Dim Sum Truck; Hunger in the Classroom; The Great Molasses Flood; Cheesecake
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What's it like to ride in a food truck? This week on Good Food, deep end diner Eddie Lin hitches a ride in the Dim Sum Truck. Steve Puleo tells the story of the Great Molasses Flood of 1919. Hatfield's Restaurant is back in a new location. Jonathan Gold has a review. Hunger in the classroom is a serious and growing problem, says Share our Strength's Billy Shore.
Could the iPad have saved Gourmet magazine? This week, Lessley Anderson of Chow.com discusses the future of cookbooks and other food publishing. Amanda Hesser updates us on the online community cookbook Food52.com.
Plus, Martha Groves of the Los Angeles Times gives us the details on the sting operation that revealed whale meat being served at a Santa Monica restaurant. Evan discusses cheesecake varieties with Abby Dodge. And celebrate Persian New Year at the Santa Monica Farmers Market with Laura Avery.
Market Report ()
March 21 is Persian New Year. Geve Irani is a farmer with Rutiz Farm. He is Persian and celebrates every year with fresh produce from the market.
Kris Tominaga is the Chef de Cuisine at Joe's on Abbot Kinney in Venice (1023 Abbot Kinney Blvd.). Kris is using fresh Zuckerman Farms asparagus for a pasta dish. Peel the tops of the asparagus and saute in olive oil, shallots and vegetable stock. Dice the asparagus bottoms and saute until it's soft. Mix the bottoms with ricotta, mascarpone and parmesan cheeses. Combine with shallots and parsley. Use this mixture to stuff inside agnolotti pasta. Boil the agnolotti and finish them with brown butter and parmesan cheese. Serve the pasta with the sauteed asparagus tops.
Whale at The Hump ()
Martha Groves is a staff writer at the Los Angeles Times. She covered the recent revelations that the Santa Monica restaurant The Hump had been serving whale meat. The illegal sale of whale was uncovered by producers of the Oscar-winning film, The Cove.
Many outlets have chimed in on this story:
Slate - What DOes Whale Taste Like?
LA Observed - Heal the Bay vs. The Hump
Music Break: Silver Threats by Buddy James and His Combo
Hunger in the Classroom ()
Billy Shore is the founder and Executive Director of Share Our Strength, an organization whose mission is to end childhood hunger in America. The group recently released The Hunger Report which details how many children go hungry at school. In some cases, teachers are using their own money to feed their students.
Breakfast programs, summer food programs and moving meals into the classroom instead of the cafeteria.
Fun with Cheesecake ()
Abby Dodge is a contributing editor at Fine Cooking magazine. This month she is making cheesecake and playing with various flavors. Fine Cooking has a cheesecake recipe generator feature on their website.
For the crust:
8 oz graham crackers, finely crushed (2 cups of crumbs)
3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
7 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
3 8-oz packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup ricotta
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 Tablespoons Grand Marnier
2 Tablespoons finely grated orange zest
1 Tablespoons pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
For the topping:
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
Make the crust:
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F.
In a medium bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs and the 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar. Mix in the melted butter until the crumbs are evenly moist and clump together slightly. Transfer the mixture to a 9-inch springform pan and press evenly onto the bottom and about 2 inches up the sides of the pan (to press, use plastic wrap or a flat-bottom measuring cup). Bake until the crust is fragrant and slightly darkened, 9 to 12 minutes. Let the pan cool on a rack. Lower the oven temperature to 300F.
Fill and bake the cheesecake:
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, ricotta, flour, and a pinch of table salt on medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl and the paddle frequently, until very smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Make sure the cheese has no lumps. Add the 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar and continue beating until well blended and smooth.
Add the Grand Marnier, orange zest, and vanilla, and beat until blended, about 30 seconds. Add the eggs one at a time, beating just until blended. (Don’t overbeat once the eggs have been added or the cheesecake will puff too much and crack as it cools.) Pour the filling into the cooled crust and smooth the top.
Bake at 300°F until the center jiggles like Jell-O when nudged, 55 to 65 minutes. The cake will be slightly puffed around the edges, and the center will still look moist. Set on a rack and cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 8 hours and up to 3 days. The cake can also be frozen at this point for up to 1 month (see make-ahead tip, below).
Top and serve:
Unclasp and remove the side of the springform pan and run a long, thin metal spatula under the bottom crust of the cheesecake. Carefully slide the cake onto a flat serving plate. Sprinkle the 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar evenly over the top of the cheesecake and slowly pass a hand-held kitchen torch over the sugar until melted and caramelized.
To cut, run a thin knife under hot water, wipe it dry, and cut the cake into slices, heating and wiping the knife after every slice.
Music Break: Slide Show by El Michel's Affair
Jonathan Gold on Hatfield's ()
Jonathan Gold is the Pulitzer Prize winning food writer for the LA Weekly. On this show, he reviews Hatfield's restaurant, which re-opened recently in a new space on Melrose.
All of Jonathan Gold's restaurant suggestions are on the Good Food Restaurant Map.
6703 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Ride Along with the Dim Sum Truck ()
Eddie Lin writes the blog DeepEndDining.com. He recently took a ride with Alex Chu in the Dim Sum Truck. Alex and his crew serve har gow, shumai and other dim sum favorites around town. Follow the Dim Sum Truck on Twitter.
Music Break: Simba by Les Baxter
Digital Devices in the Kitchen ()
Lessley Anderson is a senior editor at Chow.com, an online food magazine. There has been a lot of speculation that the iPad, Kindle and other electronic e-readers will make cookbooks obsolete.
Amanda Hesser is the founder, with Merrill Stubbs, of Food52.com. They create a theme and ask people to contribute recipes. Winners are chosen for each theme and those recipes will end up in their cookbook. One of Amanda's favorites is a couscous salad.
Couscous with Roasted Fennel and Toasted Almonds
Juice from one orange, about 1/2 cup
1/3 cup black raisins
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and cored and cut into about 16 slim wedges
3 Tablespoons good quality olive oil, divided
1/4 cup almonds
1 1/4 cup chicken stock
1 cup couscous
1 large shallot (or two small), minced
1 Tablespoon sherry vinegar
1-2 Tablespoon fennel fronds, chopped
Freshly ground pepper and salt, to taste
1 pinch coarse sea salt, such as Maldon
1) Soak raisins in orange juice until they plump up, about 1 - 2 hours; strain, and set aside
2) Toss fennel wedges in one tablespoon of olive oil, pepper and salt; spread on a lined baking sheet and roast in a 350 oven for about 12-15 minutes, until edges are beginning to brown, and the fennel wedges are softening - but still have a little bite
3) Toast almonds on a separate pan in the oven until lightly browned; allow to cool; coarsely chop, and set aside
4) While fennel and almonds are in the oven, bring chicken stock to a boil over high heat; add couscous, stir, cover, and remove from heat; let rest for about 15 minutes until all of the stock is absorbed
5) In a separate bowl, whisk together shallots and vinegar, then whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil; add pepper and salt to taste
transfer couscous to a serving bowl and fluff with fork; stir in the orange-soaked raisins, and fennel fronds; toss with enough of the vinaigrette to lightly coat everything - be sure to include all of the shallot bits
top with roasted fennel and almonds; finish with a sprinkling of ground pepper and coarse sea salt.
Music Break: Who Knows by Bears
The Great Molasses Flood of 1919 ()
Steve Puleo is the author of Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919. On January 15, 1919, 2.3 million gallons of molasses collapsed, flooding Boston's North End with the sticky substance. Twenty one people died and many more were injured. Firefighters used seawater to clean up the mess.
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