August 2010

A Ratatouille Recipe

It’s been more than a month since I made the ratatouille you see in the above photo. I made it for a dinner party where there was lamb (a leg of lamb, actually) and, as many will tell you, ratatouille goes well with lamb. When I wrote my last book, the final chapter “Feast” featured a leg of lamb paired with a ratatouille just like you see above. In fact, it was the exact same recipe as the one you see above, a recipe from Gourmet magazine that now lives on Epicurious.

Hot Dog Bun French Toast

On a drowsy Saturday morning, you stumble out of bed and look at what you have in the kitchen. You don’t have much. There are hot dog buns, there’s cream, there are eggs (hopefully untainted by salmonella) and slivered almonds. You scratch your chin, you lift your eyebrow, you hold your monocle closer to your eye. Might you? Might it be possible? Why perhaps it might!

A dish is born: Hot Dog Bun French Toast.

My First Chicago-Style Hot Dog

When you travel, it’s difficult to have a perfect first bite.

You arrive at your destination exhausted, famished and cranky, eager to shove the first thing you see down your throat. Which is why my first bite in Paris was an only-slightly-better-than-average eclair, and my first bite in Barcelona was bull intestine. But last week, when I arrived with Lizzie the Photographer to stay with my friends Ben & Andy in Chicago, they took us out for the perfect first bite ever: a Chicago-Style Hot Dog.

A Scotch Tasting

Downstairs from our apartment, we have two friends who have their own apartments. These friends are Rob (who you’ve met before) and Ameer (who you’ve also met). Rob is a cardiologist, Ameer works in advertising. The two of them recently invited Craig and I and several other people to a Scotch tasting at Rob’s apartment because, well, they love Scotch.

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.

In Chicago

Hey Readers, in case you’re wondering why I’m so quiet this week, it’s because I’m in Chicago doing research for my cookbook. But, fear not. Now’s the moment for the Twitterless among you to sign up and follow me; you can track all my adventures, including the Heavy Metal hamburger I ate last night at Kuma’s Corner (it was called “The Lair of the Minotaur.”) Hope you cook something good for yourself this week and I’ll be blogging for you again next week, when I return.

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