Chinese Wine; The Foreclosure Gardener; Mexican Hot Chocolate; Compost
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The great recession has hit many people very hard. This week on Good Food, host Evan Kleiman introduces us to two people who have been affected by the foreclosure crisis. Anne Hars has turned an abandoned front yard into a lush garden. And Lefty Ayers lost his home to a foreclosure. He's now raising acorn-fed heritage pigs right here in Los Angeles. Marcos Aguillar is making authentic Mexican hot chocolate at Xokolatl Cafe in El Serreno. Jonathan Gold finds authentic Shaghai-style noodles in Monrovia. Pauline Loh tells us how the world's most populous country is now the biggest market for wine. Plus Jimmy Williams of Hayground Organic suggests planting a fall garden. And Denise Ritchie of Malibu Compost shares the incredible story of her cow, Bu.
Market Report ()
Jimmy Williams and his son Logan, own Hayground Organic Gardening. Jimmy's new book, From Seed to Skillet, comes out in December. Jimmy says that now is the perfect time to start your fall garden. Grow lettuce, carrots, and greens.
Chef DJ Olsen of Lou Wine Bar is making a peach dessert with late-season peaches from Tenerelli Farms. He bakes the peach for 6 minutes so it caramelizes and serves it in a tuille cup with ice cream.
Peach, Baked, Basil Tuile, Basil Sauce, Poached Quince, Walnut Praline
yield: 4 servings
2 late fall harvest peaches
2 tsp brown sugar
4 basil tuiles (recipe follows)
basil simple syrup, in a squeeze bottle (recipe follows)
1/4 cup poached quince (recipe follows)
1/4 cup walnut praline (recipe follows)
4 small scoops good-quality vanilla ice cream
(preheat oven 450°)
1. Cut peaches in half, top to bottom. Remove pit.
2. Dust top of each cut peach with 1/2 tsp. brown sugar.
3. Place peaches on small sheet tray, in 450° oven. Bake until sugar has begun to caramelize, peaches have softened
4. For each serving, place one tuile in the center of a med-sized plate.
5. Drizzle a couple of lazy circles basil simple syrup around each tuile.
6. At 12, 4 and 8 o’clock, spoons small piles of poached quince.
7. At 2, 6 and 10 o’clock, place a praline or two.
8. Remove peaches from oven. Place a peach inside each tuile cup, cut side facing up. In the space which contained the pit, place one small scoop ice cream.
9. Drizzle more basil simple syrup atop ice cream. Serve.
yield: 16 tuiles
keeps: covered and refrigerated, batter keeps up to one week
1/2 cup heavy cream
12 largish basil leaves (no stems)
3/4 cup sliced, blanched almonds
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons All-Purpose flour
Pinch kosher salt
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
Silpat-covered, or nonstick sheet pan
(preheat oven to 350°)
1. Heat cream, vanilla in a small saucepan. Once at a light boil, add basil leaves, stirring until wilted. Turn heat off. Allow basil leaves to infuse cream (5 min., minimum).
2. In a blender, pour cream/basil mixture. Melt butter. With blender running hi-speed, drizzle in butter. Blend until leaves have pulverized, butter has emulsified.
3. In work bowl of food processor fitted with a cutting blade, place almonds. Pulse almonds until roughly chopped. Add sugar, flour, salt. Continue processing until ingredients are cut into a rough powder.
4. Place dry ingredients into a stainless bowl. Add basil liquid. Using a rubber spatula, fold ingredients together until thoroughly mixed. Place mixture in freezer one hour (or refrigerator four hours), to solidify.
5. Once solidified, place heaping tablespoon-sized scoops of batter unto silpat-covered, or nonstick sheet pan. As the batter is self forming, with heat the scoops will flatten into thin tuiles.
6. Place sheet tray with tuile batter in preheated oven. Bake until tuiles are golden brown, throughout. Baking process will take between seven and ten min., but start checking after seven.
7. Once tuiles are golden, remove sheet pan from oven, wait a minute or so to allow tuiles to harden a bit. When you can easily slide an offset spatula beneath them, remove each tuile from sheet tray and drape over the bottoms of an overturned cupcake pan, forming them into small cups. If tuiles get a little too hard to form, return them to the oven for a minute or so, to again make them pliable.
8. Once tuiles have cooled and hardened completely, they should be stored airtight, separated by small sheets of parchment paper. Stored in this way, they will keep three days.
