Eat this Word: Pain Perdu

WHAT? Leftover loaf. To make pain perdu, or "lost bread," stale slices of baguette or brioche are revived by a soak in an egg and milk bath and then browned in butter until crisp. We know it as French toast in the U.S., but versions of this custardy concoction can be found throughout most of Europe. In Portugal, the dish is called rabanadas; in Spain, families tuck into honey-coated torrijas; and in England the strangely named "poor knights of Windsor" has been a delicacy since the 17th-century (when it was often doused in wine and finished with almond milk). Pain perdu's origins are unknown, but a similar recipe appears in the writings of Roman chef Apicius from the first century A.D.. Today, New Orleans chefs have claimed pain perdu as their own, adding cinnamon and vanilla to the egg mixture and serving the dish with a sprinkling of powdered sugar and a dollop of jam

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Eye Candy: Mango and Pineapple Carpaccio

Pastry chef James DiStefano, who fashions balanced and stylish desserts at New York's Rouge Tomate, prepared this striking dish at a Beard House dinner earlier this month. It featured mango and pineapple carpaccio with matching sorbets, coconut tapioca, macadamia cake, and coffee molasses. Click here to see more photos from Rouge Tomate's event.

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Recipe: Fava Bean Purée

This simple but delicious purée from JBF Award winner Alice Waters showcases one of the darlings of spring produce: the fava bean. While the beans do require a bit of time and fuss (they must be shelled and then eased out of their skins), their creamy, fresh flavor and inviting color are worth the effort.

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Awards Watch: Readers' Choice, Website

Citizens of the blogging community sure are opinionated! The response to our readers' choice poll on who deserves the medal for best food blog has been so huge that we've decided to keep the voting open a little while longer. At this moment, Hunter Angler Gardener Cook holds the lead with about 52 percent of the votes (and many cheering fans in the comments section), but Serious Eats still poses a threat in a not-too-far second place. We're also launching a new poll: best food-related website. Check out the nominees, then cast your vote below. Chow.com (Jane Goldman) Epicurious.com (Tanya W. Steel)

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Eat this Word: Fiddleheads

WHAT? Fern believers. A seasonal green available for only about two weeks in spring, fiddleheads are actually the young, tender shoots of "cinnamon," "brake," or "ostrich" ferns. The tightly coiled, immature fronds can be eaten raw or gently cooked, and have a taste likened to a cross between asparagus, green beans, and okra. The shape of the coil echoes the shape of the scroll of a violin or fiddle, hence the name. The season is over once the fiddleheads uncoil into full-fledged fronds. WHERE? Linton Hopkins's Beard House dinner WHEN? May 5, 2010 HOW? Hickory-Smoked Pepper-Crusted Rib-Eye and Braised Short Ribs with Appalachian Ramps, Mo

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On the Menu: From the Hearth

If you’re a fan of Jim Lahey’s famous bread or Neapolitan-style pizzas, you're in luck: the dough maestro himself will be cooking at the Beard House tomorrow night, and his menu, which includes some of his signature breads, is after the jump: Hors d’Oeuvre Deep-Fried Veal Meatballs Arancini Morels and Thyme on Stirato Cannellini Beans and Pancetta on Stirato Pane Casareccio Dinner Olive Oil–Poached Artichoke Salad with Arugula, Parmesan, and Lemon Vinaigrette Asparagus Sformato with Shaved Asparagus, Guanciale, and Pane di Comune Roasted Suckling Pig with Kumquat Marmalade and Spring Onions Braised and Grilled Baby Spring Lamb with Ramps and Cannellini Beans Strawnoffe Pi

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