Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Food (Section) Fight! Week 46

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) “Opting Out with Carbonara,” by Ian Fisher. At its heart, pasta carbonara is spaghetti with bacon, egg yolk, cheese and pepper. It’s simple, rich, delicious and, as Fisher found, a pasta with an interesting past: an Italian dish with American influence subject to much debate over exactly where it came from. It’s also one with a lot of variation, including some controversy over whether it should include cream (reminds me of the debate over beans in chili). I recently tried my hand at a lighter version of this dish with corn, which must surely anger the purists. The article included a simple Spaghetti Carbonara recipe and a more complicated Spaghetti Friuliano from Locanda Verde.

2) “A Dish for Pilgrim or Maharajah,” City Kitchen by David Tanis. The Times’ story on what to do with Thanksgiving leftovers is rather original: make Turkey Biryani, a take on the traditional Indian rice dish with a fried garnish of cashews and raisins. Really, the only leftover ingredient is turkey (and the turkey stock if you have the bones to make it). Otherwise, this requires a lot of additional ingredients, but it sounds tasty.

3) “Going All In On Thanksgiving,” by Jeff Gordinier. I find I have my work cut out for me making Thanksgiving dinner for six. Linda Horgan of Long Island is hosting 39 this year. Gordinier’s feature explores how she does it. Obviously she’s very well organized.

4) “There’s One Thing You Left Out,” The Pour by Eric Asimov. The Times had an extensive Thanksgiving wine column last week. This week, Asimov returns for a second helping, this time focusing on how to find a good pairing at the last minute. His recommendations include Beaujolais, Macon-Villages, Zinfandel and Riesling.

5) “Breakfast Muffins to Replace the Turkey Hash,” A Good Appetite by Melissa Clark. Butternut-Squash Oat Muffins with Candied Ginger, when served alongside yogurt and fruit are what Clark describes as “breakfast along the lines of what might be served at a fancy bed-and-breakfast, the one where maybe you wish your guests were staying.” Man, I’m glad I don’t host overnight guests for Thanksgiving. If I did all that work for the holiday meal--and then had to entertain and cook for several more days--I think I’d lose it.

Washington Post

Father-son mojo,” The Immigrant’s Table by Tim Carman. Now this sounds like a household that really knows how to celebrate Thanksgiving. Bayou Bakery Chef David Guas and his Cuba-born father Mariano Guas have a long family tradition of cooking a traditional Thanksgiving meal on the day itself and, a few days later, preparing a feast of Cuban dishes to celebrate that heritage. Carman’s story weaves Guas family history with a selection of mouth-watering recipes, including a garlic-stuffed Cuban Roast Pork and Fried Sweet Plantains.

Wine exhibit pairs nicely with Smithsonian’s food display,” Wine by Dave McIntyre. Local food enthusiasts are no doubt excited by next week’s opening of the Smithsonian American History Museum’s exhibit “Food: Transforming America's Table, 1950-2000.” I attended a preview of the exhibit a few weeks ago, and it’s definitely going to be interesting. McIntyre gives a flavor of the exhibit’s wine displays, along with some additional Thanksgiving wine recommendations.

After dinner, splurge with one more indulgence,” Spirits by Jason Wilson. Wilson makes a strong case for splurging on an unusual spirit this holiday season, with suggestions such as Green Chartreuse, Anejo Tequila and Calvados. He also describes the splurgy-worthy $150 Stinger he drank recently at the Experimental Cocktail Club, made with green Imperium crème de menthe. 

Broken Spaghetti with Shredded Brussels Sprouts and Onions,” Nourish recipe by Stephanie Witt Sedgwick. Pairing Brussels Sprouts with pasta is an interesting idea, and I can certainly get on board with the caramelized onion. If I make this, and I just might, a little bacon would make it even better.

Don’t just reheat your surplus, rethink it,” by Terri Pischoff Wuerthner. Wuerthner rightly points out that Thanksgiving leftovers can lose their luster after a couple days, and offers up ways to repurpose them into new dishes. With some additional ingredients, turkey and stuffing turn into Savory Turkey and Mushroom Bread Pudding, and mashed sweet potatoes and chicken stock transform into Creamy Sweet Potato Soup with Crispy Leeks.


The New York Times. Tough to call this one, as both sections had good stories but neither really stood out for me this week. Since the carbonara story was my single favorite of the group, I'm giving the win to the Times.


The Washington Post: 24
The New York Times: 21

1 comment:

  1. I like the idea of having a Cuban feast a few days after Thanksgiving. Can we do that too?