Fruitcake, Mislabeled Seafood, Cooking on the Hearth
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Would you know the difference between Mahi Mahi and Yellowtail if it were presented to you at a sushi restaurant? Michael Hirshfield explains that the seafood at your fish counter may not be what you think it is. The holidays are approaching and that means fruitcake. Molly Young says her love of the intensely polarizing holiday dessert is an adaptive advantage, allowing her more dessert during the holidays. Robert Lambert describes the various flavor combinations he uses when creating his white and dark artisanal cakes. Oakland chef Russ Moore discusses cooking over an open flame. Ned Mogannam and his son, Sam, reminisce about their family-owned grocery, Bi-Rite Market, a neighborhood institution in San Francisco's Mission District. Stephanie Hopkinson talks about the growing trend of micro-canneries in the Pacific Northwest. Plus, Jonathan Gold takes us to an unlikely neighborhood for Thai Street Food.
Banner image: Frank Deras
Market Report ()
Jeremy Grossman is the executive chef at Sonoma Wine Garden, located on the top floor of Santa Monica Place. He's inspired by the winter squash at the market.
Clemence Gosset runs The Gourmandise School of Sweets and Savories at The Market at Santa Monica Place. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, they offer cooking demonstrations using Farmers Market produce. You can find all of the classes they offer, including the French Macaron classes, here.
Robin Smith owns Mud Creek Ranch, a certified organic farm located in Ojai. Mud Creek has a vast array of citrus at the market this season including Satsuma Tangerines, Meyer Lemons and Key Limes.
Fruitcake versus Pie ()
Molly Young is a Good Food listener who emailed us about her love of fruitcake. She says that as one of three children, and the only girl, she had an adaptive advantage at the dessert table because she was the only one who liked fruitcake.
Here is a list of Young’s favorite cakes:
June Taylor makes a more traditional Christmas cake with brandy. Her fruits—both the dried and preserved bits—are organic and macerated in port.
Dean & DeLuca's Cake aux Fruits Confits makes a good introductory cake for beginners, since the ratio of chunks to batter is more modest. That said, the batter is quite rich — a pound cake, really — so it is no less indulgent.
Bien Fait is a little bakery in Vermont which makes a great brandy fruitcake. No candied fruit in this, but a good booze flavor and pleasantly heavy hand with the figs. Not as dense as other fruitcakes, so you might try toasting and buttering a slice.
Our Lady of Guadalupe makes its fruitcake with all the bells and whistles we associate, for better or worse, with American fruitcakes: pineapple, candied cherries, raisins, pecans, and...er, preservatives. It takes the form of an extraordinarily dense rectangle. I love it.
Young also recommends these two classic pieces of fruitcake literature: Laurie Colwin's "Black Cake," in Home Cooking, and Truman Capote's "A Christmas Memory."
A California Inspired Fruitcake ()
Robert Lambert is the maker of artisan condiments and beautiful fruitcakes. You can order his preserves, syrups and, of course, his fruitcakes, here.
Photo: Frank Deras
Bi-Rite Market, Then and Now ()
Ned Mogannam purchased Bi-Rite Market with his brother, Jack, in 1964. In 1998 his son Sam Mogannam took over the family business. Sam's recent book is Eat Good Food: A Grocer’s Guide to Shopping, Cooking & Creating Community through Food. You'll find a recipe from the book for Chicken Soup, with Chickpeas, Fennel and Chard on the Good Food blog.
Cooking on the Hearth ()
Russ Moore is the chef and owner at Camino in Oakland. He worked at Alice Waters' Chez Panisse for over 20 years before he opened Camino in 2008. Chef Moore prefers to cook on the hearth over a fire as opposed to cooking in an oven or atop a stove.
Mislabeled Seafood ()
Michael Hirshfield is Senior Vice President for North America and the chief scientist for Oceana, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit. He says seafood is mislabeled more often than we might think. Here is a list of commonly mislabeled fish.
West Coast Albacore ()
Stephanie Hopkinson is a second-generation albacore fisherman. Her family owns Wild Pacific Seafood in Bellingham, Washington and is part of a growing trend of micro-canneries in the Pacific Northwest. Hopkinson prefers West Coast albacore to supermarket brands because it is troll caught, meaning they catch younger, more flavorful, fish, with less by-catch.
An Unlikely Ice Cream Sandwich ()
Jonathan Gold visits Night + Market, a restaurant featuring Thai street food. His favorite dishes were the pig's ear with chili and garlic, issan sour sausage, fried pig's tails and, for dessert, the ice cream sandwich.
Night + Market
9041 W Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069
All of Jonathan Gold's restaurant suggestions are on the Good Food Restaurant Map.
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