Jeff Hiller’s Grub Street Diet

Jeff Heller loves his pizza with mushrooms and his yellow cake to have a pink frosting.
Illustration: Margalit Cutler

After appearing all over television for the past 20 years (30 rocksAnd Broad CityAnd crazy ex-girlfriend), Comedian and actor Jeff Heller is about to land his biggest role yet, as Joel at HBO’s someone somewhere, one of Vulture’s Most Anticipated New Deals. Set in Manhattan, Kansas, the show stars Bridget Everett as Sam, who, after returning to her hometown, befriends Joel, her former high school classmate. Hiller and Everett both belong to the downtown comedy scene. Comedy brought Heller to New York, but his childhood in San Antonio instilled in him a deep appreciation for enchiladas. “I love Mexican food, but I really like Tex Mexican food, so it’s like the mayonnaise version of Mexican food, just a lot of cheese and sour cream and grease,” he says. “The thing that warms my heart is, like cheese wrapped in tortillas and covered in sour cream.”

Thursday December 30
It’s a week off, but my plans to fly home for Christmas after the pandemic – my dad’s 82nd birthday has been postponed due to a very common pandemic, so what I’m trying to say is I ate a lot of feelings this week.

I’m not a big fan of food at first, because my mother was more of a queen, and she passed that along with me. It’s a shame she died before the mail guys. She will really love it

I never had breakfast before moving in with my current husband, Neil, but he’s wild for it, so now I’m eating it. I made him the only breakfast I ever had, French toast made from a day-old challah. Something about its hardness absorbs the egg more and makes it really tasty. I love to flaunt it, so I put powdered sugar on top of the blueberries to display everything. A funky thing I do (and if I’m being honest, I’m sure my husband isn’t a fan of it) is I fry an egg mixture, which has some milk and cinnamon in it. It’s kind of like “candy hummus” and that means it looks bad, but it’s technically edible.

For lunch, I had Trader Joe’s “Guilt Reduced” mac n cheese. Am I proud of this? No, but I dare you to find a creamier pasta dish with less than 270 calories.

For dinner, we had the impossible burgers. In fact, the store was out of Impossible Meat™ so we opted for a very generic alternative, the “pea protein vegan burger”. it was very good. My husband is a strict lacto-egg vegetarian, but I am tempted by the bacon and chicken wings. There are people like, I don’t eat anything with a face. I’m like, I will eat a donkey and a chicken arm. I try not to judge myself about this.

When I told my sister I couldn’t go home for Christmas without the real threat of killing my father, her first words were killer. “But your present was an experiment!” Still not sure what it was, but she made a solid hub and put an air fryer in the mail. So we fried some potatoes in there and put them on the side.

Friday December 31
Since I knew I’d be up late (remember before the pandemic, when midnight wasn’t too late? Me too), I slept until 10 a.m., I would have slept longer, but our cat was all, ‘meow, meow, meow, meow.’ ” As a result, I just had a banana and an iced coffee for breakfast. I’ve only been drinking coffee daily since I turned 40. I felt like I was doing it like an adult thing, so I just did. My husband figured out how to make the cold brew, and I get it even in the winter when he switches to the hot stuff. It is very easy to prepare a cold drink. Starbucks charges $5 a cup when all you have to do is put the coffee in the water the night before.

For lunch, I had my husband’s homemade yogurt. indeed. You read that right. My husband makes the yogurt himself. Is this a strange sympathy? I can’t tell you what goes into it, but it does include cultures he bought online years ago and transferred to new containers and a kind of cooking process where a small pot is in a larger pot. He says, “It’s the easiest thing in the world to do.” He is totally lying. My husband basically does all the cooking, and I just reap the benefits.

Since it was New Year’s Eve we decided to go to…our own living room. Everyone was there! we! Our cat, Beverly! Some plants! Omicron Make Me Celebrate Like April 2020! Since it was a holiday, I asked Neil to specialize in Pandemic, and this is this New York pizza recipe times That you should massage it into a cast iron skillet. It was delicious. I made brussels sprouts for the air fryer on the side. Neil baked chocolate chip cookies from a Jacques Torres recipe, and he’s nailed it—but, like, real. We celebrated the New Year with a bottle of Veuve Clicquot because we are elegant but also a little basic.

