My father tossing a Caesar salad at either the Caesar Hotel or Jai Alai. He was a waiter & "ensaladero" at both places before opening his own joint. I just finished reading the story in The New Yorker about the Tijuana restaurateur and pioneer, Javier Placencia, and I couldn't be more proud. Proud of Javier Placencia and what he and his family are doing, proud of Tijuana itself, and proud of the fact that I am from Tijuana. I was born there, at the end of that town's heyday, a period that would fall at the top of page 52 of the story, somewhere between the line that quotes a French epicurean claiming the Caesar salad to be "the greatest recipe to originate from the Americas in fifty years!" and the next line: "Over time, Revolución devolved into a depressing string of curio shops and..." my father's restaurant. El Bodegón de Guillermo, said to have been the most famous in Tijuana during that time, was located just off Tijuana's main drag, Revolución, two blocks up from the ...Read More
Category: Cook this!
With the Superbowl here 'n' all, there are some things we've all learned to expect. An extraordinary and appalling rise in domestic violence, really great 60-second commercials, such as the famous 1984 Apple Computers commercial that changed the commercial world--and the world. And a bevy (you gotta love the opportunity to use the word "bevy") of good ol' all-American snack foods, guacamole, having been naturalized in this country after we adopted it from our brothers to the south, chief among them. I happen to think that my World Famous Award-Winning Guacamole recipe is the best there is, so I'm posting it for you here, with two amendments. In the recipe, I added the minced red jalapeño peppers, and while they don't do any harm to the guacamole, as tomatoes most definitely do, they don't add much, or anything--except color. I don't know what I was thinking. All I can say is that it was a competition, and I must have been, to use a tennis expression, pressing. Adding little minced red ...Read More
Sunday's Superbowl got me thinking about cream cheese, which got me thinking about tailgating, and that got me thinking about an article I wrote for Saveur several years back, about the tailgating event to end all, the no-cars-allowed extravaganza that takes place every time there is a home game on the grounds of the University of Mississippi--OKA (only known as) Ole Miss. What? Tailgating with no cars? You ask. To which I can only say: Trust me. Here's the story. No, here. It included some very wonderful and delicious ideas for things to do with cream cheese and it would include even more but there wasn't room. Here is one for Cream Cheese with Chutney. As promised... The recipe, as you'll see if you haven't already, contains cream cheese, butter, cheddar cheese, and bacon, which, as far as I'm concerned, deserves a standing ovation--or at least a high five—for flying in the face of everything we've been told not to eat in the last however long. It's been a few years, and since the ...Read More
This was my lunch yesterday. I normally don't take pictures of what I eat, and I have been pretty clear about this not being a what-I-ate-for-dinner-last-night blog. But this was a particularly delicious melange of things I had lying around, each with its own story. First, there are the lentils. I love stewed beans spooned on tomatoes, something I was introduced to when I did an internship at Chez Panisse, which coincided with the year I lived in a hotel, or rather, a gorgeous country inn called The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe, where I had a stove but not an oven, and where I was a stones throw from Chino Farms, which grows both the best tomatoes known to man, and some of the most unusual shell beans on the planet. Yesterday's substitution of lentils had to do with the fact that they were there: I'd just tested them for the Mozza cookbook. These are Umbrian lentils, a tiny brown variety from a tiny town called Castelluccio, in Umbria, where just about all towns are tiny. At Mozza they are c ...Read More