Quick-Brined Pork Chops with Pan-Fried Cauliflower

July 16, 2014 | By Adam Roberts | 16 Comments

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For the past few months, I’ve been buying kosher chicken breasts from Trader Joe’s not because I prefer kosher chicken breasts but because Trader Joe’s is underneath my gym and it’s way easier to grab chicken there than to make an extra stop on my way home. The problem with this is that kosher chicken breasts are brined in salt water and, as a result, they’ve spoiled Craig for more ethical, more sustainable chicken from our local butchers. I know this because I recently bought chicken from one of them, sprinkled it with salt, and cooked it and though Craig enjoyed it–he enjoys all of my cooking–he didn’t like it as much as the brined stuff I get much more cheaply after jogging for 60 minutes to the Footloose soundtrack. Brining, it turns out, is a powerful technique.

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Ten Lessons American Restaurants Can Learn From European Restaurants (And Vice-Versa)

July 14, 2014 | By Adam Roberts | 120 Comments

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Now that I’m back from my Europe trip, I’ve had some time to synthesize my experiences eating at nice restaurants in four different countries (Scotland, England, France, and Germany). Coming from Los Angeles, where the restaurant scene is as vital as anywhere else in the U.S. right now (possibly the world), it felt a bit like stepping into a history book; or, to put it another way, like watching a bunch of classic movies after a Quentin Tarantino marathon. There’s no question that America is setting the trends these days; the hottest restaurants in Paris are all popular because they’re considered “Très Brooklyn.” What, then, might a modern American restaurant have to learn from a modern European restaurant? Here’s my attempt to answer that question with a list.

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Sponsored Post: An Avocado Horchata Smoothie

July 9, 2014 | By Adam Roberts | 37 Comments

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What is the most refreshing summer drink? Some might argue lemonade. With its puckery punch and bright yellow color, it’s a tough drink to beat in the summer months. And yet, ever since moving to L.A., I find myself gravitating towards another drink when I’m hot and want something a little less tart, a little more smooth. That drink, as you can tell from the title of this post, is horchata. It’s a drink that’s naturally thickened from the starch in white rice and heavily spiced with cinnamon. I’d never made it before (I usually get it from one of the plentiful Mexican restaurants here in my neighborhood), but making it just by itself seemed a little boring. Which is why I had the idea to incorporate another ingredient, something to give the drink more body and also to make it more healthful; that ingredient, as you can also tell from the title of this post, is an avocado–rich with Omega-3 fatty acids. Together, horchata and avoado might make a killer smoothie. Only way to find out was to try.

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Let’s Go To A British Supermarket! Then Let’s Go To A German Supermarket!

July 8, 2014 | By Adam Roberts | 69 Comments

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It’s that time again! The time to overuse exclamation points and to visit a supermarket in a foreign country! The last time we did this, it was in Australia and you all enjoyed yourselves so much I knew I had to do it again. This time, you’re getting two for the price of one: a visit to a British supermarket, then a visit to a German supermarket. Alas, I didn’t have a chance to go to a French supermarket, so we’ll have to save that for my next trip to Europe. Now, without further ado, let’s hop on over to the Notting Hill neighborhood of London and see what kind of food they’re selling to the locals.

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Reflections on a Week in Germany (Munich and Berlin)

July 7, 2014 | By Adam Roberts | 67 Comments

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When I was a teenager in Florida, on a Jewish Community Center trip to EPCOT, I remember running past Germany as fast as we could. “Germany, ahhhh!” we yelled, racing past the Bavarian buildings over to the Norway ride with the trolls and the waterfall. As naive as we were, there was something instinctual about our resistance to Germany. We were Jews growing up in a generation where the Holocaust was hammered into us daily; in Hebrew school, in history class, on TV, in movies, everywhere we went, we were reminded that 6 million Jews were killed by Nazis in Germany. “Never forget” we were told again and again. No wonder we ran so fast.

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One Night in Strasbourg (Lunch at Chez Yvonne–Featuring Choucroute Garnie–and An Epic Michelin-Starred Dinner at Buerehiesel)

July 3, 2014 | By Adam Roberts | 19 Comments

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Once I made up my mind that I would travel to Paris from London by train, I looked at a map and realized it would be silly to return to London to fly to Munich (where I’d be meeting Craig for the Munich Film Festival two days later); a far more sane idea would be to keep moving east, via train, stopping over somewhere along the way. When I put the question to Twitter, a follower (I forget who; sorry follower!) mentioned Strasbourg. Before I knew it, I was reading about one of the great world’s food cities–on the border of France and Germany–in the Alsace-Lorraine region where we get Riesling, Alsatian pizza (aka: tart flambée), and a dish Jeffrey Steingarten celebrates in one of his books called Choucroute Garnie. Needless to say, I booked a EuroRail ticket, booked a hotel (the Hotel Rohan, nice and reasonable), and after kissing Paris goodbye on a Friday morning, boarded the train to Strasbourg.

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The Skeleton Twins Trailer Is Here!

June 30, 2014 | By Adam Roberts | 27 Comments

At this point, you’re probably wondering: “When are we going to get to see this Skeleton Twins movie you keep yammering on about?” Well, you’ll have to wait until September 19th, but good news: the trailer is out and you can watch it above! In case you missed the backstory, the movie is my partner Craig’s 2nd feature; he co-wrote it with Mark Heyman (who I just ate French food with in Paris) and it stars Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader. I couldn’t be prouder, but you knew that already.

Oh, and in case you missed it, here’s the story of the film’s premiere at Sundance.

We’ll Always Have Paris: With Meals at Restaurant Miroir, Jacques Genin, Le 6 Paul Bert, Little Breizh, and Chez L’Ami Jean

June 30, 2014 | By Adam Roberts | 35 Comments

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I had a reason for not wanting to go to Paris, this trip, and it was both very stupid and very sweet. Namely, I love Paris so much, I didn’t want to go there again without Craig. Lest you forget, we’d gone together to the Edinburgh Film Festival, he left that Sunday for the Nantucket Film Festival, and I ducked down to London where I ate myself silly and saw lots of theater. I could’ve stayed there for the rest of the week, reconnecting with him in Munich (where I am now) for the Munich Film Festival, only our friends Mark and Diana were in Paris that same week and kept imploring me to come join them. “You’ve already been to Paris without Craig,” said Mark. “What’s the difference?” It was a powerful point. And so, before I knew it, I’d bought a one-way ticket for the Chunnel and figured I’d continue my way from Paris to Germany with a stop in Strasbourg, right on the border of France. When you see what I ate along the way, you’ll agree that this decision should’ve been a no-brainer right from the start.

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