Archive for November, 2011

Thanksgiving on a Bun..

No, I’m not talking about the next day after partying too much, staying up to late watching old movies, or even a bad date. I’m talking about the day after Thanksgiving. You know, you have eaten yourself to the “I’m almost to full to move point”, tomorrow is Black Friday and do I go shopping or stay home. Plus you still have a house full of out-of-town family & friends. What to do?

You wake up  hungry as your food induced coma from the day before has worn off. Pancakes? French Toast? Omelets?  Nah, that all requires effort, something one is sorely lacking this morning.

No, what I think is the perfect “morning after” Turkey day nosh is what I call Thanksgiving on a Bun. While that pretty much describes it perfectly, there are a few guidelines to be followed. Sort of like a pirates code, but slightly more flexible.

To start: you need a sturdy vessel to hold all the ingredients, and while I have made do with a buttermilk biscuit in the past, my bun of choice is a toasted, buttered brioche roll. Perfectly toasted, golden & glistening with a nice smear of sweet butter. If alas, you have no access to brioche or cannot make your own, an english muffin will suffice in a pinch. Thomas’s only though please.

Next assemble the components. Fresh sliced turkey, white & dark meat is my choice, a tablespoon or two of cornbread stuffing ( no sausage or mushrooms, though onions are fine). Dollop of cranberry sauce or cranberry chutney, NOT the stuff out of a can, and a teaspoon or so of homemade sage mayonnaise. If you can’t make your own, Hellman’s / Best Foods will do and just stir in a chiffonade of fresh sage, dash of lemon & white pepper. Lastly some leftover turkey gravy, as much as your heart desires, to dunk in.

Build your sandwich: warm the turkey & stuffing. I do this separately. take the golden toasted bun. Layer stuffing on the bottom, top with turkey, then cranberry sauce & spread the sage mayo on the top half of the bun. Place the  top half on the bottom half.  Heat the gravy. Serve that in a small side dish for dunking. If your feeling indulgent its okay to add a sprinkle of durkees french fried onions to the works.

Feel free to eat this standing over the kitchen sink, with your bowl of dunking gravy next to you. Or make numerous sandwiches, awake your house guests, let them munch and send them out into the abyss that is known as Black Friday.

At least they will have sustenance to get them thru the day and they wont need a can of pepper spray. Or so one can hope. There is always the option of enjoying said sandwiches at home by the fire and shopping from ones’ laptop while the rest of the masses knock them selves out trying to nab the latest computer game. Let them be the stupid ones. This way you can always go back for seconds and even toss in a piece of pie. After all, Thanksgiving does only come once a year. Why not enjoy it!

Will upload a picture tomorrow. If that doesn’t inspire you I don’t know what will. 🙂

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Tiger Lilies in the kitchen

At last! Its happened. After numerous trips to Los Angeles we knew wanted to call it home. In August, on our last day here after a 2 week visit, I found it. The perfect house. 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, huge kitchen, 2 fireplaces, and more storage space than one could possibly imagine. Even an “extra’ garage out back just waiting to be converted into a pool house, guest house or work studio. Enclosed landscaped backyard so we could even let Gordie out the back french doors without being on a leash. Something we could never do in CT.

Simply lovely. Wonderful little neighborhood called Cheviot Hills. Flanked by Fox Studios on one end & Sony Pictures on the other. Nestled between Beverly Hills, Century City, Westwood & Culver City as our borders. Quiet, private, kind of like Wilton back in CT, yet about 15 mins to anywhere. Perfect.

After a whirlwind of packing and closing up the CT house Lauren, myself & Gordie hit the road on Sept 23rd for our trip across country. This is a journey I never want to make again, or at least I wont take 1-40 for over 80% of the drive. What a nightmare. Though we did think New Mexico was absolutely beautiful. Georgia O’Keeffe & Ansel Adams were certainly on to something. Its stunning stark landscapes will haunt you.

I will say that Winslow, Arizona was a complete bust. So much for the Eagles immortal song. Pfft. Nothing but fast food and heat. Landed in the city of angels on Sept 28th. Parked ourselves at the Residence Inn in Beverly Hills and awaited the arrival of all our worldly possessions. Gordie took to the city & the new house like a duck to water. We were amazed! The van arrived on Oct 2nd, and by the 4th we were in the house.  After a few trips to Ikea in Burbank we were all set. I don’t think we’ve stopped going since.

I had no idea that Lauren &  I would fall so deeply completely in love with the city. Going to see a show, Katy Perry at the Staples center, Sia, Ellie Goulding, at the Wiltern, Howard Jones at the Music Box, and numerous others is no longer a 2 hour ordeal. While we lived exactly 50 miles from mid-town Manhattan, getting in & out of New York City always takes longer than one expects. Since I have now been on & mastered every single freeway, discovered shortcuts & back roads, LA is, relatively, a piece of cake. Though as in any major city, it does have its moments. We have discovered the great Los Angeles secret, hardly anyone is out & about on the weekends! Virtually little to zero traffic. I think Sunday may be my favourite day to explore and be out and about.

Have had incredible meals at Spago, Hatfields, Mozza, Matsuhisa, Nobu, Jar, Natalee Thai, A-Frame, to name just a few & found some really great little spots. Robata-ya on Sawtelle ( bows to mako-san the chef), The Six on Pico, Royal T on Washington Blvd in Culver City, Pici Enoteca on S. Beverly, The Nosh in Beverly Hills, our local diner hangout (waves to Linda our fav waitress). Grub in Hollywood. Discovering the Kogi food truck parked on Olympic in front of the Goodwill in West La. The Misfit & Border Grill in Santa Monica. So so many others I have decided to start a blog devoted to my culinary adventures as I learn all the city has to offer. Details on that later.

Meeting a slew of the cities best chefs, farmers & purveyors at local farmers markets. My favourite being the Sunday Beverly Hills Farmers Market, where I have on occasion rubbed elbows with Wolfgang Puck. Made friends with the Smokin’ Mamas, 2 really cool ladies who have some great artisanal foods. I have been collecting their gourmet handcrafted salts every week. Their home cure jerkys are stellar. http://www.smokinmamas.com Not to mention the very good-looking mushroom guy, flower vendors, farm fresh eggs, herbs, all manner of produce, and the freshest fish in all of LA. I get inspired to create a fantastic sunday supper & fill my house with stunning bouquets of color popping blooms.

Been scouting sites for my own space. Cafe/ Patisserire/ Boulanger/ cool little hangout, serving what I love to cook and my friends love to eat. This will keep me occupied for the “winter” and I should have something in the works by spring. Stay tuned.

So its safe to say we aren’t going anywhere for quite a while. Maybe a quick trip  to San Fran or Hawaii or even Sydney, but this is home base central for now. New York will always be there and if I get the urge to see snow, or ski, Mammoth and Tahoe are a short distance away.

For now I’m content to get up, see the sun shining, make my cuppa tea and take it out to my back garden and revel in another day in LA and see what surprises are waiting for me, some maybe even just around the corner.

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