American Cheese; Tastes of the Sea; Chocolate Desserts; Indian Food

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Information and recipes from this week's Good Food

Salmon suggestions, provided by the California Salmon Council.

  • Purchase 3 to 8 ounces salmon per person, depending upon the part of the meal at which the seafood will be served (appetizer, salad or main dish)
  • Look for only wild caught salmon, rather than farm-raised
  • To broil, lightly oil broiler pan. Place fillets, skin side down, on pan. Broil 4 inches from heat source. Do not turn.
  • To grill, oil grill lightly or place a lightly oiled heavy duty piece of aluminum foil just large enough to fit all of the salmon on grill. Poke several holes in foil. Arrange fillets, skin side down, on foil. Cover and grill over medium-hot coals. Do not turn.

  • Jonathan Gold writes for Gourmet magazine and the LA Weekly. He spoke today about the new outlet of India Sweets and Spices at 3126 Los Feliz Blvd (just east of Griffith Park). He recommends the $3.99 lunch special; Batura, puffy pancakes fried to order and served with chickpeas (channa); Dosas, South Indian pancakes, Mysore dosa encrusted with spices on the inside and Marsala dosa, stuffed with potatoes.

    Laura Werlin is the author of The New American Cheese and the newly published The All American Cheese and Wine Book, published by Stewart, Tabori and Chang.

    White wines: A dry Reisling goes well with most cheeses. She recommends:

    Eroica, Chateau St. Michelle, Washington state
    Mt. Tam, Cowgirl Creamery (a triple cream cheese), which can be found at Whole Foods
    Winchester Gouda, sold at the local farmers market
    Original Blue, Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company, Pt. Reyes California
    Red wine:
    Pinot Noir is compatible with most cheeses
    Look for a well-balanced cheese, not too much sharpness to go with a red wine A cheese course goes well between a main course and a dessert
    Try a single cheese paired with a chutney
    Washed-rind cheese: Red Hawk, Cowgirl Creamery

    Dessert Fondue

    Blue Cheese-Camembert Fondue with Phyllo-Pear "Cigars"
    Makes 16 cigars; serves 4 to 6

    For the cigars:

    • 4 large Bosc pears (about 2 pounds), peeled, cored and cut into 1/8 inch dice
    • 1 Tablespoon, plus 1 tsp water
    • 1 Tablespoon, plus 1 tsp sugar
    • 8 phyllo sheets
    • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
    For the fondue:
    • 9 ozs Camembert cheese, rind removed, cut into chunks (this is the easiest to do when the cheese is cold)
    • 4 oz creamy-style blue cheese, cut into chunks
    • 1 Tablespoon, plus 1 tsp flour
    • 1 cup white dessert wine, such as Robert Mondavi Moscato d'Oro
    • Pear slices, Asian pear slices, and apple slices for serving
      Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    1. To make the cigars: In a large pan, stir together the pears, water and sugar. Turn the heat to medium, cover the pan, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pears are quite soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside.
    2. Stack the phyllo sheets and cut them in half crosswise. Cover with a damp kitchen towel. Set 1 phyllo sheet with the short end toward you and brush it with butter.
    3. Spread about 2 tablespoons of the pear mixture in a thin line in the center of the sheet, parallel to the ends. Fold the sheet in half, enclosing the pear mixture. Fold in both sides about 3/4 inch. Starting at the end closest to you, gently roll up the phyllo.
    4. Brush the end with butter to seal. Place seam side down on a baking sheet and continue with the remaining phyllo and pear mixture.
    5. Bake the cigar for 20 to 25 minutes, or until deep golden-brown. Let cool at least 15 minutes or to room temperature.
    6. Warm a fondue pot by filling it with hot water. Pour out the water and wipe the pot dry.
    7. To make the fondue: In a medium bowl, toss together the cheeses and flour.
    8. In a medium-sized heavy-bottomed pot, heat the wine over medium heat. When the wine is simmering, add a small amount of the cheese mixture and stir until smooth.
    9. Continue with the remaining cheese, adding small amounts at a time.
    10. Transfer the fondue to a fondue pot and serve, with phyllo cigars and fruit slices.

    Jean Pierre Bosc is the chef of Mimosa restaurant (8009 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles; 323- 655-8895). Every Tuesday night is Moule Frites night -- mussels and French fries night -- where mussels are prepared six different ways.

    To clean mussels at home, use the side of a knife to scrape all the hair and any thing else that might be on the shell. Pull out the beard, which is around the opening. Store in ice in a colander. Any mussel that is closed tight is fresh and alive. Any that are partially opened should be discarded.

    Mussels can be steamed in white wine or any other liquid. They take only minutes to cook. When the shells open up, they are cooked.

    Kristy Choo is the owner behind Jin Patisserie (1202 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice; 310-399-8801)