{Poll} FOF celeb chefs: ingenious or insane?

These FOF celeb chefs are a polarizing bunch. Women either love them with a cultish fervor, or love to, well, hate them with a cultish fervor. So where do you stand?  Are they FOFabulous Foodies–or the FOFurthest thing from it?

The good, the fab: Yum-O! Say what you want, but almost-FOF Rachael Ray is one of the most powerful celebrities in the world according to Forbes magazine and one of the top 100 most influential people in the world according to Time. The maven of easy weeknight cooking has three Emmy awards under her belt, her own daytime talk show, a magazine, cookbooks and a product line. Her fans love her no-frills approach: anyone can be a good chef, just grab your “EVOO” and get cooking.

The ugly: Rachael Ray has repeatedly come under fire for “her cooking skills, her overreliance on chicken stock, her kitchen hygiene, her smile (often compared to the Joker’s), her voice, her physical mannerisms, her clothes, her penchant for saying ‘Yum-o’ and so on” as noted in a 2006 New York Times article. Famous for teaching viewers how to make meals in less than 30 minutes, many critics claim that the concept doesn’t include preparation time. I’m “a cook, not a chef,” Rachael once admitted to fellow celeb chef Alton Brown. She has also said that measuring “takes away from the creative, hands-on process of cooking” and instead favors approximations such as “half a palmful.”

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The good, the fab: Entertaining empress Martha Stewart is a nine-time Emmy-award winner, talk show host, magazine editor, New York Times bestselling author, business magnate and pretty much the worldwide personification of perfection. That is, of course, until she went to jail for a highly-publicized insider trading scandal. Critics predicted her fall from grace would trigger the demise of her media empire. Instead, she launched a successful comeback campaign–her company turned a profit again just one year after she was released from prison. In or out of jail, she consistently sets the standard for haute home keeping.

The ugly: This “ice queen,” as she’s been dubbed by editors, viewers and industry insiders, took major heat when she served time in jail. But even before that, Martha was the butt of many jokes. Said Newsweek, “Her detractors say, ‘Sure, I could have made millions teaching people how to make marzipan kumquats–but I’m too busy thinking about world peace.’ Her fans just want the kumquats.” In 1997, an unauthorized biography, Just Desserts, claimed that she once sued her gardener over pennies, ignores her own daughter, plagiarizes recipes and humiliates her own staff. “Naturally, people hate Martha Stewart,” wrote Patricia McLaughlin in a New York Times article. “She’s rich, she’s blond. And now, she’s even thin.”

Is Martha Stewart:

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The good, the fab: Sandra’s semi-homemade cooking method, which involves 70 percent pre-packaged products with 30 percent fresh items, has struck a cord with busy women everywhere. The self-made star (she was raised on food stamps) is now a semi-homemade millionaire. Her show, Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade Cooking, remains one of the longest-running and top-performing programs on the Food Network. She has written 23 cooking and entertaining books. Kurt Suller of Newsweek even likened her to Julia Child, adding that although her show “is the furthest from Child’s methods,” both women “filled a niche that hasn’t yet been explored.”

The ugly: A “frightening Hell Spawn of Kathie Lee and Betty Crocker,” Anthony Bourdain once called his fellow celeb chef, Sandra Lee. The goddess of all things semi-homemade has been berated for her rampant use of shortcuts and store-bought ingredients loaded with preservatives. She “seems more intent on encouraging people to create excuses for not cooking than on encouraging them to cook wholesome simple foods,” writes Amanda Hesser of The New York Times. But nothing was more controversial then a episode of Sandra Lee’s show during which she created a “Kwanzaa cake” topped with corn nuts. Critics have called it “an abomination,” “disrespectful” and “offensive.” Even Sandra Lee’s “possible future mother-in-law,” (according to the New York Times) doesn’t subscribe to her semi-homemade theory. When asked by a NY1 reporter about Sandra Lee’s lasagna recipe (which uses Campbell’s tomato soup and cottage cheese), Matilda Cuomo replied, “That’s not how you make a lasagna.”

