April 4, 2020

Written by

Chris Gonzales


Frank Zhang

Welcome to this week’s edition of our Quality Linkage column. We’re all stuck indoors and possibly losing our minds as the world outside seemingly falls apart, but hey, home cooking is on the rise again! (That’s a bread joke, in case you didn’t catc- you know what, never mind.)

Anyway, now that we’re all free to become the expert cooks we’ve always dreamed of being, I thought I’d round up some useful and entertaining Food Content™ for this week’s collection of links.

Brew a fresh cup of coffee, bake a fantastic sourdough loaf, get creative with the ingredients you have on hand, and enjoy these culinary articles and videos.

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🧑‍🏫🥘: Unless you’re relying wholly on restaurant deliveries or curbside pickup, chances are you’re cooking for yourself more than ever right now. For some of us, that’s totally fine — but others, not so much. If you’re an anxious mess in the kitchen, Meghan McCarron of Eater collected a plethora of beginner-friendly recipes, tips, and tricks (mostly from places other than Eater) that are sure to be helpful.

Please, God, someone do a sport so my boyfriend will stop talking about his sourdough starter

Olga Khazan

🧑‍🍳🥖: Let’s talk sourdough for a moment. There are numerous guides out there to making this delicious bread at home, some of which I’ve linked here on T&T before. I’ll go over them below:

  • [Guide:] Getting started with sourdough can feel like a daunting proposition. Luckily, software-engineer-turned-baker Maurizio Leo has for years been running the perfect(-ly nerdy) website to help you find your way. Start with his beginner’s sourdough guide, which gives all the steps, tips, measurements, times, and photos you need to get started.

  • [Guide:] You can also check out Emma Christensen’s beginner sourdough guide for The Kitchn, which is well written and covers all the fundamentals.

  • [Video:] Patrick Ryan, owner of the Firehouse Bakery & Bread School in Ireland, offers a clear, supremely helpful video guide to baking sourdough, from getting your starter up and running to kneading technique to shaping to scoring the bread and so forth.

  • [Bread Bible:] Modernist Bread is a veritable encyclopedia of bread-making, with five entire volumes covering the history & fundamentals, ingredients, techniques & equipment, and then two whole books of recipes, the first of which has a section covering many varieties of sourdough bread.

  • [Book:] Want to learn essential baking skills without dropping over $500 about it? Then you want Ken Forkish’s Flour Water Salt Yeast. It’s not a mere book of recipes; it teaches the flexibility required to bake magnificent breads and pizzas, starting from a conceptual level. Even experienced bakers will take something away from this one. (The bread porn contained within its pages is almost worth the price of admission alone.)

  • [Recipe:] This one’s not about sourdough per se, but worth mentioning all the same: NYT Cooking’s “No-Knead Bread”, which is accompanied by a video of Mark Bittman visiting Sullivan Street Bakery in Hell’s Kitchen to learn the technique first-hand.

🥔: Got a bunch of potatoes laying around that you need a use for? I recommend J. Kenji López-Alt’s recipe/guide for roasting the best potatoes of your life. Ultra crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, and 100% based on ⚡science⚡.

🥔🥞: Still have potatoes you need to use? Time to go old-school with potato pancakes from 1732, courtesy of Townsends.

forgot the word “recipe” and googled “DIY ketchup tutorial”


🥚🍝: Before this week, I had somehow never hear of spätzle (aka spaetzle) — a simple German dish that is basically tiny egg noodle dumplings — and then I saw it pop up in two places:

  1. Returning to J. Kenji for a moment, he recently put up a video of him making kimchi+bacon spaetzle from a first-person view in the kitchen of his Wursthall restaurant/bierhaus.
  2. Chef John of Food Wishes did a somewhat more informative video on spaetzle in 2017, which he topped off with his cider-braised pork shoulder. Oh man I’m hungry.

Friends on Instagram: “Here’s a quick dinner I whipped up using just what I had on hand already. It’s a kale and truffle soufflé with crumbled wild boar sausage.”

Me: *squirts mustard on an ice cube, eats it*

Josh Gondelman

🍜: This one’s hot off the presses: Just today, Alex “French Guy” Aïnouz put up a video where he managed to make incredible-looking ramen using food scraps and other basic ingredients he had laying around. The sheer amount of umami going on here…

At this point i’m just killing time between meals

Dana Schwartz

🎨🥧: I thought this “imaginary pie” video from Binging with Babish was fun. It’s based on the colorful food fight scene from one of my all-time favorite movies, Hook.

🏠: The folks from Bon Appétit aren’t about to let a little thing like home isolation stop them from nourishing our souls with their wholesome cooking videos. So, they’ve arranged to begin filming them from their respective homes, which will allow us to get our hit of BA personality while also being an interesting experiment in YouTube channel production. Can’t wait to see how this project comes together.

They’ve already done a video on the hosts’ coffee making methods, which admittedly doesn’t contain anything I didn’t already know about coffee brewing — but that’s not really the point anyway, is it?

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Got any suggestions for articles, videos, stories, photographs, and any other links you think we should be posting in our weekly Quality Linkage? Please do let us know on Twitter.