According to Danny Trejo, Fried Chicken Belongs in Your Quesadilla

You might know him from movies like Machete and Bad Ass, but these days, you’re just as likely to find Danny Trejo in the kitchen of one of his LA restaurants as on a movie set. In fact, it was at one of these restaurants—Trejo’s Tacos in Santa Monica, California, to be precise—that the actor, cookbook author, and restaurateur walked listeners through his method for making Pollo Frito Quesadillas on the latest episode of Food52’s podcast, Play Me a Recipe. Described by Trejo as “mouthwatering,” these quesadillas aren’t your average after-school snack—they come stuffed with super-crispy fried chicken, slaw made from green cabbage and chipotle crema, fresh chiles, and cheese.

Here’s what we learned cooking with Danny Trejo:

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You might know him from movies like Machete and Bad Ass, but these days, you’re just as likely to find Danny Trejo in the kitchen of one of his LA restaurants as on a movie set. In fact, it was at one of these restaurants—Trejo’s Tacos in Santa Monica, California, to be precise—that the actor, cookbook author, and restaurateur walked listeners through his method for making Pollo Frito Quesadillas on the latest episode of Food52’s podcast, Play Me a Recipe. Described by Trejo as “mouthwatering,” these quesadillas aren’t your average after-school snack—they come stuffed with super-crispy fried chicken, slaw made from green cabbage and chipotle crema, fresh chiles, and cheese.

Here's what we learned cooking with Danny Trejo:

Read More >>

Why It’s So Hard to Recreate Your Grandma’s Chicken

The worst thing I ever baked was my grandmother’s banana bread. I was 20 and a fairly good, though not entirely confident, baker. I followed the recipe—a handwritten script with a list of ingredients and two or three sentences of instructions—but the b…

The worst thing I ever baked was my grandmother’s banana bread. I was 20 and a fairly good, though not entirely confident, baker. I followed the recipe—a handwritten script with a list of ingredients and two or three sentences of instructions—but the bread came out rock hard. Had I misread her handwriting? Were my ingredients different from hers? To this day, I don’t know what I did wrong.

Whether it's indecipherable handwriting or insufficient instruction, family recipes can often be difficult to recreate. Add the pressure of making something that's imbued with history and meaning, and even the most assured cook is bound to feel less confident. Some of these come from cookbooks, dog-eared and stained from use; others have been passed down in the kitchen, with the guiding hand of another family member; and many have been carried on in memory alone.

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Pete Davidson Is a Chicken Cutlet Connoisseur

America has seen Pete Davidson every Saturday night on Saturday Night Live for the last seven years. More recently, we’ve seen him on the cover of tabloid magazines alongside Kim Kardashian and as the frequent subject of trending Twitter threads. I’ve …

America has seen Pete Davidson every Saturday night on Saturday Night Live for the last seven years. More recently, we’ve seen him on the cover of tabloid magazines alongside Kim Kardashian and as the frequent subject of trending Twitter threads. I’ve personally dreamed of seeing Pete next to me on the sidewalk, holding my hand, making jokes about his lack of sleep, presidential elections, and his numerous high-profile relationships. The one place I never expected to find Pete was on Ruth Roger’s podcast River Cafe Table, where he joined the esteemed London-based chef to talk about everything from his special method for making Cup O' Noodles and scrambled eggs to his mom’s homemade chicken cutlets. Once I saw that this very podcast episode did exist, I said to my real-life partner, “There’s no way Pete can cook…is there?”

“No way,” my partner replied. “He probably orders a ton of Postmates and I’m sure all of it hurts his stomach,” he said. Pete has spoken openly about living with Crohn’s Disease, a type of inflammatory bowel disease. It seemed likely that he had a limited list of foods he could eat without experiencing severe physical discomfort for hours after.

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My Family Recipe Takes to the Airwaves

For over three years now, the My Family Recipe series has invited writers to share their family’s most treasured dishes, bringing to life the histories, people, and emotions behind them. 87 recipes later, we’re turning its pages to a new chapter: the M…

For over three years now, the My Family Recipe series has invited writers to share their family’s most treasured dishes, bringing to life the histories, people, and emotions behind them. 87 recipes later, we’re turning its pages to a new chapter: the My Family Recipe podcast. In partnership with food radio station Heritage Radio Network, we're bringing your most-loved family recipes to the airwaves. The Sunday sauce one writer watched his mother make 900 times—but never wrote down. The butterscotch pie recipe a grandma carried with her through the war. And the hearty Polish soup with healing powers. All retold, with some histories expanded, others amplified by your comments, and some cooked live.

Of course, with family recipes, it’s never just about the dish (as much as we love recreating this lemon meringue pie). The dishes become symbolic of emotions, like grief and hope as Lisa Ruland explores in her essay on a very special chocolate cake; markers of cultural identity as Jenny Dorsey discovers when she contends with owning a wok for the first time at age 28; and tangible homages to people, like the staff of Chez Panisse that figured into Fanny Singer’s magical, unconventional childhood. They help us explore our layered histories, reveal much about the world we live in—and celebrate our shared and complex humanity.

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12 Design Podcasts To Keep You Inspired at Home

When I (finally!) got to catch up with Home52’s editorial lead Arati Menon over an outdoor lunch in Brooklyn a couple weeks back, the conversation turned to podcasts—and especially home and design podcasts. As two interior-obsessed editors, it came as …

When I (finally!) got to catch up with Home52’s editorial lead Arati Menon over an outdoor lunch in Brooklyn a couple weeks back, the conversation turned to podcasts—and especially home and design podcasts. As two interior-obsessed editors, it came as no surprise that Arati and I found ourselves comparing notes on our favorite shows, but what did surprise us both was how hard it is to find a good home podcast! With no designated ‘home’ or ‘design’ categories on the major podcast platforms, we both found it tricky to find new shows.

