Profile

Zoe Ley

Zoë is a freelance writer and musician and full-time hedonist. She takes her food-writing inspiration from Jeffrey Steingarten, and aspires to be a "Woman Who Eats Everything." Her endless hunger for delicious eats has taken her all over the city, from questionable shanties to high-end eateries, and she shows no sign of slowing down.

  • Location: Las Vegas, NV
  • Favorite foods: Animal products, all and sundry: cheese and other dairy, meat, offal, skin, eggs, etc. Also berries and nectarines, various green salad concoctions (especially with mâche), and chocolate-peanut butter ice-cream.
  • Last bite on earth: A perfectly medium-rare lamb chop, with truffle mac and cheese. Yes, both in one bite if necessary.

Sous Vide-style cooking but with butter...

There's a Michael Mina restaurant here in Vegas that makes delicious steaks which are, I believe, poached in butter. It's called StripSteak. Maybe give them a call and see how they do it?

Pizza Madness: Pizza In a Jar

Without the crust, this could be a good solution for low carbers. I think I will try making one, although I really doubt I would do so if I still ate regular pizza.

Reality Check: Jumbaco from Jack in the Box

Sorry about the typos, btw. Sleepily typing on an iPhone.

Reality Check: Jumbaco from Jack in the Box

Does anyone else still have the Meaty Cheesy Boys three-song CD that jack in the box put out when they released the Ultimate Cheeseburger? My best friend and I wrote a dnce number to the main song and everything (note: we were 15). Join me now: "Girl, you know that there's one thing that I love... But it's not you I'm thinking of. I want the Ultimate Cheeseburger. ... When I say meat, you say cheese. MEAT!"

...

Anybody?

Cook the Book: 'Poulet'

Roasted chicken (Keller's recipe), sous vide breasts with any of a number of sauces, cacciatore with only thigh meat (nom). Thanks!

The Vegan Experience, Day 3: I'll Have That Without [X] Please

In above post: did = would do. Sorry, folks. Just woke up.

The Vegan Experience, Day 3: I'll Have That Without [X] Please

I would love love love it and be very grateful if you did a low-carb series sometime! I don't think I could eat vegan for even a day without being completely miserable, so way to stick to it. Low-carb is about as far from vegan as you can go, so it would be cool to compare the two.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Korin Knife

My favorite knives at the moment are cheapest steak knives that I bought at Ross, which is exactly why I'm hoping to win this one!

Las Vegas - local hot spots

Ichiza, Monta, Los Tacos - all off the strip, all delicious and not touristy

If you can deal with the celeb restaurants a bit, the pork belly ragu at Otto in the Venetian is very tasty, and everything at China Poblano at the Cosmopolitan is excellent (and reasonably priced, given the location).

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Zingerman's Praise the Lard Gift Box

Pork belly in all its forms! Including braised and made into a ragu with Swiss chard, which I will be eating all next week. NOM.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Zingerman's Praise the Lard Gift Box

Pork belly! As bacon (obviously), pancetta, ragu (nomnom), braised, hopefully as porchetta (trying the recipe next week), in ramen... There is no way to go wrong with pork belly.

Drinking the Bottom Shelf: Manischewitz Concord Grape Wine

Third vote for blackberry here.

Shirataki Noodles

I'm doing low carb and have been experimenting with shirataki noodles. In my experience, tofu shirataki have a much more pleasant texture. They're a blend with the same fiber, so they're still really low in calories and carbs. Just something to consider! Also, I tend to like them with really hearty sauces, since thin ones don't tend to cling to the surface of the noodles the way they do pasta. Therefore, I prefer to have a topping that can sit on top without sliding off, like a bolognese (tried marinara - no good!). Good luck!

Wattleseed extract in the USA?

In case anyone is wondering, I got some of the ground stuff, used it to infuse milk, strained it out (it swells a lot!), and then used a basic vanilla icecream recipe (having subbed the wattleseed for the vanilla, obviously) to make COMPLETE AND UTTER DELICIOUSNESS. Highly recommended. Would still love to find the extract, though, for ease of use.

The Burger Lab: The Ins-n-Outs of an In-N-Out Double-Double, Animal-Style

If you are ever needing an In-N-Out burger companion in Las Vegas, please let me know! Thanks for the great piece.

What would you do with Manchego?

I make bison burgers with manchego melted on top and avocado. Delicious.

Wattleseed extract in the USA?

Sidenote - is there a way to subscribe to a thread so that you get an email when someone replies?

Wattleseed extract in the USA?

Oh. Heh. Of course it is winter there. And I meant that I wished I could send you some of my homemade icecream (not that you couldn't probably outdo me in an icecream-making contest). I was, in fact, aware that you have icecream there. I swear. Anyway! Glad you are intrigued. I eagerly await news.

Equipment: How to Buy a Wok

Any chance we could get a post on stir-fry technique? My first attempt just earlier this week was completely Le Suck.

Oh, and I'm sold and will be buying the Joyce Chen wok you suggested. Thank you!

Wattleseed extract in the USA?

Thanks so much!

@MissBrowneyes - I will definitely call them tomorrow (I've missed business hours till then, unfortunately). Will report back here if successful!

@Arnold Ziffel - Yeah, that's the ground stuff I was looking at. I like your idea of steeping it; maybe I could steep it in milk for the ice cream and and use a reeeealy fine strainer to keep it from being gritty? If you do decide to try it in your BBQ rub, I'd love to hear how it turns out.

