Monday, August 30, 2010

At brillobox.

Pulled pork tacos with chipotle crema and avocado corn salsa

As long as we're clear this isn't just a porn forum for my hangover cures I thought it was best to begin introducing the dishes I've been working on at my neighborhood's smart haunt, Brillobox.

Headaches and recursive anxiety attacks aside it has been a slender miracle putting a menu of dishes out. Ideas that seemed from the outset fully formed and precise took to wild growth spurts and contentious trial and error efforts. All for the best mind you, the food just gets better every day.

Unquestionably the white whale in this undertaking has been the perfection of macaroni and cheese--specifically the besting of our local fave made by the exalted Kelly's Bar and Lounge in East Liberty. Nothing against the folks--truth be told I'm kinda warm on their kitchen magic myself. But, you know, I want to be better.

I began with a cream reduction and a fifty-fifty mixture of Gruyere and Beemser Vlaskaas--a pedigree combo that bore out responses of continental hauteur and, well, lack of being impressed.

Change came.

Up went the Gruyere--the melty string section. I introduced a bright yellow cheddar for flavor and visual appeal. The eyes that eat while the palate eats demand gold in their dishes, so I obliged.

Next came the issue of the crust, which my predecessor adressed in a rather sharply biblical manner by dusting his dish with fried shallots reminiscent of dehydrated locusts. They had to go.

I went with grainy breadcrumbs, grated Pecorino Pepata and finely chopped fried sage leaves. The oil those leaves hold onto is more than ample along with what is exuded from the Pecorino for creating a browned exterior in the oven--a point of prowess in fact. There is a conjugal moment when, mouth hovering, the individual pierces the crust with a creme brulee-like K sound and the term of astonishment is at hand.

Perhaps--in regard to perfection, it remains a periodical thing, something requiring more adaptation and more forward movement. For now it's just grand. Every time someone mentions Kelly's in the same mouthful of it--for better or worse, I inch closer to that grail. It is well within reach.

Caprese Panini--nationalist Italian salad relegated to poor divine grilled cheese sammich status. The humanity.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


It has been too sultry to write new recipes til now, so a few are on the way, rest assured.

Yesterday morning with fecundity common these days to my bewilderments at dawn I gave birth to another silly sandwich. Seen above is a panini of oil-poached chicken, fried egg, tomato, chili aoili and kyori zuke pickles. Convert this into a shot and I'll have a child with you.

The race is on.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The fez.

Got home at 5am and all I wanted was a sandwich and to hear Steely Dan's "The Fez". I came up with this gallant device: Egg still runny, yellow cheese, mortadella with pistachios and chipotle mayo on a Mancini's jalapeno roll. My asshole is gonna sue me.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Dawn, late summer.

The aperture of summer tightens still: The lifeguards at the Polish Hill pool stopped blowing the whistle when we sneak in flips and dangerous dives. Each day I walk up the Bloomfield Bridge and am met by a haunting breeze; it is coming.

Seen here is a cocoa raspberry custard with dulce de leche, vanilla hazelnut granola and a cinnamon toast cone. Calories, friends. This summer we burns em, this summer we east em...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Little nothing.

I wonder if I shouldn't burn my anthology of Chinese poetry and the lp of Wild Nothing's Gemini when this summer ends. Mind you, I'm too economical these days to follow through even if quixotic concensus should prevail. Nevertheless, exiting this summer in a mild August I'm already turning back on it and asking myself if with plaster, government funding and a second imagination to assist, could I ever replicate this thing we are leaving?

Seen above is one Pittsburgh blue beef slider eaten from atop Mencken's Chrestomathy at approximately 6:30AM sometime last week. Miss Ella was asleep and, for posterity, the news of the previous day was good.

Bruce Foster of Lawrenceville provided the Wyoming Black Angus, there's a Martin's roll, Heinz pickle and ketchup, minced onion and a bit of the furious Mr. Mustard brand mustard. It takes the crippling of families and their generations to achieve the most recognizable kinds of wealth. Others we wake up to in destined preparedness.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Everything is euphoric.

In search of a word.

There was one moment when Miri, Dan and me were eating egg yolk tacos at 4 AM, listening to Jorge Ben and I figured it was as grand as food or feelings could ever get. Miri's idea was that there should be no pictures because how could that possibly compare to what was really happening: Let's just rely on the heat of memory; Burping, farting, eating, listing and being ideal.


for the sake of posterity:

Pate of avocado, tomatoes, garlic and jalapeno. It rained tacos.

A simulation involving skirt, peas, cabbage relish, sweet corn, goat cheese, pineapple rundown, jalapeno, avocado pate and rice.