It's not long now. The end of summer. That's not bad news for everyone. Fall fashion fans. Parents who have spent enough quality time with their kids. Halloween enthusiasts.
But it is the last chance to savor some amazing foods that will be gone when summer is over, or not long afterward. Here are some things to try before it's too late.
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America's Test Kitchen is a real 2,500 square foot test kitchen located just outside of Boston that is home to more than three dozen full-time cooks and product testers. Our mission is simple: to develop the absolute best recipes for all of your favorite foods. To do this, we test each recipe 30, 40, sometimes as many as 70 times, until we arrive at the combination of ingredients, technique, temperature, cooking time, and equipment that yields the best, most foolproof recipe. America’s Test Kitchen's online cooking school is based on nearly 20 years of test kitchen work in our own facility, on the recipes created for Cook's Illustrated and Cook’s Country magazines, and on our two public television cooking shows.
Eggs Benedict relies on two tricky egg-based components—poached eggs and hollandaise sauce. If you follow our method for poaching eggs, the first part is easy. Adding vinegar to the water helps to set the whites and prevents feathery whites. Cracking the eggs into the teacups and gently sliding the eggs into the salted, acidulated water ensures they all go into the water at the same time—so they all are done at the same time.
Water temperature is key when poaching eggs. We bring the water to a boil and turn off the heat. We add the eggs and then quickly cover the pan. The gentle residual heat produces restaurant-worthy poached eggs with soft, runny yolks and perfectly formed, round whites.
Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.
As great as those staples of summer grilling are, it’s the very best time of the year to eat your vegetables. And so many of them are even better after spending a little time over fire.
Who would be the best person to get tips for grilling vegetables from? A ton of great chefs are big into vegetables these days, but I went to Rich Landau, chef/owner of Vedge, Philadelphia’s sensational vegetable restaurant. Landau is so good that the "The Tonight Show" bandleader Questlove asked for his recipe for pastrami-spiced beets. (“This dish makes me believe in beets,” Questlove said.)
Here are Landau’s excellent tips for prime-time summer produce, like his very favorite way to grill corn. Now, go fall in love with smoky carrot dogs and have a happy summer!
Ray Isle (@islewine on Twitter) is Food & Wine's executive wine editor. We trust his every cork pop and decant – and the man can sniff out a bargain to boot. Take it away, Ray.
Summertime, you know, it's all about the white wines. Well, and the rosé wines. And the sparkling wines. But what is there for people who get the heebie-jeebies when they're presented with a nice glass of Sauvignon Blanc? Who think pink wine is for poltroons and pikers? Who feel that the sadly departed English wine merchant Harry Waugh's reputed comment - "the first duty of wine is to be red" - is gospel, and not just a nice idea? What about their wine, huh?
Well, because this is an equal opportunity column, I feel it's incumbent on me to provide some recommendations for great summer reds. What makes a red wine ideal for summer? Not too much alcohol, for one - skip the 16.5% Amarones, and put the port away until wintertime. A good summer red should also have a certain crispness of character, an acid-driven zip that perks up your taste buds rather than sending them to sleep. Finally, and ideally, it should taste good when slightly chilled. With all that in mind, here are some great options.