Critter Fritters; Kugel; Pork n' Beans; Skyr
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For most of the world, eating bugs is normal. We, are the weird ones. This week on Good Food, host Evan Kleiman taste tests critter fritters from Daniela Martin. Chef Eric Greenspan of The Foundry on Melrose has put kugel on his menu. He explains why. Jonathan Gold tell us why we should go to San Gabriel for lobster. Have you heard of skyr? It's an Icelandic yogurt and Siggi Hilmarsson makes it. Martha Rose Shulman explains why side dishes are often best as main courses. Pork n' beans are definitely a crowd pleaser. Rachael Sheridan from Cube is taking it to a new level. We talk a lot about "food politics" on Good Food, but what exactly is "food policy"? Michael Dimock of Roots of Change is here with a primer. And 82-year old grandmother Jean Hill of Concord, Massachusetts is fighting to ban bottled water from her town. And Daniel Mattern of Ammo has some ideas for how to use sunchokes in a variety of dishes.
Market Report ()
Daniel Mattern is the chef at Ammo in Hollywood. He uses sunchokes in a variety of ways.
Watercress, shaved sunchoke & roasted beet salad
Aside from roasting the beets, which might take close to an hour, this is a very simple salad to prepare. If press with time, roast the beets a day or two in advance and store them in the refrigerator until ready to use. At the restaurant, we like to toss all the components separately for the sake of presentation. At home you can toss beets and sunchokes together but keep in mind that the beets will probably stain the chokes. If you’re the kind of person who isn’t concerned with those things by all means toss greens, beets and sunchokes together.
1 lb mixed baby beets
1 lb sunchokes
1 cup + 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 shallot, minced
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup orange juice
1 small bunch watercress, arugula or dandelion greens (your choice – we like watercress)
Ground black pepper
1. Pre heat the oven to 375°F. Place an oven rack in the middle position.
To make the vinaigrette: put shallots, lemon juice and orange juice in a bowl. Season generously with salt and pepper. Slowly pour in one cup of olive oil while whisking vigorously. Once all the oil has been added, check the flavor and adjust as necessary.
2. To roast the beets: wash the baby beets well. Put them in a baking pan, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. Cover with aluminum foil and roast in the oven for approximately 45 minutes. Beets will be ready when a pairing knife can be easily inserted in one of them. Remove beets from the oven, let them rest for 15 minutes and peel them while still warmish by rubbing them with a kitchen towel – the skin will come right off. Cut peeled beets in half, place them in a bowl and toss with some of the vinaigrette.
3. Wash the sunchokes, making sure to scrub them well. Using a mandolin or the slicer side of the box grater, shave the sunchokes thinly, place in a bowl, drizzle with some of the vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper.
4. To plate the salad, toss the greens of your choice lightly with some of the vinaigrette and lay on a serving platter, put the beets on top of the greens and the shaved sunchokes on top of the beets.
Serve roasted sunchokes as a side dish very much in the same way that you would serve potatoes. Peel sunchokes with a vegetable peeler. It might be a little bit of a chore but sweet, tender roasted sunchokes are worth the effort.
2 lbs sunchokes
½ cup olive oil
5 sprigs fresh thyme
Ground black pepper
1. Pre heat the oven to 375°F. Place an oven rack in the middle position.
2. Peel the sunchokes and rinse with cold water.3. Cut into 1-inch pieces and put them in a bowl. Toss with olive oil, thyme sprigs, salt and pepper.
4. Lay sunchokes on a baking sheet and roast for 20 to 30 minutes. Sunchokes will be ready when a pairing knife can be easily inserted in one of them. Remove from the oven, let them sit for 10 to 15 minutes and serve.
David West owns Clearwater Farms which brings mushrooms to the market. Right now he has Matsutake mushrooms, a delicacy in Japan. To prep the mushrooms, peel the outer layer and scrub the top. David recommends steaming the mushroom or adding it to a broth. A very popular dish in Japan is Matsutake Dobin Mushi.
Lobster with Jonathan Gold ()
Jonathan Gold is the Pulitzer Prize-winning food writer for the LA Weekly. This week he reviews Newport Seafood in San Gabriel, which is best known for its lobster dishes, including a Vietnamese fried lobster.
Newport Tan Cang Seafood Restaurant
518 W Las Tunas Dr.
All of Jonathan Gold's restaurant suggestions are on the Good Food Restaurant Map.
Music Break: Vandenburg Suite by The New Mastersounds
Eric Greenspan and Kugel ()
Eric Greenspan is the chef/owner of The Foundry on Melrose. He has just put kugel on his menu, a Jewish pudding-like casserole.
Hear Eric talk about his career as a short order cook.
Music Break: Wake Up The Nation by Paul Weller
Icelandic Yogurt ()
Skyr is an Icelandic-style yogurt which is very rich. The whey is strained to make a thick yogurt which is very high in protein and low in fat and sugar (it's made from skim milk). Siggi Hilmarsson, originally from Iceland, makes Siggi's skyr in New York.
Here on the West Coast, you can find skyr at Whole Foods, Sprouts, Gelsons, Bristol Farms, New Seasons, and Central Market.
Music Break: Yeah Yeah Yeah by My Radio
Critter Fritters ()
Daniela Martin is the "girl" behind Girl Meets Bug. She is an anthropologist who advocates the consumption of bugs as an alternative to meat. According to Daniela, bugs require 20 times less food than cattle and therefore the produce more protein per pound of food their are given. More than 80 percent of the world eats insects. A list of where Daniela gets her bugs is here. She is currently working on creating a bug farm on her apartment balcony.
