May 2017

Italian Braised Lamb Shanks

Braised Lamb Shanks

The Astronomer and I celebrated our seventh wedding anniversary this past April. In line with tradition, we relived our wedding banquet at Five Star Seafood Restaurant in San Gabriel and prepared something delicious inspired by antiquated anniversary gifts. Thus far in our marriage, The Astronomer has been gifted edible interpretations of Paper, Cotton, LeatherFruit, Wood, and Sugar.

Since it is customary to bestow wool upon one’s beloved in recognition of the seventh anniversary, I prepared a feast of Braised Lamb Shanks served over wide egg noodles using Anne Burrell’s recipe.

The recipe, though straightforward, contains two steps that require a bit of patience. The first is browning the shanks on all sides.  The second is browning the sofrito (onion, garlic, celery, and carrot puree) just as thoroughly and carefully. After taking the time to build a properly aromatic base for the shanks, the recipe came together simply and rewardingly.

Let’s be real—wool never tasted so good.

  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 celery ribs, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 4 lamb shanks (each about 1 1/4 pounds; 1 shank is a portion)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 (12-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 large Spanish onion or 2 small yellow onions, cut into 1-inch dice
  • 2 cups hearty red wine
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary leaves
  • 10 to 12 thyme branches tied together in a bundle
  • 3 to 4 cups water
  • 4 bay leaves

Braised Lamb Shanks

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Coat a large Dutch oven generously with olive oil and bring to high heat. Season the shanks generously with salt and pepper and add them to the pan.

Braised Lamb Shanks

Brown well on all sides. This is an incredibly important step; do not rush it. Remove the shanks from the pan to a sheet tray. Discard the excess fat from the pan.

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Apr 2017

Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken – Los Angeles (Downtown)

Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken - Los Angeles (Downtown)

Is there more to life than doughnuts and fried chicken? I mean…

Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken - Los Angeles (Downtown)

Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken landed in downtown Los Angeles a few weeks back. I’ve been admiring the D.C.-based concept for years and was stoked for it to set up shop on the Best Coast. Elliot Spaisman and Jeff Halpern founded the original Astro’s in 2013.

Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken - Los Angeles (Downtown)

The menu here is wonderfully simple: just doughnuts and fried chicken. I ordered a good amount of each while out to lunch with two girlfriends last week.

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