Tortas That Tweet; Fresh Food; Water Infrastructure; Hot Pots
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When vendors selling Mexican food in a Breed Street parking lot were forced to disperse, they retreated to Twitter. Jonathan Gold tells us how the social networking site is a tool for finding great pozole. What does "fresh" mean when it comes to food? Susanne Freidberg says "fresh" is more about industrialization than nature. Janice Revell has tips for how to keep your food from going bad. Crystal Blanchette teaches cooking to women living at the YMCA. California is in the midst of water crisis. Rita Schmidt Sudman details how we get our water here in Southern California. Cool winter nights in Los Angeles are a good time to start thinking about hot chocolate. Lesley Balla of Tasting Table LA shares some hot chocolate standouts in LA. And Frank Ostini and Gray Hartley of the Hitching Post have a new wine variety called Valdiguie. Harris Salat and Tadashi Ono introduce us to Japanese hot pot cooking. And Laura Avery reports from the Santa Monica Farmers Market.
Market Report ()
Michael Cimarusti is the chef at Providence. He is cooking fresh chanterelle mushrooms native to California that he finds at Tutti Frutti Farms. These wild mushrooms cannot be cultivated and pop up after rains. He pairs these orange mushrooms with John Dory fish from New Zealand. The mushrooms should be available for three to four more weeks.
Here’s a simple way to cook chanterelles that can be used a stand alone side dish or used as a sauce and garnish for meat, fish or foul.
1 lb cleaned chanterelles, peel the stems with a pairing knife, rinse in cold water to remove soil, cut the chanterelles into like size pieces. If they are small enough, leave them whole.
1 oz shallot, very finely diced (cisele)
1 oz chives very finely sliced
1/2 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice (more if you like your mushrooms tart)
1 oz Extra virgin olive oil
3 to 6 oz butter, (depending on what your cardiologist says)
4 oz vegetable or chicken stock
To make the recipe simply heat a straight sided sauce pan over a medium flame. Add the olive oil and half the butter. When the butter has melted add the shallots and cook them until they are translucent. Add the chanterelles a good pinch of salt, and toss them to coat with the butter. Add the lemon juice and reduce it by half. Add the stock and bring it to a simmer. Cook the mushrooms until they are tender and the stock is reduced by half. Add the remaining butter a little at a time to thicken the stock, add the chives at the last moment, just before serving.
Sprouting broccoli grown by Maryann Carpenter of Coastal Farms is not the same variety as the typical broccoli crown we all know. It is it's own unique variety and, even though difficult to harvest, is an easy vegetable to cook with because you can eat the whole thing -- stems, leaves and head. Maryann recommends blanching the broccoli first, removing as much water as possible, then stir frying with olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes.
Music Break: It Never Rains In Southern California by Albert Hammond
California's Water Infrastructure ()
Rita Schmidt Sudman is the director of the Water Education Foundation, in Sacramento, a non- partisan, non-profit started 32 years ago to help people understand California’s water resource issues.
In 1913 William Mulholland opened the first aqueduct in Los Angeles. That marked the beginning of LA's expansion into a mega-metropolis. Los Angeles gets its water from Northern California or from the Colorado River.
Music Break: Eraser by Vitamin String Quartet
Tortas That Tweet ()
Jonathan Gold is the Pulitzer Prize winning food writer for the LA Weekly. A few weeks ago he talked about a group of Mexican food vendors that regularly gathered at a parking lot near Breed Street in Los Angeles. They've since been forced out of that location and have dispersed. The vendors are still serving up great food and you can find many of the vendors through Twitter. Some of Jonathan's favorites include:
Breed Street Scene
Hot Chocolate ()
912 South Barrington Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90049-5504
1202 Abbot Kinney Boulevard
Venice, CA 90291-3366
714 Foothill Blvd
La Canada Fltrdg, CA 91011-3404
There is also a Malibu location.
3922 West Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90029-2242
There is also a Venice location.
22 Mills Place
Pasadena, CA 91105-1910
For marshmallows Lesley likes Little Flower Candy Co.'s Coffee Marshmallows.
