Recipe Roundup: Winter Squash

 

Why should summer squash get all the love? Winter squash are some of the most delicious versatile ingredients of the entire year. Although these recipes all call for perennial favorites like butternut squash or pumpkin, feel free to substitute any flavorful, orange-fleshed winter squash you find at the market. We particularly like the Kabocha and Buttercup varieties for their sweetness; Acorn for its dainty size; and Delicata for its hearty, edible peel—but don't be afraid to get creative.

 

Butternut Squash Soup with Curried Pears and Toasted Pecans

Everyone has a favorite butternut squash soup. This one will be yours.

 

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Tastebud: Use Your Lemon

 

“If you’re not cooking with lemons, you’re not really cooking.” This proclamation, uttered by JBF Award winner Sean Brock during his Taste America: Washington, D.C. 2013 demo, cast some existential doubts over my own culinary chops. Was I using lemons enough? When had I last bought one to simply to have on hand, without a specific use in mind? If my food hasn’t been seasoned with lemon, is it even food?

 

Well, sure it is, but with unmet potential. Lemons are high in acid, and, like salt, acid triggers your saliva glands. The dissolving power of saliva helps our taste buds derive more flavor (in other words, greater enjoyment) from our food. Zippy lemon also energizes heavier ingredients, transforms texture, and is a great value. Lemon perks up my pancakes, massages my kale salad, and lends... Read more >

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Edward Behr on How to Eat Better in 2016

 

In his cookbook, 50 Foods: The Essentials of Good Taste, noted culinary expert Edward Behr guides readers on how to select, prepare, and most importantly, enjoy, some of the world’s best foods. To help us get the new year started off right, here are Behr’s top ten tips for a delicious 2016.

 

1. Eat better apples.

Most of the apples in supermarkets have been picked too soon, and even if they were stored well, they’ve spent too long in the distribution pipeline and then sat too long in displays without refrigeration. They’re not at their best. Instead go to a farmers’ market or a store that cares about fruit and offers great varieties with real flavor, such as Ashmead’s Kernel, Duchess of Oldenburg, Esopus Spitzenburg, Newtown Pippin, Wickson Crab, Pink Pearl, and Macoun (the best of the McIntosh family). Any of those are goo... Read more >

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What's Cooking This Week: 7 Satisfying Italian Recipes

 

Want a comforting Italian dinner without filling up on pasta? We know the feeling. These seven delicious recipes will take you through the week, keeping you satisfied with all the vibrant flavors of the boot. 

 

Monday: Potato Frittata

Kick off the week with a meatless main from James Beard himself. Similar to the Spanish tortilla made with potatoes, this Italian version of an omelette can be made with any vegetable you like. Bonus: leftovers are great for breakfast or layered into a sandwich or on top of greens for lunch.

 

Tuesday: Chicken Cacciatore

This rustic, hunter-style dish from Sonoma wine country–based chef Tim Bodell is a deeply satisfying meal of bright ingredients and bold, layered flavors. Packed with cremini mushrooms, veggies, and red wine, we promise it'll hit the spot.

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Eat This Word: Hominy

 

WHAT? Indigenous edible. This venerable grain is in fact dried corn kernels that have been processed with an alkali—traditionally a lye or limewater solution—to remove their tough outer skins. Its consumption dates back to ancient Mesopotamian cultures; in her book Crazy for Corn, Betty Fussell referred to hominy as “the world’s oldest chemically processed food.” Hominy was a staple of the Native American diet, and vestiges of its past can be found in Mexican soups and stews like menudo and posole. Its most common contemporary American iteration is as grits, the Southern staple in which dry hominy is ground, simmered over slow heat, and served with butter and cream in either savory or sweet variations.

 

WHERE? Coastal Winter

 

WHEN? Friday, January 29, 2016... Read more >

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What We're Reading This Week

 

Put an egg on it: the complete guide to poaching, scrambling, and boiling your way to egg heaven. [NY Times]

 

One giant underwater leap for mankind: a Hawaiian distillery is using deep ocean water to craft premium vodka. [MUNCHIES]

 

Want some charcoal with your acai bowl and kale juice? How this surprising ingredient is quickly becoming the next superfood. [Grub Street]... Read more >

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Happy Hour: Minch's Lure from Anvil Bar & Refuge

 

As the weekend nears, we often find ourselves lusting after a quick dive into the boozy embrace of a perfectly crafted cocktail. And what better way to accomplish such a feat than with a libation from a 2015 semifinalist for our Outstanding Bar Program award? The kind folks at Houston's Anvil Bar and Refuge, the city's first bar to wholly devote itself to classic cocktails, have offered up their recipe for the Minch's Lure, a clean tippler that highlights Scotch in all its glory. "My goal was to showcase Scotch in a way that reminded people of how delicate the spirit can be, explained ... Read more >

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On the Menu: Week of January 11

 

Here’s what’s coming up at the James Beard House and around the country:


Tuesday, January 12, 7:00 P.M.

Legendary Career: Christian Delouvrier Celebration

Through his mastery of classic French cuisine and series of acclaimed restaurants, Christian Delouvrier has nurtured countless promising cooks into accomplished chefs. Join friends and protégés as they toast their mentor’s illustrious career through fabulous food and outstanding wines.

 

Wednesday, January 13, 12:00 P.M.

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Caul Me Maybe: Jimmy Bannos Jr.'s Charred Cauliflower with Toasted Bread Crumbs, Cornichons, and Parsley

 

“I always bust my sous-chefs' chops and ask them, 'Do you have the balls to come up with a vegetable dish?'" That would be Jimmy Bannos Jr., the fourth-generation restaurateur who may be best known for his "Cheese, Wine, and Swine" menu at the Purple Pig on Chicago's Magnificent Mile. Believe it or not, when he starts talking about in-season produce, he lights up like a kid in a (dirt) candy store. "We laugh about this all the time," Bannos says. "There isn't even a spring here in Chicago. You can enjoy something for like three weeks, and it's gone. That's the beauty and the curse."

 

For the James Beard Award winner for 2... Read more >

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Beard House Highlight: Melted Leek Toasts with Stracciatella and Pickled Fresno Chiles

Photo by Ken Goodman

 

Melted Leek Toasts with Stracciatella and Pickled Fresno Chiles​ / Italian-Inspired California Soul​

 

The holidays may be behind us, but that doesn't mean we stop entertaining friends and family. Menu-planning for even the most casual dinner parties can sometimes feel daunting, especially when it comes to canapés. But at Michael Fiorelli's recent Beard House dinner, the chef and partner at Love & Salt reminded me that easy-to-prepare, drool-worthy appetizers are not so far out of reach.

 

Fiorelli started the... Read more >

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