The Best Meatloaf I’ve Ever Had

It’s hard to get excited about meatloaf. That is, unless you’re standing in the kitchen at Craft in New York and Chef Damon Wise (Tom Colicchio’s right-hand man) is mixing together ground beef, pork, crisp shitakes (that taste like bacon), golden soffrito, soy sauce, fresh oregano and Parmesan cheese. The resulting meatloaf–which Chef Wise called “Umami Meatloaf”–was, without question, the best I’ve ever had. And then, as you’ll see in the following Food2 video, I went and recreated it at home. All the proportions and ingredients and steps are listed in the video, but, just in case, I’ll share them after the jump. And now, without further pause, here’s one killer meatloaf:

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How To Make Fried Chicken

The undisputed master of fried chicken here in New York City is Chef Charles Gabriel of Rack n’ Soul and now Charles’ Country Pan Fried Chicken (there’s a big article about it in today’s New York Times.) Chef Gabriel is such a master, it was an absolute privilege this summer to stand at his side in his Harlem kitchen watching him pan fry chicken the way it’s been done in his family for generations. What follows is our latest Food2 video, which not only gives you the recipe for Chef Gabriel’s legendary chicken, but also shows you my efforts to recreate it at home (with some comedy thrown in):

The only note I’ll add here is that, in the video, it doesn’t mention that Chef Gabriel also puts the spice mixture on the raw chicken too, so it gets seasoned on three levels: the chicken, the batter and the flour. I’ve now made this chicken several times and it really cant be beat.

How To Cook Fish (A Musical)

Dear Readers, I am so proud to share with you my latest Food2.com effort: “I Can’t Cook Fish,” a musical co-starring my friend Lisa and Rebecca Charles of Pearl Oyster Bar. For anyone who’s written me before saying you’re nervous to cook fish at home, this video’s for YOU!

If you liked it, please head over to our page on the Food2 site, give us a good rating and send the video to all of your friends! And if you haven’t seen our other videos–Homemade Pasta, The Omelet Episode, or Perfect Steak–please watch those too.

Special fish musical thanks must go to Joshua Hume (my collaborator and director), Ricky Marson for arranging the music, Lindy Groening for the awesome artwork, Ben Rasmussen for his choreography, the dancers–Chelsea Bonosky, Alana Isiguen, Alyssa Maksym–and, of course, Rebecca Charles, for sharing her fish recipe and her singing voice!

Fresh Pasta with Spicy Tomato Sauce

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Lounging around on a hot Saturday afternoon, you don’t want to think too hard about dinner. You read your book, you cheat and start the Sunday crossword puzzle a day early, you watch old episodes of “Lydia’s Italy” on Tivo. Perhaps it’s that last fact, though, that propels you–hours later–off the couch, into your kitchen, scratching your head. It’s 7 PM and what are you going to make? You see a bag of flour. You see eggs in your refrigerator. You spy a can of tomatoes on the shelf. “Might I?” you ask yourself. “Noooo.” But then you consider again and you settle on it: you are going to make fresh pasta–yes, pasta from scratch–and serve it with spicy tomato sauce.

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Perfect Steak

I don’t want to toot my own horn, so I won’t: I’ll toot the horn of Chris Lim of BLT steak. In our latest Food2 video this genius chef teaches me a technique for making steak at home that is so perfect, so dead-on that I will never ever ever make steak any other way again. It’s a brilliant technique, an industry technique that steakhouses across the country use to make steak that forces you to say, “Why can’t I have steak this good at home?” But now the secret’s out and steakhouse quality steak is yours for the making. You can thank us later!

Omelet Smackdown

The Roving Gastronome has strong words about my Food2 omelet episode: “If you follow the AG’s advice…you’ll wind up with a crappy omelette.” [Note: from what I understand, the omelet I make is an American-style omelet, the one she makes is a French omelet. I like both.]

The Big Reveal: Amateur Gourmet on Food2

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Remember a long time ago, after I finished The FN Dish, I told you I had a top secret project I was working on, something I couldn’t tell you about yet? Well, at last, the project is here and I’m incredibly excited to share it with you: it’s my brand new web show The Amateur Gourmet on Scripps’s brand new site, Food2.

This show–which I co-created with my friend, co-writer and director, Joshua Hume–takes you, the viewer, along with me as I learn how to make classic staples from incredibly talented chefs. In our first episode, for example, we tackle the omelet; Josh Grinker from The Stone Park Cafe demonstrates the right way to do it and then you watch me fumble and flail until I, too, get it right. (Now, almost every weekend, I make an omelet based on the techniques I learned in this episode.)

In our pasta episode, Marc Forgione of Marc Forgione restaurant (formerly Forge) gives us his grandmother’s recipe for homemade pasta dough (a ratio even Michael Ruhlman might like) so I can appease the evil pasta puppets who attack me vis-a-vis A&E’s “Intervention.”

Yes, it’s pretty silly, but that’s part of the fun. And in upcoming episodes we learn how to make steak from Chris Lim of BLT Steak, fish from Rebecca Charles of Pearl Oyster Bar and chocolate souffle from Michael Laiskonis of Le Bernardin. So please, by all means, click over, watch the shows, send them to your friends, rate them, leave comments, embed them on your websites and hopefully we’ll be able to make more!