From Cookies to Columbus

Hosted by
Recipes and information from Good Food, Saturdays at 11am on KCRW, 89.9fm

November 30, 2002

Sunday, December 1st, The Hollywood Farmers Market & The Cook's Library will host a cookbook signing extravaganza. Meet over 20 cookbook authors, purchase their books and get them signed right there at the corner of Selma and Ivar in Hollywood at the Hollywood Farmers Market. The signing will take place in two shifts with two different sets of authors, from 9am to 11am and 11am to 1pm.

Joan's on Third is a boutique gourmet food store which also does catering and gift baskets. 8350 West Third St, Los Angeles. 323-655-2285 or

Shirley Corriher is a food scientist and author of the award-winning book, "Cookwise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Cooking" published by Morrow.

Burt Wolf has a cooking series called, "What We Eat". To find out more go to

Diane Worthington is the author of Seriously Simple: Easy Recipes for Creative Cooks, published by Chronicle.

Balsamic Syrup

Use this drizzled over soups or on simple grilled meats or chicken or you can use it as a flavor enhancer for sauces.

    2 cups balsamic vinegar
Put the vinegar in a small, heavy saucepan. Cook over high heat for 12 to 14 minutes, or until it becomes syrupy and bubbles begin to form. Be careful not the reduce it too much or it will become burnt and stringy. Remove from heat and let cool. Pour into an airtight container and keep refrigerated.

Seasoning Salt

This magic seasoning agent will spark the flavor of just about anything you add to it. A batch of this will last you for months, with endless uses. Makes 3 1/2 cups

    30 garlic cloves
    2 cups kosher salt
    1 tablespoon onion powder
    2 tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika
    3 tablespoons good-quality chile powder
    2 tablespoons ground white pepper
    2 tablespoons celery seed
    1 tablespoon ground ginger
    1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
    1 tablespoon dry mustard
    1 tablespoon dried dill
1. In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, process the garlic cloves until finely minced.

2. In a large measuring cup, combine all the remaining ingredients and add to the garlic. Pulse off and on until completely blended. Use a rubber spatula to move the ingredients around. Transfer some of the salt to a small container with a shaker on the top, and the remaining salt to an airtight container.

Potato-Yam Pancakes
Serves 4 to 6

Serve these with fresh applesauce and sour cream for Hannukah

    1 onion, quartered
    2 large eggs
    1 unpeeled russet potato (8 to 12 ounces), scrubbed and cut into 1-inch cubes
    1 yam (8 to 12 ounces), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
    salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    2 tablespoons flour
    canola oil for frying
    sour cream and applesauce for serving
1. In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, puree the onion and eggs together until smooth and fluffy. Add both potatoes and pulse until the mixture is finely chopped but still retains some texture. Add the salt, pepper and flour and quickly process to combine. Do not overprocess. Pour the batter into a medium bowl.

2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the batter sit for 15 minutes.

3. In a large non-stick skillet, heat 3/4 inch oil over medium-high heat. Pour 1 tablespoon batter into the skillet to test the oil. If it is hot enough, the pancake will begin to sizzle and brown. Spoon the batter into the skillet, about 1 tablespoon per pancake, leaving a little room between each one. Flatten them with the back of a spoon and use the spatula to round the sides, if necessary. Fry the pancake for 2 to 3 minutes, or until they are golden brown on the bottom, then turn them and brown the other side, about 2 more minutes.

4. Transfer the pancakes to a baking sheet lined with 2 layers of paper towels. To serve now, place the pancakes on a platter and serve immediately. If making ahead, place on a baking sheet and keep warm in a preheated 250 degree oven for up to 30 minutes. Serve sour cream and applesauce on the side.

Grilled Mint Pesto Scallops with Balsamic Syrup
Serves 6

The larger sea scallops work best here because they grill evenly and don't dry out as quickly.

    1 1/2 tablespoons Mint Pesto (following)
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    2 pounds large sea scallops
    2 tablespoons Balsamic Syrup (see above)
1. In a small bowl, combine the marinade ingredients. Put the scallops in a lock-top plastic bag and pour in the marinade. Turn the scallops in the bag to coat them evenly. Close the bag and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.

2. If using bamboo skewers, soak them in cold water for at least 30 minutes to prevent them from burning while grilled. Drain.

3. Thread the scallops onto the skewers.

4. Prepare a barbecue grill or a grill pan for medium-high-heat grilling. Grill the scallops for 3 to 4 minutes per side or until seared on the outside and just barely translucent in the center.

5. Place the skewers on a serving platter and drizzle the Balsamic Syrup over. Serve immediately.

Mint Pesto
Makes about 1 cup

    3 tablespoons blanched almonds
    2 garlic cloves
    1/2 cup packed fresh parsley leaves
    1 cup packed fresh mint leaves
    grated zest of 1 lemon
    1/2 cup olive oil
    salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1. In a small nonstick skillet, toast the almonds over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned fragrant. Set aside.

2. In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, puree the garlic cloves.

3. Add parsley and mint and process until finely chopped. Add the toasted almonds and process to finely chop. Add all the remaining ingredients except the cheese and process until well blended. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Transfer to an airtight container, cover and refrigerate. Stir in the cheese just before serving.