Food & Wine (May 2015)
Food & Wine (May 2015)
Food & Wine (April 2015)
Spring! We're so happy to finally -- finally! -- be hitting spring here in Washington, D.C.
And for us there's probably no vegetable that quite sings "spring!" more than young, tender asparagus.
We're asparagus purists, especially when it's at the height of season. Lightly steam or sauté it, sprinkle it with the faintest whisper of salt, and eat. That's how we like it.
So what about this Crunchy Asparagus Salad full of Japanese flavors? Would it make the cut for our simple-is-best approach to spring asparagus?
Food & Wine (March 2015)
We're on the cusp of spring -- can't you just feel it?
Every time we step out our front door, we see the very beginnings of buds on trees, new daffodils poking the first hint of green out of the ground, and fewer folks in jackets, finally shedding their winter layers.
March is the Jekyll and Hyde of seasons, and it's a funny time for food magazines. Some are full of hearty winter fare; others start to feature lighter, spring-ier dishes.
Us? Our hearts and palates are firmly set on spring. We're craving green, both under our feet and on our plates.
So it perhaps wasn't quite in the right mindset that we started making these Crispy Pork Chops with Warm Fennel Salad.
Food & Wine (February 2015)
A few weeks ago, our oven died.
It wasn't totally unexpected. The thing was 15 years old. And the digital control panel had long been cracking and falling apart, perhaps hastened a couple months ago by a not-quite-not-our-fault melting situation involving redirected heat trapped under a cookie sheet on the stovetop.
Anyway, just before it broke, we'd decided the oven needed a good cleaning, so we turned on the self-cleaning cycle and hit "start" -- and that's when the incessant beeping began. And the flashing error message. And the locked door that wouldn't open no matter what we tried.
The oven, along with the stovetop, was kaput.
It took us almost a week to get a replacement delivered. Which really wasn't the end of the world, except for one thing: We'd invited our friend Carl over for dinner.
We had planned to make this Caraway Salmon with Rye Berry-and-Beet Salad from Food & Wine. But how to make it without either an oven or a stovetop?
Fortunately, we got by with a little help from our friends.
Food & Wine (February 2015)
Here's what your vegetables have been missing: butter.
We served this dish of Warm Green Beans and Lettuce in Anchovy Butter the other night when we had our friends Vicky and Amanda over for dinner. At one point Vicky commented that she typically wasn't a huge fan of green vegetables, but that she loved this dish.
"Oh thanks!" we said. "We do too."
But inside we were thinking, Duh! It's all about the butter.
Food & Wine (January 2015)
Clay was having coffee with his friend Rachel, comparing notes about recent restaurant visits and recipes, when she offhandedly mentioned a recipe she had just made from the most recent Food & Wine: Roasted Cauliflower with Grapes.
Rachel had loved it; Clay was on his way to the store after work, and needed no more convincing.
Food & Wine (January 2015)
We've waited a whole year, but we can't wait any longer: It's time for another Brussels Sprouts recipe.
Sometimes, we think we could do a monthly or even weekly Brussels recipe here on The Bitten Word, given how frequently we eat them (at least a couple pounds a week) and with such variation.
But we largely spare you our Brussels addiction. Despite our seemingly insatiable appetite for the vegetable, there is, we fear, a limit for most of you. But for today, we're all going to revel in Brussels' glory, with this recipe we plucked out of the latest Food & Wine: Brussels Sprouts with Sausage and Cumin.
We are so excited to start cooking in 2015! But first let's take a quick look back at 2014.
In our ongoing quest to test-drive food magazine recipes, we tried out a lot of dishes last year. Some were good; some were duds. Here are the best things we made all year long, in chronological order. First up are our favorite food magazine recipes, followed by a few other favorites from last year.
The 10 Best Food Magazine Recipes from 2014...
1. Pork and Squash Stew with Chiles
Tender bites of pork in a savory broth with a warm, comforting heat. It's the perfect dish for winter -- and, as we wrote back in February, an ideal make-ahead dish.
2. Herbed Faux-tisserie Chicken and Potatoes
We have roasted a LOT of chickens in our day. This one is absolutely one of the top three ever.
3. New Orleans–Style BBQ Shrimp
Spicy and buttery and delicious. The next-best thing to actually going to New Orleans.
4. Edamame-Miso Tuna Salad Sandwiches
This is probably the one dish we've made the most since posting about it last year. The mix of miso, hot chile oil and edamame is a great new spin on tuna salad. We've made this (especially for lunch to take to work) more times than we can count.
5. Ayam Jeruk (Grilled Chicken and Toasted Coconut Salad)
We debated whether to include this dish in our year-end roundup, because we'd made so many substitutions in the recipe. But who cares? This dish was to die for, and we're sure it's even better if you can find fresh galangal. And shaved coconut. And candelnuts. And Asian shallots. And Balinese long peppers...
6. Asian Marinated Tomatoes
These tomatoes are really more of an accompaniment or a condiment than a stand-alone dish. But they're marvelous. If we may quote our own post from last summer: "Imagine if a bowl of salsa spent a semester abroad in Thailand, and got really into meditation and mystic Buddhism and lemongrass, and then came home and hopped up on your grilled chicken." Who doesn't want that??
7. Spiced Lamb Burgers
Nothing we made last year was as drool-worthy as these lamb burgers. As we said back in July, "The lamb is flavorful and full of wonderful spice from the coriander, cumin and cinnamon. The fat from the lamb melts into the pitas, soaking them with flavor and making them crispy and amazing." If you're not salivating at that, there may be something wrong with you.
8. Vietnamese Pork Chops with Pickled Watermelon
In August, we solidly declared this the "DISH. OF. THE. SUMMER." We stand by that. This salty/savory/sour/sweet/pungent/crispy/juicy dish is everything you want in a grilled entree.
9. The Barefoot Contessa's Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes
It's highly possible that no dish we've featured has ever elicited a greater response than these potatoes that we made for our Fakesgiving test-run of recipes. We heard from countless -- countless! -- friends and family and Bitten Word readers who made these for Thanksgiving. And just about everyone has told us these are the best mashed potatoes they've ever made.
10. Maple Syrup Pie with Crème Fraîche
This delicious pie was the crowd favorite at our Fakesgiving meal this past year. We could eat it morning, noon and night.
... Plus 5 More of Our Faves.
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Food & Wine (December 2014)
Food & Wine (November 2014)
Trifles have long been the go-to dessert for Zach's mom Brenda.
Any time of year, for just about any occasion, she'd whip up a trifle. In the summer, it'd be ladyfingers layered with fresh berries and cream. In colder months, she'd make coffee tiramisu trifles -- dipping the ladyfingers in strong coffee and then laying in chocolate and mocha cream.
In fact, there's a funny family story about Brenda and trifles (a story that also happens to tell you a whole lot about Brenda as a person).
See, in the small Tennessee town where Zach grew up -- especially back in the day -- ladyfingers were often hard to find. You could usually hunt them down around Christmas, but they didn't really show up much during the rest of the year.
One time, Brenda came home from town with bags -- bags -- full of packages of ladyfingers. There must have been 30 packages. She'd found a good supply and bought every last package in the store, which she planned to freeze and use in trifles later on.
The reason Brenda bought out the store's entire supply of ladyfingers? She wanted to "stock up before the hoarders could get to 'em."