Cities of Spice; Best Cookbooks of 2007; English Pudding
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Jonathan Gold snacks on Mexico City cuisine, while Andrea Azuma advocates access to healthy food in low-income neighborhoods. Wine connoisseur George Cossette decants Croatian and Slovenian wines, James Peterson tells us how to cook an egg and other kitchen basics, and Tim Fischer lists the best cookbooks of the year. Plus, author Kate Colquhoun tastes English pudding and other traditional British food, food writer Michael Krondl explores the spice world, Samantha Saffir cooks up culinary lessons for kids, and Laura Avery finds what’s in season in a fresh Market Report.
The Market Report ()
Laura Avery chats with Barbara Spencer of Windrose Farm about tepary beans. Barbara has white and brown varieties and is also selling black-eyed peas. All the beans are recently harvested so cooking time is much faster than grocery store-bought beans.
Food editor Russ Parsons of the LA Times loves beans and has a great recipe for cooking beans with pork.
Pinto Bean and Squash Stew
(Courtesy of Russ Parsons' How to Read a French Fry)
- 1 lb dried pinto beans, picked over and rinsed
- 1 1/2 quarts water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 1/4 inch think slice salt pork
- freshly ground black pepper
- 4 slices bacon, diced
- 1 jalapeño chile, seeded and minced
- 2 green onions, minced
- 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 cup beef stock
- 1/2 red onion, finely diced for garnish
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
- 3/4 cup sour cream
Preheat oven to 300°F.
Combine the beans and water, 1 teaspoon salt, the onion, garlic and salt pork in a large Dutch oven. Bring to a boil on top of the stove, cover and bake until the beans are cooked, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Season to taste with salt, if necessary, and pepper. Check the water level to make sure the beans don't dry out.
About 45 minutes before the beans are cooked, combine the bacon, jalapeño and green onions in a large sautée pan and cook over low heat until the bacon is crisp.
Add the squash and stock, and cover and cook until the squash is just tender, about 30 minutes.
Add the squash mixture to the beans and mix gently but well. Do not smash the beans or squash. Spoon the bean and squash stew into 6 serving bowls, garnish each with the red onion, cilantro and 2 tablespoons of the sour cream and serve.
Music break: The Mexican by The Fentones
The Gold Standard: Mexico City Cuisine ()
Jonathan Gold, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the LA Weekly, snacks on Mexico City-style cuisine at Sabor a Mexico and Antojitos del D.F. Known as el Distrito Federal, or Federal District, Mexico City is known for its huaraches, huitlacoche quesadillas, pambazos and mulitas. Jonathan recommends the quesadillas de flor de calabaza (squash-blossom turnovers) at both restaurants.
Antojitos del D.F. (Las Palmas)
4003 E Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90023
Sabor a Mexico
8940 National Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90034
Music break: Cheif Woopinkoff by Fireballs
Project CAFE ()
Some neighborhoods in Los Angeles have more fast-food restaurants and convenience stores than fresh produce from farmers' markets and supermarkets. Andrea Azuma advocates access to healthy food in low-income neighborhoods of Los Angeles. Andrea's the project manager for Project CAFE (Community Action on Food Environments), which is a part of the Center for Food & Justice, Urban & Environmental Policy Institute at Occidental College. She discusses the challenges that the Pico-Union, MacArthur Park and South Los Angeles neighborhoods face in obtaining nutritious foods as well as CAFE's agenda for improving this situation.
Music break: Anything Goes by Tal Farlow
Croatian and Slovenian Wines ()
George Cossette, wine expert and co-owner of Silverlake Wine, decants Croatian and Slovenian wines from the Adriatic region. During a recent Sunday wine tasting, the wine store featured these unique wines and sold almost every bottle in stock. George recommends:
- Bibich, Debit 2005 Croatia (white)
- Kozlovic, Malvazilja – known more commonly as Malvasia-2005 Croatia (white)
- Batic, Sivi Pinot Reserve - known more commonly as pinot gris – 1999 Slovenia (white)
- Dingac, Plavac 2005 Croatia (red)
- Zlatan Otok, Zlatan Plavac Grand Cru 2004 Croatia (red)
- Santomas Refosk Big Red Reserve 2001 Slovenia (red)
2395 Glendale Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90039
Music break: Nofretete's Headache by Power Dozen
How to Cook an Egg ()
Master cook and award-winning author James Peterson teaches kitchen basics, like how to cook an egg, in his book, Cooking: 600 Recipes, 1500 Photographs, One Kitchen Education. A cooking instructor for over 20 years, James is also a self-trained food photographer.
