Saturday, January 1, 2011

Stick a fork in it, 2010 is done

I spent New Year's Eve at a whisky club, sipping Manhattans in downtown Los Angeles. It was a stellar evening. Understandably, I wasn't feeling particularly imaginative when it came time to cook the first dinner of 2011, but luckily, the meal was already in the works for a couple days. I'd thawed some chicken thighs I bought from Costco and marinated them in my completely incorrect recollection of Thomas Keller's Buttermilk Fried Chicken recipe. But it came out great: Buttermilk + 1tbsp each of smoked paprika, granulated garlic, cumin, salt, pepper.

I paired it with an arugula, pine nut salad and pappardelle with baby portobello mushroom and Marsala sauce.

Don't make fun of me for pairing this with a diet Coke.

I really kindof needed a carb-heavy, fried meal after ringing in the New Year with cocktails, but this still didn't feel terribly unhealthy. The Marsala sauce is thickened with a dark blonde whole wheat flour roux and part-skim ricotta cheese. And the boneless, skinless thigh was coated in light Panko crumbs and fried in no cholesterol special vegetable oil.

A couple photos and tidbits for you that have been adding up in the camera. Out with the old, in with the new...

This was a recent Sunday lunch. Celery, the world's best peanut butter, golden raisins, shredded coconut. Coffee with milk.

Oh artichokes, how I love thee, let me count the ways... 1... 2... 3... 4...

The consistency of this was awful, but the flavors were great. Fava bean and dill stew with lamb shank and roasted potatoes.
This is a delicious vat of frothy Mountain Dew. Just kidding, trick photo. This color is a result of the bergamot-scented Shiseido bath salts I bought in Little Tokyo with biscuiterie.

What we actually ate in Little Tokyo was amazing: ramen at Daikokuya. The bright red bits are this really sharp, fresh pickled ginger that is served in a little pot on the table, alongside pureed garlic that you add to the bowl yourself. The soy-tinged white of the egg protects a perfectly creamy yolk. The noodles and green onions fill a massive bowl of steaming pork broth. Underneath it all, somewhere, are tender pieces of buttery kurobuta pork.

oh, and I finally got a picture of my lentil recipe up. Looks pretty.

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