What it is: Christine Koury, Woman's World Magazine Food Director
When I met Chris in the ’80s, she was the food editor of Parents magazine and we were both guests of the National Broiler Council (now the National Chicken Council) at a food editors’ seminar at The Grove Park Inn in Ashville, NC. As food editors, we were able to see much of the world together, from Kuala Lampur to Bali, with Istanbul and other cities in between.
“Working on a weekly magazine keeps me extremely busy and it’s often my one and only project — especially when it’s “holiday” time. Our holiday issues run from a couple of weeks before Halloween through the New Year. And because of our printing schedule, we have to work ahead so that crunch time, when we are the craziest, is in the summer and fall. It ends just before the real holidays start. So by the time they roll around, I’m really ready for some champagne!”
Which food product or gadget would you never give up? A Microplane zester. You can always find citrus fruit in my refrigerator — I’m a lemon-zest freak! I’m always adding freshly grated zest to something or other — it freshens up any and everything! I add it to chicken dishes, salads including tuna and pasta, and salad dressings, sauces, syrups and more. And I couldn’t live without my Wusthof paring knife. I find mincing relaxing and like to do it by hand — it may not be the fastest, but it’s done neatly! Plus I like to slice vegetables and fruits thinly and that knife is perfect for “manicuring.” So I use it more than the zester!
What do you like to serve when you entertain? I like to start with really good freshly made guacamole and usually homemade chips. To make them, I lightly brush different kinds of tortillas with a little water, sprinkle with salt and stack them up then simply cut them into wedges. I separate the pieces, place on baking sheets and bake at 375 degrees for about 5-8 minutes — but keep an eye on them because they can burn in a microsecond.
And some kind of fresh seasonal salad is always included on the menu. This past summer was all about watermelon. It found its way onto the menu just about every day!
Now I’m into butternut squash and sweet potatoes — they’re autumn favorites. Roasted vegetables, including Brussels sprouts, appear on my menus often — they’re easy and so delish!
Describe your “last meal?” Crab cakes, made with amazing lump crab and my homemade potato salad, for sure. Then I’d toss in a few perfectly fried oysters. And ribs with a side of piping-hot fries! And since that’s not rich enough, I’ll have a chocolate bonanza for dessert. Might as well end it with some kind of a fancy coffee drink — preferably topped with freshly whipped cream. That meal alone will do me in! But if I keep eating does it extend my life?,
What food is your secret guilty pleasure? Other than really delicious, well-prepared food in general? Obviously, a great love of food is what my career and most of my life is all about! But if I have to get down to specifics, I’m a dairy girl. Ice cream, ice cream and ice cream! It’s one of the wonders of the world!! Graeters out of Cincinnati has amazing ice cream — and its chocolate chip is a killer! No sauce on it though — I’m a purist. However I do like chunks of something, be it nuts, chocolate chips, chunks of brownies or bits of candy in it. So the REAL purists, who don’t like anything in their ice cream that interferes with its creaminess, would say that I’m not a true purist. But that’s just fine ’cause we won’t fight over the last bowl of ice cream — unless it’s Breyers vanilla, which is the one exception to my chunks rule!
What is your go-to neighborhood restaurant? I like to go to different restaurants depending on my cravings, mood and sometimes even the weather. Italian food, as well as fish, are at the top of my favorites list but sometimes a really good cheeseburger and beer are in order! We don’t mind taking road trips for a special meal. For amazing Japanese food, including sushi (another fave!) we head to Wasabi in Nyack, NY, and sometimes we’ll go all the way up to Peter Pratt’s in Yorktown Heights, NY, for dinner with charming atmosphere!
What is one food product most people don’t know about, but should? That’s really a tough one because there are so many great food products around. I use white balsamic vinegar a lot. Also, I love hot sauces, especially the green Tabasco. I go through phases where I shake that onto everything. But if you ask me next week, I’ll probably have a different answer! One thing about foodies — they’re often fickle!!
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