UPSTART APPLEJACK | WINTERGREENS | TOM & JERRY COCKTAIL
spenser personalizing food & drink.
BIRRIA: ' definitive mexico s
SOUTHERN CHEFS celebrate the american chestnut MOMOFUKU MILK BAR'S blondie pie! nov.dec 2011 | PREMIER ISSUE s p e n s e r m a g . c o m
96|WE’VE GOT YOUR GOAT : Birria is
so much more than the sum of its humble ingredients. It inspires pride in the people who make it and is intricately tied to Jalisco. It also happens to be absolutely delicious.
40|AN ACCIDENTAL LEFT TURN: In the moun-
tains north of Los Angeles, a couple is taking a crack at raising Berkshire pigs to sell to the big city below. They’ve gained chefs as fans, but also have their fair share of challenges.
by lesley tellez
by mike dundas
56|A SOUTHERN REVIVAL: Fifty years ago,
the American chestnut tree was almost wiped off the planet. Today, a group of scientists and farmers in far western Virginia are working to revive the population. Chefs have started to take notice..
by brendan lynch
70|MAKE MINE BITTER: Add a few
drops of originality to your home bar by infusing cocktail bitters and tinctures. Three of San Francisco’s best bartenders teach you how.
by mike dundas
84| JUST A LITTLE SALT AND TIME:
Seattle food blogger Matt Wright gives us the backstory behind his first ever attempt to salt and cure meat, sharing tips and tricks for making homemade charcuterie along the way.
by matt wright
departments: BUTLER'S CHOICE: the enduring allure of the pantry
STOCKING THE PANTRY: link lab sausages
STOCKING THE BAR: foolery in ohio & a carolina tradition
MEREDITH'S PAGE: cocktails and sea urchins
SEASON'S SWEET: momofuku milk barâ€™s blondie pie appeal
SEASON'S HARVEST: wintergreens from Frankies Spuntino
SEASON'S LIBATION: get out the punch bowl and batter up
Take a Stand Against Childhood Cancer!
It has been over 10 years since cancer patient Alexandra “Alex” Scott (1996-2004) set out to find a cure for all childhood cancers through her front yard lemonade stand. The foundation bearing her name, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, continues her legacy of hope. Help us fight childhood cancer, one cup at a time by hosting your own lemonade stand. Visit our website to learn how to get involved today!
Fighting childhood cancer, one cup at a time.
food photography manual digital download versions and hardback books available at: www.mattikaarts.com/blog
food photography and heLp those in need.
of aLL book profits go to charitabLe causes. so far over
has been raised to heLp those devastated by the
earthquake and tsunami in japan.
recipes: beef Bresaola (Michael Ruhlman & Brian Polcyn) | 95
bitters & tinctures Apple (bitters) | 79 Cinnamon Infused Orange (bitters) | 81 Fennel (tincture) | 81 Licorice Root (tincture) | 78 Sarsaparilla Aromatic (bitters) | 78 Tobacco (tincture) | 82
goat Birria | 109
libations Comancheria (whisky based) | 82 Hard Boiled (gin based) | 81 Seraph's Curse (Aperol based) | 80 The Uptown (bourbon based) | 79 Tom & Jerry (brandy & rum based) | 39 Truth Serum (scotch based) | 78
pork Braised Pork Shank with Chorizo & Lomo Home Fries & Cider Sage Sauce (Neal Fraser) | 53 Crispy Pork Rib Lardon (Nathan McCall) | 50 Pig Ear Salad (Ben Ford) | 50 Slow Roasted Pork With Caramelized Fennel (Nathan McCall) | 51
salads Escarole with Sliced Red Onion & Walnuts (The Two Frankies) | 37 Fennel, Celery Root, Parsley & Red Onion (The Two Frankies) | 36 Shaved Raw Brussels Sprouts with Castelrosso (The Two Frankies) | 36
starter Dungeness Crab in Brown Butter & Butter Whey Chestnuts, Onions, Lime & Shaved Pork Fat (John B. Shields) | 65
soup Chestnut & Porcini (Hugh Acheson) | 64
sweet Blondie Pie (Christina Tosi) | 31
welcome to spenser
o say that the idea for spenser magazine came to us over a conversation about food bloggers, a little known food blog, a changing technology landscape, Texas barbeque, ideas for the future, cocktails, a recipe tagged for testing that weekend, a Negroni, a gorgeous menu and a great chef that came out to the table wouldnâ€™t be far from the truth. There might be one or two elements added, but itâ€™s no exaggeration to say that the idea for spenser came over the course of many lunches, afternoon cocktail breaks, and dinners working together over concepts in crowded restaurants or while waiting in line at a taco truck, at friendsâ€™ and family houses, or enjoying quiet, yet productive meals at home. Along the way, we were guided by a simple thought: that there is more that can be done to progress our modern foodways, to improve the food we eat and to prioritize what should take precedence in our kitchens, our gardens, our bars, our pantries, and at our tables.
