Thursday, January 7, 2016

Review of Ruth Reichl's "My Kitchen Year. 136 Recipes that saved my life" And Ruth's recipe for The Diva of Grilled Cheese.

Ruth Reichl is a Food writer’s food writer.  For ten years, she presided over Gourmet Magazine, building it into a repository of fascinating stories. They were must-reads for those of us who really care about the food we eat.  But as Gourmet rushed headlong into the Internet age, it suffered.  Declines in Print Ad spending were one thing. Consumers consumed by the idea of getting in and out of the kitchen in as little time as possible were another. The general dumbing down of food culture was witnessed on TV’s Food Channel. It all led to Gourmet's demise.  Oddly, when summoned back to New York from a publicity tour for her monumental Gourmet Today (2009) cookbook, Ms. Reichl knew nothing of the plans to shutter the magazine entirely.  Instead, she and her fellow staffers, some of whom had spent their entire careers at the magazine, shuffled into a conference room. There they were told that the magazine would be closed that very day. The galleys for its December issue left at the printers, would never to see the light of day. If it was viewed as a tragedy by its readers, like me, it dealt a body blow to Ms. Reichl.  It took her fully a year to recover.  This marvelous book in the result of that year of struggle.       

Monday, January 4, 2016

Chicken Breasts with Tomatoes and Capers from Pierre Franey in The New York Times

The 60 Minute Gourmet 

If your holiday has been anything like ours, I am sure you have had enough marvelously rich food to tide you over till, say, March. Between the gratins and the roasts, the puddings and cookies and cakes, the holidays encourage eating with abandon.  Well, sad to say, the party ended when we took down the Christmas tree.  And in all honesty, we welcomed a night when we ate light.  Specifically, when The New York Times resurrected this simple recipe for chicken breasts in an easy to prepare sauce, which doubles as a side dish.  There’s plenty of flavor here with shallots and garlic and tarragon mingling with ripe tomatoes and capers to give it a kick.  It’s the work of a master.  In this case it’s Pierre Franey who along with his great pal and partner, Jacques Pepin, helped introduce America to simple French home cooking.