FROM THIS EPISODE
Campanile chef Mark Peel drives to the Santa Monica Farmers Market each week to select produce for his restaurant. He loves the produce this time of year and uses it to make lots of soups. Cabbage soup is one of his favorites. He likes the Savoy variety, with its round head and crinkly leaves. Mark sautes bacon slices and a half head of thinly sliced cabbage in olive oil. After adding a 16-oz can of chicken broth and enough water to make 2 quarts, he simmers the mixture for a half-hour with a few sliced carrots and the heart of the celery with the leaves. He then adds salt and pepper. The soup looks a bit like a minestrone. There are many recipes available to make a simple leek and potato soup. The farmers market has long-neck leeks with a foot or more of usable whites. Use a Russet potato for the best starchy consistency.
Evan visited the Hollywood Farmers Market, where she visited with an herb seller from ABC Rhubarb. Lily Balthazar is featuring watercress, and dandelion greens. She also carries rue, a non-culinary herb which wards of flying objects in the kitchen. ABC also has oyster mushrooms, which are great baked in parchment paper with some chopped herbs (350° for 30 minutes). These go great in a rice pilaf or make a nice side dish.
Music break: Coffee At Chango's by James Hardway
A number of L.A. restaurants are having recession specials. Friday evenings at Edison get a 35¢ martini with a free cup of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. Eric Greenspan of The Foundry on Melrose is offering a guarantee. If you don't, you'll receive a gift certificate for another one. Campanile has soup-kitchen menu on Wednesdays; three courses for $22.
Music break: Cowboy (Instrumental) by The Rumble Strips
Grace Young is the author of The Breath of a Wok: Unlocking the Spirit of Chinese Wok Cooking Through Recipes and Lore.
In Chinese culture, the Kitchen God is the official guardian of the family. Find out more about the ritual surrounding Chinese New Year and the Kitchen God at Grace's website.
Grace Young's kitchen has four Kitchen Gods: two statues, the photo, and the plaque which displays the four Chinese characters "Reserve Fortune Kitchen God." Traditionally, families only place one Kitchen God at their altar. It is traditional to make an offering at Chinese New Year's of a plate of oranges or tangerines as a sweet bribe for the Kitchen God.
Jean Yueh's Shanghai-Style Shrimp
Cookbook author and teacher Jean Yueh advises that the shrimp can be made ahead, transferred to a platter, and served at room temperature.
1 pound large shrimp
3 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 slices ginger
2 scallions, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 Tbsp dry sherry
3 Tbsp sugar, or to taste
1 Tbsp sesame oil, optional
1. Using kitchen shears, cut through the shrimp shells two-thirds of the length down the back of the shrimp. Remove the legs and devein the shrimp, leaving the shells and tails on. Rinse the unpeeled shrimp, drain, and set on several sheets of paper towels. With more paper towels, pat the shrimp dry. In a small bowl combine the soy sauce and vinegar.
2. Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl in the vegetable oil, add the ginger and scallions, and stir-fry 30 seconds or until aromatic. Add the shrimp and stir-fry 30 seconds. Add the sherry and stir-fry a few seconds. Swirl in the soy sauce mixture and sprinkle in the sugar. Stir-fry the shrimp 1 to 2 minutes or until the sauce is distributed and the shrimp are just cooked. Remove from the heat. Stir in the sesame oil if desired. Serve immediately or at room temperature. Serves 4 as part of a multicourse meal.
From The Breath of a Wok
Music break: Creepin' in by Horace Silver
Jonathan Gold traveled to South El Monte, where he discovered Pho Town, a stretch of Garvey Avenue loaded with Pho restaurants. Jonathan's pick for the best of the bunch is Pho Minh at 9646 E. Garvey Ave.
You can see pictures of the Pho dishes and read Jonathan's column at the L.A. Weekly website.
Music break: Criminal Conversation by James Hardway
Brian Gould is an agricultural economist at the University of Wisconsin. His website, Understanding Dairy Markets, offers up-to-date information on dairy prices and forecasts for 2009. Or, find a broader picture of the current milk surplus here.
Music break: Crying Time by Billy Strange with the Mexican Brass
Pork Shoulder with Chipotle-Orange Barbecue Sauce
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/3 cup honey
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 whole canned chipotle chile pepper, pureed or minced
1 Tablespoon vegetable or light olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tablespoon salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 pork shoulder or butt roast (4-5 lbs)
2 Tablespoons finely sliced green onions
Preheat the oven to 450°. In a small bowl, combine the orange juice, honey, vinegar, mustard, chile pepper, oil, garlic, salt, cumin, and cinnamon. Put the pork in a roasting pan that can easily be covered and coat the pork completely with the sauce. Cover with a lid or foil. Reduce oven temperature to 200 degrees. Roast the pork, without opening the door, for 5 hours. Check to see if it is falling apart tender, and if not, cover and roast for about 30 minutes longer, or until it is tender. Sprinkle green onions as a garnish.
Jicama, Radish and Avocado Salad
2 avocados, halved, peeled, pitted and chopped
1 lb jicama, peeled and cut into matchsticks
12 radishes, very thinly sliced
3 Tablespoons olive oil
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
Juice of 1 lime
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 tsp salt
Pinch of red-pepper flakes (optional)
In a medium bowl, combine the avocados, jicama, radishes, oil, vinegar, lime juice, chives, sugar, salt and red-pepper flakes. Toss to coat well.