Eat this Word: Monte Cristo

Monte Cristo

WHAT? The count’s revenge? The origins of this rich sandwich of ham, chicken or turkey, and Swiss cheese that is either dipped in egg and fried in butter or made with already dipped and fried French toast are not clear. A staple of diners across the country, where it is sometimes served with jelly or maple syrup for dipping, the sandwich is thought to be related to the club sandwich, or maybe the Reuben (Jewish delicatessens sometimes substitute corned beef and sauerkraut for the traditional fillings). Lieut.-Col. Newnham-Davis, author of The Gourmet Guide to Europe (1903), suggests a Spanish ancestor, a sandwich from Seville for which "a slice of ham is put between two slices of bread and dipped in sherry, [then] in egg and fried." In truth the sandwich was probably the fruit of a creative line-cook’s imagination, or maybe just an accident. One thing that mystifies is the name. There is nothing in Dumas’s masterpiece to suggest why a san

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Recipe Roundup: October 17, 2011

figsThe blogosphere’s sprawling universe of recipes is inspiring, diverse, and—let’s face it—a bit daunting. Our recipe roundup does all the heavy sifting to single out recent, mouthwatering recipes from our favorite blogs. All you have to do is click and cook! Glowing Halloween Punch [Chow] Quinine in tonic water glows a fluorescent blue when exposed under black lights. Croissant Bread Pudding [LAT] Croissants replace bread in a savory twist on bread pudding from La Boulange in San Francisco.

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In Season: Cranberry Beans

cranberry beans

Also known as borlotti, pink-flecked cranberry beans are available fresh in the late summer and fall. Creamy and flavorful, they’re delicious in soups or stews or can be tossed with olive oil and herbs for a simple side dish (though they lose their gorgeous coloring once cooked). If fresh cranberry beans are no longer available in your area, buy dried ones and soak overnight before cooking.

How to Store: Fresh, unshelled cranberry beans can be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for three to four days. Dried cranberry beans stored in a cool, dry area will keep for up to a year.

How to Cook: Fresh cranberry beans are very easy to shuck. One pound of beans in the pod yields about 1 1/3 cups shucked beans, or enough for about two to three people. To cook, shell the beans and put them in a medium saucepan. Cover with cold water, bring to a boil, and cook until tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. To cook dried cr

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Recipe: Butternut Squash Soup with Curried Pears and Toasted Pecans

Butternut Squash Soup with Curried Pears and Toasted Pecans

As we think ahead to the long, bleak stretch of cold weather that's about befall us, we're on the hunt for simple and delicious variations on a seasonal staple: butternut squash soup. This elegant version from Canadian chef Andrew Hodge is threaded with winter spices and topped with curry-scented pears and crunchy pecans. Get the recipe here.

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On the Menu: October 15 through October 21

Beard House We're gearing up for one of our busiest weeks this season, and it promises to be delicious! Saturday, October 15, 7:00 P.M. Piedmontese Truffles and Wine A former JBF scholarship recipient who trained at Le Madri, Pippa Calland is now top toque at Villetta in Santa Monica, where she delivers impeccable Italian-inflected California cuisine. For this ode to Italy’s Piedmont region, Calland has designed an ingredient-driven menu that will feature Sabatino Tartufi truffles and acclaimed Michele Chiarlo wines. Sunday, October 16, 5:00 P.M. Chicago: Friends of James Beard Benefit When putting together this Friends of James Beard Benefit, host chefs Paul Kahan and David Posey say they invited chefs from around the country whose culinary talents are reach

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2011 JBF Leadership Awards Video

We'll be recapping last night's 2011 JBF Leadership Awards soon, as well as sharing images from the ceremony that honored the recipients who are working hard for a more safe, sustainable, and healthful food world. For now, have a look at the video below that opened the program. (And for even more sustainability-focused discussion, tune into the second day of our food conference. You can watch a live stream of today's panel's and presentations here.

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The 2011 JBF Food Conference—Live!

JBF Food Conference

Our 2011 JBF Food Conference, Sustainability on the Table: How Money and Media Influence the Way America Eats, is finally upon us! You can participate in the action here on our live site, where you can watch the conference in real time and join the discussion in the comments section of our blog. Our exciting group of guest speakers and panelists include: Marion Nestle, professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University; sustainable seafood expert Paul Greenberg; James Beard Foundation Award–winning chefs José Andrés, Marcus Samuelsson, and Michel Nischan; JBF Award winner Barry Estabrook, author of Tomatoland; and Stephan Habif, vice president of foods R&D at Unilever. These esteemed speakers and panelists will address topics relating to how money, incentives, and industry concentration inf

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JBF Kitchen Cam