We start this week with the New York Times where Mark Bittman once dreaded the prospect of having a vegetarian over for dinner. Now, with the influx of Asian influences, he feels vegetarian can be excellent cuisine and he is "champing at the bit" to provide us with seven veg friendly recipes: Escarole, Rice with Cheese, Chickpea Soup with Spinach,Tofu Salad, Scallion Pancakes,Braised Eggplant With Mushrooms, and Spicy Cold Celery. Amanda Hesser notes fine dining is much less stuffy than it once was. Julia Reed connects chefs and the Impressionists through a mutual love of the outdoors. R.W. Apple, Jr. takes us to the madness of spargelzeit or "asparagus time" in Germany.
In the Washington Post, Lisa Yockelson helps us make fluffy biscuits rather than hockey pucks. Shi Li eats dandelions off his lawn and loves it. Candy Sagon talks to four families who have formed a cooking collective. Sounds like a great idea to me if I can find three other vegetarian couples who cook in our area.
In the Los Angeles Times, Regina Schrambling celebrates the lemon. Mmmm... lemons. Maybe a squeeze of lemon on your cactus? Barbara Hansen introduces us to nopales, a prickly treat common to Mexican cuisine. Sound unusual? Well Russ Parsons writes about Fergus Henderson's "Nose to Tail Eating" about cooking and eating (as they famously said about the Chicago stockyards) everything but the squeal.
In the Toronto Star, we learn that O-J is O-ver. On the club circuit, tangerine is where it's at, baby. Kelly Putter interviews chef Russel Mudry about his fire for flambé, and Susan Sampson keeps a very straight face about cooking with pickles.
The Guardian of London contradicts a series of headlines that indicated snack sales were down in the UK. In fact, more snacks and soda than ever are being sold. The Guardian is cranky this week, as Monty Don bemoans the flavorless strawberries being grown on his doorstep.
The IndiaTimes Women section (because men don't cook, right? Sigh) brings us a recipe for Tri-Color Checkers, a delicious looking fried sandwich. A cup of tea to wash it down? Sorry, we've used all the tea to infuse flavor into our food. Can I offer you mango ice cream instead?
We'll come back to the US and the San Francisco Chronicle to finish. First, Peggy Knickerbocker assures us the profoundly ugly monkeyface prickleback, a perch-like fish, is quite good eats. Jacqueline Higuera McMahan echos the LA Times and encourages us to have some cactus paddles, aka nopales. Finally, in my favorite story this week, the Chronicle shares the process of passing down recipes and cooking traditions from grandmother to grandchild.
Do you have a food section you'd like to see covered? Do you know any good food sections (especially outside the U.S.) that we aren't covering? Mail me and let me know.
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