You'll be hearing from the staff at FOOD52 every week in Too Many Cooks, our group column in which we pool our answers to questions about food, cooking, life, and more. This week is Summer Week at Food52, which means, basically, that the lot of us are off summering -- some of us go to Maine, others to Hawaii, but all of us are keeping one eye on the site, and the other on our stocked coolers and full drinks. Naturally, we thought it would be fun to give you a bunch of pictures of us adventuring while we adventure. It's meta, we know. Below is what happens when you leave the Food52 staff up to their own devices on a farm, at a rest stop, and within 10 feet of barbecue.
Sometimes, when I’m at a loss as to what to eat, or how to dress up a salad, I do something moderately French. I whisk a classic mustard vinaigrette, or roast some beets, served alongside a baguette and a wedge of creamy-tart goat cheese. This trick never fails me. Post-Bastille Day, we all stand to be reminded of how we can benefit from taking a page out of their cookbooks. A new article from Shine lets us in on a few French secrets for simple, unfussy dinners, (we’re staying far away from aspics and anything en croute for this one). Turns out, it’s not such a bad cooking style to emulate: they don’t waste anything, they deglaze like champs, they use butter, and often wine. Now stock up on some French pantry basics, go to the market, and see what’s good. (Scarves are optional, of course.) Your dinner will be better for it.French Cooking Tricks That Will Simplify Dinner From Yahoo Shine
Eating your way around the world may seem like a daunting task, but it's exactly what husband and wife Jesse Friedman and Laura Hadden are doing - right in their own backyard in Brooklyn. The couple recently founded United Noshes, a project to prepare a meal from each of the 194 United Nations memebers of the world. The couple carefully sources ingredients and researches traditional cooking methods for each meal, meant to be shared with friends old and new. Their photo-filled blog catalogues each meal, and a recent meal from Cameroon included "poulet DG," a chicken curry dish with vegetables, along with cassava and corn mush, steamed pea cakes, fried plantains and a homemade spicy pepper sauce. One year in, they've completed 39 meals (they cook through the countries in alphabetical order), and expect the whole project to take about six years total. Realizing not everyone is able to eat this well, the project asks guests to make donations to the United Nation's World Food Program USA. As of last May, they've already donated over $6,000! If you're interested in advising the couple on a country you're familiar with, or just want to attend a dinner, you can sign up for their newsletter.
Each week in Kickstarter Love, Feed52 will feature a Kickstarter project that focuses on food and the community. Basically, it’s about cool people doing cool things with food. This week, a new quarterly to provide inspiration, and recipes, to home cooks. To say that we haven’t been won over by the internet, fast involved in the throes of digital media, would be like saying we don’t like cake. (Completely, utterly untrue.) But there remains a piece of all of us (or a slice, if you’d rather keep the the cake metaphor alive) devoted to print media. We love tangible things, too. The ones that, when stained, add character rather than a fizzled hard drive. We love them especially in the form of food quarterlies, and especially when they explain their project through cake decorating. Sweets & Bitters Quarterly is the newest tangible thing on our radar, and we can’t wait to stain its pages, even though they might be too pretty to do so. It’s the dream of Hannah Kirshner, a self-described baker turned Brooklynite, and it’s helped into reality by designer Isaac Gertman and photographer Kristen Blush. Together, they’ve created a quarterly where they hope cooks will find inspiration, tips, and more eye candy than they know what to do with. True to the name, each issue will feature desserts and cocktails, but everyday foods will be peppered through the pages as well. (We’d rather eat desserts every day, but the more wholesome recipes are included just in case you don’t.)All of your contributions will go toward the printing of the first issue. Anything beyond their fundraising goal will go toward the next printing, and the next printing after that. Give a dollar, or 25; if you decide on the latter, you’ll get a VIP invite to the launch party, an issue, and your name printed in the issue. Which means, in essence, that you’ll be famous. It’s a small price to pay. Sweets & Bitters Quarterly from Kickstarter
This is just to say, that we’d like to start the day off a little differently than we normally do. Today, we have a food poem for you. Read it while you sip your morning coffee. Don’t worry, we have plenty of news (and tips, and recipes) to come, but for now, enjoy these words spun about harvest and sustenance and lentils. It’s a great way to wake up. A Pot of Lentils from The Poetry Foundation
While you're waiting for the gorgeous print of FOOD52's 10 Essential Cookbooks, here's a food-related art project to keep you satisfied: in Food On Paper, artist Elizabeth Graeber draws and paints original watercolors of food. What food, do you ask? Well, your standard beautiful beets, onions, and lemons -- you really can't go wrong with fresh produce -- but she doesn't stop there. Food On Paper also extends to pantry items and snack food -- gummy bears (as seen above), Bragg's apple cider vinegar, and sriracha all make appearances. If that appearance by the world's greatest hot sauce didn't make your day, we have even better news: all of these prints are available for sale in Food On Paper's shop. I will happily give my address to anyone who wants to buy me the painting of a can of Vienna sausages. Food On Paper and the Food On Paper shop
Giving new meaning to the term is this ridiculous video from parody group Sausage Party, which recreates the trailer for the upcoming blockbuster The Dark Knight Rises using...hot dogs. In the video above, see Christian Bale as you've never seen him before… as a piece of (tasty, tasty) meat. Sure, it's silly, but it takes serious creativity to make a wiener emote. Give them all an Oscar (Mayer)! We love it, but do you think it's the wurst? And as always, packed meat puns are more than welcome in the comments.The Dark Knight Rises Trailer Reimagined With Hot Dogs, Ponies from Grantland
Did you read Lukas Volger's beautiful post last week, all about his memories of cooking with his mother? It was the first in our new series of essays on food, and we want to hear from you! We're seeking short essays of 500-1000 words that tell your food stories, food memories, and food knowledge. Whether it's a short paper on the origin of the modern New York bagel, a personal essay about your grandmother's zeppole, or a piece about the first time you cooked for yourself as an adult, we want to hear your stories. No restaurant stories or news, please -- we want to hear about home cooking. And if you have a recipe to include, that's all the better! Here are all the details: • Pasted into the email -- no attachments! -- send your 500-1000 word piece and optional recipe to [email protected]• If your essay is accepted, you'll be ask to create a FOOD52 account (if you haven't already) and to upload your recipe.• Accepted essays will be published in Feed52 twice a week. We look forward to reading your work! And watch out for an essay by our very own Brette Warshaw tomorrow on Feed52.
