This week we asked Entropy contributors to tell us about their favorite meals and the chefs who make them.
Tatsu Ramen in LA. Their spicy pork belly Tonkatsu ramen. Big bowl of spicy pork broth, a soft-boiled egg, fresh homemade noodles, a fatty slice of pork belly, scallions and some other stuff. So good.
Korean BBQ. Multiple sources. At home or out. Always with friends.
This is such a hard question to answer, but I’m just going to go with what my gut is telling me right now (and I’m very hungry, and it’s super gloomy outside): a huge plate of cooked spaghetti smothered in butter and parmesan.
Too many to count, but chocolate chip pancakes. Lots of chocolate. Preferably a flavored syrup like blueberry or boysenberry (reminds me of my grandparents). The diabetes is worth it. Eggs and Sausage are a good side dish to it.
This post is making me hungry!! I have to say that I was sick over the weekend– much better now– and I missed my mother’s Korean version of congee. It made everything better. Made with mild fish stock, toasted rice before adding to broth, slices of onion, the proportion of stock to rice– and how she stirred it and took it off the heat just at the perfect time. Countless times she made it for me. I had to make it for myself this morning and it’s never the same.
Probably runny eggs on toast, made by me, preferably with some avocado and lots of black pepper. I could eat it every day.
Dennis James Sweeney
Lasagna, made by my mom. Part of the mystique is that these days I can’t or don’t eat most of what’s in it: noodles, ground beef, tons of sour cream and cheese. The other part I love is that it’s this brick of food. It’s all there, in every bite. No beating around the bush. Every good thing, concentrated. Some day I will lose my mind and eat a whole casserole dish of it. But for now it’s the holy grail.
There’s no question what my last meal would be if I had a choice, because no matter where I travel or what I experience, it never changes: tacos, tamales, and cheese enchiladas with chili con carne from Larry’s Original Mexican Restaurant in Richmond, Texas. My family started driving down there from Houston when I was three years old, and it’s just the perfect version of old-school Tex-Mex for me. Simple, traditional, classic, and tastes like nothing I’ve had anywhere else. I have a picture of their 60’s neon sign on my mantle at home.
Hot bibimbap on a cold night or lox and eggs on an early morning on a day off with a bagel and cream cheese and a big giant iced coffee.
The all time best was my grandmother’s meatballs. She made them from three meats with fresh oregano, parmesan and raisins. She only served them with warm pasta sauce to add to the flavor. The sweet and salty and rich hug of tomato was heaven. Her neighbors at her funeral spoke of her big heart and food as a language when there were no words.
Comfort food: Thai Cobb (get it?) at Fred 62: Spinach, Napa cabbage, egg, sum tum, chicken, bacon, tomato, peanuts, and Thai Cobb dressing which is a kind of spicy ranch dressing though I suspect they’d be insulted by that description.
Porridge oats cooked in full-fat milk, topped with homemade muesli, a rainbow of fresh berries, and christened with a delicate drizzling of honey. With it, a side of London’s finest black pudding warmed to a crisp in the oven on a cast iron dish. Made by a boisterous chef tucked away in a quaint English cafe, it is he who has seeded novel three.
Not really a meal but favorite “dish” right now are peanut butter shakes (sometimes with sweet potato fries) from a local place in Milwaukee called The Ruckus. It’s an offshoot of a local, mega-successful coffee chain here and is mostly diner food, but oh man are peanut butter shakes good, and The Ruckus makes the best. Fortunately for me it’s a four-mile walk one way or else I’d have gained 50 lbs. by now.
My grandma’s gnocchi bolognese or baked ziti. She’s 93 and doesn’t cook anymore, but she still jars her own tomato sauce every summer. Whenever I planned to go home, she’d call and ask, “What do you want me to make for you?” And a giant tray of baked ziti would be waiting for me. Like others have said, every time I try to cook one of her meals—chicken soup, meatballs, lasagna, baked ziti, it’s never, ever as good.