Best Cheesecake in New York; Two East LA institutions; Jonathan Gold

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Recipes and information from this week's edition of Good Food, Saturday at its new time, 10:00am, on KCRW.

Pork and Pinot Wine Event: Tuesday, April 13, 7-9pm at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica
Sample the excellence of pairing two of nature's most sumptuous and versatile gifts. Kobrand Corporation, Niman Ranch, and Fairmont Hotels and Resorts host this unusual tasting. Dishes will range from classic chops to innovative, spicy barbecue. Proceeds will benefit Slow Food USA, a nonprofit educational organization that celebrates regional food from all over the world.

Tickets are $65 per person ($55 for Slow Food members)
To reserve tickets, phone 866-KOBRAND (562-7263) or log onto

Participating restaurants: Balboa, Jar, Josie, JR-s Bar-B-Que, Mr. Cecil-s California Ribs, Niman Ranch Off Citrus, Yi Cuisine, Executive Chef Andri Tscharner, Fairmont Miramar Hotel (Santa Monica), Chef Troy N. Thompson, Jer-ne Restaurant & Bar (Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey).

Featured wines: Benziger Pinot Noir (Sonoma, CA), Champagne Taittinger Prestige Cuv-e Ros- (Champagne, France), Domaine Carneros Pinot Noir (Carneros, CA), Foley Estates Pinot Noir, Santa Maria Hills (Santa Barbara, CA), LinCourt Vineyards Pinot Noir (Santa Barbara, CA), Maison Louis Jadot (Burgundy, France)

Amelia Saltsman is the host of Fresh from the Farmers' Market television cooking show which can be seen on Santa Monica City TV and Los Angeles public access.

On Saturday, April 17, from 9am to 1pm, Amelia will be teaching a Farmers Market Cooking Class at the Santa Monica Sur La Table. Participants will shop with Amelia at the neighboring farmers' market then back to the store to cook up the produce. For more information, call 310-395-0390.

Glazed Beets with Blood Orange Juice
Use a mix or only one color of golden, white, candy-stripe or red beets in this recipe.
Makes 6-8 servings

  • 12 medium to large beets or 18 small beets (about 3 bunches)
  • 2-3 tsps olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup blood orange juice (about 4 oranges)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut tops off beets, leaving about one inch of stem attached, and save tops for another use. Scrub beets and cut larger beets in half or quarters so all the beets are about the same size. Place the beets in a single layer in a shallow baking pan. If you are using red beets in addition to other colors, put the red beets in a separate pan, as they will stain the other beets. Toss the beets with the olive oil and salt and pepper and roast easily pierced with a sharp knife, about 45 minutes, giving the pan a shake halfway through the cooking time. When beets are cool enough to handle, peel them and cut away stems and tap roots.

Pour half the orange juice into a large skillet over medium heat and cook the juice until it reduces by half, 1-2 minutes. Add half the beets (remembering to work separately with red beets) and toss to coat with the juice. Continue cooking and stirring until beets are completely coated and there is no juice remaining in skillet, 1-2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

- 2004, Amelia Saltsman

Abby Dodge is a contributing editor to Fine Cooking.

Easter recipes suggestions from Evan Kleiman. Asparagi Fritti (Deep-Fried Asparagus)

  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
  • 2 cups flour
  • approximately1 1/2 cups beer or sparkling water
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for deep frying
  • Lemon wedges for garnish
Blanch the asparagus in salted boiling water for about 10 seconds. Drain and refresh in a bowl of ice water. Drain and set aside.

Place flour and salt in small mixing bowl. Stir to mix. Add just enough beer or water to create a batter the thickness of heavy cream. Set batter aside in refrigerator for an hour.

When ready to serve, heat oil in large, heavy pot to a depth of at least 1 1/2 - 2 inches.

