Tag Archives: Hollywood

Out of character

7 Nov

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I got new headshots this week. It’s one of those harrowing experiences the actor deals with on a yearly-ish basis. We are expected to be able to distill who we are in one, brilliant, eye-catching shot that will read when it appears the size of a business card on the casting directors screen. And we are supposed to get one shot that conveys all that commercially and one that says who we are in a non-smiley way. A lot of folks make the mistake of getting awesome hrs that don’t say anything about their personality. Then casting gets a surprise when the actual person walks in.

The problem is, although every actor has go-to roles-I tend to be the off-kilter smart type for example-but if you are a good actor you can play a variety of roles. Because the truth is, no one is as one-dimensional as they may seem. In the last month I played an awkward loser, an accomplished lawyer, and a controlling girlfriend. Not counting all the stuff I auditioned for. So I’ve been thinking about character.

This recipe feels out of character for my darling Mark Bittman. It feels right for a retro cookbook, like Betty Crocker, or even a French cookbook, but not for Bittman of the miso vegan before six ideas.

But perhaps I should not put my man in a box. He deserves to show us all his sides. Even if they are the frumpy 50’s food dishes. Because those can be quite palatable. Even, dare I say, delicious. Which these eggs are. I want to make a joke about my eggs here but I can’t quite figure out how and I need to run off and get into yet another character so I’ll spare you the weird sexual innuendos and get to the good stuff.

I’ll be totally honest that my instructions on white sauce are not the most nuanced. This largely has to do with the fact that I’m a white sauce hack. Feel it out. You can do it.
Eggs au Gratin adapted from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian
1 Tbsp. Butter
1 Tbsp. Flour
1/2-1 cup almond milk
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
Sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
3 hard-boiled eggs, halved
1/2 cup grated Swiss
Parsley
Paprika
Melt the butter and stir in butter. Cook and stir until it gets a wee but tan. Slowly whisk in the first half of the almond milk. I usually have to whisk like hell and sometimes use a heatproof spatula to break up any buttery flour clumps. Whisk in the mustard and a bit more almond milk to make a medium sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spread a bit of your sauce in the bottom of a small pan. Lay eggs in, cut side up. Add in the rest of the sauce, spread cheese over, and broil until the cheese is bubbly. Sprinkle parsley and paprika over the top. Fantastic.

It’s a gift

22 Aug

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Wrapping things prettily. I lack this gift. I am not gifted in the gift department.

This was an effort to make less gruel-ish gruel: a delicate savory custard wrapped in greens. An attempt to make things that are tidy and delightful and pretty.

Like when I try to be a girl. Which being an actor in LA has taught me more about.
For better or worse my bookings increased at a rate directly proportional to my mascara usage.

So maybe my blog readership will be inversely proportionate to how gruelish my pix are.

And now, mascara-wearing pretty-ish but tidy only in housekeeping girl that I am, I went to my love, Mark Bittman for a recipe.

Unfortunately, my custard did not stay within its romaine leaf confines. It needed sturdier greens. And defter fingers than mine to assemble them.

The taste was exquisite though, particularly with a twist if freshly ground bay sea salt.
Proof that gruel rules. So does skipping make-up. Cause I do enjoy saying fuck you to Hollywood from time to time.
Just as an unmade-up face can be more beautiful, so can an unwrapped Custard:

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So I shall dine in un-made up glory. As should you.

Wrapped Savory Egg Custard(slightly adapted from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman)
Greens of choice
1 egg
1 yolk
1 cup almond milk
Thyme
Time
Cayenne
1/4 tsp. salt
Dunk greens in boiling salted water for several seconds to soften then cruelly thrust into ice cold water. Dry. Line two nonstick sprayed dishes with ends o greens sticking out at the top. Or if you want to be able to keep an eye on your custard (though my failure at wrapping proved my worry unnecessary)line only one.
Put almond milk and a bit of dried thyme in a small pot and cook until it steams. Whisk egg, yolk, a pinch of cayenne and salt in a separate bowl. Take milk off heat. Turn off burner, please remember to turn it off. Preheat oven. 300 F. Put water in your kettle and start heating to boil. Add the milk mix gradually to eggs, whisking all the while. Pour into the lined(or not!) dishes, fold overhanging greens over and put in a larger dish. Pour water that by now should be boiling within an inch of the top of the custard.
Bake until it sets, which is tough to tell under the greens, hence the one unlined baker I admit but it will be around a half hour.