Cupcakes; Taste of the Nation; Nancy Silverton
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Bill Dertouzos takes on the cupcake craze with his company, Dainties Cupcakes, and Jonathan Gold scores another scrumptious culinary find. Restaurateur Nancy Silverton gives tips on gourmet cooking at home, while Mary Sue Milliken helps fight hunger with Taste of the Nation. David Karp, the Fruit Detective, hunts an elusive nectarine, Stacie Hunt demystifies how to read a wine label, Mark Schatzker returns home after his gustatory trip around the globe, and Laura Avery has the Market Report.
The Market Report ()
Garlic is a near-constant favorite. You can find purple garlic at Windrose Farm Stand. Barbara Spencer is bringing in long-necked purple cloves that haven't finished curing. You can tie them up or braid the necks together and hang them in a cool dry place for a few weeks to finish curing. The flavor of these purple varieties is richer and less sulfuric than white garlic.
Laura Avery also chats with Kelly Courtney from the Studio City hot-spot, Firefly. Kelly offers tips on how to dress-up a few basics using simple ingredients:
Slice firm white-flesh peaches and add them to arugala leaves with 25 year-old Balsamic vinegar, estate olive oil, salt and pepper plus shaved Ricotta Salata (a hard cheese like a Pecorino Romano).
Baby artichokes are easy to prepare. Simply trim and peel the artichokes, cut them raw on a Mandoline (shaved finely) with juice of a Meyer lemon, salt, pepper, olive oil and thin knife slices of Parmesan cheese.
11720 Ventura Blvd
Music Break -- Song For My Father -- Horace Silver
Chili My Soul ()
Proprietor Randy Hoffman brings his family's history to Chili My Soul, leaning on his teachings from the food chemists that worked in the family’s salad dressing factory. Jonathan Gold visits the restaurant and indulges in a little spicy chili chemistry -- taking on an array of heat and chili varieties -- like the Roasted Garlic Beef, Tecate (made with beer) and Durango (enhanced with masa). Those who don't want to drive to the restaurant's Encino location can also find Hoffman's chili at The Griddle in West Hollywood and at all of the Jinky's cafes. There's even more good news -- KCRW Fringe Benefits members receive 15% off at Chili My Soul!
Music Break -- Tropicalia -- Dr. Lonnie Smith & David "Fathead"
Taste of the Nation ()
Share Our Strength works to end hunger and poverty in the United States and abroad by bringing together industries and individuals to create community wealth and promote awareness. Its annual Taste of the Nation event comprises more than 4,000 of the country's best and most innovative restaurants in over 70 cities, serving up delicious dishes to help end childhood hunger.
Chef-restaurateur Mary Sue Milliken is organizing this year's event, which hits Los Angeles on June 24. Mary Sue shares information about about local organizations that are helping hungry families and previews this year's tasty event (including Evan Kleiman's Angeli Caffe and KCRW's Jason Bentley as guest DJ!).
Mary Sue Milliken and her partner Susan Feniger own the Border Grill
restaurants and Ciudad downtown.
Taste of the Nation
Sunday, June 24, 1 - 5pm
Media Park, Culver City
(Corner of Venice Blvd. & Culver Blvd.)
KCRW members receive 15% off admission when purchasing tickets (use code KCRW)
Music Break -- Falling Awake -- Tommy Guererro
Cooking with a Twist of the Wrist ()
Mozza chef and La Brea Bakery founder, Nancy Silverton, takes the mystery out of gourmet cooking at home. Her new book, A Twist of the Wrist: Quick Flavorful Meals with Ingredients from Jars, Cans, Bags, and Boxes, offers alternatives for fast and mouth-watering meals:Jars
"Personalizing" Best Foods Mayonnaise: Nancy adds fresh grated garlic, extra virgin olive oil, and a squeeze of lemon to Best Food Mayonnaise, or sometimes pureed chipotle peppers with fresh cilantro and lime.
Chicken salad recipe: The chipotle pepper mayonnaise gets added to shredded pre-roasted chicken. Then it's mixed and put on top of living watercress with tiny baby avocado from the farmer's market, sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil on top.
Progresso Lentil Soup is the brand’s only soup that does not contain MSG. Use it as a base for several fish dishes.
Imagine brand soup, particularly the Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper and Corn Soup.
Corn soup recipe: Imagine brand corn soup box, croutons, pre-cooked apple smoked bacon and cheddar and chives on top.
Music Break -- Invito a Cena -- Gianni Mazza
The Fruit Detective ()
For five summers, The Fruit Detective, David Karp, sought out the best California stone fruits –- peaches and nectarines with a rich, juicy sweetness that is often elusive in today’s commercial varieties. One of his favorites is the white Snow Queen, a medium-to-large sized fruit that's more oblong than most nectarine varieties. It's soft, white skin blushes and is often freckled with sugar spots, indicating a particularly sweet fruit. It's flesh is dense, packed with a juicy, lush, sugary creaminess.
David Karp can be found walking his beat at the Santa Monica Farmers' Market every Wednesday, sleuthing the stands and looking for his next great find. He recently wrote an article, which features two delectable nectarines: The Snow Queen and the Stanwick. It will appear in the July/August issue of Fruit Gardener Magazine.
Music Break -- Tunneling Through the Guy -- Man Man
Crazy for Cupcakes ()
Bill Dertouzos is the creator of Dainties Cupcakes and the chef and co-owner of Flatbush & J, the Hollywood catering company that took its name from the streets in Brooklyn where Bill grew up.
