California Agriculture in Crisis; Uighur Cuisine; Summer Soup; Milkshakes
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The Secretary of California Food and Agriculture A.G. Kawamura talks about how farmers are coping with drought, pestilence food safety regulations and budget cuts. Naomi Duguid explores the cuisine of the Uighur community in Western China. Cold soups are a refreshing option on hot summer days. Cliff Wright has some recipes to share. Australian wine expert Matt Skinner has some tips for pairing wine with food. Milkshakes don’t just come in chocolate and vanilla. Adam Ried describes some international variations. Tim and Oscar Youd are supporting shelter dogs with their homebrewed root beer. Some communities in the American South don’t have access to running water. Pam Dorr gives us an update on the buy-a-meter project. Plus, Michael Cirino shares the secrets of his underground supper club. And Laura Avery hits the Santa Monica Farmers Market.
Market Report ()
DJ Olsen is the chef at Lou Wine Bar, a small restaurant/wine bar located in a mini-mall next door to a laundromat.
724 N Vine St LA, CA 90038 - (323) 962-6369.
DJ says: "This is my riff on an original recipe by Robert Del Grande, chef owner of Café Annie in Houston, TX."
Corn flour is produced from dried, ground corn kernels which have been bolted (sifted) through a fine wire screen which removes the gluten, grits and bran, leaving a fine flour. Conversely, corn meal remains unbolted after grinding and contains all parts of the kernel. Polenta and grits are considered corn meals. DJ buys corn flour in bulk from Co-Opportunity in Santa Monica.
Dry-pack scallops are those not treated with sodium tripolyposphate, or STP, a chemical used to bind natural moisture in seafood. STP is most frequently found in frozen scallops. But, adding STP in sufficient quantity to fresh scallops will cause them to soak up additional water, thereby increasing their overall weight and expense. Additionally, such water-logged scallops are nearly impossible to sear to a nice golden brown as excess water leaches out during the cooking process causing the scallops to steam rather than sear.
Pan-seared Sea Scallops with Corn Pudding, Tomato Avocado Salsa, Tomatillo Sauce, Crème Fraîche
1 cup corn pudding, warmed, held in a bain marie (recipe follows)
3 large sea scallops (dry-pack, U10 size)
1 Tablespoon clarified butter
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
2 Tablespoons tomato salsa (recipe follows)
1/4 Hass avocado, med. dice
2 Tablespoons tomatillo sauce (recipe follows)
1 Tablespoon crème fraîche
Cilantro leaves as garnish
1. Use a sauté pan large enough to hold scallops at least 1-inc apart; heat pan, hi-heat, for one minute
2. Add clarified butter, heat until surface of the butter starts to ripple
3. Meantime, season scallops with salt and freshly ground pepper
4. When butter is hot, place scallops in pan at least 1-inch apart
5. Sear over hi-heat until golden brown (3-4 minutes)
6. Flip scallops over, turn heat off and allow scallops to continue cooking in pan (2-3 minutes more)
7. In the center of a pre-heated serving bowl, place a good dollop (up to 1 cup) of corn pudding
8. Toss the diced avocado with 2 tablespoons tomato salsa; place in the center of the corn pudding
9. Evenly space scallops around the edge of the corn pudding
10. Spoon some tomatillo sauce between each scallop
11. Drizzle the whole affair with creme fraîche; garnish with cilantro leaves
Makes 2 quarts
4 cups whole milk
1 cup corn flour, preferably stone ground
8 ears of white, yellow or bi-color corn
Juice from one lime
Salt to taste
1. Using the largest holes on a grater, completely grate corn kernels from the ears into a stainless bowl.
2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring whole milk almost to the boiling point
3. As the milk begins to boil, steadily rain in the corn flour, whisking all the time.
4. Whisk continuously until the mixture thickens (about 3 minutes)
5. Add grated corn kernels and corn milk, whisking until the mixture thickens a second time
6. Turn the heat down to low and cook to desired consistency (6-8 minutes)
7. Off the heat, season with lime juice and salt to taste.
The pudding can be held in a bain marie, covered with plastic, for several hours. It can also be refrigerated, then re-heated for use up to two days after it was made. Diminishing quality after that point.
Makes roughly 3 cups
3 large heirloom tomatoes (we use Cherokee Purples), stemmed, fine dice
1/2 small white onion, peeled, fine dice
2 Anaheim chile peppers, stemmed, interior ribs and seeds removed, fine dice
Juice from 1/2 lime
Minced cilantro to taste
Good pinch kosher salt
1. Blend diced tomato, onion and pepper together in a small stainless bowl.
2. Toss with salt and lime juice. Add minced cilantro to taste.
3. Let sit for 15 min. before serving, or refrigerate until needed
Salsa will hold up to two days, is at its brightest when first made, will become watery over time and less distinct in flavor. It can be refreshed however by draining away excess liquid and adding a bit more of each fresh ingredient, additional seasonings.
