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

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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


Page 80  – Lucky Peach #8 – The Gender Issue

RROCK StickersThat’s my friend Roger’s slogan – I felt it was a fitting message to Peter Meehan, since I made his Mom’s meatloaf. He gave us the recipe in LP Issue #8, so you can do it too, and I recommend it – it tastes damn good!

IMG_4869You’ll need the following ingredients:

IMG_4765Preheat the oven to 350. Now, let’s do this dairy bit! In a bowl, beat the egg, then add the milk, and finally, the oats. Peter specified “the stuff from the guy with the funny hat.”

IMG_4769This little mixture is gonna soak while we get to the other prep.

IMG_4775Chop up the celery, green bell pepper, and onion (the latter two came from my garden). Grate the carrot.

IMG_4772Add the olive oil to a hot pan, and cook those goods up with a mad pinch of salt, stirring regularly, for about 10 min. It just needs that golden delicious look.

IMG_4784Here’s what we’re about to gang up on our raw meat. I keep my own stash of bread crumbs. Seriously, I make toast, put it in a ziploc bag and smash it up to use later. This recipe called for a lot of Heinz products but I never buy that shit, so I splurged on the Heinz 57 to see what that was all about, but kept loyal to my stuck up ass organic ketchup. Thyme from my garden, suckas!

IMG_4793Organic ground beef. Probably from New Zealand, because Trader Joe’s hardly sells American made in their produce and meat/fish sections. I can discuss the whole eco-footprint thing here, but won’t. It was my fault I didn’t get to my local hipster butcher for this.

IMG_4805First, always season with salt and pepper! Then add the everything else (except the glaze, that’s for later): the thyme, the bottled sauces, the dairy-oatmeal gook, the veggies, and breadcrumbs last. He actually said mix with a fork, then get in with your hands, but I think using the fork is just a waste of time – use your hands, get tough! If it’s too dry, don’t be scared to add a little more ketchup or Peter even suggests “a splash of milk if the situation is truly arid.” Mine was perfect consistency.

IMG_4811Sculpt the meat into a beautiful loaf on a baking sheet that’s been lined with aluminum foil.

IMG_4820IMG_4824Put that pup in the oven and set your timer for 20 minutes. Now to the glaze.

IMG_4852IMG_4833Mix it up in a bowl, and taste it. I did.

IMG_4828After the timer rings, take that meatloaf out and cover it with that glaze. Pour the whole bowl right over it! Back in the oven with this slimy beast for another 40 minutes.

IMG_4843It’s ready when that glaze has like made it’s own layer on top. Touch it gently and if your finger doesn’t go right through it, that baby is ready.

IMG_4846Slice it up!

IMG_4862IMG_4865IMG_4866And, this is actually my “holy fucking shit” face, which means it’s really really good.IMG_4867


Page 33 – Lucky Peach #7 – The Travel IssueIMG_3895I’m back! First off, let me point out I took the blog off tumblr and we have a new URL – straight up, now, so tell your friends. Secondly, I apologize for taking some time off, there was some traveling to be done. Fittingly, the latest Lucky Peach issue is The Travel Issue and though it’s shorter on recipes than usual, it’s plentiful in adventure stories on food culture from places like Hawaii, Crete, Syria, and Sweden. Plus, there’s some Cocktology, a word I plan to throw around when I’m not talking about drinks.IMG_3758Peter Meehan scored this Butter Mochi recipe from Hawaiian Kamaʻaina Cathy Juhn (a friend of Roy Choi’s they hung with in Oahu when partaking in the food happenings for this issue). It’s very Hawaiian, though she points out many cultures have their own take on it. Your first thought probably is, this doesn’t look like mochi – isn’t that a Japanese ice cream treat you can’t eat just one of? Well, this is a little different, though it has the same consistency but is more like an Americanized cake version. It will all make sense when you make it and taste it. Promise.IMG_3764IMG_3767It’s quick to prepare, which is rad, but takes an hour to bake. Set your oven to 350, find a 13 x 9 baking pan, and then gather your ingredients. I got the Mochiko flour from my local Korean grocery market in Echo Park.

The only thing that takes any time is melting the stick of butter and then cooling it. Just melt it on low, and pull it off the flame immediately and it will cool down pretty quickly.

IMG_3778Be patient (as usual).

Combine all the dry ingredients in one bowl, and the wet stuff in another. Then slowly add the wet to the dry and mix. “There needs to be no fear of overmixing,” advises Cathy. So just mix away. I used the Kitchenaide, because, why not? IMG_3793IMG_3805IMG_3808Pour it all into the baking dish, put it in the oven, and kick back. My friend Sofi and I watched “Cronos” while we waited. When the timer went off, we paused the film and lurked over the pan, waiting for it to cool enough for us to dig in and have a nice, warm piece.IMG_3847The first bite reactions to the Butter Mochi were great.IMG_3867IMG_3914IMG_3904Everyone who tried it immediately tripped out on the taste, then the texture, all the while experiencing ecstasy because it’s really really good!IMG_3889IMG_3919Sharon described it as a cross of cornbread and gummy bears. I think it’s probably one of the great stoner foods, not that the rest of the general population won’t love it too. It has the sweet, thick, kinda super creamy consistency mochi does, but it’s like a brownie. A buttery, yummy, island style brownie.IMG_3891Yep, I’m a true fan of Kauai, as Sofi is pointing out and when I was a wee pup I ran off to live in Waikiki Beach with kids I met on Dead tour. Good times. 

Let the butter mochi cool and wrap what you don’t eat right away in plastic and keep it in the fridge. When you want to scarf it again, either leave it out at room temp or microwave it.IMG_3899