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The good, the fab: Queen of southern cuisine, FOF Paula Deen, has charmed fans and restaurant customers for nearly fifteen years. Paula is an  Emmy-award winner for her Food Network show, Paula’s Home Cooking. Her restaurant, Lady and Sons, in Savannah, Georgia, was named by USA Today as the “International Meal of the Year.” (It’s famous for it’s buffet which features sweet potatoes, macaroni and cheese, deep-fried Twinkies, fried chicken and cheesy meatloaf).  Her memoir, It Ain’t All About the Cookin’, published in 2007, shot to the top of the charts and eventually become a New York Times bestseller. Fans love her folksy banter, decadent recipes and slightly bawdy sense of humor.

The ugly: “The mistress of mayonnaise” has been harshly reprimanded for reckless use of butter, mayo and other fattening foods and techniques in her cooking. In a Huffington Post story, called “How Can Paula Deen Sleep at Night?”, author Christina Pirello writes, “In the name of southern hospitality and tradition, she has fried her way into the clogged hearts of America.” Soon after she released Lunch-Box Set, her cookbook for kids, Paula appeared on The View. “Obesity is the number one problem for kids today,” Barbara Walters said to her. “Everything you have here is enormously fattening. You tell kids to have cheesecake for breakfast… does it bother you that you’re adding to it?”

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Images via Examiner, East Hampton Historical Society, Chicago Now, Huffington Post, NY Daily News, Food Network Fans, Food Network and Deceiver

{Food} 11 shippable summer delights (you wont find in your grocery store)

Real FOFoodies know that the best treats aren’t found in grocery store aisles. Instead, they’re made on vineyards and farms, peddled off at neighborhood farmers’ markets and served at restaurants only locals frequent. Our FOF Foodie Gurus tipped us off to the local delicacies worth traveling for–but, you don’t actually have to travel to try them. From a clambake in a can to ribs from Ohio, each of the 11 items can be shipped straight to your door!

1. Phat Beets and People’s Pickles from Rick’s Picks in New York, NY
FOF Marla H. Bane:
“These are the best pickles. They’re made in NYC by my friend, Rick Field. The Phat Beets are pickled in rosemary, ginger and lemon. I love adding them to salads or to a cracker with goat cheese. The People’s Pickles are another favorite; they taste like classic New York deli pickles but they’re all natural and low-sodium.”

2. Goat Cheese with Cherries Ice Cream from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream in Columbus, OH
FOF Connie Torgerson:
“I love the combination of sweet and salty with the tang of goat cheese. She has such unusual flavors and uses the best ingredients from the best suppliers. I started reading Jeni’s cookbook last night and I admire her passion and perseverance.

3. Lump Crab from Chesapeake Traditions in Ocean City, MD
FOF Christine Quigley:
“Shipping is expensive because it’s so perishable, but it’s worth it — the crab is top notch!”

4. Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel Sauce from Stonewall Kitchen in York, ME
FOF Jo Ann Graham:
“It’s absolutely incredible. Forget the ice cream and eat it straight from the jar! So good.”

5. Strawberry Cherry Chipotle Vinegar from Big Paw Vinegar in Campbell, CA
FOF Connie Torgerson:
“I’m in love with this vinegar. I have it shipped to me in six packs. I use it on fresh tuna, as a dressing for my coleslaw and even mix it with sparkling water for a great-tasting drink.”

6. Cape May Clambake from The Lobster House in Cape May, NJ
FOF Deborah Rogers:
“The Cape May Clambake includes lobster, clams, corn and all the makings for seaside dinner anywhere. It is shipped in a can and when you open it, you are transported to the Jersey Shore.”

7. Raspberry Jalapeno Jam from Petals and Produce in Washington, NC
FOF Cindy Henderson:
“Petals and Produce is a wonderful business in eastern North Carolina that offers fresh flowers, fruits and vegetables. But, what I really want to brag about is their mouth-watering salsas, jams and relishes. The prices are amazing (just $5.50 per pint) and the quality is outstanding. The raspberry jalapeno jam  has become a holiday family tradition. We serve it with cream cheese and crackers as an hors d’oeuvre and everyone loves it!”

8. Chandelier Chardonnay Fire Grilled Garlic Marinade from Tavern on the Green in Rochester, N.Y.
FOF Jyl Ferris:
“I always make my own marinades but I fell in love with these from Tavern on the Green. They are produced in Napa Valley using the finest ingredients. The owner, Lou, donates 50 cents for every product sold to The National Foundation for Missing and Exploited Children.”

