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Traveling Around with the Culinary Content Network

Traveling Around with the Culinary Content Network


Our Culinary Content Network shares their travels and tips

30A Eats head to Louisiana.

No matter what time of year it is, our Culinary Content Network contributors are getting out and sharing their adventures. Whether they’re close to home or further abroad, it seems like they always have a delicious voyage to share.

Click here for the Traveling Around with the Culinary Content Network Slideshow!

Check out a recent visit to Lafayette, La.. with 30A Eats, or hop on over to the West Coast for some California flavors with Delights & Delectables. Man Up Texas BBQ brings us back down south with a visit to La Barbecue in Austin, Texas, and Dangerous Cupcake takes us out for a burger in Hollywood. For our beverage aficionados, Bite & Booze announces that Louisiana Craft Brewer week is official and on schedule for this fall (get us to NOLA)!

Click through our slideshow to see more from our contributors’ travels. They may have some tips for you, or at least a description of a delicious meal or two.


Whether you're craving tasty treats from the Disney Parks or Disney Cruise Line, I've got you covered with a collection of scrumptious recipes you can easily make at home!

Hey! I'm Victoria! I have been writing and sharing recipes on Mission Food Adventure since 2009. I studied culinary arts at Johnson & Wales University, am an avid traveler and cookbook collector, and a huge Disney fan. I've also worked at the Food Network and have a background in film and television. I love exploring the world, and recreating my favorite dishes in my own kitchen. Join me on my global culinary journey!


How Cooking Connected One Chef with Grandmothers Across the World

Chef Brooke Siem shares recipes for sweets from some of the most seasoned hands in the kitchen.

From the time I could chew, I spent afternoons in a double-wide trailer with my mother&aposs first husband&aposs mother, a diminutive woman named Ellie who cared for me as if I were her flesh and blood. She always set out the same spread for lunch: flat-iron grilled cheese made with white bread and a single slice of American cheese, dill pickles, salty chips and ice-cold well water.

Year after year, I sat at that checkered-cloth-covered table in Reno, Nevada, and listened to Ellie&aposs stories about arriving at Ellis Island from Italy, raising her 11 younger siblings during the Great Depression and dealing blackjack at the once-famous Harolds Club casino for the likes of Sammy Davis Jr.

That was my introduction to the link between cooking and storytelling, and discovering the tales behind recipes has been the driving force of my career ever since. After attending the Institute of Culinary Education, and then co-founding a Manhattan bakery, a win on the hit Food Network show Chopped in 2016 helped me fund a year-long trip around the world. Instead of spending my mealtimes in restaurants as I traveled, I decided to return to the home kitchen. I missed the warmth of Ellie&aposs table, and how a simple meal and conversation filled my soul. The Grandmother Project was born.

Across nine countries on four continents, I sought out grandmothers willing to share their stories, their kitchens and their recipes. I met these women through friends of friends, extended family and kind strangers. Sometimes I needed translators, sometimes I didn&apost. We gathered around stoves and talked about love and loss, hardship and grace. Each time, I was reminded of the power of preparing food with others. It is more than a means to nourishment. It&aposs an expression of love that transcends borders. Here are some of my favorite memories from that year abroad, and the delicious desserts we prepared together.


Each episode of Bite Club takes place in a different city from which the five contestants are chosen. The premiere season will see chefs from Chicago, Savannah, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, and Charleston duke it out.

Unlike Chopped, which houses all of its competition in one on-set kitchen, each episode of Bite Club takes place in a local kitchen that the competing chefs haven’t cooked in before, so adaptability and observation will play a key role in winning.


Recipes from around the world for quarantine

Dreaming about traveling but stuck inside due to the coronavirus pandemic? Travel with your taste buds without leaving your home.

Dreaming about traveling but stuck inside due to the coronavirus pandemic? You can travel with your taste buds now &ndash without even leaving your home!

We've rounded up some recipes from around the world in order to keep your wanderlust at bay, and your belly satisfied at the same time.

Don't fear if you're out of certain ingredients. There are often replacements you can use without compromising the final outcome of the dish. (If you&rsquore looking for ways to cook in quarantine using only a limited number of ingredients, check out our story on meals with five ingredients or less and our story on meals that use items already in your pantry.)

If you&rsquore looking to fill your culinary passport, however, get ready for takeoff with the recipes below, listed in no particular order, for a kitchen-made bon voyage. Bon appétit!

