08/14/13 10:25am

I have never been to one of Thomas Keller’s restaurants, nor have I seen the film Spanglish, in which Adam Sandler plays a chef. But I am quite glad to have come across this video in which this chef’s chef makes a late-night snack with Opera Man as his sous chef. This short appears as an extra on the DVD and seems to have a been a consulting gig for Keller, and a delicious one at that. As some less culinary enlightened commenters point out, it’s just a BLT with a runny fried egg and cheese. Not quite it’s a BLT with egg and cheese made with chefly care and precision, which means there are such common-sense tricks as alternating the bacon. And then there’s gems like this: “Most chefs worth their salt carry their own salt box. Most chefs have such a high tolerance to salt that they need to have extra salt on everything.” (more…)

02/12/13 9:26am
The  Lebanese lasagna.of desserts.

A gooey mantle of warm cheese awaits beneath the crust.

I’d already eaten a sandwich the size of a stout lad’s forearm, yet I couldn’t pass up dessert. The spectacular Lebanese home cooking of Wafa Chami combined with her warm hospitality always piques my appetite. Ordering dessert was not Wafa’s idea, though. Her son, Yusef, who helps run the restaurant along with the rest of the family told me I had to try the kanafeh ($7). But first a strong cup of cardamom-scented coffee, thick and pitch black.

The kanafeh arrived with a knife and fork. Unlike its daintier cousin baklava, kanafeh is practically a meal in itself, a veritable Lebanese lasagna of desserts. A two-cheese blend of ricotta and slightly salty akawi is sandwiched between layers of semolina and filaments of vermicelli-like kataifi dough. The whole thing is anointed with syrup, strewn with pistachios, and crowned with rose-scented candied orange blossoms. Served warm it is a formidable dessert.  Sweet and filled with just enough gooey akawi cheese and rich ricotta, there’s no need for cream and sugar in that tiny cup of coffee. Actually the high-test brew is a perfect foil to one of the richest sweetest desserts you’ll ever have.

Wafa’s,  100-05 Metropolitan Ave., Forest Hills, 718-880-2055