How to Make Maison Premiere's Bitter Greens and Bacon

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Courtesy Maison Premiere
We chatted this week with Maison Premiere chef Lisa Giffen, who had this to say about her culinary style:
It's definitely French-influenced. My style is based on seasonality, of course, and I drew a lot from my time with Alain Ducasse. The food we made there was wholesome food, but done in a way and a manner that's very refined. All the flavors taste as if someone's been cooking it for hours. That's something I appreciate about cooking, and that's what I want to present.

Here's a taste of how she translates that into a dish via her recipe for bitter greens and bacon, on the brunch menu at Maison Premiere.


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Pretty Bird: 5 Turkey Trends for Thanksgiving

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flickr/a.forest

Thanksgiving is a little bit more than a week away. Nervous? Don't be. There is still time to plan -- and, more importantly, cook -- your meal. Just like pop songs, the world of Thanksgiving follows its own trend patterns. To offer a bit of inspiration for the coming event, we've collected some of the best bird recipes from around the Web. How do you plan on cooking your turkey this Thanksgiving?


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Year of the Takeout Day 128: How Not to Heat Chinese Food

Asian Tofu Author Andrea Nguyen's Tips For Terrific Tofu at Home

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Ten Speed Press

Getting down with Meatless Mondays is pretty easy, but truth be told, for the die-hard carnivores in the crowd, cooking with tofu for the first time can be intimidating. Should you use firm or extra firm? Stir-fry or scramble? Why is some tofu tasteless, while others smack of fresh soy? Well, Asian food expert Andrea Nguyen's new book out today, Asian Tofu, explores every how and why of cooking bean curd at home.

"I'd grown up eating tofu all my life, and my mom called and asked me, 'Do you know how to make tofu? A Vietnamese woman is moving to Africa and wants a recipe and we didn't know how to make it.' I didn't, so I started looking into making tofu," explains Nguyen of how she caught the soy bug. "We don't have access to freshly made tofu. By and large, it's like buying really good bread down the street. We just don't have that." So she began buying 20-pound shipments of soybeans, and after much experimenting, began perfecting the process of making tofu from scratch. Here are Nguyen's tips for buying, making, and cooking tofu.


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5 Tips for Making Perfect Pancakes from the Clinton Street Baking Company's Neil Kleinberg

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Clinton Street Baking Company
Pancakes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

Not only is February Hot Chocolate Month, it's also Pancake Month. Well, at least at the Clinton Street Baking Company. For the fourth year in a row, the Lower East Side eatery is dishing up old favorites and new riffs on its beloved flapjacks. "We thought February was a dull month, so we wanted to do something cool," explains chef/owner Neil Kleinberg. This month's flavors include everything from Japanese pumpkin pancakes topped with pumpkin-seed streusel and warm maple butter (available February 10 to 13) to banana pancakes with Bavarian cream, toasted coconut, and warm maple butter (February 15 to 17). But if you can't make it out to the restaurant, Kleinberg offers his tips for making the perfect pancakes at home.


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Chef John Besh to Sign New Cookbook Tonight

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Besh champions familial foodies.
​​Renowned chef John Besh will be at the Williams-Sonoma on 59th Street tonight, where he'll be signing copies of his second cookbook, My Family Table: A Passionate Plea for Home Cooking.

Besh, who boasts a James Beard Award for his contemporary French restaurant August, will meet fans at the store on 121 East 59th Street, from 6 to 8 p.m. 

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5 Tips for Making the Perfect Grilled Cheese Sandwich

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Mastermaq/Flickr
Nice and melty

Did this week's review of Beecher's put you in the mood for a grilled cheese sandwich? Well, New York now has a plethora of options for gourmet grilled cheese. In addition to the Seattle-based emporium, you can check out Melt Shop, Queens Kickshaw, Noorman's Kil, and the soon-to-open Little Muenster, which will bring ooey, gooey sandwiches to the Lower East Side, located at 100 Stanton Street (212-203-7197). You'll have to wait until November 1 to sample Little Muenster's grilled cheeses, but if you can't wait until then, we got in touch with its owners to learn the five most important tips for making awesome grilled cheese sandwiches at home.


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Del Frisco's Grille's Scott Kroener Dishes His Tips for the Perfect Steak

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The perfect steak ... could it be?
The steak chain Del Frisco's made its debut this summer in Rockefeller Center with Del Frisco's Grille. Instead of a traditional recipe this week, we tapped the restaurant's executive chef, Scott Kroener, for some of his best-kept secrets to cooking the perfect steak.

"When it comes to preparing steak, I categorically prefer everything on the bone," says Kroener. "My favorite cut is the rib eye because of its flavorful marbling and texture. Two key steps for me are to always generously season the steak with fresh black pepper and kosher salt, and to sear the steak on extremely high heat. Cooking the steak on high heat gives that crust and caramelization that provides intense flavor. Once you bite into the steak, you get that excellent texture contrast from the crunchy sear and the luscious rare meat on the inside."


The Perfect Steak Tips
by Scott Kroener of Del Frisco's Grille

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Josh DeChellis of La Fonda del Sol Suggests You Try Grilling on a Wine Barrel

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Carne de vino.
You know what it's like: You're about to grill a beautiful cut of meat a plancha when, lo and behold, you realize you've forgotten the plancha. Josh DeChellis, the executive chef at La Fonda del Sol, found himself in just such a predicament while in wine country when he came up with the idea of converting a red-wine barrel into a smoking plank. The impromptu experiment yielded a steak with flavors so earthy and smoky that he's decided to use the same technique at his restaurant.

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Pizza a Casa's Mark Bello's Advice on What to Do With Warm Beer: Make Dough

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Pizza and beer: a match made in the oven.
Pizza a Casa is launching a new class aimed at kids called Big Cheese Little Cheese, just in time for Father's Day. The first one is this Sunday, and costs $195 for an adult-child pair (the usual cost is $150 per person). Founder Mark Bello says the kids' class will likely return a few times per year, depending on how successful the first one is. Sure, baking pies with the little ones sounds like fun, but maybe Dad would prefer Bello's other idea: Make your dough with beer. Although it's not part of his official recipe, the pizza-making teacher says you can easily replace the cup and a half of warm water with warm beer. Hey, what else are you going to do with tepid suds?


Have a restaurant tip or other food-related news? Send it to fork@villagevoice.com.


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