The Black and Tan; Whole Grains; Puck's Oscar-Night; Cherimoyas
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What did celebrities eat after Hollywood's biggest night? Wolfgang Puck reveals the menu from the Governor's Ball, held after the Oscars. Erin go bragh! Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with a black and tan. John Marchini tells us how to pour this famous pub concoction. Also, Colman Andrews explores Irish country cooking. Evan Kleiman turns the tables on Jonathan Gold and offers a critique of his pesto. The top 10 best new restaurants in L.A. are revealed by Los Angeles Magazine's Patrick Kuh. College student Mari Silva shares her secrets for finding free food at restaurants. Kim Boyce tells us about various whole grain flours that she uses in her kitchen. Plus KCRW's Matt Holzman talks about why anyone should care where he buys his tacos. And Laura Avery finds exotic cherimoyas at the Santa Monica Farmers Market and talks to Huckleberry's Zoe Nathan.
Market Report ()
Eliza Hunziker of J.P. Foley's Farm sells the exotic cherimoya at the market. The large pear-like fruit has a melon-like consistency. It varies in size from small sizes, like lemons, to large melon-sized fruit. To eat, peel off the skin and scoop out the flesh. Avoid eating the seeds.
Zoe Nathan is the co-owner with her husband Josh Loeb, of Huckleberry and Rustic Canyon in Santa Monica. Beginning March 25, they will be holding family style dinners at Huckleberry (1014 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA, 310-451-2311). Zoe will be serving a Strawberry Crostata at the first of these dinners. A crostata is a rustic fruit tart made with a pie dough.
Huckleberry Bakery’s Strawberry Crostata Recipe
Makes 1 large Crostata
For the Dough
4 oz butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces and chilled
1 cup All Purpose Flour
2 Tablespoon sugar
1 tsp salt
3 Tablespoon ice water
1/2 tsp baking powder
In food processor, pulse flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add butter, pulse until pea size, add water and pulse until the dough just barely comes together. Wrap dough in plastic, flatten and put in refrigerator for around 2 hours.
1 1/2 cup strawberriess
1/4-1/2 cup brown sugar, (depending on sweetness of the fruit)
8 oz organic unsalted butter
1 big pinch of salt
1/3 cup white sugar
Combine sliced strawberries, brown sugar, 4 oz of butter and salt in a sauté pan, and sauté fruit until they are tender and all ingredients are incorporated.
Take dough out of the refrigerator, and roll out dough to about 12 inch by 12 inch
Place dough on a greased sheet pan or baking sheet. Distribute strawberry mixture evenly on dough, making sure to leave about 1 1/2 inches around on the ends free of mixture. Fold the outer layer over the fruit mixture. (It should cover some of the fruit making the crostata rustic, but a good deal of the center fruit should still be visible). Cut the remaining 4 oz of butter into about 6 slices and lay that on top of the crostata. Sprinkle liberally with 1/3 cup of sugar and put in the 375 degree oven to bake until golden brown (45 minutes to an hour depending on your oven)
Remove from oven, cool, remove from baking pan, and serve with fresh whipped cream or good vanilla ice cream.
Oscar Night ()
Wolfgang Puck has catered the Oscar-night Governor's Ball 16 times. Last Monday night, he and his staff (900 people, 250 in the kitchen) served 1,500 guests at the Kodak Theater Ballroom. The menu included sushi, Mini Kobe Cheeseburgers, Truffle Chicken Pot Pie, among many other delicacies. For dessert he served Baked Alaska along with small 24-carat gold chocolate oscar statuettes.
Music Break: Chris Barber's Jazz Band by Wild Cat Blues
The Black and Tan ()
John Marchini was raised in Northern Ireland. He currently works for the counseling department of the New York State Fire Department. The term "black and tan" refers to the Royal Irish Constabulary Reserve Force sent into Ireland by the British. A black and tan drink is half Guinness (top) and half ale (bottom). To pour it at home, pour over a spoon.
John will be marching in the St. Patrick's Day Parade in New York this March 17.
Turning the Tables on Jonathan Gold ()
Jonathan Gold is the Pulitzer Prize winning food critic for the LA Weekly. He recently was a contestant in the Los Angeles Semifinals of the World Pesto Competition. The finals are held in Genoa, Italy, every year.
