French Toast and Hugs; Noodle Island; Fried Green Tomatoes
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French toast evangelist Shyam Yadav spends his free time making this breakfast dish for strangers on the street. Jonathan Gold goes to Noodle Island and Steve Shaw explains how to eat like a pro at Asian restaurants that have two separate menus. John Shelton Reed and Dale Volberg Reed come clean on why North Carolina barbecue is best. And Steve Lerach tells tales of working with misfits and criminals in restaurant kitchens. Bitter flavors are handled in a remarkable way in our bodies according to Dr. Tim Osborne. Lawry's the Prime Rib has been in business for 62 years and Fether's tells stories of her 45 year-long waitress career there. Plus, Laura Avery samples fried green tomatoes and baby broccoli at the Farmers' Market.
The Market Report ()
Chef Samir Mohajer just opened Cabbage Patch restaurant in Beverly Hills three weeks ago. He shops a number of times a week at the farmers markets. Right now he's buying baby broccoli which is a different variety than the usual crown variety.
This "baby" broccoli comes in separate stalks. Samir blanches the stalks in boiling water for about 1 to 2 minutes, until they are very slightly cooked, then immediately plunges them into ice water to stop the cooking and preserve the color. The next step is to saute it quickly in a very hot pan with garlic and red pepper flakes until the broccoli gets brown at the edges and slightly crispy. This can be served as a delicious side dish. Cabbage Patch is located at 214 S. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, (310) 550-8655. 214 S. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, (310) 550-8655.
Debbie Chamberlain of Wong Family Farms is bringing in hydroponically grown tomatoes. Rather than absorbing nutrients through soil, the plants' roots are "fed" by the nutrient-rich water. The Shady Lady variety of tomatoes are large and deep red. Debbie also brings in unripe or green tomatoes.
Fried Green Tomatoes Recipe
1/4 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
2/3 cup cornmeal (substitute bread crumbs if needed)
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup flour
3 green or unripe tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
Cut tomato into 1/4 inch slices. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Dip slices into first flour, then the milk, then the beaten eggs, and finally the cornmeal or bread crumbs.
Heat oil in a skillet on medium heat. In the skillet, fry half of the coated tomato slices at a time, for 4-6 minutes on each side or until brown. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Good Food listener Teresa Walter shares her recipe for rehruecken, a German cake. This recipe,which has been in her family for generations, is usually served on birthdays.
Rehruecken translates to "venison saddle cake," which is largely due to its shape and decoration. The slivered almonds on the chocolate icing resembles either the back of a deer (Teresa's family lore) or a larded, sauced venison roast.
While Teresa's recipe contains flour, the traditional way of making rehruecken is with cake crumbs or strictly with almond meal.
1 cup sugar
1 ¾ cup ground almonds
3 Tablespoons flour
3 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 ½ tsps cinnamon
Separate the yolks and whites from 5 eggs. Combine 5 yolks, 2 whole eggs and sugar, and stir until sugar is dissolved. Add chocolate, almonds, cinnamon and flour, and fold in stiffly beaten egg whites a little at a time. Stir and put in pan and bake at 325° for 1 hour. Turn off oven and let stand 2 minutes. Turn out of pan immediately on to a rack.
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 heaping Tablespoon and 1 level Tablespoon cocoa
4 Tablespoons hot water
1 Tablespoon melted shortening (not butter)
Stir water one tablespoon at a time into sugar and cocoa until glazed and thick as cooking candy. Add shortening and stir to combine. Spread on cake and decorate with blanched almond slivers.You can buy a Rehruecken pan here.
Music break: Acapulco by Les Baxter
French Toast and Hugs ()
Shyam Yadav and his dog Daisy started the gang French Toast and Hugs. They've held events in Santa Monica, New Zealand, Downtown Los Angeles, New York and India. Their next "FTX" event will be in Philadelphia.
Shyam makes a playlist for each FTX event. For the Downtown L.A. event, he included "Long Train Runnin'" by the Doobie Brothers, "What's Going On" by Marvin Gaye, "The Weight" by The Band and other classic rock tunes.French Toast
For best results, choose a good challah (egg bread) or a firm, high-quality sandwich bread, such as Arnold Country Classics White or Pepperidge Farm Farmhouse Hearty White. Thomas’ English Muffin Toasting Bread also works well. If you purchase an unsliced loaf, cut the bread into 1/2-inch-thick slices. To prevent the butter from clumping during mixing, warm the milk in a microwave or small saucepan until warm to the touch (about 80°). The French toast can be cooked all at once on an electric griddle, but may take an extra 2 to 3 minutes per side. Set the griddle temperature to 350° and use the entire amount of butter for cooking.