Basil Simple Syrup
yield: 1 cup
keeps, refrigerated, up to two weeks
1 cup bottled or filtered water
1 cup granulated sugar
3 dozen large basil leaves
1. Bring sugar, water to a boil, boiling until sugar has completely dissolved
2. Add basil leaves. Stir constantly until basil leaves have completely wilted.
3. Pour mixture into a blender. Blend, at hi-speed until basil has completely pulverized.
4. Strain mixture though a fine mesh strainer.
5. Refrigerate and store until needed. We store our simple syrups in small squeeze bottles.
yield: 1 cup quince in 1 cup simple syrup
keeps, refrigerated, indefinitely
3 med.-sized quince, peeled, cut into 1/4” dice, reserved in acidulated water (water w/lemon juice)
1 cup bottled or filtered water
3/4 granulated sugar
1. Bring sugar, water, salt to a boil, boiling until sugar, salt have completely dissolved and a simple syrup has formed.
2. Drain quince dice. Add to sugar water.
3. Turn heat down to a very light boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until quince has softened, fruit and simple syrup have turned a deep red color.
4. Cool to room temp. Refrigerate until needed.
yield: roughly 3 dozen pralines
keeps: stored in an airtight container, up to 1 week
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 Tablespoons vanilla
1 cup raw walnuts
1. Place butter, cream, vanilla, salt in a small sauce pan. Heat, stirring constantly until butter has melted.
Turn heat off. Keep close by.
2. Place sugar in med-sized, heavy-bottomed sauce pan. Wet sugar with enough water to make sugar look like wet sand. Bring sugar to a boil. As liquid sugar starts to color at the edges, swirl the pan to incorporate. Continue swirling, cooking sugar until the mixture is a deep, dark golden color.
3. Carefully pour cream/butter into sugar mixture. Care is needed here, as the mixture will begin boiling furiously, releasing lots of steam. Quickly whisk, boiling mixture for one minute. Turn off heat and continue whisking until all boiling has ceased (1-2 minutes), and a deep-colored caramel has formed.
4. Add walnuts. Using a heatproof rubber spatula, fold walnuts into caramel. Immediately remove walnuts to parchment-lined sheet tray. As walnuts cool, they can be separated into individual pralines.
Biodynamic Compost ()
Music Break: Hanuman by Rodrigo y Gabriela
LA's Own Acorn-Fed Heritage Pigs ()
Lefty Ayers is raising acorn-fed heritage pigs on his ReRide Ranch about an hour outside of Los Angeles. Right now he has Berkshire pigs, which is about a 300 pound pig. The meat is more marbled than traditional pork. Find Lefty's meat at McCall's (2117 Hillhurst Ave., Los Feliz; (323) 667-0674).
(Photo: Tony Chen/Sinosoul)
Music Break: Harper Does It Better by Johnny Mandel
Authentic Mexican Chocolate Drinks ()
and specializes in chocolate drinks made with indigenous cacao, an ancient seed cultivated by indigenous peoples.
Chinese Wine ()
Pauline Loh is a food and wine journalist for China Daily. Chinese wine is traditionally made from grain and potato. However, the country have a growing taste for Western-style wines. They are growing Bordeaux and other varieties in regions throughout China. Shandong accounts for about 35 percent of national production.
Shanghai Noodles ()
Jonathan Gold is the Pulitzer Prize-winning food writer for the LA Weekly. This week he reviews Shanghai Bamboo House in Monrovia. Shanghai cuisine isn't usually very spicy and there is more long-cooked, simmered dishes instead of stir fry. There is frequently fresh fish and eel on Shanghai-style menus. At Shanghai Bamboo House, Jonathan likes the wild greens, yam and ham, the spareribs, the fresh crab meat with tofu and the steamed pig knuckle.
Shanghai Bamboo House
933 W Duarte Rd Monrovia, CA 91016
All of Jonathan Gold's restaurant suggestions are on the Good Food Restaurant Map.
Music Break: Highborn Waltz by Smokey Bandits
Foreclosure Gardener ()
Anne Hars is an artist living in Silverlake. When she moved into her house during, the neighborhood was in decline. She and her neighbors adopted the front lawn of an abandoned house and planted a garden. The garden has since been destroyed as the house was reclaimed by the bank.
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