Mood Foods; American vs French Sommeliers
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Russ Parsons dishes up spring soups, while Eddie Lin dines on Korean blood sausage. Writer Michael Steinberger argues American sommeliers are better than French sommeliers, fromager Todd Jasmin selects tasty, ripe cheeses and Evan Kleiman gives producer Bob Carlson cooking lessons. Dr. Susan Kleiner gets in the mood with food, instructor Marilyn Friedman serves gourmet foods to stimulate writing and Laura Avery finds what's in season in the Market Report.
The Market Report ()
Laura Avery chats with Amelia Saltsman about the joy of sprouting broccoli which has just come into season.
Sprouting Broccoli with Bowtie Pasta
Makes 4 hearty servings
1 pound sprouting ("baby") broccoli
4 to 6 large cloves garlic, peeled
3 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher or sea salt
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 pound bowtie pasta
Cook the broccoli and garlic cloves in boiling salted water until the broccoli is bright green and crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Drain thoroughly. Finely chop the garlic and chop the broccoli into bite-size pieces. Over medium heat, heat the olive oil in wide pot large enough to accommodate all the ingredients. When the oil is hot, add pepper flakes and garlic, stir until fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds. Add the broccoli and a good sprinkle of salt, cover pan, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until broccoli is very tender, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in well-salted boiling water until al dente. Drain, reserving a little of the cooking water, and add bowties to broccoli. Mix together, season with salt and cook over medium-low heat until flavors are blended, 3 to 5 minutes, adding a little of the pasta water to keep the mixture moist.
Laura also finds blueberries from Carpenteria that are in season. There are over 40 different types of blueberries being grown by Whitney Ranch.
Music break: Lagonda by Larry Elgart
Spring Soups ()
Los Angeles Times food writer Russ Parsons dishes up delicious spring soups.
Potato and green garlic chowder
Serves 4 to 6
1/2 pound green garlic
1 1/2 pounds fingerling potatoes
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon sherry vinegar
Good olive oil
Grated pecorino Romano
Trim the root ends of the green garlic and the very tips of the green leaves if they are dried out. Cut the green garlic crosswise in thin pieces. Slice the potatoes in half lengthwise and then in rough 1/2-inch pieces.
Combine the butter and onion in a large saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring roughly until the butter melts and the onions turn soft and creamy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and the green garlic, reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the mixture is fragrant, about 5 minutes.
Add the potatoes and turn them in the garlic mixture. Add the water and salt, increase the heat to medium and bring to a simmer. Cook at a quick simmer until the potatoes are soft enough to be smashed with a fork, about 20 minutes.
Coarsely puree the potatoes and garlic. This is most easily done with an immersion blender, but can also be done in a food processor or blender if you're careful to pulse very quickly. The mixture should be rough and chunky; you don't want a smooth puree.
Add the sherry vinegar and a generous grinding of black pepper. Taste and add more salt, pepper or vinegar if necessary. Return to the pan and simmer another 5 minutes.
Stir briskly just before serving. Ladle into warm serving bowls, drizzle with a thread of good olive oil and sprinkle over 1 to 2 tablespoons grated pecorino Romano.
Chilled sweet pea bisque with Dungeness crab and mint
1 3/4 pounds English peas in their shells
1 onion, chopped
8 cups water
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1 leek, chopped
1/4 cup rice
3 ounces Dungeness crab (a little more than 1/2 cup), preferably leg and claw meat
1 tablespoon thinly slivered mint
1-2 teaspoons lemon juice
Shell the peas, collecting the peas in a bowl (you should have about 2 cups) and putting the pods in a large saucepan. Rinse the pods under running water, and then add the onion and the 8 cups of water, the salt and the sugar. Bring to a simmer and cook until the pods are fairly soft and quite fragrant, about 15 minutes. Strain into a measuring cup, discarding the cooked pods. You should have about 6 cups of broth.
Rinse out the saucepan and heat the butter and leek in it. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring, until the leek softens, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat well. Add 5 cups of the broth and bring to a simmer. Cook until the rice is quite soft, about 20 minutes. The kernels should be soft enough they're beginning to split at the ends and should offer very little resistance when tasted.
Add the peas and increase the heat to high. Cook just until their color brightens and they soften, 3 to 5 minutes.
Ladle about half of the brothy pea and rice mixture into a blender. Cover the top with a towel to prevent any splashing and pulse once or twice on low speed to get the mixture started. Once the mixture has been chopped, blend at low speed about 30 seconds, and then raise the speed to high for about 10 seconds, until the mixture is a smooth puree.
Strain the mixture into a pot, stirring it and rubbing it against the bottom and sides of the strainer with a rubber spatula until all that is left is a fairly dry mixture of broken rice and pea skins. Repeat with the remaining soup. You should have about 3 cups of soup; if necessary, add a little more of the broth to make that amount. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Refrigerate, tightly covered until chilled. (The recipe can be prepared to this point up to 4 hours in advance.)
When ready to serve, gently stir together the crab and the mint in a small bowl, being careful not to break up the crab meat. Whisk lemon juice into the pea soup and taste and add more salt or lemon if necessary. Ladle about 3/4 cup of soup into each of 4 shallow soup plates or pasta bowls. Carefully spoon about 2 tablespoons of the crab mixture in the center of the soup and serve.
