Nigella Lawson; Guanni Chocolates; Fluoridated Water
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Jonathan Gold stops by with destinations for savoring carne asada fries, while domestic goddess Nigella Lawson makes tasty fast food and Susie Middleton offers ideas of what to do with all that leftover turkey. Dr. Will Clower discusses the safety of fluoridated water and Dr. Gary Beauchamp explains the anti-inflammatory benefits of olive oil. Chocolatier Mariella Balbi pursues Peruvian pleasures and writer Bill Buford travels with a chocolate fanatic in his quest for the perfect bean. Plus, editor Judith Jones reflects on her life in food and Laura Avery explores what's in season in the Market Report.
The Market Report ()
Laura Avery chats with Mike Cirone of See Canyon, who's brought in an old variety of pears. Planted eight years ago, these round bronze-russet skinned Winter Nellis are known as the best tasting winter pear. Mike expects to have these and D'Anjou pears available until Christmas.
Jeff Rieger of Penryn Orchard has hoshigakis, hand-dried whole persimmons which are a Japanese specialty. Available seasonally, they can also be ordered online at Penryn Orchard Specialties.
Music break: What is the This Called Love by Enoch Light & Light Brigade
The Gold Standard: My Taco ()
LA Weekly columnist and Pulitzer Prizer-winning critic Jonathan Gold hits pay dirt with My Taco in Highland Park. This neighbor restaurant specializes in barbacoa (stewed lamb, cilantro, chopped onions, served with goat consumme) and carne asada fries (a mound of fries, cheese, guacamole and charred pieces of steak. It also serves chilaquiles (tortillas fried with homemade salsa and eggs, longaniza sausage or chorizo) and potato tacos, delicious fried plump tacos filled with seasoned mashed potatoes.
6300 York Blvd
Highland Park, CA 90042
Music break: Tio Macro by DJ Spinna
Nigella Express ()
Domestic goddess Nigella Lawson drops by with recipes for tasty fast food in her latest cookbook. Nigella Express is full of ideas for preparing quick and delicious meals from a well-stocked pantry.
Caramel Croissant Pudding
(Courtesy of Nigella Lawson’s Nigella Express)
2 stale croissants
1 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons water
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup whole milk
2 Tablespoons bourbon
2 eggs, beaten
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Tear the croissants into pieces and put in a small gratin dish; I use a cast-iron oval one with a capacity of about 2 cups for this.
3. Put the sugar and water into a saucepan, and swirl around to help dissolve the sugar before putting the saucepan on the burner over medium to high heat.
4. Caramelize the sugar and water mixture by letting it bubble away until it all turns into a deep amber color; this will take 3-5 minutes. Keep looking but don’t be too timid.
5. Turn heat down to low and add the cream – ignoring all spluttering – and, whisking, the milk and bourbon. Any solid toffee that forms in the pan will dissolve easily if you keep whisking over low heat. Take off the heat and, still whisking, add the beaten eggs. Pour the caramel bourbon custard over the croissants and leave to steep for 10 minutes if the croissants are very stale.
6. Place in the preheated over for 20 minutes and prepare to swoon.
Maple Chicken ‘n’ Ribs
(Courtesy of Nigella Lawson’s Nigella Express)
12 pork spareribs
12 chicken thighs, skin and bone still on
1 cup apple juice, as sharp as possible
¼ cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick, halved
6 unpeeled cloves garlic
1. Put the ribs and chicken pieces in a couple of large freezer bags or into a dish.
2. Add all the remaining ingredients, squelching or tossing everything together well before sealing the bags or covering the dish.
3. Leave to marinate in the fridge overnight or up to two days.
4. Take the dish out of the fridge and preheat the oven to 400°F.
5. Pour the contents of the freezer bag into 1 or 2 large roasting pans (making sure the chicken is skin side up), place in the preheated oven, and cook for about 1 ¼ hours, by which time everything should be sticky and glossed chestnut brown.
(Courtesy of Nigella Lawson’s Nigella Express)
1 cup crumbled Roquefort or Saint Agur blue cheese
¼ cup sour cream
2 ripe avocados
¼ cup sliced pickled green jalapenos from a jar
2 tablespoons finely sliced scallions
¼ teaspoon paprika
Large bag of blue corn tortilla chips
1. Crumble or mash the blue cheese with the sour cream in a bowl.
2. Mash in the avocados. If they are ripe, a fork should be all you need.
3. Roughly chop the sliced jalapenos and stir them into the mixture along with the finely sliced scallions.
4. Arrange in the center of a plate or dish, dust with paprika, and surround with tortilla chips. Dive in.
Music break: Tema de Oscar by Berto Pisano
Turkey Leftovers ()
Turkey & Blue Cheese Salad with Tarragon-Mustard Vinaigrette
by Jennifer McLagan from Fine Cooking 60, pp. 66
For the salad:
2 cups 1/2-inch diced cooked turkey (about 12 oz.)
