Every Friday morning, Bon Appétit senior staff writer Alex Beggs shares weekly highlights from the BA offices, from awesome new recipes to office drama to restaurant recs, with some weird (food!) stuff she saw on the internet thrown in. It gets better: If you sign up for our newsletter, you'll get this letter before everyone else.
I made Chris Morocco’s buckwheat banana bread at the start of the week, finally. I’d had it pinned for years. I snuck the espresso powder from the frosting into the batter, which is the closest I’ll ever get to working for NASA. I love the way doctoring up a recipe makes you feel like some kind of Mensa genius. “You know, the soup was perfect as-is, but I added a bay leaf and a cat hair and it simply pushed things over the top!”
Bake it: Buckwheat Banana Cake
It was a long week
This week in my (somewhat) quarantined home, an all-out fight broke out about apples. Not like, some Lord of the Flies stuff, but an argument resulting from trying to convince a high-risk loved one that the old way of daily shopping—three avocados here to “ripen on deck,” a “backup” loaf of bread there—is putting us at a potentially higher risk, putting others in the city at risk, and frankly unnecessary considering our stocked pantry. That maybe even this high-risk person...shouldn’t be doing the shopping at all.
It didn’t work. Suddenly the boring, chore-y act of popping in a store and feeling a few ‘cados for ripeness seems to represent all that’s left of free will.
And I know I’m not the only one in this unnecessary feud. It’s been written about in The New Yorker. A friend asked me if I had any good talking points she could give her dad, who’s running errands around town like it’s Normal Times. “They didn’t work!” I lamented. I’m exhausted and unfunny right now. But I’m hoping for the best.
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The pantry depths
This week, Bon Appétit staffers mined their pantries for treasure and this is what they excavated:
Hilary Cadigan popped open a bottle of...Ikea ketchup. “I like the Nordic simplicity of the bottle,” she reviewed, “and it’s a teensy bit on the sweet side but overall well-balanced, with a nice spice action—you can actually SEE the spices suspended in the goop.”
I dug out Runamok’s coffee-infused (!) maple syrup and drizzled it over that banana bread mentioned earlier, crisped up in a cast-iron with butter.
Jesse Sparks found spicy cocoa powder he’s going to experiment with. Cookies? Hot cocoa?
Christina Chaey discovered a ton of roasted seaweed sheets. One package was rancid (“if you're wondering how I knew, YOU KNOW”) but she’s going to use the rest to practice her onigiri technique.
MacKenzie Fegan unearthed her fiancée’s ex’s “enormous payload of gluten-free pasta and noodles, plus one box of gluten-free Bisquick” in her cabinets. “The most upsetting item is this ‘shirataki spaghetti,’ which is made from the type of yam that my family was forced to eat for survival during the Cultural Revolution in China. It comes packaged in a liquid-filled sac.”
Aliza Abarbanel shrugged and made a smoothie with CBD-infused honey packets. “Yes, I'm a parody of myself.”
Chris Morocco’s all about Patak's Mango Chutney. “Damn, with some curry, daal, basmati, etc...it brightens everything and gives lovely sweetness.”
A Zoom of one’s own
When you tell Andy a joke and he tries to hide his reaction:
(Courtesy of Christina Chaey)
When your internet connection slows because everyone’s working from home at the same time:
Sohla, tell me about those oysters
On Instagram this week, I saw Sohla El-Waylly cracking open a pile of OYSTERS. WHAT. SOHLA. HOW. The celebratory scene stemmed from a sad one. Her husband’s restaurants closed this week and everyone was laid off. The employees divided ribeyes, oysters, all the good stuff. It was a small consolation. “It helped to have a good night in a sad situation,” she said.
People I love keep sending me “quarantini” memes and I can’t help but find the name catchy. My ...quarantini... has been actually going to the trouble of shaking my margarita in a shaker instead of simply squeezing lime over tequila. This is the cocktail equivalent of putting jeans on to work from home. How considered. How decent.
Get the recipe: Margarita
I made one of the best simple pastas this week, a 2017 Andy Baraghani recipe, for bucatini with swiss chard (or whatever greens) and a topping of garlicky breadcrumbs. That extra step, tossing panko with garlic until it smells absurdly good, is something I’d normally be too lazy to do. But I’m starting to redefine lazy lately...
Get the recipe: Bucatini with Swiss Chard and Garlicky Breadcrumbs
Unnecessary food meme of the week
Unnecessary food feud of the week
I...don’t need any more of these this week, thanks!
Originally Appeared on Bon Appétit