Best of Good Food: Five-Second Rule; Padma Lakshmi; Canning
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This week, we serve up some of Evan Kleiman’s favorite leftovers. We’ll revisit bold flavors with Padma Lakshmi, Amy Sedaris surprises us with her wacky, delightfully look at entertaining and Harold McGee tests the five-second rule. Science journalist Gary Taubes defends the high fat diet, A.J. Jacobs lives a year biblically, literally; and Henry Petroski pays homage to the toothpick. Plus, Rachael Sheridan is all about canning and Laura Avery has a fresh Market Report.
The Market Report ()
Rancho La Viña brings in fresh walnuts and walnut oil. They grow a special variety that is much less bitter than commercial varieties. Walnut oil makes a delicious dressing oil for salads. Add it with citrus or balsamic vinegar.
Escarole with Walnuts, Celery, and Parmesan
2 heads escarole
½ cup thinly sliced celery heart
¼ lb Parmesan cheese, cut into thin slivers
1/3 cup broken walnuts
½ recipe Anchovy Dressing
Wash the escarole and remove the tough outer leaves. Tear the remaining tender inner leaves into bite-size pieces and combine in a salad bowl with the celery, Parmesan cheese, and walnuts. Toss with the Anchovy Dressing.
Makes 1½ cups
½-1 can flat anchovy fillets, drained and finely chopped
¾ cup fruity olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon, or ¼ cup red wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons minced fresh parsley
¼ tsp Dijon mustard (optional)Freshly ground pepper to taste
Recipes courtesy of Viana La Place and Evan Kleiman's Cucina Fresca.
Combine the anchovies in a small bowl with the olive oil, lemon juice or vinegar, parsley, mustard if using, and pepper. Whisk together.
Laura Avery also finds that avocados are back in season. Give the thin, green skin varieties a try like the Bacon, Jim Bacon and Fuerte varieties. Laura Ramirez of J.J.’s Lone Daughter Ranch brings in all kinds of green-skinned varieties. She also brings in sweet pink pomegranates. The seeds don't stain your clothes and skin and also don't have the chewy membrane inside.
Padma Lakshmi ()
Padma Lakshmi, host of Bravo's Top Chef, is a former model whose work allowed her to travel the world. She's fascinated by Mediterranean and Asian food, which she finds share an amazing similarity, despite their coming from opposite sides of the globe. Now she's created a world of recipes for every day in her book, Tangy, Tart, Hot & Sweet. Lakshmi shares the following recipe, which combines the tastes of hot and sweet in the same bite. She's named it after her good friend.
Francesco Clemente's Amazing Hot Sauce (Chipotle & Date Chutney)
(Courtesy of Padma Lakshmi's Tangy, Tart, Hot & Sweet)
Makes about 3 1/2 to 4 cups
10 fresh or dried dates, pitted, cut into chunks
4 plum tomatoes, seeded, with the juice squeezed from them
13 ozs pickled Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp coarse sea salt
In a blender or processor, combine all the ingredients and blend until they make a thick paste. Pour into a deep saucepan, and cook over medium-low heat for about 5 to 6 minutes, adding 1/4 cup water halfway through and stirring. Cool and then store in an airtight glass jar.
Music break: Wise Guy Cha Cha by West One UK Library
Amy Sedaris Entertains ()
Playwright Amy Sedaris
walks us through her FUN approach to entertaining. She discusses her
thriving cupcake business, her imaginary boyfriend, Ricky, and her
rabbit, Dusty, who loves her cooking. Sedaris' book is I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence.
Amy Sedaris' Cupcakes
1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups of sugar
Beat well, then add:
Add 2 large eggs
2 tsps of pure vanilla
1/2 tsp of salt
2 1/2 tsp of baking powder
2 1/2 cups of flour
1 1/4 cups of milk
Beat well, fill cups, and bake at 375°F for 18-20 minutes. You should get 24. (She gets 18, she says, " 'cause I'm doing something wrong. ")
1 stick of unsalted butter
1 box of Domino confectioners sugar
1/4 cup half-and-half
1 tsp of pure vanilla
Whip for a while, color if you want.