Makes roughly 3 cups
1 lb tomatillos, husks and stems removed, thoroughly rinsed until no longer sticky
2 Anaheim chile peppers, stemmed, quartered, ribs and seeds removed
1 small white onion, peeled, root end removed, quartered
5 cloves garlic, skins on
1 bunch cilantro, leaves only
Juice from 1 lime
Kosher salt to taste
Granulated sugar, if necessary
1. Place tomatillos, peppers, onion and garlic on a 1/2 sheet tray or small roasting pan.
2. Place tray in a pre-heated 450° convection oven (hi-speed fan), or under a pre-heated oven broiler.
3. Roast vegetables until the tops of the tomatillos, peppers and onion are well-charred (8-12 minutes).
4. Remove from oven; when slightly cooled, squeeze garlic from it’s skins into a blender.
5. Add the other vegetables, their juices, cilantro leaves to the blender.
6. Blend just until everything is ground to sauce consistency (10-15 seconds at most; do not overblend).
7. Pour into a small mixing bowl; season with lime juice, salt to taste.
8. If the sauce is too astringent, modify with a pinch or two of sugar.
9. Refrigerate, covered until needed.
Tomatillo sauce keeps well for up to four days, covered and refrigerated, although is at its best within one day.
Fairview Gardens is selling fresh shelled beans like Flagolet and Tongue of Fire. These beans don't need soaking. They can be simmered with garlic and onion until soft, then used in a variety of dishes -- like salads, soups, and in pasta. Eric Stenberg from Fairview suggests letting the beans soak in the cooking water to cool rather than draining them right away so they soak up more of the bean flavor.
Fairview Gardens is a volunteer-run working farm located just north of Santa Barbara in Goleta.
California Farms in Crisis ()
A.G. Kawamura is the Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
Uighur Cuisine ()
Naomi Duguid and her husband Jeffrey Alford are the authors of numerous books exploring the cuisines of the world. Her most recent book, Beyond the Great Wall: Recipes and Travels from the Other China, explores the Uighur culture in Western China. The Uighur are an oases people and their cuisine consists of varieties of flatbreads, noodles and lamb kabobs. Melons, tomatoes and grapes grow in abundance in that region.
Currently there is a flare up of ethnic violence in that region between the Han Chinese and Muslim Uighurs. Read some of Naomi's thoughts about the Uighurs.
Naomi and Jeffrey organize cultural and culinary immersion tours. There next tour is in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Summer Soup ()
Cliff Wright is a chef and cookbook author specializing in traditional Mediterranean food. He is the author of many books, most recently Bake Until Bubbly! The Ultimate Casserole Cookbook for Everyone. Cold soups can go way beyond Gazpacho and Vichyssoise. Cliff likes to use fruit as the base for some of his summer soups, including watermelon, apples and peaches.
4 large garlic cloves
2 tsps salt
1 red or green bell pepper, roasted, peeled, and seeded
2 slices week-old French bread with or without crust
2 1/2 pounds very ripe tomatoes (such as Carmello tomatoes), peeled, chopped and passed through a sieve to remove all seeds (save some of the juice to soak the bread in)
6 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
4 Tablespoons high quality Spanish sherry vinegar
1 hard-boiled egg yolk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
12 ice cubes
1. In a mortar, pound the garlic and salt until mushy. Transfer to a food processor and pulse until mushy.
2. Soak the bread in the juice from the tomatoes and a little water, then squeeze out as if you were making a snowball. Add the bread to the processor and pulse a couple of times until well blended. Add the tomatoes and process for 5 seconds, then pour in the olive oil while running the food processor continuously. Add the cucumber and process some more. Drizzle in the vinegar and add the egg yolk while continuing to process. Season with salt, pepper, and cumin, if desired.
3. Tranfer to a bowl and add the ice cubes. Leave in the refrigerator for several hours before serving, stirring occasionally and serve when the ice cubes have melted with a selection of garnishes.
Chilled Peach Soup
4 large ripe peaches
2 cups dry white wine
1/2 cup water
1 cinnamon stick
Crème fraîche for garnish (optional)
6 large fresh mint leaves, cut into fine ribbon confetti with scissors
1. Bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat, then add the peaches and boil until their skins loosen in 1 minute. Remove and peel off the skins and remove the pits. Cut up the peaches.
2. Place the peeled peaches in a blender with 1 cup of the wine and blend until smooth. Transfer to a saucepan with the remaining cup of wine, the water, cinnamon, and cloves. Bring to a near boil over high heat, stirring almost constantly, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring, for 10 minutes. Remove and discard the cinnamon and cloves and chill the soup in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours before serving. Serve garnished with a small dollop of crème fraîche, if using, and the confetti of mint.
