Gourmet1009It’s a silly question, really.  While Gourmet may be the grande dame of food publications, it was hardly existing in a vacuum.  All the proof you need can be found over at The Bitten Word, where Zach and Clay work their way through recipes from magazines as august as Saveur and Bon Appetit and as accessible as Everyday Food and Food Network Magazine.

Here at Capital Spice, we subscribe to Cooks Illustrated and Food & Wine (we used to subscribe to Gourmet, and we’re really hoping our lapsed subscription didn’t have anything to do with its demise).  But there’s another type of food magazine out there, and a recent visit to the Dupont Circle FreshFarm Market reacquainted us with a pair of magazines that focus on our local foodshed.

On the surface, Flavor Magazine and Edible Chesapeake have a lot in common: They’re both free publications that can be found in foodie-friendly places like farmers’ markets, Whole Foods and smaller, locally-owned food shops.  They both emerged in response to the growing locavore movement in the DC area.  And they both call attention to a variety of local issues and producers that tend to go unnoticed in the national publications.

But each one brings a unique voice to the community, and together they offer a great way to stay current on what’s going on among growers, producers and eaters in the region.

A look at the current issues of Flavor Magazine and Edible Chesapeake (and some more info about each) after the jump. (more…)

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Like most good food geeks, we subscribe to several food and cooking magazines – Bon Appetit, Cook’s Illustrated, Food & Wine, Gourmet and Everyday Food.  Whenever the mail brings a new issue, I gleefully chant “Foodie Magazine Day!  Foodie Magazine Day!” like a drunken Adam Sandler, circa 1995.  And more often than not, the new magazine is perused in its entirety before the weekend is out.  So what do we do with all that glossy paper once we’ve read through?

Before we started Capital Spice, the answer was “not much.”  I would make it a point to save some of the recipes that caught my eye, but I didn’t always follow through on trying them afterwards.  But now, inspired by the guys at The Bitten Word, we’ve got an incentive to put our subscriptions to use on a semi-regular basis.

I give you the inaugural “Foodie Magazine Day” post – a write-up of our efforts to recreate a recipe taken from one of the magazines we subscribe to.  

In this case, the recipe is from the current issue of Gourmet.  To be honest, this is probably my least favorite of the foodie mags we get, because it’s really more of an aspirational magazine – features on culinary classes all over the world are nice, but of limited utility at this point in my life.  Even so, it provides some very creative (and high-end) recipes if you take the time to look for them.  And their focus on the exotic results in some menus that are guaranteed to stretch your culinary boundaries – though you may have to make a trip to a specialty store or two for some of the ingredients.  For this dish, I had to track down fresh curry leaves…after a few false starts, I found them at Eastern Market, where a produce stand at the rear of the hall carries a wide range of fresh herbs and vegetables year-round.

I followed the recipe for these aromatic braised chicken thighs to the letter, but I opted to forego the fried onion accompaniment.  I’ve included the full recipe, so if you try them together please share your thoughts on the onions!  We found the chicken to be moist and tender (the dark meat holds up to slow-cooking a lot better than white meat would have), and the fragrance of the simmering chicken really whetted our appetites.  Served with a cup of the ‘Seafood Refresco’ from Chris’s Marketplace, a favorite producer at the Dupont Circle and Penn Quarter Farmers’ Markets, it made a great weeknight dinner and provided plenty of leftovers for lunches.  My only complaint is that it’s not the most attractive dish in the world – the addition of the fried onions and rice in Gourmet’s images still results in a rather brown, monochromatic presentation.  If you want a more enthusiastic reception, you may want to serve this accompanied by a green salad studded with colorful peppers or radishes.

Recipe after the jump. (more…)