Just In Time for Summer: AP Settles Barbecue Debate; Deems Foodie Real Word

Today the Associated Press releases its first ever food section for the 2011 AP Stylebook. What does this mean for food lovers? We can finally settle the debate on what barbecue means: Can grilling and barbecuing be used interchangeably?

Growing up, I would use barbecue to simply mean a party where we grilled foods. We were not eating actual food that had been barbecued: no pulled meats, with either dry or wet rubs coating the skin. We ate dogs and burgers. As I learned more about the severity of the vinegar vs. tomato-based barbecue debates, I became careful not to use the term barbecue when I all I wanted to do was grill jalepeno poppers. Although, now it looks like I’ve been doing it right all along:

barbecue: The verb refers to the cooking of foods (usually meat) over flame or hot coals. As a noun, can be both the meat cooked in this manner or the fire pit (grill). Not barbeque or Bar-BQ.

But this isn’t the only food war settled. Among AP Food Editor Jason M. Hirsch‘s most interesting findings, which he detailed on a call last week:

  • Bloody mary is not capitalized, but sloppy Joe is;
  • Fluffernutter is trademarked, as well as Broccolini;
  • Use foil when referring to aluminum foil, and definitely not tin foil. (“It’s never been made out of tin,” Hirsch discovered.)

Hirsch admitted he was “puzzled over whether to include foodie.”  But he deemed the word “pervasive” enough in the culture to provide it a proper definition:

foodie: Slang for a person with a strong interest in good food.

While I hate the term, I do find it useful when describing the current crop of food lovers. It’s more fresh than gourmet: “a person who likes fine food and is an excellent judge of food and drink;” but also sits above the fine line of gourmand: “a person who likes good food and tends to eat to excess; a glutton.” (Or does it?)

My favorite find, though, brings me back to the frightening, yet ridiculous days of post 9/11: the changing of french fries to freedom fries. Why is the f in french not capitalized when talking about these magically fried spuds: “lowercase french because it refers to the style of cut, not the nation.”


Follow the Leader: Poached My Fear


So I’m back. I’m back in love with my kitchen. Saturday was an unusually not totally drunk night so I started my day early and sans hang over. Unfortunately it also started with errands. (Buying a toilet seat – did you know that there are different size toilet seats?)

But as soon as got back I made myself a proper brunch, something that doesn’t happen very often. Oh, but before I get to that: I’m sorry. I know my post on Friday made no effing sense, (an early happy hour with Tim is disastrous!) but what I was getting at was that I have been flipping through old cooking magazines recently. I also scrolled through recipes I’ve previously clipped. And that is where I found my proper brunch.

I say brunch, instead of breakfast, because to me brunch will usually contain an element of lunch. This brunch sided next to a green salad.

Savory Parmesan Pain Perdu with Poached Eggs and Greens
[Gourmet, May 2009]

Linked above is their version, but here’s my spin. Essentially, it’s a savory french toast, but baked instead of pan fried.

Instead of baguette slices, I used the remains of a week-old pumpernickel loaf. In a buttered oven-proof mini-pyrex, I put the bread down in one layer then dumped over top of it a mixture of one egg, a few splashes of half and half seasoned with salt and pepper. Scantly cover with grated parm. Press the bread into the mixture and let it sit for 10 minutes.

After the liquid is absorbed throw it in a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes. When the bread is in the oven boil 2 inches of water with a few dashes of vinegar. When the bread has less than 5 minutes left, create a tiny whirlpool in the water, lower the heat so it’s less than a boil and drop an egg into it. (I actually cracked an egg in a bowl first and then slid the egg into the whirlpool. Egg in bowl is Gourmet’s suggestion; whirlpool is mine, via my friend El.) Stir the egg whites a bit around the yolk so it stays together.

Take the bread out of the oven, place it on a plate with a side salad. My side salad was arugula dressed with red wine vinegar, oil, salt and pepper. After 2 and a half minutes spoon the egg out and lay it on the bread. Polk the yolk to stop the cooking. And to make sure it’s runny! Luckily, I conquered my fear of the poached egg. My yolk ran. Although I’m not sure why the eggs whites are shaped like I had fried it, and not round. Hmm.

