Four Minutes of Fame, Part I

hinted at it. I accidentally blurted it out.  But finally, I’m able to talk about it in all its glorious, fabulous details. On Monday, March 22nd, I’ll be on the “Today Show.”

The interesting thing is I’ve been plotting this for 33 years.

When I was a junior in high school, we were going on a field trip to New York City. At that time I was gaga for anything NYC, partly because I grew up in a town with fewer than 10,000 residents—and that included cows, chicken, cats, dogs, and guinea pigs. And partly because I wanted to be an actor. Although I lived only 3 hours away by train, I had never been to the center of the universe, but I was dying to go. There were two options for the field trip: a tour of the United Nations (how boring) or a tour of the “Today Show” set. I knew where I was going. But on the morning of the trip, while the buses idled in front of the school, we waited, and waited, and waited. Eventually we were told the trip was off. (I think it had something to do with liability.) I went to chemistry class completely and utterly bereft.

I thought the stages of NBC were forever out of my reach. Read more »

The Secrets Behind Milk Mayonnaise

Update August 16, 2014:

I discovered something very interesting about this milk mayonnaise recipe today, and I want to share it with you because I think it could affect your results. I recently bought a new immersion blender, which is my preferred method of making milk mayonnaise. It’s less powerful than my older one, and the consistency of the mayonnaise mixture turned out thinner than usual. Hmmmm. So then I really leaned on the blender, but to no avail. That’s when I added 2 more tablespoons oil to the milk mayonnaise, and that did the trick to thicken it. So keep in mind: Equipment can affect the success of this recipe.–David

It’s the unlikeliest of couples. One thin and popular, the other fat and shunned. Each repelled by the other. But when senselessly beaten into a frenzied submission, oh, how they cave! These two frenemies suddenly give in and embrace one other, creating a more perfect union.

Sound like a bad episode of The Marriage Ref? Not surprising. When these culinary opposites—milk and oil—are thrown together, they act a lot like warring spouses, which makes their participation in the creation of Portuguese maionese de leite (may-o-NEZ duh late), or milk mayonnaise, all the more amazing.

I encountered this ghostly white condiment a few years ago in Portugal while trolling the country for recipes for my cookbook. But on our first date I didn’t see it in its shocking bare-naked form. Instead it played the role of a fiendishly good green olive dip at Restaurante A Bolota, in the Alentejo. It was so good, in fact, The One didn’t stand a chance. I singlehandedly mopped up the entire bowl with hunks of bread while he nattered away with the restaurant owner, Antonieta Cocheirnha Tarouca, and the chef, Ilda Vinagre. When he looked at the bowl then at me, I just shrugged. Read more »

Eating Oscar

This Sunday, at my own exclusive petite soirée attended by just The One, our very in-the-know entertainment publicist friend, Ellen, and moi, I want to sidestep the usual lineup of smarmy suspects for Academy Awards party fare. We have a close friend who’s a Hollywood event planner, so I’ve seen and heard it all, from the divine to the ridiculous. And I’ve devoured just about every permutation of show chow at glammed-up (or, worse, funked-down) NYC parties, including Oscar-shaped grilled cheese-and-bacon-sandwiches, glittery gold-leaf desserts, and black-tie nibbles (read: nothing but black-and-white food, such as caviar and sour cream on squid ink blini). And, of course, anything served on silver plates so guests could admire themselves almost as much as their favorite egomaniacal nominees.

This year, I’m going for something a little easier, a little less forced. To come up with possible dishes I played a game of word association, or rather, nomination association. It went like this: Renee and I faced each other, and she shot the name of a nominee at me. I said the first recipe that popped into my head, based upon my vast, deep, and preternatural understanding of every recipe and every last piece of minutiae on this site. Read more »

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