Ted Allen; Body Sushi; Vinaigrettes
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Chef Carol Cotner Thompson shares some simple and unique vinaigrette recipes; Jonathan Gold reflects on his career and winning the Pulitzer Prize for food criticism; Eddie Lin touches on the surprisingly sexy side of sushi; Queer Eye for the Straight Guy’s Ted Allen compares sexual orientation and food preferences; Mark Schatzker reports on the culture and food of Mongolia; Donald G. McNeil, Jr. addresses the need for water purification and talks about the Life Straw; Enrique Ochoa charts the rising costs of corn and how it’s causing a tortilla crisis in Mexico; and Laura Avery has the Market Report.
The Market Report ()
Laura Avery talks with cookbook author Amelia Saltsman about lettuce, which is currently in season. She also meets with La Cachette chef, Jean Francois Meteigner, who describes the rhubarb and strawberry tart that is now available at his restaurant.
Spring Green Salad
1 cup shelled English peas (about 1 pound in the pod), or fava beans (about 2 pounds in the pod)
1 large head red or green butter lettuce, large leaves torn
1/4 cup snipped sprigs dill
1/4 cup snipped leek, garlic, or regular chives
About 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or walnut oil
About 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cook the peas in boiling salted water until barely tender, about 2 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. If using fava beans, cook in boiling salted water for 2 minutes, cool, and slip the skins off the beans. Place the peas, lettuce, dill, and chives in a salad bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil and add the lemon juice, a healthy sprinkle of salt, and black pepper. Toss the salad and adjust the seasonings to taste.
Rhubarb-Strawberry Tart (from Bon Apetit magazine - May,1996)
1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup sugar
2 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons (or more) ice water
3 tablespoons apricot jam
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
3-3 x ½ -inch strips lemon peel (yellow part only)
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
2 pounds fresh rhubarb, trimmed, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick pieces (about 6 cups)
Mix flour and salt in processor. Add butter and cut in, using off/on turns, until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add sugar and egg yolks and process briefly to blend. Add 2 tablespoons water and process just until moist clumps form. If dough is dry, add more water by teaspoonfuls to moisten. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until dough is firm enough to roll, about 30 minutes. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Keep refrigerated. Let soften slightly at room temperature before rolling.)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Roll out dough disk on floured surface 12-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Trim crust overhang to ¼ inch. Fold overhang in, creating double-thick sides. Freeze tart crust 15 minutes.
Line crust with foil. Fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake until sides are set, about 20 minutes. Remove foil and beans. Bake until crust is golden brown, piercing with fork if bubbles form, about 15 minutes. Brush crust with jam and bake until jam is set, about 5 minutes more. Transfer pan to rack and cool.
Combine sugar and water in heavy large skillet over low heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. Add lemon peel and cinnamon stick. Increase heat and bring to boil. Add rhubarb and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover pan and simmer until rhubarb is just beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Let stand covered until rhubarb is tender, about 15 minutes. Uncover and cool completely.
Using slotted spoon, remove rhubarb from cooking liquid and arrange in concentric circles in crust. Strain cooking liquid into heavy small saucepan. Boil liquid until reduced to ¼ cup, about 5 minutes. Cool syrup completely. Spoon syrup over rhubarb. (Can be prepared 6 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)
Music Break -- The Great Bank Robbery -- Jerry Van Rooijen
Simply Delicious Vinaigrettes ()
Chef Carol Cotner Thompson has worked as a culinary professional for more than twenty three years. She graduated from the California Culinary Academy in 1986. Thompson has cooked professionally in many positions in the food industry and has taught cooking for fifteen years. She worked at City Restaurant, was co-owner of Adventurous Cooks Catering, has been a food stylist, private chef, on-camera chef, and menu designer and consultant for restaurants. Cotner Thompson designed the professional baking series for The New School of Cooking.
1/4 cup wine vinegar (red, white, champagne, sherry)
1 small shallot, minced
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
Soak minced shallots in vinegar for 10 minutes. Whisk in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Date and Orange Salad With Feta and Pistachios
Serves 4 to 6
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon orange blossom water, optional
2 romaine hearts, chopped, washed and dried
3 navel or temple oranges, peeled and sectioned
3/4 cup chopped dates
1/3 cup toasted and chopped pistachios
1/2 cup feta cheese
Mix vinegar with honey, salt, orange juice and flower water. Set aside.
Just before serving, pour most of the dressing over the lettuce and toss. Arrange orange sections overlapping around the edges and top with dates, pistachios and feta. Drizzle over remaining salad dressing and dust with a little cinnamon.
Mixed Spring Vegetables with Creamy Sherry Vinaigrette
1 small shallot, minced
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1/4 cup creme fraiche
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups mixed spring vegetables, blanched and shocked (fava beans, carrots, baby potatoes, asparagus)
1 tablespoon snipped chives
Soak the shallot in vinegar for 10 minutes. Whisk in creme fraiche, olive oil and tarragon. Season with salt and pepper. Toss vegetables with vinaigrette and top with chives.
Music Break -- The Sunny Side of the Street -- Lionel Hampton
And the Winner Is...Jonathan Gold ()
Good Food commentator and LA Weekly food critic, Jonathan Gold has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Criticism. The award marks the first time the Pulitzer Board has recognized a restaurant critic, who honored Jonathan for "his zestful, wide ranging restaurant reviews, expressing the delight of an erudite eater."
