5@5 - Events that changed the course of Italian food
December 14th, 2011
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

Unless you grew up with an Italian family - or one well-versed in culinary cultures for that matter - Italian food probably meant spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna and the occasional chicken parmesan thrown in here, there and every other Tuesday.

But the cuisine of the boot-shaped country is more - oh so much more, in fact. From the to artichokes of Venice (fondi di carciofo) to the Piemonte region's penchant for truffles, Italy on a plate is as much of a melting pot as the United States is.

And its culinary heritage has been shaped by a series of fortunate events that chef Marco Frattaroli of Bastas Trattoria in Portland, Oregon, has kindly summed up.

Top Five Events That Changed the Course of Italian Cuisine: Marco Frattaroli

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Filed under: 5@5 • Bite • Cuisines • Italian • Think

December 14th, 2011
04:00 PM ET
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From telephone polls, to store receipts to a cheesy snack, people have claimed to see the image of Jesus Christ in all sorts of unconventional places.

Others have drawn divine inspiration from what they believe is the face of the Son of God on their morning toast. A miracle? Perhaps. Or maybe it’s just toast.

This holiday season, Galen Dively, a Vermont entrepreneur, is capitalizing on the hunger for Jesus crust.

Read the full story - Jesus toasters selling briskly

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Filed under: Culture • Religion • Think • Video

Supreme cuisine: New cookbook honors late husband of Justice Ginsburg
December 14th, 2011
12:30 PM ET
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The photo is both touching and humorous, a loving couple dressed as many of their friends and colleagues recall them. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg beams in her judicial robes, adorned with a frilly lace collar. Her late husband, Martin, gazes adoringly, wearing shorts and a silly French cooking apron.

Now Marty has received a fitting, very personal tribute in the form of "Chef Supreme: Martin Ginsburg," a cookbook released this week by the Supreme Court Historical Society. In addition to being a pre-eminent tax attorney and law professor, Marty - who died last year of cancer - was by all accounts an extraordinary amateur chef.

His easy-to-follow recipes for everything from smoked bluefish spread to vitello tonnato are available for all to try, leavened with bits of his trademark humor.

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Filed under: Books • Cookbooks • Make • Recipes • Think

Spouse vs. spouse: A holly jolly appetizer competition
December 14th, 2011
09:30 AM ET
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Welcome to round five of Spouse vs. Spouse, a series in which a couple of married food freaks, CNN’s Brandon and Kristy Griggs, square off in their Atlanta kitchen for culinary bragging rights – and invite you to weigh in too.

In each installment, Kristy and Brandon will each cook a creative variation on the same ingredient or dish – everything from pasta to seafood to cocktails to desserts. We’ll serve both versions anonymously to our friends, who will then judge which one they like better and why. We’ll walk you through our kitchen process, bring the husband-and-wife smack talk and, of course, keep score. We’ll also share our recipes here so that you can try them for yourself.

Our theme: Holiday appetizers

Breakfast buffet: National bouillabaisse day
December 14th, 2011
09:00 AM ET
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.

Go fish! - December 14 is National Bouillabaisse Day.

Just because it's winter time doesn't mean you should neglect your favorite vegetables or seafood. Even better, why not put them in a nice, hot soup that will warm you from the inside out?

Bouillabaisse is an oldie but a goodie - when Marseille was founded in 600 BC, the Phoceans were serving up a simple fish stew that laid the groundwork for this Provencal special. And there's even a bit of myth involved, because according to Roman mythology, this is the soup that Venus gave to Vulcan.

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