Mother's Day; Feeding Teenage Boys; Jacques Pepin; Ruth Reichl
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Our best Mother's Day segments this weak onn Good Food. The legendary Jacques Pepin is here with memories of his mother's favorite dishes. Gustavo Arellano educates us on Mexican nopales or cactus. He'll cook some dishes with his mother. Georgia Orcutt explains just how you go about feeding insatiable teenage boys. Laura Schenone searches for her long lost family recipes for ravioli. Ruth Reichl honors her mother by not turning out like her. The hilarious Brass Sisters stop by with stories of their mother. Ariel Swartley tells us about Helen Evans Brown, known as the mother of California cuisine. Plus Jonathan Gold with a very special mother's day memory. And Laura Avery is at the Santa Monica Farmers Market with what's fresh and in season.
Photograph of Evan and Edith Kleiman by Bryony Shearmur.
Market Report ()
Chef Mark Peel of Campanile and Tar Pit loves cherry season. He brandies them. Clean the cherries well, and saute them with sugar and brandy. Leave the pits in. Cool them quickly in an ice bath and then seal them in jars. To serve, heat up the mixture and stir in a little butter to emulsify it and serve over ice cream. Pit the cherries before they are served.
Gloria Tamai and her husband grow sweet white corn in the Imperial Valley. Growing corn in the dessert allows them to have corn very early. Summer corn in California usually comes out in July.
Cruising for Cactus ()
Gustavo Arellano is the food editor and columnist for the OC Weekly He writes the popular Ask a Mexican column. He grew up in Anaheim, California where his parents still live. His father, Lorenzo, grows prickly pear cactus, or nopales. His mother, an excellent cook, uses nopales for a side dish or a salad.
Nopales Salad (From Epicurious)
6 nopales (cactus leaves)
1 onion, quartered
4 garlic cloves, crushed
3 plum (Roma) tomatoes, cut into thin wedges
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and thinly sliced
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated queso fresco or ricotta salata cheese
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 Tablespoons dried oregano, preferably Mexican
1 Tablespoon red pepper flakes
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Fine sea salt to taste
1. To prepare the nopales: If necessary, use a small sharp knife to remove any residual thorns or nodules from the cactus leaves. Bring 8 cups salted water to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add the nopales, onion, and garlic and reduce the heat to medium. Cook at a brisk simmer until the nopales are tender, about 6 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Discard the onion and garlic. Cut the nopales into strips about 1/2 inch wide and 2 1/2 inches long. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
2. To make the dressing: Whisk the vinegar, oregano, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in the oil. Season with salt.
3. Mix the nopales, tomatoes, red onion, and cilantro in a medium bowl. Add as much dressing as you like (refrigerate any remaining dressing for another use) and toss. Divide the salad among 6 salad plates and top with the avocado and queso fresco. Serve immediately.
Music Break: Rock Me to Sleep by Henry Mancini
Feeding Teenage Boys ()
Georgia Orcutt is a food editor and writer – and, as her recent book How To Feed a Teenage Boy indicates, she is the mother of two very hungry teenage boys. She edited The Old Farmers’ Almanac, wrote Cooking USA, and has been food editor of Yankee magazine.
Georgia recommends keeping teens healthy, with fast, readily available food with balanced nutritional content. Quick tip: put a clear plastic box in the fridge with everything needed to make a sandwich and simply label it "FOOD."
Mother's Day with the Brass Sisters ()
Marilyn and Sheila Brass
Marilynn and Sheila Brass, known as the Brass Sisters, celebrate Mother's Day by recounting a story of their mother that made her cry tears of despair. They also share their mother's favorite recipes. Their latest book is Heirloom Cooking.
Mama’s Chocolate Velvet Cake
Makes 10 slices
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup milk
1/4 tsp baking soda
3oz bitter chocolate, melted
2 Tablespoons hot water
2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
2 1/2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Confectioners sugar (optional)
1. Set the oven rack in the middle position. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat a 10-inch springform pan with vegetable spray. Cut a parchment paper or wax paper liner to fit the bottom of the pan. Insert the liner and coat with vegetable spray. Dust pan with flour and tap out the excess. (This cake can also be baked in an 8-cup Bundt pan.)
2. Add lemon juice to milk, stir, and set aside to sour, about 15 minutes.
3. Combine baking soda, chocolate, and hot water in a small bowl, stirring briskly. Let cool slightly. (The mixture will become very stiff but will combine with batter.)
4. Sift together cake flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl.
5. Cream butter and sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until soft and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and blend in. Add chocolate mixture and combine. Add vanilla to soured milk. Add sifted dry ingredients alternately with milk to batter.
6. Place batter in springform pan. Bake 35 minutes (45 minutes for Bundt pan), or until tester inserted into cake comes out dry. The top of cake may be slightly cracked. Place pan on rack and allow to cool 30 minutes. Run a butter knife gently around edges and remove sides of pan. When completely cool, run butter knife around bottom of pan, invert cake, and remove the wax paper liner. Place the cake on a serving plate and dust with confectioners’ sugar, if desired. Store cake loosely wrapped in wax paper at room temperature.
Sweet Tip: This cake cuts easily when cooled to room temperature. Do not attempt to cut it while it is still warm, though - it will crumble.
Mama's Apricot Strudel with Cream Cheese Crust
Makes 40 slices
For Apricot Filling
8 ozs dried apricots
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar
15 soda crackers, broken into crumbs
1 cup pistachio nuts, toasted
1/2 cup butter
4 ozs cream cheese
1 2/3 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup cold milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1. Set the oven rack in the middle position. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cover a 14-inch by 16-inch baking sheet with foil, shiny side up. Coat the foil with vegetable spray or use a silicone liner.
