Tell us what you have cooked lately (that's interesting)


You know, I used to go back and forth with this, and I’ve decided that a basic cheeseburger and a cheeseburger loaded with tasty toppings are basically just different dishes. I like them both, but there’s no need to compete. I completely agree that a well made basic cheeseburger where the main flavors are beef and cheese is excellent. But I also love a cheeseburger called the 1809 from a local shop that features pickled apples, smoked gouda, smokey seasoned mayo, and bacon. Both are delicious in different ways.


New year’s Eve pizza!

Real simple one, just onions, mushrooms, hot soppressatta, and cheese.

Not sure if i had mentioned it before, but i learned sometime in the past few months that i can set the temperature of my oven up past the last number on the dial (which is 500).

I really should use an over thermometer to see what the temperature actually gets to, but it’s definitely over 500. It’s very good for pizza.


I think my favorite burger is one I had at Burgers Grilled Right in DC. I think it had a mound of gooey melted cheddar, caramelized onions, bacon, and granny smith apple. it was delicious.


That looks tasty. As an aside, here on The Hill in St. Louis we have the home of Volpi salami. That stuff is sold around the world. They have a great hot soppressata. That’s my go-to when I go there to buy some Volpi.


I lived on The Hill from 1988-1993. I loved Lou Bacardi’s with their square pan thin pizza and their salad with the anchovie & celery dressing was to die for.

I’m going back to St Louis to visit some friends in a few weeks, and if you had to name 1-2 restaurants on the Hill that are now the best, which ones would you recommend?


That’s a good question. Gioia’s a lunch deli known for their hot salami sandwiches. They recently won a James Beard award, one of five restaurants awarded that year. It’s a different category – James Beard Foundation’s America’s Classics Award. If you can grab one of their sandwiches for lunch you’ll enjoy it. When I drive by it on the weekends there’s usually a line out the door. They go through 1600 pounds of salami a week.

Charlie Gitto’s is very good. Upscale fine-dining but not crazy expensive. Zia’s is another great family dining place. Their salad dressing is sold all over the city. Cunetto’s is still extremely popular, but I think of them having that older style, heavier Italian pasta.

Dominic’s is one of the top restaurants in the entire St. Louis area, but very pricey. Hold onto your wallet.

Lou Bocardi’s is still there.

Plenty of good restaurants. I need to go back again. It’s been some time since I did more than grab some deli meat at Volpi.


Timex, you are nailing the pizza man. I know you use a steel, but looking at the crust and top browning, which is perfect, where in your oven are you sitting your pizza? I’m assuming broil but high up or middle rack? How long?


At this point, the oven is maxed . Like i said, i dunno the exact temp.

I let the steel heat on the second from the top rack.

When it’s time to cook, i flip it to broil, and then cook the pizza for around 6 minutes. That’s the result there. The bottom is very dark and crisp, the dough is still a bit chewy.

Could probably wait a minute to flip it to the hel broil setting, and reduce the charring a bit, but i kind of like that.


Nah, keep it this way. It mimics a blazing wood brick oven. In my humble opinion, Italian style pizza. Sure, there were the Neapolitanese places that were commercial oven cooked, but you found far more of this style than anything else when I lived there.

Just like here, however, the huge pizza shops where they sell by weight were sheet pan monstrosities that didn’t resemble this at all. You read that right, they sold pizza by weight.


The charring is fine I think. Better to slightly overcook than undercook. When I was in Italy a couple of years ago the best pizza I had was cooked in a wood brick oven and a little bit of charring was not uncommon.

What I have come to appreciate in pizza is the very thin crust versions. I like the toppings.


Finest kind.


My buddy James hsoted his annual New Year’s Day Games party with video and boardgames for all. In this case, “all” translated to about a dozen more of our best friends. I cooked, with the assistance of my buddy Cord. The choice this year was. . . breakfast!

Not quite 30 buttermilk biscuits (sadly one was lost to the floor while moving an overloaded baking mat from one sheet to another, d’oh. Despite not being properly biscuit-cut, they proved exceedingly fluffy and well-risen.

A glimpse of the omelet station, featuring red onions, green onions, red-and-yellow sweet peppers, jalapenos, mushrooms, Spam, and Cheese as possible toppings/fillings, plus some of the 3lbs of frozen maple sausage patties frying up. We also baked about 4lbs thick-sliced bacon on my sexy brand new baking sheets , raised up on perfectly fitted new cooling racks. Both America’s Test Kitchen recommended, and very, very nicely made.

Cord’s hash brown station. They were more like potato pancakes than real shredded hash browns, but they were still fucking excellent.

The buttermilk waffle station in action, featuring toppings such as semisweet and white chocolate chips, blueberries, raspberries, dried cranberries, and chopped pecans.

One guy requested a savory waffle with onions, sweet, and hot peppers baked into the crust; then we melted cheese onto it and he ate it with salsa. It was apparently really good!

One of my biscuits, stuffed with a fried egg, sliced cheese, and some of that bacon from earlier, all served on top of one of Cord’s cheesy hash browns.

My personal waffle, featuring white and semisweet chocolate chips and pecans, with lots of butter and syrup!


Your friends savory waffle reminds me of one of my favorite Indian breakfast foods, uttapam.


Uttapams are so good. That reminds me that I haven’t cooked a south Indian spread in a good year and a half. Aww. Made myself said…



First time, everyone loved it.

SHREDDED and DICED into tiny pieces with a knife:
Green Onions

Ground Pork seasoned with:
Sesame Oil


Cooked with:
Sesame Oil

The folding of the wrapper is really the biggest stumbling block and takes the longest.


Nice! I’ve always been afraid to try making anything I have to roll or fold or do anything fancy with. Those look great! :)


Secret truth: I’ve never cared for dumplings at all. I find the texture of the lump of effectively steamed pork meatloaf in the center of them Deeply unpleasant, and and mostly just find myself wishing the whole thing had been deep fried for maximum shell crispness (pro tip: this doesn’t actually turn out very well. The fat invading from within and without simultaneously makes for a very greasy little packet of pork stuff).

Second secret, very maximum secret: I want very badly to eat your gyoza despite all of that because they look lovely!!!


Every time i make them, i always forget how to do it for a while.

I eventually remember, but the first bunch of every batch always look all diddly wumpus.


Dude - I normally chow on gyoza as a side dish, but you’ve done such an outstanding job I would eat that and nothing else. Outstanding! I love how the wrinkles formed. Exquisite!


Thank you.

My wife is Japanese, so I learned from a good teacher. I made 44 pieces in total and cooked them in 3 waves.

They were all devoured in a matter of minutes. I think I ate about 5 myself, including the one that fell on the floor.