Music break: Mirage by Robert Drasnin
Best Cookbooks of 2007 ()
Tim Fischer, manager of The Cook's Library in Los Angeles, rounds up the best cookbooks of the year. He recommends:
- Desserts by the Yard by Sherry Yard
- Elizabeth Falkner’s Demolition Desserts by Elizabeth Falkner
- Pure Dessert by Alice Medrich
- Dolce Italiano by Gina DePalma
- Lost Desserts by Gail Monaghan
- Great Coffee Cakes, Sticky Buns, Muffins and More by Carole Walter
- Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant by Jenni Ferrari-Adler
- The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken by Laura Schenone
- The Sharper your Knife the Less You Cry by Kathleen Flinn
- The Elements of Cooking by Michael Ruhlman
- The Tenth Muse by Judith Jones
- Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill Cookbook by Bobby Flay
- Bistro Laurent Tourondel: New American Bistro Cooking by Laurent Tourondel
- Asian Flavors of Jean-Georges by Jean Georges Vongerichten
- Jonathan Waxman’s A Great American Cook by Jonathan Waxman
- Made in Italy by Giorgio Locatelli
- Creole by Babette de Rozieres
- Jamie at Home by Jamie Oliver
- Moro East by Samantha & Samuel Clark
- Week in Week Out by Simon Hopkinson
- The River Cottage Fish Book by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
- Angela Hartnett’s Cucina by Angela Hartnett
Music break: Going Down South by Hutcherson & Land
English Pudding ()
Journalist Kate Colquhoun traces the origins of traditional Christmas foods, such as English pudding, the boiled dessert made with suet or lard, in Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking.
English Plum Pudding
Makes 8 servings
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup currants
- 1/4 cup cut-up candied fruit peel
- 1/4 cup cut-up candied cherries
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 3/4 cup soft bread crumbs
- 1 cup (4 ounces) ground kidney suet
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 Tablespoon brandy
- 1/4 cup brandy (optional)
- Hard Sauce (see below)
Mix flour, spices, baking soda and salt. Stir in fruit, walnuts and bread crumbs. Combine suet, brown sugar, eggs and 1 tablespoon brandy, and stir into flour mixture. Pour into a well-greased 4-cup mold and cover with aluminum foil. Place mold on a rack set in to a Dutch oven, and pour boiling water into Dutch oven to rack level. Cover and boil over low heat until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 3 hours, adding boiling water if necessary.
Remove mold from Dutch oven. Unmold. Heat 1/4 cup brandy until warm, ignite and pour over pudding. Serve with Hard Sauce.
- 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- 2 Tablespoons brandy
Beat butter, confectioners sugar and brandy until smooth.
Music break: Cherry Pink by James Last
Spice Trade Wars ()
Food historian Michael Krondl recounts the spice trade wars amongst Venice, Lisbon, and Amsterdam in his book, The Taste of Conquest: The Rise and Fall of the Three Great Cities of Spice. He talks about how spices have been used as currency, medicine, recreational hallucinogens, and to justify genocide. Krondl has more information about spice history on his website.
Music break: Blue Room by George Barnes & Carl Kress
Kitchen Kid ()
Culinary coach Samantha Saffir teaches kids how to cook healthy and tasty food. She's the owner of Kitchen Kid, an in-home cooking school for children and families. She exposes kids to new flavors, aromas, and textures as well as reinforces math and science skills. Kitchen Kids offers summer culinary camps, family cooking classes, after school food classes and other offerings.
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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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