Starting September 20, we’re dedicating our Friday shows to all things food. We'll look at food through a variety of lenses—culinary, social, cultural, political, and talk to chefs, restaurant critics, food writers. We'll also have recipes, cooking tips, how-to demonstrations.
A classic recipe—and a bonus variation—for perfect roast chicken.
Try making this variation on the classic pesto!
The basic process for canning and pickling.
Marisa McClellan says that pickling manages to eradicate the interior slime okra can have and leaves a crunchy, brine-filled pickle. It’s a dream eaten alongside a plate of spicy food.
Most children today have been exposed to a greater range of flavors than we were when we were very young, and their tastes are more developed, even for spicy foods. I cannot count the number of times I meet children who can rattle off their favorite sushi! So there’s no worry that the warm but not too spicy Southeast Asian seasonings in these turkey burgers won’t appeal to young palates.
Ground turkey, like boneless chicken breasts, is receptive to a wide range of flavorings, making it another option for good, tasty, quick, and affordable meals. This recipe can be halved, but the mixture freezes well, so, unless the turkey has already been frozen, you may want to make it all and freeze some of the burgers. makes 8 patties
The Stop in Toronto that has revolutionized the way we combat hunger and poverty. Community worker Nick Saul became the executive director of The Stop in 1998, and he talks about transforming it from a cramped food bank to a thriving, internationally respected Community Food Centre with gardens, kitchens, a greenhouse, farmers' markets and a mission to revolutionize our food system. He’s the co-author of The Stop: How the Fight for Good Food Transformed a Community and Inspired a Movement.
These are among the most favorite dishes the children make at the Sylvia Center.
It’s apple picking season, and if you’re searching for ways to use all the apples available this time of year, two experts are here to offer advice. Rozanne Gold, James Beard award-winning chef and author of 13 cookbooks, including her most recent, Radically Simple, and Elizabeth Ryan of Breezy Hill Orchards in the Hudson Valley, talk about the range of apple varieties and what to make with them.
This soup can be made up to three days in advance. For a vegetarian option, eliminate the bacon and garnish with slivered smoked almonds.
A credible beurre blanc elevates a humble stack of cooked apples and pork to a four-star dish. Try it at home.
This dish includes fresh apples, apple butter, and apple cider. Rozanne suggests that the best varieties of apples to use are Cameo or Winesap.
Earlier this month the USDA lifted its ban on chicken meat that’s processed in Chinese plants. The Washington Post’s Kimberly Kindy talks about why the Dept. of Agriculture has cleared four Chinese poultry processors to export to the US, and why critics are worried about contamination in the meat, and whether you’ll be able to tell where the meat in your supermarket was processed.
Bun Lai, chef at Miya’s Sushi, in New Haven, Connecticut, talks about eating invasive species that are causing problems in ecosystems across the country, such as sea squirt, European green crabs, jellyfish, feral hogs, and Asian carp. He’ll talk about foraging for these invasive species and creating dishes in his restaurant. He wrote the article “How (and Why) to Eat Invasive Species” in the September issue of Scientific American.
Anya von Bremzen, a James Beard Award-winning writer, describes life in the USSR. Born in 1963, in an era of bread shortages, Anya grew up in a communal Moscow apartment where 18 families shared one kitchen. Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking is about feasts, famines, and three generations of her family, and how, in the USSR, every edible morsel was packed with emotional and political meaning.
Sine qua non of socialist celebrations, this salady Soviet icon actually has a fancy, bourgeois past. The name? Derived from one Lucien Olivier, a French chef who wowed 1860s Moscow with his swank L’Hermitage
restaurant. The Gaul’s original creation, of course, had almost nothing in common with our Soviet classic. His was an extravagant still life of grouse, tongue, and crayﬁsh tails encircling a mound of potatoes and cornichons, all doused with le chef ’s secret Provençal sauce. To Olivier’s horror, Russian clients vulgarized his precious arrangement by mixing up all the ingredients on their plates. And so he retooled his dish as a salad. Then came 1917. L’Hermitage was shuttered, its recipes scorned. All Soviet children knew Mayakovsky’s jingle: “Eat your pineapples, gobble your grouse / Your last day is coming, you bourgeois louse!”
The salad gained a second life in the mid-1930s when Olivier’s old apprentice, a chef known as Comrade Ivanov, revived it at the Stalin-era Moskva Hotel. Revived it in Soviet form. Chicken replaced the class-enemy grouse, proletarian carrots stood in for the original pink of the crayﬁsh, and potatoes and canned peas took center stage—the whole drenched in our own tangy, mass-produced Provansal mayo.
Meanwhile, variations of the salad traveled the world with White Russian émigrés. To this day, I’m amazed to encounter it under its generic name, “Russian salad,” at steakhouses in Buenos Aires, railway stations in Istanbul, or as part of Korean or Spanish or Iranian appetizer spreads. Amazed and just a little bit proud.
At our own table, Mom gives this Soviet staple an arty, nonconformist twist by adding fresh cucumbers and apple, and substituting crabmeat for chicken (feel free to stay with the latter). The ultimate key to success, though, she insists: chopping everything into a very ﬁne dice. She also obsessively doctors Hellmann’s mayo with various zesty additions. I think Lucien Olivier would approve.
Kotleti for lunch, kotleti for dinner, kotleti of beef, of pork, of ﬁsh, of chicken—even kotleti of minced carrots or beets. The entire USSR pretty much lived on these cheap, delicious fried patties, and when
comrades didn’t make them from scratch, they bought them at stores. Back in Moscow, Mom and I harbored a secret passion for the proletarian, six-kopek variety produced by the meat-processing plant named after Stalin’s food supply commissar, Anastas Mikoyan. Inspired by his 1936 trip to America, Mikoyan wanted to copy Yankee burgers in Russia, but somehow the bun got lost in the shufﬂe and the country got hooked on mass-produced kotleti instead. Deliciously greasy, petite, and with a heavy industrial breading that fried up to a wicked crunch, Mikoyan factory patties could be scarfed down by the dozen. Wild with nostalgia, Mom and I tried a million times to recreate them at home, but no luck: some manufactured treats just can’t be duplicated. So we always reverted back to Mom’s (far more noble) homemade version.
Every ex-Soviet cook has a special trick for making juicy, savory patties. Some add crushed ice, others tuck in pats of butter or mix in a whipped egg white. My mother likes her kotleti Odessa-style (garlicky!), and adds mayo as binding instead of the usual egg, with delightful results. The same formula works with ground turkey or chicken or ﬁsh. Buckwheat kasha makes a nostalgic Russian accompaniment. Ditto thin potato batons slowly pan-fried with onions in lots of butter or oil. I love cold kotleti for lunch the next day, with some dense dark bread, hot mustard, and a good crunchy dill pickle.
Try making pickles at home with these recipes for sour dill pickles and bread and butter pickles.
Try this recipe for pickled watermelon rind! They're ready in just 10 days and make use of something we normally throw away.