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  • Don't overpay for these foods at a restaurant...

Don't overpay for these foods at a restaurant...

+ homemade bagels, easy Turkish egg recipe, croissant cones, & more

We hope you had a great start to the new year.

Tomato and egg is combination found in most cuisines…think migas, shakshuka, tomato & egg stir fries

  • Today we cover the Turkish staple menemen, which adds peppers to the party. It’s a simple dish that you should add to your 2024 rotation.



While a green bell pepper works, see if you can find something interesting with a bit of heat — a Chinese hot pepper, shishitos, poblanos, hatch — which might better replicate the spice of Middle Eastern varieties.


Menemen Base

  • 3-5 eggs

  • 2-3 ripe medium tomatoes, diced

  • 1 green pepper, diced

  • Salt to taste

Aromatics & spices

  • 1/2 onion, diced (optional)*

  • A sprinkle of paprika (or Aleppo pepper)

  • A sprinkle of oregano


  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • Fresh herbs of choice

*The addition of onion is debated, depending on who you ask.


1) Sauté the vegetables & spices: In a wide pan, sauté the peppers, onions, tomatoes, and spices with oil and a pinch of salt until aromatic and softened.

2) Add the eggs: Lightly beat the eggs together. Add the egg mixture to the aromatic base. Gently fold the mixture together as it sets so the vegetables don’t become too homogenous with the eggs.

3) Finish & serve: Once the eggs are mostly cooked through, remove from the heat. Taste and adjust with salt. Garnish with herbs and a healthy drizzle of olive oil.


Bagels at home

This recipe was developed to get NYC results without the need for 48-hour fermentations or messing with lye and barley syrups. Oh, and no special equipment is required, either.

  • These are worth making at home. Check out the video or recipe for the full process.

If you make them over the weekend, you’ll be set up for breakfasts and killer sandwiches for the rest of the week too…


Lox sandwich breakdown

Once you have some good bagels, you gotta make an obligatory cream cheese/smoked salmon sandwich.

  • The classic elements are successful for a reason: they hit so many flavors and textures, which we’ve outlined here:

Sandwich components

  • Chewy & crunchy toasted bagel

  • Creamy & tangy spread

  • Smokey & unctuous cured salmon or lox*

  • Crispy & pungent onions

  • Salty & acidic capers

To assemble

Cut a bagel in half and toast the slices to warm them through. Add layers of your desired fillings, close, and enjoy.

  • Make it your own: Want more crisp freshness? Add herbs or cucumber slices. Want it a bit creamier and more substantial? Avocado isn’t traditional, but so good here.

*What’s the difference between smoked salmon and lox? The former is cured via smoking, while the latter is cured with just salt.


Croissant cones

What's the deal with the croissant cone trend?

Another year, another laminated croissant form. We’ve had the “cronut” (croissant donut) and the “cruffin” (croissant muffin). And now, the “crone” has gone mainstream, despite specific bakeries trademarking the clever names in hopes of cornering the market.

The croissant cone invites fillings, which makes it even more playful than the other shapes: you can combine a sophisticated French pastry with a nostalgic, childhood frozen treat like soft serve.

From a culinary standpoint, it’s intriguing for 2 other reasons:

  1. Texture contrast: The outer layers of the croissant cone deliver a gratifying crunch followed by their soft and buttery interior and the rich & creamy dairy.

  2. Temperature contrast: Even if the cone is room temperature, it insulates your hand from the ice cream inside. But when you bite through the layers, the cold contents provide that brisk but welcome sensation.


Up-charged entrees

Question: “What dishes are usually up-charged at restaurants but pretty easy and cheap to make at home?” - Ken O

Answer: In a previous newsletter, we covered outlier dishes so laborious they are worth paying a premium for at specialty establishments (like smoked American BBQ).

  • However, those are outliers: most dishes can be recreated at home for cheaper.

Here’s our shortlist of especially easy or cost-effective dishes that get up charged on menus:

Salads — To make a good one, try this salad framework or Caesar recipe.

Wings — One of the cheapest cuts at the store. Here are 3 methods to make them extra crispy.

Soup — Other than specialty ramen, chef-y soups are simple and customizable for the home kitchen.

Steak — With the right technique, you can recreate a steakhouse experience for a fraction of the cost. Also, steak tartare is usually overpriced compared to how easy it is to make.

Dumplings — While these take assembly time, even large quantities are inexpensive to make. Try these gyoza-style potstickers.

What foods did we miss that meet this criteria? Reply to let us know, or send in any culinary questions you want answered.


Bruschetta beauty

This week’s dinner winner is Jason S., who made a classic bruschetta. Well done, Jason!

The competition for the upcoming winners is through the roof — we’ve received some impressive submissions. Send in your food pics if you want to be considered!


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