Pork Shoulder with Guinness, Dried Cherries, and Sweet Potatoes

September 23, 2014 | By Adam Roberts | 11 Comments

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What’s the difference between a home cook and a chef? For me, the answer lies right there in the pages of Daniel Boulud’s braising book which came out back in 2006. I’m a big believer in braising; nothing makes me happier than to sear a tough piece of meat, stir in some aromatics, add a cooking liquid, and then to let thing go for three hours, only to have the meat melt beneath the tines of a fork when you’re done, the sauce right there without any extra labor. But as for those individual elements–the meat, the aromatics, the liquid–the best I could come up with, if pressed, would be all the usual suspects: chicken thighs, onions, garlic, white wine, etc. That’s because I’m a home cook. Chef Boulud, on the other hand, fills his pages with the most startling combinations: beef shank with coconut and avocado, pork belly with pineapple and plantains, lamb shanks with mint, prunes, and bourbon. And so on Saturday, I decided to channel my inner-chef and make the recipe that called out to me the most: Pork Shoulder with Guinness, Dried Cherries, and Sweet Potatoes.

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September 23, 2014 | By Adam Roberts | 15 Comments

Man, are you in for a treat. Are you ready? Imagine a slice of fresh, milky mozzarella that’s been coated in panko bread crumbs and fried. That sounds pretty good by itself, doesn’t it? Now imagine that on an eggy roll (Hawaiian sweet bread) and topped with both basil aioli and a spicy tomato jam. It’s hard to even wrap your head around, but I know it’s a real thing that exists because I ate it at the Burnt Truck at the Orange County Fair and ever since it’s been haunting my dreams. Making this at home wouldn’t just be an act of selfishness (I NEED TO HAVE MORE), but an act of charity because if I figure out this recipe that means you get to eat it too and you’ll be just as happy and haunted as I am.

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Sponsored Post: The Dos Chinos Truck’s Garlic Shrimp Rice Bowl with Lime Crema

September 19, 2014 | By Adam Roberts | 36 Comments

Sometimes you eat a dish that’s so good you have to have the exact recipe, to recreate it at home in such away that it’s indistinguishable from the original. Other times, you try a dish and love it so much that it inspires you to riff in a similar way; not to make that exact same thing, but to make something similar in your own style. The latter is pretty much what happened to me when I visited the Dos Chinos truck in Orange County. There, one of the owners, Viet demonstrated how to make their signature shrimp and rice bowl. It was a positive playground of textures and flavors and when I left, I set about to make something similar at home, but in my own unique Amateur Gourmet way.

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Just So You Know, Food Arrives When It’s Ready

September 17, 2014 | By Adam Roberts | 27 Comments

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There’s a new restaurant trend afoot, one that takes the form of a casual, shoulder-shrug of a sentence, usually uttered by a server after he or she takes your order. It’s the sentence in the title of this post: “Just so you know, food arrives when it’s ready.”

It’s a sentence I heard last night at Alimento, a terrific new restaurant in Silverlake where I had some of the best pasta dishes of my life (more on those in a moment). It’s a sentence I heard last week at Republique with my parents, when they were here for Craig’s premiere. It’s a sentence we also heard at Bar Ama, where we went for lunch with both of our families (pictured above) after scoping out our secret wedding venue downtown. It’s a sentence that didn’t really bother me at first or even, really, grab my attention; but now that it’s becoming more and more common, it’s making me wonder: what’s it all about? And who does this really benefit: the restaurant or the diner?

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Skillet Cornbread

September 16, 2014 | By Adam Roberts | 90 Comments

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Sometimes I wake up with a specific craving that has no obvious root. For example, on Saturday morning I woke up with a craving for cornbread. Where did that come from? Was it the fact that I’d been watching the Sean Brock episodes of “Mind of a Chef” at the gym? Actually, that was probably it–strike that first sentence–because in the episode I just watched, he harvested his own corn, shocked the kernels in liquid nitrogen, and made the most incredible-looking corn grits I’d ever seen. I didn’t have grits in my cupboard on Saturday morning, but I did have cornmeal, which is where this idea came from. Then all I had to do was find the right recipe.

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Scenes From The Skeleton Twins Premiere

September 15, 2014 | By Adam Roberts | 34 Comments

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Well, it happened, and you guys made it happen. The Skeleton Twins “won” the weekend according to IndieWire; it was the #1 film in 12 out of the 15 theaters where it played. Now it’s expanding to more cities–Seattle, Minneapolis, Dallas, Boston, San Diego, Palo Alto and San Jose next week–and will continue to grow if you all keep going out and supporting it.

On Wednesday, our families and friends and people who worked on the movie all gathered here at our apartment for a champagne toast before we all headed off to the premiere at the ArcLight Hollywood. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at how it all went down.

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Go See The Skeleton Twins!

September 12, 2014 | By Adam Roberts | 17 Comments

Friends, Romans, Countrymen: the time is now! If you live in New York, L.A., D.C., San Francisco, Chicago, I need you to do me a favor right now: open a new window in your browser, go to one of those movie ticket sites–Fandango, for example–and load up The Skeleton Twins and then get your tickets to see it this weekend. Yes, it has to be this weekend. Opening weekend is so important for an independent film like this and it’s not like I’m forcing you to do something unpleasant: the movie is getting rave reviews. The L.A. Times calls it “one of the better movies to come along this year”; it’s a New York Times critics pick and Stephen Holden calls it, “a well-written and acted movie about contemporary life that doesn’t strain for melodrama and is largely devoid of weepy soap opera theatrics.” So what are you waiting for? Plus, you guys know the director personally: he’s on my blog all the time. He went with me to El Bulli, he ate that disgusting curry I once made, and oh yeah we got engaged last year. So be part of our lives this weekend–Craig’s been working on this movie since I met him over eight years ago–and it’d mean so much to us if you went. In fact, if you do go, feel free to come back here and leave questions for Craig; I’ll be sure to get the answers from him. How’s that for an offer? And everyone else: if the movie’s not playing in your city this weekend, be sure to find out when it’s playing next week and get your tickets ASAP. Thank you all so much…we’re so excited for you to see it!