Steak frites: Grocery stores all out of chicken? Pick up some steak instead and make steak frites, which is a French dish of steak and fries. Allrecipe.com's Parisian-Style Steak Frites recipe calls for hanger steaks, some herbs and a few other ingredients. You can either make the fries from scratch with potato, or to make things easier, pick up a bag of frozen ones.

Crêpes: For dessert, whip up some crêpes! Food.com's recipe uses flour, eggs, milk, oil and salt. What do you put on top? The options are endless, from butter and powered sugar to Nutella or whipped cream and fresh fruit. Bonus: You can also make savory crêpes with cheese, meat and vegetables for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Pizza: Sure, you could order some pizza to be delivered but why not cure some quarantine boredom with your own homemade pizza? Sugar Spun Run boasts the "Best Pizza Dough Recipe," which can be used along with your favorite sauce and toppings to make a perfect personalized pie. Or, to make things even easier, pick up some pre-made dough at your grocery store.

Tiramisu: Looking for something sweet and creamy after your savory slice? Tastes better from Scratch's "Easy Tiramisu" recipe can be made in 10 minutes for a last-minute craving.

Poutine: Looking to amp up your fry game? Make this popular Canadian dish, made of fries, gravy and cheese curds. Seasons and Suppers has an authentic recipe you can follow to know exactly how to make this perfect snack &ndash or meal, we won't judge.

Street corn: Whether you want a fun, small meal or just a snack, street corn (elotes in Spanish) are a delicious portable food. Kitchen Gidget's recipe has measurements and instructions for everything you need, mainly ears of corn, mayonnaise, cheese and seasonings.

Churros: Looking for something sweet after all that corn? Try your hand at this fried finger food. The Stay at Home Chef's recipe calls for some basic baking ingredients, topped off with cinnamon and sugar. If you're looking for a keto version, check out this less-authentic, still-delicious pumpkin spice churro recipe from Grateful.

Couscous: These little balls of durum wheat semolina are often eaten in the Maghreb region of Africa. Taste of Maroc's "Couscous with Seven Vegetables" calls for lamb or beef but the meat can be skipped to make it a perfect option for vegetarians and vegans.

Tagine: Another popular dish in the North African country that is named after the pot it is typically cooked in. Moroccan Zest's "Moroccan Chicken Tagine Recipe" calls for chicken, chickpeas and lots of herbs and spices.

Jollof rice: This dish is popular in many West African countries, but Tasty's version is a "Ghanaian Jollof Rice" that kicks up the heat with a habanero pepper, so it's perfect for spicy food lovers.

Staying Apart, Together:A newsletter about how to cope with the coronavirus pandemic

Chicken tikka masala: If you've had Indian food before, chances are you've tried this dish &ndash and for good reason, because the creamy sauce is delicious! Cafe Delites' recipe is highly rated with detailed instructions.

Dal: If you're looking for a vegetarian option or side, try this dish made of lentils or split peas. Culinary Ginger's Indian Dal calls for red or yellow lentils and lots of spices.

Pho: Alone at home and needing a hug? Try warming up with some of this comforting Vietnamese soup (pronounced "fuh"). The Forked Spoon's recipe may be time-consuming, but great (and flavorful!) things take time.

Banh mi: This Vietnamese sandwich can be filled with all sorts of meats and vegetables. Food&Wine.com's version has peppery pork and hoisin sauce for a satisfying bite.

Beef bulgogi: Korean barbecue restaurants are lots of fun with friends, but that doesn't mean you can't treat yourself to some delicious Korean flavors at home. Damn Delicious's Korean beef bulgogi recipe can be eaten with rice or other sides and will transport you to your favorite Korean spot.

Bibimbap: Another Korean favorite, which is made of mixed rice with meat and assorted vegetables. My Korean Kitchen's version uses beef, eggs, mushrooms and other vegetables.

More cooking: Easy bread recipes you can make during the coronavirus quarantine &ndash even if you're out of yeast, milk or butter


Behind the NYT Cooking Section That’s All About Ditching the Recipe

The Times’s no-recipe recipes, which invite readers to wing it in the kitchen and tailor recipes to their tastes, started on a whim back in 2014.

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Times Insider explains who we are and what we do, and delivers behind-the-scenes insights into how our journalism comes together.

