Mori Ex Cacao; Bacon Salt; Liquid Nitrogen in the Kitchen
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Jonathan Gold finds “larky” soul food in Eagle Rock. Justin Esch passes the bacon salt, while writer Russ Parsons shares salt brining tips. Author Alice Waters revolutionizes simple food and Kim Severson talks about using edible films and coatings to help fight food-borne illnesses. Science journalist Gary Taubes defends the high fat diet and Valerie Gordon makes elegantly spooky chocolate skulls. Plus, Kirsten Sanford tells how to use liquid nitrogen in the kitchen and Laura Avery finds what’s in season in the Market Report.
The Market Report ()
Laura Avery runs into an excited David Karp, the Fruit Detective, who reveals fresh yuzu, the Japanese citrus that is made into ponzu sauce (Japanese ketchup.) Yuzu has an intense lemony, grapefruit smell and the rind has all the flavor.
Maryann Carpenter of Coastal Farms has many varieties of greens, including mustard greens, chard and dinosaur kale (pictured). Cut the stems off at the base of the leaf. For faster cooking, chop the greens up and then sautee in garlic and olive oil. Tougher greens can be braised in a little bit of liquid, covered, over medium heat. Mustard and collard greens may take up to an hour to get tender. Chard and kale will take less time.
Music break: The Awakening by Slinky
The Gold Standard: Larkin's ()
Pulitzer Prize-winning critic and LA Weekly columnist Jonathan Gold strikes gold with Larkin's in Eagle Rock. Jonathan describes Larkin's cuisine as "riffs on soul food", a bit more upscale, but very tasty. They make salmon croquettes with fresh salmon and vegetables; salad with okra pods and heirloom tomatoes; great fried chicken, smothered pork chops with light, garlic gravy; fried catfish. It also has among the best mac and cheese in town; tasty sweet potato pie. Entrees range between $15-$19. Alcohol license pending, bring your own wine.
1496 Colorado Blvd
Eagle Rock, CA 90041
Music break: Blue Note by Alan Hawkshaw
Bacon Salt ()
Bacon Salt co-founder Justin Esch is on a mission to make everything taste like bacon. Indulge your greasy yen for bacon without all the mess of frying it. The salt comes in three flavors: original, hickory and peppered; plus it's Kosher and vegetarian. Esch and his partner Dave came up with their idea in early 2007 and quit their jobs at a technology company to pursue their bacon dream. They even blog about it and have MySpace and Facebook pages.
Music break: The Cat by Jimmy Smith
Salt Brining Tips ()
A simple way to get the full flavor out of meats is to let it marinate in salt. Los Angeles Times food writer and author Russ Parsons shares tips on salt brining. He recommends brining turkey in a large pot of salted water or salt rubbing the skin. His latest book is How to Pick a Peach.
Roast Salted Turkey
Serves 11 to 15 people
This is more a technique than a recipe. It makes a bird that has concentrated turkey flavor and fine, firm flesh delicious as it is. But you can add other flavors as you wish. Minced rosemary would be a nice finishing addition. Or brush the bird lightly with butter before roasting.
1 (12- to 16-pound) turkey
1. Wash the turkey inside and out, pat it dry and weigh it. Measure 1 tablespoon of salt into a bowl for every 5 pounds the turkey weighs (for a 15-pound turkey, you'd have 3 tablespoons.)
2. Sprinkle the inside of the turkey lightly with salt. Place the turkey on its back and salt the breasts, concentrating the salt in the center, where the meat is thickest. You'll probably use a little more than a tablespoon. It should look liberally seasoned, but not over-salted.
3. Turn the turkey on one side and sprinkle the entire side with salt, concentrating on the thigh. You should use a little less than a tablespoon. Flip the turkey over and do the same with the opposite side.
4. Place the turkey in a 2 1/2 -gallon sealable plastic bag, press out the air and seal tightly. Place the turkey breast-side up in the refrigerator. Chill for 3 days, turning it onto its breast for the last day.
5. Remove the turkey from the bag. There should be no salt visible on the surface and the skin should be moist but not wet. Place the turkey breast-side up on a plate and refrigerate uncovered for at least 8 hours.
6. On the day it is to be cooked, remove the turkey from the refrigerator and leave it at room temperature at least 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
7. Place the turkey breast-side down on a roasting rack in a roasting pan; put it in the oven. After 30 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and carefully turn the turkey over so the breast is facing up (it's easiest to do this by hand, using kitchen towels or oven mitts.)
8. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees, return the turkey to the oven and roast until a thermometer inserted in the deepest part of the thigh, but not touching the bone, reads 165 degrees, about 2 3/4 hours total roasting.
9. Remove the turkey from the oven, transfer it to a warm platter or carving board; tent loosely with foil. Let stand at least 30 minutes to let the juices redistribute through the meat. Carve and serve.
Music break: El Paso by Mirageman
The Art of Simple Food ()
Alice Waters is known the world-over for birthing the California cuisine movement. Her restaurant, Chez Panisse in Berkeley, started a culinary revolution. Now she's ready to revolutionize food again in her new book, The Art of Simple Food. Soups are featured as the main course and to be served with salads or accompanied with slices of fresh fruit. Also, since the holiday season is right around the corner, Waters suggests that people start thinking about hearty turnip or minnestrone soups.
Music break: Get out of Town by Roland Kirk
Edible Films, Coatings and Powders ()
Food-borne pathogens are cropping up everywhere. The latest E. coli scare in ground beef points to a serious problem with controlling our food supply. But technology is not far behind. Right now scientists are perfecting the transformation of bacteria-fighting foods into edible films that can protect us. New York Times writer Kim Severson tells how everyday ingredients, like oregano, crab shells, milk, thyme, cloves, vegetables and cinnamon, could potentially make the food supply safer. Severson discussed the powers of edible films in a recent NY Times article.
Music break: Banal Reality by Organic Grooves 3
Good Calories, Bad Calories ()
Are there such thing as good calories and bad ones? Remember the Atkins diet, which stressed lots of animal proteins and fats and no carbs? Award-winning Science Magazine correspondent Gary Taubes contends that carbohydrates make you get fat more than fats actually do in his new book, Good Calories, Bad Calories. He claims that they cause cancer, Alzheimers and heart disease. He argues that exercise doesn't help lose weight, only cutting carbohydrates. Taubes eats two eggs, cheese, bacon and sausage for breakfast every day and a burger for lunch without the bun.
Music break: Hot Pants by Alan Hawkshaw
Mori Ex Cacao ()
Valerie Gordon of Valerie Confections makes elegantly spooky chocolate skulls called mori ex cacao (death by chocolate.) The skulls are made of bittersweet chocolate, filled with one of three centers (scorched caramel, bitter brandied cherry or curious chili,) then painted with colored cocoa butter. Enjoy them year-round!
Music break: L'arcidavolo by Armando Trovajol
Liquid Nitrogen in the Kitchen ()
Liquid nitrogen is one of those incredible substances that cools as it melts. Kirsten Sanford tells how to use liquid nitrogen, or dry ice, in the kitchen. She is the host and producer of This Week in Science. Visit her Kirsten's podcast or website for more fun with science.
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