This week we have the story of Mother Noella Marcellino who found her calling in a Benedictine abbey and the cheese caves of France. The Stern's are at Clanton's in Vinita, OK eating chicken fried steak. Wine wit Josh Wesson introduces us to the delicious and overlooked sparkling red wines of summer. Marian Burros of The New York Times recommends sources for grass fed beef, and attorney Cameron Stracher, author of Dinner with Dad: How I Found My Way Back to the Family Table, tells the tale of what happens when a working dad takes over dinner for a year.
Honey is the edge in this recipe. Once cooked, you taste only the barest hint of sweetness, yet honey or sugar opens up all the meat's bold beefiness. Each mouthful delivers fabulous crustiness, and a hum of black pepper. Get the full recipe.
This is a truly extraordinary way of cooking cucumber, which brings out a most unexpected side to the vegetable. It is sizzled in oil with garlic and chili, seasoned with soy sauce and vinegar, and then scattered with leaves of purple perilla. Get the full recipe.
Clanton's was one of the first restaurants to open along the Oklahoma stretch of the famed Route 66. In the early days, when the road wasn't paved, there weren't many potential customers driving by. When the owner did see a car approaching, he would run out the front door and bang a pot and pan together to attract attention. There's no need for that today-customers line up for the chicken fried steak and the house specialty: chicken and dressing.
Wine wizard Joshua Wesson says it's the fizzy sparkling reds that really work with summer food. Regrettably, they're often underestimated and overlooked. Josh aims to change that with these picks, including the newly vindicated Lambrusco. Try them with our recipe for Black Pepper Honey Steak.
Sparkling Shiraz: Black Chook Sparkling Shiraz NV. About $17.
Lambrusco: Pederzana Lambrusco Grasparossa 2005. About $17.
Brachetto: Coppo Brachetto d' Acqui 2006. About $19.
California Cuvée: Mumm Napa Cuvée R NV. About $30.
There's a new status salmon on the market that has Copper River King stepping aside. It's Yukon River King salmon and it is so utterly rich and luscious you'll swoon. For more information on this delicacy log on to Kwikpak Fisheries' Web site, www.kwikpakfisheries.com.