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From Chicago

Knockout Noodles: Telegraph


[Photographs: Roger Kamholz]

After a couple of false starts, spring finally feels like it's here to stay. You know, for its usual fleeting couple of weeks or so. In the spirit of celebrating the sublime yet slippery season at hand, I headed to Telegraph to augment my weekly noodle intake with some springtime produce; the Logan Square wine bar's current pasta offerings just so happen to feature spring peas and spring onions.

Lit by gourd-sized Edison bulbs and outfitted in dark, distressed woods, Telegraph certainly feels of a piece with the owners' other Chicago dining and drinking destinations, Webster's Wine Bar and The Bluebird. I dig the vibe this trio is putting out: airy, relaxed, youthful, and unvarnished, but all the while serious about their beverages. And judging by the pastas I tried, Telegraph's culinary bona fides are deliciously on par with its liquid cred.

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Latin American Cuisine: Gallopinto (Nicaraguan Rice and Beans)


[Photograph: Kristin Teig]

Rice and beans are served at every single meal in Nicaragua. It's either rice and beans, or riceandbeans, otherwise known as gallopinto ("red rooster," though friends and I used to call it "painted rooster" due to odd translations and plain old foolishness). The name alludes to the color of the mixture of white rice and small red kidney beans, which mirrors that of the king of the coop.

At lunch and dinner, white rice is served pilaf style: rice is sautéed in vegetable oil along with finely chopped onions (some choose to use larger pieces so they can flavor the rice but be picked out at the end), then simmered in water or chicken broth, covered, and cooked until fluffy. Normally, a large piece of green bell pepper is thrown in, then removed prior to serving. Nicas love all things fried, so you may notice rice having a bit of a sheen to it.

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From Serious Eats: New York

8 Great Late Night Bites in the West Village

Slideshow SLIDESHOW: 8 Great Late Night Bites in the West Village

Editor's Note: Time and again we're asked where to get great late night eats around the city. Consider Zachary Feldman your guide to eating out after midnight.

[Photographs: Zachary Feldman, unless otherwise noted]

Known for its aggressive community boards as much as for its bevy of iconic New York dining institutions, Manhattan's West Village caters to palates and pocketbooks of every denomination. While its status as a safe haven for creative and alternative lifestyles is on the wane, the neighborhood remains one of the best areas on the island for the nocturnally hungry to snag a midnight snack. Check out the slideshow above for our guide to late night bites you can't miss.

Map It

View Midnight Snack: Guide to the West Village in a larger map

About the author: Zachary Feldman is a former debutante and current freelance writer. He makes hand-crafted, small batch bitters under the moniker Bitters, Old Men.

From Sweets

Share Your Sweets: Whole Wheat Sweets

Slideshow SLIDESHOW: Share Your Sweets: Whole Wheat Sweets

Whole wheat has a not-so-great reputation in the world of desserts and snacks. But we're all for adding a few extra nutrients here and there, especially if the sweets taste just as great as their white-flour counterparts.

But don't take our word for it. Just try any of these 12 sweets from the S.E community!

Next week, we're indulging a personal addiction to salty-sweet sweets. Do you make salted caramel ice cream? Add a few flakes of sea salt to your brownies? Tell us why a hint of salt takes your treat over the top, shoot us a photo (along with a link to the recipe!) and we'll include it in next week's roundup. Be sure to send it in no later than Tuesday, May 22nd so we can include it in next Thursday's Share Your Sweets on May 24th.

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From Drinks

Cocktail 101: How to Survive a Hangover


[Glass of water photograph: Shutterstock]

Sunday morning coming down. Wake up around 11, stumble into the bathroom for a quick shower. Crawl out the door to the neighborhood diner. Find yourself ordering, yet again, the version of steak and eggs they do where the steak is chicken-fried and so damn good.

The older I get, the less certain the world seems. One thing that I can probably always count on, though, is the morning after, and oh how I suffer.

Another of life's certainties? As long as there are hangovers, some quack will always want to sell you a hangover cure. These days, they're usually pills or powders. Time and method of delivery vary. Sometimes, you take it before bed; other times, you take it upon rising the next morning. Or afternoon. Or evening.

As to their efficacy, I'm a devout skeptic. I don't think a month passes without a public-relations agent sending me an email message to offer me the latest potion, powder, or tincture, all guaranteed to raise the gloom and lift the fog from my eyes.

In some ways, it seems like a cheat.

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Making Two-Ingredient Cream Biscuits, with Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart

Slideshow SLIDESHOW: Making Two-Ingredient Cream Biscuits, with Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart

[Photos: Carey Jones]

It's hard to imagine better biscuit teachers than Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart, who presented at the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival. Their book Southern Biscuits is about as definitive as they come, and Dupree is a James Beard Award-winning Southern cookbook author and television personality.

These two women have made more biscuits than any of us would in several lifetimes, but they still have a damn good time doing it, all but a Nathalie-and-Cynthia show of banter and flying flour—spouting tips like "First rule of biscuit-making: don't wear black" and "You don't KNEAD biscuits, you NEED biscuits!".

