• Posted by Califia Suntree on July 2nd, 2014, 12:28 PM

    I love living in apartments–you can keep your houses with their lawn care, leaky roofs, and energy guzzling! But, there are two things about house-dwelling that I covet: the mudroom, and a big old grill. (Apartment-dwellers with patios or decks pretty much have it all.) Grilling is my favorite way to cook almost everything, whether it’s salmon or peaches or asparagus (or…squirrel). While most people associate grilling with summer, every season offers foods that improve with a bit of char (think red meat, sweet onions, bok choy, winter squash). Year-round grilling is particularly easy if you do your grilling indoors, as I’ve always done, and as all fellow apartment dwellers ought to try. All you need is a heavy cast-iron grill pan and a good ventilating hood (or an open window), and you’re in action. I’ve had a brilliant, sturdy Victoria reversible grill pan for years, which has a griddle on the flip side perfect for pancakes. But there are oodles of grill pans out there, in various colors, sizes and price points. (I love this pretty Le Creuset number, and Lodge is always a reliable choice.) Yard or no, it’s time to get grilling! Here’s a recipe to try–stovetop-grilled marinated pork chops. Serve them with kimchi and rice, and grilled carrots dressed with sesame oil and a bit of soy.

    Korean Style Pork Chops

    Makes 4 servings Read on… »

  • Posted by Califia Suntree on July 26th, 2012, 7:25 PM

    My response to this New York Times article on eating rats (for art) at a gallery on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, in summary:

    * News you can use! “The rats were shipped from a United States Department of Agriculture-approved West Coast processor that supplies pet owners with humanely killed, individually flash-frozen rodents, in classifications ranging from ‘jumbo’ to ‘fuzzy.’”

    * What is “ratpork”?

    * The guests, who paid a whopping $100 per person (and were, no surprise, “mostly friends” of the artist)–had to sign a liability waiver. Bu those rats are USDA certified! What gives?!

    * Who is this Yuri Hart? Someone give him a real kitchen. He’s earned it.

  • Posted by Califia Suntree on May 14th, 2012, 9:50 PM

    I knew something was up earlier today, when I walked past Mélisse (the haute cuisine temple whose chef raids my yard for edible weeds), and passed a small knot of tatted up, grim looking hipsters having some sort of pow-wow outside the restaurant. (Though I often exclaim like a grandmother at the parade of sloppy clothes on diners heading in for a multi-hundred dollar feast at Mélisse, the hand-knitted shawl and ripped Ts were a shade too funky, even by L.A. standards.) They hastily folded up what looked like a banner (which was, in fact, a banner) and rushed off, giving me conspiratorial glances. Next thing I know, the street is full of cop cars and TV news vans, and a full-fledged protest is going on outside. Turns out, tonight’s the night that big-shot chefs in Northern and Southern California got together to protest the upcoming statewide ban on foie gras by preparing six-course menus featuring the fatty delicacy in every course. July 1 is it for foie fanatics (though you can be sure there will be a lively trade in smuggled paté).

    Read on… »

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  • Posted by Califia Suntree on February 9th, 2012, 9:32 AM

    In this week’s installment of green-living website Grist‘s “Protein Angst” series: eating squirrels. It’s a subject that we covered way back in 2008 (in an essay by Steve Rinella and a squirrel-cooking tutorial), but it just keeps coming back. The benefits are many, as the Grist piece points out, and drawbacks are few. Among them: you need a gun and a sharpshooter’s eye (or a squirrel-hunting friend), they’re easy to turn tough if you don’t know how to prepare them, and you can’t eat the brains.

    Al rodente: Could squirrel meat come back into vogue? | Grist.

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