Dip asparagus in batter and carefully place in hot oil being careful not to crowd the pan. Turn the asparagus with tongs until it is golden brown on all sides. Lift out from the hot oil and place on paper towels to drain. Serve with lemon wedges.
copyright Evan Kleiman - 1997

Barbabietole all'Arancia

  • 2 to 3 bunches baby beets
  • 2 or 3 think slices red onion
  • Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling (can use flavored oils)
  • Juice from 1 orange
Wash beets well. Trim tops so that at least 2 inches remains on the beet. Reserve the tops for another use. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place beets on top. Salt, pepper and lightly drizzle oil on beets. Cover with foil so that the beets are completely enclosed.

Place beets in preheated 450OF oven. Cook until tender when pierced with paring knife, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool until you can handle them.

When cooled, carefully slip the skins off the beets. Place them on a serving dish. Scatter the onions over the beets. Drizzle with oil and orange juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature.
copyright Evan Kleiman - 1997

Baked Giant Greek Beans

  • 1lb giant white beans
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut in half
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 carrots, peeled and minced
  • 2 large yellow onions, peeled and minced
  • 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 large can Italian-Style tomatoes or tomato sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Soak beans overnight in abundant water. They will double in size so be sure there is enough water to cover them after doubling.

If soaking water is dirty, drain and discard it. Place soaked beans in large pot and cover with water. Add 1 onion, cut in half. Bring beans to a boil. Turn heat down so that the beans simmer and let cook until tender but still holding their shape, about 2 hours. Add salt to taste just before beans are finished cooking.

Saut- the chopped carrot and onion in the olive oil until very soft. Add the tomatoes or tomato sauce, oregano and sugar and black pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook just until sauce begins to thicken. It should still be plenty saucy.

Drain the beans and reserve a few cups of the liquid. Toss the beans and tomato sauce together in a bowl. Place in baking dish adding some of the reserved bean liquid if necessary.

Bake in preheated 350oF degree oven uncovered, for 30 minutes.
copyright Evan Kleiman - 1997

Long-Cooked Beans in Oil and Tomato

  • 1 lb green beans, trimmed
  • 1 large yellow onion, minced
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • Salt to taste
Place all the ingredients together in a large cooking pot and mix together. Bring to a boil. Place parchment paper directly covering the beans. Add cover to pot. Turn heat down to a low simmer and cook for at least 2 hours - up to four hours, checking occasionally to be sure the beans don't go dry. Serve at room temperature with all the accumulated cooking juices and tons of bread.
copyright Evan Kleiman - 1997

Cianfotta (Pugliese Spring Vegetable Stew)

  • 1 large or 2-3 young leeks, thinly sliced
  • 1 lb young fava beans
  • 1 lb English peas, shelled
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, cut into a chiffonade
  • Chopped mint to taste
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
In a large saut- pan cook leek in oil until soft. Add the favas, peas, lettuce, mint, salt and pepper. Toss over high heat until favas and peas are crisp-tender.
copyright Evan Kleiman - 1997

Jonathan Gold spoke about Chichen Itza restaurant (3655 South Grand Avenue) in the La Paloma Marketplace, near USC. His recommended dishes include:

Panucho, a fried corn tortilla filled with a puree of black beans and topped with meats, lettuce and marinated onions.
Banana Leaf Tamales
Chochinita Pibil, a marinated pork dish

Ed Levine is the author of New York Eats (More): The Food Shopper's Guide to the Freshest Ingredients, the Best Take-Out and Baked Goods, published by St. Martin's Press.

Ed spoke about cheesecake:
Two Little Red Hens, Park Slope, Brooklyn. Phone: (718) 499-8108
Chick-a-licious (212-995-9511)

Larry Nicola owns Nic's restaurant 453 N Canon Dr, Beverly Hills (310-550-5707). He is updating the menu at Tamayo Mexican Restaurant, 5300 E Olympic Blvd East Los Angeles (310-550-5707).

Maddalena Riboli's family owns the San Antonio Winery (737 Lamar St, 323-223-1401), located just five minutes the Music Center in downtown Los Angeles. There is a visitor center, tasting room as well as Maddalena restaurant.