Top | Newsletter 2010

Culinate Newsletter November 17 10

(mailing, James Berry)

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 h1. Dear readers,
 At Culinate, we're all about cooking at home, and I try to stay away from restaurant talk in this newsletter. But dinner last night was a revelation. 

 I was on the road, not usually an occasion when we eat well, and dinner had to be quick. Fortunately, we were in San Francisco — where food is given its proper respect — in the Mission, specifically, and we'd been given a tip: When I heard the name of the restaurant, Gracias Madre, I had a good feeling.

 The decor was not unlike other Mexican restaurants I know, but the menu was unusual: Everything was organic, GMO-free, and — to my surprise — vegan. 

 I ate Quesadillas de Calabaza — butternut squash and caramelized onion folded into tortillas with a "cheese" made of cashews, and a pumpkin seed salsa. And Grilled Fig Salad — perfectly dressed greens and sweet warm figs. Someone else in our party had tacos with fillings like sautéed greens with garlic and chiles; grilled eggplant; and sautéed mushrooms with garlic (Hongos). 

 The guacamole was, well, killer; the tortillas, freshly made and sturdy. Even the cup of sangria I had with dinner seemed extra tasty.

 Over the last couple of decades, vegetarian food has lightened up and become considerably more appealing, thanks in large part to the efforts of chefs and cookbook authors who are teaching home cooks to coax the best flavors from vegetables, grains, and legumes. After yesterday's dinner, I have sharpened my resolve to look to vegan food experts — who are opening even more doors to the flavorful world of plants.

 Kim Carlson
 Editorial Director

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story1id: 307558
story1text: "Buy a turkey now, quarter it, and stash it in the freezer for hearty winter meals in a few months."
story2id: 307990 
story2text: "One Thanksgiving, Ellen Kanner celebrated a long way from home, with her holiday traditions held close." 

recipe1id: 1741
recipe1text: "From the 'Farmer John's Cookbook,' a seasonal snack to savor."
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recipe2text: "A simplified version of a Deb Perelman recipe that's a tasty alternative to pumpkin pie."

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