Oysters and Lobster Rolls

Plus: Chelsea Peretti, Fall Cooking, and New Plants.

Hey everyone,

Craig and I had a spontaneous date night on Saturday when we took Winston to the Silverlake dog park. Instead of walking back to our car, we walked down Silver Lake Blvd., to one of our favorite spots: L&E Oyster Bar for oysters and lobster rolls (well, I had a lobster roll, Craig had a burger).

Here’s my handsome date:

And here’s my handsome lobster roll:

They give you a choice at L&E: warm lobster with butter or cold lobster with mayo. I polled my Twitter followers recently on which they preferred and the majority was pro-butter, but I’m a mayo guy when it comes to lobster rolls, probably because my platonic ideal of a lobster roll is the one that Rebecca Charles serves at Pearl Oyster Bar in New York.

Mayo seems to extend the lobster flavor and helps it seep into the bun, which is why I like it. Either way, though, a lobster roll on this September night was the perfect summer-into-fall transition dinner. And Winston enjoyed the potato chip that I gave him:

Hey, so guess who we have on Lunch Therapy this week? The one, the only, Chelsea Peretti.

You may know Chelsea from her role as Gina Linetti on Brooklyn 99, or from her hilarious Netflix stand-up special, but now you’ll know her for her idiosyncratic sushi order at Sugarfish. Hear all about her sushi choices, her love for artichokes, her resistance to sun-dried tomatoes (except when I cook them), and whether or not she thinks I could kill a cow.

CLICK HERE to listen.

And while you’re there, check out this bonus episode of Lunch Therapy that I released on Thursday.

In this one-man solo performance, I spent 47 minutes (or so) walking you through everything that I do when I plan and cook a dinner party. How do I think up the menu? What do I make first? Do I make appetizers, an entree, AND dessert? How do I time everything? What if there’s a vegetarian?

CLICK HERE to listen.

So besides podcasting, what else have I been up to?

Well, Gideon and I are turning in our manuscript for Give My Swiss Chards to Broadway this Friday, so I’ve been doing some final recipe testing based on the super helpful notes my recipe testing volunteers sent me over the past few weeks. (Thanks to everyone who helped and/or volunteered!).

I can’t tell you the pun, but here’s a chicken dish with rice and plantains that came out even better the second time around.

I also perfected a tuna casserole in the book, doubling the amount of béchamel, which made it way creamier and more decadent.

In non-cookbook cooking, I made these buttermilk waffles with breakfast sausages the other day.

I used this recipe from Food Network, only slightly concerned that my buttermilk was past it’s expiration date. I read a lot online about how to tell if your buttermilk is spoiled, and since mine didn’t smell nasty or look discolored, I went ahead and used it. I think that we we survived (unless we didn’t, and this is the afterlife. Twist!)

I also transitioned us into fall with these pork chops, roasted purple potatoes, and some apple butter that Ben Mims gifted me.

This may be my favorite fall dinner: the combination of pork chops with apple anything (butter, chutney, etc.) is killer.

Now, in plant news, we had some scraggly, sad palm trees from Home Depot next to our TV that depressed me every time I saw them. So our friend Antonio, a plant guru, came over last week for an intervention.

(That’s the sad palm I was telling you about. Don’t worry, we didn’t throw it away; we moved it to the back room.)

Antonio took Craig to Mickey Hargitay Plants and they came back with two beauties.

This one, whose name I forget, is all spiky and tall and very alive.

And this one, which I believe is called a Monstera.

That one’s my favorite and apparently it’ll keep growing, like a vine, so if I wind up like Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors (the stage play, not the movie), it was nice knowing you.

Now for some links that caught my attention this week:

That’s all for this week folks!

If you missed Thursday’s paid subscribers only dispatch, I wrote about my favorite fall recipes. If you’d like to read that, get future Thursday newsletters, and have access to my full archives, here’s a discount code for 20% off forever. It’s cheaper than a cocktail at a fancy bar!

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Until next time….

Your friend,