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WHAT'S BREWING?: Winter Warmups

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Food, Playing It Forward

Do you grow food? Do you cook food? Do you eat food? Do you care about the quality of your food? Any, all? Then tune in the last weekend of this month to NOFA-NJ’s virtual Winter Conference and sop up all the 411 the Garden State’s premier educational agriculture event offers.

What's Brewing?

Winter Warmups

Heat can come from brewing methods, added ingredients or the grip of a hand around a snifter of a chilled beer. Shawn’s picks this month guide you to the best of the wide-ranging cold-season genre.

Fortnightly 5

Comforts & Joys: 1-17-22

Swaddle yourself in smoked salmon. Cuddle up to chocolates. Ogle that fat in a classic oxtail dish and just dig in. Favorites of right now are designed to soothe.

Sunday Kitchen

50 Ways to Use Your Hummus

Love the creamy, nutty, downright delicious stuff? You’re in good company. But you can do lots more with our beloved chickpea spread than you think.

Smart Shop

Gert’s Snacks & Spices

Better than Zingerman’s? On the main drag of Highlands, next door to Sandy Hook, is a small shop that stocks a United Nations of ingredients designed for curious culinarians and adventurous home cooks. More, please? Its peripatetic proprietor also cooks for the takeaway crowd and educates drop-ins.

TPW First Anniversary Series

Our Year of Eating Jerse-ly

Now we are one: Our featured news-gatherers here at The Peasant Wife have been reflecting on their year of exploring the Garden State and reporting on our foodways and food pros. In this, the last installment of our four-part series, TPW’s chief photographer Mike Peters brings background to his images that reflect people, place and process with truth and grace.

Potato-Sausage Stew, Turnip Salad
Market Meal

Convenience Foods

A friend believes food-shopping at farmers’ markets is only for those with time to spare in the kitchen. Not so. With the freshest fundamentals on hand, it’s simple to make quick work of a wholesome supper.

Onions
Sunday Kitchen

Artisan Food Artistry

The Garden State’s culinary craftsmen and women are known for taking foods from our farms and spinning them into the something-extras that elevate our everyday meals. Are they convenience products? Yes. Of a very high level.

Grand Tavern’s scallops
TPW First Anniversary Series

Our Year of Eating Jerse-ly

Now we are one: Our featured news-gatherers here at The Peasant Wife have been reflecting on their year of exploring the Garden State and reporting on our foodways and food pros. We do have our favorites and, in this four-part series, share them with you. Today, Andy Clurfeld tips her hat to restaurants that made indelible impressions.

Brussels sprouts taco
TPW First Anniversary Series

Our Year of Eating Jerse-ly

Now we are one: Our featured news-gatherers here at The Peasant Wife have been reflecting on their year of exploring the Garden State and reporting on our foodways and food pros. We do have our favorites and, in this four-part series, share them with you. Today, Shawn P. Roarke tips his hat to his top eats.

That Peach
TPW First Anniversary Series

Our Year of Eating Jerse-ly

Now we are one: Our featured news-gatherers here at The Peasant Wife have been reflecting on their year of exploring the Garden State and reporting on our foodways and food pros. We do have our favorites and, in this four-part series, share them with you. Today, Kelly-Jane Cotter tips her hat to her top eats.

Benchmark’s country loaf
Fortnightly 5

Bread Winners & Mates: 1-3-22

Starting with the staff of life and continuing with its key pals, favorite eats of the fortnight just past were about letting all-star ingredients do their thing.

Hearty Winter Salad
Sunday Kitchen

Hail the Hearty Salad!

Don’t talk of diets, please. We’ve got enough to contend with, after all. But do talk of wintertime tosses of greens that deliver big punches of flavor and an abundance of nutrients.

Serving of cassoulet
Shop

Cassoulet from NJ

Learn the basics of preparing this bean-and-meats stew from its masters in Southwest France. But give it soul with key Garden State ingredients.

Photos Courtesy of Toscano
Chef Train

Zack Melker: Toscano

He runs a prime steakhouse that’s also a haven for primo pastas. Our chef-anointed honor this month goes to the proprietor of a destination for both in Bordentown. As his fan notes, he “is the real deal.”

Benchmark Breads
Sunday Kitchen

Benchmark + Friends

Travis Coatney’s breads are winning popularity contests statewide. Though bread sales are on a pause right now, as the Sultan of Sourdough revs up for his new baking kitchen in Little Silver, dream with us about our favorite Jersey-proud companions for the breads that set the standard for the genre.

Shop

Jersey Girl Cheese

The cheesemaker to the country’s reigning pizzaiolo is Sal Pisani, who makes the very best fresh and aged cheeses in the Italian tradition at a small dairy farm in Sussex County.

Shop

Hunterdon Land Trust Farmers’ Market

Situated on the historic Dvoor property, this now-year-round market is home to a prestigious lineup of farmers and food vendors. Stock up this Sunday – Dec. 19 – and all winter long.

Ava’s Spaghetti Carbonara
Fortnightly 5

Get Your Culinary Hugs Here: 12-20-21

Need the warm embrace a pot pie offers? Or a plate of sumptuous pasta? Looking for the ease of kick-starter ingredients? Maybe a spread both delicious and nutritious? Find them all in the top tastes of the past two weeks.

“A Night in Tunisia Dip”
Sunday Kitchen

Dip, Anyone?

A true peasant wife spread, inspired by one eaten in Tunisia many years ago, finds its way to the table today. Nutritious and delicious, thanks to carrots, almonds, chickpeas, chipotle and crushed red peppers doing a dance, it’s one to remember when resolution time rolls around.

Smart Shop

Mitsuwa

A thrilling and practical place to gather foodstuffs year-round, and especially at holiday time, this emporium for Japanese edibles in Edgewater is a prime inspiration for the Smart Shop column. Eat at its food court, shop in its vast marketplace and be merry.

What's Brewing?

Make Someone Hoppy

A bottle or three of that special Garden State micro under the tree will prompt the beer lover on your gift list to grin like a kid on Christmas morning. Santa Shawn has several selections for you to consider.

Place

Flying High

Hawk Haven Vineyard & Winery is all about “doing it right” and “putting it out there right.” Todd and Kenna Wuerker, the husband-wife team behind the wine-grape farm in Cape May County, will settle for nothing less than top-tier estate wines – and never accept the status quo.

From February 2021: Purchased at Morris County Winter Market
Sunday Kitchen

Winter Farmers’ Markets

Good cooking and good eating are predicated on good shopping. Fact. Don’t expect miracles in the kitchen if your ingredients are lousy. Your best bet? Buy directly from the Garden State’s best sources.

Special Report

Dan Richer: A Man and His Pizza

Razza Pizza Artigianale in Jersey City is Carnegie Hall for the pizzaiolo who has fused place and process to create distinctive and distinguished pies. It’s the definitive voice of a generation, and it expresses the Garden State at its diverse, dynamic best. It's early November 2021, and much is happening at Razza Pizza Artigianale, a decidedly different breed of pizza restaurant whose chef-owner Dan Richer has changed the way we in New Jersey view and eat pizza and influenced both pizzaioli and home-based pizza makers nationwide. Today, in our ongoing series, we take a look at what's new: Richer’s first cookery book, “The Joy of Pizza,” has just been published, with a launch party set for Tuesday, Nov. 9 at Razza; the chef’s red peppers blend, in collaboration with esteemed spice merchant Burlap & Barrel, is on the market; and Razza’s expansion is taking shape. The Peasant Wife’s Mike Peters is keeping tabs on it all.

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