No, not snakes on a plane. Scapes on a train—or more specifically, garlic stalks stir-fried with pork and oyster sauce in the dining car of a Chinese train bound for Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. In this week’s Food Section, globetrotting food critic Ari LeVaux talks about the pulse-quickening moment he first encountered garlic flowers and stalks—collectively called scapes. Scapes are in season right now, and preparing them at home is inexpensive and easy. (Unlike some of the other international train rides Ari has taken.)
Food for Thought
The loveliness of garlic flowers
Hollandaise for dummies
The chickens are laying again, the greens and onions are up, and the days are getting longer: Brunch season is here. I've been practicing a simple dish of poached eggs served on a bed of spinach and asparagus, garnished with crispy pieces of salt pork or bacon. Sometimes I drench the whole business in a blanket of hollandaise sauce. Or more often, it’s a blanket of failed hollandaise that I resurrect to perfection with mayonnaise and a microwave. Read all about it in this week’s Food section.
Food for Thought
Brunching With the Benedicts
Or, hollandaise for dummies
The chickens are laying again, the greens and onions are up, and the days are getting longer: Brunch season is here. I've been practicing a simple dish of poached eggs served on a bed of spinach and asparagus, garnished with crispy pieces of salt pork or bacon. Sometimes I drench the whole business in a blanket of hollandaise sauce. Or more often, it’s a blanket of failed hollandaise that I resurrect to perfection with mayonnaise and a microwave.
Grind your own damn burger
Even if the weather’s not up for it tonight, you can plan on a dandy weekend for grilling burgers by fridge-defrosting a few of the neglected hunks of meat from the back of your freezer. In this week’s Food section, Ari LeVaux shares his tips on turning top round, sirloin steaks or whatever meaticles you’ve got on hand into awesome homemade patties.
Food for Thought
Ground and Browned
Burgers from scratch
Now seems like a good time to point out how easy it is to grind your own burger in the food processor. Grill season is starting, pink slime is everywhere and, for once, wouldn't it be nice to have a burger that isn't basically mystery meat? While most households don't have meat grinders, your old La Machine or Cuisinart can get it done like a champ.
Braise the Ante
Turning chewy, cheap cuts into lusciously flavorful food
Coffee and red wine are two of my favorite beverages to drink with meat. Given how much braising I do, it was only a matter of time until I tried braising meat in a mixture of coffee and wine. The results are exceptional: a browned, flavorful exterior and spoon-tender, succulent interior.
A Recipe for Love
Albuquerque’s best chefs share a five-star dinner at home
All right, sweethearts, here’s the deal. Valentine’s Day is on Tuesday, which means restaurants are booked solid or filling up fast. If you haven’t already made a reservation, you could be gambling with your love life. But there’s no need to panic.
Food for Thought
Chocolate’s Dark Side
The controversial life of cacao beans
Valentine's Day is the chocolate industry's holiday season. With an eye toward this February's love-fest, the International Labor Rights Forum purchased an advertising slot on a JumboTron outside the Super Bowl's Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on which to broadcast a video called “Hershey's Chocolate, Kissed by Child Labor.”
Breaking down Brussels sprouts
This week, Ari shares his best tips on handling these surprisingly versatile and long-storing miniature cabbages, including a secret cooking trick he picked up at hunting camp. He must really like you guys.
Vegan or Bacon?
Brussels sprouts swing both ways
Brussels sprouts with bacon is hardly a new idea, but the combination has taken off lately. Now the pairing is a menu meme, a darling of online recipe searches and food TV. But those green brassica balls also go effortlessly and deliciously, for example, in that most vegetarian of dishes: the leafy salad.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Pie
Squash dishes you’ll eat for pleasure, not duty
Winter squash—along with turkey, eggnog and perhaps your crazy aunt Bertha—reserves a place at most holiday tables. But unlike the others, there’s a seasonal reason for squash being there. And by seasonal, I don't mean the holiday season.
Holiday snacking with a local twist
A happy problem for season-end basil and corn
When I want to store large amounts of basil, I don't make pesto. Instead, I prepare a bare-bones mixture of pureed basil, olive oil and salt, which I freeze in jars. If I want to make pesto at a later date I can always add pine nuts, cheese and garlic. But I can't remove those things from pesto if, in the middle of winter, I decide I want homegrown basil in my Thai coconut green curry.