Hanukkah and Aleppian Cuisine; Imitation Crab Meat; Jonesin' for Soda
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Fish broker Mike Zalke shells imitation crab meat, while Jeff Nitta of Hokusai bites into farmed raised bluefin tuna and Stacie Hunt pairs favorite take-out foods with wine. Chef Josiah Citrin gets wild with game, Jenna Turner bakes buche de Noel and Peter van Stolk joneses for soda. Jonathan Gold hankers for smoked barbecue ribs and author Poopa Dweck celebrates Hanukkah and Syrian Jewish cuisine. Plus, chef Rick Moonen gets inspired by green eggs and ham and Laura Avery finds what's in season in the Market Report.
The Market Report ()
Laura Avery talks with Campanile restaurant chef-owner Mark Peel. He loves to cook Brussels sprouts this time of year. He sautes them quickly in a single layer using a hot skillet with olive oil until they start to color. Then adds 1/4-inch of balsamic vinegar. Boil this really fast until the sprouts caramelize. Cover it. Put the pan in a hot oven for 15 minutes or so, until the vinegar turns into a glaze. Add salt.
Mark also loves to steam florets of cauliflower served with pesto. He makes pesto in a mortar and pestle and adds garlic, a couple of anchovies and some parsley. Then he pours this over the tops of the cauliflower florets.
Also in season is delicata squash, a yellow squash with orange stripes, and haricots jaunes, a bobby pin-sized green bean that is bright yellow.
Imitation Crab Meat ()
Fish broker Mike Zalke of Sierra Seafoods explains what really makes up imitation crab meat. Faux crab is also known as surimi, Japanese for minced meat, and it's made into a paste from white-fleshed fish. The most popular use of imitation crab meat is in the California sushi roll.
Music break: The Gasser by Ray Eldridge
Hokusai co-owner Jeff Nitta dishes up house specialty kindai farm-raised bluefin tuna in Beverly Hills. This establishment is one of two places that serves up aquacultured bluefin tuna, which is farmed at Kinki University in Osaka, Japan. The university is looking for a sustainable solution for farm raising fish. It has researched bluefin tuna since 1970 and achieved complete aquaculture of tuna in 2002.
8400 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
Music break: Nearly Sunrise by Fireballs
Everyday Wine Pairings ()
One of the best ways to enjoy a casual dinner is by accompanying it with wine. And, if you're like most people, you probably like to order your favorite take-out food if you don't have time to cook. Wine guide Stacie Hunt of Du Vin Wine & Spirits pairs fun and flavorful wines with everyday food.
Stacie suggests the following wines to pair with pizza, burgers, tacos, Chinese, sushi and even Subway:
Pizza - tomatoes, cheese, anchovies, sausage, peppers - requires hearty wines.
Chateau de Beauregard (Languedoc, France), $6.99
A blend of Carignan, Grenache and Mourvedre
Montepulciano d’Abruzzo: Vola, $6.99
The "go with everything" grape from southern Italy
Burgers & Reds
Paul Mas Syrah (Languedoc), $12.99
8 restful months in oak
Luzon Verde (certified organic), Monastrell (same as Mourvedre), $ 8.99
Tacos & Tempranillo
Lan Rioja Crianza, $11.99
Muga Rose, $12.99
Nothing makes better love to a taco than rose!
Chinese & Chenin Blanc
Fouquet Bonnet, Vouvray, $13.99
Sushi & Sherry
Savory & James Fino, $11.99
Tio Pepe Fino, $16.99
La Gitana Hidalgo Manzanilla, $13.99
Sake for the purists: Taru Kikusakari, $31.99
Subway & Sauvignon
Ramsay Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa), $14.99
Viu Manent Sauvignon Blanc (Chile), $10.99
For fun: Cabernet Franc (Loire Valley, France), $13.99
Du Vin Wine & Spirits
540 N San Vicente Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90048
Music break: God Made Me Funky by The Headhunters
Wild Game ()
Chef Josiah Citrin of Melisse gets wild with game. The wild game menu is available through December and features Scottish imports. Melisse recently was awarded two stars from the new Michelin Guide and holds the #1 award from Zagat for food.
