Hats of Meat; Hot Dogs; Beer-Can Chicken; Italian Eating
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Jonathan Gold savors tasty antojitos; grilling guru Steven Raichlen barbecues beer-can chicken; Steve Bean Levy tries on hats of meat; and Bob Schwartz relishes hot dogs. Rick Kushman sniffs and spits through Napa Valley. Faith Heller Willinger makes friends with Italian foodmakers. Nina Planck gets real about healthy eating and the poor. Owner-chef Bret Thompson makes ice cream from scratch and Laura Avery with this week's Market Report.
The Market Report ()
Laura Avery talks with private chef Dave Rubell about an easy way to cook flat, green Romano beans, the flattened cousin of traditional green beans that can are also found in a yellow variety. Dave suggests dropping the beans in boiling, salted water for only a minute or two to soften them a bit. Then, sautée them in olive oil and garlic, and top with toasted pine nuts. You can eat the dish hot or cold.
Figs are in season now as well, and organic farmer Armando Garcia has two different varieties. Both are light green in color. One is seedless. They have pink or yellow flesh. Since figs don't ripen once they are off the tree, Armando suggests saving firm figs for cooking (grilling or roasting or baking) and eating the soft ones fresh.
Music Break -- Tamping - The Rhine Oaks
Antojitos, literally "little cravings", are masa-based fried appetizers typical of Mexican cuisine. Masa is dough made from corn or wheat flour. Jonathan Gold savors tasty antojitos around Los Angeles. He raves about the delicious huaraches (the word used in Mexico for "sandals"), fried masa layered with beans, meat, lettuce, cream and homemade salsa at El Huarache Azteca #1 in Highland Park; wonderful potato tacos at El Atacor #11 near Dodgers Stadium; avocado salsa and flautas (corn tortilla bigger than taquitos) at Ciro's; mulitas (hand-made tortilla sandwich filled with cheese, guacamole and meat) at La Taquiza near USC; and fantastic breakfast chilaquiles (tortilla wedges sauteed in various sauces) at La Casita Mexicana.
El Huarache Azteca #1
5225 York Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90042
El Atacor #11
2622 N Figueroa Ave
Los Angeles, 90065
705 N Evergreen St
East Los Angeles, CA 90033
3009 S Figueroa St
Los Angeles, CA 90007
La Casita Mexicana
4030 East Gage Ave
Bell, CA 90201
Music Break -- Bermuda Triangle - Gonzales
Beer-Can Chicken ()
Grilling god Steven Raichlen knows barbecue. He enjoys experimenting with flavors, tools, rubs, and sauces, thereby taking American barbecue to new heights. One of his creations is cooking a whole chicken on a grill with beer. He shares this sizzling recipe on his Barbecue Bible blog. You even can study grilling under the master at his Barbecue University.
Music Break -- Donna Lee - Frank Vignola
Hats of Meat ()
A man of many hats, Steve Bean Levy loves meat. His Hats of Meat is a tongue-in-cheek tribute to fashionable headpieces. Some of his meat hats are the cow-boy hat (see above), brisket yarmulke, porkpie, base-bull cap and the Canadian.
The Brisket Yarmulke
To see more of these carnivorously creative caps, check out the Hats of Meat website!
Music Break -- Tarnation - Max Avery Lichtenstein
Hot Dogs ()
Chicago is known for its deep-dish pizza, sausage and hot dogs. Chicago-based Bob Schwartz of Vienna Beef relishes hot dogs. He traces the origins of the frankfurter and Chicago-style hot dog, a steamed Vienna Beef hot dog topped with mustard, relish, onions, tomato wedges, pickle spear, sport peppers and a dash of celery salt, served in a steamed poppyseed bun. But hold the ketchup when ordering it in Chicago or you'll regret it.
Music Break -- Dot - Gonzales*
A Moveable Thirst ()
Rick Kushman sniffs and spits wine through Napa Valley. In his book, A Moveable Thirst, he chronicles his travels to over a hundred public tasting rooms over a year. He talks about the do's and don'ts of wine tasting, including never wearing white or swirling wine in mid-air. An interesting fact is that wine tasting is that it's as much about wine smelling because of our thousands of olfactory receptors. In his primer for the novice wine taster, he encourages people to enjoy themselves without being intimidated by the process. Rick is a nationally syndicated television columnist for the Sacramento Bee.