Two ingredients? Yes, really: self-rising flour and whipping cream. ("We're really just lazy," Dupree quips.) 15 minutes and that's about it.

But their biggest tip for biscuit making: start now and do it all the time. Or, as Dupree puts it, "Go home, lock the door, and practice! It's just flour. You can get more. Men spend thousands of dollars on golf clubs but no one expects them to get a hole in one the first time."

Come see how they do it in the slideshow.

About the author: Carey Jones is the Senior Managing Editor of Serious Eats. Follow her on Twitter (@careyjones).

Meet the Ribeye Cap, the Tastiest Cut on the Cow


[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Ribeye cap, light of my life when there's fire in my grill. My steak, my soul. Rib-eye-cap. It's deckle, plain deckle, in the kitchen, sitting one foot four when trimmed. It's calotte in France. It's "Butcher's Butter" in the shop. It's spinalis dorsi in the anatomist's manual. But in my tongs, it is always ribeye cap.

Did it have a precursor? It did, indeed it did. In point of fact, there might have been no ribeye cap at all had I not loved, one summer, a certain initial ribeye steak-rind. In a backyard in New Jersey. Oh when? About as many years before ribeye cap became a desirable cut as my age was that summer.

You can always count on a Serious Eater to rip off good Russian literature

I've harbored a secret love for this particular cut of meat for well over a decade, yet our love was so forbidden that it was hidden, even from myself. Whenever I'd order a big ribeye steak (medium rare, please) or throw a big old cowboy chop on the grill to sizzle away, I'd unconsciously start salivating with a singular thought in my mind: give me some of that delicious cap. Did I know what the cut was called? No. Did I know why it was tastier than any other part of the steak? I had an inkling. All I knew for sure was that those few precious bites along the outside edge of the ribeye—those bites that looked as if they were going to be tough and chewy—were the richest, butteriest, tenderest, beefiest bits of steak I'd ever put in my mouth.

Oh, how I longed to have a steak made up entirely of those few precious bites.

Well, my friends, my prayers have been answered, because our friends over at The Double R Ranch are offering an entire 18-ounce ribeye cap. Enter to win it here!

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From Drinks

First Look: Cocktails at La Cuevita, Los Angeles

Slideshow SLIDESHOW: First Look: Cocktails at La Cuevita, Los Angeles

[Photographs: Christine Merson]

After months of renovating the "Little Cave" that gave La Cuevita its name, the opening of this Mexican-themed bar from the group behind the acclaimed Thirsty Crow and Bigfoot Lodge has been hotly anticipated in Highland Park. Bar manager Jason Mort has watched mezcal gain in popularity in recent years. "We wanted to create a menu that plays on the classic cocktail while adding smoke and heat," he told us. Mort and acclaimed bartender Copper Gillespie worked together to give well-known mixed drinks just the right mezcal twist for a bar that aims to transport its patrons to a Mexico of generations past.

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Book Corner: 6 Great Barbecue and Grilling Books


[Photo: Joshua Bousel]

It's easy enough to throw some steaks on the grill, but if you're really into grilling, you just bought your first smoker, or you're a longtime barbecue obsessive, it's worth looking around for some inspiration beyond the basics, and some tips for upping your barbecue game. Here are a few books we love to get you through grilling season.

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Dinner Tonight: David Tanis's Pasta with Squid and White Beans


[Photograph: Blake Royer]

I first encountered the combination of squid and white beans in the famous tapas bar Bar Pintxo in the Boqueria market of Barcelona. There, tiny white runner beans are the bed for squid seared on a screaming hot flattop; a sauce of olive oil and the squid's ink gives the whole plate a round, salty tang. In a country of incredible food, it remains one of the best things I've eaten.

Why I Picked This Recipe: With the memory of that dish in my head, I turned to this recipe in David Tanis's marvelous book Heart of the Artichoke. Tanis, who is chef at Chez Panisse half the year and hosts dinners in Paris for the remainder (what a life), has published a couple of cookbook gems in the last few years. In this recipe, the addition of pasta helps stretch it into a full and more economical meal.

What Worked: The flavors and textures worked as well as I'd hoped: the pleasant chewiness of the squid, the smooth creamy beans, and the bold use of fresh marjoram as a major flavor alongside garlic and red pepper flakes. This makes a great bowl of pasta.

What Didn't: I found that ratios of ingredients in this recipe were off. It called for far too much squid than can be cooked successfully on a home burner without crowding a pan. This crowding prevented getting a deep sear on the squid before it become rubbery, which I missed. The way the tentacles get almost crispy is my favorite part of cooking them.

Suggested Tweaks: I've already adapted the recipe below to call for less squid, and to preheat the pan ahead of time so it's as hot as possible before the squid is added. My other suggestion is to squeeze lemon over everything for crucial acidity, and tone down the red pepper flakes to 1/2 teaspoon. Another idea altogether would be to lose the pasta altogether, and simply serve this is a bean salad with the squid on top.

