Eye Candy: You Say Kataifi, I Say Kanafeh

chamomile parfait, semolina cake, and kataifi-wrapped strawberries

At the end of his forward-thinking Greek dinner, Pano Karatassos served a dessert of chamomile parfait, semolina cake, and kataifi-wrapped strawberries. Kataifi—also known as kanafeh—is an Arabic pastry made of fine threads of pastry dough or shredded phyllo. It is common in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean bakeries. Click here for more photos of chef Karatasso's dinner.

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Recipe: Sweet Pea Gazpacho

Sweet Pea GazpachoThis refreshing and seriously simple sugar snap pea gazpacho from chef Joseph Humphrey is an instant hit with everyone who tries it. All it takes are four ingredients and some simmering, so it’s perfect for a busy weeknight. (Just hurry and grab your peas quickly; with the summer solstice behind us, these green beauties won’t be around much longer.)

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Giveaway: Know Your Coffee

illy giveaway It’s time for another round of coffee trivia from illy’s Master Barista Giorgio Milos. Here’s our next question: A coffee plant’s flowers are what color? To win a fabulous prize from illy, simply put your answer in the comments below and a commenter with the correct answer will be chosen at random! Today’s prize? An illy Cappuccino Lover’s Gift Set. You’ll be drinking cappuccinos at home everyday when this great set lands in your kitchen. It includes two cans of medium roast ground espresso coffee, a latte art steaming pitcher, four illy logo cappuccino cups, and four demitasse stirrers. You have until today at 6:00 P.M. EST to get your answer in

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America's Classics: The Bright Star, Bessemer, Alabama

America’s Classics Award–winning restaurants have timeless appeal and are beloved in their regions for quality food that reflects the character of their community. Here is the final eatery that earned this prestigious distinction in 2010. A clump of feta, tucked in a salad of iceberg and cucumbers. A stipple of oregano on a broiled snapper fillet. At the Bright Star in Bessemer, Alabama, an old steel town southwest of Birmingham, the vestiges of Greece are few. Greek immigrants built the Bright Star, a vintage dining hall of intricately patterned tile floors, nicotine-patinaed woodwork, WPA-era murals of the old country, and brass chandeliers. The Bright Star opened in 1907. Descendants of Bright Star founding fathers—Tom Bonduris and his cousin Bill Koikos, natives of the farming village of Peleta in the mountainous Peloponnesus region —still work the floor. Jimmy Koikos, a septuagenarian, and brother Nicky, seven years his junior, are in charge now. The menu is an honest—and very old—fusion, Greek meets Southern, as interpreted by African American cooks: fried red snapper throats, house-cut from whole Gulf fish, are on the menu.

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Ask a Chef: What Would You Eat for Your Last Meal on Earth?

"Spaghetti with sea urchin and limpets, but only if I could gather them from the shores of Sicily. Otherwise, because it's my last day on earth and I don't care about cholesterol and blood pressure, I would want a four-pound aged steak with a large side of pommes soufflé." –Fortunato Nicotra, Felidia, NYC

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On the Menu: Catalan Food and Wine

Croquettes

Barcelona, the capital of Spain’s Catalonia region, is well known for its vibrant markets and rich food culture. At Mercat (“market” in Catalan) and sister restaurant Mercat Negre, chefs Jalinson Rodriguez and Oriol Sala Colomer, along with wine director Carl Wisegart, capture this dynamic quality in their bold, regional Spanish cuisine. The Mercat crew will be cooking at the Beard House this Wednesday; check out their menu below. Hors d’Oeuvre Traditional Gazpacho Assorted Croquettas > Shrimp; Chicken; and Spinach Shrimp and Chorizo Skewers Salmon Ceviche with Avocado and Popcorn Dinner Sardine with Roasted Vegetables and Sherry Reduction Sautéed Wild Mushrooms with Fried Egg, Shoestring Potatoes, and Truffle Vinaigrette Monkfish with Summer Squash Romesco and Dried Fruit

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Recipe: Cauliflower Fritters

cauliflower fritters

Top Chef's Sam Talbot served these crunchy cauliflower fritters at his late-spring Beard House dinner. Creamy florets are puréed with honey and cream cheese, dredged in flour and panko, and fried to golden brown perfection. With a yield of two dozen fritters, this recipe makes enough for seconds—and thirds—at a small cocktail party.

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