Some of the dishes on the wild game menu are:
Scottish Partridge and Foie Gras Dodine
Apple, Celery, Chestnuts, Sauternes Sauce
Wild Scottish Hare
Red Torpedo Onions, Caramelized Endives
Wild Mushrooms, Foie Gras Parfait
Creamed Spinach, Burnt Bread Sauce
Red Wine Salsify "Soubise",
Creamed Cabbage Sauce Diable
Sunchoke Purée, Root Vegetables,
Truffle - Foie Gras Sauce
1104 Wilshire Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Music break: Wake Up Alone by Amy Winehouse
Yule Log ()
Susina Bakery owner Jenna Turner branches out from her delectable desserts with buche de Noel, or yule log, the traditional French dessert served during the Christmas holidays. She offers vanilla rum and chocolate coffee yule logs that are only available during the holidays.
7122 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Music break: Continuous Movement by Organic Grooves 3
Jonesin' for Soda ()
Jones Soda Co.'s founder and president Peter van Stolk celebrates the holidays with the Kosher certified Christmas and Chanukah packs. The Christmas Pack includes flavors like Christmas tree and ham and benefits Toys for Tots. The Happy Chanukah Pack includes latke and applesauce flavors and benefits Vitamin Angels.
Music break: One O'clock Jump by Count Basie & His Orchestra
The Gold Standard: J 'N' J Burger & Bar-B-Q ()
Pulitzer Prize-winning critic and LA Weekly Counter Intelligence columnist Jonathan Gold hankers for Southern-style smoked barbecue ribs at J "N" J Burger & Bar-B-Q. He recommends the slab, barbecued chicken and rib sandwiches; thick and sweet beans, and some of the best collard greens in town, cooked with a lot of smoked meat.
J "N" J Burger & Bar-B-Q
5754 W Adams Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90016
Photo: Anne Fishbein
Music break: Every Direction Is North by El Ten Eleven
Hanukkah and Aleppian Cuisine ()
Author Poopa Dweck celebrates Hanukkah and Syrian Jewish cuisine in her book Aromas of Aleppo. This Jewish community no longer exists in Aleppo and has dispersed to smaller communities in New York, New Jersey and Latin America. Poopa has made it her life's mission to preserve her community's legacy and cuisine.
Ataiyef - Stuffed Syrian Pancakes
(Courtesy of Poopa Dweck’s Aromas of Aleppo)
Makes about 4 dozen pancakes
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup shira (Fragrant Aleppian Dessert Syrup, p. 249)
1 cup pistachios, shelled, blanched, peeled and finely chopped
1. Preheat a griddle pan over medium heat. Wipe the pan with a paper towel dipped in vegetable oil.
2. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the egg and water to the mixture. Stir the mixture until the batter is smooth and there are no lumps.
3. Make the pancakes by pouring the batter, 1 tablespoon at a time, onto the griddle. Shape the batter into 3-inch-wide pancakes, much like a thin crepe. Cook on one side only. Remove the pancake when bubbles appear on its surface. Keep the cooked pancakes moist by covering them with a clean towel.
4. Place 1 teaspoon ricotta cheese in the uncooked center of each pancake. Fold the pancake in half and pinch the sides firmly closed. Fill the pancakes as quickly as possible so they do not dry out. (At this point, the pancakes may be frozen for later use.)
5. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat the vegetable oil until it sizzles upon contact with a drop water. Deep-fry the filled pancakes in batches for 3 minutes or until brown. Coat the fried pancakes in cold shira. Dip the point of each pancake in pistachio nuts. To ensure a crispy texture, place the pancakes on a tray in a single layer; do not stack or cover them.
For a non-dairy version, combine 2 cups finely chopped walnuts, ½ cup sugar, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon and substitute for the ricotta.
Music break: Memories of You by George Barnes & Carl Kress
Green Eggs and Ham ()
Chef Rick Moonen, of RM Seafood at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, gets inspired by Dr. Seuss' Green Eggs and Ham. He has commissioned a local Nevadan chicken farmer to raise chickens for his "green eggs and ham" dish, poached egg with braised pork belly. The shells of the eggs are green, not the yolk!
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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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