It’s a new year, folks, and as the weekend approaches, it’s time to ask yourself some serious questions, specifically about how you start your day: are you tired of eating the same thing over and over again? Is it possible that your boredom reflects a boredom with your life itself? Is it time for a new job? A new spouse? A new child? Well, before you make any hasty decisions, might I suggest that you start with breakfast. Here’s one that I created based on a dish that I love at Ruen Pair (my favorite Thai place in L.A.) and, as nervous as I was to make something that I didn’t fully know how to make, the results were so astonishingly delicious, I nearly toppled my kitchen table over with my enthusiasm. We’re talking, of course, about a salty turnip omelette–a strange concept, yes, but follow my directions, and you’ll be so blissed out, you won’t even realize how much you hate your life.
Before I returned to New York this fall, I started a little folder in my browser called NYFood. I read my EaterNY, my Grub Street, and then bookmarked in my special folder any place I felt like I had to visit. Most prominent among my selections were Mission Chinese Food and Pok Pok NY.
Both restaurants are transplants from other cities: Mission Chinese from San Francisco, Pok Pok from Portland. Both are phenomenons. Both have enormous lines. Yet I told myself these were places I had to visit before returning back to L.A. or I’d be forced to hang my head in shame. Now I can go back to L.A. with pride because I Mission Chinesed, I Pok Poked and lived to tell the tale.
At a certain point, if you want to earn your stripes in the food world, you can’t act squeamish or repulsed at the prospect of eating a bowl of pig organs floating in a broth thickened with pig blood. Truthfully, I’m at a point now where such thoughts don’t repulse me; in fact, I think I have a mature attitude about such things. For example, I once attended a dinner cooked by Chris Cosentino of Incanto and the first course was a raw venison liver served on a spoon. I ate it. It popped in my mouth and did I cry? Did I enter psychoanalysis afterwards? Well, yes, but still. I got over it. And so it was that after interviewing Zach Brooks last week, I joined him for lunch at Pa-Ord, a deeply authentic hole-in-the-wall in Thai Town.
The end-of-the-day meal is a funny thing. For people who spend their days away from home, working in offices or out in the field, nothing’s more appealing, after a hard day’s work, than returning to the place where you live, lured in by the smell of a chicken roasting in the oven or the prospect of a crisp glass of white wine waiting for you on the kitchen counter.
Then there are those of us who work from home. If, like me, you spend your days at your computer, occasionally popping into the kitchen to cut yourself a slice of cake, when the end of the day comes, you’ve got a hankering to leave and to experience the world. And that’s a healthy thing except when your partner fits Category A, and there you are in Category B, that can spell trouble.
[Hey, this is Adam The Amateur Gourmet. I’m on vacation in Barcelona, Spain and while I’m gone I’ve asked some awesome people to fill in for me. Today’s post is from one of my favorite people in the world, my friend Patty Jang. I just love Patty–she’s an incredibly talented playwright (see her website), but also just a great human being. And this post will have you whimpering in pain for poor, dear Patty. Oh Patty, poor Patty, take it away!]
Don’t these peppers look so innocent? Dare I say, mild? Dried, empty husks, a pale imitation of their past glory? Let not their frail and papery appearance fool you as they fooled me, dear readers, for these chilies resulted in the most insanely painful cooking experience of my life.