Friday Reads: Old School to Street Food

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These two books may seem to have nothing in common, but in the end, they’re both by guys who truly appreciate great food.

I’ve finally started the Great Food series from Penguin (my publisher). I’m not sure why I’ve put them off since they’re all short reads with gorgeous cover art. I started with From Absinthe to Zest by Alexandre Dumas. Yes, that Alexandre Dumas, the one who wrote The Three Muskateers and The Count of Monte Cristo. A prolific writer, Dumas was also well-known as a gourmand whose cosmopolitan outlook is evident in The Great Dictionary of Cuisine, first published posthumously in 1873. Dumas wrote that it was “to be read by the sophisticated and used by the practitioners of the art.” It’s great stuff, with rhapsodies on humble anchovies to the art of the omelet.

When I opened my mail a week ago and found Sasquatch Publishing had sent me a copy of Skillet: A Street Food Manifesto by Josh Henderson, I literally jumped up and down.

I’m a huge fan of Skillet. I once waited (happily) in a rare Seattle downpour for their big, soft biscuits with sage gravy, so imagine my gratitude to find the recipe included in the book. Other Skillet notables include their classic burgers and folded lasagna. Alas, there is no recipe for the famed bacon jam.

Sarah Jurado’s lovely, intimate photographs offer an intriguing, romantic glimpse in daily life serving up gourmet food in an Airstream. The honest, and intriguing narrative is insightful and demonstrates that while running a food truck sounds like fun, it’s as stressful as running any small business. Mike is after me to make the farro burgers.

So what are you reading this week?

About katflinn

Kathleen Flinn is the author of "The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry," "The Kitchen Counter Cooking School" and "Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good." All are published by Viking/Penguin.

Comments

  1. Truth be told…your new(er) book, Kitchen Counter Culinary School, came in to my mail box yesterday. I can’t wait to start, especially after reading your cooking school memoir. Loved it.

    Also reading latest issue of Lucky Peach, while finishing up The Mindful Carnivore…which is totally interesting. Have you read it?

    • Kathleen Flinn says:

      I love Lucky Peach. Truth be told. It has inspired me to start a magazine (in my spare time).

      • I love that we are both telling the truth! Really? A magazine? I think that would be a lot of fun. I hope you can put it together. Would love to help in any way I can. Great work as always. You make Seattle look great.

  2. Alison Woodman says:

    How odd. Just this week someone sent me, unasked-for, a recipe for bacon jam. I don’t know if it’s what you didn’t get in the book, but here it is, in case!
    Bacon Jam
    Ingredients:
    1 1/2 lbs. sliced bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
    … 2 medium yellow onions, diced small
    3 garlic cloves, minced
    1/2 cup cider vinegar
    1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
    1/4 cup pure maple syrup
    3/4 cup brewed coffee

    Directions:
    In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered and bacon is lightly browned, about 20 minutes.
    Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet; add onions and garlic, and cook until onions are soft, about 6 minutes.
    Add vinegar, brown sugar, maple syrup and coffee.
    Bring to a boil, stirring and scraping up browned bits from skillet with a wooden spoon, about 2 minutes.
    Add bacon, and stir to combine.
    Transfer mixture to a 6-quart slow cooker, and cook on high, uncovered, until liquid is syrupy, 3 1/2 to 4 hours.
    Transfer to a food processor; pulse until coarsely chopped.
    Let cool, then refrigerate in airtight containers, up to 4 weeks.

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