© Clifford A. Wright. The Best Soups in the World. Wiley, forthcoming.
Wine Pairing ()
Matt Skinner is the author of Heard It Through the Grapevine: The Things You Should Know to Enjoy Wine.
Color is an important factor when choosing a wine. For white wine, look for clarity and brightness. Rose should have depth and a pinkness. Look to the center of a glass of red wine. The colors will vary to those on the outside rim.
When pairing wine, Matt likes to factor in the weight of your dish as well as flavors and color.
Adam Ried is the author of Thoroughly Modern Milkshakes.
Peach - Passion Fruit - Ginger Batido
Makes 4 1/2 cups
1 Tablespoon grated or minced fresh ginger
1/4 cup sugar
3 large, ripe peaches, peeled if desired, or 4 cups frozen sliced peaches, partially thawed
1 1/2 cups ice cubes
1/2 cup cold whole or lowfat milk
1/4 cup passion fruit concentrate or syrup or 1/2 cup chopped fresh, ripe mango
1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
Place the ginger and sugar in a medium non-reactive bowl and stir until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the peaches, toss to coat them with the sugar, and set aside until they begin to release some juices, about 10 minutes. Place the ice in the blender and pulse to crush the ice. Add the milk, passion fruit concentrate, lime juice and peach mixture and pulse several times to begin breaking up the fruit. With the blender motor off, use a flexible spatula to mash the mixture down onto the blender blades. Continue pulsing, stopping, and mashing until the mixture is well blended, thick, and moves easily in the blender jar, roughly 30 to 90 seconds. Pour into a chilled glass or glasses, and serve at once.
Makes about 4 cups
1 1/2 cups ice cupes
1 1/2 large ripe mangoes, peeled, pitted, flesh roughly chopped
1 cup cold, plain whole-milk or lowfat yagurt
3 Tablespoons sugar, or to taste
Pinch of salt
Place the ice, mango, yogurt, sugar and salt in a blender and blend until well blended and the mixture moves easily in the blender jar, roughly 45 seconds. Taste the lassi and correct the seasoning with additional sugar or salt, if desired. Pour into a chilled glass or glasses and serve at once.
Margo's Bark ()
Oscar and Margo Youd
Tim and Oscar Youd first made root beer for Oscar's school science fair. They decided to brew, bottle and sell it under the label Margo's Bark, after their rescued Labrador Retriever, Margo. All proceeds go to dog shelters.
Find Margo's Bark at:
Whole Foods (Southern Cal, NV, AZ, HI) - by August 1
Bristol Farms (SoCal) - by August 1
Joans On Third
Galco's Soda Pop Stop
The Urban Pet
Buy-A-Meter Update ()
Pam Dorr is the housing director for the HERO Housing Resource Center. HERO created the "Buy-a-Meter" program helping Hale County, Alabama residents in need, buy water meters. Donations can be made through their website.
Pam first appeared on Good Food two years ago.
A Razor, A Shiny Knife ()
Michael Cirino and his partner, Daniel Castano, run the underground supper club, A Razor, A Shiny Knife. They got a lot of attention when they re-created a 24-course dinner first made by noted chefs Grant Achatz and Thomas Keller. Michael and Daniel made their meal in their home kitchen and charged only $300 - far less than the $1500 charged by Achatz and Keller.
They recently made 24 courses in 24 hours.
1. Croissant with butter and jam
2. Charentais Melon, Bourbon, Bacon
3. Slow Poached Eggs, Rarebit, Crumpets and Tea
4. Asparagus Oscar
5. Chicken and Waffles
6. Red Leaf Salad, Tomato, Zucchini, Ricotta
7. “Mozzareaps”, Agave, Saffron, Cilantro
8. Maple, Bacon, Walnut
1. Pickle Plate
2. Steel Head Trout Roe, Pluot , Mache, Bread Crumbs
3. Cucumber, Celery, Tomato, Cress
4. Asparagus, Red onion, Pecorino, Egg, Black Truffle
5. Soft shell crab Ban Mi Sandwich
6. Canard Confit, Smoked Almonds and String Beans
7. Green Papaya, Daikon, Pork Belly, Cilantro, Aji Amarillo
8. Caramelized Pineapple, Crème Fraîche, Rosemary, Pine nut
1. Salmon, Meyer Lemon, Balinese Long Pepper, Molasses, Saffron
2. Foie gras, Cucumber, Strawberry, Aji, Almonds
3. Lobster, Aji, Key Lime, Thai basil
4. Chawan Mushi
5. Beef Rib, Morels, Garlic, Garbanzo Bean
6. Potato, Smoke, Egg Yolk, Chives
7. Coconut, White Peaches, Sriracha, Lavender
8. Chocolate, Cherry, Honey, Cream
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