Mint Juleps; Foodie Talks Booty; Women & Wine; Umami; Farmer Mike; Al & Bea's Burritos; Jetcha Ubetc

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Laura Avery speaks with Cafe Pinot's Mark Gold, who's a common sight at the market. Mark says he'll soon be following the farmers back to their farms so that he can follow the trail from soil to table. Currently, he is cooking with the fava beans in the market. He also says he loves the baby turnips, which he quickly blanches and then glazes in a sweet and sour sauce with organic honey. Mark says the really little turnips don't need to be peeled. He also raves about the Chandler strawberries which are in the market now, and serves them at the restaurant in a nice big bowl all by themselves. Soon Mark is going to tackle the project of his own restaurant. Keep your eyes peeled, any chef who is this passionate about produce is going to be the one to watch.

Laura also speaks with Mary Sue Milliken of Border Grill and Ciudad restaurants, two of LA's most 'happening' restaurants! Mary Sue tells us how much she likes the Savoy cabbages in the market. She usually braises the leaves in a little bit of butter and bay, but recently enjoyed a coleslaw at Joe's Stone Crab Shack in Las Vegas that was made fresh tableside.

We also ran into Clifford Wright, off mike, who gave us a recipe for Sou Fassum, a stuffed cabbage in the style of Nice, from his award winning cookbook, A Mediterranean Feast. Sou Fassum Stuffed Cabbage in the style of Nice
Sou fassum, the Proven--al name, is known in French as chou farci -- la ni--oise. It is a specialty of the region around Grasse. Traditionally, the stuffed cabbage leaves are placed in a net made of thick threads called a fassumier, which is then lowered into a good chicken broth to be cooked. Although cabbage was part of the daily diet in the Middle Ages, it is not now as popular a Proven--al vegetable, although this preparation is.
Makes 6 servings

  • 1 head Savoy cabbage (about 2 1/2 pounds), cored
  • 2/3 cup medium-grain rice
  • 1 1/2 lbs mild Italian sausage, casing removed and meat crumbled
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium-size onion, finely chopped
  • 6 ozs pork tenderloin, cut into small dice
  • 3 ripe plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen or fresh peas
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 quart beef broth
  • 1/2 lb boneless lamb or mutton neck or shoulder meat, trimmed of fat and cut into small pieces
  1. Remove and discard any of the outermost leaves of the cabbage that are blemished. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and plunge the whole cabbage in until the leaves can be unrolled without ripping, about 10 minutes. Drain well and, when cool enough to handle, separate the leaves carefully, setting them aside to be rolled later. Finely chop the innermost section of the cabbage, about 1/2 pound of cabbage. Set aside.
  2. Place the rice in a small strainer and dip the rice-filled strainer into a pot of lightly salted boiling water for 1 minute. Blanching or rinsing the rice removes the starch that would otherwise make it sticky. Remove and set aside. Toss the sausage meat with the garlic.
  3. In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat, then cook the onion until translucent, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the remaining tablespoon butter; once it has melted, add the diced pork tenderloin and brown, 3 to 4 minutes, stirring. Set aside.
  4. Lay the cabbage leaves in front of you on a work surface and layer the pork and onion, the chopped tomatoes, rice, peas, and sausage meat on one side, in that order, on top of one another. Season with salt and pepper. Roll the cabbage leaves up, tucking in the sides. It will be a package the shape of a ball. Repeat with the remaining leaves and filling. You should have about 12 stuffed cabbage leaves.
  5. Arrange the stuffed cabbage in a casserole that will hold all of them tightly in one or two layers. Cover with the beef broth and lamb or mutton neck meat. Cover and bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat. As soon as the water starts to bubble, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the rice inside the cabbage is tender, about 3 1/2 hours.

Good Food Listener, Celia Gonzalez' recipe:

Celia says Maximilian Capone created this drink in Los Angeles, California, to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. It has gained popularity in Hispanic clubs because of its delicious taste and resemblance to the Mexican flag.

