Junk Food, Working in a Paris Eatery, A New Way to Cook

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We get the lowdown on America's secret passion from our junk-food correspondent, Eric Lawrence. We also visit with Santa Barbara farmer Bill Coleman, who recently lost his home in a fire, to see how his rebuilding effort is going. Julie Riven teaches us a new way to cook, and we'll hear the tale of an American cooking student who's toughing it out in a restaurant kitchen in Paris.

Evan spoke about the Angeli Caffe Wine tasting dinner featuring Kahn Winery of Santa Barbara.

Eric J. Lawrence, our fast food correspondent, is the host of KCRW's Dragnet, Mondays from midnight to 3am. His favorite burger can be found at The Apple Pan restaurant, located at 10801 Pico Blvd at Westwood, just across from the Westside Pavillion.

Louisa Chu is a student at Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris. You can find more of her writings about this experience at www.egullet.com.

Bill Coleman runs Coleman Family Farms in Carpenteria, California. He sells his produce at the Wednesday Santa Monica Farmers' Market at 2nd St near Arizona and at the Santa Barbara Farmers' Market on Saturdays. 

Julie Riven is the co-author, with Sheryl Julian, of The Way We Cook: Recipes from the New American Kitchen, published by Houghton Mifflin.

Marinated Shrimp in White Wine Vinegar
Serves 8

  • 2 pounds jumbo shrimp

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

  • 1 shallot

  • 1 garlic clove

  • 1 1-inch piece fresh ginger

  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar

  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 2 Tablespoons bottled white horseradish

  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, or to taste

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

  • 1 bunch watercress, stems removed

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the shrimp. When the water returns to a boil, cook the shrimp for 2 minutes, or just until they are tender. Do not overcook or they-ll be tough.

Drain the shrimp in a colander and rinse them with cold water until they are no longer hot. Peel the shrimp, devein them and transfer them to a large plastic container.

In a food processor, pulse the parsley, shallot, garlic, ginger, and sugar until smooth. Add the vinegar and lemon juice, and pulse until just thoroughly blended. With the machine running, add the oil in a steady stream, followed by the horseradish, salt and pepper.

Spoon the marinade over the shrimp and turn the shrimp so they are coated all over. Cover the container and refrigerate for at least several hours or for as long as one day. Turn the shrimp in the marinade several times.

To serve, arrange the watercress on a platter. Remove the shrimp from the marinade and set them in concentric circles over the greens.

Roast Pork Tenderloin with Caramelized Onions
Serves 4

  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 Tablespoon dry mustard

  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, or to taste

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

  • 2 pork tenderloins (1 1/2 pounds total)

  • 3 red onions, halved and thinly sliced

  • 1/8 teaspoon sage

  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh sage

Set the oven at 450 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of the oil and the mustard, salt and pepper. Rub over the pork so it is well coated.

In a large skillet with an ovenproof handle (cast iron works well), heat 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil and cook the onions with a pinch of salt and pepper over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the sugar and sage, turn the heat to medium-high, and continue to cook, stirring often, for 20 minutes, or until the onions begin to caramelize.

Remove the onions from the pan and set them aside. Add the remaining 1 tablespoons oil to the skillet and set the pan over medium high heat. Brown the pork tenderloins, turning them often, for 3 minutes.

Place the skillet in the oven and roast the pork for 10 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted in the center registers 150 degrees. The meat will be pink. If you prefer meat that is not pink in the center, cook the pork to 160 degrees, about 5 minutes more.

Set the meat on a cutting board and let rest in a warm place for 5 minutes. While the pork is resting, return the onions to the pan and stir them over medium heat just until they are hot. Slice the pork on an extreme diagonal, tip any juices on the cutting board into the onions, and taste the onions for seasoning. Add more salt and pepper, if you like. Arrange the pork slices on the onions and serve.

Lemon Pudding Cake

This kind of cake, in which a sauce forms in the bottom of the baking dish so each serving is part cake and part pudding, has been around since the 1940's. Pudding cakes are probably the result of a baking mistake, but the desert is charming. Judy Matteram, a pastry chef from Swampscott, Massachusetts, who has worked in some of Boston's finest kitchens, makes this simple lemon-flavored pudding cake for her family. Use a baking dish nice enough to go to the table, or use a French souffle dish.

  • 4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 3/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons sugar

  • 4 large eggs, separated

  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup milk

  • Grated rind of 1 lemon

  • Juice of 2 1/2 lemons (enough to make 1/2 cup of juice)

  • Pinch of salt

  • Confectioners sugar, for sprinkling

Set the over at 325F and place the oven rack in the center position. Butter a 1.5 quart baking dish and set it in a deep roasting pan.

Cream the butter and 3/4 of a cup of the sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. With the mixer set at its lowest speed, blend in the flour, milk, lemon rind and juice.

In another bowl with clean beaters, beat the egg whites with the salt and the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar until the whites form soft peaks. Stir one-fourth of the whites into the lemon batter. Fold in the remaining whites as lightly as possible.

Spoon the batter into the dish and carefully pour hot tap water around the dish to come halfway up the sides. Bake the pudding in the center of the over for about 45 minutes, or until the top is set.

Let cool for 20 minutes. Lift the dish from the water and wipe the bottom with a cloth. Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar. Spoon the cake onto plates, giving each person some of the firm edge and some of the saucy bottom.

Note: To reheat, set the dish in a roasting pan or large skillet. There should be one inch of space all around the dish. Carefully pour boiling water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the dish. Let the pudding sit for ten minutes. Remove from the pan and serve.