It started on a whim: Sam Sifton, the food editor of The New York Times (and my boss), added a paragraph to his cooking newsletter saying that, actually, you really didn’t need a recipe to make dinner, offering the outlines of a meal you could pull together that night.

This was back in 2014, when we were preparing to launch NYT Cooking, a new venture for The Times built on our vast archive of recipes, thousands upon thousands of them. At the office, we often refer to recipes as the atoms of NYT Cooking, the stuff from which everything else is made.

But here Sam had introduced something else — not quite a recipe, but something that carried culinary wisdom and know-how, a promise to our readers that if they went along for the ride, they would flourish in the kitchen.

These no-recipe recipes — which offer cooking ideas, but no ingredient lists or steps — invite you to wing it, to play around, to tailor a recipe to your tastes. It’s something confident cooks do all the time, and yet cooks of any skill level can learn it. (A grilled cheese sandwich can be a superb no-recipe recipe.)

Readers loved the no-recipe recipes, writing to say that they wanted to be able to collect and save them. The NYT Cooking site didn’t yet have that functionality, but eventually — also on a whim — we asked one of our editors, Mark Josephson, to grab the no-recipe recipes from each Wednesday newsletter and save them in one spot, just in case. Someday we might do something with them?

Years passed. Then one morning, Sam and I were at our desks spinning out story ideas, and somehow the no-recipe recipes came up. Mark was still saving them every week, in a giant running file. We had them! Should we — do something with them?

From that point, the idea found its form quickly: We would narrow the very long file down to the strongest ideas and partner with the art directors Fred Bierman and Wayne Kamidoi on a special section of the newspaper, a 44-page, full-color tabloid cookbook : “You Don’t Need a Recipe.”

For print editors accustomed to black-and-white on a weekday, this was nirvana. The Food department’s photo editor, Kim Gougenheim, commissioned extraordinary photography from David Malosh and the food stylist Simon Andrews. We worked with the NYT Cooking team to publish the no-recipe recipes online so that they can be searched and saved, and the designer Umi Syam created a fun, browsable online presentation.

Sam writes a lot of newsletters — several thousand words a month of recipes and prose. And he still writes those weekly no-recipe recipes, of course. Sometimes he zooms off at the end of the workday with the words, spoken not uncheerfully, “I’m going home to cook.” Occasionally he seems to only have a vague idea of what that meal will be, and faith that it will be good to eat. On the following Wednesday, you’ll find it in your inbox.

Follow the @ReaderCenter on Twitter for more coverage highlighting your perspectives and experiences and for insight into how we work.


Food52 Launches A Podcast Network, With Genius Recipes And Cookalong Shows

Food52, the food and drink website that has evolved to include test kitchen-approved recipes, an online marketplace and their own line of products for the kitchen and home, has launched its very own podcast network. They’re kicking things off with a bang, dropping the first episode of their inaugural show, The Genius Recipe Tapes today featuring host Kristen Miglore and guest Sohla El-Waylly, associate food editor at Bon Appetit.

Miglore told me that they’re launching the podcast with an interview with El-Waylly “because she’s a delightful, inspiring person to talk to and it’s exactly what we’re hoping to capture in The Genius Recipe Tapes: The connections between retro candy packaging, Sohla growing up lactose intolerant working in her parents’ ice cream shop, and the now-shuttered diner she opened with her husband don’t puzzle neatly into a story about a ranch-flavored Fun Dip for raw vegetables, but we knew listeners would learn from and relate to it all.” Upcoming podcast guests also include Carla Hall and Bryant Terry.

The Genius Recipe Tapes is an extension of Miglore’s column that she’s been running for a decade and the latest addition to an award-winning franchise that includes dozens of YouTube videos and two cookbooks ( Genius Recipes and Genius Desserts). “I’ve had the privilege of getting to quiz the geniuses behind these iconic recipes for years now and inevitably the conversations are longer and richer than we can weave into an article or short video,” Miglore said. “We talk about so much more than a single technique or recipe, however brilliant it might be—what they’re cooking that night, the projects they’re obsessing over, how they’re seeing what’s happening in the world. With all the uncertainty and isolation of 2020, those conversations have taken on an even more raw and intimate feeling and I (and my husband/cameraperson/AV technician Mike) look forward every week to getting to connect with someone new.”

