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Epicurious Cookbook Spotlight: Michael Forman and Benjamin Tevelow

January 10, 2013

In today's Epicurious Cookbook spotlight we highlight two members with recipes perfect for the winter. Michael Forman's Muffaletta Salad and Sandwich was inspired by a trip to Central Grocery, the New Orleans establishment where the muffaletta was invented, and his is a timely recipe, as Carnival season began this week. "A muffaletta is a cold cut sandwich, similar to a sub or hoagie, but served on round loaf of bread and covered with an olive tapenade," Forman says. "It was delicious. When I returned home, I tried to duplicate the meal. In the end I combined my recollections with the best parts of several recipes found on the Web. After a little bit of tweaking, I posted the final recipe on Epicurious." His muffaletta, featured in the spring section of the cookbook, requires homemade olive salad. Let this tapenade sit in the fridge overnight to really get the flavors to develop. While Central Grocery uses a Sicilian round loaf for sandwich bread, Forman suggests using focaccia, which will be easier for most people outside of New Orleans to find (or make). And if you combine just 4 tablespoons of his muffaletta tapenade with an 8-ounce softened block of cream cheese, you'll have a delicious party spread. An Epi member since 2002 (Mike19711), Forman finds food inspiration through cookbooks, websites and television. "I have been cooking for 30 years all together, but as a bachelor in my 20s, I had simple tastes and little skill," the Delaware resident says. "Over the past 10 years, together with my wife, our skills and tastes have really developed." Benjamin Tevelow of Woodside, New York, has been an Epi member since 2006 (BenTev28). His Three-Bean Veggie Chili is featured in the winter mains section of the cookbook and is a recipe made for the slow-cooker. Along with black, white, and kidney beans, this stew uses dark beer and an array of peppers, chiles, mushrooms, and onions to give this chili layers of flavor. An added bonus? "It makes the kitchen smell great all day!" Have you gotten a copy of the cookbook yet? What recipe has been your favorite?

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