Chris Cognac writes for the Daily Breeze about what he finds when he puts food under his magnifying glass. He calls himself the culinary detective and is busy unearthing family-run hotspots all over the South Bay. Listed below are the restaurants and recommended dishes he mentioned today:
Al Watan Pakistani restaurant in Hawthorne (Islamic; 13619 Inglewood Ave, 310-644-6395) TnT's Aloha Cafe in Torrance Gaffey Street Diner in San Pedro
(Eggs Benedict, patty melt, open-faced turkey sandwich, chicken fried steak and eggs, and supreme French toast)
Gardena Bowl Coffee Shop in Gardena (Bacon Fried Rice, "Loco Mocu," which is served over rice and hamburger patties with brown gravy ladled over the top. Hawaiian Royal, Portuguese sausage, green onions and eggs, scrambled together, then served over a bed of rice with teriyaki sauce, ramen soup, steaming hot noodles) Bob's Ohana Hawaiian Style Restaurant in Gardena (Kalua Pork Plate that comes with Lomi Lomi potato and macaroni salad, and rice. King's Hawaiian French Toast, Chibi's Tofu Omelet, or the nori-wrapped chicken)
Myra Kornfeld has coined the term "flexitarian" to define people that have varied diets, from vegetarians to vegans, to sometimes vegetarians, to fishitarians. Her book, The Healthy Hedonist, includes "more than 200 "delectable flexitarian recipes" to please a variety of food requests. Here's a sampling.
Red Lentil Patties with Cilantro Sauce
- 1 cup white basmati rice
- 1/2 cup red lentils
- 4 cups water
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 2 Tablespoons plus 4 tsps coconut oil, sesame oil, or ghee
- 1 tsp whole cumin seeds
- 2 cups finely diced onions
- 1/4 tsp hot red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup arrowroot powder
- Wash the rice and lentils, and drain them. Place them in a medium saucepan and add the water, turmeric and salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Uncover the pan and simmer, without stirring, until the water is absorbed, 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, warm the 2 tablespoons oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and saut-- until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until well browned, about 12 minutes. Stir in the red pepper flakes and remove the skillet from the heat.
- Add the mixture to the cooked rice and lentils. Stir to combine. Taste, and add salt if necessary. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, and let it sit until cool enough to handle, about 20 minutes.
- Spread the arrowroot on a large plate. Form the lentil mixture into 8 patties. Dredge the patties in the arrowroot, and place them on a clean plate. Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 4 patties and saut-- until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Repeat with the remaining oil and patties. Serve warm, with sauce.
Makes 1 cup
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk, stirred before measuring
- 1 jalape--o chile, stemmed and seeded
- 1 garlic clove
- One 1-inch piece fresh ginger
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
-- 2005 Myra Kornfeld, The Healthy Hedonist, published by Simon & Schuster
Jennifer McLagan has decided to write a book championing the value of finding bones in our food. Bones: Recipes, History, and Lore is filled with wonderful recipes like Seven-Hour Leg of Lamb, but also includes recipes which honor the pieces that are sometimes thrown out, like lamb neck, pig tails, and fish heads.
Seven-Hour Leg of Lamb
- 1 leg of lamb, about 5 pounds
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 onions, halved and sliced
- 4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch thick rounds
- 1 bottle dry white wine
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 large rosemary sprig
- About 2 cups Lamb Stock
- One hour before cooking, remove the lamb from the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 350--.
- Pat the lamb dry and season with salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven or flameproof casserole, melt half the butter with half the oil over medium heat. Add the lamb and brown on all sides. Transfer the lamb to a platter.
- Discard any fat from the pot, and add the remaining butter and oil. Add the onions and cook until softened. Add the carrots and cook until the onions begin to brown. Pour in the wine, add the garlic, and bring to a boil deglazing the pot by scraping up the browned bits from the bottom.
- Place the lamb skin side up, atop the vegetables, then add enough stock so that the leg is two-thirds submerged. Add the bay leaves and rosemary, season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Cover the lamb with a piece of damp parchment paper and then the lid, transfer to the oven, and cook for 2 1/2 hours.
- Remove the lamb from the oven and baste it with the cooking juices. Lower the oven temperature to 300-- and cook the lamb, uncovered for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, basting every 30 minutes. The lamb is cooked when the meat comes away from the bone; the skin will be a rich dark brown.
- Discard the bay leaves and rosemary. Skim off the fat from the cooking liquid, but don't try to remove the lamb from the pot, as it would fall to pieces. Serve the lamb directly from the pot, with the carrots and cooking juices. You will only need a spoon to do this.