Cesar Chavez Cocktail
Serves 1
  • 1/4 oz grenadine syrup
  • 1 oz DeKuyper-- Watermelon Pucker schnapps
  • 1 oz Midor-- melon liqueur
  • 7-Up-- soda
Pour the grenadine into a collins glass and add ice. Swirl the grenadine to chill it, so it stays on the bottom during the build. Pour in the schnapps. Carefully add 7-Up (or Sprite or Red Bull) to create a clear layer in the middle. Layer the Midori on top. The drink now looks like the Mexican flag. Place a straw in the drink, but don't stir it.

Gael Greene, who wrote the New York Magazine column named the "Insatiable Critic" for 32 years has written Insatiable; Tales from a Life of Delicious Excess, a tell-all about how she strived to satisfy her many appetites during her reign and she offers a who's who of whom she satisfied in return.

Mike Madison, who's spent his lifetime working as a small farmer, gives us an idea of what it's like on the other side of the farmers'-market table. He mentions one customer who recited an entire Walt Whitman poem, after one whiff of his sweet lilacs. You'll get a deeper look at farmers' markets in Mike's book, The Blithe Tomato.

Ted Haigh, aka Dr. Cocktail, has Mint Juleps just in time for the Kentucky Derby. Ted's Internet cocktail database lists several other recipes. A regular columnist for Martini Republic, Ted's latest book is Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails. Here's Ted's Mint Juleps recipe.

Mint Juleps
Makes one 10- oz drink

  • Build 4 mint sprigs (2 oz, 6 cl, 1/2 gills)
  • 1 tsp sugar dissolved in water & muddled with mint (4 dashes)
  • Fill with shaved ice
  • Stir until frosted
  • Add mint sprigs and/or orange slice, pineapple spear, cherry
  • 2 oz bourbon (Substitute brandy, gin, rye, applejack, etc) (6 cl, 1/2 gills)
  • Serve in a julep cup (10.0 oz)

David Kasabian is a chef and food writer. He's also the author, with his wife, of The Fifth Taste: Cooking with Umami. David and Anna have "slimed down" a signature New Orleans sandwich by reducing the bread from a big, crusty roll to a roll-up, and by turning it vegetarian. They don't skimp on the umami, but do substitute roasted portobello mushroom for the cold cuts, and bypass the traditional provolone cheese with a lighter, tarter goat cheese for its flavor impact and creamy texture. For best flavor, serve at room temperature.

Vegetarian Muffaletta Roll-Ups
Serves six to eight as an appetizer, Serves 2 for lunch.
6 medium (about 3 ozs) portobello mushrooms

  • Olive oil, for brushing
  • 1/2 small red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped Kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped Spanish olives with pimentos
  • 3 Tablespoons minced celery
  • 1 1/2 tsp minced capers
  • 2 tsps minced fresh parsley
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 ozs goat cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 (12-inch) lavash roll-up breads
    1. Preheat the oven to 450--F.
    2. Twist the stems off the portobello mushrooms and scrape the gills out with a teaspoon. Discard stems and gills. Brush or spray the tops with olive oil.
    3. Remove seeds and ribs from the red pepper. Brush or spray with olive oil.
    4. Put the mushroom caps and red pepper on a rack on a sheet pan and roast for 20 minutes, or until the peppers are blistered and the mushrooms begin to toast. Set aside to cool.
    5. In a medium bowl, toss together the olives, celery, capers, parsley, garlic, oregano, and olive oil to combine.
    6. Roughly chop the mushrooms and red pepper and add to the mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Allow it sit at room temperature for 10 minutes so the mushrooms plump and the flavors can meld.
    7. Use a spatula to spread half the goat cheese over each lavash. Spread half the filling over the cheese on each. Roll tightly. Cut into 1 --" sushi-size slices, secure with toothpicks, and serve.

    Jonathan Gold of LA Weekly visits "the last of the old line burrito places," Al and Bea's (323-267-8810) at 2025 East First Street in East Los Angeles.

    Julie Brosterman tells about how women have evolved in the world of wine. Her website empowers and educates women through the many nuances of wine. She encourages women to connect with each other through the shared experiences of travel and learning.

    Jet Tila of Bangkok Market finds great Thai food west of the 405 at The Orchid in Santa Monica. Jet says that their curry is "done right" which means "that the sauce is thick enough to sit on rice". He loves the lamb shank which is served with, of all things, couscous.