Thursday, February 24, 2011

Ode to Food & Wine (the magazine, that is)

On the trip back from Maine I finally had the chance to catch up on the last few issues of Food & Wine magazine, thanks to Evan's driving stamina. 11 hours and no break! God, I love that man.

When a friend got me a gift subscription to F&W a few years back, the magazine wasn't really on my radar. I'm not much of a wine connoisseur, and the internet was my primary source for recipes. Now I can't imagine my cooking life without it. So many of my "keeper" recipes that get put into heavy rotation come from this magazine. There may only be a few recipes from any given issue that I actually make, but the happiness they bring us is worth it.

Even though the bulk of every issue's content is available on the website about a month later, I cant imagine getting the same satisfaction out of staring at a computer screen for hours, as I get from curling up with the magazine in the sun room with a glass of wine or cup of tea, or killing an 11 hour car ride flipping, dreaming, and making notes.

I could not believe how many pages I dogeared in the January issue, mostly recipes. I kept excitedly blurting out out recipe names and ingredients to Evan, which was rather cruel considering our food choices along the New York State Thruway (shameful, New York, just shameful ...). Here are some that I found exciting:
* Beet and apple salad *
(I'm on a major beet kick right now) 

* Pork tenderloin braised with elderflower and fennel *
(uses one of my favorite liqueurs, St. Germain!)

* Nordic winter vegetable soup *
(one of the only reasons I can find to be glad that we are still in the seemingly endless throws of winter: soup)

* Toasts with ricotta and warm balsamic-caramel apples *
(this is my kind of dessert)


* Duck confit tacos *
(I've always been put off by anything requiring duck confit, thinking that I'd have to "confit" the duck myself - but thanks to this issue, I now know that not only can you buy duck already "confit-ed" at the grocery store, you can also can crisp the skin in the microwave) 

* Cavatelli with mussels, lillet and dill *
(since Evan is shellfish and dill adverse, this one is going in the "Romantic Dinners for One" file that gets pulled out when he's away or otherwise engaged at dinnertime)

* Honey-chili chicken wings *
(lately I'm such a sucker for anything featuring poultry with bones and skin, as you may notice, reading on)

* Kung pao turkey drumsticks *
(I am not wild over turkey, but these sound fantastic!)

* Focaccia with caramelized onions, pear and blue cheese *
(this would be great to bring to a party)

* Persian chicken stew *
 (ingredients include pomegranate juice, cardamom pods, allspice berries, walnuts, lime zest and cinnamon - so different from anything I have ever made before, which is always fun)

* Butter beans in miso bagna cauda *
(dying to make this for my weekday lunches)

* Grapefruit and Campari ice pops *
(another excuse to expand my bar ... ok, so maybe its a little early to be dreaming of ice pops - this was featured along with a few other ice pop ideas - cranberry + lychee juice, pear juice + fresh lemon juice, pomegranate juice + elderflower cordial - in F&W's food trends forecast for July 2011)


* Chicken parmesan with pepperoni *
(as eclectic as my taste in food may be, I still instantly salivate when presented with anything involving cheese, good tomato sauce, and pepperoni. If I wanted to be pretentious foodie about it, I'd say its my body craving umami, but really its just a byproduct of my enduring love for pepperoni pizza.)

And then there was the mention of Gabrielle Hamilton's chef memoir, gruesomely - yet deliciously, I think - titled "Blood, Bones & Butter", whose cover boasts this accolade from Anthony Bourdain: "Magnificent. Simply the best memoir by a chef ever. Ever."

And if that weren't enough to draw me in, and prompt me to immediately whip out my blackberry and add it to my book list on memopad (yes, this is why it takes me hours to dissect a single issue of a magazine), this photo would have sealed the deal:

Whatever she's doing with all those tomatoes, I want some.
And, oh god, is that her house?

Gabrielle, can we please be friends - please?

Then there was the feature on "Food Blogger Kitchen Design Ideas", which profiled A Country Farmhouse's gorgeous kitchen (I can't wait to devour the entire blog):

A kitchen renovation is pretty low on our list of near-future priorities, but I've started amassing photos from blogs and magazines as inspiration. I find the simplicity and timelessness of this one stunning. 
And it has confirmed that Ikea butcher block counter tops are what I want - er, need - when the time comes. If you are dreaming of a kitchen renovation, check out A Country Farmhouse's kitchen post - its pretty inspiring.

Oh, how I long for the day I get to say goodbye to this Tuscan Villa / Provence inspired counter top (came with the house) ...


  1. UMM, all these dishes look kinda, sorta AMAZING! Yum! I'm so hungry now!

  2. Thanks for the visit and comment, Nicole! I'll be working on linking all these up to Food & Wine's website soon (meant to do that before publishing).