The Feed is my weekly round up of interesting food-related stories from newspapers, magazines, blogs and websites.
Bon Appétit: “The Whiskey of 'Breaking Bad,' from Knob Creek to Dimple Pinch,” by Jordana Rothman.
This Sunday, Breaking Bad, one of my favorite television shows will conclude its 6-year run. Definitely a moment that deserves a stiff drink, especially given the very dark (very very dark) way the show is wrapping up. Rothman examines how whiskey turns up frequently in the show, generally during pivotal moments. In contrast, tequila, when it appears, usually spells doom. Great stuff for very observant boozehound viewers of AMC’s amazing series.
Details: “Fall Whiskey Trend Alert: Maple Is the New Honey,” by Camper English.
English, writer of Alcademics.com, talks about this year’s whiskey flavor trend: maple. I have to say, I’m generally not a fan of flavored liquors. I’d rather mix the flavors myself with liqueurs, syrups and infusions. But I just might be tempted to try Knob Creek’s Smoked Maple whiskey. Sounds like a great way to warm up on a cold winter day.
DC Eater: “Seasonal Sips: Bartenders' Fave Fall Ingredients.”
Time to put away the tomato water and break out the baking spices, apple brandy, sweet vermouth and pumpkin—just a few of the flavors D.C. bartenders are using in their new fall-themed drinks.
Washington Post: “Why farmed salmon is becoming a viable alternative to wild-caught,” by Tamar Haspel.
When it comes to buying salmon, I know that wild is supposed to be “better,” but in DC, it tends to be way more expensive. And frankly, it’s not necessarily better tasting. I’ve been content to enjoy the farmed variety from Whole Foods for many years. It’s nice to see that “farmed” isn’t such a bad word anymore in the salmon world, as awareness of bad practices has led to improvements to address many of them. Haspel, who wrote the pig-raising series for the Post last year that I found so compelling, does a typically great job of exploring the issue. There’s also a related tasting story where, surprise, testers found they preferred the taste of farmed salmon too.
Wall Street Journal: “How to Make Beurre Composé,” by Gail Monaghan.
You might not think a story about flavoring butter would be very interesting, but I found Monaghan’s story about “buerre composé” (a.k.a. “compound butter”) to be a great look at how mix-ins like herbs, garlic and anchovies can elevate creamy, luscious butter to an even higher plane.
Wall Street Journal: “Vanilla Beans That Are Anything but Plain Vanilla,” by Elizabeth Gunnison Dunn.
“Vanilla” is metaphorically synonymous with “plain” and “boring,” which is a real shame, since, as cooks know, vanilla is anything but. In its original bean form, it exhibits complex even overpowering flavor. While ideal for desserts, vanilla has some savory applications too, which Dunn explores courtesy of advice from Empellon Chef Alex Stupak. I really appreciated the sidebar explanation of the different flavors of various types of vanilla bean.
New York Times: “Panzanella With Chicken and Capers,” by Melissa Clark.
While tomatoes are in season, we eat a ridiculous amount of panzanella. In fact, we have it almost every Sunday night from late July through late September. It’s just so good right now. I have a standard recipe, although sometimes I mix it up a bit (like this roasted tomato version). Although I usually make mine vegetarian, I enjoyed this take by Clark that includes roasted chicken, crispy chicken skin and capers.
New York Times: “Breaded and Fried Cutlets Can’t Miss,” by David Tanis.
Breaded, fried meat cutlets are an easy and satisfying preparation. Tanis talks about why and offers tips for doing it well.
The Boys Club: “Liquor Pronunciation Guide,” by Greg Mays.
Don’t you just hate it when you want to order something off the menu but you’re not sure how to pronounce it? It makes you feel like such a rube. Same is true at the bar or the liquor store. Wouldn’t you rather been the person looking to buy Cynar that asks for “CHEE-nar” instead of “SIE-nar”? This guide will help you sound sophisticated next time you’re in the market for Dambule (dram-BEU-ie) or Angostura (AN-go-STOOR-a). You’re on your own though if you want Curaçao, although I’m pretty sure you shouldn’t sound like you’re a bovine doctor.