9. Rack of Ribs from Montgomery Inn in Cincinnati, OH
FOF Linda McCoy:
“If you are ever in the Cincinnati area, a trip to the Montgomery Inn is a must! They have the best ribs on the planet. When we took my family there for dinner, my brother-in-law asked for a knife. The waiter said ‘Sir if you need to use a knife, I’ll be takin’ those back to the kitchen!’ The meat falls off the bone, the sauce is scrumptious. If you can’t make it, they ship all over the U.S. They’re legendary!”

10. Bumbleberry Pie from Betty’s Pies in Two Harbors, MN.
FOF Petra Hennek:
“Everyone along the Superior shore in Minnesota knows about Betty’s. They have cream pies and fruit pies, my favorites are usually the fruits. I like the bumbleberry with ice cream and whipped cream. My kids like the French silk. My husband loves the toffee cream. They’re crazy, crazy good.”

11. Goat’s Milk Caramel from Fat Toad Farm in Brookfield, VT
FOF Kathleen Dolan
: “Delicious with a lovely, smooth texture. I put it over ice cream with pound cake and berries. It does not taste like goat’s milk or goat cheese. Recently, my friend who absolutely hates goat cheese tried it and loved it.”

{Food} Add these 5 cookbooks to your collection!

It may not be as glamorous as Oscar season, but cookbook season shouldn’t be overlooked. Around this time each year, the best new cookbooks go head-to-head for prestigious industry awards, including the James Beard Cookbook Awards and the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) Cookbook Awards . Discover and win this year’s leading contenders and then, meet the FOFs who wrote them.

Enter to win by answering this question in the comments below: Which cookbook would you most want to win?

1. Sara Moulton’s Everyday Family Dinners by Sara Moulton

Former Food Network star and Gourmet test kitchen chef Sara Moulton jokes that she’s “unemployed.” With a new cookbook, an in-the-works iPhone app and a slew of freelance gigs, we beg to differ. [Read the entire interview here.]

What was your mission with this cookbook?
To help people get dinner on the table during the work week. Most people really like the idea of making a home cooked meal but can’t figure out how to make it happen. They have kids, they don’t get home until 7, or they tend to make the same boring 5-10 dishes over and over again.

How does this cookbook help?
I came home from work at Gourmet at 5 or 6 p.m. and I had to get dinner on the table for my family. I came up with all these tips and tricks about how to do it that I wanted to share. I also want to free people from this idea that dinner should be a protein, a starch and a vegetable. There are other ways to get a healthy dinner on the table. Why not have breakfast for dinner? Or soup? Or a substantial sandwich?

Where did you get inspiration for the recipes?
Sometimes I took a classic and updated it. Or I took a dish I like — a Reuben sandwich, for instance — and put it on a pizza instead. I tried to make the book international because it’s more interesting. Grocery stores have so many worldly ingredients now.

Do you have a favorite recipe from this book?
I have so many favorites. I can’t believe I have to pick. There’s a smoky fish chowder with Canadian bacon, smoked trout and potatoes. I’m from New England so I love chowders. Can I give you one more favorite?

A hearty salad with hearts of palm, smoked salmon and watercress with buttermilk dressing. It’s a meal in a salad and I love that the buttermilk dressing is low fat.

2. Bon Appétit Desserts by Barbara Fairchild

Last September, when Bon Appétit magazine relocated from California to New York City, FOF Barbara Fairchild stepped down as editor-in-chief after a 32-year career there. Her final “course” at the magazine? Bon Appétit Desserts, the ultimate ode to sweets.

Has Bon Appétit Desserts been a sweet success so far?
As Bon Appétit transitioned to New York with an entirely new staff, Bon Appétit Desserts made the New York Times Bestseller list. No pun intended, it was ‘the icing on the cake.’

Why did you decide to publish a book on desserts?
There are books about pies, books about cakes, and books about cookies… but there was nothing as broad of a resource on desserts as this book.

What do you think readers enjoy most about this book?
Each recipe is rated from one to five whisks based on how complicated it is. In the back, we have the recipes listed by the number of whisks, so you can do the whole Julie & Julia thing and start with the one-whisk recipes and work your way up.

Do you have a favorite recipe from the book?
The ‘Deep, Dark Chocolate Cheesecake.’ It’s every bit as seductive and delicious as it sounds.

When you’re not baking from Bon Appetit desserts, where do you go for baked goods?
I love City Bakery in New York. I’m a big fan of their pretzel croissants. Here in L.A., I like Joan’s on 3rd. She does wonderful cookies and a fantastic chocolate peanut butter cup cake.

