Boiling Water; Piri Piri Peppers; Italian Grandmothers; Tinga
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Boiling water is simple, right? Not exactly. This week on Good Food, host Evan Kleiman gets into the science behind boiling water with Kenji Lopez-Alt. David Leite describes the complexity of the piri piri pepper. Many people have recipes handed down to them from their grandmothers. For blogger Erika Kerekes, her heirloom recipe is her grandmother's ruggelach. Jessica Theroux explores the legacy of Italian grandmothers. We'll taste the best milanesa in Orange County, at least according to Gustavo Arellano. Cart for a Cause is feeding lunchers around LA while raising money for St. Vincent Meals on Wheels. Plus Mark Bittman of The New York Times explains the conundrum of explaining his eating choices. And Valerie Gordon of Valerie Confections shares a recipe for butternut squash bread pudding.
Market Report ()
Valerie Gordon is the woman behind Valerie Confections and Valerie at the Market. She sells sweet and savory baked goods using farmers market ingredients at the Sunday Hollywood Market and the Saturday Santa Monica Market (at Arizona).Butternut Squash Bread Pudding
2 lbs butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
6 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
2 1/2 tsp salt
2 cups heavy cream
1 day-old baguette or rustic bread, cut into 11/2 in. pieces
5 leeks ,white and tender greens sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bunches hearty greens such as kale or chard
10 oz Gruyere, grated
½ cup milk
Preheat Oven to 375F
Mix squash, 3 tablespoons olive oil, butter, and 1 tsp salt on a baking sheet. Bake until the squash is tender but not soft, approximately 20 minutes.
Whisk eggs, cream, 1tsp salt and ½ tsp ground nutmeg in a large bowl. Add bread cubes and stir thoroughly. Let sit for 30-60 minutes or until the bread appears soaked wit liquid. Incorporate 2 oz (approx 1/3 cup) grated cheese.
While the bread and cream mixture is soaking, pour 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large pan. Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat, add leeks and garlic stirring frequently until the leeks soften. Raise the heat slightly and add hearty greens and 1/2 tsp salt, stir until the greens wilt. Remove from heat.
Take half of the roasted butternut squash and spoon into a food processor, add milk and pulse until it becomes a puree.
Prepare a 13x9x2 or 2-9”round baking dishes with butter. Spoon half of the bread mixture into the baking pan, it should cover the bottom. Spread the squash puree evenly over the bread. Evenly distribute hearty greens over the puree. Cover the greens with 6 oz (approx. 2/3 cup) grated Gruyere. Spoon the remaining bread mixture over the cheese. Top the bread mix with cubed and roasted squash. Finally, sprinkle the remaining cheese over the squash and finish with nutmeg.
Using a spatula, gently press down on the bread pudding until it seems slightly compressed and even on the top. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional twenty minutes.
Allow the pudding to sit for 10 minutes before serving.
Sandra Newman-Davis of Forbidden Fruit sells organic blueberries at the Santa Monica Farmers Market. Right now she has sapphire blueberries which have a low chill point. She also sells honey, jam and syrup.
Music Break: Keep On Eatin' by Memphis Minnie
Grandma's Rugelach ()
Erika Kerekes is the blogger behind In Erika's Kitchen. She loves making her grandmother's rugelach, a pastry which is like a filled cookie. Her grandmother used to make it with orange juice instead of sour cream.
Rose Sharron's Unorthodox Rugelach
makes about 8 dozen
6 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
3 heaping tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/2 lb shortening (I used trans-fat-free Crisco)
2 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream, heavy cream, or orange juice
1 cup walnuts
1 cup raisins
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Make the dough: Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Cream the shortening and sugar together in a stand mixer until well blended and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until well incorporated. Add the vanilla and mix briefly. Add the dry ingredient mixture and the sour cream, heavy cream or orange juice alternately, until the dough is uniform and well blended. It will be soft, not stiff. Put the dough in the refrigerator while you make the filling.
Make the filling: Toast the walnuts in a dry nonstick pan over high heat; when they start to brown and you can smell them, remove them from the heat and pour them into the bowl of a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until the nuts and raisins are chopped, but stop long before they turn into a paste. Set aside.
Form the rugelach: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Generously flour a board or the counter. This dough is sticky and soft, so you'll need more flour than you think to roll it successfully. Take a ball of dough the size of a lemon and coat it with flour. Roll it out as thinly as you can into a circle; you want the dough to be thick enough to contain the ingredients without tearing, but no thicker.
