I didn’t think it was possible to feel full from half a dozen oysters, but that was before I went down to The Big Easy.
It was only my second visit to New Orleans. The first was right after Katrina, and much of the city was still recovering. So needless to say, this trip really felt like the true taste of all the city had to offer.
Our first stop was at Peche, a modern seafood joint that was raved about by nearly every friend I pestered for food recommendations. By 6pm, there was already a 2 hour wait for a table. So Charlie and I posted up at the bar and did what we usually do: we ordered oysters.
When the big baddies from the Gulf showed up, we were equal parts impressed and terrified. One was as hefty and long as my palm. It looked more like a cow’s tongue than a shellfish—an ideal body mass for deep-frying and stuffing inside a po’boy, but not for taking down in one slurp. Continue reading
The first sign of trouble was the bowl of chocolates on the dinner table.
The first course hadn’t arrived yet. And even though I’d hit up the raw bar multiple times, that did little to absorb the dirty martini sloshing around somewhere beneath my black dress. So because I was hungry, and it was a celebration, and empire waists should be cherished, things proceeded to get a little out of hand.
I ate the chocolates. I drank the wine. And an hour later when I went to the bathroom, encountering the bride’s mother on the way, I saw a puffy fuchsia face, a neck covered in hives, and a body that was giving me the middle finger for eating all the things.
It’s not that often these days that I experience the type of unbridled binge that used to be a staple of my pre-wellness project days. When it does happen, it’s usually at a wedding. And as was the case a few weekends ago in Philly, the experience usually requires many bowls of greens and garlicky avgolemono soup to get my immune system back on track. Continue reading
Every culture has their spin on a baked egg recipe smothered in tomato sauce. The simplest one, as often is the case, comes from the Italians. It involves the usual suspects: garlic, upon garlic—frizzled in hot oil until golden brown—and a dangerous heap of chili flakes, which sends the eggs into delicious Dante-esque purgatory.
Charlie has been working insane hours for the last month, including weekends. So a few Saturdays ago, during one of endless wedding seasons rare respites, I whipped up a quick eggs in purgatory before he left for the office. It felt elaborate compared to our usual olive oil fried egg and bacon MO, but somehow took even less time. Continue reading
I know you’ve often wondered what would happen if your favorite chicken and rice casserole went to Thailand and came back with a scandalous love child. The answer is THIS.
Yes, my Tom Kha Gai rice casserole is that love child. And it also might just be the best thing I’ve cooked in a long long while.
There seems to be a lot of takeout love on the site this week, and you may remember me reminiscing about when my go-to order switched from Chinese to Thai. Upon further reflection, it was not immediately after I projectile vomited chow mein all over my kitchen. Rather, it was the first time I tried Tom Kha Gai soup in the motherland. Continue reading
It’s fairly well documented that I have a serious Thai takeout addiction. Back in the day though, it was far more common for the contents of my red and white to-go boxes to include mooshoo pork and vegetable chow mein.
My love of noodles runs deep, and as a semi-hyperactive 11-year-old, that meant that I basically inhaled my chow mein in one continuous mouthful. You would think that the lack of chopstick finesse would slow me down. But it just meant I used them more as a shovel, making sure that the noodles remained in one tangled mop, and my mouth kept moving.
That’s not an exaggeration. One time I actually ate my vegetable chow mein so fast that I got up from the table and proceeded to regurgitate the entire meal into the kitchen sink. If that sounds disgusting, don’t worry. The noodles were so intact that you would have never been able to tell that someone attempted to eat them. It was as if I’d swallowed the whole takeout container anaconda-style and the only thing my body had managed to digest was the cardboard. Continue reading
This Greek Lasagna recipe is sponsored by Prego Farmers’ Market. All opinions are my own (duh). Thank you for supporting the brands that make this site (and my global casserole cravings) possible!
I did a lot of special things on my trip to Greece two summers ago. I frolicked on the pebbly beaches of Hydra, ate my weight in crisp lemon-scented potatoes, and stalked wealthy shipping magnets from their yachts to see where they were going for dinner. What I did not do was eat Greek Lasagna.
This isn’t just thanks to my on-going gluten-free buzzkill. At the time, I didn’t even know what I was missing.
Before I left for my trip, my food fantasies were almost completely dedicated to seafood and spuds, and the dozen glorious condiments I could dip them in. To this end, I successfully emptied my Mediterranean culinary bucket list, via an IV drip that pumped salty taramasalta directly into my veins. But what I hadn’t considered were the casseroles. Continue reading
If you’ve been following my instagram feed for the last few years, you may have noticed an extreme uptick in oyster consumption. This phenomenon is partially due to my frequent trips to Inverness, California.
By way of having a lot of friends who live in San Francisco, endless wedding season inevitably brings me to Napa at least once a year. There are so many healthy hedonist delights in this part of the country, beginning with the breathtaking scenery and ending with the bottle enjoyed while taking it in.
Needless to say, I’m very grateful for an excuse to visit so often. But by the end of these wedding weekends, thanks to the heavy wine pours, late night choruses of Shout, and over-feasting on wedding cake fondant (not to mention the 3,000 miles of travel to get there from NYC), I end up feeling strung out and exhausted.
Literal champagne problems. Continue reading
Happy Oktoberfest, friends! Since ’tis the season for both Sunday football and Bavarian day drinking, I wanted to take a little time away from wings and cheese bread to talk about the second most important part of your fall recreational meals: beer. Specifically, for us special diet folks, gluten-free beer and cider brands that will help you blend in with the crowd, regardless of whether said crowd is wearing jerseys or lederhosen.
I’ve recently hit my 5 year gluten-free anniversary. Which is crazy, because it feels like a lifetime ago that I could go to a sports bar and actually eat something besides peanuts. The things I miss most are still bread baskets, fried clams on the side of the road, and homemade pastas at hole-in-the-wall red sauce joints. But each summer, beer moves to the top of the list.
Sure, when it’s warm outside and you’re feeling like a little mid-afternoon siesta, without loosing your mental cool, there’s nothing better than a cold frosty beer. But for me it’s really the social aspect – porpoising by the pool, relaxing next to a red cooler at the beach. A vodka soda just doesn’t cut it under those conditions, unless you plan on your mid-afternoon siesta turning into a 12 hour nap.
At least during summertime, there’s rose to the rescue. But for fall tailgating and Munich-style merrymaking, you’re better off finding an adequate replacement for the contents of that boot-shaped stein. Continue reading
The irony of being a private chef is that the cooking I do for others is often the biggest thing that gets in the way of the cooking I do for myself.
It’s a well-known pitfall in the restaurant business: chefs are great at taking care of others and terrible at taking care of themselves. This is in part due to the grueling physical nature of the work, the hours spent in a kitchen, and (sometimes) the Bourdain-level use of certain substances to get through a night of service.
As someone who works primarily in other peoples’ homes, I only experience a small degree of that end of day raggedness. But still, the work does take its toll. And during the height of when I used chef-ing as a bridge job, when I came home after a day of lugging twenty pounds of groceries across twenty city blocks, my biceps could barely muster picking up the phone to order takeout, let alone lifting a skillet to prepare dinner. Continue reading