I guess being Jewish in St. Cloud, Minnesota had something to do with it. Why else would my dad go to such lengths to bring home this odd-smelling fish in the small jar, serve it with Rye Krisps and call it a snack?
When you think about those two factors – Jewish and Minnesota – it’s a little easier to see how the seeds of my herring love affair were sown.
I had no idea pisco was so nuanced. The colorless grape brandy produced in Chile and Peru isn’t quite as popular as cachaça, but it’s coming on fast; you can learn more about it at places like ThePiscoBook.com, but you can also learn from the pros behind the bar. I did just that recently, as I chatted up Bruce Hood, the Bartender at Osaka in West Hollywood. Now at first, Osaka sounds like yet another Japanese sushi joint, but much like Sushisamba weds Japanese and Brazilian cultures together, Osaka does the same with Japan and Peru. There’s a good reason, actually. Read More
We all know by now that President Obama is quite the foodie. He took his wife to Spiaggia for their anniversary; he dined with Oprah at Graham Elliot for his 50th birthday, and he loves the food at Topolobampo so much, he asked Rick Bayless to cook a State Dinner when the Mexican president was at the White House. So if Obama decides to eat at The Fig & Olive when he’s in L.A., I figured it must be noteworthy, right? Apparently, POTUS tried the restaurant’s signature tart and loved it. The restaurant was kind enough to share not only the recipe, but the process as well. Read More
Before I had made my first dinner reservation in Stockholm a few months ago, I was already eagerly planning on meals laced with all manner of fish and vegetables that had been smoked, dried, preserved and pickled. I started doing some homework in Chicago at Tre Kronor, one of the city’s only Swedish restaurants that serves home-style dishes, rather than just the cliché pancakes and cinnamon rolls. One dish I immediately fell for was the skagen (SKA-ghen). Read More
Rarely have I steamed over $2.15. Two-friggin-fifteen! I was craving an iced coffee during a quick meeting at a Starbucks recently, and when I saw a 12-oz. cup listed for $1.95 (plus tax), I cringed. But that wasn’t nearly as bad as the answer I got when I asked if it was cold-brewed. Read More
Chicago is as much a lox town as New York City is a sturgeon one, and while I’ve lamented the lack of bagel shops here offering smoked sturgeon, finding gravlax (aka “lox” which is essentially cured salmon) is still pretty easy. Yet few people realize that you don’t need to own a giant smoker or a special cooler to make your own gravlax. The method is pretty easy, actually, as the chef at Fjäderholmarnas Krog showed me a few months ago in Stockholm. Sweden is a country where the cuisine is predicated on finding inventive ways to preserve things, since the summer is so short. Pickled fish, salted and smoked meat, even cured salmon are all regulars on menus there. Hopefully you’ll be armed with some new skills – and confidence – after watching how she makes it look so darn easy. For the recipe, keep reading. Read More