Laura Avery spoke with John Temerelli of Temerelli Orchards about his stone fruit. He has Flavor King pluots, white and yellow peaches, nectarines, and Fay Elberta peaches, which were the number one peach in California for decades. Laura also spoke with Amelia Saltsman about the fresh corn in the market. Two of her tasty recipes using fresh corn follow.
No-Cream Creamed Corn
Makes 6-8 servings.
- 8 ears corn, husked
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 ribs celery, finely chopped
- Kosher or sea salt
- freshly ground white pepper
- 1 cup water, vegetable or chicken stock
- 2005, Amelia Saltsman
No-Cream Creamy Corn Soup with Chipotle Chiles, Cilantro and Lime
Makes 4 servings
- 6 ears corn
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 ribs celery with leaves, finely chopped
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 3 cups stock (chicken or vegetable)
- White pepper
- 4 chipotle chiles
- 2 large cloves garlic, peeled
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup crema
- Using a box grater, grate corn into a bowl. Saut- the onion and celery in a wide pot over medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in corn and stock and season with salt and white pepper. Cook partially covered over medium low heat 15 minutes. Leave soup as is or puree.
- Soften chiles in boiling water (4 minutes in microwave or 10 minutes simmering on stove). Discard stem and seeds from chiles. With motor running, drop garlic cloves into processor. When chopped, add chiles, cilantro, lime juice, and salt to bowl and process until well blended. Add olive oil in a slow stream and process until blended. Pour soup into bowls and drizzle each with about a tablespoon of the chile mixture and a tablespoon of the crema.
Jonathan Gold visits the Disney Soda Fountain restaurant next to the El Capitan movie theatre in Hollywood. Jonathan especially likes the fact that the Disney Soda Fountain is using his favorite ice cream: Dewar's from Bakersfield. He recommends the peppermint ice cream and the Black and White, a sticky, gooey sundae with chocolate and vanilla ice cream and big chunks of marshmallow fluff.
Linda Carucci is an award-winning cooking teacher and the Julia Child Curator of Food Arts at COPIA: The American Center for Wine, Food and the Arts in Napa, California. She's also the author of Cooking School Secrets for Real World Cooks.
Chicken Salad Veronique with Whole Toasted Almonds
Serves 4 to 6
- 6 cups homemade chicken stock or broth, or purchased reduced-sodium broth
- 2 bone-in whole chicken breasts or 4 bone-in half breasts, skin on
- 3 green onions, or 1 small yellow onion, quartered
- 5 fresh thyme sprigs, plus 2 tsps minced fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf, preferably imported
- 1/2 pound flavorful seedless green grapes
- 2 large celery stalks, peeled and minced into 1/4 inch pieces
- 3/4 cup good-quality mayonnaise
- Kosher salt and fine, freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup blanched whole almonds, toasted
- Red-leaf lettuce leaves, for serving
- In a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the stock to a boil. Add the chicken breasts, onions, thyme sprigs, and bay leaf. Cook over medium-high heat until the stock returns to a steady boil, then cover and reduce heat to the lowest setting. Simmer gently until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 145F degrees, or the juices run clear when the thickest part of a breast is pierced with a meat fork, 10 to 20 minutes; the timing depends of the size of the chicken breasts. When done, remove the chicken from the poaching liquid and set aside until cool enough to handle. Remove and discard the skin and bones, cut into roughly 3/4 inch chunks, and transfer to a large bowl. (At this point you can put the cut-up chicken in a deep bowl and add room-temperature broth just to cover. This will keep the chicken moist. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Be sure to drain the chicken well before using.)
- Add the grapes, celery, and minced thyme to the chicken and toss to combine. Add the mayonnaise and stir gently. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (The recipe can be prepared to this point up to 8 hours in advance. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.)
- Add the almonds and stir to combine. Line individual plates or a medium serving bowl with lettuce leaves and place the chicken salad on top. Serve at once.
