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.
New York Times
1) "Wine's Sweet Spot Is a $20 Bill," The Pour column by Eric Asimov. Asimov makes a compelling argument about how wines priced at about $20 reach the value sweet spot between quality and price, including a nice varied list of domestic and foreign wines that fit that bill.
2) "Where It All Comes Home to Roost," article by Patricia Leigh Brown. At times mildly amusing and ridiculous, Brown takes a look at specialty chicken coops and their fans, including those who take the "Tour de Cluck" around Davis, California.
3) "Caprese Antipasto," City Kitchen column and recipe by David Tanis. With seasonal tomatoes just now making their appearance, this dish, which expands on the caprese's traditional combo of tomato, basil, fresh mozzarella, salt and olive oil, is a perfectly timed light summer repast.
4) "Seafood as the Stock Answer," How to Cook Everything column by Mark Bittman. Bittman looks at the fine art of making fish stock for bouillabaisse, the most difficult part of which is acquiring the ingredients.
5) "Pastrami's Strange Dream," review of Mission Chinese Food restaurant by Pete Wells. My experience with dining in New York suggests that at best one generally finds only two of these three things: a wait-free table, low prices and good food. Sounds like Mission Chinese Food will give you #2 and #3, in a dive-y Lower East Side setting.
1) "Expand your field of corn," The Process column by David Hagedorn. I've raved about The Process in the past, and Mr. Hagedorn turned out another winner today with his exploration of cooking with corn. Fresh corn is in season now, and I too have been bitten by the corn bug of late, churning out corn cookies, corn tortillas and corn soup (coming next week, I promise). Hagedorn does some great things with the freeze-dried corn I've used a few times, including a Corn Cocktail inspired by the Momofuku Milk Bar cereal milk I recently used for a dessert (another thing I need to write about soon). It seems David and I are on the same wavelength these days. I can't wait to see what he writes about next.
2) "No shame in letting fruit hit the flame," Smoke Signals column by Jim Shahin. It sounds like Shahin might be a wee bit embarrassed about his desire to make grilled fruit (some Texans apparently made fun of him for it). But I think it sounds like a marvelous idea, and his article celebrates the technique with recipes that include grilled pineapple, peaches and plantains. Yummy!
3) "Balsamic Chicken with Fresh Tomato Sauce," Nourish column and recipe by Stephanie Witt Sedgwick. Another seasonal vegetable you can't go wrong with this time of year is the tomato. Sedgwick's Nourish column presents a simple recipe for using fresh tomato with grilled chicken. Sounds awesome and easy.
4) "Alcohol levels and interest climb in Blue Mountain," Beer column by Greg Kitsock. This week's beer column takes a closer look at the local Blue Mountain Brewery in Afton, Va. It's an interesting look at a brewery using an old-school English brewing technique.
The Washington Post. Although it was kind of a light week for both publications, David Hagedorn's awesome corn feature really put me in the mood to get my hands on some golden ears and starting cooking!
The New York Times: 14
The Washington Post: 14