Monday, October 27, 2008

SAVEUR: The Breakfast Issue

After several boring issues of Saveur magazine, I didn't even bother looking at the October issue until Karen pointed out the recipe for chilaquiles. Huh? Is it a Mexican feature story? "No. It's all about breakfast food." Does it have ful medames? "What's that?" Um, I... wanna see that magazine. "Hey, look," says Karen as she points out the back page picture of Obama serving coffee and donuts (and hope?) at a Metro station in DC... and then she shows me a profile of seven different brands of canned chipotle peppers. Okay. Gimme that.

I first picked up Saveur, because Anthony Bourdain mentioned that he preferred it over watching anything on the Food Network. However, it slowly got stodgy and full of dense stories about esoteric topics. And the pictures weren't even exciting anymore. I hope that this new one is a sign of things to come. When I finally got my hands on the latest issue, I leafed through it eagerly and missed half an episode of True Blood. Karen and I love that show, but this time Saveur was more enticing. Of course, Karen and Jasper were at the other end of the couch, doing their best impression of Sookie Stackhouse and Bill Compton (True Milk, anyone?). That last bit isn't relevant to this story, but I just had to share the joke about the vampire baby.

Back to the magazine. I also found a list of Saveur's favorite coffees (yes, Peets is in there) to go along with the breakfast theme. You'll also find features on everyone's favorite AM alcohol drinks (mimosas, bloody maries, and more), egg cooking techniques, a 1968 pic of Bobby Seale with a word about the Black Panthers' free breakfast program, too much info on darjeeling tea, and a page about McDonald's only item worthy of a foodie: the Egg McMuffin.

Mmmmm... breakfast. This morning, I made a version of eggs chesapeake (crab cake and poached egg). Only, I didn't poach them (sunny side up instead) and I didn't make holandaise sauce (left yolk runny instead). The crabcake was a frozen variety from Trader Joe's (and they're pretty darned good at 2 fer $3.29). As satisfying as today's breakfast was, this magazine made me crave worldly authenticity. Every page of Saveur had great pictures of breakfast foods from around the world. I think they covered 40 countries and shared 30 recipes, so you can do it yourself. They weren't all meaty. And yes, they did have a recipe for ful medames, Egypt's national dish. (see here for links to just about the whole awesome issue, sans pretty pictures)

A bowl of mashed fava beans could be one of the most delicious breakfasts I've ever had. I'm still scratching my head over it and wishing I could replicate it. I first discovered the dish in Philadelphia, back in 2000 when I was busy doing civil disobedience at the RNC in an attempt to derail the impending catasrophe of a George W. Bush presidency. After 8 days alongside over 400 other arrested protesters, refusing to cooperate with authorites through the "justice system," I found myself returning to Philly a few times for my court appearances during the appeals process.

During each visit, the protestor support group took me to a West Philly Ethiopian enclave called Abyssinia (not Egyptian, mind you). They only served the ful until 2pm. Now, I hear that the place has been over run by hipsters. I haven't been back in years, but I think of the ful beans often. If anyone knows where I can get a good batch of the ful, please let me know. The recipe here probably isn't going to do it for me like Abyssinia. If you attempt to make them, be sure to top them with EVOO or melted butter, chopped fresh jalepenos, and scoop it up with tasty bread (not injera, but more like fresh baked French bread).

1 comment:

  1. Ful maddamas is really easy to make.. (hardest part is waiting for the beans to soak..)

    there's a Palestinian place in Takoma Park that has a Sunday brunch with ful.


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