We'll be running essays about food memories on Feed52. Today, cookbook author Lukas Volger remembers his mother. Growing up, I loved to cook with my Mom. We were a team when she hosted dinner parties or planned holiday meals, and every Sunday when she’d sit down at the table to map out the following week of dinners, drawing inspiration from a stack of clipped coupons she stored in an envelope that was always near to bursting, I sat with her and helped brainstorm menu ideas. She wasn’t necessarily an adventurous cook, mostly because she wasn’t comfortable improvising in the kitchen—she liked to follow recipes—but she loved when she found a recipe that worked. Many of her favorites were passed onto her by friends, or clipped from the newspaper, magazines like Ladies’ Home Journal and McCall’s, or any of her Junior League of Boise cookbooks.
It's not just the inventive recipes or the colorful, step-by-step photography that has us loving Sarah Britton's popular food blog, My New Roots. It's her conversational approach (she addresses readers like they're old friends, teaching them while sharing something special), her thoughtful selection of the healthiest ingredients, her Quinoa Spring Sushi, her whole darn life. Every recipe is a chance to share a story, and many of her dishes draw direct inspiration from her experiences.
We love the profiles of food world leaders and their real-life kitchens in Pantry Confidential, and this time they've picked Alaina Browne, General Manager over with our friends at Serious Eats. Her short interview is inspiring: she talks about her favorite ingredients (she always adds more ginger than is called for), her culinary inspirations (her Chinese mother and Indian mother-in-law), and the best places to shop for spices in NYC (Kalustyan's and Dual Speciality).
Do you spend your days dreaming up new ways to cook with bacon? Does assembling a home smoker sound like your ideal weekend project? Were you a fan of our Holiday iPad app? Then the new Better Bacon Book: Make, Cook, and Eat Your Way to Cured Pork Greatness just released for iPad is the cure (pun intended) for you.
We can't tell you much about French Cuisse. Its author, William Matthew Valle, is a 19-year-old kid studying restaurant management in Montreal, but his blog is intruigingly spare of any of other identifying details. "Spare" is what he does, though, and with tremendous success.
This cleverly named, beautifully photographed, and often hilarious blog is a series of attempts - culinary and otherwise. Set with an endearingly self-deprecating tone, and some truly brilliant writing, it is no wonder that the blog earned a 2011 Saveur Magazine award for Best Culinary Essay, and a 2012 nomination for Best Food Humor. Between the jokes, there is no shortage of beautiful prose and recipes that we cannot wait to make.
As Emily Fleischaker points out in this article from Bon Appetit, we go to restaurants to eat food that we can't make at home. And, I'd like to add, because every once in a while you order something that totally reimagines what you thought food was supposed to be. The radishes with butter and salt at the NoMad Hotel are exactly that edge case. Butter is gently tempered -- melted slowly to stay creamy instead of liquifying -- and liberally salted, then one by one the baby radishes are dipped whole into the butter and left to set. The result solves a dilemma that has faced Francophile radish-and-butter eaters since the dawn of time: how do you make sure you have a little bit of butter with every bite of radish? Problem solved. Butter-covered radishes...kind of like chocolate-covered strawberries, right? Just for fun, we put the choice between the two "something-covered somethings" up to our staff and got the following results: Amanda: Please don't ever put chocolate near my strawberries. No wire hangers! Merrill: Anyone ever tried radishes dipped in chocolate? Nozlee: I'm 100% in the butter-covered radish camp. Kristy: Team Radish!! Peter: I come from a split household. My sweet tooth says strawberries and chocolate but we served radishes and butter at our wedding per my wife's request. Hmmm... has anyone thought of buttering their chocolate? Jennifer: Second for Team Radish! Stephanie: Even I'm in the radish camp on this one. And we all know how I feel about chocolate. Kristen: Sorry, team radish, you New York Elites. Team strawberry FTW -- and we all know how I feel about butter. Amanda Li: Radish is a vegetable. Therefore, I'm team Choco Strawberry. Jenny: Isn't this a little like asking, "Would you prefer to lie on a beach and have no one talk to you, or go to a beautiful mountain and have no one talk to you?" Both are great, but totally different. We're not really sure who the winner is here, but I think the Jenny-ism says it all. You *Can* Judge a Radish by Its Cover from Bon Appetit
We'll be featuring some of our favorite food blogs here on Feed52 -- today we're looking at Just 5 More Minutes with our Airstream, a blog by Monica Bennett about her family's travels in their 25-foot Airstream, which they take along behind their truck on adventures all over the country. Read more to learn all about this tiny kitchen and the mouthwatering meals that come out of it!