10 | spensermag.com | nov.dec 2011
spenser is broadly focused on the home cook and his or her use of a well-stocked pantry. The name of the magazine is, itself, the Middle English word for butler or steward, which derived from the Old French despencier. The “Spenser” was the person in charge of sourcing all the food and provisions within a royal or noble household.
With each issue, we intend to take you beyond the kitchen, to introduce you to the farmers, ranchers and producers who dedicate themselves to their respective crafts. The care they show and the struggles they encounter as they go about their work are part of the human story that is too rarely told.
You may have noticed that we don’t have a turkey on the cover of what is essentially a holiday premiere. In fact, aside from this letter, the word turkey doesn’t appear anywhere in this issue. We don’t have recipes for a creative new brine or creamier mashed potatoes. Nor do we tell you which wines to pair with your holiday meal.
In this first issue, this tradition starts with stories about a husband and wife raising heritage pigs in the desert mountains north of Los Angeles, the slow revival of the American chestnut industry, and a delicious Mexican goat dish called birria, which has quickly become our favorite way to celebrate the season. We also went to two of our favorite bars to find experts to teach how to make your own cocktail bitters and how to infuse your own tinctures. And we are excited to say that this issue starts the first of a series of stories on the art of home charcuterie.
Instead, we are taking a step back from the traditional focus of a food publication to highlight the sourcing and preparation of the ingredients you can use on a daily basis. Besides, if your Thanksgiving is anything like ours, you already have your favorite family traditions. For Mike, a Californian, that means savory focaccia and sausage stuffing, creamed onions and leeks, fresh cranberry and orange relish that was hand-cranked through a squeaky, 1940’s meat grinder and a bourbon Old-Fashioned right before dinner. Leigh, a Texan, equates Thanksgiving with cornbread with slow sautéed Texas sweet onions, cornbread and celery stuffing, cornbread drizzled with honey (so, lots of skillet cornbread then), and enjoying a glass of wine as the bird goes into the oven, a nod to her mother’s Thanksgiving morning ritual. Because of our online format, we wanted to be sure to bring in online voices. Those voices include the very active, very dedicated food blogger community. You’ll notice a few of our favorite bloggers are contributors to this premier issue. That’s a tradition we intend to keep at spenser. Those voices are mixed in with the professional chefs who have contributed thoughts and recipes to this issue, including Neal Fraser, Hugh Acheson, Ben Ford, Frank Castronovo and Frank Falcinelli, Christina Tosi, and John Shields. We can’t thank them enough for trusting and believing in the premise of spenser at its inception.
spenser would not have made it to fruition had it not been for some amazing people giving, freely, of their time and expertise. They are a collection of friends, some new, some old, from all over the country. They spent nights, weekends and holidays contributing to this project and we can’t thank them enough. This entire issue is dedicated to them and the people who support them. As we grow, we will be incorporating more tools and features both to the magazine and our Web site. But for now, our mission is simple: To inspire you to use spenser to personalize the food and drink you share with your friends and family. Enjoy “spensering” as our design director says... and see you soon!
mike dundas & leigh flores co-founders of spenser magazine
nov.dec 2011 | spensermag.com | 11
co-founder & editor-in-chief LEIGH FLORES
co-founder & executive editor JEN WHITE
design director COREY ABSHER
interactive producer MAX FOLLMER
lead copy editor HILARY KLINE
lead photo editor contributing writers
BRENDAN LYNCH, LESLEY TELLEZ, MATT WRIGHT
JENI AFUSO, JUN BELEN, RON DERHACOPIAN, SARAH DORIO, DYLAN HO, MATT WRIGHT
BUCK, JACKSON, KAUFMAN & SCOUT in loving memory: ALFREDO
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Birrieria El Chino in Guadalajara, Mexico. photograph by dylan ho & jeni afuso.
spenserâ€™s commitment: spenser magazine commits to donating 1% of profits to charitable causes in support of ending hunger in America and abroad this commitment supports spenser magazineâ€™s desire to help promote the need to end hunger everywhere
spenser disclaimer: Spenser Magazine is published on a bi-monthly basis by Spenser, LLC. All rights are reserved. Neither the publication, nor any portion thereof, may be reproduced in any manner or in any form without the prior written authorization and permission of Spenser, LLC. Spenser Magazine and Spenser, LLC are not responsible for the accuracy of advertiser claims or advertiser content. Notwithstanding, every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the content contained in the publication and on the Web site.