Noodle Soup; Beer; Miso; Curing Olives; Halloween Cupcakes; Wine Tasting

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Carl Chu is the author of Chinese Food Finder: Los Angeles there are also New York and San Francisco versions. Carl spoke about Hun Guey restaurant at 301 North Garfield Avenue in Monterey Park. He recommends the 'Crossing Bridge Rice Noodle Soup,' which is a bowl of noodles with boiling chicken broth, presented with it is a plate of raw chicken, pork and other vegetables that you cook in the boiling broth.

Eric Gower is a food writer and the author of Breakaway Japanese Cuisine. You can find recipes and information on his website at Eric spoke about miso. There are three colors: White: mildest in flavor, sweetest
Yellow: with more body and salt
Red: dense, has the most salt, least amount of sugar, most savory of the three

Scallops with Miso, Ginger and Ruby Grapefruit
Serves 2 or 3

Miso and citrus is a classic Japanese combination. But here instead of the tradition Japanese citrus, yuzu, Eric uses ruby grapefruit. The fusion of the scallops, sauce, and grapefruit sections somehow produces a whole that is so much more than the sum of its parts. A chilled premium sake, or almost any good white table wine, with it just intensifies the effect.

  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 2 Tablespoons minced shallots
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
  • Sea salt
  • Fresh coarsely ground black pepper
  • Juice of 1/2 ruby grapefruit
  • 1 Tablespoon light miso
  • 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon sake
  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1/2 lb (225 grams) very fresh scallops
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup radicchio, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 fresh ruby grapefruit, sectioned and all tough skin removed
  • 1 Tablespoon chives, minced
Heat the butter in a nonstick skillet, add the shallots, ginger, salt, and pepper, and saute over low heat for about 5 minutes. Put the grapefruit juice, miso, vinegar, and sake in a blender, and blend. When the shallots begin to soften, add this mixture to the pan and simmer, until the volume is reduced by about three-quarters.

Meanwhile, toss the flour, thyme, and oregano, together in a bowl. Salt and pepper to taste, mix, and then add the scallops, coating them well. In another large skillet heat the oil over high heat, and sear the scallops on both sides, turning just once, until they are firm and lightly golden. On a warm plate, scatter the radicchio, place the scallops on it, and arrange some of the grapefruit sections however you like. Add the sauce to the skillet in which you cooked the scallops, deglazing it and scraping up the brown bits. Carefully spoon over the scallops and grapefruit, and top with the chives.

Ken Wells is the author of Travels with Barley: A Journey through Beer Culture in America, published Free Press.

Lye-Cured Green Olives

, Curing instructions are from The Feast of the Olive by Maggie Blyth Klein, published by Aris Books. Instructions:
Use olives that are mature but still green. Purchase Iye in the "cleanser" section of your grocery store.* Rinse the olives with water and place them in large glass or porcelain jars; then determine how much lye solution you need to cover the amount of olives you have. Add a solution that has been mixed at the ratio of 1 quart water (at 65 to 70 degrees F.) to 1 tablespoon Lye. Soak 12 hours.

Drain olives; then soak 12 more hours in fresh lye solution. Drain and rinse. Cut into the largest olive; if the Lye has reached the pit, the lye cure is complete. Rinse again and soak in cold water. (Usually two Lye baths are enough for the small Mission olives seen in specialty produce stores.) If one more bath is necessary, soak in fresh lye solution for 12 more hours; then drain and rinse with cold water. Soak the olives in fresh, cold water, changing the water three (or more) times a day for the next three days. At the end of three days, taste an olive to make sure that there is no trace of lye flavor remaining.

Next, soak the olives for at least one day in a brine solution mixed at the ratio of 6 tablespoons salt to 1 gallon water. The olives are now ready for eating. Store the rest in the brine solution in a cool, dark place, preferably the refrigerator, or marinate and store in the refrigerator. Use within two months.

* WARNING: Lye can cause serious burns. Keep lemon or vinegar handy to neutralize any lye that splashes onto the skin. If lye gets into your eyes, bathe them with running water and call your doctor. If lye is swallowed, call your doctor, drink milk or egg white, and do not induce vomiting.

If you're afraid of lye, there are ways to cure olive with salt. Here is another recipe:
Olives should be picked when dark and ripe, but not over-ripe, as they bruise easily. Wash and slash each olive deeply on each side with a knife and place in large, non-metal containers. Pour a solution of salty water (4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) of pickling salt to 1 quart of water) over olives. Leave the olives uncovered and in a cool place.

Stir a little each day. Change the brine each week. Sample after the third week, and continue the process if olives are still bitter.

When they are no longer bitter, rinse the olives well. Fill screw-top quart jars 2/3 full of olives. Prepare a mixture of vinegar and spices: 1 pint water, 1 pint vinegar, 1 tablespoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon oregano, 2 small lemon wedges, and 1 clove of garlic, and pour over olives.

Top with a 1/2-inch layer of olive oil and screw lid tightly. Invert the jar for a week. Store right-side up in a cool place. Olives will keep for several years.

Clare Crespo is the author of Hey There Cupcake: 35 Yummy Fun Cupcake Recipes for All Occasions, published by Melcher Media. For kitchen fun, recipes and other brainy ideas, check out her website at

George Cosette is the owner of Silver Lake Wine (323-662-9024)at 2395 Glendale Boulevard in Los Angeles. George spoke about:

The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson
The New Frank Schoonmaker Encyclopedia of Wine by Alex Bespaloff
Vino Italiano by Joseph Bastianich
Currently, the top-selling wines at Silverlake Wine are:
Saumur-Champigny, Loire Valley red made from Cabernet Franc
An inexpensive selection is by Bishops Peak called ---Rock Solid Red---