NYC welcomes diners back inside; Wildfire hits wine country hard; Biscuits and butters are a combo to fall for
Restaurants in New York City were able to reopen their doors for dine-in service this week after a six-month shutdown. Many New Yorkers were eager to return to their favorite spots, driven by the desire to socialize just as much as their cravings for a certain dish, Reuters reported. The reopenings offer a glimmer of hope for some restaurants, but the city's restaurant industry currently employs only slightly more than half the number of people it did before the pandemic struck.
Over on the West Coast, a wildfire that started on California's Napa/Sonoma County line destroyed more than a dozen restaurants and wineries this week. Among them, the three-Michelin-starred Restaurant at Meadowood, helmed by chef Christopher Kostow. Other chefs expressed on social mediatheir shock and sadness at the loss of the iconic restaurant, which the owners have vowed to rebuild.
In home cooking news, fall favorites are steadily creeping into the recipe rotation, including apple and pumpkin butters that can spread seasonal flavor on a range of foods. Try the pumpkin butter on the accompanying Dutch baby recipe, or bake up a batch of biscuits. The Kitchn put four popular biscuit recipes to the test and declared one of them "near-perfect." If you've already got a preferred recipe, you may want to try a tip from chef Kelly Fields' new book, "The Good Book of Southern Baking," and swap in pasta flour for the standard all-purpose for an extra flaky and tender texture.
This recipe for hearty split pea soup topped with kielbasa comes from "Modern Comfort Food," Ina Garten's latest cookbook. "I love the way the earthy, creamy soup contrasts with the crispy sausage," she said. PARADE
Freeze-dried apple powder added to the cinnamon sugar coating gives these doughnuts a serious hit of apple flavor. Recipe creator Stella Parks recommends frying them in refined coconut oil or another solid fat for the best texture. Serious Eats
Chef Rebecca Peizer from The Culinary Institute of America shows us how to make farro salad with red grapes, pistachios and feta cheese, dressed with a classic red wine vinaigrette. The nutty whole grains and savory feta cheese, combined with fresh grapes, make this dish a satisfying meal. This salad is great served on its own or paired with a sandwich or an entree. Watch this and many more grape recipe demos here!
The scale of destruction from fires and smoke in vast swathes of California has viticulturists speculating that climate change has reached a tipping point that will drastically change the state's wine industry. UC Davis viticulturist S. Kaan Kurtural advises that more heat waves and reduced rainfall that hurt grape crops lie ahead in the state, while Napa Valley College Vineyard Coordinator Molly Hodgins notes "there has been so much smoke exposure in wine regions up and down the west coast this year that most of the 2020 red wines will have some smoke taint."
The pandemic has brought a surge in home cooking as consumers have avoided restaurants on safety and budgetary concerns and work-from-home trends shifted breakfast, lunch and coffee break habits. A reported 55% of consumers surveyed reported dining at home more often, according to Acosta, and that survey and others indicate the home-cooking trend is likely to last beyond the pandemic.
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I joined SmartBrief in 2011 as an intern fresh out of journalism school, and over the years I have covered food news from grocery to culinary.
The addition of freeze-dried apple powder to the coating of Stella Parks' apple cider doughnuts is so clever, I may just have to try it on top of all my apple-centric baking projects. On my radar this week is this apple cider doughnut loaf from Bon Appetit.
Since I joined SmartBrief in 2013, I have produced content on topics ranging from food retail and consumer packaged goods to the wine and spirits industry and the produce world.
That fire-roasted carrot hummus is calling my name. Even though official grilling season is over, there's nothing like grilling in the cool crisp air of fall -- I'll likely be firing this grilled Lebanese flatbread alongside those carrots.
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