All Posts By Food Network Kitchen

It Came From The Library: On Jonathan Gold

by in News, November 6th, 2009

The restaurant critic Jonathan Gold may have won a Pulitzer for criticism (the first food writer to do so), but I prefer to think of him as LA’s poet laureate. Check out the profile of Gold in this week’s New Yorker (subscription only) and you’ll understand why. Or better yet click on over to the LA Weekly for an all-you-can-read buffet of Gold’s writing. He’s the best.

Jonathan Milder, Research Librarian

Fritter, Happier

by in View All Posts, October 28th, 2009

Am pretty sure the latter was posted a few months ago, but is there a new trend I’m not aware of, of discussing food and wine in Radiohead terms?

From Jarrett Wrisley‘s piece in today’s Atlantic Food Channel:

And this: “Black pepper, cumin, soil and leather. Elegant. A hint of fruit, but not a lot…Cherries. They’re playing ‘Paranoid Android’, which is also nice.” I wrote that about the Meerea Park Terracotta 1998, which an iPod at the wine bar decided to pair with Radiohead’s best album. Welcome to the New World.

Then there was a Thomas Wines Kiss 2007 that was aggressively oaked and very fruity, and finally the Brokenwood Graveyard 2005. The Graveyard Shiraz is probably the Hunter’s most celebrated red. That wine, which was equal parts red fruit and savory earth, tasted like it would age wonderfully, but it was admittedly strange at first. Sort of like OK Computer.

Which is all completely fine, and understandable on the face of it, but in the context of my recently having seen this in McSweeney’s, I have to wonder.

(Unrelatedly, Daniel Maurer over at Grub Street had a whole analogy comparing David Chang to Fugazi-era Ian MacKaye, which I can totally get behind, though if it were my metaphor, I’d probably err on the side of Minor Threat-era.)

Rupa Bhattacharya, Culinary Writer

Goats R Us

by in View All Posts, October 27th, 2009

Yeah, sure, I'll take care of your landscaping [photo courtesy Rent-A-Ruminant]
photo courtesy Rent-A-Ruminant
So I am sure there are all kinds of merits to goat-powered crop control, and I am sure it’s environmentally friendly, and they’re completely adorable, and all of that — but even if the entire industry didn’t exist, someone would have to invent it, if only to be able to have a company named “Rent-a-ruminant.”[via]

Meanwhile, The Onion provides the goat’s side of the story.

Rupa Bhattacharya, Culinary Writer

More on Gourmet

by in View All Posts, October 7th, 2009

In another of a series of fantastic food articles in Salon, Alex van Buren sums up what I’ve been trying to articulate over the last couple days and haven’t been able to — that sure, it’s an easy cheap shot to call Gourmet elitist and out of touch, but one thing overlooked by all the Monday morning quarterbacks is that Gourmet was the rare magazine that managed to really capture the inherent emotionality of food, which I’m phrasing poorly, but that grasped that food could bring both joy and suffering, and told the stories of both. Van Buren on Reichl:

I would suggest that Ruth Reichl was not a snob, but — at her best — an egalitarian badass. She is a lover of food in all its sensuous, unruly glory. She put haute French chefs like Daniel Boulud in line for a food cart on the street. She ran features about politics and poverty — the life of a tomato laborer, a brilliant Chinese cook serving $7 entrées in Toronto, the travails of a restaurant parking valet. She asked Dominican novelist Junot Diaz to wax poetic about his Bronx childhood and sent readers from all corners of Gotham scurrying onto the 4/5 train to eat crunchy arroz con gandules (rice and pigeon peas).

The brilliant Julia Langbein, writing in New York magazine, has similar to say:

But what makes me sad about Condé Nast’s decision to shutter the magazine isn’t the death of this iconic American image of the good life, but rather the end of the kind of work done behind that image.

Me, I’m just sad. I’m sad for my friends who no longer have jobs, I’m sad for the industry that saw Gourmet as unsupportable, and I’m sad for the stories that won’t get told.

Rupa Bhattacharya, Culinary Writer

It Came From The Library: Gourmet

by in View All Posts, October 5th, 2009

This morning I’m imagining the FN Library without Gourmet Magazine. From the stacks, I’m removing James Beard and M.F.K. Fisher; Jane Grigson and Roy Andies de Groot; Edna Lewis and John T Edge and Ruth Reichl and on and on, all the authors who at one time or other called Gourmet home. I’m imagining a skeleton library, a library impoverished, emptied of nearly all of its smartest, most evocative, most literate writing, of so many of my most beloved authors. These are the thoughts running across my mind as I mourn the sudden passing of Gourmet Magazine. And they leave me feeling ill.

Jonathan Milder, Research Librarian

Chanterelle, 30 years ago

by in View All Posts, October 2nd, 2009

Gael Greene breaks out the wayback machine, reposting her original 1979 review of the legendary, and  sadly-now-closed, Chanterelle:

youngdavidandkaren_jpeg

From the a la carte list, a splendid mille-feuille of gently poached oysters spiked with garlic and anchovy in cream, and perfectly cooked chicken in a tasty sauce scented with morels and chives. Ripe pears in a tea sabayon… And all this from a menu written, refreshingly…in English.

Highly recommend reading the whole thing, if only for the remarkable sense of perspective it gives you about the New York restaurant world over the last 30 years.

Rupa Bhattacharya, Culinary Writer

De la Nariz a la Cola

by in View All Posts, September 22nd, 2009

To all afflicted by the unique claustrophobia of small kitchens, from a Bogota fritangeria comes a design solution:

white-refrigerator
Nice, though nicer still in red:

red-refrigerator

The shop pictured specializes in fritanga, a Bogotano specialty akin to Brazilian churrasco and Ecuadoran parrillada, which is to say it’s a mixed grill of sorts.

The difference being twofold:

  1. in lieu of a variety of meats, fritanga opts for variety meat, or often does (cow lung and intestine, in my experience)
  2. in lieu of a grill, fritanga is brought to fruition in hot oil.

Yes, the whole crunchy, chewy, beastly, and glorious mess is deep fried (thus the name, which translates to ‘little fried things’), thrown onto a plate with little potatoes (also deep-fried), harpooned with toothpicks (in lieu of knife and fork), and served with a mildly spicy, cilantro-flavored chile sauce (aji).

Delectate on this!

fritanga

I was reminded of that delicious experience last week when the Food Network Kitchens had the pleasure of a visit from the master meat cutters of Fleisher’s Grass-Fed & Organic Meats, an independent butcher shop just up the Hudson River, in Kingston, NY. Owner Joshua Applegate, who has probably done more than anyone to revive interest in the butcher’s craft, argued persuasively for spending more for better meat and for eating the whole animal nose to tail and everything in between. But, for all his charm and oratorical skills, nothing he said so compellingly made the case for the ethics and economics of nose-to-tail eating as the lunch he and his team cooked up for us: pork skin gnocchi with wilted greens; braised and fried pork cheeks; a tongue taco bar; and sausages galore. A fritanga unto itself, indeed.

Jonathan Milder, Research Librarian (all photos courtesy Marlene Ramirez-Cancio)