Evan's Cioccolata Densa
1 Tablespoon Cocoa Powder Brut (very dark)
1 Tablespoon fine Corn Flour (can use rice flour or cornstarch)
3-6 oz Chocolate of your choice
1-3 Tablespoons sugar (depending on how bitter the chocolate is and how sweet you like your drink)
1/2 cup water
1 cup Milk, Cream, or Half-and-Half
Pour the water into a small heavy saucepan. If your pan is light weight you will have burning on the bottom. Add the Cocoa Powder, Corn Flour, and half the chocolate to the water. Heat over moderate heat stirring with a small whisk or a fork with long tines. When the mixture is completely mixed in and lump free let it begin to bubble around the edges. Add the milk and whisk. Taste for sweetness and chocolatey-ness and adjust, adding additional chocolate and sugar to taste. Bring to a gentle simmer and continue to whisk until thickened. Pour into a cup and drink. Add a bit of espresso if you like or a shot of rum, or marshmallows, or whipped cream. Sit somewhere no one will bother you and sip slowly doing nothing else.
Music Break: Fickle Ghost by Psapp
How Fresh is Fresh? ()
Susanne Freidberg is the author of Fresh: A Perishable History. According to Susanne, the concept of fresh food is a product of the industrial revolution. Refrigeration, which was initially controversial, revolutionized our relationship with food.
Shelf Life of Food ()
Janice Revell and her mother Jeanie are the founders of StillTasty.com. The site is a database for food shelf life. They also help explain what expiration dates on food actually mean. For example, the "use-by' or "best if used by" date is information voluntarily supplied by the manufacturer. The date is not an indicator of safety but instead quality.
Janice recommends using the sell-by date as a guide. Don't buy a product after the sell-by date. If stored properly, the item can be used beyond that date. Milk, for example, can be used for about a week after the sell-by date.
Music Break: The Big Twist by Plas Johnson
Cooking for the Future ()
Crystal Blanchette runs Inner City Kitchen, a non-profit that teaches cooking to women and children in under-priviledged communities. She is currently teaching at the Hollywood YMCA's A Brighter Future program.
Music Break: Binga Banga Bonge Percolator by All Stars Terry Snyder
Music Break: Starchild by Jamiroquai
Hot Pots ()
(Photos Courtesy Harris Salat)
Salmon Hot Pot (Ishikari Nabe)
4 cups dashi
3/4 cup shiro miso
1/4 cup mirin
1 medium Spanish onion (about 3/4 lb), cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1/4 small head green cabbage (about 1/2 lb), cut into bite-size pieces
2 medium Idaho potatoes (about 1 lb), peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1/2 package (about 1/2 lb) firm tofu, cut into 4 pieces
1 oz harusame, soaked in water for 15 minutes
1 negi, sliced on an angle into 2-inch pieces
3 1/2 oz (half of a 200-gram package) enoki mushrooms, trimmed and pulled apart
4 oz shiitake mushrooms (about 8 pieces), stemmed
1 lb salmon fillet, halved lengthwise and sliced into 1/2-inch-thick pieces
2 cups shungiku leaves, stemmed
1 Tablespoon salmon roe, for garnish (optional)
Sansho, for accent
Prepare the broth by combining the dashi, miso, and mirin in a bowl, whisking to blend well; reserve. Place the onion slices on the bottom of a hot pot and randomly pile the cabbage and potatoes on top of it. Pour in the reserved broth. Cover the pot and bring it to a boil over high heat. Decrease the heat to medium and simmer for 3 minutes. Uncover the pot, and place the tofu, harusame, negi, enoki mushrooms, and shiitake mushrooms on top of the other ingredients, arranging each in a separate, neat bunch. Cover the pot again and simmer for 5 minutes more.
Uncover the pot and arrange the salmon slices on top of the other ingredients. Simmer until the salmon is cooked through, about 5 minutes more. As the fish cooks, use chopsticks at regular intervals to separate the slices and press them into the broth so they heat through evenly. Add the shungiku leaves and simmer for 1 minute more. Garnish with a sprinkle of salmon roe, if using, over the pot.
Transfer the hot pot to the dining table. Serve the ingredients together with the broth in small bowls, accenting with the sansho.
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