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.
When tortilla chips imitate leaves
Trader Joe’s Extreme Fall lineup is here! “Are you already sick of all the pumpkin stuff?” I asked a cashier. “No,” she said, “it reminds me that things change.” Which, whoa. So let the pumpkin spice literally seep into your skin with a seasonal face mask, shovel maple ice cream into your mouth, and accept the fact that things are moving forward, whether you like it or not.
For more tricks and treats: Trader Joe’s new fall stuff, reviewed
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Rachel Karten picked up some Hardy Kiwis at the farmers’ market and we gathered ‘round to taste the invasive but cute mini fruit. They were the size of grape tomatoes with taut brown skin. Inside, they looked like kiwis but tasted sweet and sour. Like regular-sized kiwis, they left a tickly feeling on my tongue. According to my Google results for “kiwi makes mouth feel weird” this is an allergic reaction. Another Hardy Kiwi fact: “Some people find they have a strong laxative effect.” (Got that from a brief from Cornell University on “Minor Fruits.”) Kiwi, kiwi, the minor fruit, the more you eat, the more you…
About the potatoes
Carla Lalli Music scrolled through her phone next to me, huffing and puffing as she read angry YouTube comments deeming her and Molly’s perfect velvety mashed potatoes...too watery. “There’s not even water in it!” she exclaimed. In the video, the potatoes look looser than they were IRL, and they’re marvelous, because I’ve tasted them. But YouTube commenters can’t taste through the screen. “Ugh, ‘potato soup’? Everybody shut up!” said Carla, shaking her head. “Telling me how you do it in Ireland is besides the point!” Exasperation. “Everyone is wrong!” More scrolling. Until she lifts her head up and tells me: “There will be no apology video.” Stay strong, Carla.
Some things are fancy
Alison Roman’s new cookbook, Nothing Fancy, came out this week and we have a whole menu for the chillest possible steak night party you could possibly host. The rib roast is rubbed with an anchovy-garlic-rosemary mixture—!!!! The creamed greens are spiked with crème fraîche! Martinis are big-batched! If this is all starting to sound too fancy for you, I talked to Alison* and she said it was okay to cook everything in your Lady’s Fun Wear bikini t-shirt.
Get the recipes: Alison Roman’s Steakhouse Night at Home
*No, no I did not.
Drink the latte
Speaking of pumpkin spice and everything nice, Dappled author and pastry chef Nicole Rucker wrote about her love and appreciation for the PSL this week. “How many ridiculous drinks I can order without feeling the shame of false purism?” she asks in a moment of existential crisis at the airport. The answer, to me, is AS MANY AS YOU WANT. Within the constraints of your blood sugar level, that is. Within the office we call this your “diva coffee order” (DCO). Despite being called “diva” I want you to know this is a gender neutral designation. It’s like your astrological sign, but with complicated coffee shop orders that make you feel like Marie Antoinette. A large dirty iced almond chai, for example, is one unnamed BA staffer’s. I’m a PSL with an extra shot of espresso, no whipped cream. Who are you?
Overheard in the BA office
A long and sustained whisper: “Wegmanssssssssss.”
“Regular wines require you to memorize pretentious, insider-y terms, like ‘terroir’ and ‘mouthfeel,’ and pretend that you can taste leather, granite, and even barnyard in the drink. Natural wines require you to do the exact same thing, but on Instagram, so it’s O.K.”
From The New Yorker: What You Need to Know About Natural Wine
Priya Krishna is making Shahi toast, a.k.a. no-bake cardamom bread pudding, for Diwali before she flies from Dallas to New York to be the special guest at a standup show at Union Hall on Sunday with comedians including Aparna Nancherla and Hari Kondabolu, some of who will be bringing Indian dishes. “I hope I don’t accidentally insult anyone’s grandmother’s chole recipe!” she said. Find out if she does by showing up!
Get the recipe: Cardamom Bread Pudding
Unnecessary food meme of the week
Unnecessary food feud of the week
Sohla El-Waylly’s Chicken Thigh Biryani is here just in time for weekend cooking. Every time we tested it I kept chanting: “Prunes! Prunes! Prunes!” And yet the recipe calls for “dried fruit, such as prunes….” Which is fine. But you should use prunes. “I want people to use prunes,” said Sohla. They get plump and juicy in the oven, it’s heaven. Why so divisive?
“They’re the worst of all dried fruit!” exclaimed tart cherry champion Aliza Abarbanel. “Disgussssstingggggggg,” Ryan Walker hissed. “They’re concentrated sugar,” said Andy Baraghani. “I don’t like anything dark and shrively,” groaned Emma Wartzman. “It’s a big raisin, right?” said a confused Christa Guerra. “Imagine all of the other fruits you can eat instead of a prune,” said Alex Delany while opening a can of dolmas at 10:57 a.m. “I don’t like anything that reminds me I’m aging,” said existential Walter Green.
The pro-pruners were ready to fight. Just look at Chris Morrocco: “I fucking LOOOOOOVE a prune,” he said so passionately he threw a ball of wax paper and croissant crumbs across his cooking station. “Super soft jammy fruits, sun-kissed whatever-they-are,” he continued, “I celebrate the plums in all of their splendor; I celebrate prunes, as a logical extension of the glory of plums.” Wow.
Rapo likes them in Pork Marbella.
Chris Cristiano likes them stuffed with mascarpone at Frankie’s in Brooklyn.
Amanda Shapiro likes them “when you need them.”
Hilary Cadigan likes them “in a bag with other dried fruits.”
You’ll like them in Chicken Thigh Biryani.
Originally Appeared on Bon Appétit