Put a heaping tablespoon of the filling, or a little more depending on how big your circle is, onto the dough, leaving a one-inch border around the edge. With the rolling pin, press the filling gently into the dough. Then, using a pizza cutter or pastry scraper or small knife, cut the circle into eight wedges. Roll up each wedge from the point toward the edge, then bend the rolled-up dough into a crescent shape. Some of the filling will escape as you're rolling; it's inevitable, so don't fight it too hard. Put the rugelach on a baking sheet and repeat until all the dough is gone.
I'll warn you, this whole thing takes a while. Be patient. Oh, and put up a pot of coffee, because you'll want it when the rugelach come out of the oven.
Bake the rugelach at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until the edges and bottoms are turning golden brown. Cool on a rack. Think of Grandma as you pour your coffee and take a plate to the table.
Note: I freeze them in zip-top freezer bags. As I said earlier, they're very tasty in their frozen state.
Cooking with Italian Grandmothers ()
Jessica Theroux is the author of Cooking with Italian Grandmothers. She traveled to Italy and studied the food traditions of Italian Grandmothers.
Music Break: Blue Skies by Rocky Gresset
Cart for a Cause ()
Chef Nicholas Peter of The Little Door and his crew inside Cart for a Cause
Cart for a Cause
Piaggio on Wheels ()
Gustavo Arellano is the food editor for the OC Weekly. This week he reviews Piaggio on Wheels, a food truck in Orange County serving Argentine food. Gustavo likes their milanesa, which is a breaded meat cutlet, and their empanadas.
Music Break: Bluebird (The Bees Remix) by One Self
Boiling Water ()
Kenji Lopez-Alt writes the Food Lab column for Serious Eats. He recently wrote about the science behind boiling water. Boiling is the act of "liquid water turning to water vapor."
Music Break: Taco's For Two by Tommy Hancock
Tinga on La Brea ()
Photo: Lindsay William-Ross / LAist
Jonathan Gold is the Pulitzer Prize-winning food writer for the LA Weekly. This week he reviews Tinga, a high end taqueria on La Brea, South of Beverly. The restaurant is named after the dish of shredded chicken. He likes the cochinita pibil and short rib tacos. They're well known for their corn side dish.
142 N. La Brea Ave.
All of Jonathan Gold's restaurant suggestions are on the Good Food Restaurant Map.
Music Break: Captive by Sarah Harmer
Mark Bittman on Food Matters ()
Mark Bittman writes the Minimalist column for The New York Times. His latest is The Food Matters Cookbook. Mark has adopted a "less-meat-arianism" approach to eating where he is essentially vegan before 6 pm.
Cassoulet with Lots of Vegetables
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 lb Italian sausages, bone-in pork chops, confit duck legs, or duck breasts, or a combination
1 Tablespoon chopped garlic
2 leeks or onions, trimmed, washed, and sliced
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch lengths
3 celery stalks, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 medium zucchinis or 1 small head green cabbage, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups chopped tomatoes, with their juice (canned are fine)
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley leaves
1 Tablespoon fresh chopped thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
4 cups cooked white beans (canned are OK), drained and liquid reserved in any case
2 cups stock, dry red wine, bean cooking liquid, or water, plus more as needed
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add the meat, and cook, turning as needed, until the meat is deeply browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and drain off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat.
Turn the heat to medium and add the garlic, leeks or onions, carrots, celery, and zucchini or cabbage; and sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, their liquid, the reserved meat, and the herbs and bring to a boil. Add the beans; bring to a boil again, stirring occasionally, then reduce the heat so the mixture bubbles gently but continuously. Cook for about 20 minutes, adding the liquid when the mixture gets thick and the vegetables are melting away.
Fish out the meat and remove the bones and skin as needed. Chop into chunks and return to the pot along with the cayenne. Cook another minute or two to warm through, then taste and adjust seasoning if necessary and serve.
Music Break: Dînette by Adrien Moignard
Piri Piri Peppers ()
David Leite is the publisher of Leite's Culinaria and the author of The New Portuguese Table. He loves using piri piri peppers as they are flavorful and hot. They grow in South Africa and are used widely in Portuguese cooking.
Portuguese Piri-Piri Hot Sauce
4 to 8 hot chiles, depending on the heat
2 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of 1 lemon
Pinch of salt
1/2 to 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, depending on how thin you want it
1. Coarsely chop the peppers and discard stems.
2. Place the chiles and their seeds, the garlic, lemon juice, salt, and as much of the oil as you wish in a food processor fitted with a metal blade and purée. Pour the mixture into a small glass jar and let steep for several days in the fridge.
3. You can strain the mixture and return it to jar, but I like mine with a bit of texture. Sauce will keep in the refrigerator for 1 month.
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