Category Archives: Food & Wine Cover Recipes

Food & Wine Magazine: April Cover Recipe

Garlic-Crusted Roast Rack of Lamb

Rating: 4 out of 5 (classic combination of flavours that works well)

Initial Thoughts: Looks fancy pants but seems fairly easy…talk about my kind of dish!

The Test: Now some of you may have noticed that I’m a wee bit behind in this year’s magazine cover recipe challenge. What can I say? Life happens. Perhaps on a subconscious level there is a sick and twisted part of my personality that wanted to intensify the challenge of this project, but I thought it would be best to not allow myself to get to the point where I would be forced to make all 12 cover recipes at the end of the year. So this is me – trying to get back on track and hoping you’ll forgive my tardiness!

On to the recipe…

Here’s what I love the most about this dish: it is so easy to prepare you almost feel guilty about how quickly and effortlessly it comes together. Basically you chop garlic, rosemary and olive oil in a food processor and rub over a rack of lamb. Yup – that’s all folks. Easy peasy.

The recipe calls for rubbing the lamb with the herb mixture and letting it stand for an hour. This is a great way for all of those lovely, herbaceous flavours to seep into the meat for maximum flavour. Also allows the lamb to reach room temperature for nice, even cooking.

NOTE: Because the lamb is cooked at such a high temperature (450 F) be careful of splattering fat in the oven. Let’s just say we got numerous opportunities to test our smoke detectors during the cooking process. Come to think of it, this would have worked out great on the BBQ.

The Results: I ended up serving the rack of lamb with the Pickled Beet Salad, a recipe included in the same issue of the magazine. It was the perfect side dish to serve with this meal, as the acidic citrusy nature of the salad provided a nice bite that cut through the richness of the lamb.


This cover recipe fully utilized classic flavour combinations most often used with lamb. Rosemary, garlic and olive oil are frequently paired with lamb because they work well together, enhancing each other with no one ingredient overwhelming the others. While it may be said that there was nothing particularly exciting about this dish that rendered it memorable, it is a solid recipe that tasted great and was easy to prepare.

Recipes:
Garlic-Crusted Rack of Lamb
Pickled Beet Salad

As part of my culinary New Year’s resolutions, I have committed to creating each month’s cover recipe from Food & Wine Magaine.

NOTE: If any of you would like to follow along with me and join in on the fun, I’d love to compare notes! So pick-up a copy of the latest issue of Food & Wine and get cooking. Be sure to send your comments and photos to info@cookthatbook.com.

The mission of Food & Wine Magazine is to find the most exciting places, new experiences, emerging trends and sensations in the culinary and wine industries. From travel and entertaining to luxury and design, this magazine brings an energetic and stylish take on food and wine. For more information on Food & Wine Magazine, please visit www.foodandwine.com

Food & Wine Magazine: Mar Cover Recipe

Chunky Tomato Soup with Potato Croutons & Fennel-Orange Gremolata, served with Spinach Salad with Citrus & Roasted Beets

Rating: 4 out of 5 (intense combination of flavours, but tasted very fresh & exciting)

Initial Thoughts: I want the fireplace included in the cover photo. Oh wait – I’m supposed to be here for the food…

The Test: At first I wondered how best to approach this particular cover as it is part of a section that includes a variety of soups with mix-and-match topping options, along with a number of side dishes and salads. In the end I opted to make the Chunky Tomato Soup with Potato Croutons and Fennel-Orange Gremolata, along with the Spinach Salad with Citrus and Roasted Beets. These recipes seemed to be the most prominent ones in the photo, and were also highlighted in the cover text.

Soup and salad. Easy peasy, right? Not in this case! But the level of culinary involvement was pretty obvious given the impressive title of each recipe, so I wasn’t surprised that this meal was quite time consuming. Be warned that there are many steps involved, resulting in this meal having a difficulty level that hovers around medium.

The potato croutons and gremolata both came together easily, and the smell of the fennel fronds with the parsley and orange zest smelled amazing; full of fresh flavour that instantly brightened my kitchen. As for the soup, this was a fairly typical recipe involving sautéing the vegetables prior to adding the tomatoes and reducing the entirety for a couple hours. I was intrigued by the idea of only puréeing half of the soup, ensuring a few chunks are left.

