for August, 2012
The problem with baguettes is that they go stale much too quickly. I used find myself throwing a hard, seemingly useless piece away only a day after enjoying the other half. It was sad, really, and so wasteful. But, happily, that madness is over for me because I’ve learned a crucial lesson: when life gives you old bread, you might as well make croutons.
Seriously, it’s so easy, you’ll freak. Then you’ll double freak when you realize how intensely homemade croutons can perk up your salad or soup.
To facilitate this revelation, all you really need is a little olive oil, your favorite savory seasonings and, of course, bread (see my recipe at the end of this post). First, preheat your oven to 375, then cut your baguette into 1/2 inch slices.
Here’s the scoop: Scoops is now open in Highland Park. You’d hardly know it, but the LA ice cream shop has opened its third location on York Blvd. Currently incognito—there’s no signage—the small storefront is right next door to Italiano’s and not much more than white walls and an ice cream case. There are just a few seats inside right now, but we can expect more decor in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, don’t let its plain Jane exterior hold you back. Go in and try what is arguably the best ice cream in town. Today they were serving up Brown Bread, Banana Oreo, Cherry Rum, Olive Oil Marscapone, and Chocolate Almond to name a few. I’m hoping for Guinness Chocolate in the near future.
They’re open from 2-9 Monday-Saturday, and the prices are great. Together, these two came to about $5.80 total.
5105 York Blvd.
(near the corner of York & Ave. 51)
I was recently invited to a Dodgers food blogger event. It started with a tour of the Dodger offices, the press box, luxury suites, and members-only restaurants, plus a pre-game field walk on. We got to meet self-proclaimed rightfielder foodie Andre Ethier, and there were Nancy Bea and Fernando Valenzuela sightings to boot.
The whole experience came to a crescendo with an Extreme Loaded Dog tasting. If you don’t know, these are grilled Dodger Dogs “loaded” up with an “extreme” combination of components. Case in point: the Tailgate Dog (seen above), topped with beans, barbecue sauce, potato salad and cheese. Surprisingly, this potluck-in-a-bun works quite well and is easily the best of the bunch. In truth, there’s something to be said for many of these dogs—you just have to surrender your decency and commit.
If you’re ready to do that, then let me introduce you to the The Frito Pie Dog. It’s outrageous, but hey, my inner pig couldn’t deny a chili cheese dog covered in Fritos. By comparison, it was way more plausible than its sister, the Big Kid Dog, also sprinkled with chips but unsuccessful with its base of somewhat chalky mac and cheese.
This bread. It’s the reason I never miss Atwater Village Farmers’ Market on Sundays. To me, it’s the main draw. And that’s saying a lot because that little market, though compact, is full of all the stuff I love to eat—top notch fruits and vegetables, fresh meat, fruit pies, artisanal cheeses, and this bread from Mission Viejo’s Old Village Bakery.
There must be fifty Kalamata olives in every loaf. The outer texture is golden and crusty, the inside soft and chewy. It’s a fantastic (extravagantly fanciful; marvelous) addition/focal point to a Sunday morning breakfast:
Though not exactly necessary, adding a thick schmear of unsalted butter or some goat cheese from Soledad Farm’s (also available at the market) is pure bliss. But whether you doctor it up or not, this bread is ideal for sopping up yolky eggs. I imagine it would also be pretty spectacular as part of a chicken salad sandwich or dipped into some soup.
If I could ever make it past breakfast before tearing into it, I’d find out.