Nik Sharma's Passion Fruit Pavlova Doughnut

Hey everyone--

Did you enjoy the big game yesterday? That's nice: I was watching another Big Game called Antiques Roadshow on PBS. A man learned that his Rolex watch that he bought in the Air Force was worth half a million dollars and then he fainted. Beat that, Super Bowl.

My guest this week on Lunch Therapy is a beloved figure in the food world, Mr. Nik Sharma:

Nik is the award-winning author of the cookbook Season, the creator of the pioneering food blog A Brown Table, and a regular recipe columnist for The San Francisco Chronicle. In today's session, Nik talks about his recent move to L.A., how the food scene here compares to the food scene in San Francisco, growing up in India, his early interest in science, how science impacts his cooking, and why he detests turnips. We also talk about his coming out, how it was a criminal offense to be gay in India, his family's reaction, his moving to the States to go to grad school, and how and why he quit his PhD program to become a food writer.

CLICK HERE to listen.

And let's not make a big deal about it this week, but if you can click that link and write a nice review I'd really, really appreciate it. (In case you're wondering why I make this request every week, every week one or two of you come through and it means so much to me. I'm getting emotional just thinking about it!)

Oh, and if you like to pry into other people's relationships, the start of this week's episode involves me and Craig fighting about our most intimate marital subject: DOUGHNUTS. You may think I'm kidding, but I'm not.

Speaking of Craig... it was his birthday this weekend!

We started the celebration on Friday night at Auburn, one of our favorite restaurants in L.A.

That's Craig enjoying Époisses -- a cow's milk cheese -- drizzled over sunchokes. That was his dessert! (Guess a candle would've sunk into it....)

Here's my sad tale: I'd been taking fish oil supplements (on doctor's orders to get my good cholesterol up) and somewhere in the middle of this meal, I became intensely nauseous. So as much as I enjoyed these charred persimmons over freshly made cheese curds:

By the time I got to the quail, I could barely nibble on the mini leg.

So I'm going to take a break from fish oil supplements for a while. (The pills are enormous, anyway, and I'm convinced that I have a greater chance of choking on one than I do dying of heart disease.)

Here's Craig's sad tale: the next morning, after this dinner, Craig woke up with a terrible cold. So we had to reschedule all his planned birthday events for next weekend. (Luckily, our friends were game to reschedule.)

Last night, Craig requested that I make him his favorite roast chicken (you can read my roast chicken secrets here) so I gladly obliged, and went a little heavier on the butter (it was his birthday after all).

It was one of the best ones I've ever made: I think I got the ratio of vegetables to chicken to salt and butter down right this time. Call me and I'll explain what I mean by that.

Finally, I had kohlrabi in my fridge from a trip to the farmer's market and wasn't sure what to do with it earlier last week. I also had some Brussels sprouts lying around. So I sliced the Brussels in half, peeled the kohlrabi and cubed it, and then threw everything into a large pan with already heated olive oil (about 1/4 cup) and sprinkled everything with salt.

The key here was just to keep cooking it and cooking it until everything was brown and tender. At a certain point it was getting SO brown, I decided to add some liquid -- apple cider vineger and a little water -- and to cover the pan with a giant lid.

That did the trick: the kohlrabi was sweet and caramelized and sharp with that addition of vinegar. I served it alongside some salmon.

Ok, that's all for this week folks!

Until next time....

Your friend,
Adam (the "please review my podcast" guy)