Music Break -- Its Your Thing - Cold Grits
Italian Eating ()
Chef-author Faith Heller Willinger pays tribute to the friends, meals and recipes she has collected throughout her 30-year career in Adventures of an Italian Food Lover. She uses only the finest products in Italian cuisine, including first-rate extra-virgin olive oil, pasta made from heirloom wheat, artisanal salumi and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Florence is now Faith's hometown and her favorite neighborhood hangout is Caffe Ricchi, operated by Enzo, Alfonsina and Alfredo Ricchi. During cocktail hour, bartender Alessandra Tancredi serves Campari cocktail with salami and figs. While in Florence, be sure to visit Carlo and Delfina Cioni's Ristorante Da Delfina and try the seasonal dish, fried green tomatoes with grapes.
Piazza Santo Spirito, 8/R
Campari cocktails with salami and figs
3-4 ice cubes
1 ounce Campari
1 ounce Martini Rosso vermouth (or Carpano, for Enzo's Tosco-Americano)
Splash of seltzer or soda water (or sparkling wine for Sbagliato)
1 ounce gin, for those who want a Negroni
1/2 slice of orange
Put the ice cubes in an old-fashioned cocktail glass. Add the Campari, Martini Rosso or Carpano vermouth, and seltzer or soda water (or sparkling wine for the Sbagliato) and gin (for those who want a Negroni), and stir. Garnish with 1/2 orange slice.
Salami and figs
2 fresh or quality dried figs
Fennel seeds, lightly crushed
4 thin slices of good-quality Italian-style salami
Halve the figs and sprinkle with a few fennel seeds. Wrap each half with a slice of salami and secure with a toothpick.
Ristorante Da Delfina
Via della Chiesa, 1
59015 Artimino (PO)
Fried green tomatoes with grapes
Serves 4 to 6
3/4 pound grapes (Delfina uses wine grapes; use the best dark grapes you can get)
8 firm green tomatoes
Soft wheat flour (Italian "00" or White Lily flour), for coating slices
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
8 garlic cloves, mashed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
Squeeze the juice from half the grapes (Faith processes them, then mashes them in a strainer to get around 6 tablespoons of juice). Cut the remaining grapes in half (not necessary for smaller wine grapes). Cut the tomatoes into 1/2-inch slices (cut a slim slice off the top and bottom of the tomato so that all slices will have two wet surfaces) and remove the seeds (easy with a tomato knife or a grapefruit spoon). Heavily flour the slices.
Heat the extra virgin in a large nonreactive skillet, brown the garlic and remove. Add the tomato slices and fry until lightly browned on both sides. Season with salt and pepper, add the grape juice and the tomato sauce, and cook for a minute or two, then add the grapes and serve.
Recipes courtesy of Faith Heller Willinger
Music Break -- Blue Ebony - Buck Clayton & Buddy Tate
Healthy Eating and the Poor ()
Food writer Nina Planck gets real about healthy eating and the poor. With an increase in heart disease, diabetes and obesity affecting the poor in higher rates, is it possible to eat healthy on a limited budget? Nina tackles the issue by shopping at the edges of the supermarket for eggs, dairy, meat, fish, poultry and produce -- not in the middle, where all the low-nutritional-value and high-cost foods sit. Her rule of thumb is that the higher up the food chain you eat, the more it matters how the food was produced. Nina advocates banning trans fats, getting corn syrup out of schools and milk in, removing poor quality and industrial foods from government food programs and replacing them with fresh fruits and vegetables, canned fish, whole milk and yogurt and meats. Her other suggestions include buying locally and in season and taking advantage of special deals.
Nina, who managed Manhattan's Greenmarket (the largest network of farmers' markets in the country), is the author of Real Food and writes about food issues.
Music Break -- Raunchy - Ernie Freeman
Bret Thompson, chef-owner of MILK, serves up fresh ice cream from scratch. His gastronomic philosophy is to combine fresh, local California ingredients with European technique. Bret shares the secret to making ice cream sandwiches and the concept of turning vegetables into dessert. One tasty example is the seasonal flavor of sweet corn ice cream. While at MILK, try the Milkies bonbons. This ice cream parlor shop also offers cold and hot drinks, seasonal soups and comfort foods. On the weekends you can even get breakfast.
7290 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90046
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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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