A Fly in Your Soup; No Taste Buds; Sardines and Anchovies
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Taras Grescoe tells us how to be a seafood "bottomfeeder", while chef Michael Cimarusti takes a fresh look at sardines and anchovies. Journalist D.T. Max profiles a high-end chef who lost his ability to taste, etiquette expert Helena Echlin has tips on how to deal with a fly in your soup and Jeanne Kelley creates tasty dishes from her Los Angeles urban farm. Blogger-author Clotilde Dusoulier shares her favorite food experiences in Paris, Billy Shore talks about the state of the union in food and Laura Avery finds what’s in season in the Market Report.
The Market Report ()
Laura Avery chats with noted stone-fruit farmer Fitzgerald Kelly, who grows 173 different varieties of fruit. This week he brings in Flavorella and Flavorosa apriums and pluots, which are at the peak of their flavor. Since the varieties can change each week, take a sample from each farmer and buy what tastes best.
Sal Marino is the chef-owner of Il Grano restaurant in West Los Angeles and La Bottega Marino in West LA and Larchmont (soon to open in Beverly Hills.) Employing a traditional Italian way to enjoy peaches and wine, Marino slices full-flavored, ripe peaches into a dry white wine. As they marinate, the peaches imbue the wine with their flavor.
Music break: Hua Rock by Bill & Friends
Taras Grescoe reports on the state of the farmed fishing industry and explains how to be a better seafood consumer in his book, Bottomfeeder: How to Eat Ethically in a World of Vanishing Seafood.
Music break: I'm a Man by Green Future
Sardines and Anchovies ()
Providence chef-owner Michael Cimarusti takes a fresh look at cooking with sardines and anchovies. He shares a delicious marinated anchovy with artichoke dish. Cimarusti also suggests preparing a ceviche of anchovies by putting them in a little oil and topping them with white vinegar or citrus juice, then adding coriander, onions and any other spices you like. As the anchovies marinate in the mixture, the acid cooks the fish. They're ready to eat as soon as the fish begins to fall apart.
You can buy fresh sardines at fish wholesaler IMP Market in downtown Los Angeles, Mitsuwa Market on Alameda near 3rd Street in Little Tokyo and at Santa Monica Seafood in Santa Monica.
Also look for Aji (Spanish mackerel). It's one of the most flavorful fish in the ocean. Peel off its skin and roast it or grill it.
5955 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Marinated Anchovies with Artichokes Braised à la Greque
For the anchovies
- 2 whole anchovies
To marinate the anchovies - using your hands, remove the head and the backbones from the anchovies. This is best accomplished by pushing the flesh away from the bones with gentle pressure from your thumbs.
Marinate the anchovies with the following:
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1 bulb thinly sliced fennel (fronds reserved)
- 1 small sweet onion
- 1 small carrot peeled and cut into thin coins
- 2 cloves peeled garlic (thinly sliced)
- 1 tsp Italian chili flakes
- 20 or so parsley leaves
- 20 or so cilantro leaves
- Salt to season the fillets of anchovy
Mix together the wine, vinegar and the olive oil. Mix together the dry ingredients. Lay the dry ingredients out in a thin layer on a cookie sheet. Place the anchovy fillets on top of the vegetables in a single layer, season with salt. Add the liquid ingredients and cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate overnight.
For the artichokes:
- 4 large artichokes
- 2 small carrots
- 1 small freshly dug sweet onion peeled and cut into eight wedges
- 3 cloves fresh garlic peeled and cut into thirds
- 1 tsp coriander seed
- 1/2 tsp fennel seed
- 2 cups white wine
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 bouquet of thyme, parsley stems and basil stems
- White vinegar to taste
- 20 basil leaves torn
- 8 small vine ripened Campari tomatoes, halved (available from Jaime farms, at the Wednesday and Sunday Santa Monica Farmers Markets)
Place a non-reactive saucepan on the fire (preferably La Creuset or the like). Add half of the olive oil, the garlic, the spices and the bouquet. When this begins to sizzle add the onions, carrots and the artichokes. Toss the mixture to coat with the olive oil and season with a generous pinch of salt. Sweat, for about two minutes over high heat. Add the white wine and cover the pan for five minutes. Remove the lid and add the remaining olive oil. Season with the vinegar to taste and continue to cook until the artichokes are tender. Rectify the seasoning and turn the fire off. By this time the liquid in the pan should appear slightly thickened. Check the flavor of the liquid and rectify the seasoning. Allow the artichokes to cool to room temperature in the pan. When they are cool transfer to as serving platter and add the torn basil leaves and the vine ripened tomatoes. Arrange the marinated anchovies on top of the braised artichokes, finish with a sprinkle of coarse sea salt and a drizzle of good olive oil and serve.
Evan Kleiman butterflies anchovies, sprinkles them with a bread-crumb topping and roasts them in the oven for just a few minutes. She also shares her version of marinated sardines.
Sarde Sott ' Aceto
Serves 4 to 6 as an appetizer
- 1 lb fresh sardines, cleaned
- 3 Tablespoons plus 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 whole head garlic, cloves separated and unpeeled
- 3 - 4 bay leaves
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 1 cup wine vinegar
Saute the sardines in the 3 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet. Set aside in a glass, enamel, or earthenware dish. For the marinade, brown the unpeeled garlic cloves in the 1/4 cup olive oil in a medium skillet, adding the bay leaves. As soon as the garlic cloves are well browned, add the sweet paprika and stir for a minute or so. Add the vinegar and bring the mixture to a boil. Pour the boiling marinade over the sardines and let cool. Cover and let marinate in a cool place.
