Greg Patent

Flickr user, Erin M (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Recently, Food Guy Greg Patent attended the National Spelling Bee, where his grandson and a S-M-O-R-G-A-S-B-O-R-D of other teenagers competed for a chance to spell out a G-O-U-L-A-S-H of international words, including a lot of food names. From B-O-U-I-L-L-A-B-A-I-S-S-E to P-F-E-F-F-E-R-N-U-S-S-E, F-A-T-A-Y-E-R to A-V-G-O-L-E-M-O-N-O: if you favor the food, you might best the bee.

How Mark Lynas Got Converted To G.M.O. Food

Jul 4, 2015
USAID-Asia (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Around the world, when it comes to food, few topics are more hot-button than genetic engineering. Mark Lynas, a researcher at the Cornell Alliance for Science and a journalist known for his books about climate change, has publicly undergone, in his words, a "conversion" regarding G.M.O. crops. Formerly an opponent of G.M.O. technology, he now embraces its potential.

The Lordly Avocado

Jun 27, 2015
Flickr user, enbodenumer (CC-BY-2.0)

The Food Guys discuss avocados, whose versatility, taste, and nutritional attributes qualify them as a "super food."  High in healthy monounsaturated fat, easily burned for energy and useful for regulating blood sugar levels, varieties of this fruit, native to Mexico and Central America, grow in warm climates around the globe.

What Makes A Good Cook?

Jun 27, 2015

This week, The Food Guys are wondering what makes a good cook. Greg's got criteria. If you can reproduce a tasty dish reliably, so that you leave your guests wanting more,  you rate.

Take Your Summer Squash and Stuff It

Jun 22, 2015
Photoshopped image of giant squash.
Ian Burt (CC BY 2.0)

Whether it's cute and spring-green or three feet long and perfect for batting practice, Greg and Jon have suggestions for how to cook or bake the zucchini left anonymously on your doorstep.

Against The Grain: Gluten Anxiety, Part 2

Jun 15, 2015
Flickr user, Keith Ewing

In today's explosion of gluten-free foods, The Food Guys hear an echo of previous food fads, like the low-fat craze of the 1980s. "It's kind of a hysteria," says Greg. Jon adds: "We all have problems with things that we eat. We all come across things all the time that cause us some discomfort. And today, the first thing that someone will suggest is "go gluten-free."

Against The Grain: Gluten Anxiety, Part 1

Jun 6, 2015
Flickr user, Whatshername?

The Food Guys summarize a November 2014 article from The New Yorker, written by Michael Specter, called "Against The Grain: Should You Go Gluten-Free?"

Recipe: Morel Mushroom Mac and Cheese

May 30, 2015
Flickr user, Makeri

About morel mushroom season, Food Guy Jon says: "The morel hunt is a pleasure in itself." Other Food Guy Greg points out that you can also hunt for a pound of mushrooms at your local farmers market. (He recommends seeking out vendors who sell mushrooms by weight, using a scale.) The versatile morel can be made into a side dish, into pasta sauce or soup, or an appetizer over toast points.

Early-Season Farmers' Markets

May 23, 2015
Flickr user, Peter Oelschlaeger

Jon and Greg report on their haul from the local farmers market in early May: greens, beets, radishes, carrots, new potatoes, herbs, wild mushrooms, eggs, and even white asparagus, as well as bedding plants.

Recipe: Lindy's Cheesecake

May 15, 2015
Flickr user, Patrick Lauke

Greg and Jon explore the long history of cheesecake and introduce Greg's version of the classic New York-style dessert.

Sugar vs. Cholesterol: John Yudkin vs. Ancel Keys

May 1, 2015

Greg and Jon travel back to the mid-1960s, when an alarming rise in the number of heart attacks led scientists to look for causal links between diet and heart health.

Recipes: Vegetables, The French Way

Apr 4, 2015
Flickr user, Laurel F

With fondness, Greg recalls two of his earliest encounters with Julia Child: her 1961 book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and the long-running PBS television series, "The French Chef."

Flickr user, woodleywonderworks

After months of cooking with root vegetables, Jon is desperate for green stuff, but he's reluctant to buy vegetables flown in from thousands of miles away.

Edgar 181

Jon discusses the sugar alcohol, erythritol, which is virtually calorie-free and doesn't cause as large a blood sugar spike as sucrose or high-fructose corn syrup.

Flickr user, Jewel 'o the Desert

Jon recalls driving through Castroville, CA ("Artichoke Center of the World") one spring, when he encountered the annual Castroville Artichoke Festival. "The artichoke, for such an unlikely-looking food item, is widespread and adapted among so many cultures and cuisines around the world, it's startling," he observes.

Flickr user, Miss Anna Lynn Martino

Greg gives instructions for his adaptation of an old Nantucket cranberry pecan muffin recipe. Thaw the butter, get some heavy cream and buttermilk, and hunt down your ice cream scoop.

(Broadcast: "The Food Guys," 2/22/15. Listen weekly on the radio at 11:50 a.m. Sundays, or via podcast.)

