Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Food (Section) Fight!: Week 20

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.

It's the battle of the front-page condiments this week as both papers featured stories about DIY barbecue sauce (Post) and Mayonnaise (NYT).

Washington Post

The barbecue sauce contest is now an annual tradition for the Food section, one I follow closely as a keen lover of barbecue sauce. Sadly, lacking a grill of my own, I only get to barbecue when I'm at my family's beach house (even sadder, it's 3,000 miles away), but there are other ways to use barbecue sauce, including oven and slow-cooked recipes. This year the Post divided entries into three divisions: tomato-based, mustard-based and "alternative." Jim Shahin's story remarked that many of the submissions seem to fall in the last category, as contestants further blur the lines as to what constitutes barbecue sauce vs. other types of sauce. While Betty's Best BBQ Sauce (tomato-based) and the Oriental Express Sauce (alternative) both sound good, my favorite is the mustard-based Jannelle's Delectable Sauce.

Other interesting recipes this week included Joe Yonan's Smoky Cabbage and Udon Slaw, which calls for Grilled Cabbage, and accompanies his article on how to efficiently Grill for One. I've had a hankering for tuna lately, so I may try Stephanie Witt Sedgwick's Nourish recipe, Roasted Red Pepper, Tuna and Bean Salad. For Dinner in Minutes, Bonnie Benwick offers a Kale and Cucumber Salad with Avocado-Tahini Dressing, which may just help use up that jar of tahini sitting in the back of my fridge.

Jane Touzalin reviewed two cookbooks of recipes for pressure cookers, which both sound interesting, although I would have preferred more of a feature story on pressure cookers, including some tips on which ones are the best. Lastly, Tom Sietsema did his first bite on Sixth Engine, a new restaurant in downtown D.C. near Chinatown and Mount Vernon Square that resides in a converted historic firehouse and serves upscale pub fare (it's working its way into my regular lunch rotation).

New York Times

Melissa Clark penned Dining's centerpiece story today on homemade mayonnaise. It's something I've never tried myself but would like to if I can get ahold of some pasteurized eggs. She has some good tips for how to make the emulsion work, such as adding a little bit of water to the egg yolk.

Pete Wells reviewed one of New York's four-star restaurants, Le Bernardin, the seafood restaurant that is the jewel in Chef Eric Ripert's restaurant empire. Wells upheld the restaurant's four-star rating, which it has always enjoyed since its first review in the mid-'80s.

David Tanis writes about his retro recipe for Egg Batter Pan-Fried Flounder with Green Garlic, which he describes as hearkening back to the era when many fine dining restaurants described their cuisine as "continental."


The Washington Post. With the delicious annual barbecue sauce and a lot of great grilling-related content, the Food section has outdoor cooks primed and ready for summer.


The New York Times: 11
The Washington Post: 9

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