The Breakfast Salad

After a recent post on carbonara, I received a comment from my friend and one half of the dynamite blog duo known as Gourmandistan, Michelle, who confessed to having in the past served a Calvin Trillin Thanksgiving. The writer and humorist had once suggested we (America) should shift away from bland, dry turkey on the holiday, and serve spaghetti carbonara instead.

Salade frisée aux lardons

Salade frisée aux lardons

A perfectly sensible suggestion to this particular cook who finds the traditional Thanksgiving menu, politely put, uninspired. More

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Tacotopia, Episode #2: The Taco Takes Texas

Though Texas is, like California, a border state, I don’t really associate it with tacos. Sizzlin’ pans of fajita chicken with bell peppers, yes — but not so much the humble and extraordinary taco.

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Last April, I made a Texas smoked brisket for my daughter Willa’s ninth birthday party. No, she did not ask for a brisket — I just thought it was a good idea. What little girl doesn’t dream of smoked brisket for her birthday?

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Tacotopia, Episode #1: Chile Verde

*Tacotopia: a blissful place or state, where peace and love reign, tequila flows like rivers and tacos are plentiful, varied and delicious.

“You made a taco in Tahoe,” my pal Bob rolled poetically off his tongue, “Insane — what was that!?”

“I don’t remember,” I replied.

Upon further prodding and reflection, I did recall frying cheese and shrimp, recreating one of my most popular tacos thus far.

Bob was expressing his enthusiasm for my Year of the Taco idea — he was all behind it. (What’s not to be behind? Especially if you anticipate being one of the test subjects in this culinary experiment.)

Alex Tehrani digs in

Alex Tehrani digs in

“In Mexico,” I said to my pal Don, with whom I would be traveling to Jalisco in a couple months, “It’s going to be all about the taco. We are going to eat as many tacos as we can get ahold of. And tequila.” More

Jean-Georges, Bittman and Me

Awhile back, my pal Alex sent me a link to a video from the New York Times of Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Mark Bittman preparing a scallop sashimi dish.

“This looks great,” Alex said in his email. “I sure would like to try something like this.”

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Now usually when one of my pals tells me they sure would like to try something, what that actually means is they would like me to make whatever it is for them. To Alex’s credit, he fessed up immediately when I responded: “Does that mean you want me to make this for you?” More