Someone’s In The Kitchen With…Sara Jenkins

Today’s episode of “Someone’s In The Kitchen With” takes us to Porsena in the East Village where Chef Sara Jenkins (who also owns the amazingly popular Porchetta) talks to me about the challenges of opening a new restaurant, her childhood in Italy (and Lebanon), the benefits of dried pasta vs. fresh pasta, and how she fed porchetta sandwiches to 300 troops in Afghanistan. (That story is not to be missed; make sure to stay for that). Thanks so much to Sara for taking the time to do this! I enjoyed talking to her so much, I could’ve stayed for many more minutes.

Previous Episodes: Amanda Hesser & Merrill Stubbs, Ed Levine, Matt Armendariz, The Big Gay Ice Cream Truck.

Someone’s In The Kitchen With…Ed Levine (PLUS: Win Free Tix To The Serious Eats All-Star Sandwich Festival)

The man, the myth, the legend, Ed Levine–creator of Serious Eats–stopped by my kitchen on Monday to chat with me all about his career; from his book “New York Eats,” to the TV show he hosted with Jeffery Steingarten (and a surprising moderator) to the creation of Serious Eats itself. We also talked about the big Serious Eats sandwich festival coming up on Governor’s Island on July 23rd. There’ll be sandwiches from Torrisi, Locanda Verde, Gramercy Tavern, Salumeria Biellese, Taim Mobile; plus our friends from the Big Gay Ice Cream truck will be there too. Oh and lots of booze. Tickets are $65 each (buy them here) but Ed generously agreed to give away TWO pairs of tickets to Amateur Gourmet readers. So: to win, write a recipe for your favorite sandwich in the comments (make sure to use a valid e-mail address). I’ll pick the two best sandwiches and those folks will each win a pair of tickets to the event. And I’ll be there too, so see you there!

Previous Episodes: Matt Armendariz, Big Gay Ice Cream Truck, Big Girls, Small Kitchen, Emeric Harney & Rachel Wharton.

The Weiner’s Circle

So one of the friends we’re staying with here in Chicago, Andy, pointed out The Weiner’s Circle tonight as we were walking to dinner (Thai food in Lincoln Park). “There’s a great video I’ve got to show you when we get back about that place,” he said as we walked past it. And the video above, which we just watched, is indeed truly incredible (though very, VERY not safe for work.) It all leads to one question: will I work up the courage before I go to order myself a motherf***ing hot dog? Only time will tell.

Bombay Chicken Curry

I’ve always been a very truthful food blogger and so I’m going to tell you the truth about the video you see above. Part One of the truth is this: the Bombay Chicken Curry that Chef Floyd Cardoz (chef at the celebrated New York City restaurant Tabla) made for us in the first half of this video was the best chicken curry I’ve ever had in my life. Part Two of the truth concerns the chicken curry that I make in the second half of the video. Despite my assurances that it tastes delicious and the somewhat appealing (though slightly saturated) image at the end, the chicken curry that I made that day in my old Brooklyn kitchen was deeply flawed for two major reasons.

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Asparagus, Amanda Hesser & Food52

Dip into the archives of my blog, go way back, and you’ll see that at the very beginning one of my very first gastronomical spirit guides was Amanda Hesser. I read her book, “Cooking For Mr. Latte,” while studying for the bar exam (here’s my 2004 post about it) and then proceeded to cook my way through the book. I’ve made her vanilla bean loaves, carrot fennel soup, chicken roasted with sour cream and mango chutney, salt and pepper shrimp, and, of course, the almond cake that is my go-to dessert when I’m entertaining distinguished guests.

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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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