Culture Clash; Delicatessens; Alton Brown; Wines after War
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What is liquid meat? Food Network's Alton Brown explains. Food writer Jonathan Gold is a pie-lover. He shares some stories of what pie means to him. A tour of the Los Angeles Times' test kitchen. Ching Ching Ni tells us about a culture clash involving rice noodles. A delicatessen serves ethnic food of a different sort. David Sax explains how the deli is endangered. Timothy Childs works for NASA and makes chocolate. Find out what those two things have in common. Mark Peel has us over for a family dinner. And Stacie Hunt takes us wine tasting in Croatia. It's the story of wines after war. And Laura Avery takes a trip to the Santa Monica Farmers Market.
Market Report ()
This fall, Evan Kleiman is making Ruth Reichl's Roast Pumpkin with Cheese Fondue. It's a whole pumpkin filled with a strata, which is basically layers of bread, cheese, chicken broth and cream. The strata becomes puffed like a souffle, but melted like fondue. You can use any type of squash but kabocha squash is best. Serve by scooping the souffle with a little bit of squash.
Roast Pumpkin with Cheese Fondue
1 (15-inch) piece of baguette, cut into 1/2-inch slices (7 oz total)
1 (7-lb) orange pumpkin
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
2 1/2 cups coarsely grated Gruyère (6 oz)
2 1/2 cups coarsely grated Emmental (6 oz)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
Preheat oven to 450F with rack in lower third.
Toast baguette slices in 1 layer on a baking sheet in oven until tops are crisp (bread will still be pale), about 7 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.
Remove top of pumpkin by cutting a circle (3 inches in diameter) around stem with a small sharp knife. Scrape out seeds and any loose fibers from inside pumpkin with a spoon (including top of pumpkin; reserve seeds for another use if desired). Season inside of pumpkin with 1/2 tsp salt.
Whisk together cream, broth, nutmeg, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper in a bowl. Mix together cheeses in another bowl.
Put a layer of toasted bread in bottom of pumpkin, then cover with about 1 cup cheese and about 1/2 cup cream mixture. Continue layering bread, cheese, and cream mixture until pumpkin is filled to about 1/2 inch from top, using all of cream mixture. (You may have some bread and cheese left over.)
Cover pumpkin with top and put in an oiled small roasting pan. Brush outside of pumpkin all over with olive oil. Bake until pumpkin is tender and filling is puffed, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.
Charlie Graham is a licensed crab and lobster fisherman from the Santa Barbara area. He is selling live, local spiny lobsters weighing about 1.2 to 2.5 pounds. To cook a lobster, Charlie recommends barbecuing them. Split them in half with a sharp knife. Put butter and garlic on the meat and put them on the grill, meat side down. Or broil them until the shell turn opaque. The classic method is to steam or boil them. They come every other week to the Wednesday Santa Monica Farmers Market and to Sunday Main Street (Santa Monica) market.
Pie Love ()
Jonathan Gold is the Pulitzer Prize-winning food writer for the LA Weekly. He once wooed his wife with his mother's peach pie. He recommends the following pie spots in L.A.:
Johnny Rebs - pies in the Southern Tradition
4663 Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach, (562) 423-7327
La Brea Bakery - pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving
624 S La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 939-6813
Euro Pane - pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving
950 E Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, (626) 577-1828
Jar - Banana Cream Pie
8225 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 655-6566
Chili John's - Pineapple Cream Pie
2018 W Burbank Blvd - Burbank, (818) 846-3611
Pie 'n Burger - Strawberry Pie
913 E California Blvd., Pasadena, (626) 795-1123
Huckleberry - Banana Cream Pie
1014 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, (310) 451-2311
Music Break: "The Pie Song" from Family Guy.
Liquid Meat = The Egg ()
Moo-Less Chocolate Pie
2 cups chocolate chips,
1/3 cup coffee liqueur
1 block silken tofu
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon honey
1 prepared chocolate wafer crust
Place a small metal bowl over a saucepan with simmering water. Melt the chocolate and coffee liqueur in the bowl. Stir in vanilla.
Combine the tofu, chocolate mixture, and honey in the blender jar. Liquefy until smooth.
Pour the filling into the crust and refrigerate for 2 hours, or until the filling is set.
