Monthly Archives: February 2015
Tonight I was one of the lucky few to get a reservation to Test Kitchen’s second (of four) night schedule “testing” the menu for Red Medicine, L.A.’s upcoming punk-meets-Vietnamese restaurant. For a little background, Test Kitchen is a new restaurant concept by Bill Chait (Rivera, Spark Woodfire Grill) and Brian Saltsburg (Boyz Night Out Supper Club), giving some of L.A.’s top chefs a temporary space to “test” out dishes in the works for future restaurant projects. It’s a brilliant concept; various chefs rotate through the Test Kitchen and share their potential plates with the palates of Angelenos.
We arrived right on time at 6pm — Test Kitchen is located in the Pico Boulevard space that previously housed Spark Woodfire Grill — and were immediately escorted to the bar. Matthew Doerr, Red Medicine’s Bar Manager, was mixing up five featured cocktails as well as bespoke/dealer’s choice libations. I ordered a bespoke cocktail — “anything with basil and vodka in it” were my only instructions. The basil turned out to be wonderfully fragrant, with a hint of citrus from grapefruit juice and tartness from the ginger beer. My guest ordered the #5 (Red Medicine doesn’t name their cocktails), made with Plymouth Gin, Lemon, cherry heering, kambucha and sparkling. His reaction? It was ordinary. However, later in the evening he ordered the #3, which was anything but ordinary, made with Redemption Rye 2yr, Luksusowa, pickled peaches, lime, mint and ginger beer. It was fantastic. I am not a whiskey drinker and the combination of the whiskey with the pickled seasonal peaches, hint of mint and lime was great.
We sat down and the dishes just started coming. The whole idea behind Test Kitchen is that, aside from cocktails, you’re not ordering anything. There are no substitutions, there are no vegetarian options. There is a wave of twelve prix fixe, family-style dishes that just start making their way to your tabletop, ready or not. You’re there as a test subject, not as a decision-making diner; which was just fine with us.
Everyone knows you need to get a truck or a van if you’re moving because you can’t be that dude who tries to move by taking 20 loads in your sedan, no friend will want to help you on that quest, no matter how much beer and pizza you promise them. So there you go, to the moving van rental place, and rent your van for the move. But vans are great vehicles for more than just moving. Don’t waste the opportunity to exploit the many great uses there are for moving vans. Come in and let me show you the world of moving vans!
Getting Free Stuff
One thing you can say about a van: you can put a whole lot of stuff in there. So if you’ve ever browsed CraigsList and wondered who could possibly haul away that piano or giant oversized sofa, the answer is: people with vans can. So that means the only thing preventing you from getting all that free wood or free dirt they offer is having the capacity to bring it. Go to www.avonrents.com and rent a van for the day and spend the whole time filling it up with stuff and unloading it back at your house. You can refurnish the den, get a winter’s worth of fire wood, and probably lots of old TV’s for the cost of rental and gas. It’ll be a gas!
Feeling like You’re On Tour
If you are in a band and are not on tour but have a local gig, you might want to have some fun with the boys and rent a van to go to the gig in. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of arriving to the venue with the entire band and all your gear in one spot, piling out of the van and checking in with the venue. Want to feel cool? Act and therefore be cool. Get that van and unload it with the swagger of a touring band when you’re really just a local act. Who knows, maybe you’ll catch the bug and want to do it more often. At any rate, driving a van is really fun, and you’ll feel like you’ve struck it big if even just for the evening. Definitely worth splurging on now and then to remind yourself that you’re in it for the fun and don’t take yourselves too seriously.
Another good use for a big moving van is loading it up with dogs and taking them to the dog park. You can’t get all the dogs you may need to take to the park in your sedan, so rent a van and bring them all at once. If you’re at the level of needing a van, you can definitely afford it and it’ll make your job so much easier. That’s the secret to making money as a dog walker anyway, getting a lot of dogs on the same run at the same time. If you figure that out, you’re well on your way to making millions, and soon you’ll be able to buy your own van anyway.
- Store bought puff pastry dough, e.g. Dufour Pastry Kitchens
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
- 1/8 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3/4 tablespoon liqueur (Grand Marnier, Brandy, Kirsch) (optional)
- 1 cup mixed fruit, such as raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, etc.
Fill the bottom of each tart shell with a thin layer of chocolate glaze
|Cornbread, Sausage and Pecan Stuffing
That said, something magical happens when you bake said Stove Top inside a turkey cavity. It becomes moist, fluffy and heavenly; which is exactly why I’ve asked my mom to make it and bring it to the first Thanksgiving Bryan and I are hosting at our home. But new hosts mean new traditions and I’m going gourmet with “my” stuffing. It might be sourdough and sweet Italian sausage, cornbread with roasted fall vegetables or an oldie but a goodie recipe from Gourmet circa 1975. Whatever we choose, we’ll certainly give thanks for recipes old and the new.
Use store-bought or homemade cornbread; Bon Appetit recommends Jiffy mix (you’ll need two boxes).
Roasted carrots, parsnips, and rutabagas add great depth of flavor.
3. SOURDOUGH, WILD MUSHROOM AND BACON DRESSING
Toasty sourdough, earthy wild mushrooms and bacon. Can it get any better? Actually yes; add some bacon drippings for extra moisture and flavor.
|Lemony Mushroom and Pine Nut
4. LEMONY MUSHROOM-AND-PINE NUT STUFFING MUFFINS
5. SAGE STUFFING FROM GOURMET MAGAZINE, 1975
A mixture of white bread and cornbread crumbs soak up butter, cream and a variety of herbs. Add in chicken livers and this is the closest to “mom’s” original stuffing recipe you’ll ever find.