Friday, August 20, 2010

Happy On the Grill - Tips for a Good Burger


When you are grilling, here's a simple trick for making a great burger:


Fo' real.

These were like crumbling meat-candy.

Fried Taro!? - Wat Dong Moon Lek in Silverlake gets to the root of my lust.

The other night Jamie and I went to the fabulous Wat Dong Moon Lek in Silverlake (say that 3 times fast and tell me you aren't just a little inspired to wash your mouth out with soap)... and got FRIED F**KING TARO ROOT!!

I'm sorry to scream, I just, I just lost my head for a minute. He ordered it on a whim after (unbeknownst to him) I eyeballed it with lustful curiosity on the menu...

When the crispy pile arrived I knew it was going to be good, but I couldn't help but say "it looks like crab".

Not the best comment upon arrival, to be sure.

And even though the furthur I looked into the flakey, fried strips of taro that began to look like weird fake meat, or real meat or something I didn't really know I wanted to eat, I was still terribly thrilled to chomp down on them as quickly as possible. Correction: drizzle them with the ground peanut topped sex-juice that thai restaurants give you to dip stuff in, THEN chomp down.

As we ate, I remember us both kind of looking at each other like 'WHOA', and the further we didn't comprehend how it was so good, the more good it got. EUH!

I can describe it sort of like a savory, dense, chewy but light, pastry-like crunchy flakey greasy (good greasy) conncoction of potato/poi-ish tasting, sweet, rooty hybrid.

Now say that 3 times fast... :P'''

Wat Dong Moon Lek
4356 Fountain Ave,
Los Angeles, CA 90029
Neighborhood: Silver Lake

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Rocco's Bakery - Jordan Almonds - Jamie's Treat

Last year I visited my friend Rachel in New York (author of these faboo books) and discovered something quite divinely by accident at a bakery called Rocco's.


For those who don't know, Jordan almonds are candy-shell coated almonds. mmmHM, das right.

My dad used to eat these at the movies, and I thought they were totally weird. "Ew", said my child's brain. Oh foolish child's brain, thank god your palate has grown because I adore these things now. Although I'm sure it has something to do with the fact that I've only had the handcrafted ones from Rocco's, not the kind you'd get in a box at a movie theater. What can I say, I'm a sucker for authentic candy!

Case in point: the shell on these babies is thick and crunchy, but also somehow slightly chewy and just so f**ing glossy and beautiful. You can't get that mass produced, ya just can't.

But how do I have these almonds now, you ask, given that I do not live in New York? Jamie, the boy I'm dating went to New York a couple weeks ago and I casually mentioned that if he were nearby, maybe he could bring some home for me. The next day he made a special point to buy me a big pastry box full of them.


I've been addicted ever since...

Oh, to the almonds as well. Ba-Boom CHING!

Pasticceria Rocco
243 Bleecker
New York, NY 10014

Parsley Pesto Passion!

The incredible creature I'm dating loves plants, and has many lovely herbs thriving on his apartment balcony. What better way to restart a bit of Sexy Food blogging then to talk about the gloriously rich and sexy PARSLEY PESTO I made the other night, with fresh Italian parsley from my gloriously sexy, parsley-providing loverman? Even if you don't have one of those, I promise you this parsley pesto is easier to find, and almost as sexy. Yes.

Apparently his neighbor urged him to buy a little parsley plant despite the fact he wasn't so keen on the stuff, to which it then promptly thrived with no more attention from said neighbor. Leaving me, then, the chance to prune it! Or rather, to harvest it while saying my hellos. We got to know each other quite well and I left that day with a big ziploc bag full of fresh, deep green stems of lightly pungent, flat leaf parsley. AND a generous handful of bright, tiny tomatoes, on their tiny curling vines from my beau's beautifully bountiful tomato plant.

After a day of wondering what to do with it all, I stumbled across a recipe in my fabulous "Beard on Pasta" book - literally flipping the book open to a Parsley Pesto and tomato recipe. HUZZAH!

The BEST thing about pesto, I have discovered now for good - is that it's the EASIEST thing to make on the fly, provided you have the herb you need - parsley, basil, etc. Everything is pretty cheap and easy to keep all the time, but the result is a very special and brightly flavored meal that you just normally don't remember you can eat all the time. (I did have to splurge on the parmesan cheese. Fluffy lovely parmasean cheese like freshly shaved iced - worth the $5 and 15 minute walk in the late afternoon heat it took to buy it).

Here is the recipe I used for the Pesto, taking liberties with how much parsley I used (I had one of those big ziploc freezer bags full of it and used it all! And it came out perfect. So I think that was more than "4-5 bunches". I had Italian parsley though, so maybe it's less strong then regular parsley).

Pasta with Parsley Pesto

4-5 bunches parsley, stems removed
3 large cloves garlic
1 cup whole walnuts
1 cup olive oil
1.5 tsp. salt
3/4 cup parmesan cheese (I used Woodstock Farms organic grated)

Combine all ingredients in a food processor (or blender). Process the ingredients until you have a well-blended pesto.

Cook your noodles, then toss with olive oil and put a dollop (or a volcano, like I did) of the pesto on top.


My pesto came out a rich forest green, deliciously thick and dense. BLARG! DROOL! HEAVEN! I was completely floored with joy.

Not only that, the recipe included a little side dish recipe for melted 'dill butter' poured over cherry tomatoes. Well, I didn't have any dill, but I threw the top half of my double boiler onto the boiling pasta pot, melted some butter with roughly cracked black pepper and poured the mix over my little halved baby tomatoes and it was RESPLENDENT!

Yes, it was.

The bright, just-picked colors, the balance between the sweet, buttery warmth of the warmed, tangy tomatoes and the sharp, rich, nutty taste of the pesto was just too much to handle. I ate so much.

Then, I spread the cold, thick leftover pesto on one side of my toasted egg sandwich the next day for a self-congratulatory leftover meal! (fried egg, mayo, sharp chedder cheese, the pesto and soft, sweet egg bread from the farmer's market. Uh, yes please).

Ingredients well spent!