City Bans; Meat Glue; Absinthe
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Evan Kleiman visits with lawyer and Glendale City Council Member, Ara Najarian, about the city ordinance that forbids commercial grilling outdoors. Kim Severson, NY Times writer, talks about another ban: NYC's Health Department proposal of a "partial" phase-out of artificial trans fat in all New York City restaurants. James Watson, a Harvard professor who has who has written a book titled: It's Golden Arches East : McDonalds in East Asia, shares his ideas on fast food culture. Food scientist, Harold McGee, explains the fear inducing term, "meat glue" and Simon Ford, says if we're going to be driven to drink we might as well be driving Plymouth Gin. Legendary baker, Peter Reinhart, shares his thoughts on our daily bread and Moveable-Feast blogster extraordinaire, Louisa Chu, has been dancing with the green fairy, and has lived to tell about it.
Market Report- Carrots, Walnuts ()
Laura Avery finds Barbara Whyman of Tutti Frutti Farms knee deep in customers at the Santa Monica Farmers Market. She is selling yellow, orange, and purple carrots. She also has leeks, Yukon gold potatoes, and a few varieties of winter squash that she says raw foodists are buying like crazy.
Laura talks with market newcomer Duke Richardson about his Rancho Laviña Walnut Oil. He also sells toasted walnuts and raw walnuts, both of which put supermarket nuts to shame.
Duke has kindly shared the following recipes with us:
Roasted Rosemary Potatoes
2 lbs. baby new potatoes (gold/red)
2 Tbsp. coarse sea salt
1/2 cup walnut oil
2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary
Preheat oven to 375° F. Cut potatoes into thick wedges. Toss in a bowl with remaining ingredients to thoroughly coat. Spread out evenly on a cookie sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes, turning occasionally, until crisp and golden.
Goat Cheese Marinated in Walnut Oil
1/2 lb. goat cheese, sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 cup walnut oil
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon or lime peel
3 Tbsp. fresh herb medley, such as rosemary, sea salt and fresh ground pepper tarragon, parsley, chives, etc.
Place cheese slices in a single layer in a shallow glass dish. Blend together remaining ingredients and pour over cheese. Allow the mixture to marinate at least 4 hours and up to one day. Serve with toasted French bread slices and top with chopped fresh tomatoes
Avocado, Chevre, & Walnut Salad
1 ripe avocado 1/4 cup toasted walnut pieces
2 Tbsp. Chevre Salt and pepper
1 Tbsp. walnut oil
Peel and slice avocado and arrange on a serving plate. Crumble chevre over avocado slices. Sprinkle with toasted walnuts and drizzle with walnut oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
Wild Rice Pilaf
1-1/2 cups uncooked wild rice chopped green onion
3 Tbsp. walnut oil
1/2 cup toasted walnuts – chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice & zest optional: chopped parsley, tarragon, or other fresh herbs
Salt, to taste
Cook wild rice according to package directions. Mix salt, walnut oil, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Pour over cooked rice and mix in with green onion, toasted walnuts, and herbs.
Walnut, Watercress, and Roquefort Salad
1/4 cup walnuts
/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. walnut oil
In baking pan toast nuts in oven until golden and fragrant, about 10 minutes. In a small nonstick skillet stir together walnuts, sugar, salt, and walnut oil, then cook over moderate heat, stirring, until sugar carmelizes and coats nuts. Transfer mixture to a bowl and cool. Break walnuts apart once cooled.
1 small clove garlic
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice 1/4 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. walnut oil 1-1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. fresh tarragon, finely chopped, or pinch salt and pepper dried tarragon
Mince garlic, then mash to a paste with salt in a bowl. Whisk in mustard and lemon juice. Add oil to mustard mixture in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified. Whisk in tarragon, then add salt and pepper to taste.
1 head Belgian endive
2 bunches watercress (about 6 cups packed)
2 ounces Roquefort, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)
Trim endive and cut into julienne strips. Discard coarse stems from watercress and toss with endive and dressing. Top salad with Roquefort and caramelized walnuts.
Potato Salad with Walnuts
2 Tbsp. walnut pieces
2 lbs. new potatoes, such as Jersey Royals or Charlotte
1 Tbsp. tarragon or cider vinegar washed or scrubbed
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp chopped fresh tarragon leaves
4 Tbsp. walnut oil
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1 tsp honey
2 Tbsp chopped cornichons or gherkins (optional)
flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Toast walnuts on a baking sheeting at about 400°F for a few minutes, until beginning to color slightly.
Place vinegar, mustard, oil, honey, and salt and pepper in a screw-top jar or in the bowl of a small hand blender. Shake or blend well until creamy. Add more salt or pepper to taste.
Cook the potatoes in boiling, salted water for about 15-20 minutes until just tender. Drain well. When cool enough to handle, cut into halves or quarters. Place potatoes in a mixing bowl with the tarragon, shallots, cornichons or gherkins, and walnuts and toss with dressing to taste. Serve just warm or refrigerate and return to room temperature before eating.
Music Break: Gin & Tonic - The Cavendish Orchestra
Gin Please! ()
Simon Ford of Plymouth Gin tells us about the fine flavors of gin and what goes into their centuries old recipe. Simon gets us started with a few recipes we can try at home.
Sloe Motion Giz Fizz
20 ml Plymouth Sloe Gin
75 ml champagne
garnish: 3 blueberries
Pour in the Sloe Gin top with champagne.
Plymouth Dry Martini
1 part Plymouth Gin
Splash of dry vermouth
Pour vermouth into a mixing glass over ice cubes and swirl or stir, making sure the ice is coated with the vermouth. Strain off excess vermouth, leaving only as much vermouth is desired for the level of dryness (the less vermouth in the drink, the drier it is).
Add Plymouth Gin to the mixing glass and stir until extremely chilled.
Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a lemon twist or unwashed olive.
Music Break: Jumpin' Jack Flash - Ananda Shankar
Louisa Chu is a chef and writer based in Paris and Chicago, and has been a Good Food correspondent since 2002. Good Food followed Louisa Chu through her year at the Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris. She stayed in France as long as she could, working in many of the best Paris restaurant kitchens. Now we can find her in Chicago.
Luisa spoke to Evan about a recent absinthe tasting. Absinthe is a liqueur that took France by storm in the 19th and 20th century. It was believed to be so addictive that it was banned up until the 1990's. Now a revival of this emerald green spirit is taking hold.
She recommends Ted Breaux's Nouvelle-Orleans absinthe.
Check out Luisa's great food blog for more details.
Music Break: Kennedy - Ratatat
McDonalds Takes Asia ()
James Watson is a professor at Harvard. He's written a book on the explosion of fast food culture in Asia, It's Golden Arches East : McDonalds in East Asia.
Music Break: My Melancholy Baby - Charlie Parker & Dizzy Gillespie
Meat glue? ()
Chefs all over the country call on food scientist Harold McGee to decipher the chemical reasons for their kitchen catastrophes. Harold’s book On Food and Cooking is a great reference for the incredible chemistry that takes place in the kitchen. Harold tells us about the curious substance: meat glue, and offers ideas for why chefs are putting it in our dinners.
Music Break: One Mint Julep - Xavier Cugat
Bread - Crust and Crumb ()
Peter Reinhart is a baking instructor at Johnson & Wales University. He was the co-founder of the legendary Brother Juniper's Bakery in Sonoma, California, and is the author of six books on bread baking. Crust & Crumb won the 1999 James Beard Foundation Award for best baking and dessert book, and is currently being re-issued by Ten Speed Press.
Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Bread
from The Bread Baker's Apprentice (Ten Speed Press, 2001)
Makes two 1 1/2-pound loaves
3 1/2 cups (16 ounces) unbleached bread flour
4 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons (.22 ounce) instant yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 large egg, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons shortening, melted or at room temperature
1/2 cup buttermilk or whole milk, at room temperature
3/4 cup water, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups (9 ounces) raisins, rinsed and drained
1 cup (4 ounces) chopped walnuts
1. Stir together the flour, sugar, salt, yeast, and cinnamon in a mixing bowl (or in the bowl of an electric mixer). Add the egg, shortening, buttermilk, and water. Stir together with a large spoon (or mix on low speed with the paddle attachment) until the ingredients come together and form a ball. Adjust with flour or water if the dough seems too sticky or too dry and stiff.
2. Sprinkle flour on a counter, transfer the dough to the counter, and begin kneading (or mixing on medium speed, switching to the dough hook). The dough should be soft and pliable, tacky but not sticky. Add flour as you knead (or mix), if necessary, to achieve this texture. Knead by hand for approximately 10 minutes (or by machine for 6 to 8 minutes). Sprinkle in the raisins and walnuts during the final 2 minutes of kneading (or mixing) to distribute them evenly and to avoid crushing them too much. (If you are mixing by machine, you may have to finish kneading by hand to distribute the raisins and walnuts evenly.) The dough should register 77° to 81°F (25 to 27°C). Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
3. Ferment at room temperature for approximately 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.
4. Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces and form them into loaves. Place each loaf in a lightly oiled 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch pan, mist the tops with spray oil, and cover loosely with plastic wrap.
5. Proof at room temperature for 60 to 90 minutes, or until the dough crests above the lips of the pans and is nearly doubled in size.
6. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) with the oven rack on the middle shelf. Place the loaf pans on a sheet pan, making sure they are not touching each other.
7. Bake the loaves for 20 minutes. Rotate the pan 180 degrees for even baking and continue baking for another 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the oven. The finished breads should register 190°F (85°C) in the center and be golden brown on top and lightly golden on the sides and bottom. They should make a hollow sound when thumped on the bottom.
8. Immediately remove the breads from their pans and cool on a rack for at least 1 hour, preferably 2 hours, before slicing or serving.
An alternative to the method described here is to add a cinnamon swirl. To make cinnamon sugar, stir together 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon. When shaping the dough, roll out each piece with a rolling pin to a rectangle 5 inches wide by 8 inches long and approximately 1/3 inch thick. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the surface of the rectangles and then roll up the dough into a tight sandwich-style loaf, pinching the seam closed with your fingers. When you slice the baked bread, there will be a cinnamon swirl that not only looks pretty but will also add additional cinnamon-sugar flavor.
Another trick that adds flavor is to brush the tops of the baked loaves with melted butter as soon as they come out of the bread pans, and then roll them in the cinnamon sugar. When the bread cools, the top will have an additional sweet and crunchy flavor burst.
Music Break: El Zopilote Mojado - DeVotchKa
Banning Trans Fats ()
Kim Severson is a staff writer for the New York Times and co-author (with Cindy Burke) of The Trans Fat Solution: Cooking and Shopping to Eliminate the Deadliest Fat from Your Diet. Recently, the NYC Health Department conducted a year-long education campaign to help restaurants voluntarily reduce trans fat. Overall, trans fat use did not decline at all.
In September of this year, the Health Department proposed a "partial" phase-out of artificial trans fat in all New York City restaurants. If passed, restaurants will have 6 months to use less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving. After 18 months, all other food items will also need to contain less than 0.5 grams of trans fat. Read the story here.
In a related story, KFC was sued in June of this year by the CSPI for their startlingly high use of trans fat. In October KFC announced it would eliminate most trans fats from its fryers, instead using soybean oil. Read the story here.
Music Break: Light My Fire - Edmundo Ros
Grill Outside, Break the Law ()
Glendale recently began enforcing an ordinance that bans commercial grilling outdoors. This is having a big effect on Glendale's Armenian population since this kind of grilling is central to their celebrations and foodways.
Ara Najarian is a lawyer by day and a Glendale City Council Member by night. He is also one of 85,000 Armenians in the City of Glendale. Armenians make up 40% of Glendale's population, the largest Armenian population in the United States.
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