Eat this Word: Croque Monsieur

croque monsieurWHAT? A ham-'n-cheese sandwich with a French twist. The classic croque monsieur, darling of cash-poor tourists and French folk-on-the-go, is buttered bread, Gruyère cheese, and lean ham, fried in clarified butter. In the good old days before even the French began to rush their meals, it was served as an hors d'oeuvre, a tea sandwich, or the main event in a (pre-cholesterol) light lunch. The modern version of this "crunchy sir" is more often a ham-and-Swiss combo, toasted in a grill press and served hot and delicious at cafes and street stalls, so even those Francophiles most pressed for time don't have to settle for McDonald's. Apparently when it crosses the ocean, this impeccably pedigreed Gallic standard gets some new clothes: this month at the Beard House, for instance, it's served with duck pastrami. WHERE? JBF Award winner Donald Link, Ryan Pre

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Recipe: Tarte Tatin with Goat Cheese Cheesecake

goat-tarte For a riff on apple pie, Joseph Bonaparte served a tarte tatin with goat cheese cheesecake at the Beard House's Thanksgiving dinner. Though the day of the turkey has come and gone, we're still facing a long winter of farmers' markets with little more than apples for their wares—this delicious dish makes the best of the fruit.

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Jobs We Love: Danielle Di Vecchio

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Maybe you've never eaten Danielle Di Vecchio's biscotti, but it's possible that you've seen them on the small screen: the treats appeared on an episode of The Sopranos, in which Di Vecchio played Barbara, Tony's law-abiding younger sister. Fleeting cameo aside, the actress's company, Biscotti di Vecchio, is enjoying more business than ever. Read more about how she turned her grandmother's recipe into an off-the-set gig.

 

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James Beard Foundation: How did you start your biscotti company? Was it something you always wanted to do?

 

Danielle Di Vecchio: Starting a biscotti business was not something I seriously thought would be a part of my life’s path. But looking back, I don’t see how it could have been any different. I’ve always l... Read more >

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Wine Wisdom: Q & A with JBF Award Winner Kevin Zraly

wine glass Since he was inducted into our Who's Who of Food and Beverage in America in 1988, the restless Kevin Zraly has stayed busy: after taking an exhaustive, two-year world tour that touched down in over 100 wine regions, he has updated and re-released the classic Windows on the World Complete Wine Course, which hit bookstores in late September. We got in touch with the JBF Award–winning instructor to see what else he's been up to and what he likes to drink for under $20.

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Eye Candy: Beard House

éclair In a course that fused the cheese plate with dessert, Scott Gottlich and J. Chastain served Beard House guests Camembert and chervil–filled éclairs with shots of hot chocolate. See more photos from their contemporary dinner here.

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JBF News: One Day Left to Send Us Book Awards Submissions

cookbooks The deadline for JBF Book Awards submissions draws nigh: as glossy new releases fall on the doorstep every 15 minutes, our shelves are starting to buckle under the weight of over 250 entries. The stacks of spines offer subjects as varied and absorbing as ever: a tome on homemade cheeses; a pocket-sized guide to smoking techniques; a history of a certain worshiped West Coast burger chain. It's quite the sight to behold (and a temptation to neglect our to-do lists). Tomorrow is the last day we're accepting submissions, so there's still time to add yours to the mix. Click here to download an entry form.

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Eat this Word: Eggnog

eggnogWHAT? Holiday spirit. Decking the halls, singing carols, and supping on yuletide fare can render a reveler somewhat parched. Enter eggnog, a seemingly harmless holiday beverage that has been known to lure many naïve merrymakers into making fools of themselves at office Christmas parties. The sweet, creamy concoction is said to owe its heritage to posset, an English drink that early Americans adapted to create eggnog. In The Complete Book of Spirits, Anthony Dias Blue wrote, “[George] Washington’s two favorite drinks were eggnog and rum punch, both of which were served at almost all events in the colonies during…the War of Independence.” Though various recipes exist, the base for eggnog almost always consists of eggs, cream, sugar, and vanilla. And though it most often is mixed with rum, bourbon and whiskey are common alternatives. WHERE?

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