This is the official recipe of the competition:
Mortar-Made Pesto Sauce
4 bunches Genoese basil
30g pine nuts (1 oz)
445-60g Pecorino Sardo cheese, grated (16 oz)
1-2 garlic cloves
10g coarse salt (1/3 oz)
60-80 cc Extra-Virgin olive oil from the "Italian Riviera" (1/3 cup)
The marble mortar and wooden pestle are the tools traditionally used to make pesto.
Wash the basil leaves in cold water and dry them on a tea towel but don’t rub them.
In a mortar finely crush the garlic clove and pine nuts until they are smooth. Add a few grains of salt and the non-pressed basil leaves, then pound the mixture using a light circular movement of the pestle against the sides.
Repeat this process. When the basil drips bright green liquid, add the Parmesan cheese and the Fiore sardo cheese.
Pour in a thin layer of PDO extra-virgin olive oil from the Italian Riviera, which lightly blends the ingredients without overdoing.
The preparation must be done as quickly as possible to avoid oxidation problems.
Music Break: Witchcraft by Arabella Hong
LA's 10 Best New Restaurants ()
Patrick Kuh is the restaurant critic for Los Angeles Magazine. In this month's issue, he showcases his picks for LA's ten best new restaurants:
10 - Westside Tavern
10850 West Pico Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90064-2132
9 - Eva
7458 Beverly Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90036-2701
8 - Barbrix
2442 Hyperion Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027
7 - Bottega Louie
700 South Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90017
6 - Tavern
11648 San Vicente Blvd.
5 - Bouchon
235 N Canon Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
4 - Mo Chica
3655 S Grand Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90007
3 - Drago Centro
525 South Flower Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071-2200
2 - Bistro LQ
8009 Beverly Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90048-4503
1 - Rivera
1050 South Flower Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015-5100
Favorite Tacos ()
Free Food ()
Mari Silva is a college student and KCRW volunteer. Mari had free pancakes at IHOP (International House of Pancakes). She found out about the promotion on Facebook. Other chain restaurants that offer free foods include Denny's and Cafe 50's.
Music Break: Yankee Bayonet by Vitamin String Quartet
Baking with Whole Grains ()
Kim Boyce is a former pastry chef at Spago and Campanile in Los Angeles. Her new book is Good to the Grain: Baking with Whole Grain Flours.
Butter for the baking sheets
1 3/4 cups barley flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 1/4 cups light coconut milk
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
6 oz unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
1. Position two racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Rub two baking sheets lightly with butter.
2. Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl, pouring back into the bowl any grain or other ingredients that may remain in the sifter, and set aside.
3. Crack the eggs into the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk. Whisk the eggs on low speed to break them up. Add the sugars, increase the speed to high, and mix until the color of milky coffee, about 3 minutes.
4. Measure out the coconut milk and vanilla and set aside.
5. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the egg mixture. Mix on low speed until combined. Add the butter and mix. Add the coconut milk and vanilla and mix until combined. Add 1 cup of shredded coconut and use a spatula to mix it in by hand. Make sure to scrape down to the bottom of the bowl to mix in any ingredient that may have been left behind.
6. Measure the remaining 1 1/2 cups of coconut into a shallow bowl. Scoop balls of dough about 3 tablespoons in size and dip the rounded side into the coconut. Gently left them out of the coconut and place them on the prepared baking sheets, coconut side up, leaving about 2 inches between them.
7. Bake for 16 to 20 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, until the coconut crust is lightly toasted and the bottoms of the cookies are evenly brown. Use a spatula to transfer the cookies to a baking rack and bake the next round. These cookies are best eaten warm from the oven or later that same day. They'll keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Irish Country Cooking ()
Colman Andrews is the author of The Country Cooking of Ireland.
Brotchan Foltchep (Leek and Oatmeal Soup)
2 Tablespoons butter
3-4 leeks, trimmed and sliced into very thin rings
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups milk
1/2 cup Irish steel-cut oatmeal
1/2 tsp ground mace
Salt and pepper
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat, then add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the leeks are very soft.
Add the stock and milk. Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil, then sprinkle in the oatmeal. Add the mace and salt and pepper to taste, and return the liquid to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes.
Music: Boil the Breakfast Early by The Chieftains
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