Supersize Me!; Apricot Tarts and Wedding Reception Dinners

Hosted by
The California Community Food Security Summit takes place on June 10 and 11 at USC. Call 310-822-5410 for more information.

American Artisanal Wine and Cheese
Slow Food LA, author Laura Werlin (The New American Cheese and The All-American Cheese and Wine Book) and Zax, an American Bistro, present a seminar, book signing, and a focused tasting of nine American artisanal cheeses (featuring many farmstead cheesemakers identified by the Slow Food Ark) paired with American wines.

When: Saturday, June 5, 2004 at 1:30pm
Where: Zax Restaurant, 11604 San Vicente Boulevard, Los Angeles
Cost: $45.00 (all inclusive, includes signed book, seminar, tastings, tax, and gratuity)
Portions of the proceeds of this event will benefit Slow-LA, the Los Angeles Chapter of Slow Food U.S.A., a non-profit educational organization committed to taste, tradition and the honest pleasure of food. For reservations, call 323-860-9804.

To learn about the many exciting eating and learning events coming up around town, go to

Jonathan Gold is the author of the "Counter Intelligence" column in the LA Weekly. He also writes for Gourmet magazine. Jonathan spoke about a New Mexican restaurant called Santa Fe Station at 4101 Lakewood Boulevard (just north of the Long Beach Airport) in Lakewood; 562-429-8700. He recommends sopapillas (deep-fried puff-pastry pillows drizzled with honey) stacked enchiladas, carnitas steamed in a banana leaf, and the "red" and "green" chile salsas.

Morgan Spurlock made the documentary film Supersize Me!, which is currently playing in theaters around Los Angeles.

Jim Dodge is the director of food and beverage services and special events at the Getty Museum. He is also a noted baker, teaches cooking classes and has written baking cookbooks, including Baking with Jim Dodge.

Apricot Tart

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 8 Tablespoons unsalted butter (cold)
  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup cold cream
  • 14-20 ripe apricots
Adjust oven rack the lowest level. Preheat oven to 375F.

In a food processor with a metal blade, combine the flour, 1 tablespoon of sugar and salt in the work bowl. Cut 8 tablespoons of cold butter into 1/2-inch slices. Add to the dry ingredients and process until a coarse meal is formed. Listen to the noise the of the ingredients processing. When it becomes quit this is a sign that the butter has been cut into small pieces creating less friction and less noise. A coarse meal will resemble white corn meal. Add the cream and continue processing until a smooth dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work service.

Roll the dough into an 11-inch circle, dust with flour when needed so that it will roll easier. Rinse the apricots in cold water and dry with a towel. Cut in half and discard the pit.

Starting at the outer inside edge, arrange the apricots halves stem side and at a steep angle forming a circle. Place them tight together since they will reduce about 50% during baking. Fill the center of the circle with the remaining halves. Dust the tops of the apricots with 3 tablespoons sugar. Place on the bottom rack of the preheated oven and bake for 60 minutes or until the crust is golden brown, apricots are tender when pressed with the tip of a thin knife, and the juices have thickened slightly.

Remove from oven and cool on a rack. Serve with unsweetened lightly whipped heavy cream or vanilla ice cream.

Dorie Greenspan is the author of Paris Sweets: Great Desserts from the City's Best Pastry Shops, published by Broadway Books. Her must-have list for a baking kitchen include:

2 loaf pans
2 baking rimmed baking sheets
Two 8- or 9-inch round layer cake pans (about 2 inches high, shiny, not dark.)
9-inch springform pan
OXO liquid measuring cups
Pie plate
Bundt pan
9 x 13 inch baking pan
8 or 9 inch square baking pan
Crisco (for pie crusts)

Amanda Hesser is the author of The Cook and the Gardener and Cooking for Mr. Latte. She also writes each week for The New York Times Dining Section.

Tomatoes stuffed with Eggplant Puree and Anchovies
from Cooking for Mr. Latte
Serves 6 (as appetizer)

  • 1 large eggplant
  • Sea salt
  • 4 Tablespoons garlic oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup (about 2 ozs) finely chopped button mushrooms
  • 2 cloves roasted garlic (roast alongside the eggplant to save time)
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 6 small plum tomatoes
  • 12 marinated anchovies
Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise and score the cut surfaces with a knife (in a lattice pattern). Sprinkle with salt and let sit for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Wipe the moisture from the eggplant with paper towels. Line a small baking sheet with foil and place the eggplant on top. Drizzle the eggplant halves with 2 tablespoons garlic oil and sprinkle with pepper. Bake until tender and buttery soft, about 1 hour. Carefully, scoop out the seeds from the eggplant and peel away the skin. Place the flesh you are left with in a strainer set over a bowl. Let drain for 1 hour.

Heat 1 tablespoon garlic oil in a skillet over medium heat and add the onion and mushrooms. Cover and sweat until tender, about 7 minutes.

Scrape the onion mixture into a food processor and drop in the eggplant. Puree, adding the roasted garlic, vinegar, mayonnaise, lemon juice and remaining garlic oil through the feed tube. It should becomes thick, smooth and light as whipped cream. Season with salt and pepper.

Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Fill the halves with the eggplant mixture and top each with an anchovy.