Thanksgiving? "Pairing wines with Thanksgiving is hard because of

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Recipe: Tacchino Ripieno alla Lombarda (Stuffed Turkey Lombardy-Style)

Molto Italiano When it comes to his Thanksgiving centerpiece, Mario Batali skips the whole bird and just opts for the breasts, which he slathers with a mixture of sausage, prosciutto, and other robust Italian flavors. It's a Northern Italian approach so tasty that you'll want to free up some extra room on your dining room table to accommodate it.

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Ask a Chef: What is your favorite dish to serve with turkey?

"True to my upstate New York roots, I make good old-fashioned green bean casserole, with cream of mushroom soup, and French's onions on top. We call them GB's at my house." –Anne Burrell, host of Food Network's Secrets of a Restaurant Chef "If I were to serve a Thanksgiving dinner with no turkey and all sides, I would serve scalloped potatoes with Brussels sprouts and brown butter, and mashed potatoes with homemade marshmallows on top." –Ben Ford, Ford's Filling Station, Culver City, CA "I do the turkey thing, but I love brioche stuffing. I can't get enough of it." –Michael Kramer, Voice at Hotel Icon, Houston "Instead of traditional stuffing I serve a savory caramelized onion and wild mushroom bread pudding." Tim Love, Lonesome Dove Western Bistro, Fort Worth, TX

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Eat this Word: Country Ham

country hamWHAT? Mold gold. Dry-cured in salt, sugar, and other seasonings; slowly smoked over a hardwood fire; then aged up to 12 months, country ham originated as a way to preserve ham in pre-refrigeration days. The result is saltier and firmer than its more common processed, brine-injected cousin, and to the true ham connoisseur, there is no comparison. If you have a hankering for one, consider an outing along the backroads of Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, or Virginia. Most famous of all is the Smithfield ham, which must be made in Smithfield, Virginia, and which must meet criteria laid out by law. According to The American Heritage Cookbook, Queen Victoria had a standing weekly order for Smithfield ham. “Formerly it was not uncommon to find them aged six and seven years,” James Beard wrote of aged, country hams in American Cookery. “They were black, covered with mold, and looked uninviting to the average person, but they gave promise of

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On the Menu: November 22 to November 28

Kitchen Here’s what happening at the Beard House next week: Thursday, November 26, 6:00 P.M. Thanksgiving Feast This Thanksgiving, leave the poultry thermometer and the casserole dishes behind and spend the evening at the Beard House enjoying a bountiful holiday menu of impeccably prepared American classics from this talented team of Art Institute chefs. For details and reservations, visit www.jamesbeard.org/events or call 212.627.2308. (Photo by Krishna Dayanidhi)

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