Thursday, November 30, 2006

Off my food

Regular readers (ha!) will have noticed a dearth of food writing here in recent months. Mostly this is because I can no longer bear to read much of anything about food anymore. The other day my neighbor ripped a pomegranate cocktail recipe out of some woman's magazine for me, and it bore a remarkable similarity to the recipe I'd been composing in my head as the pomegranates ripen. (Not mysterious: juice pomegranates, add booze). Anyway the fragment of the "food" "article" that accompanied the recipe described the publication's methodology as, approximately:

  1. we asked LA's hot chef's what celebrities are eating
  2. then we took out all the good stuff
  3. then we dumbed the recipes down

I am not of course naive enough to fly into a rage at this kind of bullshit, but there was something particularly depressing about the ocean of grilled chicken breasts that undoubtedly filled the following pages. Also, the word used for celebrity was glitterati, and Cameron Diaz was among the examples adduced, which I'm pretty sure must be technically incorrect, but which probably pushed me over the edge anyway.

So, yeah, between these people and the foie gras and stainless steel people, I pretty much don't want to be a person who thinks about food anymore.

But yet, eating an apparently bizarre (yet seasonally and structurally impeccable) dinner of crab and porcini the other night, I couldn't help but feel the love. For whatever reason, fall food is the shit this year. So until further notice, I will be giving thanks for good things. For starters: pomegranate, porcini, and dungeness crab. You can't break me, Hachette Fillipacchi.


Blogger winnie said...

This regular reader would definitely miss your acute observations and vitriol on all matters food- (or supposedly, anyway) related. Thanks for keepin' it real.

Mmw, fall food is the shit every year. I, for one, am thankful for root vegetables and oysters. And for John Thorne's clay pot bean recipe.

Thanks, also, for pointing up Terra Madre. The silence Stateside has been deafening.

Keep up the good work.

Fri Dec 01, 11:35:00 AM GMT  
Blogger the patriarch said...

There's always metal. Metal never lets you down and it's (barely) not as gay as food.

I BBQ'd a frozen turkey for Thanksgiving. It was delicious. Got the recipe from Cameron Diaz. That chick can do it all.

Fri Dec 01, 04:20:00 PM GMT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

we are totally on the same page. i am so over food writing, and the food scene in general. i just can't handle it anymore. ugh.

here's what i've been loving this week-- dirty girl cauliflower and cavolo nero, san francisco porcini, annabelle's chicories, and cannard farm cardoons (coming soon to monterey market).

Mon Dec 04, 05:22:00 AM GMT  
Anonymous dubarry said...

i cannot believe it! i, too, am sick sick sick of Food (cap F), restaurants, food writing, food writers. so much so, that i cancelled, yes you read it correctly, CANCELLED, a reservation at pierre gagnaire. after last year's 4 hour amusement park amuse bouche at the fat duck, i just could not. COULD NOT. my bouche is no longer amused.

this is particularly sad for me as i know my little crowd, we who worshipped at the alter of seymour britchky and calvin trillin, created what now some 25 years later is some unholy thing, some mutation of spirit -- elite and vulgar in all in the wrong measure.

Mon Dec 04, 05:39:00 PM GMT  
Blogger mmw said...

Samin, I want to know what you're doing with those cardoons (not, historically my strongest suit). And the cauliflower. I've been getting intermittently decent results with star anise, but I feel like I could do more.

Tue Dec 05, 08:26:00 PM GMT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'd seen that previous post of yours with the cardoon disaster--i remember giggling to myself about it. the funny thing about it all is that i actually cooked them a la grecque the other day.

i think that your problem was probably undercooking them. you have to let them simmer until they are very tender, which can take anywhere from twenty minutes to an hour. definitely salt the water. and make sure to clean the cardoons first by carefully peeling the outside strings off with a paring knife (otherwise they will be impossible to eat or digest). to cook them a la grecque, i just made a pickling solution with white wine, white wine vinegar, bay, peperoncino, salt and water, and gently simmered them in it for several minutes.

my other favorite ways to eat cardoons are to bread and fry them, to make them into a gratin with bechamel, and to make them into a parmigiana (layer them after they are fried with fresh mozzarella--did you know that bel fiore sells curd now at whole foods and you can pull your own mozz at home?-- parm, and tomato sauce).

as for the cauliflower, we've just been making a sformato, by blanching the cauliflower until it's fully cooked, and then mashing it with a whisk, mixing it with parm, bechamel, and nutmeg, and baking it.

ok. sorry this is the longest comment ever.

Wed Dec 06, 06:14:00 AM GMT  
Anonymous dubarry said...

i've been thinking. now that the food thing is over. OVER. (well that was only 30-some-odd years). can we go back to sex? that's a fucking health obsession after all. and in a way, you really gotta put your money where your mouth is with sex. yeah baby, i'd like to see what would be up with that strong chick, pim unpronounceable surname and that zucchini girl. actually that zucchini girl could be a big hit if she was smart about it.

Tue Dec 12, 08:30:00 PM GMT  
Blogger mmw said...

On the contrary, I cannot think of anything I want to know about less than the escapades of people on the internet.
Except Sac.

Tue Dec 12, 09:09:00 PM GMT  
Blogger the patriarch said...

Totally. I'm fascinating.

Tue Dec 12, 10:28:00 PM GMT  

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