Reading the Fish Wrap: Picklemania

The new year brings with it new and exciting flavors and techniques. No, I’m not referring to Mark Bittman’s two most recent columns on Potatoes and Sandwiches. Instead check out Sophie Brickman’s piece in the New York Times about cooking in your microwave. I’ve been trying some of the less frequented buttons, so this was inspiring. Reviewing Nathan Myhrvold’s follow-up to his six-volume bible for the modernist chef, a slimmer edition for the modernist home cook, Brickman suggests we try frying parsley, steaming fish, and dehydrating fruit, all in the microwave. We most definitely will!

At the Washington Post, there’s a hilarious piece about the new tasting menu at Graffiato, Mike Isabella’s Chinatown Italian. Tim Carman builds suspense in the article by describing the chef’s (actually sous chef Adam Brick) ingredients as items that otherwise “would have been found rotting in the trash”–scallop muscle, beef tendon, fish tails. He then places this in the context of “whole animal cooking,” which makes sense to food section readers. But here’s the punchline: the chefs at Graffiato aren’t using “scraps” that come with the whole, they are just buying scraps. And charging $85 a pop for the tasting. What a racket.

Thanks, but I’d rather try the Post’s recipe for Polish Pickle Soup. Or what about pickle chips dehydrated in my microwave? Graffiato can buy my little pickle stems. I usually pitch them.

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