Looking at these bright, colorful images bursting with attention brings a little pep into these less-than cherry days the weather's been laying on us lately. It seems the heart of the rainy season has come early this year. Usually Spring doesn't hit these parts until late March, maybe even April, depending on the snowfall, but this year was a light one and all the hungry skiers that dot these mountains are crossing their fingers winter isn't over.
Meanwhile I've been spending a lot more time than usual inside these past few months. With a shoulder repair surgery (to fix an old rock climbing injury), keeping my dominant arm in a sling, my days have been a spinning cycle of work, gym, work, repeat. And I've finally had some time to rest a little and play catch up on a lingering issue of Honest Magazine. An issue about a little thing called Acid.
The last issue in the year of ingredients, and one of the most exciting, I believe, is the subject of Acid.
Acid comes in many forms- citrus, vinegar, rennet. It's hidden in berries, beer, spices and yoghurt. You can balance and enhance flavor, marinade and even "cook" proteins and make dairy products like cheese through acidic chemical reactions. It's a powerhouse of an ingredient and a favorite of chefs for good reason. But it's often left forgotten at home.
Between squeezing a charred lemon over a grilled salad or tossing some blistered tomatoes into a sauce, adding an acidic element is an easy step with a huge payoff. Just adding a good vinegar into your routine can do wonders for your layering of flavors and garner you a host of compliments.
In the issue we look at 5 different acidic ingredients, starting with yoghurt, vinegar, marinades, rennet (used for making cheese), and citrus. Recipes for homemade yoghurt and vinegar, Ginger-Orange Marinade, Farmhouse Cheddar and Lemon Curd show you how to work with acid and give you great bases to be added to a variety of dishes. Each section offers multiple suggestions for dishes including Yoghurt Cheesecake with Pomegranate Syrup, Pickled Strawberries, Jamaican Jerk Marinade and Pavlova with Lemon Zest and Curd.
The issue isn't all recipes and explanations though, working again with the charming Lissa Gruman, features on Jason Stratton, Chef of the swanky new rooftop restaurant Mbar, and Chef Carrie Mashaney of the cult-favorite Mamnoon are included in the issue. Visiting each at their own restaurant, I got to hang out in the kitchen, shoot the Chefs at work, listen to their stories and chat about crossing into new (Middle-Eastern) food territory and the wonder of acidic ingredients that make up the foundation of the cuisine (Labneh, Sumac, Lemon, Lime, Barberries). Jason and Carrie are two of my biggest food inspirations and it was an honor for me to be back in the kitchens with them getting to pick their brains and watch them cook.
222 Market is another place featured in the issue. I first noticed the 222 Market pop up on my instagram a little over a year ago and made a note to pay it a visit. On my way back from a shoot for Hama Hama Oysters, I stopped in at the market in Olympia to cut my long drive in half. It was exactly as I'd imagined- and better! The Bread Peddler- the Market's longest standing resident and possibly the best French Bakery I've ever visited outside of France- made a ginormous impression on me, as did the flower shop, creperie and oyster bar. I knew I had to come back and do a story on them, so I reached out to the property owners and shop owners and returned to do an entire 360 degree sweep of the place, which I'm happy to say concludes the issue.
All in all it's a really fun issue. Histories of the ingredients dot the issue (did you know Cleopatra once dissolved pearls in vinegar in a wager against Marc Antony to consume a fortune in one meal?), alongside practical advice (the many uses of yoghurt) and explanations. Recipes are fun and educational, and the features on the market and restaurants expand and give depth. I really enjoyed making this issue- even though it nagged at me for months- and I'm proud of how it came together. Head to HonestQuarterly.com to check it out and pick it up and let me know your thoughts, I'm always eager to hear.