Shrimp and artichoke soup with spring herb gnocchi
1/3 pound medium shrimp, shell-on
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
6 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
2 large artichokes or 4 medium or 6 small, trimmed to hearts and cut in rough 3/4-inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
Mixed chopped herbs
Prepare the gnocchi and set aside. Peel the shrimp, collecting the shells in a saucepan. Cut the meat in half crosswise. To the shells, add the onion, garlic, salt, peppercorns, lemon and a handful of herb stems and trimmings from preparing the gnocchi. Add the water and bring to a simmer. Cook 30 minutes.
Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Heat the olive oil in the bottom of a soup pot over medium-high heat. When quite hot, add the chopped artichokes and cook, stirring, 4-5 minutes. Pour the shrimp stock through a strainer over the artichokes and simmer until the artichokes are tender enough to cut with the back of a knife, about 10 minutes. Add the shrimp and continue cooking over low heat. (The recipe can be prepared to this point up to 4 hours in advance and refrigerated tightly covered; reheat gently.)
Carefully drop the gnocchi into the boiling water. Just cook a handful at a time. Stir gently to keep them from sticking to the bottom and cook until they float to the surface, about 45 seconds to 1 minute. Remove from the pot with a skimmer and add to the soup pot. Repeat, cooking all of the gnocchi.
Ladle the finished soup into 6 warmed soup plates or pasta bowls, sprinkle with fresh herbs and serve immediately.
Fresh herb gnocchi
1/2 cup ricotta
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 teaspoon minced tarragon
1 tablespoon minced parsley
1 teaspoon minced chives
5-6 tablespoons flour
In a medium mixing bowl, beat until smooth the ricotta, egg yolk, Parmigiano-Reggiano and the tarragon, parsley and chives. Beat in the flour 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture forms a ball that holds together. It may still be slightly sticky.
Flour your hands. Tear off a small piece of the dough and roll it between your palms to form a small ball roughly 1/2 inch across. Set aside on a lightly floured towel and repeat using up all of the dough. You should have about 30 gnocchi.
Recipes courtesy of Russ Parsons.
Music break: JW by Shawn Lee's Ping Pong Orchestra
There Will Be Blood Sausage ()
Deep End Diner Eddie Lin tastes soondae, Korean pork blood sausage. Lin recommends soondae houses, Cham Cham Cham and Western Soondae, in Koreatown.
Cham Cham Cham
3250 W Olympic Blvd #314
Koreatown Galleria Mall
Los Angeles, CA 90006
543 S Western Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90020
Music break: Alki Point by The Jesters
American Sommeliers vs French Sommeliers ()
Music break: Stressed Out (Remix) by A Tribe Called Quest
Music break: Blondie's Strip by John Barry
Comme Ça's Fromager ()
Comme Ça fromager Todd Jasmin selects tasty, ripe cheeses.
He mentions the following:
Brinata Pecorino - triple cream sheeps milk cheese.
Evangeline Aged Goat Cheese - triple cream cheese aged 3-4 weeks from Bittersweet Plantation Dairy in Louisiana.
MT TAM - triple cream organic cows milk cheese, from Cowgirl Creamery in California.
Epoisses - cows milk cheese from Burgundy, France. Very popular and Todd's favorite cheese.
8479 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90069
The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills
419 N Beverly Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Music break: Blondie's Strip by John Barry
Cooking Lessons with Bob Carlson: The Initiation ()
This week, Good Food host and chef Evan Kleiman begins a series of cooking lessons with producer Bob Carlson. His first task is to make asparagus with fried eggs and parmesan.
Asparagus with Fried Egg and Parmesan
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 500°.
Get some good thick asparagus from a farmers’ market or good grocery store. If you can't find thick asparagus, don't worry, buy thinner ones. Trim each stalk by breaking off each stem at the point the woody part gives and is pliable, or just cut slice them off about two inches from the bottom. Give the asparagus a rinse and quick shake to remove the excess water.
Lay the asparagus in one layer on a cookie sheet. Drizzle good olive oil over them and add salt and pepper to taste. Place in the hot oven for 10 minutes.
When they are cooked, turn the oven off. Leave the asparagus in the oven so they stay warm while you make the egg.
Fry one egg per person in butter over medium-high heat. Salt and pepper the egg.
When the egg is cooked but the yolk still runny, mound a few asparagus on each eater's plate. Top the mound with a fried egg, and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese. EAT! I like to take an asparagus spear with my fingers and dip it into the egg yolk. YUM!
Music break: Can't Get you out of my Head by Shawn Lee's Ping Pong Orchestra
Mood Foods ()
Dr. Susan Kleiner explains how foods influence moods in her book, The Good Mood Diet. She argues against low calorie, low carbohydrate diets, talks about "good mood" foods and how they affect the brain and how lack of sleep impedes the ability to lose weight. To get more information and practical tips, visit Dr. Kleiner's The Good Mood Diet website.
Dr. Kleiner will speak at a one-day UCLA Extension seminar called "How Food Affects Mood" on March 22.
Music break: Tra Veglia Sonno by Dick Dia
Writing Pad ()
Marilyn Friedman serves gourmet foods to stimulate writing and creativity. She is the founder of Writing Pad, which offers classes on writing.
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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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