As for what she hopes for listeners to take away from the podcast, Miglore said, “we hope listeners will pick up a new cooking trick, learn about an unfamiliar ingredient or cuisine, feel inspired to go further down a rabbit hole, definitely laugh, maybe cry, and gain a new appreciation for the people behind the recipes that we love to cook and share.”


Why Is Everyone Suddenly Cooking Depression Era Recipes?

Under quarantine, we're turning to some of the wildest&mdashand bleakest&mdashrecipes from yesteryear.

They say trends are cyclical, but they would have had to be looking into a crystal ball to predict something called "depression cake" becoming popular again in 2020. Alas, here we are&mdashstuck at home, whipping milk for strangers' applause on TikTok, boldly trying out new self-tanners without a care in the world about the repercussions, and baking cakes that hearken back to the days when our grandparents were our age.

Maybe you've heard it called something other than depression cake &mdashpoor man's cake, war cake, wacky cake, crazy cake. They're all the same milkless, eggless, butterless treat borne out of necessity and a lack of access to basic ingredients. And now, under stay-at-home orders and with panic-buying bringing us back to a freakishly familiar place, bakers have commandeered the 90-something-year-old cake and taken to calling it "quarantine cake."

"I came across a recipe for crazy chocolate cake, aka chocolate depression cake, a while back, and I tweaked it," Emily Hutchinson, creator of The Hutch Oven blog and judge on Hallmark Drama's Christmas Cookie Matchup, explains. "I got it to where it was worthy of sharing with my family, and they couldn't believe how delicious it was with no eggs, milk, or butter." So Emily kept baking it and kept sharing it with friends. Then, when the quarantine hit, Emily's friend Christina convinced her to share the recipe with a bigger group of friends&mdashher 116,000 Instagram followers.

She posted a video of the recipe, calling it quarantine cake on March 21. The likes and the views immediately rolled in, but so did the messages and the memories, Emily says: "The older generation of my followers, whom I adore, kept thanking me because some had lost their recipes for cake similar to mine or they couldn&rsquot find their mother's or grandmother's recipe."

Interest is piquing in more than just Emily's little corner of the internet, though, and data from Google would suggest you've tried your hand at baking a depression cake&mdashor you've at least been curious. Searches for "depression cake" are up 60 percent over the past month, right around the time states began shutting down. Pinterest has been overrun with similar desperate times call for staple-less recipes searches, too. Queries for "yeastless bread recipes" are up 4,400 percent and terms like "no egg cake recipe" and "canned ham recipes" are trending worldwide.

But all this digging for old-school, Depression Era recipes doesn't indicate an absolute regression to 1930s cooking. It's more like a game&mdashlike the results of a BuzzFeed quiz entitled "Tell Us Your Food Preferences, And We'll Tell You Which Decade You Actually Should Have Lived In And A Recipe To Make Tonight."

We're cooking from the highlight reel we're looking for the outliers, shareable recipes that still have a pretty decent chance of tasting, well, decent, says Jane Ziegelman, author of A Square Meal: A Culinary History of the Great Depression. "There's a kind of cherry-picking taking place where we're going back and finding novelty recipes that are kitschy in a way. And we feel like it's almost fun to go back and cook these historical recipes."

Then there's the flip side of the fun: our anxiety that the food scarcity and rationing that were prevalent during the Great Depression will return. We're not there yet, but online grocery orders remain difficult to fulfill, brand giants warn the entire food chain is about to break, and a partial collapse of the restaurant industry seems imminent&mdashif it hasn't already happened.

"We're finding ways to cope with it," Jane says, "and one way is to kind of practice. We have the ingredients to make something now, but maybe we won't next week. And this isn't totally in the level of our consciousness, but we're wondering how we're going to do it if we don&rsquot get whatever we need to make, say, an actual loaf of bread."

Enter: Reddit, a millennial's favorite coping mechanism. About a month ago, a recipe for peanut butter bread reemerged on the platform. It's a loaf of bread that calls for only five ingredients, none of which are butter, eggs, or yeast. The recipe was originally published in the 1932 Five Roses Cook Book from Canadian flour company Five Roses. In July 2019, Glen Powell (of the YouTube channel Glen & Friends Cooking) spotlighted it in an episode of his "Old Cooking Show," a series he started after opening an old box of cookbooks from his grandparents.