Cranberry Pecan Muffins

Flickr user, Julia Rubinic

Greg and Jon discuss a 2013 New York Times article by Kenneth Chang titled "More Helpful Fatty Acids Found in Organic Milk." Chang writes: "Whole milk from organic dairies contains far more of some of the fatty acids that contribute to a healthy heart than conventional milk."  Greg distinguishes between omega-6 fatty acids, which abound in the typical American diet, and o

Flickr user, Anna Lynn Martino

Beef stew with rice, onions, bacon, tomatoes and cheese: that's the basis for Julia Child's recipe for "Boeuf À La Catalane," or Catalan Beef Stew. It became the jumping-off point for an adaptation by Greg one night as he improvised on this "hearty dish from the Spanish Mediterranean corner of France," with "a green salad, French bread, and a strong, young red wine" the recommended accompaniment.

Flickr user, Mike Licht

Jon and Greg speculate that widespread under-appreciation of parsnips is due to their resemblance to "an anemic carrot."  Jon recalls the sweet and flavorful parsnips kept buried in a box of soil in the root cellar by his gardener father, the taste of which approached the mythic sweetness of mature parsnips left in the ground all winter. Greg suggests roasting them, puréeing with potatoes, deep-frying them as chips, or including them in a recipe for root-vegetable custard.

Greg Patent

Greg describes two baking workshops he attended recently, taught by pie baker Kate McDermott and pastry chef Mindy Segal. Greg learned that the fats he uses for pie crust - butter and rendered leaf lard - are also favored by McDermott, who keeps her mixing bowls, flour, and fats chilled till it's time to make pie dough.

Courtesy of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Greg and Jon continue their discussion of Ari LeVaux's online column, "Irony Alert: Artificial Sweeteners Make You Fat" with information from a second article cited by LeVaux: "Do Gut Bacteria Rule Our Minds?" by Jeffrey Norris, UC San Francisco -  itself summarizing new research review findings:

Flickr user, Steve Snodgrass

Jon and Greg discuss a November 2014 online column by Ari LeVaux, "Irony Alert: Artificial Sweeteners Make You Fat." LeVaux's piece examines recent findings, published in Nature, that mice who were fed artificial sweeteners in their water developed glucose intolerance.

Flickr user, Emily

(Broadcast: "The Food Guys," 1/4/15. Listen weekly on the radio at 11:50 a.m. Sundays, or via podcast.)

Notes below are taken from Greg Patent's March 4, 2008 "Missoulian" column, where Greg first introduced the recipe (bottom) that Jon Jackson has since adapted to include poblano and chili peppers instead of chard:

Forthepeople1969

Greg shares his recent successful improvisation of two appetizers, or canapés, which he accomplished with some basic know-how and the ingredients in his freezer and cupboard. If you know how to make pâte à choux (cream puff) dough, a Mornay sauce, and blanched greens, you, too, can carry off these hors d'oeuvres with the panache of A Food Guy. Or, as Jon would recommend, just improvise your own.

Greg rolls out a list of his favorite half-dozen new and classic baking books:

1. Rose Levy Beranbaum: "The Baking Bible"

2. "Maida Heatter's Book of Great Desserts"

3. Dominique Ansel: "The Secret Recipes"

Flickr user, Kim

Greg and Jon discuss Greg's recipe for crisp, gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, inspired by Ruth Wakefield's original Toll House "chocolate crunch" cookie recipe. Brown rice flour, tapioca starch and potato starch substitute for wheat flour. "For any chocolate chip cookie, you must refrigerate the dough at least overnight," Greg commands. "It's the magic of chemistry at work in your refrigerator."

Onion Ragout

Nov 16, 2014
Flickr user, Travis Price

"It is hard to imagine a civilization without onions" - Julia Child.

Jon and Greg discuss different members of the allium genus - which are actually lilies - and recommend basic tips for cooking onions, specifically onion ragout. Onion quiche, onion pizza, and onions as a side-dish are recommended by Greg. Jon says, "Often I look at a new recipe and if there are no onions, I wonder, "What's wrong with this recipe?"

courtesy of the Umami Information Center

Jon and Greg ask: "What exactly is umami?" (It has nothing to do with anybody's mother.) It's a Japanese word, coined early in the 20th century, meaning "delicious savory taste."  Greg explains: "Every time you eat something that's really yummy, like a well-prepared steak, a mushroom risotto, a spaghetti sauce, anchovies, it probably contains umami factors."  The Umami Information Center adds:

Dave Hitchborne

Greg and Jon follow up on a previous "Food Guys" show about a controversial study linking genetically-modified (GMO) corn to cancer in lab rats. This time they're onto the economic connection between GMO crops and the market for pesticides.

Flicker user, Joe Foodie

Greg and Jon review the world of turnovers, including Chinese dumplings and jiaozi (pot stickers), Russian piroschki, Welsh pasties, Italian calzone, and American moonpies.  Whether it's savory or sweet, made with yeast dough or pastry dough, baked or fried, Greg considers it a turnover. "Think anything good. Put it inside a dough, wrap it up, seal it, and either bake it or fry it. That's a turnover."

Pages