|Grain bowls may sound boring, but with a little thought, they make a colorful, delicious dinner, like this Fall Grain Bowl with Butternut Squash.|
Washington Post: "Lessons from Farmers: What I Learned about Cooking — and about Respect," by Jim Webster.
Webster, co-author (with Mario Batali) of the new book American: Farm to Table, discusses how some of the best cooking lessons he learned while working on the book came from farmers, not the chefs, reflecting on what he learned about respecting the seasonality of ingredients, the value of pigs that are humanely raised (and then slaughtered) and getting to eat some amazing squash tacos. I was pleased to see his story included Jim Crawford of New Morning Farm, from whom I buy vegetables (almost) every Saturday morning during summer and fall, and even into winter.
Washington Post: "Mark Bittman’s ‘How to Cook Everything Fast,’ Reviewed," by Tim Carman.
You can count me among the many fans of Bittman's How to Cook Everything series of cookbooks (which also come in handy iPhone versions). His latest book emphasizes cooking fast, an important skill for a busy cook with less than hour to get dinner on the table. For example, Carman writes about how Bittman encourages cooks to prep while they cook, which is something I do all the time.
Washington Post: "Weeknight Vegetarian: A New Technique for Defusing Those Soy-Sauce Sodium Bombs," by Joe Yonan.
Yonan shares a very simple trick that could be revelatory for those with high blood pressure who enjoy Asian dishes: substitute Chinese black vinegar for the soy sauce. Genius.
New York Times: "Grain Bowls: How to Make Your Own," by Melissa Clark.
Grain bowls...sounds a bit boring, doesn't it? Yet, I've made some pretty great ones and you can too argues Clark in this piece about had far they've come in recent years. The "burrito bowl" at Chipotlé, the fast-casual empire's best-selling dish, is after all, a grain bowl.
New York Times: "Restaurant Cocktails That Aim Too High," by Pete Wells.
There's a cocktail crisis in New York. Not in the nifty craft cocktail bars, which continue to churn out amazing drinks (just got my copy of Death & Co.'s new book yesterday), but in the restaurants, where the demand for original cocktail lists is apparently outstripping the supply of talented bartenders to make sure they taste good.
Vox: "The Problem with Home-Cooked Meals," by Sarah Kliff.
As a food blogger, I clearly have no problem with home-cooked meals. So Kliff's article caught my eye--I wanted to see what possible objections she could raise. What she found, based on others' research, is that for many lower- and middle-income households, home-cooking is a tiring, stressful experience, but they do it anyway, since they can't afford not to. So the issue isn't really about home-cooking as it is about achieving "ideal" home cooking, that is meals made with organic, non-processed ingredients--healthy, but time-consuming and often expensive. It's a great reminder about the myriad of factors that influence our food choices.
The Guardian: "Quinoa, Chia Seeds and Kale: Superfoods or Supermarketing?" by Sarah Shearman.
Salmon, kale and blueberries have gotten a lot mileage out of being labeled "superfoods," but so have a lot of other foods, sometimes dubiously. Shearman takes a look at "superfoods" as a story of successful marketing and not always good science.
Get in My Mouf: "Pumpkin Sage Empanadas," by Evan Shaw.
I'm thinking of going more international with my Thanksgiving recipes this year. These delicious-looking pumpkin-sage empanadas are exactly the kind of thing I'd like to have gracing my table.