@Chris Gregory - That's the website I was originally going to order it from, with the insane shipping charges. AUGH. I would be very, very grateful for assistance; I don't know about you, but once I get a food thing in mind, I have trouble getting it out of my head! I just wish I could offer to send you some of the icecream. From one ridiculously hot climate to another... I'm sure you appreciate a cool treat too?

The Burger Lab's Top Ten Tips for Making Better Burgers

I am revisiting this post, which I have appreciated muchly since it was first posted, with a question: have you ever made burgers out of buffalo meat? I love buffalo and am pretty happy with my burgers, but they are never as good as yours look to be. Should I be making any adjustments to the cooking technique? Thanks so much for this and all your other great posts - I can't wait to try the McD's french fry technique next!

soft blue cheese?

Put some on a steak! NOM.

what to make for a non-veg?

Cooking for a partner is so lovely, glad you are being so good natured about it! As a fervent meat-eater, I find that veg options often don't fill me up, even in large portions that contain a fair amount of protein, so I respectfully disagree with people that suggest tofu or beans as a substitute. Now and then, yes, but it wouldn't work for me every day. Something that I do to keep meat on hand and easily accessible is buy a relatively inexpensive but large cut of beef, cut it into small cubes, season it with kosher salt, and cook it up in a pan with some garlic. Then I just throw it into other foods to up the protein content. It's not super fancy or as amazingly tasty as the actual recipes I make when I want to cook properly, but it might be nice for you to have emergency meat on hand for him. Just remember that beef cut up like that cooks in no time; it's really easy to over-do it. You can also ask him what spices he likes or change it up over time. If you are looking for more involved or special occasion recipes, feel free to send me a message and I will send you some favorites. Good luck!

(Please do not make fun of me for this, Foodies, I really can cook proper meals, I swear.)

Dear Restaurants: I am so sick of seeing ******* on your menus!

Perhaps I am alone in this, but I am often glad that restaurants I love have more mundane options for my friends with less adventurous tastes. Better that than have to go to Applebee's (am with you all on that) because they "just want a sandwich or something, nothing fancy." I don't pick my friends based on their palates, so a bit of compromise can be really useful for my social life. Anyone with me here?

How to Make Guacamole, With Chef Ivy Stark of Dos Caminos

@thirdstone: So what's your recipe? You make it sound pretty exciting.

Wattleseed extract in the USA?

Hello! I recently got an ice cream maker (hooray!), and I was hoping to make a home version of one of my favorites, Vosges' wattleseed ice cream. Unfortunately, while I can find ground wattleseed here, I can't find the extract anywhere. I'm not willing to pay $60 shipping to get it direct from Australia (and yes, that is actually how much it costs from the supplier I found). Do any of you know where I might get some for a more reasonable price? Or, as a last resort, should I just try to use the ground stuff?

Thank so much!

Youvetsi recipe?

Hello! My favorite Greek dish is called youvetsi (giouvetsi? not sure about the spelling without Greek letters), but I haven't found a recipe anywhere that sounds like it's right. I know the basics - lamb shank, orzo, delicious tomato sauce, myzithra(?) - but would love a detailed recipe with the correct spices, etc., especially for the sauce.

Thank you in advance for any and all advice or recipes!

Re-create Mario Batali's rigatoni with pork belly?

Oh my. The other night, I was at Enoteca San Marco, a Mario Batali restaurant here in Las Vegas, and I tasted something that might be my favorite pasta dish of all time: Rigatoni with Pork Belly, Swiss Chard and Cacio. I don't know if this is available in his other restaurants or if any of you delightful people have tried it, but if a better chef than I could tell me how to re-create it, I would be the happiest girl in all the land. It was soft, tender bits (shreds, really) of pork belly and cooked chard, the cheese melted in enough to not be easily distinguishable. It was the embodiment of winter comfort. Would any of you be able and willing to help me with this?

Thank you so much!

What to do with a pancetta endpiece?

Hello! I was at Whole Foods the other day buying thick-cut pancetta for one of my new favorite sandwich recipes (Crispy Pancetta, Burrata, and Tomato Sandwiches) and the lovely fellow behind the counter gave me the end of the piece for free! Apparently it was too tapered to slice or something. Anyway, I have a few ideas for what and how to cook with it but before I decide I'd love to know what you savvy cooks out there would do.

Thank you in advance for any and all input!

P.S. Personally, I like the above sandwich open-faced and without the greens - for me, the three main ingredients need no ornament. But I have no doubt it is good the original way as well.

What to do with a pancetta endpiece?

Hello! I was at Whole Foods the other day buying thick-cut pancetta for one of my new favorite sandwich recipes (Crispy Pancetta, Burrata, and Tomato Sandwiches) and the lovely fellow behind the counter gave me the end of the piece for free! Apparently it was too tapered to slice or something. Anyway, I have a few ideas for what and how to cook with it but before I decide I'd love to know what you savvy cooks out there would do.

Thank you in advance for any and all input!

P.S. Personally, I like the above sandwich open-faced and without the greens - for me, the three main ingredients need no ornament. But I have no doubt it is good the original way as well.

Las Vegas: What to Order at Lotus of Siam, One of the Best Thai Restaurants in America

So the question isn't whether to go to Lotus of Siam—you should (run, don't walk)—it's what to eat when you get there. With a menu of over 150 choices ranging from classic curries and noodle dishes to Northern Thai specialties and signature Lotus creations, there is no way to eat more than a small fraction in a single visit. Read this tutorial first. More