Eye Candy: Fabulous Focaccia

focaccia Lorenzo Polegri—chef at the famed Zeppelin in Orvieto, Italy—served these tiny cornmeal and rosemary focaccia rounds with gorgonzola mousse and chives during the reception of his Beard House dinner. You can see more photos of the Italian feast by clicking here.

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Eat this Word: Lardo

lardo-claudio-cicali WHAT? Chewing the fat. Though Corby Kummer described lardo as "heaven on bread" in a 2005 New York Times article, this porky product is actually made from the layer of fat located directly under a pig's skin, which is then seasoned and cured. For most Americans, a slice of pork fat wasn't always the most appetizing antipasto, but in recent years this delicious Italian delicacy has been winning over fans on this side of the Atlantic, thanks in part to celebrity chefs like Mario Batali, whose lardo pizza at his NYC eatery Otto has become a favorite of critics and diners alike. After all, what self-respecting carnivore can argue with paper-thin slices of seasoned, glistening, translucent fat delicately draped over pizza dough—or any other carbohydrate for that matter? But in Italy, long before it was the ingredient del giorno, lardo was traditionally peasant fare, made from the fat that remained after the pig was butchered and

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Recipe: Scallops with Parsnip Purée and Lemon Beurre Monté

scallops-and-parsnip At your next dinner party, impress your guests by whipping up some impressive-sounding but deceptively simple beurre monté. Deemed the workhorse sauce by Thomas Keller, beurre monté is prepared by whisking pieces of butter into hot water to create an emulsion. The sauce gets some extra luxury from lemon juice and truffle oil in this scallop recipe. You’ll wonder why you never tried it before.

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Eat this Word: Scrapple

scrappleWHAT? Rehashed hog hodgepodge. Though a packed loaf of pig scraps and offal may not entice those with squeamish stomachs, scrapple has been enjoyed in the Pennsylvania Dutch region since its first settlers set up shop there. (According to the Habbersett company—which has been slinging scrapple since 1863—the product was invented in Chester County, PA, home to the state’s oldest colony.) Similar to black pudding or German panhas, scrapple was an invention born of frugality, a delicious way to use up every last piece of the pig after slaughtering. To the leftover porky parts New World pioneers added buckwheat and cornmeal—two crops indigenous to the area—and seasonings before setting in loaf-shaped molds. Sliced and fried until golden brown, scrapple has a crispy texture and well-spiced flavor similar to that of a country sausage patty. You can still find it in Pennsy

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Recipe: Apple Galette

apple-galette-blog-resized February can be a testing month for the foodie, as frozen food aisles and fruits from another hemisphere start to beckon our soup-and-stew-weary stomachs. But consider this comforting apple galette, which makes the best out of the lone fruit sitting in ghost town greenmarkets. Spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, this dessert will keep you warm, satisfied, and sane until spring's explosion of fresh foodstuffs arrives.

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Eye Candy: Banana Bread French Toast

banana bread French toast Jason Weiner of Almond served this deluxe French toast at his Beard House brunch last month. Made with banana bread, the dish was topped with candied walnuts, dried cranberries, and malted anglaise. See more photos of chef Weiner's brunch here. (Photo by Joan Garvin)

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Recipe: Rosemary Madeleines

madeleines-rosemary Our recipe tester loved the taste of these charming madeleines from Le Bec-Fin's Nicholas Elmi. The cookies are flavored with fragrant rosemary, tangy orange zest, and soulfully sweet brown sugar, which fuse together into an elegant, sweet-and-savory combination that's totally intoxicating. If you don't already own a madeleine pan, this is the perfect excuse to get one.

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