Follow the Leader: Not a Smashing Good Time


Back in November or December I G-chatted BS and declared I had an awesome New Years’ Resolution. It would benefit my bookshelves and the blog. Every week I would cook a recipe from one of the 50+ cookbooks I owned. Sure, the one my brother bought me from Amsterdam that was a Spanish tapas cookbook written in Dutch would be a little tough, but, um, yea, I could make the gist of the resolution work.

It’s now March and I just started to pull out my many sources of recipes. On Monday night, like I said before, I pulled out my Bon Appetit and Gourmet magazines from 2009 (note: I haven’t renewed/bought any subscriptions for 2010), plus Bon Apps 770 cookbook. I used the book’s UNrecipe for roasted parsnips, and incorporated it with spinach, ricotta and onions. But I also wanted something else. I needed a proper starch. I used Gourmet’s Panfried Smashed Potatoes.

Get this – I followed the directions.

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Follow the Leader: It’s All in the Twirl


Last summer I snagged an invite to a Bon Appetit book signing party for their 770-page Fast Easy Fresh. While juggling Sweetgreen‘s froyo in one hand, a glass of wine in another, and this book in between my arm and my boob, I made my way over to Barbara Fairchild for a signature.  We briefly chatted about my oven’s inability to keep heat and then I was off, lugging this book back to my apartment, wondering where to fit this thick, heavy dead tree.

And that was the last time I touched the book. Until Monday’s dinner. I pulled Bon App and Gourmet’s March 2009 mags, plus this monster.

I had one ingredient in mind: parsnips. Ever since my pizza laced with parsnips, I’ve been wanting to cook them myself. Fast Easy Fresh had one parsnip recipe. It was bullshit.

It told me to peel the parsnips, cut them, season with oil, salt and pepper and roast at 425 for 35 minutes. HOW IS THAT A RECIPE. That is crap. That is not interesting. That is not creative. It is not worthy of half a page. Bon App – I turn to you for inspiration. I could have found this on some generic Cooks.com site.

I roasted them anyway, cut in coins, with the addition of Herbs de Provence. But this was only part of my ad hoc meal. And actually the least important.

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Feed Us Back: Comments of the Week

food magazines

– Everyone has their own thoughts on the cookbooks/blogs/foodie magazines debate. Nicky:

I started out with Bon Appetit and Gourmet, but over the years I have fallen for Food and Wine and Fine Cooking. I absolutely love Fine Cooking. I can honestly say there isn’t an issue where I haven’t found a recipe to try. The last issue it was an amazing devil’s food cake. The extra cooking guides they did at the holidays were in my go to pile.

frani lieberman:

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To Browse the Bookshelf?


I left an ominous post earlier this month. I wanted to explain further.

I’m lazy. My subscriptions to Gourmet and Bon Appetit were due the month before Gourmet’s last printed issue. I bought Gourmet’s Thanksgiving ode in the super market. I didn’t buy Bon App. I have not since renewed.

I look at my kitchen-dedicated bookshelf: with one row dedicated to old food mags. I look at my bedroom bookshelf: with one row dedicated to old food mags. I look underneath my bed: one fat mess dedicated to old food mags.

You will also notice this trend with my clothes. They’re old and everywhere. But I’ve been *trying* to shop within my own closet this season. Create different combinations. Wear shirts with different skirts and different shoes and different rings.

Do I try this technique with my Cooks Illustrated June 2007? And my Cooking Light March 2009? The mags I never made it through, some still adorned in shrink wrap.

Or do I try a new publication? Food and Wine? Saveur? Cooking with Paula Deen?

Will I miss out on the hottest new ingredient or trend or city or restaurant or microbrew if I limit my food reading to dated pages?

I also have counted about 50 cookbooks around my apartment. Do I try the “shop your closet” with my bookshelf and cook a new dish every week? (Although how much fun could that be?)

I haven’t cooked a fucking thing this year. I need some inspiration.

(And yes, I’m in on the joke. I’m so lazy that I’m trying to make New Year’s resolutions a month into 2010.)

(Photo: Becca Nelson)

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