Saturday January 1
a happy New Year! It must be better than last year, right? Wait… Didn’t I say that in 2021 too? swallowing. Time to eat some sentiment, so I made a cinnamon coffee cake. I love it when you can have dessert for breakfast while adhering to the health standards regulated by the community. Don’t get me wrong. I love breakfast food. I just don’t like the effort. It’s sheer laziness. I didn’t want to pick up a frying pan in the morning. That’s why I didn’t drink coffee until I was forty. I didn’t want to make a mess in the morning, I just wanted to get out the door. What can I tell you? I’m complicated.

My dad’s birthday is January 1st, so we had a small get-together with Zoom. I told my husband we always made black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day because they’re supposed to bring you good luck, so he made us something called Hoppin’ John. Growing up, we just had black-eyed peas with big chunks of bacon floating around, but Neil had chard. What can I tell you? We are a cute gay couple on the east coast. Hoppin’ John reflects this.

For dinner, we did a quick quiz and met our lovely friends Jim and Larry. Double date for the new year! It was shocking to see other faces. I got a little crazy. But baby, did we eat? We were met by a light, medium and hard cheese slab (maybe better words for this, but my vocabulary is limited) and then the famous Larry’s Rolls. I’ve never seen the actual roll making process, but it consists of a wonder bread wrapped around cheddar cheese and then baked. They’re in their fifties, but you have to believe me they would die for them.

The main course came from Jim, in what seemed to be a remarkable feat of culinary magic – a deceptively simple-looking salad with an earthy zest of fennel and a zest of green olives, along with homemade pesto pasta with chunks of garlic that was so delicious you’d eat it on a first date. For dessert, Larry wrap phyllo dough around the cheesecake. I mean, that’s a fair state genius out there. And there was Blue Marble salted caramel ice cream where you can taste the salt. Yes please!

We brought some wine. My friend Jennifer told me that if you asked anyone in a wine store for wine made from Nebbiolo grapes, the clerk would be enthusiastic and point you to all kinds of options. In my experience, this is true. We have a lovely lively wine shop by us called VinVero, and the owner, Kevin, told me I prefer high tannin wines and even said once, “She loves it chewy.” I don’t know what any of it means, but I really stick to the Nebbiolo trick because it always results in a delicious bottle.

Sunday 2 January
We slept again and ate more coffee cake. Are you impressed that we didn’t finish everything in one day? Well, don’t be, because I made a second one.

For lunch, we have Hoppin’ John’s leftovers. Wikipedia tells me that in some “southern states” Hoppen Jon leftovers are called “skip jenny”, which I can barely tolerate. Trust I’d yell “Skip Jenny” whenever the conversation lulled.

For dinner we ordered out of JaJaJa, a Mexican restaurant next to our apartment that is completely vegetarian. They have this vegan chorizo ​​that tastes just like the real thing. I know there are a lot of people who don’t like the idea of ​​fake meat. They say, “I’m a vegetarian because I don’t like meat!” But I love meat. I’m vegan trying to reduce my carbon footprint, so if you can take some lentils and fry them up to look like sausage, sign me up!

Monday January 3
For breakfast, we got up and had some homemade sourdough from my husband. I want to point out that Neil had a sourdough appetizer long before the pandemic. He experiments with all kinds of different cereals and baked goods, but on holidays he makes a really good sourdough with a crunchy crust and chewy interior. It tastes like something you get in a restaurant. Oh, it’s very good.

For lunch, we had Jenny’s skip, Henny!

Lunch leftovers mean we’ll be ordering dinner. I know I have to focus on my New Year’s diet, but I didn’t finish eating those feelings, so I ordered in from Williamsburg Pizza. It seemed that they would have to cross the bridge, but they didn’t. There is one two blocks away. I always switch between Tartuffo and Sofia Loren, but this New Year’s at Omicron, where the only parties are in Petri dishes, I ordered both.

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