I spent Sunday immersed in the New York Times Magazine's annual Food Issue, reading Michael Pollan's story about an amazing goat cookout, John T. Edge's inspiring piece about the Pie Lab in Alabama, and Barry Estabrook's narrative about the seafood supply in Maine.
Most fascinating, though, was the Op-Art piece about chefs and their scars by Leanne Shapton and Ben Schott. The story illustrated the lingering scars of a random collection of chefs, including Johnny Iuzzini, a pal of some of our local chefs, who recounts having his arm slammed in a hot oven by an annoyed chef. It appealed to my morbid side, I think.
The story that stayed with me the most and inspired dinner tonight was Amanda Hesser's chronicle of her six-year odyssey to research, test, crowdsource, and compile recipes for the forthcoming The Essential New York Times Cookbook (it comes out Oct. 25 — I've already pre-ordered mine at the NY Times site). Along the way, she created the blog food52 and chose 20 reader-approved recipes to share in an interactive feature.
I made two of the dishes tonight and got a high approval rating from the family. Pretty amazing, considering one of the dishes featured quinoa, a grain that's only recently showed up in our lives (thanks to the giant bag I found on sale at Costco).
I made a trip to Earth Fare after work to find some of the ingredients for the Ancho-Chile Shrimp and the Black Bean Quinoa Salad. Alas, no anchos were to be found, so I substituted dried chipotle, which worked out perfectly, since the black bean salad called for a dressing with chipotle in adobo sauce.