Geese Police; Taboo at Table; Grilling Fish; Upscale 7-11; Pudding Contest; Egg Tasting

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Paul Shapiro, director of the Factory Farming Campaign for Humane Society of the US, spoke about the force feeding of ducks and geese for foie gras production. New York state is currently considering legislation that would ban the force-feeding of ducks and geese for the production of foie gras. Here's his article on why New York should ban, rather than subsidize, foie gras.

Chef Robert Gadsby tackles taboos with a daringly delicious menu. He and his team of culinary agents will provide diners with what may be their last 'legal' taste of several dishes up for censure. Their seven-course tasting menu will include morel mushrooms, absinthe, hemp seed, sous vide preparation and foie gras. Gadsby's Outlaw Dinner will be served Thursday, July 27, from 7-10pm, at No-- Restaurant at the Omni Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. The price is $95 per person. For more information and reservations, call 213-356-4100.

Steven Raichlen has written some of the best books on grilling. His website is updated frequently with new information. Here are Steven's three rules for barbecuing fish:

  1. Keep it hot. (Make sure you put fish on a hot grill.)
  2. Keep it clean. (Scrub the hot grill)
  3. Keep it lubed. (Wipe it down with oil.)

Steve offers this recipe for "the only marinade you'll ever need". He says you can also use it as a basting sauce.
Makes 1 cup

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt (Kosher or sea), or to taste
  • 4 strips of lemon zest
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed with the side of a cleaver or minced
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil, cilantro, dill, oregano or a mix of all four
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Combine the lemon juice, hot pepper flakes, cracked pepper, and salt in a nonreactive (glass, ceramic, or stainless steel) bowl and whisk until the salt crystals are dissolved. Add the lemon zest, garlic, parsley, and basil. Stir or whisk in the olive oil. The virtue of this marinade is its freshness; use it within 1 to 2 hours of making. Stir again before using.

Blackening Mixture for Fish
Ubiquitous blackened fish has become such a culinary icon that it's hard to believe just how revolutionary it seemed when Paul Prudhomme first served it. Because of all the smoke, chef Prudhomme urged people to blacken their fish outdoors on the grill. That moved Steven to create this recipe to blacken the fish directly on the grate.

  • 1 Tablespoon coarse-salt (kosher or sea)
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 2 tsps freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsps freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 tsps dried thyme
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  1. Combine the salt, garlic and onion powders, oregano, parika, black and white peppers, thyme, and cayenne in a bow and stir to mix. (Actually, if you don't have sensitive skin, your fingers work better for mixing a rub tan a spoon or a whisk does).
  2. Rinse the fillets under cold running water, then blot dry with paper towels. Using a pastry brush, generously brush the fish on both sides with melted butter. Thickly sprinkle each fish fillet with the blackening mixture, patting it onto the fish with your fingertips. Refrigerate the fillets, covered, until ready to grill. The fillets should be cold--straight out of the refrigerator--when you put them on the grill.

Basil-grilled Tuna

  • 4 tuna steaks (3/4 to 1-inch thick; 6 to 8 ozs each)
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, washed and stemmed
  • 4 cloves garlic, cut in half
  • 3 strips lemon zest
  • Juice of 1 lemon (3 to 4 Tablespoons)
  • 1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  1. Trim any skin or dark or bloody spots off the tuna. Rinse the tuna under cold running water and blot dry with paper towels. Arrange the steaks in a nonreactive baking dish.
  2. Combine the basil, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Pour this mixture over the tuna and let marinate in the refrigerator, covered, for 30 minutes to 2 hours, turning the tuna steaks several times.
  3. Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat to high. IF using a gas grill, place the wood chips, if desired, in the smoker box or in a smoker pouch and preheat until you see smoke. When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate. If using a charcoal grill, toss the wood chips, if desired, on the coals. Drain the tuna steaks and arrange on the grill. Grill until cooked to taste, 2 to 3 minutes per side for rare, 4 to 6 minutes per side for medium, rotating the steaks 45 degrees after 2 minutes to create an attractive crosshatch of grill marks. The steaks should be nicely browned on the outside. Test for doneness using the poke method. A rare steak will be quite soft, with just a little resistance at the surface; a medium-rare steak will be gently yielding; and a medium steak will be quite firm. Transfer the steaks to plates or a platter and let rest for 3 minutes.

Former chef Shari Robins, most recently of James Beach restaurant, has opened a convenience store. Robins Nest is at 68 North Venice, right between the beach and Pacific Avenue in Venice. What Evan loves about this 600 square-foot spot is not just its great design. Along with the high-quality cheeses, like Cowgirl Creamery's Mount Tam, and meats, are dog food, toilet paper and Diet Coke. Shari traces her transition from white tablecloths to stocking the aisles. If you do get there, try some of the special salt mixes she sells on top of a steak.

If you could turn the acres of asphalt that pave most of the LA Unified Schools into a garden oasis, would kids grow up loving fruits and vegetables? Some powerful LA foodies have begun experimenting with this proposition. The 24th Street School is now a working garden. KCRW producer Thea Chaloner traveled to the school in the West Adams neighborhood to see how the kids feel about their new green habitat.

In the Massachusetts town of Hawley--population 300--they love pudding so much they even has a neighborhood called Pudding Hollow with its very own Pudding Hollow Cookbook. They---ve declared June 20th Pudding Day and they have an annual Pudding Contest. If you have a favorite pudding recipe, send it to organizer Tinky Weisblat by August 1. You might just become the latest Hawley, Massachusetts pudding champ! Or you might just want to check out these two fun pudding links. Who knew there were so many pudding lovers out there?

  • Wikipedia's pudding page, with information on different kinds of pudding, and the history of pudding
  • The Pudding Club, organized to prevent the "demise of traditional great British Pudding"

  • Josh Karpf is an editor at Random House, and a former editor of the former science Webzine HMS Beagle. At night, he becomes a food-obsessed scientist whose decided to tackle eggs of all types of fowl.