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.
Fun with mushrooms
Sorry Michael Pollan, not that kind. This is a family newsletter. And for my family (a cat, an aunt), I made Andy Baraghani’s new creamy mushroom pasta this week. Even with ¼ cup cream instead of ½ (my inside sources tell me Andy tried to get away with 1 cup), it was perfect. Even more perfect with a sprinkling of red pepper flakes.
Make it! Creamy Pasta with Crispy Mushrooms
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Another thing I made
Both Christina Chaey and I made Claire Saffitz’s apple cake, though I went with pecans instead of walnuts in the nutty batter (my favorite cake batter in recent BA history). Chaey’s apples (Jonamac) were high in water and sunk, but mine (Honeycri$p) didn’t. This spurred discussion about the best apples for baking. A tip from Claire when you’re shopping for them: you’re looking for HARD, dense apples that’ll hold their shape, so if you press your thumb into it and it doesn’t indent, you’re good. If it does indent, you better buy that one and eat it as a snack. Above: the recipe photo. Below: Chaey’s (left) and mine (right).
Bake it! Apple-Walnut Upside-Down Cake
A lot of readers screamed “bed bugs!” “cooties!” when I professed my obsession with restaurant blankets. I just want to let y’all know that the restaurants dry clean the blankets often, please chill. If you get too chill, warm up with a nice brushed-cotton blanket at Angler in San Francisco!
So exciting, so overwhelming
As someone generally interesting in poring over your wedding registry and picturing what life is like inside of other people’s homes and hearts, the dropping of Jennifer Lawrence’s supposed wedding registry on Amazon was a huge moment in my week. It just felt so...fake. I’m sure it’s real, corporate overlords who make affiliate money from Amazon! The cheery, first-person copy-writing (“Cooking for two is always more fun!”) was missing that famous Jennifer Lawrence snap. Is that A COPPER FONDUE SET? I just want to let you know, for everything you click on and buy from this registry (consider a copper fondue set), Bon Appétit will make a cut. So please, I’m begging you, consider a copper fondue set.
It’s nug season
A reader (Hi Taylor Kidd!) tagged me recently sharing a gleeful home scene starring POTATO NUGS, a.k.a. the best recipe from our Thanksgiving issue last year. Steam-roasted, pub-style potatoes that have the texture of a deep-fried cloud. Taylor, I believe, covered them in gravy, which is just gilding the lily. This is a PSA to remind you it is now burnished potato nugget season; act accordingly.
Get the recipe: Burnished Potato Nuggets
Tell me more about Wilbur
It took me three days, but Tad Friend’s 6-month reporting on the Impossible Burger (and other new meat alternatives) in The New Yorker was riveting and I hope you read it too. I’d earlier dismissed Impossible thinking, “They send me too many press releases, I don’t trust that,” and “it’s high in all the bad-for-you artery-clogging ways meat is, why don’t I just eat beans,” but now I get it more fully, and it’s nice to realize your rigid convictions are probably, at least a little bit, wrong. “He has a potbellied pig named Wilbur at home that knows how to open the refrigerator” is an out-of-context quote I’ll leave for you here.
Recipe comment of the week
On Claire’s cake.
Unnecessary food meme of the week
Special edition! This is Sarah Jampel’s “favorite meme” but otherwise, she said, “I don’t understand them.”
Unnecessary food feud of the week
Unnecessary food feud of the week
The markets are stocked with heavy winter squashes and cute little honeynuts—but why are there only four Bon Appétit spaghetti squash recipes? A friend made it recently for me in a cheesy gratin. “I like it, especially given the cacio e pepe treatment [pictured above]” said food director Carla Lalli Music, “but not as a noodle alternative.” Soooo where are the RECIPES, CARLA? “This isn’t a keto magazine,” she replied. Ouch. Emily Schultz hasn’t eaten it since she roasted, shredded, and covered it in jarred pasta sauce in college. Seems for the best. Sarah Jampel lamented, “I was served spaghetti squash at a restaurant last night, underneath spicy cauliflower. I wish it weren’t there!” She backtracked to tell me she likes it “in general.” Sure. “It’s great for babies,” said Meryl Rothstein, “because you don’t have to cut anything.” “It’s the worst of all squash, hate it!” said Sohla El-Waylly, who finds it “watery, bland, and stringy.” A staffer who prefers to remain anonymous to avoid retaliation DMed me: “It’s f****** disgusting!” Another nameless staffer pointed to her father, the last remaining person on the Atkins diet, who looooves it as a pasta alternative. “All the butter and Parm in the world can’t save it because nothing can,” concluded Chris Morocco. I won’t string this along any further.
Originally Appeared on Bon Appétit