Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Food (Section) Fight!: Week 11

Food (Section) Fight! is my weekly look at The Washington Post's Food section and The New York Times' Dining section with my verdict on which section had the better content for the week.

Washington Post
On Wednesdays it's easy to get out of bed, since I have The Washington Post Food section to look forward to. Other days, not so much, so I rely on a couple cups of coffee to rouse me. 

Today was a two-for-one as the Post featured a cover story and related recipes all about coffee. It's a great piece by Huffington Post assistant editor Rachel Tepper, a self-proclaimed coffee skeptic who, with the aid of Poste Moderne Brasserie's new chef Dennis Marron, goes in search of a cup of joe she might actually like. While I enjoyed their journey through the city, which included a stop at Chinatown Coffee, I was most interested in the accompanying recipes courtesy of Marron, which all sound very intriguing: Rib-Eye au Poivre CafeVanilla-Coffee Prawns With Parsnip Puree and Garlic KaleWine- and Coffee-Braised Chicken With Glazed Vegetables and a dessert cocktail, the Elysium, made with coffee and a blend of three liqueurs. 

The rest of the front page is devoted to two meat stories, Jim Shahin's piece on lamb, featuring an enticing looking recipe for Grilled Southwestern-Style Lamb Kebabs, and David Hagedorn's special about pork, with recipes for ham and pork belly.

Bonnie Benwick's Dinner in Minutes recipe is particularly intriguing this week: Chicken with Ginger and Orange Stuffing, which sounds refreshing and filling. Stephanie Witt Sedgwick's Nourish recipe sees salmon get a spicy kick in Orange-Chili Salmon with Baby Bok Choy.

Lastly, there was a very lively discussion on today's Free Range Food section chat, including the possibility that I may have inspired a new cocktail at Poste--will have to follow up about that.

New York Times
Many people who love cooking also harbor a love for cooking gadgets. I'm one of them, although my small kitchen means that I have to be very careful about what I acquire. I try to stay away from specialty devices, but there are a few things I acquired with much hope but never use (among them a food mill,  pasta pot with insert, and George Foreman grill). William Grimes' feature on such gadgets is a fun read, turning up such limited-use items as the salmon poacher, polenta maker and a pasta drying rack. 

Eric Asimov has an educational story about attending a tasting of 1982 Bordeaux wines, tracing contemporary developments in winemaking back to that apparently classic year. I've never had a red wine that old, which would be interesting to try.

Recipe-wise, Melissa Clark's Spicy Pork Stew with Hominy and Collard Greens sounds tasty, as does David Tanis' Persian Jeweled Rice made with a blend of Asian flavors.

Lastly, in a nod to this weekend's fifth-season premiere of Mad Men, Robert Simonson has a story about the history of the Old Fashioned, Don Draper's favored cocktail (for anyone reading Free Range, this is where I got the idea to infuse whiskey with peanuts). 

The Verdict
The Washington Post. There were great stories in the Times this week, but after reading them, my mind wandered quickly back to those exciting coffee recipes in the Post.

The Score
The New York Times: 6
The Washington Post: 5


  1. Well, I guess I won't be getting you a salmon poacher, polenta maker or pasta drying rack for your birthday.

  2. Hmmm....A pasta drying rack wouldn't be bad actually. What am I saying?!