For a lot of people, one of the best things about Thanksgiving is having leftovers. My stepfather loves to make sandwiches with leftover turkey and stuffing, which is just plain wrong in my opinion.

Turkey hand pie made with Thanksgiving leftovers

Turkey hand pie made with Thanksgiving leftovers

We received several invitations to “Leftover” dinners in the days after Thanksgiving. As I mentioned in my previous post, my friend, Vic, had the idea to do a gourmet-ish small plates dinner with Thanksgiving leftovers on Friday (which necessitated our regrets to a subsequent leftovers dinner invitation from our other friends, Bob and Shoba, for the same night). More

The Dump

I used to complain to my wife about the fact that her sister — a caterer — would often drop by and “gift” us large quantities of food leftover from one of her jobs. There would be big Glad bags of pasta salads, large chunks of picked over cheese and half cakes.

I called it “the Dump,” and came to resent coming home to discover a fridge full of leftovers from someone-I-didn’t-know’s wedding that I was now responsible for either eating or assuming the guilt of throwing away.

Heirloom tomato & corn risotto with parmesan scallops, straciatella

Heirloom tomato & corn risotto with parmesan scallops, stracciatella

We don’t see her sister often these days, and it’s probably been nearly a decade since we last received a drop off. But our friends, Kristine and Simon, just moved to Lake Tahoe, and were back in Topanga to pack up. We invited them to dinner, and Kristine showed up with a canvas bag full of stuff. More

An Aside on Resourcefulness

I often write about resourcefulness. It’s one of my favorite food topics — whether I’m encouraging people to turn all the wilted veggies in the fridge drawer they were about to throw out into a soup, or reflecting on how to get five or six different dishes out of a single duck.

Vietnamese spring rolls

The other night, we hosted a Mexican dinner party. Mariachi played on the iTunes, my famous margaritas were flowing, and the menu was robust. In other words, I made too much food. More

The American Series, Pt. I — Fried Chicken

To kick off my new series of posts on classic American dishes, I chose the most iconic dish of them all — fried chicken. While I’m not convinced anyone will ever do a better fried chicken than the Colonel, I thought I’d give it my best.

If you begin to research the origins of fried chicken, you quickly find yourself wading in some murky waters — with references to everything from Vietnam and West Africa to medieval Europe, the existing literature flavored with converging allusions to homesteading, the Deep South, the Civil War, slavery, industrialization… which makes sense. Throw some flour on chicken and put it in some oil. What could be more elemental? More