Your ideal birthday cake?
An all-chocolate cake from Pierre Hermé in Paris.

3. Around my French Table: More than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

At age 13 she burned down her parents’ kitchen and vowed never to cook again. Today, FOF Dorie Greenspan has published 10 cookbooks (five of them are award-winning and one she wrote for Julia Child). Her newest, Around My French Table, is up for a International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) award and has a cult of fans (French Fridays with Dorie) who cook one recipe from the book each week.

Are you French?
I’m not. The first time I went to Paris, I came home to my mother in Brooklyn, and said ‘I love you madly, but you made this terrible mistake and had me in Brooklyn.’ I teasingly say I forgave her and spent the rest of my life making up for her poor judgment.

Do you live in Paris now?
Four months of the year. I have three kitchens; New York, Connecticut and Paris. I wrote Around my French Table after I bought a place in France.

You published quite a few successful books before Around my French Table, is that correct?
Up until this book, all my books were about pastry. This book is proof that in all those years I was feeding my kids cookies and cakes, I was making them eat their dinner first.

What’s the essence of this cookbook?
It’s not Escoffier, it’s not Julia Child, it’s not a textbook. It’s a kitchen journal. It’s the food I cook in my kitchen, that my French friends cook and recipes from working with French chefs. It’s a snapshot of what French food is like today.

What is French food like today?
It’s lighter, it’s more diverse. French cuisine is taking influences from all around the world now.

Where do you shop for your ingredients?
For Around my French Table I shopped in the supermarket. I wanted all my readers, no matter where they live, to be able to replicate the recipes.

Do you have a favorite recipe from the book?
‘Marie-Helene’s Apple Cake.’ She’s my editor and a great cook. She makes this cake I adore but doesn’t use a recipe. I worked and worked to get the recipe right, just the way she wanted.

4. Italian Home Cooking: 125 Recipes to Comfort your Soul by Julia della Croce

“My favorite Italian cookbook author,” Julia Child once said of FOF Julia della Croce. Julia is one of America’s foremost authorities on Italian food. Her newest book, up for an IACP award, is an ode to cucina casalinga or Italian comfort food.

On your website, you call Italian home cooking “endangered.” Why?
Women passed the torch of Italian cuisine for thousands of years. When they started going into the workplace, they weren’t home cooking. Also, young Italian chefs want to cook new cuisine, not what their grandmothers made. It’s not profitable to make home cooking in a restaurant. You don’t spend 6 hours making gnocchi if you can’t charge for it.

Why did you write this cookbook?
This cookbook looks at what we could lose. I’m not saying women should be in the kitchen—it’s a good thing they are in the workplace. I’m saying that [Italian home cooking] is a precious thing, let’s keep it.

When did you start cooking?
I lived in Edinburgh while I did graduate work. The food was awful, although there were great ingredients, so I cooked. My professor gave me Italian Food by Elizabeth David. I read the book backwards, forwards and cooked everything in it.

Are you Italian?
Both of my parents were born in Italy. I’m first generation American. When my first cookbook came out in 1986, Italian cooking was very hot, so I specialized in it.

Do you have a favorite recipe in the book?
On the cover, what looks like lasagna is actually pasticciata di polenta. It’s like a lasagna with polenta in place of the pasta. This dish came from my grandmother, who was from Sardinia.

Where do you shop for ingredients?
Di Palo Fine Foods in New York City. They must have over 300 Italian cheeses although it’s not a big store. It’s been family owned for six generations.

5. The Wild Table by Connie Green and Sarah Scott

When Napa Valley chefs want the newest, most unique and seasonal ingredients, they turn to FOF Connie Green. Connie is the a top forager and purveyor of food. Thirty years ago, she turned chefs onto chanterelle mushrooms, an unheard of ingredient at the time.

Sarah Scott has been a chef in Napa for 30 years and has worked with culinary greats such as Jacques Pepin, Daniel Boulud and Alice Waters. The two joined forces to write The Wild Table, perhaps the most comprehensive guide to foraging and cooking earth-to-table cuisine at home.

Tell me about the structure of this book.
Connie: It’s structured by season. We have five seasons including Indian Summer. Readers can refer to the upcoming season and learn how to deal with what’s on hand. ‘The wild’ can include peoples’ backyards as well as wilderness areas.

