THINGS I ATE: Garlic Fun, Courtesy of Delancey and Jon’s


Garlic. It’s the best. Who doesn’t love garlic, aside from vampires and other similarly closed-minded ghouls? I’ve recently been on a minor garlic quest to master the fine art of toum, a Lebanese garlic sauce formed from garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt. One of my attempts (documented here) involved raw egg, which sent my mixture into aioli territory, which was delicious but not really what I was looking for.

It turns out that toum is not as simple as it would appear, and while normally that’s exactly the sort of challenge I embrace, I have to admit that I’ve thrown in the towel. Why? Well, I was recently at Jon’s grocery store in Los Feliz, and I came upon a no-frills container of “authentic garlic sauce” that claimed it was “great for dipping.” I’m not master chef, but it looked a hell of a lot like toum (spoiler alert: it pretty much was toum). Anyway, I indulged a whopping $2.50 on this sauce, and I can proudly state that my desire to make toum from scratch has fully dissipated.

Continue reading



Recently my friend Lindsey brought some sensational whipped garlic dips to a BBQ, which I promptly became obsessed with. While I may have suffered from extreme garlic breath for the following 72 hours, it was worth it for each bite of tangy, garlicky goodness. Apparently Lindsey found these dips at one of Los Angeles’s many farmers’ markets, and for a moment I contemplated tracking down the vendor in person and purchasing my own supply of the vampire-offending stuff. However, as is often the case, I couldn’t help but wonder if I, Ben Mandelker, could recreate the dips in the comfort of my own kitchen.

After some quick Googling on the topic of whipped garlic, I came to discover that this concoction was most likely toum, a Lebanese garlic sauce that has been met with nothing but raves from home cooks across the interwebs. The process looked simple enough, and soon I had selected a recipe that I would hopefully adopt as my own.

Pics and results after the jump…

Continue reading

AND WHATNOT: Avril Lavigne Covers Ke$ha; Also, Irritating Phrases, Green Garlic, and Liza Minnelli

Vulture: Bill Hader Will Blow Up Your Movie Screens
Starcasm: Alice in Chains bassist Mike Starr found dead at 44
Movieline: A Brief History of Actors Kicked Off Their Television Shows
LAist: Seasonal Eats: Get Your Green Garlic!
The Telegraph: Oxford compiles list of top ten irritating phrases
Socialite Life: Liza Minnelli’s Face Welcomes All In New York City