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FROM THIS EPISODE

Chef-instructor Adam Dulye Harvests animals into meat, and biologist Yonat Swimmer recounts the life of a swordfish. Cindy Mushet shares tips on baking for the holidays, oyster-shucker champion William "Chopper" Young shares shucking techniques, and television chef Jacques Pépin cooks fast-food at home. Plus, Jonathan Gold takes a culinary trip to Korea, Marion Nestle relates the pet-food recall's connection to food safety for humans; and Evan Kleiman has a fresh Market Report.

Simply Organic

Jesse Ziff Cool

Producers:
Bob Carlson
Jennifer Ferro
Thea Chaloner
Candace Moyer
Connie Alvarez
Holly Tarson

Guest Interview The Market Report 5 MIN, 31 SEC

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Evan Kleiman, who takes over for Laura Avery who is on holiday in France, shops for shallots and cipollini onions, which are both in their full flavor this time of year. Evan likes to braise them both, whole, in orange juice or balsamic vinegar.

 

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Cipollini Braised in Orange Juice
Serves 6

2 lbss of cipollini or pearl onions of similar size, about 28
1 ½ cups orange juice, freshly squeezed
Grated peel of 1 orange
½ cup of olive oil
Course salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, stemmed and roughly chopped

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the onions and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Drain in a colander and refresh the onions under cold running water. Peel and trim the root end, but leave the root intact or the onions will fall apart. Combine the onions, orange juice, grated peel, olive oil and salt in a saucepan.  Cook until the onions are tender yet crisp, testing for doneness with the tip of knife. Transfer to a gratin dish and bake in a preheated 400ºF oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until the onions are soft and golden. Taste for salt.  Just before serving, grind pepper over the onions and sprinkle with chopped parsley.  Serve at room temperature.

Roasted Shallots in Balsamic Vinegar
Serves 6 to 8

4 medium shallots, unpeeled
Olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
¼ cup balsamic vinegar

Coat the unpeeled onions generously with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place them in a roasting pan just large enough to hold them.  Roast the onions in a preheated 375ºF oven for 1 hour or longer depending on the size of the onions.  They should be soft to the touch.  Remove the onions from the pan and let cool slightly.  Cut in half through the root end and arrange on a platter, cut-side up.  To deglaze the roasting pan, add the vinegar and place the pan over medium heat.  Boil the vinegar for a few minutes, scraping the caramelized onion juices off the bottom of the pan.  Reduce the liquid until it is syrupy and dark, glossy brown.  Spoon a little of the thickened liquid over the onions, completely coating the cut surfaces.  Let them cool.

Recipes courtesy of Viana La Place & Evan Kleiman's Cucina Fresca.

Music break: La Golondrina by Al Caiola

Cucina Fresca

Viana La Place and Evan Kleiman

Guest Interview Life of a Swordfish 8 MIN, 24 SEC

Yonat Swimmer talks about the life of big fish, such as swordfish and tuna, before their lives get interrupted by the fishing line. She is a research fisheries biologist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Music break: Laia Ladaia by Les Baxter

Guest Interview Holiday Baking 7 MIN, 12 SEC

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Baking expert Cindy Mushet, author of The Art and Soul of Baking, shares baking tips for the holiday season. She talks about freezing doughs, batters and how to properly store them.

Feta, Roasted Pepper & Basil Muffins
Who says muffins have to be sweet? These are a great savory accompaniment to eggs or bacon on the breakfast table, and just as good alongside soup, salad, or roasted chicken. Do not substitute dried basil, because it just doesn't have the punch of flavor these muffins require. If fresh basil is unavailable, substitute a tablespoon of fresh thyme or a teaspoon of dried thyme instead.

Makes 12 muffins
Ingredients

2 cups (10 ozs) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsps baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¾ cup (3 ozs) crumbled feta cheese
½ cup (4 ounces) jarred roasted red bell pepper, patted dry and chopped into ¼-inch dice
3 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
1 cup (8 ozs) buttermilk
¼ cup (2 ozs) olive oil
1 large egg

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and position an oven rack in the center. Lightly coat the muffin tin with melted butter, oil, or high-heat canola-oil spray. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in the large mixing bowl. Set aside. In the medium bowl, stir together the feta cheese, roasted bell pepper, and chopped basil. Set aside.

2. Pour the buttermilk into the measuring cup. Add the olive oil and the egg and whisk together until well blended. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the well and stir gently with a spatula. Mix only until there are no more streaks of flour or pools of liquid and the batter looks fairly smooth. A few small lumps scattered throughout are fine—they will disappear during baking. Gently fold in the feta cheese mixture until evenly distributed in the batter.

3. Use the large ice cream scoop or 2 soup spoons to divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until the tops feel firm and a skewer inserted into the centers comes out clean. Transfer the muffin tin to a rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Gently run a thin knife or spatula around each muffin to free it from the pan, lift out the muffins, and transfer them to a rack to finish cooling (careful, these are tender while hot). Serve warm.

4. When completely cool, the muffins can be stored at room temperature, wrapped in plastic or sealed in a resealable plastic bag, for 2 days. Reheat, wrapped in foil, in a 325°F oven for 8 to 10 minutes, until warmed through. The muffins can also be frozen for up to 1 month, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and then sealed in a resealable plastic freezer bag. Thaw, still wrapped, for 30 minutes before reheating.