When preparing the salad, be sure to leave enough time to roast the beets which as my two-year old pointed out “takes really REALLY long time so I can eat”. But while you are waiting there are lots of other things to be done; such as pickling the red onion and peeling the pith and sectioning the tangerines and grapefruit.

The Results: Overall I enjoyed this meal, although in terms of flavours there was a lot going on. In the end I found the acidic tomatoes were too much in conjunction with the citrus and vinegar in the salad, although I would definitely consider making each recipe again albeit separately.

Mr. Spock and I both loved the suggested toppings for the soup, the utilization of potatoes a fun play off of traditional croutons. The herbaceousness of the gremolata was a bright and fresh addition that plated up beautifully. However, the acidic nature of a pure tomato based soup played havoc with our stomachs. So the next day I pureed the entire soup (half chunky didn’t do it for me folks) and added a generous amount of cream into the mix, sprinkled some grated smoked cheddar cheese on top along with the other toppings and wow – perfection.

The salad had a lot of different competing flavours that worked together but in an aggressive manner that wasn’t altogether unpleasing. Wow. Did I really just write that?! It almost sounds as if I know what I’m talking about. The mustard dressing was full of flavour but simple, which worked well. Lord knows there were enough other things going on in the salad. I loved the pickled onion which had a nice bite from the vinegar but without the overpowering raw onion taste, and the mellow beets rounded the whole thing out nicely.

As mentioned in previous posts, I am not a huge soup fan. That being said, there are a number of other recipes included in this issue’s big soup section that I am excited to try: White Bean Stew served with Sautéed Mustard Greens and Garlic Mayo, Classic Split Pea Soup with Parsley Pistou, Onion Rings and Crispy Bacon, and Silky Cauliflower Soup with seared Scallops, Herb Salad and Dijon-Roasted Cauliflower? Heck yeah.

Recipes:
Chunky Tomato Soup
Pan-Fried Potato Croutons
Fennel-Orange Gremolata
Spinach Salad with Citrus and Roasted Beets

As part of my culinary New Year’s resolutions, I have committed to creating each month’s cover recipe from Food & Wine Magaine.

NOTE: If any of you would like to follow along with me and join in on the fun, I’d love to compare notes! So pick-up a copy of the latest issue of Food & Wine and get cooking. Be sure to send your comments and photos to info@cookthatbook.com.

The mission of Food & Wine Magazine is to find the most exciting places, new experiences, emerging trends and sensations in the culinary and wine industries. From travel and entertaining to luxury and design, this magazine brings an energetic and stylish take on food and wine. For more information on Food & Wine Magazine, please visit www.foodandwine.com

Food & Wine Magazine: Feb Cover Recipe

Crispy Chicken Thighs with Golden Raisin Compote

Rating: 3 out of 5 (unexciting flavours, compote too sweet)

Initial Thoughts: As soon as I saw February’s cover I was immediately drawn into the photo, visually falling into the warm tones and rich colours that literally jump off the page. The dish itself looked like the ultimate comfort food, perfect for consumption on a cold winter night.

The Test: Because I have this inability to trust when recipes say it will serve four people that it will actually serve four people, I ended up doubling everything and making way too much food for Mr. Spock, the girls and me. Over the years this mistrust of mine has led to my poor hubby thinking me incapable of making food in ‘normal’ quantities. He may have a point.

But I digress.

Once everything had been peeled and chopped and prepped and ready to go, the compote came together easily and quickly. Because the ingredients are all thrown in a pot over medium heat and covered with the lid, the squash steams and softens faster than if it were roasted in the oven. In fact, by the time the rice was cooked everything was ready to be plated.

Sweetness was a concern for me right out of the gate. With naturally sweet ingredients like butternut squash and raisins is it really necessary to add honey as well? Deciding to trust my gut I opted to leave out the honey and hoped that the tartness from the granny smith apples would be enough to balance out the sweetness from the other ingredients.

