Recipe: Jennifer McLagan's Perfect Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato Sandwich

Fat For our first Beard on Books of the year, we're tossing those healthy resolutions out the window and sitting at the feet of Jennifer McLagan, chef, food stylist, and fat advocate. She's discussing her latest book, Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, with Recipes, which was named Cookbook of the Year at the 2009 James Beard Awards. Supported by common sense and science, McLagan comes to the defense of this unfairly maligned nutrient, persuasively arguing that fat is indispensable to a complete diet and full flavor. (Not that we ever needed to be convinced of the latter.) The book features recipes that get a boost from clever uses of oil, butter, or animal products. One of our favorites is her Perfect Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato Sandwich: the

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Recipe: Lobster Cappuccino

lobster cappuccino Covered in foamed milk and crispy pancetta, this roux-thickened lobster soup is fairly easy to prepare and great for a celebration. If you don't have an espresso machine with a wand for frothing, you can use a spoonful of unsweetened cream in place of the milk.

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Recipe: Icewine Marshmallows

icewine marshmallows Our readers gushed about s'mores after we wrote about them last summer, so when Jason Parsons sent us his recipe for icewine marshmallows, we believed it was our duty to give them a try. Chef Parsons ingeniously boils down sweet icewine to produce the necessary simple syrup (a step for which a candy thermometer is absolutely essential). Try them as an unexpected hot chocolate topping or mignardise.

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Recipe: Duck Confit Pot Pie

duck confit pot pie We're charmed by Dallas chef Scott Gottlich's witty take on pot pie. Served in a lidded pastry shell, his version of this creamy wintertime favorite gets a boost of richness from foie gras béchamel and duck confit.

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Recipe: Catfish Court-Bouillon

catfish court bouillon While French court-bouillon is a light poaching liquid made with mirepoix, bouquet garni, and acidic elements like lemon or wine, its Cajun descendant is a hearty fish stew. JBF Award Winner Donald Link uses cornmeal-dredged catfish and jalapeño pepper to ramp up the good ol' New Orleans flavor of this authentic recipe.

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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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Recipe: Slow-Baked Halibut with Cauliflower and Sicilian Pistachios

halibutA trio of pistachios, cauliflower, and sherry vinaigrette outfits this dressed-up halibut dish, which appeared on Jason Giordano's Beard House menu last month. It's delicious, healthy, and perfect for when you're feeling a bit ambitious in the kitchen on a weeknight.

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Recipe: Blini with Caviar

Blini with cavair Consider this classic, decadent hors d'oeuvre for your New Year's Eve party. From the pages of James Beard's New Fish Cookery, the blini are a cinch to prepare, and the gleaming caviar provides the perfect celebratory note. A clean Champagne or vodka helps it all go down.

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Recipe: Chocolate "Salami"

chocolate "salami"When we saw a recipe for Karl Mace and Nick Gough's chocolate "salami" pop into our inboxes a couple weeks ago, we were a bit skeptical. Turns out the Maine chefs had created a rich, complex, and fruity chocolate fudge, and when our recipe tester brought it in for us to taste, it quickly vanished from the kitchen. We think this is a great treat to put out for your family to nibble on during Christmas Day.

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Recipe: Chocolate "Salami"

chocolate "salami"When we saw a recipe for Karl Mace and Nick Gough's chocolate "salami" pop into our inboxes a couple weeks ago, we were a bit skeptical. Turns out the Maine chefs had created a rich, complex, and fruity chocolate fudge, and when our recipe tester brought it in for us to taste, it quickly vanished from the kitchen. We think this is a great treat to put out for your family to nibble on during Christmas Day.

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