So how does a Pulitzer prize-winning food critic get made? Jonathan takes us back to his early days as a music critic, his first job at the LA Weekly, and the restaurant he visited seventeen times.
Music Break -- Come Ray and Come Charles -- Michael Legrand
Naked Lunch ()
At West Hollywood’s sushi bar, Hadaka, the executive chef and owner, Edward Brik knows that sex sells. To prove his point, Edward has introduced the sushi service “nyotaimori” at his restaurant. The sushi presentation, also known as body sushi, is a colorful assortment of sushi rolls, sashimi and raw fish that are carefully arranged on a semi-nude female model (the “semi” qualifier being a few strategically-placed banana leaves). The model must be trained to lie still for hours and be able to endure constant exposure to the cold sushi placed on her body.
Eddie Lin, a freelance writer and co-author of the food blog Deep End Dining, recently attended a body sushi presentation and wrote an article about it for the New York Times. He found that the history of nyotaimori is largely unknown but it has been associated with Japanese organized crime (“yakuza”). Many experts in Japanese culture are aware of the practice but don’t fully know its origins – although some speculate that its popularity may have risen during Japan’s economic boom in the late 1980s, when many Japanese had money to burn and found innovative and creative ways to indulge.
Eddie talks with Evan about the sometimes controversial but undeniably sexy side of nyotaimori.
8226 West Sunset Blvd.
Music Break -- Dopo Cena -- Enzo Scoppa
Ted Allen ()
Can you distinguish someone’s sexual orientation by the contents of their grocery cart? Ted Allen, the food and wine connoisseur from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, takes a peek and reveals what he finds.
A native of Chicago, Ted Allen has been a contributing editor to Esquire magazine where he is co-author of the “Things a Man Should Know” column, which offers advice for men on fashion, sex, business etiquette, and cocktails. He is the co-author of four books that grew out of the column, as well as the author of The Food You Want to Eat: 100 Smart, Simple Recipes, a cookbook that provides a solid repertoire of recipes for everyday living and entertaining. Ted was a senior editor and restaurant critic with Chicago magazine and has interviewed such food luminaries as Mario Batali, Martha Stewart, Paul Bocuse, Trotter, Rick Tramonto, Gale Gand, and Rick Bayless.
Ted will be appearing in-person at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books this weekend, he'll be featured at the Cooking Stage at 3:30pm on Saturday, April 28.
Music Break -- Eccitamento -- Gianni Mazza
Slow Travel In Mongolia ()
In March of 2007, writer Mark Schatzker began traveling around the world the slow way. The rules of his trip: he can take any form of transportation he chooses, as long as it’s not a plane or a helicopter. And there’s one catch: he must complete his circumnavigation in 80 days. Welcome to Slow Travel, the idea that a journey isn’t about going from A to B, but is about savoring – seeing, smelling, feeling, and tasting - every point in between. Mark has driven across the USA on the 40th anniversary of Kerouac’s infamous crossing, traveled the Pacific Ocean on a cruise liner, walked the Great Wall of China, ridden a horse through Mongolia and taken theTrans-Mongolian Train to Moscow. Mark checks-in and reflects on his journey through Mongolia -- from the culture of the nomadic people to the food he shared during his travels with them.
Mark’s travels can be followed through his blog, 80 Days or Bust.
Music Break -- El Cholulo -- Tosca Tango Orchestra
The Quest for Fresh Water ()
Water is the key to life. When a natural disaster hits, the immediate aftermath is a flurry of finding survivors, providing medical care, and seeking out potable water. What do we do when a major water supply has been contaminated? Donald G. McNeil, Jr. is a science reporter for the New York Times. He recently looked into one scientific answer to this question, the Life Straw.
The Life Straw consists of seven different filters and an iodine resin – its fine mesh is very tough, making it a great device for water purification. Originally, it was created to filter out guinea worms and the water fleas that carry their eggs. Donald compares the Life Straw to other methods of water purification and discusses the situations where it shouldn’t be used, such backpacking and when certain viruses need to be filtered.
Donations to distribute LifeStraws to the areas that need them most can be made through the LifeStraw website.
Music Break -- Bonus Instrumental #2 -- Tommy Guererro
The Tortilla Crisis ()
There are few foods on earth as basic, revered and intrinsic to culture as the tortilla. As a simultaneous source of nutrition and comfort, it is unrivaled. However, this humble food is under assault by the economic engine of modern food systems. In the next few months, as the U.S. Food and Farm Bill moves through Congress, there will be more emphasis on the collision between corn as food and corn as fuel. Enrique Ochoa teaches a class at CSU Pomona called Food, Power & Culture in the Americas. He recently wrote an article for ZNET on the cost of rising tortilla prices in Mexico, which have increased by more than ten times the recent increase in the minimum wage. As corn costs continue to rise, much of the burden of the costs of tortillas will be shouldered by the poorest members of the community, for whom the tortilla is a daily staple.
Enrique C. Ochoa is a professor of History at the California State University, Los Angeles and the 2006-07 Weglyn Chair of Multicultural Studies at Cal Poly Pomona. The author of Feeding Mexico: The Political Uses of Food Since 1910 (2000), he is currently writing a book on the tortilla industry in Mexico and Los Angeles.
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