This is a different type of post than what you’re used to–but since we’re all hungry for interesting content these days, why not?
About eight years ago, while lazily sifting though the latest entries in my RSS feed reader, I happened upon an article from Los Angeles magazine talking about an upcoming “Weed Dinner” lottery. If you filled out a Google Doc questionnaire (including essay portion), essentially requiring you to wax poetic about why you deserved to go to this event, you might be able to snag an invite from the chef himself.
Well dear readers–I must have written a damn good essay, because I got myself invited to this event. What follows is an old “anonymous” guest post I wrote at the time for a friend’s food/travel blog describing my experience (she’s since taken the blog down).
Yes, I really went, and yes, this really happened; “GRAMMAR RODEO” shuttle vans and all. Please excuse the terrible quality of the pictures–iPhone cameras (and my photography skills) have come a long way in the last decade or so.
There ended up being two “nights” of this dinner–some of the articles/press that came out about it (links sprinkled throughout) cover the one I went to in Encino, some cover the other which was a few weeks later in downtown LA.
I’ve never wanted to officially attach myself to it for various reasons. However, times have changed, we moved away from Los Angeles years ago, and my f**ks given are far fewer these days. Plus, I just passed the 6-year anniversary of this project yesterday (April 16), so why not share (and essentially republish) some of my other culinary-related writing pieces? Enjoy!
Believe it or not, 1-3: Melon with Smoked Turkey is one of my last few remaining Group 01: Hot and Cold Appetizers recipes left to cover. I’ve put this one off for a while because I’m not a big fan of melon (other than watermelons)–but when the weekly CSA box keeps bringing them to you, you have to do something with them.
Theirs looks super fancy–mine looks like a sloppy mess. I suppose if I were actually serving this for a party I would have tried harder. Melon + meat = appetizer isn’t a new equation–even Pillsbury has their own version. Most versions include prosciutto instead of turkey, which is the variant I’m more familiar with.
Pork is probably the most common version of sweet-and-sour that you see in Chinese restaurants–there’s even a vegan version of it you can buy in most stores. In case you’re looking for something more refined (but maybe not as easy or meatless), here’s Serious Eats’ take on it.
Let’s get the first question out of the way right now. Compôte means “mixture” in French, so 15-20: Apple Compôte is essentially fancy applesauce. Don’t even worry about exerting the effort to mash the apples–these are just syrupy slices.
Some of you might have thought of pie filling when you saw “compôte”–I know I did. There’s actually differences between jam, jelly, preserves, conserves, and compote–I still don’t know if this iteration matches up with their definition, but here’s a recipe from my same trusted source (Serious Eats/Stella Parks) for essentially the same thing we’re making here.
Since there’s about to be quite a few salad recipes coming up, I thought I’d put 2-12: Tips About Salad Dressing out there as well. I tried to think of more salad dressing variations than what they list here, but honestly? Most “traditional” salad dressings do fall into one of the three categories they establish: vinaigrette, cream/mayo-based, and low-calorie. Go ahead–can you think of one that doesn’t?
At the restaurant I worked at a few years ago, we made our own dressings from scratch. And by “we”, I mean “me”–I made all the dressings for the whole restaurant every week and kept everything stocked up, since it was my station (garde manger, or pantry chef) that made the salads. We made a blue cheese, ranch, Caesar, creamy balsamic vinaigrette, and another lighter, more traditional vinaigrette.
I think 14-9: Glazed Crêpes with Pears might be my final untested crêpe recipe from Simply Delicious–but there may be others in there. I’ll even give you a quick spoiler (since this recipe is kind of boring…another spoiler) for upcoming posts–there are more recipes out there than what I had originally. I know because I found (and purchased) some in a local Goodwill.
I’ve still got quite a few posts to go before I dig into some of the *NEW* recipes (and show you the book they came in), but for now, you can read aboutyetanothercrêperecipe after the jump. But this time, with pears! And glaze!
Reporting LIVE (to print), from an undisclosed location in Northern California, USA, currently sheltering-in-place and teleworking due to COVID-19/coronavirus/the apocalypse. It’s getting crazy out there, y’all–stay safe and healthy. And wash your hands.
Since we’re all stuck inside for a while, and I’ve got a big backlog of these to get through (over 50), here’s one more thing to pass the time. 2-18: Luncheon Salad is pure 1980s–turn up the vaporwave (for A E S T H E T I C), find your best matching sweatsuit, and crack open a Tab.
I don’t remember feeling like this salad was a treat–more like a punishment. If you can find some cottage cheese in the store right now, go for it–just don’t invite your friends. #socialdistancing
Meal-prepping is trendy now, but it’s always been a good idea if you want to save money and calories. 12-24: Cannelloni with Chicken works well if you want to make it on a Sunday, split it up into a few containers, and reheat it throughout the week. At least, that’s how we ate it.
Even Simply Delicious advises you can make this meal ahead of time, although their suggestion is for entertaining guests. This recipe/concept is pretty versatile–it’s good fresh or as leftovers.
Stir-fry is not a new concept for Simply Delicious, so you may feel a sense of déjà vu while reading this recipe if you’ve spent any considerable time on this site. 8-25: Stir-Fried Beef isn’t much more than you’re expecting, so if a quick and easy stir-fry is what you’re looking for, read on.
I had extra strawberries left over from 14-22: Strawberry-Peach Cobbler, so I tried to reuse them into 15-45: Strawberries with Cottage Cheese. Simply Delicious is big on using cottage cheese in an effort to be “low-fat” (all the rage in the 1980s when this book was published) and healthy, but they’re not usually very successful.
Don’t be deceived by their pretty picture here. It’s not ice cream. It’s cottage cheese. Just keep that in mind going in.