Eye Candy: Beard House

chefs at work Chef Mark Graham (second from left) and crew members form an assembly line to plate bacon-wrapped quail with Brussels sprouts, foie gras–braised carrots, and beet-poached quail eggs. Click here to see more photos of the early-November dinner. (Photo by Philip Gross)

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Eat this Word: Huckleberries

huckleberriesWHAT? Berry trails. Perhaps more associated with Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn than with fine cuisine, huckleberries grow most widely in the West, and along Midwestern rivers, like the Mississippi, on which Huck spent so many days lazing. Huckleberries come in many shades, including pink, white, blue-black, and purple, with the blue-black variety being the firmest and most widely available in the marketplace. James Beard was a fan, writing in American Cookery that they were “wonderful to the taste.” Unlike their close relatives, blueberries and cranberries, which have a multitude of soft, little seeds in their center, each huckleberry contains ten hard, small seeds, and their flavor is more tart. Huckleberries are not cultivated; their growing season is typically from June through August. According to Beard, they “make good pies and cakes and other typically American delights.” WHERE?

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Recipe: Sweet Potato Latkes

sweet potato latkes Though we've never met a person who didn't like latkes, this version could convert even the staunchest holdout. With their deep orange color and addictive, sweet-and-savory crunch, sweet potato pancakes just might give your grandmother's recipe a run for its gelt.

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On the Menu: December 6 to December 12

Kitchen Here’s what happening at the Beard House and around the country next week: Sunday, December 6, 6:00 P.M. 8th Annual Greens Holiday Party Join the James Beard Foundation Greens as we celebrate the holidays with great food and drink at the 8th Annual JBF Greens Holiday Party at the historic James Beard House. Don't miss this chance to explore our muse's home and sample culinary delights from some of the city's most exciting chefs. Master mixologist Michael Waterhouse will create delectable holiday cocktails using Bison Grass Vodka and Bull Dog Gin and a selection of fine wines from Palm Bay Imports and Stella Artois beers will also be served to keep everyone in good spirits. Monday, December 7, 6:30 P.M. Friends of James Beard Benefit: Milkwaukee

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Tastebud: Let Them Eat Brioche!

brioche

Once a symbol of luxury, brioche is a classic, egg and butter–enriched French bread that is traditionally baked in a circular, fluted pan. Crowned with a smaller globe of dough, it becomes brioche à tête. The richness of brioche stands up to intensely savory foods like foie gras and also works well in decadent desserts. Shortly before the French Revolution, shortages of plain bread were common in poor communities. To curb starvation (and prevent uprisings), the law required that fancier breads like brioche had to be sold at a lower, regulated price. The expression “Let them eat cake,” frequently misattributed to Marie Antoinette, actually stems from this 18th-century mandate.

Brioche is no longer inciting revolution, but it is showing up on many plates at the Beard House. In fact, Michael Giletto will serve it twice, placing fennel aspic on slices of caramel brioche with fried salsify and

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Recipe: Sonny's Special Potato Latkes

potato latkes Hannukah starts next week, which means it's time to get out your grater and cast-iron pans and start frying up some latkes. We think this is the recipe to beat, the one that took JBF vice president Mitchell Davis "to the top of the latke world," as he wrote in his 2002 book, The Mensch Chef. In 1995, Davis won the Foundation's latke cook-off with this version, which uses his mother's formula of one onion for every two potatoes.

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Recipe: Sonny's Special Potato Latkes

potato latkes Hannukah starts next week, which means it's time to get out your grater and cast-iron pans and start frying up some latkes. We think this is the recipe to beat, the one that took JBF vice president Mitchell Davis "to the top of the latke world," as he wrote in his 2002 book, The Mensch Chef. In 1995, Davis won the Foundation's latke cook-off with this version, which uses his mother's formula of one onion for every two potatoes.

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Eye Candy: Beard House

carrots A variety of heirloom carrots soak up a generous dollop of butter in the Beard House kitchen. Take a look at more photos from the dinner prepared by Mark Porcaro, Jason Banusiewicz, and Tak Kuen "Tommy" Choi of Boston's Top of the Hub. (Photo by Lisa Ozag)

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