8 large slices hearty white sandwich bread or good-quality challah
1 1/2 cups whole milk , warmed
3 large egg yolks
3 Tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter , melted, plus 2 Tablespoons for cooking
1/4 tsp table salt
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300°F. Place bread on wire rack set on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake bread until almost dry throughout (center should remain slightly moist), about 16 minutes, flipping slices halfway through cooking. Remove bread from rack and let cool 5 minutes. Return baking sheet with wire rack to oven and reduce temperature to 200°.
2. Whisk milk, yolks, sugar, cinnamon, 2 tablespoons melted butter, salt and vanilla in large bowl until well blended. Transfer mixture to 13" x 9" baking pan.
3. Soak bread in milk mixture until saturated but not falling apart, 20 seconds per side. Using a firm slotted spatula, pick up bread slice and allow excess milk mixture to drip off; repeat with remaining slices. Place soaked bread on another baking sheet or platter.
4. Heat 2 tablespoon butter in 12-inch skillet over medium-low heat. When foaming subsides, use slotted spatula to transfer 2 slices of soaked bread to skillet and cook until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and continue to cook until the second side is golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes longer. (If the toast is cooking too quickly, reduce temperature slightly.) Transfer to baking sheet in oven. Wipe out skillet with paper towels. Repeat cooking with remaining bread, 2 pieces at a time, adding a tablespoon of butter for each batch. Serve warm, passing maple syrup separately.See a video for this recipe here.
Music break: Adios by Billy Strange with the Mexican Brass
Noodle Island ()
Pulitzer Prize-winning food writer Jonathan Gold visited Noodle Island in the San Gabriel Valley. Read his review and see pictures at the L.A. Weekly website. (Noodle Island is located at 800 W. Las Tunas Dr., San Gabriel, 626-284-6600.)
Good Food's music supervisor, Gary Mecija, takes a lot of great photographs when he goes out to eat. He took this picture of the Crossing the Bridge Soup on a recent trip to Noodle Island.
Music break: Air and Kilometers by Kaki King
Asian Dining Rules ()
James Beard Award-winner Steven Shaw is the author of Asian Dining Rules: Essential Strategies for Eating Out at Japanese, Chinese, Southeast Asian, Korean and Indian Restaurants. He is also the founder of eGullet.com.
Music break: Balboa by The Challengers
Holy Smoke! ()
John Shelton Reed and Dale Volberg Reed are members of the Southern Foodways Alliance, dedicated to documenting and preserving the food cultures of the American South. One of those cultures includes North Carolina Barbecue. According to John and Dale, barbecue in North Carolina is very different from varieties you'll find in Memphis, Texas or Kansas City. In North Carolina, they use a vinegar sauce. You can find out more at the North Carolina Barbecue Society website. You'll find great recipes in John and Dale's book, Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue.
Old-Time Eastern North Carolina Barbecue Sauce
Eastern-style sauce started out simple, and it still is. Here's a recipe from the North Carolina Pork Council that isn't much different from Thomas Jefferson's pepper sauce.
1 gallon cider vinegar
1 1/3 cups crushed red pepper
2 Tablespoons black pepper
1/4 cup salt
Mix the ingredients and let stand for at least 4 hours. This one doesn’t even need refrigeration!
6 regular-size tea bags
1/8 tsp baking soda
2 cups boiling water
1 1/2 – 2 cups sugar (if you are new to sweet tea, start with 1 1/2 cups)
6 cups cold water
In a glass measuring cup or ceramic teapot large enough to accommodate the boiling water, place the tea bags and baking soda. Pour boiling water over the tea. Cover and let steep for 15 minutes. Remove the tea bags, being careful not to squeeze them (squeezing will add bitterness). Pour the concentrate into a 2-quart pitcher and add the sugar. Stir until almost dissolved. Stir in the cold water. Let cool, then chill and serve over ice.
Music break: Bernie's Tune by Eddie Cano
Restaurant Stories ()
Music break: Bogalusa Strut by the New Orleans Heritage Hall Jazz Band
Bitter Toxins ()
Scientists have been discovered some surprises in the body's reaction to bitterness. Dr. Tim Osbourne, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at the University of California, Irvine, is the senior author of the study. According to that study, receptors in the gut recognize bitter tasting toxins and secrete a hormone called cholecystokinin. This hormone suppresses the appetite and slows food movement from the stomach to the small intestine. Want to know more?
Music break: Can and Mouse by Henry Mancini
45 Years at Lawry's ()
Jennifer Williams, also known as Fethers, traveled to the US from England after watching Ocean's 11. She had dreams of meeting Frank Sinatra. After working as an au pair in Cincinnati, she settled in Los Angeles and became a waitress at Lawry's The Prime Rib on La Cienega. She's been there for 45 years, and has waited on Muhammad Ali, Doris Day, Sammy Davis Jr. and Elizabeth Taylor, among other stars. Sadly, she never got to meet Frank Sinatra. She officially retires on March 31.
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