Why did you write this book?
Sarah: An interest in foraging and raw foods is emerging. Connie wanted to make sure foraging isn’t just about survival—about being stuck in the wild and chewing on tree bark. It’s about finding these incredible ingredients that have delicious flavor and nuances.

How did you come up with the recipes?
Sarah: I created these recipes to be accessible. There are 10-12 chef recipes in here from Connie’s clients—chefs who actually use these ingredients in their kitchens. I took those recipes and adapted them for the home cook.

What if someone couldn’t find the ingredients in their area?
Sarah: We’ve offered substitutions as well so it’s not daunting. If you can find some but not all of the ingredients, you can still learn from and enjoy the book.

What’s an under-the-radar, wild ingredient everyone should know about?
Connie: Sea beans. They’re thick, spaghetti-shaped, crunchy and salty. I expect that two to three years from now they’ll be very well known. Sara does this incredible Nicoise-inspired salad which uses sea beans instead of haricot vert.

Enter to win one of five award-nominated cookbooks by answering this question in the comments below: Which cookbook would you most want to win?

(See all our past winners. See official rules. Five winners are chosen at random from all those commenters who answer the question. Contest closes April 21, 2011.)

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{Food} No-fail entertaining recipes and wine pairings, your guests will love!

We asked 3 of our FOF Food Gurus for their no-fuss, no-fail recipes for entertaining. They dazzled us with 3 mouthwatering dishes. Next, we turned to wine pairing guru FOF Jill Silverman Hough, author of the 100 Perfect Pairings cookbooks, for her wine picks for each dish.

The only thing you have to do now is set the table….


FOF Guru debg2 recommends:

Parmesan Chicken with Fresh Greens and Lemon Vinaigrette from Barefoot Contessa Family Style, 2002

“If I don’t know everyone well, I keep it simple with special details they’ll appreciate. Parmesan chicken topped with fresh greens and light lemon vinaigrette is impressive on the plate, mostly fail-proof and looks like a lot more work than it is.”

{Click here for the recipe!}

Parmesan Chicken with Fresh Greens and Lemon Vinaigrette from Barefoot Contessa Family Style, 2002
Serves 6.

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts – pounded down to about 1/4″ thick (rolling pin works)
1 cup flour
1 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. ground black pepper
2 extra large eggs
1 T water
1 1/4 cups seasoned dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving on top
unsalted butter (at least 8 T)
olive oil
salad greens for 6, washed and spun dry (recommended: spring greens)

For the lemon vinaigrette:
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 t. kosher salt
1/4 t. ground black pepper

Make the lemon vinaigrette by whisking together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Combine the flour, salt and pepper on a dinner plate. On a second plate, beat the eggs with the tablespoon of water. On a third plate, combine the bread crumbs and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan. Coat the chicken breasts on both sides with the flour mixture, then dip both sides into the egg mixture and dredge both sides in the bread-crumb mixture, pressing lightly. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan and cook 2-3 chicken breasts on medium heat for 2 – 3 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Remove to clean pan. Add more butter and oil and cook the remaining chicken breasts. Chicken can be prepared to this point then placed in oven preheated to 200 degrees to keep warm until ready to plate.

Assembling the dish:
Toss the salad greens very lightly with lemon vinaigrette. Place a mound of salad on each hot chicken breast. Shave some parmesan with a potato peeler and place a few shavings ontop of the salad greens.

Jill’s perfect wine pairing: Pinot Grigio or a crisp Chardonnay. Try: Grgich 2008 Napa Valley Chardonnay or Cupcake 2009 Pinot Grigio from Trentino, Italy.

“This dish has rich elements – the Parmesan coating, the skillet browning, and the meatiness of the chicken that are nicely complemented by a pile of brightly-dressed greens. A crisp Chardonnay will work with both. Pinot Grigio will be slightly lighter, but keep with the Italian feeling of the dish.”

FOF Guru gomargonm recommends:

Salmon en Papillote with Festive Molded Rice

“With this recipe, the prep work is done before the company comes. While everyone is enjoying drinks and appetizers, I pop it in the oven. I like to cut the packets open at the table. It makes for ‘ooohs’ and ‘aaahs’!”

{Click here for the recipes!}

Salmon en Papillote
Serves 6

6 – 6oz pieces of salmon fillet
1 carrot, cut in fine julienne
12 large mushrooms, sliced
½ lb sugar snap peas, or snow peas
2 small yellow squash, sliced
1 bunch green onions, sliced
Parchment paper or heavy duty aluminum foil.