If you cut the grapes in half through the stem end, they're easier to eat and serve, and they are less likely to sink to the bottom of the serving bowl if you're serving this salad family style. Or for a more elegant look, leave them whole. Be sure to dry grapes well after washing to prevent them from watering down the dressing. To ensure a delicate flavor and texture in this salad, use a vegetable peeler to remove the strings from the rounded outside of the celery stalks before mincing. Use a good-quality commercial mayonnaise, such as Best Foods or Hellmann's, for the tastiest result.
Shortcut Chicken Broth with a Dividend
The dividend in this case is a cooked flavorful whole chicken.
Makes about 3 quarts broth, plus 3 to 4 cooked, shredded chicken
- 1 chicken, 3 to 4 pounds
- 3 green onions, roots removed
- 3 fresh thyme sprigs
- 2 tsps kosher salt divided
- Remove the giblet package, if present, from the cavity of the chicken. Rinse the chicken and the giblets under cold water. Discard the liver, or reserve for another use. Place the chicken, gizzard, heart, and neck in a 6-quart lightweight pot. Add enough cold water to cover the chicken, about 3 quarts. Bring the water to a steady simmer over high heat, then reduce the heat to low. With a fine-mesh skimmer, or ladle, skim off the white foam and all the impurities that rise to the surface. Skim until the foam subsides and the liquid is clear, 5 to 10 minutes.
- Add the green onions, thyme, and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Cover the pot and simmer over the lowest heat setting for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, keep covered, and let the chicken steep on the same burner for 30 minutes. Insert and instant-read thermometer into the deepest part of each thigh (one may be denser that the other); it should register 180 degrees F. If not, cover and continue steeping until the temperature is reached.
- Fill a large bowl half-full with ice cubes. Add cold water to cover the ice. Stir in the remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Transfer the steeped chicken to the ice-water bath, reserving the pot of broth. If necessary, add more cold water just to cover the chicken. Turn the chicken in the ice water until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. Remove, drain, and pat dry.
- Break or cut the chicken into pieces, and remove the skin, bones, and fat. Pulling the meat along the grain, shred the chicken by hand. Cut the larger pieces of breast and thigh meat with a sharp knife before shredding. Cover and refrigerate the chicken for up to 3 days. Strain the broth into a clean 4-quart pot, pouring it through a chinois or fine-mesh strainer.
- Place the pot on a rack and let cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until the broth is cool enough for the fat to rise to the surface and solidify. This will take several hours, or leave overnight. Use a slotted spoon or large serving fork to remove the solidified fat, and discard it or reserve it for another use. (Chicken fat is great for saut-ing potatoes.)
- 2005, Linda Carucci.
This recipe is actually the Cantonese method of preparing steeped or poached chicken, which I learned from Rhoda Yee, veteran Chinese cooking instructor at the California Culinary Academy. Use a natural chicken, if possible. To keep the chicken tender, don't bring the liquid to a rolling boil. Boiling toughens protein fibers. For great flavor, if there's a bag of giblets stashed inside the chicken, use everything except the liver. Clarity is one hallmark of a good broth, and the liver would cloud the broth and give it an undesirably strong flavor.
Richard Sterling, principal author of Lonely Planet's World Food series, tells us about his favorite place in the world, Vietnam. His 14 books include The Adventure of Food; The Fearless Diner; and the award winning Traveler's Tales Food: A Taste of the Road. Sterling has been honored by the James Beard Foundation for his food writing, and by the Lowell Thomas Awards for his travel literature. His lifestyle column appears monthly in San Francisco magazine.
Patrick Kuh of Los Angeles Magazine discusses dining with children in restaurants.
Spicy Coconut Curry Tomato Sauce
I like to add cut-up vegetables and thinly sliced chicken breast or shrimp to this sauce for a super quick meal or braise chicken thighs in it for a delicious, rich chicken curry. It also makes a great soup--just add some chicken stock, vegetables, chicken or seafood, and rice.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups
- 2 Tablespoons mild-flavored oil, such as canola or peanut
- 1 medium-size yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
- 1/2 tsp peeled and minced fresh ginger
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons Madras curry powder
- 28-ounce can peeled whole tomatoes, with their juices, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 tsp sugar
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves