Christmas Roast; Lutefisk; Holiday Cookies
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Suzie Gilbert speaks out about One Voice and Mark Bittman serves up a delicious holiday roast. George Cossette gets our glugg on as Eddie Lin braves an unfamiliar Nordic specialty. Dorie Greenspan cooks up some fabulous cookies and Jane Lockhart suggests we stop by Sweet Lady Jane if we're too bushed to bake. Mike Steinberger looks at champagne through rose-colored glasses. Journalist Jane Goldman closes out the year with the "Hi's and Low's of 2006."
Market Report- Citrus, turnips ()
Laura Avery finds Armando Garcia of De Luz Farms up to his ears in citrus fruit. He has Satsuma tangerines, key limes, oro blanco and cocktail grapefruits, and pommelos. He also has a nice selection of avocados and guavas.
Laura also speaks with James Birch of Flora Bella organics about his roasted root vegetables.
Feed the Needy ()
Suzie Gilbert is the Executive Director and Founder of One Voice. In addition to other programs, One Voice organizes a massive food basket packing operation at the Santa Monica Airport each December. The food gets distributed to over 12,500 needy people who are part of Los Angeles' working poor. Hundreds of volunteers help pack the food up and then give it out to families in a very rewarding exchange. For more information, or to give a donation, call 310-458-9961.
Make Mine a Pot Roast ()
Pot Roast w/ Cranberries
4 to 6 servings
1 tablespoon butter or extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup sugar
2 to 3 pound piece of chuck or brisket
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup sherry vinegar or good wine vinegar
12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries
1. Put the butter in a casserole or skillet and turn the heat to medium-high. Put the sugar on a plate and dredge the meat in it until all the surfaces are coated. Reserve the remaining sugar. When the butter foam subsides, brown the meat on all sides -- this will take 15 minutes approx. -- seasoning it with salt and pepper as it browns.
2. When the meat is nicely browned, add the vinegar and cook for a minute, stirring. Add the cranberries and remaining sugar and stir. Strip the zest from the orange (you can do it in broad strips, with a small knife or vegetable peeler) and add it to the skillet. Juice the orange and add the juice also, along with a pinch of cayenne. Turn the heat to low and cover; the mixture should bubble but not furiously.
3. Cook, turning the meat and stirring about every 30 minutes, for 2 hours or longer, or until the meat is tender. When the meat is done, taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Turn off the heat and let the roast rest for a few minutes, then carve and serve, with the serve.
Dusting the meat with some of the sugar makes the browning process go much more rapidly, and leaves behind a caramelized residue that is deglazed by the vinegar when you add it.
Most pot roasts depend for their flavor on the juices exuded by the meat itself; that's why tough, slow-cooking cuts like brisket or chuck are usually preferable. But since the meat's contribution here is minimized by the powerful cranberry-based combination, a fast-cooking cut like tenderloin works well, reducing the cooking time to just over an hour. *Substitute a 2 to 3 pound piece of tenderloin (filet mignon) for the chuck and reduce cooking to about 1 hour, or until internal temp is 125 to 130 degrees (medium-rare); you can cook it longer than that if you like.
Glogg Me for Christmas ()
George Cosette, former wine director of Campanile and co-owner of Silverlake Wine, comes to Good Food to tell us about Glogg -- a Swedish holiday mulled wine.
Swedish Glogg Recipe
4 to 5 servings
2 cups fresh orange juice
1/4 cup slivered almonds
3/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup pitted whole prunes, snipped in half
8 whole cloves
2 inches cinnamon sticks, broken in half
1/2 inch fresh ginger
4 whole cardamom pods, bruised
1 (750 ml) bottle ruby port
3/4 cup brandy
3/4 cup vodka or aquavit
Place orange juice, almonds, raisins, and prunes into a large pan. Tie cloves, cinnamon, ginger and cardamom in cheesecloth and add to the pan. Bring mixture to a boil, then lower heat and simmer 45 minutes. Discard spice bag and add the port to the pan. Heat until just beginning to simmer, but do not boil. Add the brandy and vodka and heat through.
Carefully ignite mixture with a match (throw the lit match into the brew, quickly step back several feet and wait for flames to subside) (make sure nothing nearby will be ignited from the flambe), then cover the pan with a lid to extinguish. Remove match from brew. Serve warm.
Silverlake Wine, 2395 Glendale Blvd., LA, CA 90039, 323.662.9024 Silverlake Wine is a full of gift ideas, wine tastings and knowledgable people ready to help you.
Eddie Lin is the Deep End Diner. The "season" for lutefisk starts early in November and is typically served throughout Christmas. Lutefisk is also very popular in Nordic-American areas of the U.S., particularly in the Upper Midwest.This week Eddie speaks about this fish dish that is soaked in lye and then cooked. His exploits can be found online at deependdining.com
Christmas Cookies ()
Baker and cookbook author Dorie Greenspan joins Evan in studio to talk about the holidays and share a wealth of baking tips for making rugelach. Greenspan writes the Tools of the Trade column for Bon Appétit magazine and is the author of several cookbooks, including Paris Sweets: Great Desserts from the City's Best Pastry Shops, and Baking with Julia. Her most recent book, Baking: From My Home to Yours, applies her years of professional experience to baking at home. She shares a few fabulous recipes with us.
Makes 32 cookies
For the Dough
4 ounces cold cream cheese, cut into 4 pieces
1 stick (8 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped nuts (I prefer pecans, but you can use walnuts or almonds)
1/4 cup plump, moist dried currants
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped, or 2/3 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips
For the Glaze
1 large egg
1 teaspoon cold water
2 tablespoons sugar, preferably decorating (coarse) sugar
For the Filling
2/3 cup raspberry jam, apricot jam or marmalade
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
TO MAKE THE DOUGH: Let the cream cheese and butter rest on the counter for 10 minutes -- you want them to be slightly softened but still cool.
Put the flour and salt in a food processor, scatter over the chunks of cream cheese and butter and pulse the machine 6 to 10 times. Then process, scraping down the sides of the bowl often, just until the dough forms large curds -- don't work it so long that it forms a ball on the blade.
Turn the dough out, gather it into a ball and divide it in half. Shape each half into a disk, wrap the disks in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 1 day. (Wrapped airtight, the dough can be frozen for up to 2 months.)
TO MAKE THE FILLING: Heat the jam in a saucepan over low heat, or do this in a microwave, until it liquefies. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together.
Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats. (Silicone baking mats are great for rugelach.)
TO SHAPE THE COOKIES: Pull one packet of dough from the refrigerator. If it is too firm to roll easily, either leave it on the counter for about 10 minutes or give it a few bashes with your rolling pin.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into an 11- to 12-inch circle. Spoon (or brush) a thin gloss of jam over the dough, and sprinkle over half of the cinnamon sugar. Scatter over half of the nuts, half of the currants and half of the chopped chocolate. Cover the filling with a piece of wax paper and gently press the filling into the dough, then remove the paper and save it for the next batch.
Using a pizza wheel or a sharp knife, cut the dough into 16 wedges, or triangles. (The easiest way to do this is to cut the dough into quarters, then to cut each quarter into 4 triangles.) Starting at the base of each triangle, roll the dough up so that each cookie becomes a little crescent. Arrange the roll-ups on one baking sheet, making sure the points are tucked under the cookies, and refrigerate. Repeat with the second packet of dough, and refrigerate the cookies for at least 30 minutes before baking. (The cookies can be covered and refrigerated overnight or frozen for up to 2 months; don't defrost before baking, just add a couple of minutes to the baking time.)
GETTING READY TO BAKE: Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
TO GLAZE: Stir the egg and water together, and brush a bit of this glaze over each rugelach. Sprinkle the cookies with the sugar.
Bake the cookies for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point, until they are puffed and golden. Transfer the cookies to racks to cool to just warm or to room temperature.
SERVING: Tea is traditional, but we drink coffee with rugelach. These are pretty and, even with their jam-and-fruit filling, not overly sweet, and they are even good with sparkling wine.
STORING: The cookies can be kept covered at room temperature for up to 3 days or wrapped airtight and frozen for up to 2 months.
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon salt, preferably fine sea salt
2 large egg yolks, at room temperature, plus 1 large egg yolk, for brushing the logs
2 cups all-purpose flour
Decorating (coarse) sugar
Makes about 50 cookies
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter at medium speed until smooth and very creamy. Add the sugars and salt and beat until well blended, about 1 minute. The mixture should be smooth and velvety, not fluffy and airy. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in 2 of the egg yolks, again beating until the mixture is homogenous.
Turn off the mixer. Pour in the flour, drape a kitchen towel over the stand mixer to protect yourself and the counter from flying flour and pulse the mixer at low speed about 5 times, a second or two each time. Take a peek -- if there is still a lot of flour on the surface of the dough, pulse a couple more times; if not, remove the towel. Continuing at low speed, mix for about 30 seconds more, just until the flour disappears into the dough and the dough looks uniformly moist. (If most of the flour is incorporated but you've still got some in the bottom of the bowl, use a rubber spatula to work the rest of the flour into the dough.) The dough will not clean the sides of the bowl, nor will it come together in a ball -- and it shouldn't. You want to work the dough as little as possible. What you're aiming for is a soft, moist, clumpy (rather than smooth) dough. Pinch it, and it will feel a little like Play-Doh.
