Wednesday, March 23, 2011

How to Eat (apologies to Nigella)

Black cod with miso is yesterday's news. So are sprouts. Truffle oil is having a long moment, all over everyone's dinner, whether you like it or not. Devilled eggs are hot RIGHT now too.

British readers may be interested to know about sliders. These are an incredible invention and will surely travel across the Atlantic soon. They are tiny weeny burgers so named because they simply 'slide' down your throat. In America it is perfectly acceptable to order 3 sliders as a starter. This is effectively like having one regular British size burger as a starter. Interesting. Of course if you do that in LA you have to have egg white-only omelettes for breakfast, salad with the dressing on the side for lunch, and 4 pieces of sashimi every day for a month to compensate.

Also for the Brits I'd like to spend a moment on  grits, biscuits and gravy:

Grits are not those burnt bits you can buy from the kiosk at an iceskating rink. They are a delicious creamy mix somewhere between polenta and oatmeal. I have enjoyed them with shrimp and creole sauce at Eight K - and at the fabulous Erinn V's Christmas party. Erinn sources hers from New Orleans. She's no fool.

Biscuits are not digestives, rich tea, or custard creams. Sadly America doesn't stock those kind. Instead they make dry, 2-days-old tasting scone, serve them for breakfast, and call them biscuits. Biscuits are marginally more palatable when drenched in gravy. (see below).

Gravy does not involve Bisto, or even Oxo. Here it involves a heck of a lot of sausage meat, extra meat fat, flour, and milk. Sounds rank? It is a bit.
American biscuits and gravy

A British biscuit...
...and gravy

Bleu cheese features heavily in LA. Not 'fromage bleu', which would be a pretentious way of saying blue cheese. Not 'blue cheese' which would presumably lack exoticism. No, 'Bleu cheese'. Usually with the capital B too. Note: despite the name, this is rarely French. It's not even half French, not even just the 'bleu' bits... That's just what they call it here.

And my latest lesson was this weekend at an outstanding goodbye party (thanks M&E, you know how to do it right). Nestled on the buffet next to the crudites and ranch dip was a little tank of weiners, slowcooked in grape jelly and worcestershire sauce. Who knew a slow cooked weiner could be so so delicious? I was so surprised I ate a hundred of the little dudes. Yum.

Now don't say I never tell you anything useful.

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