Blog Posts by Epicurious.com

  • Top 5 Summer Wines

    Cool off with whites and reds ideally suited for picnics, grilling, and outdoor parties

    1. WILD ROCK "ELEVATION" MARLBOROUGH SAUVIGNON BLANC 2008

    (about $17)

    New Zealand's Marlborough region is known for its crisply acidic Sauvignon Blanc, but this one (made by the folks who produce top-end Craggy Range wine) has been elevated with dollops of fragrant Viognier and Riesling, which add complexity. The result is refreshing floral fruitiness with an edge of tingling, tart, herbal flavors. One sip gives you goose bumps in addition to the iconic Sauvignon gooseberry flavor.

    Meaty Pairing:

    Grilled Shrimp and Vegetables with Pearl Couscous
    Shellfish + a crisp white = a sure thing. And the sauce's fresh herbs complement the Sauvignon's spice.

    Meatless Pairing:

    Orzo, Green Bean, and Fennel Salad with Dill Pesto
    Green meets green: Lemongrass, lime, and herbs in the wine hold their own against the dish's strong pesto flavor without overwhelming the vegetables.

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  • A Cook’s Guide to Wedding Registries

    I'll admit it: Before I got engaged, I spent years thinking about what I'd like to register for. Like most cooks, I had a fantasy list of items, such as All-Clad pans, that I couldn't afford but hoped someone would buy me someday.

    But, as I learned when it finally did come time to register, it's actually a bit more complicated. When you and your fiancé are wandering through seemlingly endless displays of housewares, deciding what to put on your list can get stressful. If you live in a small apartment, do you really want an espresso maker? Would you rather have tough, practical dishes or delicate fine china? Even though you won't be paying for the items yourself, someone will, and if you want to avoid waste and get things you'll actually use, a bit of forethought is required.

    So below I've shared some tips that I've learned after going through this process. I hope they'll help other culinarily-minded brides- and grooms-to-be put together their perfect wish lists. And I'd love to

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  • 23 delicious vegetarian dishes

    Vegetarians do not all subscribe to the same eating philosophy. They range from vegans, who eschew consumption of all animals and animal by-products (including honey, eggs, and dairy), to pescetarians, who eat fish and shellfish but no meat or poultry. And then there is the "flexitarian"-someone who keeps a mostly vegetarian diet with the occasional indulgence of meat, poultry, and seafood.

    But "vegetarian" still tends to mean no meat, poultry, or seafood. So what do vegetarians eat? Definitely more than just salads. Legumes, seitan, and tofu add meatiness. Grains such as millet, wheat berries, and quinoa pack a nutritional punch. Season it all with herbs and spices along with a touch of creativity, and you won't miss the taste and texture of meat and poultry at all.

    Learn more about vegetarianism at The Vegetarian Society.

    More tips for vegetarians:

    Since animal meat is not part of the vegetarian diet, it is crucial to use other sources for nutrients, among them

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  • What is the definition of “local” when it comes to food?

    It's nice that so many consumers, and food makers, care about supporting local food purveyors. Too bad we can't all agree on how to define "local."

    The New York Times today ran an article about how the folks behind Lay's potato chips (Frito-Lay is owned by PepsiCo) and Hunt's canned tomatoes (ConAgra) are placing the spotlight on the local people and communities involved in making their products (carefully worded not to say "locally grown"). Yes, some potato farmers in Florida supply the ingredients for the chips that are made in Florida . But does that count? Local to the manufacturing plant? Local to Floridians? Am I a locavore if I eat a Lay's potato chip in New York ? That's stretching it.

    Check out the top 10 locavore eateries in the U.S.A.

    Similarly, most of the tomatoes in Hunt's product come from within 120 miles of the company processing plant, according to the Times. Same questionable logic about "local" applies. Technically, every product is local to the place

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  • Around the World in 80 Dishes: Sweet Crêpes

    In our ongoing video series Chef Lou Jones, from The Culinary Institute of America, demonstrates how to make sweet crêpes from Brittany, France

    Master the techniques for making crêpes, and you'll have the means to create impressive breakfasts, brunches, lunches, and dinners. While the recipe for these thin, delicate French pancakes featured in our videos is for the sweet variety, you can make them savory by simply omitting the sugar in the batter.

    As Chef Jones says in the video, if you're not used to making crêpes, the batter might seem a bit thin to you. Not to worry-this consistency allows bubbles to form so your crêpes will have a thin, delicate, lacy appearance. For perfectly tender crêpes, don't overwork the batter; just stir until you don't see lumps, then strain the batter to remove the rest of them. After making the batter, allow the mixture to rest before cooking-this gives the glutens time to relax so your crêpes will be soft instead of tough and chewy.

