Tasty Daytripping and More
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Sur La Table presents a Santa Monica Farmers Market Tour and Cooking Class, Wednesday, September 25th from 9am to 1pm. Cost is 5. Call 310-395-0390 for reservations.
At the farmer's markets you can find two farmers with green olives: Peacock Farms (usually carries large varieties of eggplants) and Flora Bella Farms. Find them at the Saturday Santa Monica Farmers Market at Pico & Cloverfield and 2nd St and Arizona markets.
Water-Cured Green Olives
5 pounds green mature olives
1-1/2 quarts water
3 tablespoons salt
2 lemons, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 cups white wine vinegar
6 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
2 tablespoons cumin seeds, crushed in a mortar
Crack the flesh of the olives with a rolling pin, or by hitting each one individually with a hammer. Rinse with cold water. Place them in a stoneware, earthenware, glass, or porcelain jar and cover with cold water. Weight them with a piece of wood or a plastic bag filled with water (to keep the olives submerged) and keep them in a dark, cool place for ten days, changing the water every day.
Boil the water and dissolve the salt in it. Empty the liquid from the jar in which the olives have been soaking; rinse the olives in cold water and cover the olives with the salt brine. Mix in the lemons, oregano, vinegar, garlic, and cumin. Float enough olive oil on top to cover the surface. Store in a cool place at least two weeks. To make a more interesting mixture, add a few store-bought Kalamata olives. Store in a cool, dark place. The olives keep quite well for at least two months.
From: The Feast of the Olive by Maggie Blyth Klein (Aris Books)
Russ Parsons is the author of "How to Read a French Fry" and an LA Times food section staff writer. He spoke out the new Santa Rita wine appellation near Santa Barbara.
To get there take the 101 West towards Santa Barbara. Get off at Santa Rosa Road and head west. Along this road you will find Sanford Winery and Tasting Room, Lafond Winery and Vineyards and Sanford/La Rinconada Winery. Follow Santa Rosa Rd around to 246 and head back to Buellton and you will see Babcock Winery an Vineyards and Melville Vineyards.
Sanford Winery and Tasting Room:
The original tasting room is here nestled in native landscaping. Sanford is a certified organic vineyard. Their 2000 Pinot Noir is celebrated. 7250 Santa Rosa Rd (805) 688-3300.
Lafond Winery and Vineyards:
The owner of the vineyard also wons a prominent Santa Barbara gourmet deli. Of particular note is the Syrah here. 6855 Santa Rosa Road, (805) 688-7921.
Sanford La Rinconada Winery:
Open only on Saturdays for touring and only by appointment. This place is not only gorgeous, it features plenty of tricks for wine geeks (including tanks that raise and lower on elevators for gravity-driven flow.) 5010 Santa Rosa Road, (805) 688-3300.
Babcock Winery & Vineyards:
Bryan Babcock is the wizard of this valley. Pinots here are particularly good. 5146 East Highway 246, (805) 736-1455.
Melville Vineyards & Winery:
Ask about the "Inox" Chardonnay here. 5185 East Highway 246, (805) 735-7030.
Look for La Purisima Mission on Purisima Road as a nice place to picnic. It's just outside of Lompoc. Also the Hitching Post, 406 East Highway 246 is a great place for dinner. (805) 688-0676.
Jonathan Gold is the author of "Counter Intelligence: Where to Eat in the Real Los Angeles". He spoke about .60 dim sum at the New Capital Seafood Restaurant, 855 S Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, (626) 445-9998.
Soup dumplings can be found across the street at Din Tai Fung, 1108 S. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia, (626) 574-7068.
For "Crossing the Bridge" noodles that are pushed into broth at the table, Hua's Chinese Restaurant, 921 S Baldwin Ave., Arcadia, (626) 445-2755.
The classic downtown dim sum place is Empress Pavillion Restaurant, 988 N. Hill St., downtown Los Angeles. (213) 617-9898
Steve Jenkins is a cheese expert and author of "Cheese Primer" published by Workman.
Steve's American favorites:
Goat milk cheese: Capriole Farm, Indiana (by Judy Schad) -- "Mont St. Francis" and "Banon", also "Old Kentucky Tomme."
Sheeps milk: Major Farm, Vermont. "Vermont Shepherd's Cheese"
Cows Milk: Uplands Farm, "Pleasant Ridge Reserve" by Mike Gingrich.
Sources include: Zingerman's mail order, www.zingersmans.com
The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills. 419 N. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, California 90210 310-278-2855
Joyce Goldstein spoke about cooking for one. She is a cookbook author, most recently of "Saffron Shores: Jewish Cooking of the Southern Mediterranean". She is working on a new book tentatively called "Small Suppers".
