Irish Pubs; Obama Foodorama; Clam Invasion; Animal Dudes;
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Writer Bill Barich laments the disappearing pubs in Ireland. Bee Wilson finds food fraud all throughout our history. Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook own Animal restaurant and sing the praises of pig trotters. Nancy Ransohoff lets us in on her favorite Santa Barbara restaurants. And Jack Bishop from Cook's Illustrated weighs the merits of real vanilla extract, versus the imitation variety. Asian clams invade Lake Tahoe says Steve Chilton. Eddie Gehman Kohan blogs about the food world of Obama. Plus Laura Avery takes us through the Santa Monica Farmers Market.
Market Report ()
Campanile chef Mark Peel forages the market each week. This week he's making the most of green garlic, which is the plant before it becomes a dried bulb. It looks like a scallion but smells like garlic. Mark combines 4 bunches of green garlic, 4 bunches of baby spring onions and a pound of potatoes to make a soup. He thinly slices the garlic and onions, cubes the potatoes and adds 2 quarts of water and a little butter. Boil until fork tender. Blend the soup in a blender and strain through a sieve. Add salt and pepper and enjoy.
Farmer Bill Coleman grows a few different varieties of radicchio, including the one pictured below. This variety, which grows this way in the spring, still has the bitter flavor of regular radicchio but lacks the bulb formation of its cousins.
Celery root is also in season. This knotty bulb has a celery flavor and can be cut up into soups or shredded into salads. The tops have a very strong celery flavor and make a good seasoning for salads or soups.
Support the Farmer's Kitchen at a benefit dinner this Monday, March 16 at Pace. Chef Sandy Gendel and the farmers at the Hollywood Market are providing a seasonal menu, with proceeds going to SEE-LA's Farmer's Kitchen.
Music break: Mexican Shuffle by Le London All Stars
Irish Pub Crawl ()
Bill Barich is the author of A Pint of Plain: Tradition, Change and the Fate of the Irish Pub.
The Irish Pub concept has gone global, thanks to the Irish Pub Company, which helps people build authentic Irish Pubs around the world. Despite the global boom, pubs are closing at a rapid rate in Ireland. Sales of Guinness, the iconic Irish stout, have dropped significantly in Ireland in the last seven years. Instead, it's gaining popularity elsewhere. In fact, Nigeria now sells more Guinness than Ireland!
Beef Braised in Guinness
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup coarsely chopped bacon
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
A 1 lb, 10 oz braising steak, fat removed, cut into cubes
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups beef stock
1 1/4 cups Guinness (or any other Irish stout)
1 bouquet garni
2 medium carrots, sliced
1. Melt the butter and oil in a cast iron casserole or heavy-bottomed pan, and brown the bacon, onions, and meat for a few minutes. Sprinkle with flour and cook for 1 minute. Leave to cool slightly before adding the stock and the stout.
2. Combine thoroughly and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
3. Add the bouquet garni and the sliced carrots. Cover and leave to simmer over low heat for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. The meat should be tender. When ready to serve, remove the bouquet garni, adjust the seasoning, and serve with steamed potatoes.
See how Chow's Roxanne Webber is cooking with Guinness in honor of St. Patrick's Day.
Music break: The Mercenary by Lee Morgan
The Animal Dudes ()
Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo are the owner-chefs of Animal on Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles. They also own a catering company and wrote a book, Two Dudes, One Pan.
The menu at Animal, which is located LA's traditionally orthodox Jewish Fairfax District, sometimes includes pig's trotter! You can see below how they prep the trotter -- by brining it and then shaving it with a Bic disposable razor.
Bacon is ubiquitous at Animal -- even in their desserts. They serve a Bacon-Chocolate Crunch Bar:
If you're in the Fairfax District and looking for another restaurant that serves pork, check out The Golden State.
Music break: Along Came John by John Patton
Food Fraud ()
Swindled: The Dark History of Food Fraud, from Poisoned Candy to Counterfeit Coffee, by Bee Wilson, chronicles the history of food fraud and adulteration. This was quite common in England in the Victorian era. Bee describes how white bread once included alum, a highly toxic chemical.
Music break: California Roll by Kraak & Smaak
Dining in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties ()
Nancy Ransohoff is the editor of Hometown Santa Barbara, a guide to the Central Coast of California. Nancy recommends:
Luck Cafe - 18 E. Cota Street, Santa Barbara
The Hungry Cat - 1134 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara
Olio e Limone - 17 West Victoria Street, Santa Barbara
Brooks - 545 East Thompson Blvd., Ventura
Watermark on Main - 598 East Main Street, Ventura
Azu - 457 East Ojai Avenue, Ojai
Music break: Caught on the Hop by J-Walk
Asian Clams Invade Lake Tahoe ()Steve Chilton is the Aquatic Nuisance Species Coordinator for the Lake Tahoe and Northern Nevada office
of the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
Lake Tahoe is currently experiencing an influx in Asian Clams, which can cause major problems if not eradicated soon. Steve and his team are preparing to launch a pilot program where they will try suffocate the clams.
The clams are edible, but very small, under an inch in diameter. Christine Ngai, a fisheries biologist at the University of Nevada, Reno, came up with this recipe for Asian Clams:
“Three cups” clams
“Three cups” is a traditional Taiwanese style cooking. “Three cups” represent three main ingredients for making a sauce: one cup of soy sauce, one cup of rice wine, and one cup of sesame oil. The idea is to have equal portion of each, the “three cups” basic. The same sauce is also commonly used to cook chicken, squid, and assorted mushrooms.
3-4 slices of ginger
4-5 gloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
2-3 Asian chili peppers, coarsely chopped
Big bunch of basil, coarsely chopped
2 Tablespoons each of soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice wine
1/2 Tablespoon sugar
1. Heat wok with 2 tablespoons of sesame oil and 1 tablespoon of cooking oil
2. Turn to low heat and fry ginger, garlic, and hot peppers until golden brown and fragrant
3. Turn to high heat, add clams, and pour over soy sauce, rice wine, and sugar and quickly stir fry the clam to mix
4. Put the lid over and let cook until the clams are fully cooked (when the shells have opened), 6-8 minutes
5. Turn off the heat, add chopped basil and give the clams a quick stir
Music break: Gooden's Corner by Grant Green
Real versus Imitation Vanilla Extract ()
Jack Bishop is the Executive Editor of Cook's Illustrated and America's Test Kitchen, which recently did an extensive taste test between imitation and pure vanilla extract. McCormick's Pure Vanilla Extract was declared the winner.
2 1/2 cups flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup milk
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
1 cup butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla extract
16 ozs confectioners' sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. For the cake, mix flour, baking powder and salt in large bowl; set aside.
2. Beat butter in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed 30 seconds or until softened. Add granulated sugar and vanilla; beat until light and fluffy, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally. Add eggs, beat on medium-low speed until blended. Alternately beat in flour mixture and milk just until mixed. Pour into greased and floured 13x9-inch baking pan.
3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely on wire rack.
4. For the frosting, beat butter in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add vanilla; mix well. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar, beating well after each addition and frequently scraping sides and bottom of bowl. Add milk; beat well. Frost top of cooled cake with frosting.
Music break: Fathead by Lee Morgan
Obama Foodorama ()
Eddie Gehman-Kohan is the author of the blog, Obama Foodorama, which chronicles everything related to President Barack Obama and food. She often features menus from White House events and recipes from the chefs.
Obama at Ben's Chili Bowl in Washington DC
Obama eating waffles
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