1 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
2 pinches kosher salt
Freshly grated nutmeg
1 frozen 9-inch pie crust
Any one of the following combinations:
Cooked spinach, cheddar cheese, cubed cooked ham
Bacon, Sauteed leeks, and Gruyere cheese
Cooked spinach, canned artichoke hearts, and Parmesan cheese
Roasted chicken, goat cheese, and sun-dried tomatoes
Blanched asparagus and smoked salmon
Port Salut and Spam
In a nonreactive, stainless steel bowl, combine the cream or half-and-half and the eggs. Whisk until combined thoroughly. Add the salt and the nutmeg. Whisk to combine.
Refrigerator Pie Rules: Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Evenly distribute the pie fillings in the pie crust. Do not overfill the crust with the filling ingredients. Do not pour too much royale into the crust. The eggs will expand upon cooking. Bake the pie until it is firm to the touch like set Jell-O, about 45 minutes. Cool the pie for at least 15 minutes before slicing.
Listen to Alton talk about butter and pie crust.
Music Break: Comin' Home Baby by The City Champs
LA Times Test Kitchen ()
Noelle Carter with Test Kitchen Interns
Noelle Carter runs the LA Times Test Kitchen, located in Downtown LA. She also writes the Culinary SOS column for the paper.
Chilled Banana and Pistachio Rice Pudding
Note: Adapted from Wine Bistro Pierre Lafond
1/2 Tablespoon butter
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup basmati rice, rinsed and drained
2 cups milk
1 cup cream
1/4 cup pistachios, shelled and chopped, plus extra for garnish, if desired
1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Stir in the cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
2. Stir in the rice, milk and cream. Bring the mixture to a simmer over high heat, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook the rice, uncovered, until very tender, stirring occasionally, 20 to 25 minutes.
3. Remove from the heat and set the pan aside, uncovered, until the rice cools to room temperature, about 30 minutes to 1 hour. (The pudding will be very soupy at first, but will thicken as the rice continues to absorb the liquid as it cools in the pan.) When the rice is almost cooled, peel and dice the banana.
4. Stir in the pistachios and banana, then cover and refrigerate the pudding until well chilled. Garnish with extra pistachios if desired. This makes about 3 cups rice pudding.
Refrigeration of Asian Noodles ()
Ching Ching Ni is a Metro Reporter for the Los Angeles Times. She recently wrote about the law requiring fresh Asian noodles to be refrigerated. The law indicates that perishable food must be kept at or below 41 degrees or above 140 degrees so as to avoid food borne illness.
Critics of the law say that fresh rice noodles would be ruined if they were refrigerated - they would become brittle. There have been no reports of illness from Asian noodles.
Music Break: Daphne by Django Reinhardt & Stephane Grappelli
Save the Deli ()
David Sax is the author of Save the Deli: In Search of Perfect Pastrami, Crusty Rye, and the Heart of the Jewish Delicatessen.
According to David (and his website's mission statement):
"Save the Deli stands for classic Jewish food: sandwiches on rye with mustard…never on white or whole-grain or foccacia…never with vegetables…and god forbid never with mayonnaise."
Jewish delis in Los Angeles include:
419 No. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 651-2030
Nate-N-Al Deli & Restaurant
414 N. Beverly Dr., Beverly Hills, (310) 274-0101 (and other locations)
9420 Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, (310) 278-9175
1832 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90403
1433 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, (310) 394-1131
Music Break: Hide Away by Freddy King
Wines after War ()
Stacie Hunt is a certified AIS Sommelier who works with Splash Productions and Du Vin Wine and Spirits.
Croatia is the home to the Zinfandel grape - a variety thought to be American. The varietal came to Napa Valley via Croatia and Italy.
Slovenian wines are very similar to Italian as they are in such close proximity.
Citluk, Herceg White: made from native grapes (Zilavka, Bena and Krkosija) fresh, summer wine with honeyed finish ($18).
Santomas Malvazija: Hawaii in your mouth! Passion fruit, mango
with a sweet freshness that is balanced with enough acid to make it a food or aperitif wine ($20).
Tilia, Modri Pinot: a Pinot Noir. A modern, international style of Pinot ($33).
Santomas, Big Red Reserve Grand Cuvee: blend of Refosk, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Deep red-black color with a profusion of berries, licorice, cocoa, cinnamon—a real spice box ($50).
Find these wines at Du Vin, Silverlake Wine, or K & L Wine
Tre Venezie is a Slovenian/Italian restaurant in Pasadena.
119 W. Green Street, Pasadena, (626) 795-4455
Family Dinner ()
Mark Peel owns Campanile restaurant in Los Angeles where he serves family style dinners every Monday night. His new book is New Classic Family Dinners.
