February's Best Recipes



Here are our recipe tester's favorite recipes from the last month:

Patatas Bravas with Fried Eggs and Chorizo
Ryan Poli of Chicago's Tavernita adds pan-fried chorizo and eggs to this tapas-bar standard.

Shrimp Rillettes
This sweet and spicy spread from Atlanta-based chef Linton Hopkins is equally at home at a dinner party or among your beer-slugging sports buddies.

Riesling-Poached Pineapple with Rosemary Whipped Cream and Pink Peppercorns

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Super Bowl Recipe: Linton Hopkins's Shrimp Rillettes

shrimp rillettes

Your football buddies might raise an eyebrow if you serve this oh-so-French-sounding spread from Atlanta-based chef Linton Hopkins at your Super Bowl party. But once they get a taste of the sweet shrimp paste that's been whipped with cayenne pepper and a generous dose of butter, they'll be parked by the ramekin for the rest of the game, alternating between rillettes-slathered chips and slugs of all-American lager. Get the recipe here.

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Recipe: Pork Rillettes

Pop quiz: what's the difference between rillettes and pâté? It's a blurry line: pâté is a mixture of ground meat and fat blended into a silky, spreadable paste, while the texture of rillettes is often decidedly more rustic. Some sources claim that rillettes are a "poor man's pâté" since it's crafted from cheaper cuts. Semantics aside, there's nothing unfortunate about this recipe for unctuous pork rillettes from James John Café in Portland.

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Recipe: Pork Butter

While it may sound like the latest overreaching product of pig mania, this delicious pork butter recipe from chef Nathan Thurston is actually akin to classic French rillettes. But instead of slow-cooking the protein in fat, Thurston braises his pork shoulder or butt until its fall-apart tender. He then pulverizes the meat in a stand mixer and combines it with butter; the result is a delicious spread for crackers and toast.

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Eat this Word: Rillettes [ree-YEHT]

RillettesWHAT? Coveted crock. "I certainly had never had the happiness of seeing that brown mess spread on slices of bread and butter," recalled Honoré de Balzac of watching his schoolmates eat the savory spread he so desired. A native of Tours, the French literary legend may have belonged to one of the few families that couldn't afford the humble specialty of the region, where the fatty favorite is lovingly referred to as "brown jam." As with other pâtés and terrines, rillettes begin with chopped meat, salted and cooked slowly in fat (the recipe dates back to the 15th century Loire Valley, where it was likely created to use up leftover scraps of pork). The tender morsels are then shredded and stored in ramekins or crocks covered with additional fat. This age-old technique results in a rustic yet deliciously creamy paste that has aromas of garlic, bay leaf, thyme, and wine. Literally translated, rillettes means "plank," which probably refers to its appearance when

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