Cooks & Chef’s III

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It came in the mail yesterday. It’s the Fall 2016 issue, technically #20. Literally, the third installment of the Lucky Peach spotlight on Cooks & Chefs, also dubbed the Fine Dining issue. I still do not have my own kitchen, but stay tuned…there is real potential for p.139, Fried Chicken: Hawaiian Chicken with Spam Fried Rice!

Albany Cafeteria Breakfast

Page 18 – Lucky Peach #17 – The Breakfast Issue

Food 18

Something amazing happened. I cooked a Lucky Peach breakfast in my Mom’s kitchen. Yes, I’m still homeless but her guest room has been mighty comfy lately. After a short gig at Kitchen Mouse in Highland Park (my first ever real restaurant experience, and it was lovely, the peeps there are all fantastic), I have taken up copywriting at an ad agency while burning the midnight oil on my own work (forever). Recently, my friend Bobbo visited from Cordova, Alaska where he’s a forest ranger in the Chugash. He interrupted all my shit and so I decided on his way out we’d have some cocktails while I cooked a warm meal for him and a few other friends. So, here are Brooklyn chef Stephen Tanner’s Bologna Cups, aka the Albany Cafeteria Breakfast. From what I gather from his photos in the LP article, we’d get along fine – smoking and southern boys are right up my alley.

AND I hustled my friend/rad photographer Micah Slay to shoot the pics and drink with us.


Don’t let this breakfast fool you, it’s a juggling act and after I got through my first Capt & Coke, I whipped my crew into shape and put them to work. The bologna cups are easy to make, but I recommend you do them at the end actually, since they take seconds to curl up in a hot saute pan and you want to serve them caliente. By the way, I learned that in L.A. it’s not so common to get bologna sliced at the deli. I witnessed it in some shitty part of Massachusetts with an ex-biker boyfriend I had and thought they did it everywhere, but not so much. Oscar Meyer still rules most deli meat aisles (probably ’cause this stuff is nuclear), but there are many varieties to choose from. I chose the pork & chicken combo over the beef, because after all, bologna is really Italian mortadella sausage. It’s actually a much fancier breakfast than you thought.


It’s the hash browns and salsa verde that take real prep and patience. So, just get right into that. Boil the potato for 9 min, grate it, and then form little piles on a griddle. Put 2 T butter (YEP) on top of each pile on med heat, and let the butter melt all the way through that puppy and then flip it. Add cheddar on top and dream. Tanner reveals that this is his infiltration of the Waffle House hash browns, and holy fuck, he’s got that right.


In the meantime, get someone to make you a drink and then get on the salsa verde. It’s nt the season here in L.A. but since there’s so many Mexicans, you can’t sneeze without finding tomatillos and jalapenos in stores still. Boil the jalapeno for 1 min, then add the tomatillos and turn off the flame. Let them cool, then drain.


Add them to a blender with chopped onion, garlic, cilantro, and salt. I say add as much as you like of all those things, taste it and make it exactly how you like, everyone is different on their salsa code.

The real trick is once you have a buzz, make sure someone else wants to do the poached eggs because they take up most of your attention. Tanner gave us a fancy scientific prop instruction involving a cup. The homie Chris was on it, and a 3 min poach was perfect.

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Get that slice of bologna hot and curled into a cup and add the cheddar hash browns first, then the poached egg, and top with your salsa verde.

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That my friend, is da bomb diggity. Super tasty and pairs wonderfully with Capt. Morgan’s and Coke – and a visit from Ranger Bob.

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A Kitchen To Call My Own


It’s been a long hot endless summer on the road of life. Partly due to a heatwave, but also because I’ve had no real place to call my own since July. I had to leave my cool vintage apartment in Silver Lake before it fell down, literally and emotionally. The building is known for a famous murder in the 1930’s and sweethearts Kurt & Courtney lived there once, so you can just imagine the pain in the walls of that laundry room (plus the electrical pre-dated grunge by decades). I fortunately left somewhat unscathed and found places to dream at night while day-writing: Mom’s spare room, back of my Subaru, hotel rooms, friend’s couches, etc etc…but a home is on the horizon! Which means, you guessed it, a kitchen to call my own. A tiled cook’s dream. A place to cry over onions. A room to cut myself slicing habaneros with no gloves on and then rub my eyes. A space to fulfill one of my destinies (you can have more than one): TO COOK EVERY RECIPE IN LUCKY PEACH!

Thank you for waiting.

photo credit: “Hitchhiker I” by Sleep Weasel


Pg. 51 – Lucky Peach Issue #3 – Chefs

First off, let me apologize for taking a month for my next post. What a loser! I got crazy busy in a writing frenzy for another project, and I had a visitor from the east coast, so things been good – but hectic!

We like to have Sunday (or sometimes Saturday) dinners over here at our apartment compound and that usually consists of my neighbor Alex cooking something incredible (that takes awhile) in Sharon & Stu’s kitchen. Chris from down the street comes over, and I often contribute fresh ingredients from my garden, or even make a salad. This night, Alex was teaching Chris how to make eggplant parmesan and our friends Beto & Vic were in town (they recently wed for fun in Las Vegas, so stayed in the So Cal awhile after). I decided I should make some good sauce for Alex’s dish – plus, Sharon and I were trying to mastermind some spinach spaghetti (whole other story). I’m part Siciian, so usually making sauce consists of several hours of dedication. I was curious how Mr. Mario Batali’s basic sauce might turn out – it only cooks for like 30 minutes! Unheard of!  Here’s what you need:

This recipe was crazy to me because it called for a CARROT! That’s just insane. But, I complied.  Also, Beto is a fantastic photographer and he shot many vertical pieces of documentary art for this blog entry!

And they’re big photos, but I’m too lazy to resize, so enjoy us just a little bit larger (Sharon will kill me for this prolly). I started the prep by getting some fresh thyme ready and then I added the good extra-virgin oliver oil I hoard into a large pan over medium heat.

I added the garlic, as thinly sliced as I felt like.

Then added these onions – look how dangerous I am about it!

The onion and garlic cook about 8 – 10 minutes. Let them turn a nice light brown color. Then add the carrot & thyme for a few minutes more, just let the carrot get soft.

So, the peeled whole tomatoes have to be crushed by hand – yuck! Sharon volunteered – she admitted to having experience doing this. I never put my hands in the sauce, so I let her demonstrate.

She added the tomatoes and juice and we brought it to a boil, lowered it, and let it simmer for 30 minutes – stirring often. Can I say that Beto’s color temperature operation has my kitchen coming in all spectrums, trippy…

Meanwhile we attempted homemade pasta (not a part of this Lucky Peach recipe). Here’s how cool it was:

I had just got that blue manicure and man, I totally wasted it in less than 24 hours. Our sauce and spaghetti was pretty epic.

Seriously, the sauce was delicious. Very easy and quick to make, and yummy. 

The eggplant parmesan came out pretty good too.

We can thank Mr. Chris Butler for delighting us in a do-rag that I think came from the stork stash for the Jenkins’ baby (OLIVER! he was born! Look for him to guest star in the next post).

The gang scarfed (that’s a technical foodie term).