Almost Classic Caesar Salad
Makes 6 servings
1 fat garlic clove, halved, green shoot removed
1⁄4 tsp kosher salt
1⁄4 cup plus 1 teaspoon canola oil
2 anchovy fillets, soaked, drained, and patted dry
Zest of 1 lemon
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
11⁄2 tsps strained freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 large egg yolk (coddle for 3 minutes if desired)
1⁄3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1⁄3 tsp cracked black peppercorns
3 Tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1⁄3 cup finely diced red onion
3 cups garlic croutons (page 29)
3 romaine hearts, leaves separated, washed and dried
3 oz Parmesan cheese, shaved
Cracked black peppercorns to taste
1. Make the dressing: In a mortar and pestle, mash the garlic clove with the salt and 1 teaspoon of the canola oil until smooth. Add the anchovies and continue to mash together until the mixture is very smooth.
2. Bring a small pan of water to a boil and add the lemon zest. Blanch for 45 seconds, drain, and dry on paper towels. Chop fine and add to the garlic mixture. Add the vinegar and lemon juice and mix together. Stir in the egg yolk.
3. Slowly whisk in the 1⁄4 cup canola oil, then the olive oil (it’s important to whisk in the canola oil first, because it stabilizes the dressing). Whisk in the pepper and the
Parmesan. If the dressing seems too thick, thin with a tablespoon or two of water. Refrigerate and allow the dressing to mellow for an hour or more before serving.
4. Make the salad: Place the diced red onion in a strainer and set the strainer in a small bowl. Cover with cold water and let sit for approximately 5 minutes. Swish the onion around in the water, then lift the strainer out of the water and rinse the onion with cold water. Dry on paper towels.
5. In a large bowl, toss the garlic croutons with 3 tablespoons of the salad dressing to soften them slightly. Add the romaine and the remaining dressing and toss together with the croutons. Arrange on a platter or on plates. Top with the shaved Parmesan, sprinkle on the red onion, add 2 to 3 pinches of cracked pepper, and serve.
Makes about 4 cups
1⁄4 lb bread, preferably a ciabatta or similar bread with a loose crumb and open-hole structure
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 fat garlic clove, halved, green shoot removed, very finely minced
1 tsp minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1⁄4 tsp kosher salt
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Cut the crusts off the bread and tear the bread into approximately 1-inch pieces. They should be irregularly shaped. Place in a large bowl and toss with the olive oil until the bread is evenly coated.
2. Spread the bread in an even layer on a baking sheet. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until crisp. Remove from the oven, transfer back to the bowl, and toss at once with the minced garlic, the parsley, and the salt. Allow to cool. With your hands, lift the croutons from the bowl, allowing much of the garlic to fall to the bottom of the bowl. Transfer the croutons to an airtight container and discard the garlic left in the bowl.
Makes 24 clams, 6 to 8 servings
1 Tablespoon chopped chives
11⁄2 Tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
1⁄2 small garlic clove, green shoot removed, roughly chopped
Pinch of kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 Tablespoons (1⁄2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
11⁄2 oz bacon (2 strips)
Rock salt for the baking sheet (optional)
24 cherrystone clams, shucked and left on the half shell
1. In a mortar and pestle, mash together the herbs, garlic, salt and pepper. Add the butter and mash together.
2. Cook the bacon until just cooked through but not crisp. Remove from the heat and cut in 1-inch pieces.
3. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Cover a baking sheet with a 1⁄2-inch-thick layer of rock salt, if using. Heat in the oven for 5 minutes. Now preheat the broiler.
4. Place the clams on top of the salt (this is just to keep them steady). Top each with about 2 drops lemon juice and 1⁄2 teaspoon of the butter mixture. Lay a piece of bacon over the top.
5. Place under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes, until the butter is sizzling. Serve immediately.
Music Break: Lei Aloha Lei Makamae by Chick Floyd
NASA Inspired Chocolate ()
Timothy Childs is Co-Founder and Chief Chocolate Officer of TCHO. The name TCHO stands for technology and chocolate. Timothy's technology background has come in handy in the chocolate making process. He once turned a turkey rotisserie into a cacao roaster.
Timothy was once a technologist in NASA's Shuttle program. As the Chief Chocolate Officer of TCHO, he is trying to re-imagine the way people taste chocolate. He wants the inherent flavor of cacao to drive the taste experience. Read TCHO's guide to tasting chocolate. Read about TCHO's work to improve the income of their cacao farmers.
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