Dining Out; The First Celebrity Chef; Cookbooks; Storing Wine; Desserts

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Recipes and Resources from this week's Good Food:

The Hollywood Farmers Market holds its annual cookbook signing and sale on Sunday, December 5 from 9am to 12noon. Meet local authors and have them sign the books you can buy as gifts.

Hannukah recipes from Evan Kleiman. You can order your batter from Evan or better yet come to Angeli on Thursday, December 9 for Hannukah Dinner. For more information, call 323-936-9086.

Latkes (Potato Pancakes)

  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1 small onion, peeled
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • Canola oil for frying
Latkes can be made using a potato grater or in the food processor. If using a potato grater, grate the potatoes and the onion into a bowl. Add the beaten egg and the remaining ingredients and mix well.

To make in a food processor with steel blade, add potatoes and onion to the bowl with egg. Process until coarsely chopped. Add remaining ingredients and process until the texture is as you wish.

To cook, I recommend using a large non-stick skillet and canola oil. Put enough oil in the pan to a depth of 1/4 inch. Heat oil until hot but not smoking. Stir the potato batter and make pancakes about four inches in diameter turning once when the first side is deep golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve immediately with homemade applesauce, sour cream and powdered sugar.

Baby Beet Salad with Oranges and Red Onion
Serves 4 to 6

  • 10 - 16 baby beets, tops removed and reserved for another use
  • 2-3 navel oranges
  • 1/4 small red onion, peeled, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 10 mint leaves, coarsely chopped
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Orange flavored extra-virgin olive oil to taste
  1. Place the beets, unpeeled, in a foil-lined baking dish. Cover with more foil and seal the edges of the top and bottom layers of foil to completely enclose the beets. Place them in a 400 degree oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until the beets are tender when pierced with a sharp paring knife.
  2. While the beets are baking peel the oranges. First cut a thin slice from the top and bottom of the orange so that it can sit firmly on the countertop. Using a sharp paring knife cut the peel and pith off with sawing downward strokes so that the orange is completely peeled. Cut the individual sections out from the membranes. Place in a mixing bowl together with the onion and mint.
  3. When the beets are tender hold them under running water and slip the skins off. Trim the stem end, then cut them in half and then into slices. Add the beet slices to the bowl with the oranges. Season with salt and pepper to taste than drizzle the orange olive oil over to taste. Toss to mix. Can be served immediately or allowed to marinate up to 2 days.

Alan Richman is a food writer for GQ, among many other publications. His new book is called Fork It Over: The Intrepid Adventures of a Professional Eater.

Ellen Rose is the owner of The Cook's Library (323-655-3141) at 8373 West 3rd Street in Los Angeles.

These are her recommendations for holiday gifts:
Cookbooks by chefs:

Culture and Recipes: Teaching cookbooks with tips, pointers and lore:

Ian Blackburn is the owner of LearnAboutWine.com, which offers a Wine Camp and Wine Tours through Santa Ynez and other nearby places.

Ian Kelly is the author of Cooking for Kings: the Life of Antonin Careme, the First Celebrity Chef, published by Walker and Co. Ian also has a website, CookingForKings.com.

Eric Crowley owns Eric's Culinary Kitchen cooking school. For more information, call 310-470-2640 or go online at CulinaryClassroom.com

Cake Tips/Shortcuts

  • Make as much ahead of time as you can
  • Freeze the unfinished cakes wrapped several times in saran wrap for up to one month
  • Some frostings can be up to one week ahead and refrigerated in a plastic container with Saran wrap pressed into the frosting to make it airtight. Then bring the frosting up to room temperature, lightly whip and frost. We did this with the Lavender Devil's Food Cake with Orange Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting with great results
Pie Tips/Shortcuts
  • Fresh is always best but not always possible for fillings or pie crust
  • If don't have time to make crust, make Tarte Tatin by using pre-made puff pastry instead - Quick & Easy
  • Make crust and freeze in pie tin, double-wrapped in Saran wrap for up to one month
  • Make 2 at a time -- one for now, freeze one for later
  • If making top crust, too, can freeze that in a disk shape or rolled out on a cookie sheet well wrapped in Saran wrap
  • You can also split one pie recipe into 4 to 6 smaller, individual pies in tart pans. They take less time to bake, look great and you get more crust per serving
  • Some fillings are pretty easy and quick to make, and can be made 1-2 days ahead of time and refrigerated in an airtight container. It also helps if you bring it up to room temperature before putting in pie pan
  • If you aren't able to get fresh fruits due to seasonal availability, natural or specialty markets have canned or jarred fruits in natural juices that taste great.