Cooking in Tea, Charcuterie, Summer Brews, France's Best, Watermelon

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Recipes and information from toda's Good Food:

For Angeli Caffe's Thursday night dinner menus, call 323-936-9086 or go to

Carl Chu is the author of "Finding Chinese Food in Los Angeles: A Guide to Regional Chinese Cuisines, published by Crossbridge Publishing. He spoke about Cha for Tea which has two locations:

5720 E 7th St
Long Beach

4187 Campus Drive #M173
Recommended dishes include Basil Chicken (saut-ed chicken with basil and tea in the broth), Curry Chicken (made with jasmine tea leaves), boba, mango shaved ice, and seasonal teas.

Suzanne Goin is the chef/owner of Lucques (8474 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, 323-655-6277) and A.O.C. restaurants. A.O.C. (8022 W Third St, Los Angeles; 323-653-6359) has picnic baskets for Hollywood Bowl.

Sang Yoon is the owner of Father's Office bar, located at 1018 Montana Ave, Santa Monica (310-393-2337). The beers Sang spoke about are: Unibroue Eph-m-re:
5% alcohol. Belgian style white beer made with unmalted wheat. Tastes like Granny Smith apples". Sang likes to drink while eating popcorn.

Hitachino Nest,
Brewed by Kiuchi Brewery in Naka-gun, Ibaragi, Japan (Sake brewery) Tastes like roasted pears. Low in alcohol. Sang pairs this with dessert or French toast and fresh fruit.

Triple White Sage:
Craftsman Brewery, Pasadena. Belgian style. High malt, 9% alcohol. Good with poultry, sausages.

Anchor Porter:
Anchor Steam Brewing San Francisco Dark color. Smells like toasted nuts. Perfect for BBQ. 6% alcohol.

Louisa Chu is a recently graduated cooking school student at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris.

These recipes are from Gourmet Magazine's July issue. Zanne Stewart is the director of the test kitchen there.

Thai-Spiced Watermelon Soup with Crabmeat
Serves 4 (first course)
Active time: 1 hr; Start to finish: 1 hr (3 hr, if serving chilled)

This light, spicy soup is delicious hot or chilled. The saut-ed aromatics turn the broth a rich red-orange, more reminiscent of tomato than watermelon. See if your guests can guess the main ingredient.

For soup:

  • 5 cups coarsely chopped, seeded watermelon (from a 4-lb piece, rind discarded)
  • 1 fresh lemongrass stalk
  • 3 Tablespoons finely chopped shallot
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons mild olive oil
  • 1 small hot green chile such as Thai or Serrano, finely chopped (including seeds), or to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice, or to taste
  • 3/4 tsp salt, or to taste
For crab:
  • 10 oz jumbo lump crabmeat (2 cups), picked over
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons mild olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
Accompaniment: lime wedges

To make soup:

  1. Pur-e watermelon in a blender until smooth and transfer to a bowl. (Don' t wash blender.)
  2. Discard 1 or 2 outer leaves of lemongrass and trim root end. Thinly slice lower 5 to 6 inches of stalk and then mince, discarding remainder.
  3. Cook lemongrass, shallot, ginger, and garlic in oil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, stirring, until aromatics are pale golden, about 5 minutes. Add about one third of watermelon pur-e and simmer over moderate heat, stirring, 5 minutes.
  4. Remove watermelon mixture from heat, and transfer to blender along with chile, lime juice and salt, and blend until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids).
  5. Add remaining watermelon pur-e and blend briefly. Season soup with more chile, lime juice, and salt if desired, blending if necessary.
  6. Pour soup through a sieve into a bowl, pressing on and discarding any solids.
  7. Chill soup, uncovered, about 2 hours if serving cold, or reheat in cleaned saucepan.
To prepare crab:
Toss crabmeat with cilantro, oil, and salt. Divide crab among 4 soup plates, mounding in center, and pour chilled or hot soup around it.

Cook's notes:
* Soup can be made 1 day ahead and chilled. Cover after 2 hours of chilling.
* Crabmeat can be picked over 1 day ahead and crab mixture can be prepared 1 hour before serving. Chill, covered.

Watermelon Pudding
Serves 6
Active time: 30 min; Start to finish: 4 hr (includes chilling)

This is a variation on the Sicilian classic gelo di melone, which is steeped with jasmine flowers. We substituted anise seeds but kept the traditional garnishes of chocolate shavings, pistachios, and whipped cream.

  • 6 cups coarsely chopped seeded watermelon (from a 4 1/2-lb piece, rind discarded)
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp anise seeds
  • 2 tsps fresh lemon juice, or to taste
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
Garnish: chopped shelled pistachios (not dyed red); white or dark chocolate shavings, removed with a vegetable peeler
  1. Pur-e watermelon in a blender until smooth, then pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a 2-quart saucepan, pressing on pulp and then discarding any remaining solids.
  2. Ladle about 1/4 cup watermelon juice into a small bowl and stir in cornstarch until smooth.
  3. Bring remaining watermelon juice to a boil with 1/2 cup sugar and anise seeds, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Stir cornstarch mixture again, then whisk into boiling juice. Reduce heat and simmer, whisking occasionally, 3 minutes. Whisk in lemon juice.
  4. Pour pudding through cleaned sieve into a bowl, then transfer to a wide 1-quart serving dish or 6 (2/3-cup) ramekins and chill, uncovered, until cold, about 30 minutes. Cover loosely and chill until set, at least 3 hours.
  5. Just before serving, beat cream with remaining 1 teaspoon sugar in another bowl with an electric mixer until it just holds stiff peaks. Top pudding with whipped cream.
  6. Cook's note:
    Pudding can be chilled up to 1 day.
    Recipes by Shelley Wiseman, Gourmet Magazine