Food Wars with a Toddler; Wine; Thai Food; One-Pot Meals

Hosted by
Santa Monica pediatrician Dr. Harvey Karp is author of The Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Newborn Baby Sleep Longer, published by Bantam Books.

When pairing Asian flavors with wines, LA-based food writer Mira Advani suggests you select wines that are:

  • 1. High in acidity balanced with lush fruit flavor because the fruit and acid react exceptionally well to the Asian spicy flavors. She suggests wines such as Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand's Marlborough region and California), e.g. Mason Cellars, Chateau Potelle, Napa Valley; Villa Maria, and Nobilo, New Zealand. Sauvignon and Semillon, and other white blends (California) e.g. Clos Du Val's Ariadne , Napa Valley; Tablas Creek , Paso Robles and Tantara, Santa Barbara County. Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc (Oregon's Willamette Valley), e.g. Chehalem, Erath.
  • Note: You can't go wrong with Pinot Gris and Blanc from this region. Dry Reisiling (California, Germany), e.g. Navarro, Mendocino County and Trefethen, Napa Valley. Gew-rztraminer (California, Alsace), e.g. Hugels et Fils, Alsace, Gundlach Bundshu, Sonoma County. Gruner Veltiliner (Austria), e.g. Knoll, Fedespiel Loibner, Wachau. Viognier (California's Central coast region and France's Northern Rhone), e.g.Condrieu, E. Guigal, Rhone and Alban, Arroyo Grande.
  • 2. Medium body with silky tannins. Wines from the Rhone region and from Burgundy have these characteristics. Pinot Noir (California, Burgundy, Oregon), e.g. Byron, Lane Tanner, Foxen, Melville, Clos Pepe, Tantara, Au Bon Climat from Santa Barbara County; Domaine Serene, Brick House, Bethel Heights, Chehalem from Oregon's Willamette Valley and just about everything from Burgundy.
  • 3. Peppery with a touch of spice and clove balanced with lush fruit. Syrah-based wines from France's Rhone region and California's Central Coast and Zinfandels from Northern California have these characteristics. The pepperiness of a Syrah gets accentuated with black pepper in a dish and heightens the rich fruit of the wine. Syrah (California and Shiraz from Australia), e.g. Jaffurs, Lane Tanner, Bedford Thompson, Arcadian and Topanga Vineyards, Santa Barbara County; Jade Mountain, Napa Valley' Saxum, Paso Robles and Penfolds, Rosemount, Australia. Chateuneuf Du Pape (Southern Rhone), e.g. E. Guigal, Chateau Mont Redon, Chateau la Nerthe, Cuvee Du Vatican Wines from Northern Rhone's Cote Rotie, Hermitage and St. Joseph region, e.g.. E. Guigal, Paul Jaboulet, J.L. Chave. Zinfandel (California), e.g. Grgich Hills, Napa Valley' Seghesio, Sonoma County; Edmeades, Mendocino County and Clos La Chance, Santa Cruz Mountains.
  • 4. Lightly oaked Chardonnays. (Stay away from the heavily oaked, buttery Chardonnays.) Select crisp clean Chardonnay from Burgundy and California. My favorite Burgundian style Chardonnays are Au Bon Climat, Sanford, LaFond, Melville, Clos Pepe and Brewer Clifton from the Santa Barbara County, Acacia, Monticello, Chateau Potelle, Clos Du Val from Napa Valley and Sonoma's Matanzas Creek.
Examples of wine pairings with Thai dishes:
  • 1. Any spicy green or red curry (with or without coconut) - Gewurztraminer, Gruner Veltliner.
  • 2. Chicken or Shrimp Prik King, Papaya Salad - Pinto Blanc, Pinot Gris
  • 3. Appetizers such as Crab cakes, nam or chicken larb - Sauvignon Blanc and other white blends.
  • 4. Squid or seafood with chili and basil - Viognier, Condrieu.
  • 5. Seafood Pad Thai, Chicken in Mango sauce - Riesling.
  • 6. Fried Catfish/Pompano in chili sauce - Chardonnay.
  • 7. Thai pepper steak - Syrah
  • 8. Roast duck with plum sauce - Pinot Noir.
  • 9. Seabass or salmon cooked with flavors of lemon grass, wasabi or ginger - Rhone blends.
  • 10. Spicy pork chops - Zinfandel.
To your health!

Dan Imhoff is the author of Farming with the Wild, published by Sierra Club Books. Websites of interest that Dan mentioned are and

Martha Rose Schulman is the author of Ready When You Are: A Compendium of Comforting One-Dish Meals, published by Potter.

Beef Daube
This is a Proven-al beef stew that becomes moist after a long simmer.
Serves 4 to 6

  • 3 lbs stewing beef, preferably equal portions of bottom round and either chuck, shoulder blade, shank or short rib meat
  • 1 onion, cut in half and stuck with four cloves
  • 2 onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 lb carrots, thinly sliced
  • 2 bouquet garnis, each consisting of 2 bay leaves, several sprigs or fresh thyme, and a couple of sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsley tied together or in cheesecloth
  • 2 strips of dried orange peel
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 4 crushed juniper berries
  • 1 bottle dark tannic red wine, such as Cotes du Rhone
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 ozs salt pork, cut into small dice (or omit and use 4 tablespoons olive oil in all)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 to 4 large garlic cloves (to taste), minced or pressed
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • Noodles, rice or potatoes for serving
Day 1:
Cut the meat into 2 or 3 inch pieces. Place in a bowl and add the halved onion with the cloves, 1 of the sliced onions, half the carrots, 1 bouquet garni, 1 strip of orange peel, nutmeg, juniper berries, wine and vinegar. Toss everything together and cover. Marinate the refrigerator for 8 to 24 hours. Stir the mixture two or three times.

