Lemon Caper Perch

I don’t think I’ve ever had perch before, and saw it in the grocery store, so I decided to try it.  Since I have no experience with it, I just threw it in a bag with lemon juice and capers and cooked it at 140 degrees during a few meetings …


In hindsight, I should have gone with my instincts and cooked it at 130 instead.  But it was still pretty good.

Yet another example that simple recipes can be fast, easy, and also great.



Overly complicated recipes are often overly complicated.  The best recipes feature a small number of excellent ingredients, and let the excellence of the ingredients and the appropriateness of the pairing drive the success of the dish.

The exception is of course the egg.  It’s one of the few raw ingredients that can be made into a large number of delicious one ingredient recipes.  Most other recipes need at least two, and Raclette needs exactly two.


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Best Meal of the Trip: Salt Lake City

The winner is actually a place I have been to before on a previous trip.  It was recommended by a colleague who is a big fan of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and used it to plan his trip meals.  You’d never think to get a Philly Cheesesteak in Salt Lake City, unless you were FROM Salt Lake City, and knew about Moochie’s Meatballs and More!


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Another Lunch

Skin-on chicken thighs are one of my favorites, despite the fact that they are increasingly hard to find in grocery stores in reasonable quantities (<4 lbs).  Usually I stew them, but sometimes I also roast them:


These were brined overnight and seasoned with garlic, rosemary, and thyme, then roasted in a 425 degree oven for 30 minutes.  The sauce is a simple dijon mustard and lemon juice pan sauce, thickened with flour.

The skin was dried with a paper towel after being taken out of the brine, and lightly dusted with cornstarch.  It ended up amazingly crispy (as if it were fried), while the chicken was nice and tender and tasty.


Best Meal of the Trip: Runners up

Had to go to Simi Valley for work at the end of January, so I made the trip a bit longer, and spent both weekends in Los Angeles.  No point in racing home to be in Pittsburgh in February!!  Anyway, it’s always fun deciding on and posting the best meal of the trip; this time since it was a relatively long trip in an area with good restaurants, there were a lot of strong candidates and even the losers are worth a blog post.

First, Baja Cantina:


It’s right near the Venice Pier.  This is the Enchiladas Suizas, my favorite dish there.

Continue reading Best Meal of the Trip: Runners up