October 2019 – A few of my favorite things

My favorite food-related obsessions, learnings, and media from the past month.

What I’ve Learned

Ina Cheat Days

My favorite non-Ina recipes of the month

This month has been all Ina-all-the-time in preparation for some upcoming travel. But I was able to sneak in one non-Ina recipe and it was PHENOMENAL: Okonomiyaki-Style Brussels Sprouts, Sarah Jampel, Bon Appetit.

Talk about an umami bomb. Inspired by okonomiyaki (a Japanese savory pancake) this recipe takes seared Brussels sprouts coats them in a sweet, spicy, ginger glaze made of Worcestershire sauce, ketchup,  honey, rice vinegar, ginger, and shichimi togarashi. You then top with Kewpie mayo, bonito flakes, toasted sesame seeds, and scallions. The layers of flavor hit you in the face … I nearly polished off all two pounds of Brussels sprouts by myself in one night!

Can’t live without

OXO Good Grips Spring-Loaded Poultry Shears: Although these are poultry shears, they are my all-purpose scissors in the kitchen. Sharp, comfortable and (like any good kitchen shears) they come apart for easy cleaning. When a recipe call for chicken, I usually just buy a whole one and break in down – and these scissors make it a cinch! 

Cookbook spotlight

The American Test Kitchen Cooking School Cookbook. When I was first learning to cook, this book was my bible. Whether, like me, you are a beginner or just wanting to improve your skills this book has nearly everything.  And every recipe I’ve made from it has been a hit because the recipes are tested time and again (as would expect from America’s Test Kitchen) Each recipe has a section on common mistakes, what that will lead to, and how to prevent it. I still refer to this often when questioning myself on something in a recipe.  Buy it here.

Some of my favorite recipes:

  • Meatballs and Marinara, page 170
  • Herbed Baked Goat Cheese Salad, page 497

Who I’m loving

While I had been to Momofuku Noodle Bar, Fuku+ and Milk Bar and love each of my visits, I didn’t know much about restauranteur David Chang until the release of his Netflix series, Ugly Delicious in 2018. I was expecting a dude-bro but instead got a funny, thoughtful exploration of the meaning, history, and culture surrounding each dish explored in the episodes.  Reminding us that food is never just food. I particularly love the home cooking episode with his mom. It’s a series I’ve rewatched multiple times in the intervening 2 years.  He also has an amazing podcast The Dave Chang Show that explores how food intersects with nearly every aspect of life from art to football and climate change to political cartoons.

Where you can find David

Restaurant Highlights
  • We celebrated my parent’s 40th wedding anniversary with a prix-fixe lunch at Danny Meyer’s newest restaurant, Manhatta! Situated on the 60th floor in the Financial District, the views are phenomenal and the food was perfection.  The menu changes with the season and if you don’t want to do a prix fixe, you can order a la carte at the bar. As with his other restaurants, this has a no-tipping policy.
  • If you happen to find yourself in Irvington, NY (maybe for the Halloween celebrations in nearby Sleepy Hallow) make a pitstop at Revenge BBQ. Everything was mouthwatering. My favorites were the Triple-Threat – a pulled-pork sandwich with cheese, slaw, chips, and sauce; smoked potato salad; and custard corncake. The pickled onions are the perfect side that cuts through the fatty dishes.
    • Suraya – We came to this Lebanese hotspot for brunch, and I will be back for dinner the next time I’m in Philly. It’s one of the most talked-about restaurants in the city for a reason. Favorites: Za’atar, Labne, Olive, Cucumber, Tomato, Mint Man’oushe; Baba Ganoush; Crispy Chickpea Hummus
    • Weckerly’s Ice Cream – Our Lyft driver said we had to stop here and I’m so grateful. The Apple Toasted Oat Ice Cream Sandwich was out of the world.
    • Perla– This BYOB Filipino spot in South Philly is known for its Wednesday and Sunday evening Kamayan family-style dinner. Since we could only go on Saturday, we ate a la carte. Our favorites: Pancit, Bagnet, and Sinangag.
    • South Philly Barbacoa– We originally planned our trip to Philly after watching Christina Martinez’s episode of Chef’s Table. After hearing her story and seeing her food we knew we needed to check it out. Only open Monday, Saturday and Sunday the place is typically packed. We order the barbacoa, veggie and pork tacos as well as lamb consomme. The barbacoa and pork taco were tasty, but the veggie really stood out to me. And on the grey overcast day, the consomme warmed us up.
Food Media

Podcasts, TV shows, listicles, and short articles I loved this month.

Long(ish) Reads

2 thoughts on “October 2019 – A few of my favorite things

  1. The Kate McKinnon episode of Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner was SO good, wasn’t it? I’ve been to Cambodia before and people always look at me like i have two heads when I tell them I’ve been there and that it was one of my favorite places, but that episode perfectly articulated everything I loved about it.

    Also the fried eggs in cream sounds so delicious to me. Need to make that asap.


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