...to call everyday and spend 20 minutes trying to get through only to find out that I can be 4th in line on their waiting list. I made reservations at Komi instead. The receptionist was so pleasant and had no trouble fitting me in.
Cheese Store of Beverly Hills owner Norbert Wabnig offers reassurance.
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Softened vegetables, including onions and bell peppers, amped up with spices like chili powder, cumin, oregano, and cayenne, form the base of this tortilla soup. Chicken broth and tomatoes are added, along with soft corn tortillas that meld into the liquid to make a hearty, thick meal. Finally, shredded chicken is stirred in, and everything is garnished with crunchy tortilla strips, sour cream, shredded cheese, and scallions (avocados, pickled jalapeños, and cilantro would all work too).
Sweet And Sour Sauce
This comes together in about the time it takes to order takeout, and is miles more nuanced than your average Chinese restaurant's sweet and sour sauce. Ketchup, soy sauce, sugar, and rice or cider vinegar are boiled together with water (though pineapple juice makes for a tasty tropical twist), and thickened to the perfect dipping consistency with a little cornstarch slurry. Serve this with egg rolls, wontons, rangoons, and whatever other fried foods you want to perk up. Feel free to add some heat to the sauce with minced ginger, garlic, or chiles (or all three).
Easy Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Brisket
A spice rub with paprika, chili powder, cumin, brown sugar, cayenne, and garlic, and a smoky-sweet barbecue sauce with chipotle chiles lend mouth-watering layers of flavor to beef brisket, which gets incredibly tender after 10 hours in the slow cooker. Slice or shred the brisket and serve on good, sturdy bread for the ultimate BBQ sandwich, or make a combo plate with meat, slaw, baked beans, potato salad, or other classic BBQ sides.
French Chocolate Macarons with Chocolate Ganache
No lie: macarons can be fairly finicky to make, in that they might spread into uneven shapes or form dark spots on their tops -- but even if they're not as beautiful as bakery specimens, they will still be delicious. The smooth chocolate ganache filling sandwiches the light, chewy-inside, delicately-crisp-outside chocolate macarons together, for a classic French dessert you shouldn't be afraid to try making.
Quick Bites: Richard Blais
Check out restaurateur, Top Chef winner, and cookbook author Richard Blais's honest opinions on a variety of ingredients (like ramps, sea urchin, and bacon), see if you agree with where he sides on classic food debates like cake vs pie and milk vs dark chocolate, and find out which kitchen tool you can pick up for a lot cheaper at a pet store.