Side Dishes ()
Photo: New York Times
Martha Rose Shulman writes the Recipes for Health in The New York Times. Her latest book is The Very Best of Recipes for Health, which is the next selection for the Good Food Cookbook Club. She frequently turns side dishes into main dishes emphasizing vegetables. Pepperonata is one such dish, a sauteed pepper dish that can be enhanced with a poached egg.
Peperonata (From The New York Times)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 plump garlic cloves, minced
3 large red peppers, or a combination of red and yellow peppers, thinly sliced or chopped
1 (14-ounce) can chopped tomatoes, drained of some but not all of its juice
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet or heavy casserole over medium heat, and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until tender, about five minutes, and add the garlic and peppers. Cook, stirring often, for five minutes, and add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Continue to cook for another five minutes until the peppers are tender.
2. Add the tomatoes, thyme, salt and pepper, bring to a simmer. Continue to simmer, stirring from time to time, until the tomatoes have cooked down somewhat, about 10 minutes. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer over low heat for another 15 to 20 minutes (or longer), stirring from time to time, until the mixture is thick and fragrant. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve as a side dish, as a topping for pizza, pasta, polenta, rice or bruschetta, as a filling for an omelet, or stir into scrambled eggs.
Pork n' Beans ()
Rachael Sheridan is the buyer for Cube Marketplace, which is throwing a Pork n' Beans party on Saturday, October 9 at the downtown rooftop space. The event will benefit the Cube Foundation, which funds garden-to-table programs. Rachael loves using Rancho Gordo heirloom beans and The Fatted Calf pork for her pork and beans. Both companies will be represented at the October 9 event.
Braised Pork Shoulder with Slow-Cooker Beans (From Men's Journal)
Freshly ground black pepper
4- to 5-lb bone-in pork shoulder
4 Tablespoons canola oil
2 chopped carrots
1 chopped Spanish onion
1 chopped leek, white part only
8 cups veal or chicken stock
1 rosemary sprig
4 thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
4 diced garlic cloves
1 Tablespoon black peppercorns
1. Sprinkle salt and ground pepper on the pork very generously on all sides (don’t be shy; you can’t really overdo it here).
2. Place a large cast-iron pot on the stove on high heat, and add the canola oil.
3. When the oil is shimmering, lower the pork shoulder into the pot gently. Sear on all sides until golden brown, rotating the pork by hand, setting it up on its edge when necessary — then remove the meat and set aside.
4. Pour out excess oil, then add chopped carrots, onion, and leek. Stir to coat with remaining oil in the bottom of the pot.
5. Lay the shoulder on top of the vegetables (fatty side up). Add the veal or chicken stock so that it comes only halfway up the side of the pork, then add rosemary sprig, thyme sprigs, bay leaf, garlic, and peppercorns to the liquid. Bring to a simmer.
6. Cover the pot, leaving lid slightly ajar, and place in a 250˚ oven. Braise the pork for 3.5 hours, or until the meat is tender enough to pull apart with two forks.
7. Remove the pork from the pot and let cool to room temperature. Strain braising liquid through a fine-mesh strainer, return the pork and liquid to the pot, and refrigerate overnight.
8. Once ready to finish the dish, debone the pork and then cut the meat into 2-inch-square chunks.
Binding the Sauce
Right before combining the pork and beans, Keller creates what the French call a liaison, an emulsification that converts the braising liquid into a luxurious sauce. Keller just puts the drained, cooked beans into a skillet, adds enough of the pork-braising liquid to moisten them, drops in a couple of tablespoons of butter, and then explains the key: “A few drops of vinegar. Doesn’t even matter what kind because it’s so little you won’t even taste it.” The vinegar’s acid helps the butter and stock bind together and become silky.
1 lb Rancho Gordo–brand borlotti or cannellini beans
6 cups veal (or chicken) stock
6 cups water
2 thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1/2 white onion
1 oz bacon
1. Wash and rinse beans — do not soak — then heat the stock and water in a pot and add to slow cooker.
2. Tie together thyme and bay leaf and put in liquid with 1 tsp salt, leek, carrot, onion, beans, and bacon. Slow-cook on high until tender, about 4 hours. Cool and store in their liquid.
Finishing the Dish
3/4 cup large-diced leeks, white parts only
1 cup large-diced carrots
Canola oil, as needed
3 Tablespoons butter
1 tsp red-wine vinegar
1. Scrape fat off surface of pork-braising liquid. Discard.
2. Warm the meat and stock over low heat. Remove the pork. Pour the braising liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into another pot.
3. Return pork shoulder to its liquid. Simmer until needed.
4. In a large skillet, sauté leeks and carrots in oil until tender.
5. Strain the beans and put half in the skillet. Add one cup of the pork-braising liquid, the butter, and the red-wine vinegar to bind the sauce. Simmer 20 minutes, until the liquid thickens.
6. Set pieces of warmed pork in the beans and serve.
Music Break: You Fly Me by Fingathing
A Food Policy Primer ()
Michael Dimock is the President of Roots of Change, a non-profit working towards a sustainable food system for California. They are holding a food summit in Los Angeles from October 6-8. A reception at Vibiana will kickoff the summit. They'll be announcing the findings of LA's Food Policy Task Force. Public Works Commissioner Paula Daniels outlines the Good Food for All initiative on the Good Food Blog.
Bottled Water Ban ()
Jean Hill is a resident of Concord, Massachusetts and she recently proposed a ban on bottled water. Jean is hoping a ban on bottled water will prevent pollution and destruction caused by plastic bottles. She was motivated by huge stretch of plastic present in the Pacific ocean, also called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
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