Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Food (Section) Fight!: Week 38

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.

[Disclosure: Today's Food (Section) Fight! was written 3,000 miles from where I normally am. Hence it is based on online content, rather than the usual print editions, which were not available to me.]

Washington Post

(1) "What took me so long to make fresh pasta?" article by David Hagedorn. That's a good question, Hagedorn! Fresh pasta is amazingly good and surprisingly easy. Although his previous attempt to make fresh pasta didn't turn out well, Hagedorn enlists some expert help and churns out some pretty tasty-sounding dishes, such as Saffron Fettucine with Figs and Cambozola Sauce.

(2) "Book Report: Mike Isabella's Crazy Good Italian," review by Jane Touzalin. Chef Isabella, the D.C.-based former Top Chef contestant of Graffiato and Bandolero fame, just released his first cookbook, which Touzalin reviews positively. Sounds like quite a few Graffiato dishes make an appearance like the local favorite corn agnolotti and the pepperoni sauce that was also famously featured on Top Chef.

(3) "Persian cuisine with a cultural mission," article by Tim Carman. Carman profiles Peacock Cafe Maziar Farivar, who was tapped a few years ago by the James Beard Foundation to prepare traditional cuisine to celebrate the Persian new year. I particularly enjoyed reading about the multi-step traditional preparation for rice.

(4) "Lemon lentil soup," Dinner in Minutes recipe by Bonnie S. Benwick. As we turn toward fall, I'm looking forward to making some good, hearty soups. Benwick's suggestion of lemon lentil soup sounds just about perfect for the change in seasons.

(5) "Panko-crusted devlied chicken," Nourish column by Stephanie Witt Sedgwick. Sedgwick takes one of her mother's recipes and adapts it with an Indian cooking technique, French seasoning and Japanese bread crumbs.

New York Times

(1) "Making Vegan a Normal Meal," article by Jeff Gordinier. Although I'm not vegan (or vegetarian), increasingly we eat vegetarian at home, with meat being an occasional rather than daily feature. And such blending of omnivorous and herbivorous tastes is increasing catered to by restaurants. Here, Gordinier takes a closer look at Los Angeles restaurants that feature creative vegan cooking (parsnip bacon, anyone?) alongside fare for meat-eaters.

(2) "A Little Zucchini for Your Fried Cheese," a Good Appetitte column by Melissa Clark. Clark espouses her love of fried cheese, featuring the Italian fried cheese crisp Frico, adapted to accomodate sauteed zucchini slices.

(3) "Don't Be Afraid of the Eggplant," article by Julia Moskin. Some people's noses turn up at the mere mention of eggplant, whether it be their spongy texture or perceived bitter flavor. According to Moskin, eggplant is harvested younger now than in the past, so the salting and draining that used to remove the bitter flavor is no longer necessary. Besides, as I suspected, rinsing salted eggplant wastes the effort of draining it, since it soaks the water back up. The accompanying recipe for Roasted Eggplant with Spiced Chickpeas sounds good.

(4) "Behind a Restaurant Emergency, a Troubleshooter," article by William Grimes. I've read there are over 4,200 restaurants in New York City (3,500 of which are in Manhattan). Many of those restaurants do a brisk business operating a lot of complex machinery in close quarters--modern ovens, ranges and refrigerators all just waiting to break down right as dinner rush starts. Grimes looks at the specialized industry of quick-fix repair technicians who do good business keeping that equipment up and running, an often risky task when the dinner service doesn't stop to accommodate them.

(5) "Taking an Ordinary Dish and Making It Heavenly," City Kitchen column by David Tanis. Tanis writes about creamed salt cod, a traditional French dish that often gets a bad rap for not being made well.


The Washington Post. Fresh pasta is one of my favorite things, so I was glad to see David Hagedorn embrace it. I might add Mike Isabella's cookbook to my Amazon wishlist and I'm definitely making that lentil soup.


The New York Times: 19

The Washington Post: 18

1 comment:

  1. Not bad for a "Food (Section) Fight" that was composed far from home! The Times' restaurant repair article sounds interesting.