A.G. Newsletter #12: Lobster Rolls, Oatmeal in a Rice Cooker & Il Cantuccio

Hello Readers,

First of all, in case you haven't checked the blog yet today, don't miss the post I just posted: "How To Make Your Own Lobster Roll." This was such a simple, satisfying, summery dinner---and because lobsters are so prevalent right now, cheap too!

You've gotta admit, that picture made you hungry.

Last week was a frantic week of making phone calls to chefs in Washington, D.C. and Chicago for my book (the premise of the book being I cook with different chefs all over the country). I'm planning to visit D.C. the week of July 7th and then Chicago the 2nd week in August. If you're reading this and you know any prominent D.C. or Chicago chefs, please write me... I could use all the help I can get!

Otherwise, remember that rice cooker I blogged about last week? I made steel-cut oatmeal in it after my readers told me I could do so:

The oatmeal tasted great and was much easier than cooking it on the stove for 45 minutes (as anyone who's made steel-cut oats before knows, it really does take that long; though, when I was really into eating them, I'd drop them into a pot of boiling water the night before, turn off the heat, put on the lid and let it sit. The next morning I'd bring it back to a boil and it finished cooking in 7 minutes.) That method I just described in the parentheses is still the best method, I think, even better than the rice cooker which--though quiet and convenient--made a bit of a mess with the oatmeal juices shooting out the hole at the top.

Finally, I went to a really charming place for lunch last week on Christopher Street and Bleecker called Il Cantuccio. It's a strange place, new and pretty empty; they're known, primarily, for their focaccia. When I ordered a focaccia sandwich the Italian woman behind the counter (who was incredibly eager and had a delightfully authentic accent) suggested I try the one with tomatoes and fresh mozzarella and basil:

This was a bit too carb-tastic in terms of my normal lunch routine (it was almost like eating a giant slab of bread with some stuff inside) but the focaccia itself was really wonderful; crunchy in places, salty in others, not too greasy and especially crisp on the ends. Next time I have a dinner party, I may drop in here first to buy some focaccia to put out on the table. You should too--they need the business!

Ok, I better get going; I've got serious chef-planning to do.

Until next week!

Your friend,
Adam (The Amateur Gourmet)

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