About the author: Blake Royer is a food writer, photographer, and filmmaker based in Chicago; he has been writing for Serious Eats since 2007. You can follow him on Twitter @blakeroyer.

British Bites: Pork Pie


[Photograph: Sydney Oland]

There may not be a British meat pie more iconic than the pork pie. Pork and pork jelly set in a simple hot water crust—timeless, classic and elegant. Served cold as either a snack or as part of a meal, this hearty pie is a bit like a pâté en croûte, but more British. And if you've never had one, it is well worth the time to make it.

There are two well-known versions of this dish, the first being the classic which uses minced and cured pork, which retains its lovely pink color when cooked. It's also cooked in a mold or pork pie dish so that the straight-sided silhouette can be achieved. The second is the Melton Mowbray pork pie, using uncured pork as well as a hand-formed crust. My version of the pork pie is somewhere in between, using a combination of cured ham as well as fresh ground pork, but still retaining the traditional straight-sided shape.

I have included a recipe to make pork stock, which will set into a gelatin. But if you have a hard time finding trotters, or just don't have the time, setting a boxed chicken stock with gelatin is a fine substitution. Make sure to take the time to season the stock before you add the powdered gelatin; a dash of sherry goes a long way if you happen to have a bottle sitting around. If you don't happen to have a jar of marmite, a minced anchovy fillet can be substituted. But if you do, the slightly bitter, salty yeast paste makes a great addition, although not entirely traditional.

Once you've made you're pork pie, and gotten your gelatin set, you're ready to slice and serve. A few things to have alongside your pie would be a bottle of HP sauce, a couple of different mustards, a few pickles and chutneys, and a tall cold pitcher of dark bitter ale.

About the author: Sydney Oland lives in Somerville, Mass.  Find more information at (or read

From Sweets

Bake the Book: Lemon Mint Sherbet


[Photograph: Sang An]

Alice Medrich, author of Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts has been dubbed the chocolate queen for reasons all too obvious (and delicious), but after making our way through her latest volume, we want to rename her the food processor queen. She's incorporated this workhorse of an appliance into many of the recipes within Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts, thus cutting the labor factor down immensely without sacrificing quality or taste.

This Lemon Mint Sherbet is a shining example of Medrich's way with the processor. Instead of breaking out the ice cream maker, she's come up with an innovative method to make smooth, lemony sherbet by freezing the base and then whizzing it in the bowl of the food processor, aerating it, and then returning to the freezer to firm it up a bit more. It's bright, fresh, and even a little sparkly, and the best part is there's no need to dust off the ice cream maker.

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Navigating Tokyo 'Ramen Street': 8 Great Ramen Stops, All in One Place

Slideshow SLIDESHOW: Navigating Tokyo 'Ramen Street': 8 Great Ramen Stops, All in One Place

[Photographs: Jay Friedman]

We may be experiencing a ramen boom here in the United States, but that doesn't mean Japan can't have its own ramen boom. Evidence: Just one year ago, Tokyo Ramen Street opened in the First Avenue Tokyo Station retail center, which includes about 100 stores and restaurants. Here you'll find "Tokyo Character Street" with gift stores selling merchandise featuring popular Japanese anime and other characters, as well as "Gift Plaza" with its traditional Japanese confections—but our focus is on the ramen restaurants.

First, you must find Tokyo Ramen Street amidst the labyrinth of passageways, shops, and restaurants that comprise the Grand Central Station-like Tokyo Station. Watch for signs, or even better, ask someone official-looking "Ramen Street, doko desu ka?"

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From Drinks

We Try the New Slurpee Lite Fanta Sugar-Free Mango from 7-Eleven


[Photograph: Robyn Lee]

It's hard to resist a Slurpee in the summer time, even if you're not a high school kid hanging around in the 7-Eleven parking lot. I'm drawn to the onomatopoeic name and its natural association with Bart Simpson. But does the world need a diet Slurpee? Just in time for the warm months, 7-Eleven has unleashed Slurpee Lite, a sugar-free frozen beverage with half the calories of your run of the mill Wild Cherry Slurpee. Today I sampled the Slurpee Lite Fanta Sugar-Free Mango, May's signature flavor.

It's kind of a terrifying fluorescent orange, and tastes like candied mango, with a refreshing buzz of fizziness. Yeah, it's supersweet, and has a bit of diet soda aftertaste, but how often do you get mango in frozen soda form? If you want to try the Mango, you'll have to act fast, since the Lite flavors are all limited release.

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In a Pickle: Pickled Harukei Turnips


[Photographs: Marisa McClellan]

The first time I saw a hakurei turnip, I thought I was looking at some new-to-me strain of albino radish. It was at a farmers' market, back in my very early days as a local eater and pickler when so much was still unknown. I asked the farmer and he explained that they're a Japanese strain of turnips that get planted in early spring and are ready to harvest within just a month of planting.


Thus began my love affair with these young, creamy-fleshed turnips. Each spring, I look forward to their arrival at the market. They have a similar texture to radishes, but without a radish's signature pepperiness. Most often, I just slice them thinly and add them to salads or use them as a vehicle for hummus.

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