Hundreds of posts about it&mdashwith thousands of upvotes&mdashnow live on Reddit, mostly praising the recipe, sometimes poking fun at the whole thing. Ironically, Glen can't participate in the conversation, nor is he seeing any kickback in views from the recent spike in interest. He's been banned from any recipe-related subreddits, you see, after his

Still, Glen gets the appeal of it all&hellipeven if he can't comment back letting people know as much: "With the current COVID-19 pandemic&mdashsheltering in place and social distancing and restaurants being closed&mdashpeople are looking at it a little more closely, at how we can apply what happened then to what's happening now," Glen says.

"I see a lot of make-do recipes in the 1930s cookbooks that are sort of related to [the shortage of ingredients]," Glen continues. He's got many books with instructions for how to make mock chicken, plus one from Chicago with a recipe for mock possum.

We're still in the mock bread phase&mdashperhaps an indication that we haven't completely dived off the deep end quite yet. What's more: We're returning to this kind of pure place when it comes to cooking. Sure, you can still get umpteen recipes and stories about what to cook at the click of a button&mdashit's 2020, lest we need to remind you&mdashbut you can also get thousands of Google returns about how to cook now.

"There's one thing that I've seen which is really positive and really encouraging to me," Jane says. "I've seen bunches of articles by food writers that aren't so much looking at recipes but are trying to teach people basic laws of food and cooking. We're learning sort of how it all works&mdashhow to cook without a recipe, how to keep produce fresh longer, how to make substitutions. We're getting an education in how food works that's going to make us much better cooks if we can hang on to that."

So if nothing else&mdashwhen the yeast returns and the peanut butter bread goes away for another eight decades, and the eggs aren't hard to track down anymore so the depression cake goes back into its vault&mdashlet's hang on to that.


2. Everyday Italian: 125 Simple and Delicious Recipes

Does the name sound familiar? Everyday Italian is also the name of her hit TV show on the Food Network. Just like the show, this cookbook features healthy Italian dishes that are easy and fun to make. You'll learn how to make several variations of pesto , and how to make leftovers a mouth watering pasta dish. No need to set aside a Saturday afternoon of grocery shopping and prepping. Many of these comfort food recipes consist of food that's already in your pantry. These quick dishes are perfect for cooking on weeknights.


A Beginner’s Guide to Peruvian Cooking

With coronavirus making travel a tricky and even potentially dangerous prospect this year, we’re embracing the summer staycation. All week (and all summer) long, we’ll bring you transportive flavors and travel-inspired ideas from around the world, so you can take your tastebuds on a trip and give your mind a mini vacation while you’re still at home. Here, a beginner’s guide to Peruvian food with recipes for recreating iconic dishes at home.

Peru is a culinary jewel of South America. With its abundant raw ingredients, dizzying variety of elevations, and clever chefs and home cooks who celebrate their history while perpetually innovating a cuisine that is as varied as its landscape, it’s a cuisine everyone should experience. But if you can’t travel and don’t have any Peruvian restaurants nearby, you can (and should) bring Peruvian cuisine into your own kitchen.

The renowned chef Virgilio Martinez of Central in Lima, Peru, who you may have seen on “Chef’s Table” (he also earned a spot on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants List for 2019), has built his entire menu around the vast elevational differences that exist in his country. Cuisine from the lush Amazon, the soaring Andes Mountains, and the meandering coastline all find a place at the table at Central. Elevation is a primary reason why the Peruvian culinary repertoire is so vast and robust.

Central by Virgilio Martinez, $44.49 from Amazon

It will be tough to exactly recreate the chef's dishes outside of Peru due to some hard-to-find regional ingredients, but his book is well worth buying even just to read (and drool over).

Another explanation for Peru’s multi-faceted recipes is attributed to its seemingly boundless variety of raw ingredients. In a nation boasting thousands of varieties of items such as potatoes, chiles, tomatoes, legumes, and spices, culinary traditions are bound to be ample.

The way Peruvians embrace their differences is another reason why its cuisine is so bounteous. Immigrant groups have long found refuge in Peru, bringing their cooking traditions with them. Instead of keeping their recipes separate, Peruvian home and restaurant cooks have long discovered new and exciting ways to blend ingredients and cooking techniques into a fusion style that is entirely Peruvian.

Here are some of the hallmarks of Peruvian cooking, plus recipes to try some of the country’s iconic dishes at home. Check out Peru Delights and Eat Peru for even more recipes and stories behind Peruvian food traditions.