Scrape the dough out onto a smooth work surface, gather it into a ball and divide it in half. Shape each piece into a smooth log about 9 inches long: it's easiest to work on a piece of plastic wrap and use the plastic to help form the log. Wrap the logs well and refrigerate them for at least 3 hours, preferably longer. (The dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.)
GETTING READY TO BAKE: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
Remove a log of dough from the refrigerator, unwrap it and place it on a piece of parchment or wax paper. Whisk the remaining egg yolk until it is smooth, and brush some of the yolk all over the sides of the dough -- this is the glue -- then sprinkle the entire surface of the log with decorating sugar.
Trim the ends of the roll if they're ragged, and slice the log into 1/3-inch-thick cookies. (You can make these as thick as 1/2 inch or as thin as -- but no thinner than -- 1/4 inch.) Place the rounds on the baking sheets, leaving an inch of space between them.
Bake one sheet at a time for 17 to 20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet at the midway point. When properly baked, the cookies will be light brown on the bottom, lightly golden around the edges and pale on top; they may feel tender when you touch the top gently, and that's fine. Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest a minute or two before carefully lifting them onto a rack with a wide metal spatula to cool to room temperature.
Repeat with the remaining log of dough, making sure the baking sheets are cool before you bake the second batch.
SERVING: Serve these with anything from lemonade to espresso.
STORING: The cookies will keep in a tin at room temperature for about 5 days. If you do not sprinkle the sables with sugar, they can be wrapped airtight and frozen for up to 2 months. Because the sugar will melt in the freezer, the decorated cookies are not suitable for freezing.
LEMON SABLES: Working in a small bowl, using your fingers, rub the grated zest of 1 to 1 1/2 lemons (depending on your taste) into the granulated sugar until the sugar is moist and very aromatic, then add this and the confectioners' sugar to the beaten butter. (Sables can also be made with orange or lime zest; vary the amount of zest as you please.)
PECAN SABLES: Reduce the amount of flour to 1 1/2 cups, and add 1/2 cup very finely ground pecans to the mixture after you have added the sugars. (In place of pecans, you can use ground almonds, hazelnuts or walnuts.) If you'd like, instead of sprinkling the dough logs with sugar, sprinkle them with very finely chopped pecans or a mixture of pecans and sugar.
SPICE SABLES: Whisk 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger and 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg into the flour.
English Christmas ()
Jane Lockhart of Sweet Lady Jane tells us how the English put on a good Christmas.
English Christmas Pudding
1/2 lb. dark molasses sugar
14 oz. fresh white breadcrumbs
1/2 lb. shredded beef suet
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon mixed spice
3/4 lb. sultanas
3/4 lb. raisins
1/2 lb. currants
4 oz. chopped candied peel
2 oz. finely chopped blanched almonds
2 large cooking apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
Finely grated rind and juice of 1/2 lemon
2 medium eggs, beaten
1/2 pint Guinness or milk stout
Mix together dry ingredients, dried fruit, candied peel and chopped almonds in large bowl. Add apples with lemon rind and juice, eggs and Guinness. Stir well, to a soft consistency.
Pour mixture into two greased 1 1/2 pint pudding basins. Cover tops of puddings with greaseproof paper, then with aluminium foil. Tie string around the rim. Leave overnight.
Place basins in a large pan of boiling water, and boil for 7 hours topping up water level from time to time during cooking.
Remove basins carefully from pan and leave until cold, then cover with fresh greaseproof paper, before storing.
Warm before serving. Serve with Brandy butter, fresh cream or Custard.
Sweet Lady Jane, 8360 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90069, (323) 653-7145.
Pink Champagne - Why So Expensive? ()
Mike Steinberger is a writer for Slate and has recently written an article about the Rose Champagne craze. For reasons that aren't entirely clear, Rose Champagnes have become incredibly fashionable here in the U.S. This is causing real headaches for Champagne producers and their importers (not enough supply to satisfy the surging demand). Enterprising wine houses are jacking up the prices beyond belief. Dom Perignon's Rose Champagne can go for as much as $400 the bottle, almost 4 times that of their white. Unlike the trend toward Pinot Noir after the release of the movie Sideways, this craze is baffling. It is the "Playstation 3" of wines this season.
Food Trends of 2006 ()
Editor of Chow Magazine online, Jane Goldman, give us an end of the year update: Highs and Lows of 2006. She calls 2006 the Year of the Pig, since so many chefs were using pig parts in recipes. 2006 was also a major year for food contamination. She talks about the television chef craze (Rachel Ray-IN, Mario Battali-OUT, at least in the TV world), and the "self-heating" latte (Wolfgang Puck's invention) which ended up exploding.
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