Turkey Oysters

Bittman's Turkey OystersMark Bittman waxes lyrical over the part of the chicken the French call “sot-l’y-laisse” (which translates to ““the part that only a fool leaves behind”) and others call “the oyster” when he finds a bag of them from a large turkey at a French market. Do you dig these out when you roast a chicken? I know I often forget about them and Craig digs them out when I’m not looking.

Master Chefs

Alaina Browne beat me to the punch on Serious Eats, but PBS is putting lots of its content online for free and now you can watch Julia Child’s Lessons With Master Chefs in all its glory. (Actually, this link takes you to a niftier version of the site.) This show is interesting because Julia just provides the intro and outro and the chefs are left alone to teach; but you get to a see a really young–well, slightly younger–Lydia Bastianich make mushroom risotto and, my favorite, Jean-Louis Palladine roasting a duck breast in the fireplace.

Short Shorts

This blog’s fairy godmother, Six Apart, is spoiling me: first, they made it so you could create profiles in the comments and now they’ve granted me a wish I’ve been wishing for for a very long time. You see, the posts on my blog are all very formal: big title, big picture, lots of text and tags, etc, etc. I’ve always wanted a way to write shorter posts–much less formal–that would let me update the site throughout the day with links out to interesting recipes, videos, blog posts, articles, and so on. Well now, at last, my dream has come true: welcome to shorts, a new style of post here on The Amateur Gourmet. From now on, my site–which is normally dormant after each day’s single post–will be much more vibrant: with shorts, the site’ll be updated multiple times a day. Like a jolt of electricity, these shorts’ll energize the blog the way Kevin Bacon’s dancing energized the town in “Footloose.” Actually, I’ve never seen “Footloose” but I saw the Broadway musical version (which was really bad) so I know the basic story and can make this statement: Shorts are the Kevin Bacon to this blog’s John Lithgow. So thanks again, Six Apart, for making all my blog’s dreams come true: let’s get dancing.

The Barefoot Contessa’s Wheat Berry Salad

There are many words one might use to describe me–“enthusiastic,” “smiley,” “mildly irritating”–but “hippie” probably isn’t one of them. Sure, I may walk around in sandals in the summer, but who doesn’t? And true, Janice is my favorite Muppet and my aunt Cindy (my dad’s sister) was photographed blowing a bubble at Woodstock (see here) but I’m too neurotic to be a hippie. My motto isn’t “Free Love,” it’s “Wash Your Hands After Touching Your Shoelaces Because They’re Really Dirty.” Which leads to a very important question: if I’m not a hippie, how can it be possible that I have not one but TWO recipes for Wheat Berry salad?

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It’s Time We Finally Met


A wonderful thing has happened. The Six Apart Team has benevolently upgraded me from dusty old Movable Type 3 to sparkling new Movable Type 4. What does this mean for you?

It means that, at long last, you can have user profiles! That’s right. Right now, in the comments of this post, you can register an account–post a picture, link up your Twitter, your Facebook, and your very own blog. I’ve always been curious about my readers: who are they, what do they do, and–most importantly–how sexually attractive do I find them? Now my wish has come true!

So please, by all means, let’s test this baby out. In the comments, sign up for an account and fill out your profiles. Pretty soon we’ll have an Amateur Gourmet community to rival all other food communities in cyberspace. This is going to be really rad.

So thanks Six Apart Team! You guys are the best.

P.S. This new comment system will work for this post and all future posts but not, alas, on old posts. That may be fixed in the future, so stay tuned for that.

P.P.S. In case you register and then you’re like, “What should I write in the comments?” why don’t you tell us other changes you’d like to see on the site. It’s our job to serve YOU.

Food Tech #4

Doesn’t he look a little familiar? And why does he smell so much like wood?

[Ok, I’ll explain: when I hosted The FN Dish, I interviewed Ted Allen on the set of his show “Food Detectives.” They asked if I wanted to be a “food tech” and there I am! Not sure if this clip is online legitimately, so watch it before it’s taken down.]



Ok, class, we’re about to take a field trip: does everyone have a trip buddy? Find a buddy now. David Lebovitz, no, you can’t be buddies with Perez Hilton: he’s not in our class. This is a food class, not a gossip class, ok? Now then, I hope you’re all hungry because we’re about to visit one of the best bakeries not only in Brooklyn, but all of New York; it’s a bakery with an awesome cookbook from which I made that easy homemade granola and also those oatmeal cookies with cardamom. Remember those? Well then you should be excited because here we are: welcome to Baked!

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Susan Boyled Potatoes


If you’ve been alive in the last week, you’ve no doubt heard of Susan Boyle. She comes from Scotland–Blackburn, West Lothian to be exact–and has taken the world (and YouTube) by storm with her appearance on Britain’s Got Talent in which the audience, dubious of her looks, her dress and her speaking style, got put in their place the second she started singing–by the end, they were electrified. Let’s go to the tape:

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