5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.
(Left to right: Christophe Hille is the Chief Operating Officer, Hadley Schmitt is the Executive Chef, and Chris Ronis is the Managing Partner of Northern Spy Food Co. in New York, New York.)
There’s much high-minded talk in the food world about eating “mostly plants” (per Mr. Michael Pollan’s counsel), but judging from the slick of animal grease on our collective food biz lips, we’re deep in the throes of a meat moment. Meatballs, meatopias, and meat weeks; the cottage industry of top-ten burger lists (as a college professor once said to me in a different context, “I think we’ve taken enough rides on that pony”); and around every corner, another young cook with tattoos of cleavers, solemnly cutting up a pig (note to the non-cook reader: it’s not that hard.)
Our mid-winter redemption for editorial and gustatory carno-chauvinism lies in greenery. Dark, sulfurous, bitter greens, to excise the sins of the flesh and remind ourselves that while any shoemaker with salt, a Boston butt and an oven can make a passable pulled pork sandwich, it is through vegetables that cooks show intelligence and intuition.
To wit: five different ways to eat your greens this winter (not necessarily vegetarian, mind you). The methods are adapted from things currently or recently on our menu at Northern Spy, which in no way means that they’re inviolable. Mess ‘em up. Put the kale where the chard goes and vice versa.
Five Ways to Cook and Eat Dark Greens in Winter
Have you ever had the pleasure of she-crab soup? Crab bisque, crab chowder and the like are surely not to be sneered at, but they are just handmaidens to the lady crustacean's Lowcountry delicacy.
A liberal splash of sherry cuts a swath through the heavy cream-drenched, crab-studded fish stock, which itself is riddled with a buckshot of tangy, coral-colored crab roe (hence the emphasis on the "she"). It's rich. Good gravy, is it rich and sumptuous and understandably, something of a Charleston obsession.
It's not especially easy to come by, seeing as it's so tightly tethered to blue crab spawning season off the South Carolina coast. So unless you can find a local to take pity on you and ship you some of their stash of Harris cans they've been hoarding for the off-season, you'd be well advised to book a trip to South Carolina in the summer or fall (or both) and consume your body volume in this creamy, dreamy, orange-tinted soup.
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Editor's note: Andrew Weil is the director of the integrative medicine program at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, and professor of Medicine and Public Health, author of "Eight Weeks to Optimum Health," "Healthy Aging," "Spontaneous Happiness" and the forthcoming "True Food."
"I'm just gonna put a little more butter in there, y'all," she said as she plopped a large chunk into the skillet. "Oh my," she added, "I've gone and put a whole stick in by now."
I was watching Paula Deen on the Food Network, whipping up a shrimp sauté to go over pasta. I thought to myself, "I could make a similar dish that would look much better (hers was murky from all the butter), taste much better (fresh, clean flavors from a small amount of extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, dry vermouth and herbs), with a fraction of the fat and calories."
Later that day, I read about Deen's revelation that she had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes three years ago and is now a paid spokeswoman for Novo Nordisk, the pharmaceutical company that supplies her diabetes medication. She says the diagnosis will not change the way she cooks.