Recipe: James Beard's Huckleberry Cake

HuckleberriesAn Oregon native, James Beard was fond of the many types of wild berries that dot the Pacific Northwestern landscape. In Delights and Prejudices he recounts the springtime berry-picking excursions he took as a child with his family, searching for fruits to use in baked goods and jams. The holy grail of these outings was the huckleberry, which typically grows on mountain slopes and is difficult to reach. When the Beards had the good fortune to stumble upon an elusive patch, they gathered huckleberries to put in pies, clafoutis, or this simple but fantastic cake, a recipe from a family friend. Huckleberry cultivation is rare, so you usually won't see them at grocery stores or farmers' markets. Blueberries, which are similar in flavor and will be available soon, are an excellent substitute.

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Eye Candy: Beard House

Pizza Workshop

Pizza topped with smoked mozzarella, fresh and sun-dried tomatoes, balsamic vinaegar, and basil—one of the many pies prepared by Mark Bello at his artisanal pizza workshop.

May 2, 2009, The Beard House, NYC

(Photo by Annabel Braithwaite)

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Ask a Chef: Anita Lo

Anita Lo Annisa and Rickshaw Dumpling Bar's Anita Lo, who prepared steak tartare with Korean anchovy broth at this year's Awards gala, tells us about her most treasured kitchen tools.

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Eat this Word: Watermelon Radish

Watermelon RadishesWHAT? A radish by any other name... Also known as Rose Heart, Beauty Heart, Shinrimei, Misato, Asian Red Meat, or Xin Li Mei, this mild, slightly sweet radish is deceptive. The root’s dull greenish-white exterior belies its vibrant interior—at its heart, this baby boasts bright magenta flesh. When you slice into the greenish outer rind to reveal the pink center, it’s clear how this blushing bulb got its Western name, watermelon radish. But don’t let the name and size (they can grow to be the size of a grapefruit) scare you—this is no genetically engineered melon-radish hybrid, it’s an heirloom variety of daikon radish. During watermelon radish season (from spring into summer), you’ll find them adding color and crunch to salads and sandwiches. WHERE? Brian Lewis's Beard House dinner WHEN?

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Eye Candy: Beard House

Crispy Hawaiian Moi

Crispy Hawaiian moi with roasted olathe corn, pueblo asparagus, lightly smoked trout salad, and truffled kabayaki dressing, prepared by Troy Guard, a member of the Denver Five.

May 13, 2009, The Beard House, NYC

(Photo by Joan Garvin)

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Recipe: Juanita Dean’s Southern Fried Chicken

Fried Chicken
It may only be Wednesday, but we're already thinking about what to pack for our Memorial Day picnic. Sure burgers and dogs are great, but nothing is quite the same as a great piece of crispy fried chicken. Perfect hot or cold, this Southern fried chicken is a guaranteed crowd pleaser—no buns or condiments required. This version of the classic comes to us from JBF Associate member Dr. Nathan Goldstein. While growing up in Birmingham, Alabama, Juanita Dean’s fried chicken was one of his family’s favorite snacks. Dean learned the “recipe” from her mother, who probably learned it from her mother. Recipe is in quotation marks because, of course, nothing was ever measured.

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Wine Wisdom: Natalie MacLean

macleannatalie-2

We asked sommelier, writer, and four-time Beard Award winner Natalie MacLean to tell us her favorite summertime wines that don't cost an arm and a leg. Best Patio Sipper: Ca’ Del Solo Vineyard Muscat 2007 (Monterey, CA): Medium-bodied and slightly off-dry white. About $17. Best Poolside Chiller: Nobilo Regional Collection Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2006 (New Zealand): Pure grassy goodness! About $16. Best Barbecue Quaffer: Peter Lehmann Shiraz Grenache 2005 (Australia): A full-bodied palate-whacker of a wine. About $15.

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Eye Candy: Beard House

Soy-Cured Scottish Salmon with Chive–Green Apple Slaw and Crème Fraîche

Soy-cured Scottish salmon with chive–green apple slaw and crème fraîche, prepared by Richard Garcia and Matthew Maue of Tastings Wine Bar & Bistro in Foxboro, MA.

April 4, 2009, The Beard House, NYC (Photo by Tom Kirkman)

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On the Menu: The 3rd Annual NYC Food Film Festival

Just in time for the warm weather, Water Taxi Beach owner Harry Hawk and burger aficionado George Motz are bringing us the 3rd annual installment of their awesome NYC Food Film Festival. The festivities kick off with an Opening Night Gala at the Astor Center on June 13th and alfresco screenings continue until the 19th at both Water Taxi Beach locations.

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America's Classic: Arnold's Country Kitchen

Whether it’s a clam shack near the shore, a barbecue joint on the outskirts of town, or a sub shop on the busiest city street, chances are your favorite local restaurant is a James Beard Foundation America’s Classics Award winner. Each week at Delights + Prejudices we profile one of these classic restaurants. Next up, Nashville's meat and threes paradise Arnold's Country Kitchen. Co-owner Jack Arnold favors overalls and foulard bow ties. He began his restaurant career as a dishwasher, at the age of 12. While studying art at Vanderbilt University, he managed the campus cafeteria. By 1983 he had his own place, Arnold's Country Kitchen, a concrete block building, outfitted with a steam table and a tray line.

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