2. To make the filling: Place apricots in a saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cover and simmer about 15 minutes, or until apricots form a soft paste. Check on fruit periodically to see that it does not burn, especially toward end of cooking time. Transfer apricot paste to a bowl and add lemon juice and sugar. Allow to cool.
3. To make the dough: Place butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream until soft and fluffy. Add flour and salt and mix to combine. Add milk to form a soft dough. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator until firm enough to roll out.
4. Remove dough from refrigerator and divide into 4 sections. Roll out one section of dough on floured wax paper or parchment paper to a 1/16-inch thick rectangle. Brush surface with melted butter. Place one fourth of the apricot filling at top of dough leaving a 1-inch edge. Sprinkle one fourth of nuts and soda cracker crumbs on top of filling. Roll strudel lengthwise from top to bottom, like a jelly roll, using paper as an aid. Place strudel on baking sheet, seam side down. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
5. Brush each strudel with melted butter. Bake 20 minutes at 400°F. Turn oven temperature down to 350°F and bake 10 to 12 minutes more. Brush once during baking with melted butter. Remove pan from oven and place on rack. Cool for 10 minutes. While still on pan, cut strudel diagonally into 1-inch slices. Continue to cool. Store between sheets of wax paper in a covered tin.
Sweet Tip: Serve this strudel dusted with confectioners’ sugar. It is best when eaten within 2 two days.
Music Break: Ain't The Same Old Cold War, Harry by Grant Lee Phillips
Lost Ravioli Recipes ()
Laura Schenone travels to Italy to find her great grandmother's ravioli recipe in her book, The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken: A Search for Food and Family.
Not Becoming My Mother ()
Ruth Reichl was the Editor-In-Chief of Gourmet, which is no longer publishing. Her latest book is For Your Mom, Finally - originally published as Not Becoming My Mother and Other Things She Taught Me Along the Way.
Jacques Pepin Honors his Mother ()
Jacques Pépin serves up fast food at home in Jacques Pépin More Fast Food My Way. The beloved television chef and cookbook author has published 25 cookbooks and hosted nine acclaimed public television cooking series.
Roasted Split Chicken with Mustard Crust
Makes 4 servings
Pepin says he often makes this recipe at home when I in a hurry, because splitting and flattening the chicken and cutting between the joints of the leg and the shoulder reduce the cooking time by half. He uses kitchen shears to split the chicken open at the back and to cut the cooked bird into serving pieces and a knife to cut between the joints. The mustard crust can be made ahead and even spread on the chicken a day ahead, if you like. He pours the cooked chicken juices into a fat separator with a spout and serve over Fluffy Mashed Potatoes, leaving the fat behind.
2 Tablespoons chopped garlic
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons dry white wine
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 tsp Tabasco hot pepper sauce
1 tsp herbes de Provençe
1/2 tsp salt
1 chicken (about 3 1/2 lbs)
Fluffy Mashed Potatoes (optional)
For the crust: Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl.
Preheat the oven to 450°F. With a kitchen shears or sharp knife, cut alongside the backbone of the chicken to split it open. Spread and press on the chicken with your hands to flatten it. Using a sharp paring knife, cut halfway through both sides of the joints connecting the thighs and drumsticks and cut through the joints of the shoulder under the wings as well. (This will help the heat penetrate these joints and accelerate the cooking process.)
Put the chicken skin side down on a cutting board and spread it with about half the mustard mixture. Place the chicken flat in a large skillet, mustard side down. Spread the remaining mustard on the skin side of the chicken. Cook over high heat for about 5 minutes, then place the skillet in the oven and cook.
Crisp Pear Tart
Makes 4 servings
Using a 7" flour tortilla as the "crust" or shell and Bartlett or Anjou pears that are ripe enough to eat as the fruit topping, you can make a fast and easy fruit tart. To make certain that the crust is crisp and caramelized on the bottom, butter and sugar the underside of the tortilla before topping it with the pears. Some of the mixture usually runs out from the bottom of the tart and the tart may burn lightly around the edge, giving a caramelized edge to the tart shell. If you object to it, you can trim a little of it off.
1 7-inch flour tortilla
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 Tablespoons sugar
2 medium firm but ripe Bartlett or Anjou pears (about 3/4 lb total)
3 Tablespoons apricot preserves
1 Tablespoon pistachio nuts
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the tortilla in the center of a cookie sheet lined with a reusable nonstick mat. Spread 1 tablespoon of the butter on top of the tortilla and sprinkle it with 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Turn the tortilla over so the buttered side is underneath.
Peel, core, and cut each pear into about 12 wedges. Beginning at the edge of the tortilla, start arranging the wedges in a concentric circle with the thin edge of each wedge facing toward the center of the tortilla. Create another slightly overlapping circle, working in toward the center of the tortilla. Add additional rows with the remaining wedges, ending with a few pear pieces in the center to complete what will look like a large rose. Scatter the remaining 1 tablespoon butter, divided into pieces, on top and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until the pear slices are tender and the tortilla is crisp and browned. Remove from the oven, set aside for a minute or so, then lift the tart with a spatula and transfer it to a rack to cool, discarding any burned bits around it.
Heat the apricot preserves, if too thick to use as a glaze, in a microwave oven for about 10 seconds to liquefy. Spread the glaze on top of the tart. Cut the tart into 4 wedges, sprinkle with pistachios, and serve at room temperature.
Music Break: IZATION-Hunky Dory by Rob Franken Organ
Mother of California Cuisine ()
Ariel Swartley wrote about Helen Evans Brown for Los Angeles Magazine. Helen Evans Brown was considered the "mother" of California cuisine in the 1950's and 1960's.
Jonathan Gold, his Mom and Pie ()
Jonathan Gold is the Pulitzer Prize winning food writer for the LA Weekly.
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