Music break: I'm Coming Home by Trendsetters Ltd.
Chef Loses Sense of Taste ()
Journalist D.T. Max talks about chef-owner Grant Achatz who lost his ability to taste due to tongue cancer. Surprisingly, Achatz continues to develop dishes at Alinea restaurant in Chicago; he relies on his sous-chefs to taste for him. Max, who recounts eating a unique 24-course meal at Alinea, wrote about Grant Achatz in the May 12 edition of The New Yorker. He is also the author of The Family That Couldn't Sleep: A Medical Mystery.
1723 North Halsted
Chicago, IL 60614
Music break: I Can See for Miles by Lord Sitar
A Fly in Your Soup ()
Etiquette maven Helena Echlin has helpful suggestions on how to deal with a fly in your soup and other little surprises in your food. Echlin is the Table Manners columnist for Chow magazine online.
Music break: I Want Freedom by Chris Joss
Backyard Kitchen Garden ()
Jeanne Kelley brings her Los Angeles backyard kitchen garden to sweet fruition in Blue Eggs and Yellow Tomatoes: Recipes from a Modern Kitchen Garden. She also has tips for raising backyard hens and talks about raising Araucana chickens. Kelley, who attended La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine in Paris, is a contributing editor to Bon Appetit.
Music break: I Love Paris by The Modern Touch of Marty Paich
Culinary Tour of Paris ()
Blogger-turned-author Clotilde Dusoulier treks through the streets of Paris and shares her favorite food experiences in her book, Clotilde's Edible Adventures in Paris. She writes the popular blog, Chocolate and Zucchini.
Tarte Fine Lisette et Fenouil (Mackerel and Fennel Tarte Fine)
Adapted from a recipe by Remi Van Peteghem, chef at Le Sensing
Serves 4 as a first course
Should fresh mackerel prove difficult to find, these tartes fines can be made with fillets of fresh sardine, fresh herring, or fresh rainbow trout; in all cases, opt for small specimens that will yield thin fillets.
Flour for rolling out the pastry
- 1 sheet pre-rolled uncooked puff pastry, thawed according to package instructions if frozen
- 12 ozs (340 g) extra fresh Atlantic mackerel fillets, with skin (get the smallest specimens you can find, and let the vendor know the fish will be marinated, not cooked)
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 tsps soy sauce
- 3 Tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 garlic clove, finely minced
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 2 fennel bulbs, about 1 pound (450 g), trimmed, cored, and finely diced
- Fine sea salt
- 4 dill fronds, for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out or unfold the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface. Draw a rectangle on an index card or a piece of ordinary paper, about 2 1/2 by 5 inches (6 by 13cm), snip it out, and use it as a guide to cut four rectangles of dough with a sharp knife; keep the remaining puff pastry for another use. Place the rectangles of dough on the prepared baking sheet, leaving a little space between them. Cover with a second sheet of parchment paper, spread baking weights or dried beans over the rectangles--this will prevent the dough from rising in the oven--and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside.
2. As soon as you've slipped the dough in the oven, prepare the fish. Cut the fillets crosswise into rectangles, about 1 inch (2.5 cm) in width. In a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, soy sauce, and the 3 tablespoons olive oil. Season with pepper. Add the fish to the bowl, stir gently to coat, cover, and leave in the fridge to marinate as you cook the fennel.
3. Heat the 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for two minute, stirring regularly to keep it from browning, until softened. Add the fennel seeds and toast for a minute, until fragrant. Add the diced fennel, season lightly with salt, and stir to combine. Cover and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, stirring every now and then, until cooked through but not too soft. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
4. Assemble the tarts: place the pastry rectangles on four serving plates and top each of them with a fourth of the fennel. Sprinkle with pepper. Drain the fish thoroughly and divide the pieces among the four tarts, lining them up in a regular pattern, skin side up, over the fennel. Garnish each tart with a dill frond and serve immediately, with a handful of mixed greens; Remi Van Peteghem serves his with a roasted fennel foam and a condiment of slow roasted tomatoes, chopped finely with scallions and spiked with a dash of balsamic vinegar.
VARIATION: The fish may be seared briefly before you assemble the tarts. Set the cooked fennel aside, wipe the skillet clean, add a touch of olive oil, and cook the fish for 1 minute, skin side down, over medium high heat.
Can't get enough of French food? Club Culinaire of French Cuisine is hosting their 28th annual Picnic des Chefs at Griffith Park on Sunday, June 8. This event features regional French cooking, wine tasting, pétanque, a French DJ and live music. Tickets can be purchased online, for more information call (949) 295-0506.
28th annual Picnic des Chefs
Sunday, June 8 at 11:30am
Crystal Springs Picnic Area (next to Ranger's Station)
4730 Crystal Springs Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Music break: I Love Paris by The Modern Touch of Marty Paich
Music break: I Would Go With You by Tommy Guerrero
Share Our Strength ()
Share Our Strength's president Billy Shore talks about the state of the union in food. Share Our Strength is an anti-hunger organization based in Washington, D.C.
The 20th annual Share our Strength’s Taste of the Nation Los Angeles takes place on Sunday, June 1st at Culver City’s Media Park from 1pm to 4pm. Join over 40 of Los Angeles’ finest chefs, wineries and mixologists as they combine their culinary talents to end childhood hunger. One hundred percent of the proceeds benefit local area charities. You can buy tickets online, by phone 1-877-26-TASTE or at the door. If you’re a KCRW subscriber, you can get a 10% discount by using the code "KCRW" or by showing your Fringe Benefits card.
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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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