Chicken Recipes from Solo Suppers Roast Chicken with Garlic, Lemon, and Herbs
I know that boneless, skinless chicken breasts are the answer to the question of what a solo cook should prepare for dinner. After all, they are fast, easy, and come in individual portions. But they are not my first choice when I have a craving for chicken. Nothing pleases me more than a succulent whole roasted bird. It is juicier, tastier, and comes with crackly skin. The payoff is that I will have glorious leftovers for another meal and maybe even two. And the smells in the house are worth the wait. I try to find a kosher chicken because they have been brined and are especially tasty. If my market is out of them, I buy a local free-range bird and rub it with salt and lemon. If I have time, I might put it in a brine solution, but more often than not, I pick one up and get cooking with little preparation.
1 roasting chicken, about 3 _ to 4 pounds
1 juicy lemon, cut in quarters
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic, 2 crushed and 2 minced
1/4 cup pure olive oil
2 teaspoons dried oregano or chopped fresh rosemary or tarragon
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely cracked black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Rub the bird inside and out with the lemon quarters, salt, and ground pepper. Place the lemon quarter, 2 crushed garlic cloves, and 1 teaspoon oregano inside the cavity. To prepare the basting mixture, in a small saucepan, combine olive oil, lemon juice, the remaining teaspoon of oregano, and the salt and the cracked pepper. Bring to a simmer over low heat and simmer 3 minutes, then remove from the heat.
Brush the chicken with basting mixture and place, breast side up, on a rack in a roasting pan. Roast, basting occasionally with the olive oil mixture, until the skin is crisp and the juices run clear when the leg is pierced with a skewer, about 1 _ hours. (Some cooks recommend starting the chicken on its side, turning it after 20 minutes to the other side, and finally turning it breast up for the last 20 minutes for more even browning.)
Remove chicken to carving board. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes, then carve, drizzling with the pan juices if you like.
Suggestions for Leftovers:
Add to tortilla soup, chicken noodle soup, chicken and bread soup, risotto, or a salad. And don't forget a chicken sandwich with good mayonnaise or aioli, sliced tomato, and lettuce
Chicken and Bread Soup
This recipe is a cross between a panada, or bread soup, and a classic Venetian dish called sopa coada. Panada takes its name from pane, which means -bread,- because in this soup, the bread is a central ingredient. Some versions call for soaking the bread in liquid, then whisking the crumbs into the stock for a thick pur-e. Others bake the bread in layers with the stock for a thickened, cakey soup you carve out with a spoon. Sopa coada, a dialect name, comes from the Italian verb covare, which means -to brood,- -to hatch- or -to smolder.- More like a poultry bread pudding than a soup, it is rich and filling, so it is perfect for a solo supper. Traditionally layers of saut-ed country bread are topped with boned, braised pigeon (squab), aromatic vegetables, grated Parmesan cheese, then covered with a rich pigeon stock and baked for many hours. The aromatic dish emerges golden, the stock fully absorbed, the bread soft and pudding-like. While I love squab, I usually make this soup with chicken, especially with my habit of making roast chicken with guaranteed leftovers. You can make this soup even richer and more filling by adding mushrooms or butternut squash.
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, cut into small dice
1 rib celery, cut into small dice
1 small carrot, peeled and cut into small dice
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 cups chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of ground cinnamon
2 slices country style bread, inch thick, crusts removed
or 1 thick slice bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, 1/3 to 1/2 pound total weight, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces or 1 generous cup leftover
cooked chicken or turkey, diced or cut in strips
1/4 cup cooked mushrooms (optional)
1/2 cup diced cooked butternut squash (optional)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano Reggiano
or part Fontina and part Parmigiano Reggiano
In a wide saucepan melt 2 tablespoons of butter with the olive oil over medium heat. When the mixture is bubbling, add the diced vegetables and saut- until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the uncooked chicken pieces and saut- until golden, turning occasionally. Add the wine and let it evaporate in the pan. Then add the chicken stock, a little salt and pepper, and a pinch of cinnamon and cover the pan. Simmer for 30 minutes, until the chicken is tender. If using leftover cooked chicken, simmer for only 10 minutes.
Meanwhile melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a large saut- pan over medium heat. Add the bread and saut-, turning once, until pale gold on both sides. (Or toast it and spread lightly with the butter while warm).
You now have two options. The first is fast and easy. Cut the bread into croutons and place them in a big soup bowl. Pour the hot soup over and then top with cheese. You may brown it under the broiler.
Option two is best if you are not in a hurry and want to replicate the coada style by slowly baking the soup.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Place a slice of bread in a deep, ovenproof bowl, such as a pot-pie dish or onion- soup crock.
Sprinkle some of the cheese on top, then the chicken and vegetables. Top with the other slice of bread. This can be assembled up to 8 hours ahead of time. When you are ready to bake it, ladle the stock over the top and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Cover loosely with foil. Put the bowl on a baking sheet as it may bubble over. Bake for 30 to 60 minutes. The bread on the bottom will be custardy and the bread on top will be chewy. If you want a crusty top do not cover with foil. For added crunch, glaze under the broiler.
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