New Orleans sets fire to a cook's imagination like no other city, a fact amply illustrated by the multitude of books written over the years devoted to its singular cuisine. As we cooked our way through our celebration of New Orleans' classic dishes, a few books stood out from the rest. Keep reading »
From SAVEUR Issue #155
by Frank Brigtsen
As a New Orleans chef, I am often asked to explain the distinction between Creole and Cajun, Louisiana's famous cuisines. It's the difference, I always say, between city and country tables. Creole, from the Spanish criollo, meaning "native to a place," evolved across nearly 300 years in New Orleans—a city founded in 1718 by the French, ruled soon after by the Spanish, and home over the centuries to arrivals from all over Europe, West Africa, the Canary Islands, and the Caribbean. Creole food is classically French in spirit, exemplified by rich dishes such as shrimp rémoulade and trout meunière. But it borrows elements from the cooking of all of the city's populations. Keep reading »
From SAVEUR Issue #155
Some years ago I was sitting in a Chinese restaurant in my hometown of Brookline, Massachusetts, drinking pineapple martinis with my friend Samantha. I picked up a menu. "What's egg foo yung?" I asked.
Sam, who is half Chinese and half Caucasian, stared at me. "You don't know what egg foo yung is? You have got to be kidding."
At 21 years old, I had never tried egg foo yung. A first-generation American-born Chinese, I was banned from certain things as a child. Television. Dating. Action movies. Then there was Chinese-American food, of which egg foo yung is an icon. Keep reading »
While there's no shortage of Easter treats to tempt a sweet tooth (See our gallery tracing the history behind 8 classic Easter candies), for me, one in particular deserves some extra attention: the chocolate bunny. Loaded with charm and personality, this molded creation stands out from all the colorful eggs and sugar-dusted marshmallows. I've narrowed down the endless available options to seven of my favorite chocolatiers. Their creations range from whimsical, almost too-cute-to-eat hand-formed chocolate rabbits to bunny truffles filled with surprising goodies like carrot confit, raspberry ganache, and lemon zest caramel. See the chocolate bunnies in the gallery »
I have lived a regrettable amount of my life as an egg skeptic. Throughout childhood I refused to eat eggs, any style. Scrambled, fried, poached—whatever, I wasn't having them. Eggs were such foreign territory, I had no idea that cooked yolks could be served either creamy and firm or molten and dripping, though I suspect knowledge of the latter would have concerned me. By high school I had softened to the idea of a cheese omelet. Then college hit, along with a two year stint as a vegan. That meant 730 more eggless days, and an equal amount of time convincing myself that I wanted tofu scramble for breakfast. Part of my resistance, I'm sure, came from standard-issue picky eating, of which I had plenty. But I think there was also a fear of commitment because deep down, I surely knew I would eventually come around to eggs. And when I did, I would be a goner.
Keep reading »
Some of the most beloved cookbooks in our library are the dustiest: books we grew up with, inherited from our grandparents, found at yard sales, or bought new decades ago. In this column, we celebrate these bibliographic treasures, and our favorite recipes therein.
Edna Lewis's masterpiece of Southern cuisine, The Taste of Country Cooking, is widely hailed as one of the most important cookbooks of the 20th century, so it doesn't make sense that it would require a resurrection, and certainly shouldn't end up on the back of any bookshelf. If you already know Edna Lewis, you probably assume everyone does, but an informal poll of my friends found that only one or two people knew who she was and exactly zero owned one of her cookbooks. It is possible that this points to some failing of mine in choosing friends (not enough Southerners? too few cooks?). But I fear she is one of those food writers who never became as widely read as others held in the same esteem. Keep reading »
Lent, the period leading up to Easter, is traditionally a time for penitence and self-denial, and there's nothing like the deluge of candy that arrives Easter morning to help compensate for those weeks of lost pleasures.
Easter is a major candy holiday, lagging behind only Halloween in sales volume. It wasn't always so. While the other dishes that adorn the Easter table and filled Easter baskets—spring lamb, dyed eggs, and hot cross buns—all trace their origins to the pagan spring festivals of ancient times, candy is a newcomer, dating back just to the 1800s, when European candy-makers first started hand-crafting chocolate eggs for the holiday. Candy eggs were wildly popular, and by the late 1800s, fine candy makers in major U.S. cities were offering chocolate eggs both hollow and filled, jelly eggs, and exquisite panorama eggs of sugar, icing, and paper for the Easter holiday. Keep reading »
Around the world, a variety of dishes help commemorate the end of the Lenten fast. From the Russian paskha, a rich sweetened cheese to the Finnish pulla, a braided, cardamom-spiced bread, these 12 recipes celebrate global Easter food traditions. See the recipes »
In a holiday defined by a diet free from leavened wheat products, desserts take on a special role. With standard cakes and cookies off the table, kosher-for-Passover sweets are an inventive and flavorful group. Skipping standard flours and turning the spotlight instead on sweets like meringue, nuts, chocolate, and fruit, this year's Passover dessert spread will be worth saving room for. See all the recipes »
A cousin to onions and garlic, but with a sweeter, more subtle flavor, the elegant leek is one of our favorite cold weather vegetables. Try tossing thinly sliced leeks into stir fries, roasting whole leeks until meltingly tender, or using the aromatic vegetable to enrich soups and sauces. See the recipes in the gallery »