Music Break: Disc Jockey - Guy Pederson
Five-Second Rule ()
You drop a tasty cookie on the floor. Shouting "five seconds!" you frantically pick it up, blow on it, and pop it in your mouth –- with the notion that if something touches the floor for less than five seconds, it's still clean and safe to eat. Noted food scientist Harold McGee, author of On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen and The Curious Cook: More Kitchen Science and Lore, tested the "5 second" rule and wrote about his findings in the New York Times. Want to discover more kitchen science? Check out Harold's website.Music Break: It Was a Very Good Year by The 3 Sounds
Good Calories, Bad Calories ()
Are there such things as good calories and bad ones? Remember the Atkins diet, which stressed lots of animal proteins and fats and no carbs? Gary Taubes contends that carbohydrates make you get fat more than fats actually do in his new book, Good Calories, Bad Calories. The award-winning Science Magazine correspondent argues that exercise doesn't help lose weight, only cutting carbohydrates. Taubes eats two eggs, cheese, bacon and sausage for breakfast every day and a burger for lunch without the bun.
Music break: Hot Pants by Alan Hawkshaw
Living Biblically ()
Esquire editor A.J. Jacobs chronicles his quest to follow the Bible literally by eating fish, loaves and wine, among other things in his book, The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible. Jacobs grew a beard for his year-long project, kept the Sabbath, wore white, and even cast some stones. You can read more about his interesting experiment on his website.
Music break: Satin Doll by George Barnes and Carl Kress
History of the Toothpick ()
Professor Henry Petroski pays homage to the toothpick, one of the oldest, yet simplest tools, in his book, The Toothpick: Technology and Culture. Petroski teaches civil engineering and history at Duke University.
Music break: Big Spender by the Ray Martin Orchestra
Rachael Sheridan is all about canning. She explains what to can and how to do it. Sheriden is the food buyer at Cube on La Brea Ave in Los Angeles, where she also makes jams. Currently they have Wild and Oxnard Strawberry, Wong Farm Mango, White Peach and Lemon Verbena, Tenerelli Indian Peach and November Blackberry.
Cube @ Divine Pasta
615 N La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Blenheim Apricot Jam by We Love Jam, CA $16
You have to love a company that started making jam in order to save the endangered blenheim apricot tree. This jam is the best apricot jam I’ve ever tasted. Yes, you can go ahead and glaze away with it but really it’s a star on a homemade biscuit with some butter. I also love it with some pecorino and the “prosciutto” from Colonel Newsom’s in Kentucky.
GT 1000s and Smokra by Rick’s Picks, NY $11
Yes Virginia, there is a Rick! He makes his line of pickles in small batches with local ingredients from the farmer’s market. Two of my favorites are they GT 1000s, a curried green tomato pickle perfect for a turkey or ham sandwich, and Smokra, a savory pickled okra with smoked paprika that’s perfect for relish plates or a little salumi.
Grapefruit and Rhubarb Jam from Lou Lou’s Garden, CA $11
Made by Casey Havre in San Francisco this is seriously the most refreshing jam I’ve ever tasted. The rhubarb is sustainably grown in Loulou's own garden, made in very small batches in order to preserve (excuse the pun) its special flavor. The rhubarb is combined with organic ruby grapefruits (zest and juice) that add a honey flavor and a surprising freshness. Lovely on grilled game birds or served alongside grilled white fish.
Apple Butter by the Kiwanis Club of Vienna, Ohio $12
This Apple Butter is actually from my hometown in Vienna, Ohio. The local orchards donate the apples that are slow cooked with Apple Cider Syrup from the local Amish Community. Rich and satisfying, perfect with Double Devon Cream on a scone or with an amazing aged cheddar (I also love to whisk it into pork gravy).
Apple and Rosemary Jam by Saint Matteo, Italy $23
The San Matteo farm is set in Sicily amidst a splendid and extensive citrus grove that looks out over the sea at the gulf of Taormina and up to Mount Etna. Carlo Limone organically grows all the fruits and vegetables that go into his amazing preserves. I’m a big rosemary fan, anything that tastes like herbs and butter is tops in my book. So when I tried this apple preserve with rosemary I was hooked. It actually made me yell, “Where’s my pork chop?” Because that’s exactly what you should do with it, smear it on some porky goodness and don’t look back.
Elderberry Jelly by Livio Pesle, Italy $12
Livio Pesle is one of the nicest men alive. He called me a few months back and said “Rachael, I have lots of Elderflowers this year. I might make jelly. You want me send you some?” “Um, yes! Of course!” I replied. He sent us these beautiful little jars of Elderflower Jelly with the flowers floating in the bottom. It’s so elegant on a cheese plate with Mt. Tam or Brillat-Savarin, but I also love to spoon a little into prosecco for a fancy cocktail.
Home Canning Resources:
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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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