Thursday, February 28, 2013

Joanne Chang's Sugar and Spice Brioche Buns, Cousin of one of our most popular posts ever--the Doughnut Muffin

The incomparable
Joanne Chang
         When we published Joanne Chang’s Sticky Bun recipe, winner of “Throwndown” with Bobby Flay, we heard from no less than Bobby himself.  “Joanne Chang's sticky buns are by far the best sticky buns I have ever eaten..hands down! If you are ever in Boston, stop in at Flour or try her recipe online on or buy her great cookbook Flour...the recipe is there too...Yum”  Now if you haven’t already made these sticky buns, what are you waiting for? But if you have made them, then you may remember that the recipe for the dough was a double recipe.   Now of course, if you’ve gotten over your sugar shock from the sticky buns, you can make another batch.  But if you want to try something equally delicious, this is for you.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Where to find The Best Cuban Sandwich in New York? Not in any's yours to be had on the street.

This must be the place...
         "Food Truck Wars" on the Food Network have given a face to America’s passion for street food and pop-up food destinations.  Most of what you see on Television are high tech trucks that would give an RV a run for its money.  New York has had street food for as long as I can remember.  Before there were food trucks, there were hundreds of food carts. The smell of chestnuts in fall, the steam rising from the hot dog vendors' carts, the roasted peanuts sold on every corner, are all as New York as the Empire State Building. To this day they are literally one a block and, in midtown, some cluster together to form outdoor food courts.  In my neighborhood on the Upper West Side, we get occasional weekend visits from some of the big guys like ­­­“Gorilla Cheese”, “Wafels and Dinges” and “The Treats Truck”.  But on any given day two kinds of carts take up positions on nearby street corners.  There are the Halal carts which serve Middle Eastern kabobs and endless plates of rice and chicken.  Then there are the Mexican food carts.  And it was here that I discovered New York’s best Cuban Sandwich, right outside the Chase bank at 70th and Broadway.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Rigatoni with Hot Sausage and Fennel from Gourmet Magazine

First Issue of Gourmet, January 1941
         How we still miss Gourmet!  Some of my earliest childhood memories are listening to my father reading aloud as he and my mother ate vicariously at Gourmet’s table.  The magazine first appeared in 1941.  The United States entered the war shortly thereafter.  Subscribers were urged to keep their issues until the war ended. That way Gourmet’s readers could try the recipes without wartime rationing. While devoted to food and wine, Gourmet also covered “Good Living” which meant that many of my parent’s annual vacations were built around Gourmet’s take on Madrid or Lisbon or London. As to its recipes, while the country wallowed in dishes involving cans of cream of mushroom soup, Gourmet took the high road. I can still hear my father reading, on the subject of Peking Duck, “first wring the bird by its neck until it is dead”.  Gourmet was nothing if not complete.  In many ways, Gourmet was well ahead of its time.  This was driven home to me with this take on pasta from 1990.