A.G. Newsletter #137: Milo & Olive, Fancy Juice, Fattoush, Silverlake Wine and Diana's Emmy Meatballs

Hey there newsletter fans,

Considering that I started my whole career with Janet Jackson Breast Cupcakes, you won't be surprised to learn that yesterday I made Miley Cyrus Tongue Cookies. Because she sticks her tongue out a lot. And I thought it would be funny. See?

Post to Facebook, e-mail to your friends. They'll love it! (Plus, unlike the real thing, these actually taste good.)

If that's too lowbrow for you, I bet you'll enjoy this version of homemade pasta that I posted last week: Pici (Handmade Pasta For Idiots).

It's pasta you make yourself without a pasta machine. Just mix together flour, egg, and water, knead for a few minutes, wrap in plastic and 30 minutes later you make little snakes like you're playing with Play-Dough. That's it. Pici. Who knew?

Finally, if you missed last week's Clean Plate Club, it's a really fun episode: I confront Eater co-founder Ben Leventhal about calling me "The Naked Cowboy" back in 2005 and our pal Mark Heyman talks about writing Black Swan.

Now, on to newsletter business....

Last Wednesday, I dropped Craig off at L.A.X. because he had to go back to New York to finish edits on his movie. As with all things in my life, I took this as an opportunity to go eat something delicious. Because I'd be on the west side and near the highway and because it was early in the morning, I thought I would go get croissants at Maison Giraud in Santa Monica. At least I thought it was in Santa Monica. Only, I found myself following the weirdest directions on my phone that had me taking the 405 North and connecting with the 101 and after 45 minutes of this (and after an hour of getting to the airport with Craig), I gave up and just turned back around and got off in Santa Monica on Wilshire.

At that point, I tried to go to the farmer's market and couldn't find a parking spot (after circling a large garage). As you might guess: I was getting annoyed at this point. So I decided to treat myself to lunch at a place I've long wanted to try: Milo and Olive.

It was only 12 o'clock when I rolled in there, which was perfect because it wasn't crowded at all. Sunlight filled the space and I loved how it was designed, with an open kitchen and a bakery case with lots of delicious looking breads on display. I grabbed a seat at the counter.

I just missed breakfast (which seemed like a real loss because all of the pastries looked so good) so chose one of the lunch specials: a kale and Fontina panini on a baguette with an apple salad.

It may not look like much but this was really something else. That apple salad was so fresh-tasting and well-balanced, I was really in awe of it. And the sandwich was equal parts virtuousness (kale!) and sin (cheese!); it was a fantastic lunch that made up for a sucky morning drive.

A few days later, in Atwater Village, I found myself near a juice shop that charges $8 for juice. It was later in the day, I'd already had lunch and dinner was a ways off, so I figured: "Why not?" Here is my $8 green juice:

And here's what was in it:

There's that kale again. (Did you guys read the New York Times article about how kale isn't really catching on in Paris but that's starting to change because it's "tres Brooklyn"?)

The juice was fine, not really revelatory or anything. It tasted like green juice. I guess the $8 price tag is because some people drink this as a meal. And if I were on a cleanse or something, I guess I'd be glad to have this as an option. Note: if you ever see me drinking this as a meal, please shoot me.

On Thursday night last week, a day after The Clean Plate Club podcast that's going to go up tomorrow, I had leftover lamb-stuffed eggplant (recipe to come) so I invited my friends John and Michael over to have some. I also made the Fattoush salad that I blogged about not long ago. Here they are with their lovely Ottolenghi food:

And speaking of Ottolenghi: I just posted a recipe for his beet dip. It's colorful stuff!

On Saturday, I checked out a wine shop near me that always seemed hard to find but it's actually pretty easy: Silverlake Wine.

I was cooking a steak for myself that night and here's what the guy there recommended. It's only now that I realize what it says on the bottle: how lonely!

But actually it was nice to have a quiet night to myself. I watched the Robert Altman movie "The Long Goodbye" which I enjoyed. And the steak was so good but I can't tell you why yet. You'll understand later.

Finally, on Sunday I went to Mark and Diana's to watch the Emmy's. Diana cooked up a wonderful feast with...wait for it, wait for it...KALE salad to start. (This is the KALE NEWSLETTER!)

This was really wonderful. Diana pulverized a half a clove of garlic in a mortar and pestle and made a dressing with lemon juice (or was it white wine vinegar) and olive oil then tossed that with the kale, golden raisins and Pecorino cheese. It's a great combination.

The real star, though, were the meatballs she made from the Frankie's cookbook:

These were fantastic meatballs with an unbelievably light texture and pine nuts that gave a great, surprising textural component. These may be the best meatballs I've ever had. So thanks for making them, Diana! (Oh and if you want to know what Diana sounds like, she fills in for Craig on tomorrow's podcast.)

That's all for this week folks!

Until next time....

Your friend,
Adam (The Amateur Gourmet)

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