At Dainties Cupcakes, Bill and his partner Susan McAlindon, have created a sophisticated take on the traditional cupcake -– a moist and flavorful chocolate cake filled with a lightly-flavored, real whipped cream, then dipped in chocolate ganache, with a small dollop of the flavored whipped cream on top. Each cupcake is topped with tasty treat, a garnish that reflects the flavor of the whipped cream inside –- from coffee beans to chewy caramels or a single raspberry.
A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Bill Dertouzos has more than 23 years of four-star and four-diamond hotel experience. His catering creations parallel his world travels and fervent culinary experimentation, bringing a style all his own that's unique, fresh and fused with international flavors.
11058 Santa Monica Blvd.
Joan's on Third
8346 W. 3rd St.
3 Santa Monica Pl.
16571 Ventura Blvd.
2918 W. Magnolia Blvd.
Leda's Bake Shop
13722 Ventura Blvd.
9635 Little Santa Monica Blvd.
400 S. Arroyo Pkwy.
10595 W Pico Blvd.
21 E. Holly St.
My Little Cupcake
11925 Ventura Blvd.
Music Break -- Hot Dog Stomp -- Roy Newman
How to Read a Wine Label ()
Stacie Hunt, of DuVin Wine and Spirits in West Hollywood, explains the best method for reading a wine label and finding the perfect wine.
Each wine is an individual. It shows its individuality from its background, just like us: where it was born, raised, educated, with whom we hung out and where we hung out; and of course, how we were handled by others. All of this influences the grape and the resulting wine. All this is reflected on the label.
The French, have coined a word that represents this "background check." "Terroir," which means "dirt," tells all that could possibly happen to those grapes: the type of soil (or foundation of their home), indicating the richness (not necessarily the best for grapes) or the poorness (a struggle makes for character); the weather (are they delicate or hardy); the amount of sunny days and which way they tilted their leaves to the sun.
The wine label can tell what the grape is, where it came from and how much of a specific grape is in the bottle. This detail can range from a general location, "California," to a more detail reference -- where in California, what region, what vineyard location and literally which row and vine number within that vineyard. (Think of a vineyard as a neighborhood, within a state, region or country.)
Decoding a wine label can make us more savvy and multiply our pleasure with the wines we select.
Every bottle of wine has an Appellation of Origin. This tells where the vineyard is located in the world.
In France: AOC "Apellation Controlee"
In Italy: DOC "Denominazione della Origine"
In Spain: DO "Denominacion de Origin"
In USA: AVA "American Viticultural Area"
Most global regulations require 75% of the grapes to come from that "area" and up to 15% from other areas.
Name of the Wine
This could be the grape varietal (Cabernet Sauvignon); or a fanciful or proprietary name like "Vin Cigare," for fun or creativity purposes. It could also be the name of a virtual winery or even a retail or hotel or restaurant name, in which case the estabishment has contracted with a vineyard or winery to create a "branded" wine.
This is the year the grapes were harvested, not bottled. For some wines, they may be harvested this year and bottled years later, depending on their style. White wines generally should be young in vintage, no more than four years old. The exception comes in French and German wines, which are noted for their longevity.
This tells us the specific grape (i.e. Cabernet Sauvignon) that the wine is made from. The exception is in French, Spanish and Italian wines, where the varietal may not be listed, since each of these countries have enacted laws for which grapes can be included in which wines, based on their region. So, it helps to bone up on the regions and which grapes are prevalent there.
Ripe and Ready
This applies mainly to Germany and Austria, where they rank wines by a ripeness or sweetness quotient. In Germany, the lowest ripeness is called Kabinett. The highest (and most expensive) is called QmP. The label of a dry German wine will say "trocken." Other wines will say "halbtrocken" (semi-dry) to "spatlese," meaning late harvested -- the richest, ripest and sweetest. If you see "eiswein" (ice wine) on the label, you can assume this is rich, syrupy tasting and an amazing dessert wine.
"Estate bottled" indicates that the grapes and resulting wine were grown, harvested and made at the location of the vineyard. If a bottle doesn't say that, the grapes or grape juice could have come from another location to a bottling facility. In that case, it will say "bottled at" or "produced and bottled" Most quality wines are "estate bottled."
A French wine may list the location status of the vineyard or region with the words "Grand Cru" (the highest) or "1er Cru" -- meaning "Premier Cru" (second highest) or "Cru Bourgeois," the local or village wine.
Italy may list IGT here, which means that the wine is not made according to the old regulations of grape content, but is made from grapes grown in this area.
The Back Label
This is the area where various warnings are posted (such as the Surgeon General's warning on American-made wines); the alcohol content is here; information on sulphites (if there are more than 10 parts per million); the bottle size as well as the importer's name. Increasingly, the back label has become the creative space for a few words from the winemaker, discussing the effort and passion that went into the wine and even what it will pair best with in terms of foods. Some winemakers will also use the back label to list the blends and percentages, as well as the name of the different grape varietals.
Music Break -- Devil's Haircut -- Dr. Lonnie Smith & David "Fathead"
The Return of Mark Schatzker ()
As promised, Mark Schatzker has returned from his trip around the world in 80 days. Mark has been reporting on all of the cultural and food traditions he's encountered along his journey, which has been a "slow travel" experience, with his only transportation being by land and sea. He wraps up his adventure, detailing some of the high points and the culture shock of returning to North America. One of his biggest surprises? That his seven-month old daughter, Greta, gained four pounds since he left! More pictures, stories and observances are available on Mark's blog.
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GOOD FOOD THANKS ITS UNDERWRITERS:
Du Vin Wine & Spirits: In business for more than two decades at San Vicente in West Hollywood, Du Vin offers more than 10,000 bottles of hand-picked wine, with staff specialists in the wines of France, Italy, Latin America and California.
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