Monthly Archives: January 2011

Grilled Cheese at the Druckin Foundry

I have two words for you: Grilled. Cheese. Y’all know that I’m a sandwich slut. I even love the high school cafeteria flavor of  cheap white bread and American cheese food. Either way, I’m IN. But this, this work of art at The Foundry in LA – well. No cafeteria lunch lady ever served a sandwich like this:

I love it so much that I can't even look at it.

It’s raisin bread. Tallegio cheese. Apricot caper puree. And optional short ribs, which add texture and a little sweetness. All buttered up. Crunchy, sweet, savory, meaty, cheesy. It’s won contests. It deserves its own anthem. I wanted to order another one immediately, but there were other tasty treats requiring my attention, like the burger:

Bite me! Please!

Chef Eric Greenspan himself came out to explain that the meat gets its extra richness from a tablespoon or two of duck fat. HELL YES. My crazy friends ordered ahi, to cut the richness of all the comfort foods, wasting valuable tummy space. AMATEURS. Clearly, I will not be picturing it, but I’m sure it was perfectly acceptable.

Are ya gonna eat yer tots? Name the movie, win a prize.

The “tater tots” were light and ethereal fried puffs of potato, with a lavender mustard sauce for dipping. I’m not a big fan of flowers in food anyway, and I found myself longing for ketchup’s acidic tang. The menu says they come with cheese fondue, which pulled me in because clearly — I hadn’t had enough cheese. But there was nary fondue to be found, unless it was inside that tiny ramekin that looked to be full of mayo. Not so much.

GOSH you flickr folks take gorgeous pix. Please keep it up!

The baked potato soup with bacon leek bread pudding and a fried egg was very savory but (if I’m honest) I found the slippery bits of egg and the chewy islands of pudding swimming in my soup kind of unnerving, texturally. Still though, the exceptional service and the gorgeous deconstructed lemon meringue dessert more than made up it:

The meringue looks like blow-torched balls in this picture. Those who can't, judge.

I hate it when dessert at pricey restaurants is A. an afterthought and B. so conceptual that they forget to make it taste good. This had a buttery pastry triangle, bits of fresh lemon bathed in puckery curd, and what tasted like campfire roasted marshmallow fluff meringue. SO GOOD. They even treated awesome pal Ken to a birthday plate of warm doughnuts, complete with candle.

But let’s face it. It’s all about the sandwich. It’s a pin-up poster for people who love sandwiches. I’m going to blow it up, put it on my wall and lick it, once a day.

Goodbye, my almost lover.

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Druckin Tasty Peppermint Brownies

Oh, 2011 is only a few days old and I’m already miles behind. In fairness, I was in Chicago for NYE, toasting my Dad’s 70th bday at Topolobampo and Hot Chocolate. YUM. But I made these brownies way back in 2010, and I cannot forget them. They were, IMO, indescribably delicious.

Please note, my buttercream was not green.

If you know me (and I know you do), I frequently hate the things I bake. In fact, I baked this Bobby Flay coconut cake for Christmas — this time, from SCRATCH — and wasn’t that impressed with the labor/results ratio. Five hours in the kitchen = average tasting cake.

But these brownies were easy and decadent. An irresistible combination, n’est pas? Plus, they got the Christelle seal of approval. (She’s French, so that’s in effect a Michelin star.)

Mine looked just like this, yay!

The perfect brownie texture is hard to achieve. These were beautifully balanced — fudgy, cakey, chewy — and light, not dense. The peppermint buttercream layer is pure genius, and the chocolate on top of that is sexyshinygood.

The sprinkle of crushed candy canes was my own festive addition. I went medieval on them, slyly slipping them into a plastic bag and then WHACK! pounding them mercilessly with the back of a wooden spoon. You can also get them from Williams-Sonoma, if you are fancy like that:

Eat the peppermint snow. But pass up the chocolate.

You can find the recipe for these “Mint Brownies” here at Epicurious. I think it’s adorable that they tell you to serve it with the fresh fruit of your choice. If I have room for fruit, I have room for MORE BROWNIES. Do ya feel me?

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