BBQ Joints; Joy of Small Restaurants; Gardening in September; Lamb Cooked in Yogurt

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Today on Good Food:

Jonathan Gold is the author of Counter Intelligence: Where to Eat in the Real Los Angeles, published by LA Weekly Books. Jonathan spoke about Phillip's Barbecue (323-292-7613) at 4307 Leimert Boulevard in Los Angeles. This original location serves take-out only and is closed on Sunday. Phillip's newer location, at 2619 Crenshaw Boulevard in Los Angeles, just south of Adams, is open Sundays.

Patrick Kuh is the food writer for Los Angeles Magazine. He spoke about small restaurants, including:

Michelia's Restaurant (Vietnamese fare) at 8738 W 3rd Street in Los Angeles
Zax's at 11604 San Vicente Boulevard in West Los Angeles.
Beacon (Asian cafe) at 3280 Helms Avenue in Culver City

Mark Bittman is the author of many cookbooks, including How to Cook Everything published by Wiley. He mentioned Sunland Produce (818-504-6629) at 8840 Glenoaks Boulevard in Sun Valley.

Fleica: Grilled Steak with Garlic
Yield: 4 servings
Total time: about 30 minutes, largely unattended

  • 3 or 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt, or more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 lbs skirt steak, or use flank, strip steaks or ribeye steaks
  • 3 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves, optional
  1. If you have a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic with the lemon juice and salt until a paste is formed. Otherwise, mince the garlic finely and stir it with the salt into the lemon juice. Use the back of a wooden spoon to smash the garlic as much as you can. Press the pepper into the steaks and then spread the garlic mixture evenly on both sides. Let the steaks sit while you preheat the grill or broiler.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill or broiler; the fire should be moderately hot and the rack about 4 inches from the heat source. When you're ready to cook, brush a little of the melted butter onto the steaks and then place on the grill. Brush once or twice more with any remaining butter while the steaks are cooking, about 4 minutes per side for medium rare. Garnish with the parsley and serve.

Stewed Lamb in Yogurt
Yield: 4 servings
Time: About 2 hours, largely unattended

  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 large onions, cut in half and sliced
  • 10 cloves garlic, peeled
  • Salt
  • 2 tsps ground coriander
  • 1 Tablespoon minced ginger, or 1 teaspoon dried ginger
  • 10 cardamom pods
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 1/2 lbs lamb shoulder or leg, cut into 1- to 1 1/2 inch chunks
  • 2 cups yogurt
  • Chopped fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
    1. Put the butter in a large skillet or casserole that can later be covered and turn the heat to medium-high. When its foam subsides, add the onions, garlic, and a large pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions become very soft and brown, at least 15 minutes. Stir in the spices and cook, stirring, for another 5 minutes or so.
    2. Add the lamb and stir. Whisk the yogurt with the cornstarch until smooth and stir it into the mixture. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat, then cover and turn the heat to low. Cook at least an hour, stirring occasionally, or until the lamb is very tender. Taste and adjust seasoning, then garnish with the cilantro and serve with basmati rice.

    Scott Daigre is a garden designer and horticulture expert with Powerplant, 323-363-0844.

    Brooke Williamson is the chef/owner of Amuse Cafe (310-450-1956) at 796 Main Street in Venice.