If you’ve been a lazy cook all summer (and I’ll be the first to point a finger at myself), you’ll need a little inspiration and you’ll have no choice but to pick up Gather Journal, the last little publication on food and photography you’ll ever need in your life. I collect magazines like the apocalypse is tomorrow, and as I idly leafed through this inaugural issue last week, my heart was floating. An appropriate feeling, as each issue centers around a theme and a season (summer 2012 is “float”).
Experiencing this magazine is cathartic. Elegant and simple design compliment equally elegant and simple recipes. Astounding photography (both food and landscape), entice you to think big and small: the close-up of a poached egg floating in boiling water is all detail and intimacy; turn the thick, rough page, and a sweeping desert scene dotted with milkweed take you beyond your meal to the world at large.
What’s more, this mag was chock full of amazing recipes I’m dying to make (spiced lotus chips, grilled bread with ricotta and peas, shaved asparagus salad), dedicates 18 full pages to salt (be still my salty heart!), and contains a sweet love letter to Cheetos.
Gather was the kick in the butt I needed to get back in my kitchen after a too-long hiatus. So yesterday, I whipped up our traditional Sunday nachos (only appropriate during football season) and curled up with my little family to enjoy this post-nacho treat, straight from Gather’s newly minted pages: Salted Peanut Brittle.
Salted Peanut Brittle
adapted from Gather Journal
serves 6 to 8
2 c. sugar (SL: I used light brown)
1/4 c. water
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. kosher salt
3 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 c. unsalted, roasted peanuts
1 tsp. flaky sea salt (SL: I used Pink Himalayan)
olive oil for brushing
In a medium saucepan, heat the sugar and water over medium heat gently stirring to help dissolve sugar. Once the sugar has begun to melt, increase heat to medium-high and boil, swirling pan occasionally without stirring. Have a small cup of cold water and a pastry brush handy to wash down any sugar crystals from the side of the pan. Meanwhile, grease a baking sheet and heat-proof spatula with olive oil.
Once sugar has reached a golden amber color and is dissolved, quickly add the baking soda, kosher salt and butter. Be careful, the mixture will bubble up furiously! Give the pan a few swirls and remove from the heat. Add the peanuts and quickly stir to incorporate using your greased, heat-proof spatula. Immediately spread the brittle onto the greased baking sheet and sprinkle with flaky salt. Cool completely.