For the Teriyaki Sauce
1 T minced garlic
1 cup soy sauce
2/3 cup dry sherry
Juice of 2 lemons
½ cup brown sugar

Make the Teriyaki sauce by blending together garlic, soy sauce, sherry, lemon juice and brown sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until reduced by 1/3. (May be kept in refrigerator for up to one month. Stir well before using.)

Place all vegetables in a mixing bowl. Add just enough teriyaki sauce to coat. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut 6 pieces of parchment paper or aluminum foil. Place a portion of vegetables on bottom of each piece of parchment or foil. Arrange a salmon fillet on top of vegetables and spoon 1 T. teriyaki sauce over top.
Tightly seal the package and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Open packets carefully, as steam will escape.

Festive Molded Rice
Serves 6

1 ½ cups jasmine rice
3 cups water
1/3 cup chopped pistachios – reserve 3 T for garnish
1/3 cup chopped cilantro – reserve 2 T for garnish
Pinch of kosher or sea salt

Place all ingredients in a heavy pot. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 20 – 25 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Spoon rice into a rice mold, small ramekin or clean tuna fish can. Unmold on dinner plate. Garnish with reserved pistachios and cilantro.

Jill’s perfect wine pairing:
An off-dry Riesling or an off-dry Gewürztraminer. Try: Chateau St. Michelle 2009 Eroica Riesling

“The teriyaki sauce is going to make this dish slightly sweet. An off-dry wine will have just enough sweetness to complement it. Riesling will be a little lighter than Gewurztraminer, cleansing your palate between bites. Both are classic pairings for Asian foods.”

FOF Guru Apple Pie recommends:

Individual Beef Wellingtons from Sandra Lee on ABC News

“An easy one when you have leftover beef or even lamb and just as festive as regular Beef Wellington. Or if you wish, use tender chunks of filet.

{Click here for the recipe!}

Individual Beef Wellingtons
Serves 4  multiply as needed )

2 T. butter
1 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
1 cup frozen chopped onions
2 t. crushed garlic
1/2 t. salt
2 T cognac
1 sheet (from 17-ounce box) frozen puff pastry, thawed,
1 box (5.2-ounce) semisoft herbed cheese, softened, ex: Boursin
2 cups coarsely chopped leftover beef or lamb
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon water

In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add mushrooms, onions, garlic, and salt. Cook about 10 minutes or until juices released from mushrooms have evaporated. Add cognac; cook until cognac has evaporated.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out puff pastry to a 12-inch square. Cut into four 6-inch squares. Divide cheese among puff pastry squares, placing cheese in center of each square. Top with leftover beef; top with mushroom mixture.
In a small clear bowl, lightly whisk together egg and the water. Brush the edges of the puff pastry squares with the egg mixture. Pull the corners of each pastry square to the center; pinch edges closed. Place, seam sides down, on a baking sheet. Chill in refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Remove Wellingtons from refrigerator and brush tops of pastries with the remaining egg mixture. Bake in preheated oven about 25 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.

Jill’s perfect wine pairing:
Merlot. Try: Freemark Abbey 2007 Napa Valley Merlot

“Merlot will be big enough to stand up to the intensity of the beef and the rich puff pastry, but it also typically has some softness, which will nicely complement the semi-soft cheese.”

Images via Food Network, The Tea Chick, Forward and Williams Sonoma

{Contests} Win Lidia Bastianich’s Cookbooks!

“My grandmother, Nonna Rosa, was a small woman with lovely strong hands worn from working her garden. Before I was tall enough to reach the tabletop, she had me pulling up vegetables and cooking alongside her.” -FOF Lidia Bastianich, Wondertime.com

FOFs have the important responsibility of passing traditions from one generation to the next. Our fave FOF chef, Lidia Bastianich, took her own children to visit their great-grandmother ever other year in the Italian town of Busoler (now part of Croatia) to experience her incredible cooking.

She shares these dishes in her acclaimed cookbooks. Now one lucky FOF winner will have a chance to win four titles:

-Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy
-Lidia’s Family Table
Lidia’s Italy
-Lidia’s Italian-American Kitchen

(Contest ends Wednesday, August 18, 2010 at midnight E.S.T.)

Do you have a fail-proof cookbook? Tell us about it below to enter.

Thank you for entering. This contest is now closed.

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