Music break: Last Words by The Real Tuesday Weld

Guest Interview Jonathan Gold in Korea 7 MIN, 8 SEC

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Pulitzer Prize-winning food writer Jonathan Gold hits the streets of Korea in search of new culinary treats. In Los Angeles, he recommends bossam (steamed pork belly) served with sliced picked turnips at Kobawoo in Koreatown. Jonathan's gastronomic ruminations can be found each week in the LA Weekly.

Kobawoo
698 S Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90005
213-389-7300

Music break: Let the Love In by Chungking

Guest Interview Pet Food 8 MIN, 10 SEC

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Food activist Marion Nestle talks about the pet food recall and its connection to food safety for humans in her book, Pet Food Politics: The Chihuahua in the Coal Mine. Nestle, the Paulette Goddard Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University, also discusses food issues on her blog, What to Eat.

Pet Food Politics

Marion Nestle

Guest Interview Culinary School Slaughter 6 MIN, 27 SEC
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Chef-instructor Adam Dulye teaches students how to harvest lamb at the Culinary School of the Rockies in Denver, Colorado. During the two-week "Farm to Table" externship, students get to slaughter, skin and prepare a lamb. For more information about this innovative culinary school, check out its curriculum.

Music break: La Grenier by Jessica Fichot

Guest Interview Oyster Shucker 7 MIN, 22 SEC

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World oyster-shucking champion William "Chopper" Young discusses shucking technique. He won the Guinness World Oyster Opening Championship in Galway, Ireland in September. For tips on shucking oysters, visit the Wellfleet Oyster Festival website.

 

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Photo: Necee Regis

Music break: Le Chemin by Jessica Fichot

Guest Interview Jacques Pépin 7 MIN, 16 SEC

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Jacques Pépin serves up fast food at home in Jacques Pépin More Fast Food My Way. The beloved television chef and cookbook author has published 25 cookbooks and hosted nine acclaimed public television cooking series.  You can see More Fast Food My Way each Saturday at 2:30pm on KCET in Los Angeles and on PBS stations around the country.

Roasted Split Chicken with Mustard Crust
Makes 4 servings

Pepin says he often makes this recipe at home when I in a hurry, because splitting and flattening the chicken and cutting between the joints of the leg and the shoulder reduce the cooking time by half. He uses kitchen shears to split the chicken open at the back and to cut the cooked bird into serving pieces and a knife to cut between the joints. The mustard crust can be made ahead and even spread on the chicken a day ahead, if you like. He pours the cooked chicken juices into a fat separator with a spout and serve over Fluffy Mashed Potatoes, leaving the fat behind.

Mustard Crust
2 Tablespoons chopped garlic
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons dry white wine
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 tsp Tabasco hot pepper sauce
1 tsp herbes de Provençe
1/2 tsp salt
1 chicken (about 3 1/2 lbs)
Fluffy Mashed Potatoes (optional)

For the crust: Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl.

Preheat the oven to 450°F. With a kitchen shears or sharp knife, cut alongside the backbone of the chicken to split it open. Spread and press on the chicken with your hands to flatten it. Using a sharp paring knife, cut halfway through both sides of the joints connecting the thighs and drumsticks and cut through the joints of the shoulder under the wings as well. (This will help the heat penetrate these joints and accelerate the cooking process.)

Put the chicken skin side down on a cutting board and spread it with about half the mustard mixture. Place the chicken flat in a large skillet, mustard side down. Spread the remaining mustard on the skin side of the chicken. Cook over high heat for about 5 minutes, then place the skillet in the oven and cook.

Crisp Pear Tart
Makes 4 servings

Using a 7" flour tortilla as the "crust" or shell and Bartlett or Anjou pears that are ripe enough to eat as the fruit topping, you can make a fast and easy fruit tart. To make certain that the crust is crisp and caramelized on the bottom, butter and sugar the underside of the tortilla before topping it with the pears. Some of the mixture usually runs out from the bottom of the tart and the tart may burn lightly around the edge, giving a caramelized edge to the  tart shell. If you object to it, you can trim a little of it off.

1 7-inch flour tortilla

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 Tablespoons sugar
2 medium firm but ripe Bartlett or Anjou pears (about 3/4 lb total)
3 Tablespoons apricot preserves
1 Tablespoon pistachio nuts

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the tortilla in the center of a cookie sheet lined with a reusable nonstick mat. Spread 1 tablespoon of the butter on top of the tortilla and sprinkle it with 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Turn the tortilla over so the buttered side is underneath.

Peel, core, and cut each pear into about 12 wedges. Beginning at the edge of the tortilla, start arranging the wedges in a concentric circle with the thin edge of each wedge facing toward the center of the tortilla. Create another slightly overlapping circle, working in toward the center of the tortilla. Add additional rows with the remaining wedges, ending with a few pear pieces in the center to complete what will look like a large rose. Scatter the remaining 1 tablespoon butter, divided into pieces, on top and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until the pear slices are tender and the tortilla is crisp and browned. Remove from the oven, set aside for a minute or so, then lift the tart with a spatula and transfer it to a rack to cool, discarding any burned bits around it.

Heat the apricot preserves, if too thick to use as a glaze, in a microwave oven for about 10 seconds to liquefy. Spread the glaze on top of the tart. Cut the tart into 4 wedges, sprinkle with pistachios, and serve at room temperature.

Music break: Le Velours et la Soie by Jessica Fichot

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