Savouring great memories of Gourmet Magazine
The so-called "New Yorker" of food magazines folded in 2009, but as Louise Crosby discovers, good food never gets old and great recipes deserve to be served
By Louise Crosby
I have a fairly large collection of old Gourmet magazines, 85 issues altogether dating back to March 1980. I keep them stored in cardboard IKEA magazine holders in a closet along with our snowshoes and boxes of Christmas decorations. They’re getting musty, but like so many others in the world who have kept their Gourmets since the magazine folded in 2009, I can’t let them go. They’re historical artifacts. I forget about them most of the time, but when my mother came across an old issue on her bookshelf the other day, and passed it along, it started me on a trip down Gourmet memory lane. I’m not the first to say that Gourmet was the New Yorker of food magazines, especially in its earlier years, a monthly buffet of thoughtful food writing, travelogues, wine and restaurant reviews, beautiful photog...
Quiche: It’s all in the crust
The famed egg and cheese dish is for real men, real women and anyone who isn't afraid to experiment with leafy greens
By Louise Crosby
When my Mom goes out for lunch, nothing makes her happier than to have quiche, slightly warmed with a bit of salad on the side. She has a point: quiche done well, with a crisp yet tender, flaky crust and a creamy custard filling, is a wonderful thing. This recipe, part Julia Child and part Martha Stewart, all revised by Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen and then tweaked again by me (things do get recycled!) is classic. Leeks are braised with water, butter and salt until they’re soft and sweet, and the mushrooms are sautéed in butter with a splash of port until slightly caramelized. Once cooled, the vegetables are added to the egg-and-milk custard and poured into a baked pastry shell. Swiss or Gruyère cheese is sprinkled on top and into the oven it goes. I extended the cooking time for the pâte brisée because it’s important that the ...
RETRO RECIPE: Salade de laitue
This treasure from Tante Marie's turn of the century cookbook, Cuisine de Famille, is called Lettuce Salad. So let us salad.
(Translated from the French) This salad must be made with care, because in the cavities and folds of the lettuce leaf, you will often find insects. You have to remove them, as you must also remove the larger leaves from the outer core of the lettuce head. Wash all the leaves well. Once you've removed the big leaves, you will arrive at the heart of the lettuce. Leave that heart the size of an egg, then cut it into quarters. Let the leaves dry, put them in a salad bowl with finely chopped tarragon and decorate with hard-boiled eggs. Season with salt, pepper, oil and vinegar. Bon appetit! Because so much of human history, and family memory, revolves around food, we're introducing Retro Recipe -- a new, and we hope regular, feature that looks at the cookbooks and family recipes of previous generations in a bid to better understand our bellies ...
Affirm a rose-tinted outlook with strawberry lemonade
A day digging in the garden and redesigning the backyard beds demands a thirst-quenching quaff, so squeeze some lemons and squish some berries for a sweet take on a standard
By Louise Crosby
A perfect day for me this time of year starts with a drive south out of the city, a Jesse Winchester rock and roll tune blasting out the windows. I am in a very good mood because I am making yet another trip to the garden centre for another plant specimen, a variety of bush or tree that will have been analyzed to death. How big does it grow? How much sun does it need? Where will it go? The re-design of the back garden, triggered when a large diseased maple tree was taken down last fall, is well underway. I finally have more sun to play with. So far I have planted the following this spring: a Maypole Colonnade flowering crab, the kind that grow up rather than out in a spread; a Salix Hakuro Nishiki dappled willow standard; a weeping larch; a cute little Bailcarol spirea; a Spring Delight ...
Dispatches from Abroad: 4 Cats, one full stomach
Jay Stone fills up on Barcelona's rich culinary history, where 4 Cats on the menu isn't a PETA call to action, but the promise of tasty delights served on lampshades
By Jay Stone
BARCELONA, Spain -- The two big things to do here are to eat and to go to art galleries, and if you can eat where the painters used to hang out, it's a huge time-saver. This comes in very handy when siesta runs over its limit. And so we arrive at 4 Cats, a famous cafe on a little alley called Montsio, just off the big Portal de L'Angel, one of the city's main streets. 4 Cats is 118 years old, although it was closed now and then for civil wars, artistic revolutions and so on. Still, it's pretty legendary: a charming bistro with a coffee room in front, a tiled bar in the middle, and a big room in the back with apricot-coloured walls, rows of tables on the floor and a wooden mezzanine that fills up at every meal. It was opened in 1897 by four painters who were paying homage to Le Chat Noir cabaret in ...