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Posts for August 15th 2012
Chardonnay typically runs in two veins: either crisp and apple tart or buttery and oaky. People feel strongly about both sides, but those who gravitate toward latter flavors will love this 2010 Franciscan Estate Cuvée Sauvage Chardonnay from Napa Valley. At $40 a bottle, this is no table wine, but its unique method of fermentation and big, bold flavors make it worthy of opening on a special occasion.
Customarily, winemakers add yeast to the grapes to propel fermentation, but this Chardonnay is a cuvée sauvage. Sauvage in French means "wild" or "natural," indicating the grape juice, stored in a barrel, slowly developed natural yeast strains and fermented on its own. The fermented wine is then aged in oak barrels sur lie — meaning "on the yeast" — which contributes to added flavor complexity.
The wine pours out a golden hue, a sign that our palates are in for a strong, heavy white that holds its own and offers enough depth and intricacy to appeal to red-wine drinkers. On the nose and tongue, the scent and flavors sync harmoniously. Vanilla bean, butter, caramelized sugar, hazelnut, and toasty oak swirl together for a hefty, rich combination. Perhaps there's a slight hint of apple and lemon, but the fruitiness of the wine subtly lingers in the background. With each swallow, the velvety tannins from the oak coat the tongue and throat but don't stick there relentlessly. Red-wine drinkers, I challenge you to taste and enjoy this Chardonnay.
If legendary television chef and author Julia Child were still standing, she'd be turning 100 years old today. Should you find yourself craving one of the culinary matron's masterpieces, flip on some reruns of The French Chef or In Julia's Kitchen With Master Chefs, then make yourself an authentic French recipe from scratch, courtesy of JC. Here are a few of our favorite ideas.
Source: Getty, Nicole Perry
Any American can finagle a batch of pancakes in the morning, but crepes, the French equivalent of pancakes, are regarded highly because making them requires good technique and a lot of practice. However, don't be discouraged. You too can produce paper-thin, lacy, semicrisp crepes, and Julia Child's recipe for dessert crepes is a great way to become acclimated to crepe-making.
Julia Child's batter for dessert crepes is shockingly easy — just measure out the ingredients and whirl them around in a blender. The tricky part is the actual cooking. Luckily there is a video of Julia cooking crepes for the faint of heart. Notice the crepes should be spotted brown with a smooth consistency.
If your pan is too hot, the crepes will bubble as they cook and become craterlike, as pictured on the left. They are still edible (and delicious!), but lower the heat slightly so the rest of the crepes will be smooth, as pictured on the right.
Crêpes suzette is one of Julia's most notable preparations of dessert crepes, but the sauce is pretty heavy and the dessert crepes themselves are already saturated in butter. For a lighter, fresher topping to complement the buttery crepes, try marinating strawberries (or another fruit) in orange liqueur and granulated sugar. The orange liqueur adds an indescribable depth and richness to the berries without weighing down their fruity, ripe flavor. It's about time you swallow any trepidation, pull out that nonstick pan, and start making Julia's crepes now.
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This recipe, a favorite of ours for years now, comes from the relentlessly delicious kitchen of The Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten. I've spent many happy hours of my life curled up with her cookbooks and a cup of coffee, dreaming that I too had a cooking assistant named Barbara by my side, and that I too had a gigantic barn-sized kitchen with two dishwashers and plenty of gorgeous natural light. If I had those things, couldn't I too whip up some fantastically comforting food for my husband and millions of viewers? I think I could.
As it turns out, Ina's recipes are entirely doable in the smallest of kitchens with the dreariest of lighting. Even though this particular recipe for chicken stew with biscuits dirties a lot of dishes, I started making it in my tiny grad-school kitchen that had approximately 12 square inches of counter space. I didn't use a mixer to make the biscuits, because I didn't have one yet. I was covered in flour by the end of it, but that only added to the comforting, homey effect, I'm sure: tender chicken napped in gravy, vegetables that add the perfect texture and sweetness, and biscuits that are crisp on the top and wet on the bottom, a little dumpling-y, in fact.
Keep reading for Food Orleans's chicken and biscuits lessons.
Today, Aug. 15, is big day when it comes to celebrity chef birthdays: not only would Julia Child turn 100 years old if she were still alive, but Top Chef head honcho Tom Colicchio is celebrating his 50th year, too! In honor of their respective birthdays, I put together a fun little quiz that tests your knowledge of the chefs-turned-television stars. Can you tell the difference between their lives and careers? Find out now when you take the quiz!Take the Quiz
Need a fast and delicious appetizer to serve at your next dinner party? How about pancetta-wrapped asparagus? It's a crowd-pleaser that's virtually effortless to make. All you have to do is wrap the asparagus with pancetta and throw it on the grill! Watch the video to learn how it's done, then print out the recipe and try it at home.
It's time to add a little kick to your menu, and yupitsmabel has just the thing for you: seasoned shishito peppers!
This is a great vegetarian side dish or korean ban chan.
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