As Arati told me her faves, I was amazed to realize I’d never heard of most of them! Likewise, I had a few standbys that Arati had not yet discovered. We decided right then that we needed to make a list of our favorites and share it with the Home52 community. Below you’ll find 12 home and design podcasts that the Home52 team loves, plus a few that came highly recommended from trusted friends. But consider this a work-in-progress. As new shows launch (and we hope they will!) and as we discover new favorites, we’ll add them to the list!

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Our New Podcast Celebrates Black Entrepreneurs & Creators

Heading out for an end-of-summer road trip? Need some background noise to drown out the world on your daily walk? Wherever you’re going, the Food52 Podcast Network’s got your back with deep dives into food history, recipe cook-throughs, and today, a br…

Heading out for an end-of-summer road trip? Need some background noise to drown out the world on your daily walk? Wherever you’re going, the Food52 Podcast Network’s got your back with deep dives into food history, recipe cook-throughs, and today, a brand-new show: Black & Highly Flavored.

Showcasing talented innovators in the food and beverage space, Black & Highly Flavored is hosted by hospitality industry veterans—and SoulPhoodie co-founders—romantic and business partners Derek Kirk and Tamara Celeste. Together, Kirk and Celeste will interview Black entrepreneurs and creators working in everything from ice cream to culinary history, and plenty in between. We were lucky enough to score a sneak preview of the pod, and wanted to introduce you to the guests and share a snippet from their conversations. Check out every episode of Black & Highly Flavored for the full interviews.

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Molly Baz’s Tuna Sandwich Ruined Us for All Other Tuna Sandwiches

If you love cross-back aprons and salt, and you know what a Cae Sal is, odds are you’re a fan of Molly Baz, recipe developer and the author of Cook This Book. Baz is also a sandwich aficionado, and she’s getting ready to share her wisdom with all of us…

If you love cross-back aprons and salt, and you know what a Cae Sal is, odds are you’re a fan of Molly Baz, recipe developer and the author of Cook This Book. Baz is also a sandwich aficionado, and she’s getting ready to share her wisdom with all of us, via The Sandwich Universe, her new podcast with Declan Bond, on the Food52 Podcast Network. We were able to score a little preview of the first few episodes of the pod and find out some of Baz’s thoughts on sandwiches—plus, we’re sharing a killer tuna sandwich recipe from Cook This Book! Who’s ready for lunch?

Tuna Sandwich

Fans of Baz know she loves tuna (so much so that she named her dog after it!). Naturally, there’s a tuna sandwich in Cook This Book, but it’s not the tuna salad sandwich you’d find in a lunchbox. Though there is a time and a place for those as well, Baz’s dream tuna sandwich is a bit more exciting. “This was originally destined to be a niçoise salad, my attempt at taking a fresh look at the beloved French classic of tuna, olive, potato, and egg,” writes Baz in the recipe headnote. She swiftly realized she couldn’t improve on something that’s already perfect, so she switched gears: “However, if you take all of those same flavors and rearrange them in the form of a sandwich (sorta à la pan bagnat), then I do have reason to get involved." And thus, her Niçoise Sando With Smashed Eggs & Black Olive Mayo was born. Spoiler alert: there are potato chips inside.

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The 6 Best Podcasts We’ve Kept on Rotation in 2021

I have been taking a lot of walks lately. Homebound (with an infant!) during a pandemic, there aren’t a whole lot of places one can go. So when it’s time for a change of scenery—which is pretty much daily—I load up the stroller, queue up a podcast, gra…

I have been taking a lot of walks lately. Homebound (with an infant!) during a pandemic, there aren’t a whole lot of places one can go. So when it’s time for a change of scenery—which is pretty much daily—I load up the stroller, queue up a podcast, grab my earbuds, and off we go. I’ve zig-zagged my Atlanta neighborhood while listening to a poet talk about her favorite overalls, two journalists explain Y2K, and a comedian deconstruct the story of the Hipster Grifter, just to name a few. Here are some of the podcasts that have soundtracked my days recently.


6 Best Podcasts of 2021

1. Maintenance Phase

Michael Hobbes (co-host of another beloved podcast, You’re Wrong About) and Aubrey Gordon (Your Fat Friend) put the snake oil of wellness culture under their critical magnifying glass, tackling everything from the Master Cleanse to Moon Juice to, yep, actual snake oil. I love a good debunking, but I also love the way these two bring empathy and compassion (alongside humor and some pretty rigorous research) into these conversations.

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This Podcast Is An Audible Dinner Party—& Everyone’s Invited

In the world of podcasts, you’ve got your culture talk shows, you’ve got your music roundups, you’ve got your food pods… But Food52’s Counterjam is here to remind us that genre is a construct. A “musical dive into the cultural identities behind the p…

In the world of podcasts, you’ve got your culture talk shows, you’ve got your music roundups, you’ve got your food pods... But Food52’s Counterjam is here to remind us that genre is a construct. A “musical dive into the cultural identities behind the plate,” the show mixes components of culture into holistic conversations about identity and belonging.

The host Peter J. Kim kicks off the season recalling his own experience as a Korean-American kid growing up in rural Illinois, straddling two cultures. Set to music by some of Kim’s favorite off-the-radar artists (don’t sleep on the synthpop throwback from the Korean-American singer-songwriter CLARA), Kim interviews the chef Roy Choi and the comedian Margaret Cho about the contents their refrigerators past and present—kimchi, Hamburger Helper, K-beauty prpoducts, peanut butter jars filled with deer blood—and how their parents’ cooking informed their relationships with food and with people.

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