Day 2:
Drain the mixture into a colander set over a bowl. Remove the meat, blot thoroughly dry with paper towels, and set aside. Discard the bouquet garni, the clove-studded onion and the orange peel. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and the salt pork in a large, heavy flame-proof casserole or daubiere over medium heat until the salt pork renders its fat. Remove the salt pork with a slotted spoon and add the sliced onion that was not included in the marinade. Cook, stirring, until the onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add the sliced onion and carrots from the marinade. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook the onions and carrots together slowly, stirring often, until golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat using a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate.

Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add the meat to the pot in batches, and brown slowly on all sides, allowing about 10 minutes for each batch. Do not crowd the pot. Transfer to a platter or bowl and immediately sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour off the fat from the pot.

When all of the meat has been browned, return to the pot along with the browned onions and carrots (not the remaining raw carrots), the marinade and its vegetables, the garlic, tomato paste, and the remaining bouquet garni. Bring slowly to a gentle simmer, skimming off any foam. Cover the pot and simmer for 3 hours. Add the remaining carrots, cover, and simmer for another hour. Taste, and season with salt and pepper. Continue to simmer for another hour, or for up to 3 more hours. The meat should be fork-tender. Cover and allow to cool. Add the remaining orange peel to the pot, then refrigerate overnight.

Day 3:
Skim off all the visible fat off the top of the daube. Bring slowly to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes to an hour. Taste, adjust the seasonings, and serve with pasta, rice or potatoes.

Leftovers: Many classic Proven-al dishes are traditionally made with leftover beef daube. Ni-oise ravioli and stuffed vegetables are probably the most famous, but both of those dishes are time-consuming to make and you've just worked hard enough on the daube.

Proven-al Winter Squash Torte
Serves 6

  • 2 to 2-1/2 lbs winter squash (such as 1 large or 2 smaller butternut squash) seeds and membranes scraped away, cut into large pieces
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil, plus more for oiling the pan
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1/2 cup Italian Arborio or medium-grain rice, cooked
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped, fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (1/2 cup)
  • 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (1/4 cup)
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Steam the squash for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender, then transform to a colander and allow to cool and drain for another 15 minutes. When the squash has cooled, peel and place in a bowl. Mash with a fork, a large wooden spoon, a potato masher or a pestle.

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a heavy nonstick skillet and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute or two, until fragrant. Remove from the heat and toss with the squash, rice, sage, parsley, cheeses, all but 2 tablespoons of the eggs, salt and pepper.

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Oil a 10 or 12 inch tart pan or spring-form pan. Roll out two-thirds of the dough and line the pan, with the edges of the dough overhanging. Fill with the squash mixture. Top with the remaining dough, and crimp the edges of the top and bottom together. Cut 4 small slits in the top crust with a sharp knife, brush with the reserved beaten egg, and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to rest for at least 10 minutes before serving. This can also be served at room temperature.

Rabbit in Mustard Sauce
Serves 4 to 6

  • 1 large fresh rabbit, cut into 8 serving pieces and trimmed of excess fat
  • 1 bottle dry white wine
  • 2 Tablespoons olive or canola oil
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, or 1 tsp crumbled dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 large egg yolk, beaten
  • Handful of chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Wide egg noodles or rice for serving
Place the rabbit in a bowl, pour on the wine, and cover or transfer to a heavy re-sealable plastic bag. Refrigerate for 6 hours or longer, shifting the pieces around from time to time.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium heat in a large, heavy non-stick skillet and add the onions. Cook, stirring, until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a large, heavy casserole. Sprinkle on the flour through a strainer and stir the onions well. Set aside.

While the onions are cooking, remove the rabbit from the marinade, reserving the wine. Dry thoroughly with paper towels. Brush one side of each piece with a thick coating of mustard. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and oil over medium-high heat in the nonstick frying pan. Working in batches, brown the rabbit, mustard side down, a few pieces at a time, about 5 minutes. While browning on the first side, season the other side with salt and pepper and brush with the remaining mustard. Turn over and brown for another 5 minutes. Transfer to the casserole with the onions.

Add the wine to the pan and bring to a boil, scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon to deglaze. There will be a lot of mustard adhering to the pan. Boil for a minute or two, and then pour over the rabbit and onions in the casserole. Add the chicken stock, plus any remaining mustard, thyme, and bay leaf. Return the pan to the stove, cover partially, and simmer over medium-low heat for 1 hour, or until the rabbit is very tender.

Using tongs, remove the rabbit pieces from the sauce and place in a bowl or on a platter. Strain the sauce and return to the pot. Bring the sauce to a boil and reduce by about a third. Taste and adjust the seasonings. If you want a more pungent sauce, add more mustard.

Bring the sauce up or down to a bare simmer. Add a ladleful to the beaten egg yolk and combine well. Now transfer the egg mixture back to the sauce and stir together until the sauce is velvety, being careful not to allow the sauce to boil. Return the rabbit pieces to the pot, sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve over wide noodles or rice.