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On Saturday, February 28, Evan Kleiman will be speaking at a conference on the role of the feast in modern life at the Feast, Fast and Famine symposium at the All Saints Church, 132 N Euclid Ave, Pasadena. Admission is $25. For information and reservations, call 626-583-2737.


On Monday, February 23 (6:30pm), the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Institute of Wine & Food presents Braising: The Latest Restaurant Trend at Mimosa, 8009 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles. Chef Jean Pierre Bosc braises with Staub cookware. Admission is $60 for members, $75 for non members. For information and reservations, go online or call Roberta Mitchell at 818-902-3724.


Dr. Roland Griffiths is a professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Here's more on his research into caffeine.


Jet Tila is a cooking teacher and private chef.

Green Curry Paste

10 Green Thai or Serrano Chiles
1 stalk lemongrass, chopped
1 Tablespoon Kaffir lime rind, chopped
1-inch piece of galanga
1 Tablespoon cilantro, roots or stems
2 garlic cloves, chopped
3 shallots, peeled and chopped
1 tsp coriander seeds, toasted
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp shrimp paste

  • If using Serrano chiles, seed before making curry paste. Do not seed Thai chiles.
  • If using a stone mortar, pound chilies, garlic, shallots and galanga together until semi-smooth. This will give you a good base. Then add all the remaining ingredients and continue to pound until smooth.
  • If using a mini food processor or spice grinder, combine all ingredients and process until a smooth paste. If desired, use vegetable oil to help process the ingredients.
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use. Glass jars work best because plastics can stain and are difficult to wash.
  • Panang Curry
    Active Work time is 15 minutes.
    Total preparation time is 1 hour.

    4-6 Tablespoons Panang curry paste
    6-8 Kaffir lime leaves
    6 cups coconut milk
    1 - - 2 lbs chicken breast, thinlu sliced
    - cup Thai sweet basil (whole with stems)
    1 cup bamboo shoots, sliced
    2 tsps fish sauce
    1 tsp sugar
    1 Tablespoon tamarind paste
    - cup brown onion, thinly sliced
    - cup red bell pepper, to garnish

  • In a medium saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons of coconut milk to medium and stir in curry paste and lime leaves. Stir-fry for about 30 seconds until paste starts to brown.
  • Stir in remaining coconut milk into curry paste. Increase heat to high until boiling, and allow to boil for 5 to 10 minutes or until reduces about 1/4.
  • Reduce to simmer. Add chicken, basil leaves, bamboo shoots, onion, fish sauce, tamarind, and sugar. Let simmer for about 20 minutes.
  • Garnish with bell peppers.
  • Thai curry is very different from its Indian counterpart. Some Thai curries do not contain curry power at all. Thai curry is a combination of many ingredients that have been processed into a paste. All curry bases begin with lemongrass, shallots, garlic, and onion. The additional ingredients added to the base will determine the type of curry made. For instance, adding ripe red chilies will make Red curry paste. The addition of Masamun chilies will make Masamun curry paste.

    Apply this recipe to any type of curry you like. If you like your food really spicy, try adding dried chili or whole fresh chilies. Get as creative as you want! Curry is a simple hearty dish; get as simple or complex with it as you want. As always, practice makes perfect.

    Masamun Curry
    Active Work time is 15 minutes.
    Total preparation time is 1 hour.

    4-6 Tablespoons Masamun curry paste
    6-8 Kaffir lime leaves
    6 cups coconut milk
    1 - - 2 lbs beef flank, thinly sliced
    - cup Thai sweet basil (whole with stems)
    2 tsps fish sauce
    1 tsp sugar
    1 Tablespoon tamarind paste
    1 15-oz can baby corn
    1 medium Japanese eggplant, cut into slices
    - small brown onion, thinly sliced
    - red bell pepper, to garnish

  • In a medium saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons of coconut milk to medium and stir in curry paste and lime leaves. Stir-fry for about 30 seconds until paste starts to brown.
  • Stir remaining coconut milk into curry paste. Increase heat to high until boiling, and add basil leaves. Allow to boil about 10 minutes or until reduces about 1/3.
  • Reduce to simmer. Add eggplant, corn, onion, fish sauce, tamarind and sugar. Let simmer for about 20 minutes or until beef and vegetables are cooked through.
  • Garnish with bell peppers.
  • Prik King
    Active Work time is 15 minutes.
    Total preparation time is 30 minutes.

    2-3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
    4 garlic cloves, minced
    2 Tbsps Prik King curry paste
    4-6 Kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped (optional)
    4 cups Chinese long beans, trimmed and cut into 3- sections
    2 lbs pork butt, cut into 1/2- slices
    3 Tablespoons fish sauce
    - red bell peppers, chopped
    2-3 Tablespoons sugar
    1 tsp white pepper

  • Blanch beans for about 30 seconds and reserve.
  • Heat a medium skillet on high for about one minute.
  • Add oil, and cook garlic until light brown for about 20 seconds.
  • Stir in curry paste and lime leaves until leaves begin to become translucent.
  • Stir in the pork, cook until medium about 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Fold in green beans and cook for another minute.
  • Add fish sauce, sugar and pepper. Fold until thoroughly incorporated.
  • Cook until the pork is cooked through and beans are coated with the curry sauce.
  • Add red bell peppers and cook for about 30 seconds.