I chose boneless/skinless chicken thighs instead of the bone-in/skin thighs called for in the recipe. Honestly, Mr. Spock and I tend to prefer the less caloric version as our previous attempts with bone-in/skin covered thighs have garnered results best described as ‘creepy’. It always takes longer to cook and we never end up eating the skin anyways. Too much guilt. Because thighs are dark meat they don’t get dry and still develop a nice crisp exterior, even without the skin.

The Results: We were all disappointed in the results of this recipe. Just as I feared, the compote was way too sweet (even without the honey) and the flavours were all expected and boring. The ingredients got lost within each other, the squash dominating everything else. The addition of other root vegetables like parsnips or even some celeriac would bring a nice edge to the compote and make it much more interesting.

On a more positive note the chicken did turn out great. But come on…when does pan seared chicken with salt and pepper not taste good?!

For a copy of the recipe for Crispy Chicken Thighs with Golden Raisin Compote, please click HERE

As part of my culinary New Year’s resolutions, I have committed to creating each month’s cover recipe from Food & Wine Magaine.

NOTE: If any of you would like to follow along with me and join in on the fun, I’d love to compare notes! So pick-up a copy of the latest issue of Food & Wine and get cooking. Be sure to send your comments and photos to  info@cookthatbook.com.

The mission of Food & Wine Magazine is to find the most exciting places, new experiences, emerging trends and sensations in the culinary and wine industries. From travel and entertaining to luxury and design, this magazine brings an energetic and stylish take on food and wine. For more information on Food & Wine Magazine, please visit www.foodandwine.com

Food & Wine Magazine: Jan Cover Recipe

Biscuit Breakfast Sandwich

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 (perfect biscuits, great combination of sweet & salty flavours)

Initial Thoughts: I was relieved to see a magazine with a January cover recipe that did not follow the typical New Year’s diet food trend. Yum!

The Test: We ended up making these breakfast sandwiches for dinner one night. Come on; who doesn’t love backwards day?! The biscuits were easy and quick to prepare, and the dough came together effortlessly. Because of the number of comments online complaining that the biscuits turned out way too salty, I only used 1 tablespoon of kosher salt. I also opted to grate the butter into the flour mixture instead of cutting it into cubes, as this technique worked really well with the Chicken Pot Pie recipe from Pam Anderson’s Perfect One-Dish Dinners.

The Results: First cover recipe of the year for my monthly challenge with Food & Wine Magazine and I’m happy to report that it was a smashing success! The results tasted superb to any fast food breakfast sandwich I’ve consumed, and I really enjoyed the white cheddar cheese called for in the recipe (I used applewood smoked cheddar) which gave the sandwich more of a grown-up/sophisticated feel. Initially I was wary of the idea of spreading raspberry jam on the biscuits, but the sweetness worked well with such concentrated levels of salt from the biscuits, ham and cheese. The combination of sweet and salty lessened the intensity of the flavours, producing a much more mellow result.


I love how this recipe updates the classic breakfast sandwich without altering it to the point of no recognition. The attention to detail was something that I really appreciated; such as the suggestion of grilling the biscuit halves in the pan with butter prior to assembling the sandwich, and even the reminder to turn the pan halfway through cooking the biscuits. A well thought-out recipe is invaluable and makes the cooking process go smoothly, and in this case resulted in some pretty gosh darn tasty food.

Although the majority of comments online indicated that even with a reduced amount of salt the biscuits were still much too salty, Mr. Spock and I thought the 1 tablespoon amount worked well.

We will definitely be making these biscuits again in the future, although when it comes to breakfast sandwiches my family still prefers using the less crumbly English muffin option.

For a copy of the recipe for Biscuit Breakfast Sandwiches, please click HERE

As part of my culinary New Year’s resolutions, I have committed to creating each month’s cover recipe from Food & Wine Magaine.

NOTE: If any of you would like to follow along with me and join in on the fun, I’d love to compare notes! So pick-up a copy of the latest issue of Food & Wine and get cooking. Be sure to send your comments and photos to  info@cookthatbook.com.

The mission of Food & Wine Magazine is to find the most exciting places, new experiences, emerging trends and sensations in the culinary and wine industries. From travel and entertaining to luxury and design, this magazine brings an energetic and stylish take on food and wine. For more information on Food & Wine Magazine, please visit www.foodandwine.com