    Cook the

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  • Learn How to Cook Korean at Home: A Cookbook and Recipes

    It wasn't that long ago when diners started discovering Korean cuisine, especially popular dishes like Korean barbecue (kalbi, bulgogi), bibimbap, and kimchi. As a Korean-American, I've eaten my share of Korean food, almost all of it made by my mother during my childhood or eaten out at Korean restaurants. I admit that my taste buds tend to crave non-Korean cuisine, but every once in a while, there's a deep longing for the food of my ancestors. I typically satisfy that need by dining out but to be honest, I'm also a little lazy when it comes to cooking Korean food myself, mostly because I have no idea what to do. That's about to change, thanks to Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee's new cookbook, Quick & Easy Korean Cooking (Chronicle Books).

    Much of the book's appeal for me is its inclusion of dishes I grew up eating like Rice Cake Stick Snack (Ddukbokgi), Bean Sprout Soup (Kohng Namool Gook), and Seasoned Tofu (Dubu Jolim). For me, the mystery that has shrouded Korean cooking has been

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  • White Wine with Steak: Is it a Do or a Don't?

    I don't often abide by wine-pairing rules. Some pairings make sense to me, but mostly I just go with what I like and what I think works. The one rule I do tend to follow is red wine with red meat, but recently I had a meal that made me reconsider this notion.

    Last Tuesday evening, I was lucky enough to go to the James Beard House for dinner. The visiting chef was Jason Robinson of The Inn at Dos Brisas, a Relais & Châteaux property in Washington , Texas . The meal was quite good (especially all the spring veggies brought up from Dos Brisas's own 300 acres) but what really struck me were the wines, which were all Rieslings from the Mosel Valley in Germany . The pairings all seemed quite natural at first (I particularly enjoyed the Weingut Christoph von Nell Eleonora Halbtrocken Riesling paired with the hors d'oeuvres and house-made cheeses) but then I noticed that the meat course, slow-roasted Texas Akaushi loin (similar to wagyu) with Dos Brisas spring vegetables and Riesling

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  • Recession Special Menu: Hawaiian-Themed Spam Recipes

    Can we finally give Spam a break? The pinkish-yellow, gelatinous cube that slides out of each can with a disturbing "plop!" may not be the most appetizing meal for many, but does it really deserve the bad rap it gets?

    It's simply pork shoulder, salt (and lots of it), sugar, water, and sodium nitrite (a color preservative). Spam is an abbreviation for "Spiced Ham," not code for "Something Posing As Meat." And for all the folks who claim to turn their nose up at it, it sure does sell billions, and is popular in Hawaii, where's it's served as musubi and sushi and shows up on McDonald's and Burger King menus; in the U.K., which acquired a taste when the U.S. shipped over tons of the stuff for the Lend-Lease Act; and in South Korea, where the locals came to appreciate the surplus cans G.I.s wouldn't touch. And I bet if many of us rummaged around the backs of our own cupboards, a blue-and-yellow can might show itself.

    Best of all, it's cheap. And we can all appreciate cheap

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  • Family Favorites for Mother’s Day

    Epicurious editors choose recipes to honor their moms

    Some of the old clichés really are true.

    That's what we learned when we asked the Epi editors to choose recipes for Mother's Day that reminded them of their moms. The list was heavily weighted toward baked goods and comfort foods, accompanied by misty memories of childhood baking projects and Mom's incomparable pies. There's a reason we became food editors-for many of us, love equals a delicious meal.

    But that's not to say that our choices are all the same. We're an eclectic group, and our moms are, too-from a hot-sauce loving Louisianan to a noodle-soup fanatic in Hong Kong . Below are our ten picks.

    Drop Scones

    Joanne Camas, Copy Editor

    Camas, who grew up in Scotland , cites this as one of her favorite mom recipes. The traditional Scottish snacks resemble American pancakes rather than typical scones. "They're quite simple," says Camas, "but they taste amazing: soft, chewy, sweet, and salty from the lashing

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  • Mother knows best: Top chefs on their moms

    Even the world's top chefs learned a thing or two from Mom

    There's nothing like slaving over a hot stove-let alone a professional kitchen-to make you appreciate your mother. Gourmet's executive chef, Sara Moulton, credits her mom as a big career influence, remembering how the duo cooked their way through Craig Claiborne's New York Times Cookbook when Sara was in junior high. Mediterranean chef extraordinaire Todd English still makes his mother's Gooey Chocolate Cake-known to bring his staff running with gallons of milk in hand. And it turns out everything Italian restaurateur Pino Luongo knows about taste he got from his madre.

    These are just a few of the dozens of culinary stars who talk about their moms' cooking and share recipes in Chris Styler's book Mom's Secret Recipe File. In honor of Mother's Day, we're highlighting five chef/mom pairs from the book and including a recipe from each.

    Jamie Oliver

    Fifteen restaurant, London

    Jamie's mum, Sally Oliver, reminisces

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