Bacon Bolognese


Italians, please look away.

Everyone else, here’s something that I made up last week that was so good, I think you should make it too. I used leftover ingredients from the Haddock chowder I’d made the day before and, in using them, I did what Tom Colicchio’s always talking about on “Top Chef”–I developed lots of flavor through careful cooking. Let me show you what I mean.

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A Summertime Farmer’s Market Feast (Green Goddess Heirloom Tomato Salad, Haddock Chowder & A Strawberry/Peach Shortcake)


At the start of my cookbook, I have a list of the ten most important over-arching lessons I learned cooking with the best chefs in America. One of those lessons is: “Put ingredients on display.”

There’s an explanation of that in the book, and I’ll wait for you to read your copy before I spoil that here, but consider this post a corollary to that advice. As you can see, after going to the farmer’s market last Monday, I put my ingredients on display in my kitchen…and that inspired a rather extravagant feast for my visiting friends Kim and Ben the next night.

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How To Store Strawberries


Strawberry season may be over in most parts of the country, but here in L.A. the strawberries are still bright red and fragrant and sweet as could be.

On Monday, last week, I brought home two cartons of strawberries from the farmer’s market that I planned to use for a shortcake the next night. The question was: “How do I store them so they don’t lose their fresh-from-the-market flavor?” The answer came via Twitter from my friend, the celebrated pastry chef Shuna Lydon.

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Rodded & Ramen Jinya


A funny thing about L.A.: you can drive past a place over and over again, not think anything of it, and then–out of the blue–have a food friend tell you to meet them there on a Thursday afternoon, at which point you discover that this place you’ve been driving past and ignoring has really excellent food.

Such was the case with Rodded and my friend Zach Brooks of Midtown Lunch. I met him and Noah (who gave me that great Katz’s Deli advice) and Zach’s “Food is the New Rock” co-host Chuck P for lunch there last week.

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A Food Q&A with “Beasts of the Southern Wild” Screenwriter, Lucy Alibar


Long time readers of the blog probably know my friend Lucy Alibar best as the creator of these incredibly easy, incredibly delicious chocolate peanut butter cookies. Now she’s gone and created something slightly more ambitious: a little movie she wrote called “Beasts of the Southern Wild” that’s taking the world by storm. It won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, the Camera d’or at the Cannes Film Festival and earned rave reviews all over the place. I saw the movie two weeks ago and was blown away by its vision of life in a place called “The Bathtub” where a little girl named Hushpuppy and her dad struggle to survive against all odds, still finding room to celebrate life with feasts of crab and other seafood dumped ceremoniously on long tables. Because food plays such a big part in the story, I asked Lucy if she would answer some food-related questions about the movie. She kindly obliged (and even sent along the pictures you see in this post).

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Sweet Potato Chipotle Hash


Get your pans hot, ladies and gentleman… we’re making hash!

To be honest, I’d never made hash before I made it a few weekends ago. But the idea of it really appealed to me: dump out the contents of your fridge, put a pan on high heat, cook everything together and serve some eggs on top. For this particular hash, I dug up a sweet potato (well, not literally, but it was leftover from this) as was a can of chipotles in Adobo. Plus, I had bacon.

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“The Finest Hot Pastrami Sandwich in the World” (Lunch at Langer’s)


I remember reading the New Yorker in 2002 when Nora Ephron declared the pastrami sandwich at Langer’s in Los Angeles “the finest hot pastrami sandwich in the world.”

As a New Yorker who grew up on the east coast (both in New York and Florida, major pastrami territories) I found this hard to believe. When I shared this tidbit with others, they’d be offended. “The best pastrami’s in L.A.? No way,” would be a typical response. On Saturday I brought Craig, Mark and Diana to Langer’s to experience this blasphemy firsthand. All three of us moved to L.A. from New York in the past year; would Langer’s really hold a candle to Katz’s? Was Nora Ephron just being provocative? Did we really want to eat pastrami on a hot summer’s day? These were important questions and after a short drive on the 101 (exit: Alvarado) we were ready to answer them.

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Granola, Yogurt, and Peach Parfaits in Mason Jars


You are looking at the most popular picture I’ve ever posted on Instagram. 123 people liked it (so far). Amanda Hesser liked it, The Pioneer Woman liked it. It’s the same yogurt parfait I’ve been making for a while–granola, yogurt, fruit–only one thing was different: I served it in Mason jars. Suddenly something that’s not too exciting became exciting, if also a bit “hipstertastic” (to quote The Wannabe Chef who wrote that on Twitter). But if serving a granola, yogurt, and peach parfait in a Mason jar makes me a hipster, then crank up the Vampire Weekend and ship me to Williamsburg. Preferably in a Mason jar.

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