I want to tell you about a sandwich. It’s a very special sandwich. You get it at a place famous for another special sandwich, but we’re not going to talk about that other special sandwich. We’re going to talk about the original sandwich I was trying to talk to you about earlier. Seriously, will you stop changing the subject?
We’re all aware of Porchetta the destination, aren’t we? Located on East 7th Street in New York’s East Village, Chef Sara Jenkins (who I met and interviewed a few months ago) has created a universally beloved destination for pork lovers. The menu there features two main choices: porchetta on a sandwich or porchetta on a plate. The experience of eating the Porchetta porchetta–which the Porchetta website defines as “roasted pork with crispy skin, highly seasoned with aromatic herbs and spices, garlic, sage, rosemary and wild fennel pollen”–is so sublime, so otherworldly, I knew I had to recreate the experience here in my Los Angeles apartment.
It’s a known fact that chefs prize chanterelles more than any other mushrooms. In one of the cookbooks that I own (I forget which one), the chef/author instructs: “If you ever see chanterelles, buy them.”
And so it was that when I first saw chanterelles at the Hollywood farmer’s market more than a week ago, I kind of freaked out. I froze. I was like, “Oh my God! I’m supposed to buy these!” But a small bag of them cost $10 and I felt scared. So I didn’t buy them, mentioned the experience on Twitter, and my followers scolded me. Chef Sara Jenkins Tweeted to me, “So easy to cook! Saute w/ butter, thyme, parsley, toss w/ penne and parmigiano! Easy!” Emboldened, I made a point to buy chanterelles the next time that I saw them; and sure enough, this past Sunday, that’s precisely what I did.
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.