1 cup thinly sliced celery hearts, including leaves
1/3 cup toasted sliced almonds
1 sweet apple (like Mutsu or Fuji), cored and cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 oz creamy blue cheese (try Roquefort or Maytag Blue), crumbled (about 1/2 cup)
1 large Belgian endive, separated into spears
For the vinaigrette:
2 tsp finely chopped fresh tarragon
2 tsp grainy Dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons tarragon vinegar
6 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 tsp Kosher salt; more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
In a large bowl, toss the turkey, celery, almonds, and apple. Add the blue cheese. In another bowl, whisk the vinaigrette ingredients; taste and adjust the seasonings. Pour over the turkey mixture and toss well; taste and adjust the seasonings. Serve with the endive spears on the side.
Turkey Tortilla Soup
by Jennifer Armentrout from Fine Cooking 81, pp. 87
Serves two as a main course; may be doubled.
1 Tablespooon vegetable oil, plus 1-1/2 to 2 cups for frying the tortillas
1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion
1-1/2 Tablespooons chili powder
1 Tablespooon tomato paste
1 quart homemade turkey or chicken broth, or low-salt canned chicken broth
6 cilantro sprigs
3 6-inch corn tortillas, cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips
1 cup shredded or medium-diced leftover roast turkey
3/4 cup medium-diced fresh tomato
1/2 cup cooked fresh corn kernels (or substitute thawed frozen corn)
1/2 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 to 1 ripe avocado, medium-diced
1/4 cup crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese
3 Tablespooons chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tablespooons sour cream, or to taste (optional)
1/2 lime, cut into wedges
Heat the 1 tablespooon oil in a medium (3-quart) saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until softened and just beginning to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the chili powder and tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 15 to 30 seconds; don’t let the chili powder scorch. Pour in the broth and scrape the bottom of the pan with the spoon to loosen any cooked-on bits. Add the cilantro sprigs and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, uncovered, until the broth has reduced by about a third and is very flavorful, 20 to 30 minutes. Discard the cilantro sprigs and season to taste with salt.
While the broth reduces, fry the tortilla strips:
Line a plate or tray with two layers of paper towels. Pour 1 inch of vegetable oil into a small, high-sided saucepan (a 6-inch-diameter pan needs about 1-1/2 cups of oil). If you have a candy thermometer, attach it to the pot. Heat the oil over medium heat until it reaches 350°F, or until a tortilla strip sizzles immediately when dipped into the oil. Add 8 to 10 tortilla strips and scrunch them with tongs for a few seconds to give them a wavy shape. Fry until the bubbling subsides and the strips are crisp and very lightly browned, about 1 minute. Transfer to the paper towels to drain, and sprinkle with a little salt while they’re still hot. Repeat with the remaining strips.
Divide the turkey, tomato, corn, beans, and tortilla strips between two large soup bowls. If necessary, reheat the broth until it’s piping hot. Pour the broth over the ingredients in the bowls. Garnish with the avocado, cheese, cilantro, dollops of sour cream (if using), and big squeezes of lime juice. Serve immediately.
Music break: Tears Dry on the Own by Amy Winehouse
Fluoridated Water ()
The City of Santa Monica will begin flouridating the water supply on November 28, a decision that has generated a rather heated debate. Some think flouridation reduces tooth decay in children's teeth, while others believe it causes harmful health effects. Dr. Will Clower sheds light on the practice and safety of adding fluoride to drinking water. Dr. Clower, a neuroscience historian who focuses on the benefits of the Mediterranean diet, is author of Fat Fallacy.
Music break: Siboney by James Last
Olive Oil's Health Benefits ()
Olive oil, an integral part of the Mediterranean diet, has long been touted for its healthful benefits. Dr. Gary Beauchamp, director of the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, has been researching the olive oil cough. The bitterness and burning experienced by those who sip and slurp this golden elixer is symptomatic of the oil's the anti-inflammatory properties, similar to those of ibuprofen.
Music break: Sharp Sharks by Lalo Schifrin
Guanni Chocolates ()
When wildfires consumed Southern California last month, over 2,000 homes were destroyed. Many businesses didn't make it either. Chocolatier Mariella Balbi lost both. However, she's turned this tragedy into opportunity by creating a new chocolate collection called After the Fire, which includes a pumpkin-flavored organic dark chocolate, Pisco (Brandy-flavored), Aruma (Peruvian hot pepper flavored) as well as Bukare, a dark chocolate for dark chocolate lovers.
Balbi is the founder of Guanni Chocolates, located in San Diego. With the help of her husband, she makes hand-crafted chocolates from Peruvian nibs and sells the delectable delights at area farmers' markets including the Sunday Santa Monica Farmers' Market on Main Street.
Music break: The Zero Garvity Lick by West One UK Library
The Quest for the Perfect Chocolate ()
New Yorker magazine writer Bill Buford traveled throughout Brazil's cacao country with Frederick Schilling in the chocolate connoisseur's quest for the perfect bean. Schilling is the founder of Dagoba, an organic chocolate company. Buford's latest book is Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany.
Music break: Wise Guy Cha Cha by West One UK Library
The Tenth Muse ()
Legendary Knopf editor Judith Jones reflects on her life in cookbook publishing in her memoir The Tenth Muse. Early in her career she edited Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, a book that transformed cooking in America. Jones is instrumental in shaping the American food revolution.
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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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