    Roast Duck Red Curry
    Active Work time is 15 minutes.
    Total preparation time is 1 hour.

    4-6 Tablespoons red curry paste
    6-8 Kaffir lime leaves
    6 cups coconut milk
    1 - - 2 lbs Chinese roast duck, chopped
    - cup Thai sweet basil (whole with stems)
    2 tsp fish sauce
    1 tsp sugar
    1 Tablespoon tamarind paste
    - cup brown onion, thinly sliced
    - cup red bell pepper, to garnish

  • In a medium saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons of coconut milk to medium and stir in curry paste and lime leaves. Stir-fry for about 30 seconds until paste starts to brown.
  • Stir in remaining coconut milk into curry paste. Increase heat to high until boiling. Allow to boil about 10 to 15 minutes or until reduces about 1/4.
  • Reduce to simmer. Add duck, Basil leaves, onion, fish sauce, tamarind, and sugar. Let simmer for about 20 minutes until slightly thicker than sauce consistency.
  • Garnish with bell peppers.

  • Suzanne Dunaway is the founder and baker of Buona Forchetta Handmade Breads. Her latest book, Rome at Home, published by Broadway Books, will be out in March.

    Lentil Soup Lebrun
    Serves 4 to 6

    This recipe from Rico Lebrun-s widow, Constance, is a hearty dish for an informal dinner party, especially in winter. Serve a nice salad and dessert, and dinner is done.

    1 package lentils
    Cold water to cover 1" above level of lentils
    1 small onion, chopped fine
    1 tsp salt
    Fresh pepper
    Tiny piece of bay leaf, about - inch

    Meatballs

    1 lb ground lamb
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    - cup pine nuts
    - cup raisins
    2 Tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano
    Salt and pepper to taste
    2 egg yolks or 1 egg

    *****

    4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    4 cups beef or chicken stock

    *****

    1 - pounds fresh baby spinach leaves
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    Parmigiano-Reggiano

  • In a large soup pot, cook the lentils, onion, salt, pepper and bay leaf just until tender.
  • Meanwhile, combine all of the ingredients for the meatballs except the olive oil and stock in a large bowl and mix well. Form the meat into small 1-inch balls. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil, add the meatballs and brown well for a few minutes. Add the stock and simmer on low until done, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the meatballs and all the stock to the cooked lentils, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • When the soup is hot, put a handful of fresh spinach in each soup plate and ladle the hot soup over it. This will cook it just enough to be interesting. Serve with a splash of olive oil and a little chopped fresh garlic in each bowl. Pass the extra Parmigiano-Reggiano.

    Cassoulet
    Serves 8

    The cassoulet I know contains a preserved goose or duck meat, but there are cassoulets in France which have neither, and use only pork or lamb or a combination of the two. The dish is cooked very slowly so that the meat literally melts on your fork, and be aware that this is not a dish for a delicate stomach! It will, however, keep you warm through the winter until lighter fare appears.

    First you will need a confit of duck.

    For the confit:

    2 cups duck fat, obtained by roasting 2 ducks for another meal and reserving the fat they throw off during cooking, strained (or buy prepared confit at specialty shops)
  • 4 duck legs and 4 duck thighs (I make a little more of this for other recipes)
  • Salt
  • Pinch of clove

    *****

    2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    1 small onion, minced
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    - lb pork salt pork
    - lb bacon, in one piece if possible
    1 small sprig of fresh thyme
    1 tsp salt
    - tsp fresh ground pepper
    1 lb small white beans (Great Northern are good, or French white beans found in specialty shops, soaked in cold water overnight)
    1 cup white wine

    ******

    2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or duck fat
    1 lb lean pork roast, cut into cubes
    - lb sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces
    Splash of dry vermouth

    ******

    Breadcrumbs

  • Rub the duck legs with salt generously and refrigerate, covered, for 24 hours. Melt the duck fat and add the legs as it is melting, before it gets thoroughly hot. Add the pinch of clove and cook the duck legs over very, very low heat for about 1 - hours. Prick the leg or thigh at its deepest part and make sure the juice runs clear. Place the duck pieces in a crock and pour the fat over them. Let cool and store for up to 2 months in the refrigerator.
  • In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic, and saut- for a few minutes, until they take on color.
  • Add the pork, bacon, thyme, salt and pepper, then the drained beans and cover with fresh, cold water, about 2 quarts. Add the wine and bring to a simmer. Simmer the mixture for 1 - hours until the beans are barely tender.
  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and brown the pork cubes and sausage well until -sealed-. Add the vermouth, cover, and cook on low heat for 15 minutes.
  • Heat the oven to 300 F.
  • In a large, heatproof casserole, place one layer of the bean mixture with juices, then one layer of pork and sausage, then 2 duck legs and 2 thighs from the confit crock, then beans, then meat. Cover and cook for about 4 hours until the meat is very tender. Toward the end of the cooking, remove the lid and sprinkle bread crumbs on top of the casserole. Finish cooking without the lid.


    Chef Gaetano's restaurant is La Dolce Vita

    One Good Dish

    David Tanis

    Producers:
    Marina McLeod
    Bob Carlson
    Jennifer Ferro

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