Presenting The Faux Gourmet!

The Faux Gourmet has been on hiatus for a while. I began this blog as a creative outlet during law school. After law school, I started other blogs on other topics and no longer needed this as a creative outlet, not to mention my diminishing free time.

But I kept cooking, kept taking food pictures and garden pictures, kept wanting to share the little tidbits of what I'd made. I occasionally did this on my personal blog (to which, I'm sure, people yawned and wondered when I'd post another cat picture). But I started to miss this space. Of all the blogs I have, this format, culled over several dedicated years and incorporating that adorable illustration by Sam Wedelich (see info the left) is by far my favorite.

So I'm back!

Expect short and sweet posts. Less food porn, more recipes and tips. If you want food porn you can look at any of the 5000 million existing food blogs. I don't have good lighting in my apartment and don't have time to style plates. I just want to make something yummy and eat it. If that sounds ok with you, stick around.

Looking forward to being back in touch!


The Faux Gourmet

Faux Gourmet @ Twitter

    follow me on Twitter

    Sunday, January 17, 2010

    Brussels Sprout Bliss

    Momofuku's Momofuku vs.
    The Faux Gourmet's Momofuku

    Image originally from Gourmet Magazine; available at

    Taste & See: Um, wow. I had a culinary experience tonight that blew my mind. It involved Momofuku, the NYC restaurant group with a cult-like following for the things it does with pork belly, ramen (featured in list of NYC's 50 tastiest soups!, and cereal flavored milk. Momofuku serves swoon-worthy roasted rice cakes with a thick red spicy sauce, modeled after the Korean dish dok boki. I had it over three years ago for the first time and the memory has filled me with bliss ever since. I love authentic Korean dok bokgi with a deep passion but Momofuku's version, crispy on the outside & gooey within, is another planet.

    Image from

    I ate at Momofuku (noodle bar) the other day & naturally, ordered their roasted rice cakes, among other things. Swoon. And double swoon: I planned to enjoy the leftovers at home with caramelized brussels sprouts. You see, at that same meal three and a half years ago, I ate brussels sprouts at Momofuku for the first time. I totally lose foodie cred by admitting I only had brussels sprouts for the first time 3 years ago. But stay with me. Those brussels sprouts changed my life. I'm a Brussles Sprouts Girl now, and I owe it all to (Momofuku chef) David Chang.

    I thought it only fitting I attempt to recreate Chang's recipe for my at home version. Gourmet magazine (RIP) published a version of Momofuku's brussels sprouts a few issues back. I dug it up on Epicurious & went to work, making a few adaptations along the way. Even knowing a recipe comes from David Chang isn't enough to make a recipe purist out of me.

    My meal of (left-over) roasted rice cakes, reheated in a toaster oven & freshly caramelized brussels sprouts was stellar. Blow my mind stellar. But the big surprise was that even though Momofuku's contribution tasted just as good as it did that day at the restaurant, it was my homemade play off Momofuku that really bowled me over. Warning, folks: these brussels sprouts are addictive. Like, crack brussels sprouts. Oh wait, Momofuku already took that name...

    All this to say: here's an intensely pleasurable way to eat your veggies. Dig in!

    Do It Yourself: Momofuku's (Sort of) Brussels Sprouts--Caramelized Brussels Sprouts


    Roughly 2 cups brussels sprouts, trimmed & halved lengthwise
    2 Tbsp canola oil
    1 Tbsp *fresh butter
    4 Tbsp fish sauce
    4 Tbsp water
    4 Tbsp white sugar
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    3 Tbsp mint, finely chopped
    3 crushed, stemless dry red (Thai) chilies (approx 1 1/2 inches in length)


    Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in upper third. Cover a baking pan with a piece of foil

    Toss Brussels sprouts with oil & arrange cut sides down on the foil. Roast in oven approximately 40-45 minutes, until outer leaves are tender and very dark brown. If your brussels sprouts are on the small end, check at 30 minutes. Don't stir or turn.
    Meanwhile make the dressing by stirring together water, sugar, fish sauce til sugar dissolves, then adding garlic, mint & chilies.

    Remove pan from oven, lift foil and slide brussels sprouts into a bowl. Add butter and toss to coat. Finish by tossing with just enough dressing to coat.
    *I used maple butter from my local farmers' market. The fresh taste of the butter and the tinge of sweetness add a lovely richness. Even if you can't get 'maple butter,' it is worth the hunt & the splurge to find the highest quality butter possible. You won't believe the difference in taste--and it requires much less butter to get the same luscious flavor.

    Tuesday, January 5, 2010

    Quick Link: World's Most Difficult Roast Chicken

    Hint: One of the steps involves having sex.

    Loved this blog entry on Americans being taught we're too stupid to cook. Like, we're incapable of making The World's Most Difficult Roasted Chicken.
    That's my kinda faux gourmet. Give it a read & see for yourself if you're up to the challenge.
    Excerpt: The World's Most Difficult Roasted Chicken

    Turn your oven on high (450 if you have ventilation, 425 if not). Coat a 3- or 4-pound chicken with coarse kosher salt so that you have an appealing crust of salt (a tablespoon or so). Put the chicken in a pan, stick a lemon or some onion or any fruit or vegetable you have on hand into the cavity. Put the chicken in the oven. Go away for an hour. Watch some TV, play with the kids, read, have a cocktail, have sex. When an hour has passed, take the chicken out of the oven and put it on the stove top or on a trivet for 15 more minutes. Finito.

    (But be careful, you might find this so boring that you’ll start thinking about making stock next. Don’t. Too hard. Takes too long. You’ll have to clean the pot. I’m telling you now. Don’t risk it. Consider yourself warned. Don’t blame me if you wind up with something delicious on your hands.)

    By Michael Ruhlman

    Friday, January 1, 2010

    She Walks in Jello

    Happy New Year folks. Maybe you need a little motivation (or a little humor) to move you towards your New Year's weight-loss goals, or maybe you just want to be amused as you go on eating butter (I definitely fall in the latter camp--as well as going for long runs in the park and biking around Brooklyn. Eat well but get out & play too!). In either case, in lieu of She Walks in Beauty, Lord Byron's lovely ode to a lovely lady, I present you with:

    She Walks in Jello

    She walks in jello, like a piece
    Of chocolate cake and chicken pies
    And all that's best of fat and grease
    Meet in her tummy & her thighs;
    Thus inflated to obese,
    Which heaven to scrawny sticks denies.

    One pound the more, the more to see.
    No belt impairs the ample grace
    Of waves which roll her stomach's sea,
    Flabby flesh from feet to face
    Where settles each new calorie.
    How vast, steadfast, their dwelling place.

    And on these cheeks and o're those hips,
    So soft, that rub'ry element.
    Chubs that squish through fingertips,
    And tell of days in glut'ny spent.
    A body built to budge and dip,
    A mouth whose use is evident.

    Bon Appetite!