We learn how to build a curry with award-winning teacher Raghavan Iyer, author of 660 Curries. Jane and Michael Stern report on pecan pie worth the trip at Texas Pie Company in Kyle, Texas. Joshua Wesson has wines for the picnic hamper; Russ Parsons, author of How to Pick a Peach, talks artichokes; and Julia Moskin of The New York Times looks at the misunderstandings behind MSG.
Once in a great while a curry comes along that blows everyone's palate, including my own. This Maharashtrian-influenced potato dish will appeal to all, and I have no qualms betting my first-born on it. Even though it is a great side dish, I often stuff it into slices of pita bread for a substantial lunch, along with a bowl of creamy kidney beans. Get the full recipe.
As the name says, it's all about pie at the Texas Pie Company in Kyle, located just off Interstate 35 half way between Austin and San Antonio. There's a minimal eat-there menu of sandwiches and simple salads, but more than two dozen pies are offered.
Jane says those pies could be some of the best she eaten anywhere. Don't miss the off-the-charts pecan pie loaded with huge, crunchy-fresh Texas pecans. For cake fans the deliciously moist strawberry cake with strawberry frosting will be irresistible.
Texas Pie Company
202 West Center Street
Wines for the Picnic Hamper
No one wants to fuss with precious, serious wines when loading up the picnic basket. We want uncomplicated, value-priced bottles we can quaff from a paper cup, that don't mind some jostling about, and marry well with the wild array of picnic food flavors. We asked wine wizard Josh Wesson what we'd find in his hamper this summer.
Whites: Look for cool climate Sauvignon Blancs from the Loire Valley of northern France; New Zealand (especially the south island); South Africa; and especially Chile, where you can still find a great bottle for $10.00.
Reds: Josh looks to Argentina's Mendoza region for super expensive bottles like a Bonarda, a blueberry/blackberry juice bomb in the $6.00 to $10.00 range.