To Meat or Not to Meat; Branching out with Wine; Feasting; Pomegranate Propaganda; Cookbook Critic

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  • One Thousand and One Bites: Food in the Tales: Saturday, November 5, 8pm
    Charles Perry, food writer for the Los Angeles Times, Arabic speaker and UCLA alumnus, will discuss the culinary legacy of "The Arabian Nights." UCLA's Powell Library. (Charles Perry also has an out-of-print book called Medieval Arab Cookery, though the publisher promises a new edition soon.)
  • Mark Bittman Book Signings
    Mark Bittman will be at the following locations signing and discussing his book, The Best Recipes in the World.
    Saturday, November 5 at 2pm: Barnes & Noble at The Grove
    Sunday, November 6 at 2pm Borders, Torrance
  • Chinatown Hosts 'Year of the Rooster' Cooking Class with Jet Tila: Sunday, November 13, 10:30am-1pm
    With the Year of the Rooster winding down and Thanksgiving just around the corner, Jet offers a class in cooking poultry Chinese-style.Cost of $50 per participant includes materials and lunch. Class size is limited to 15 participants. To reserve a space (credit card required) call 213-680-0243 or email
  • Laura Avery took time out from giving children a tour of the market to talk with Bill Coleman of Coleman Farms about his gorgeous greens. This week he brings several types of kale, radicchio, escarole, and other greens. Bill says that black kale works great in soups, because you don't have to remove the stems. He says, "They cook down just fine."

    After all that talk about raddicchio, you might want to try this recipe from Evan:

    Radicchio con Scamorza (Grilled Radicchio with Smoked Mozzarella)
    This modern dish combines the best ingredients of northern and southern Italy. If smoked Mozzarella is unavailable, you can substitute Provola, a handmade string-type cheese that is basically a slightly aged mozzarella. (Evan enjoys the play of bitter and smoky flavors in this dish.)
    Serves 4 to 6

    • 3 heads radicchio
    • Extra-virgin olive oil
    • Salt to taste
    • 1 lb smoked mozzarella, thinly sliced
    • 4 sprigs fresh thyme, divided or 1/2 tsp dried whole thyme leaves
    • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
    1. Wash and dry the radicchio well. Trim stem ends and cut each head lengthwise into four wedges. Do not remove the cores. Although the radicchio core is strong-tasting, it helps keep the leaves together during grilling. Remove individual leaves from 3 sprigs of thyme and set aside.
    2. Heat a cast-iron or electric griddle until moderately hot, approximately 400 degrees if your appliance has a thermostat, or until the griddle sizzles when sprinkled with water. Drizzle olive oil on the griddle.
    3. Place the radicchio wedges on the griddle and cook for approximately 3 minutes per side. The radicchio should wilt, change color, and become tender.
    4. Using a pancake turner, remove the radicchio from the griddle, and arrange in one layer on a heatproof serving dish. Lightly salt it to taste.
    5. Cover the radicchio with the slices of smoked mozzarella, allowing the vegetable to peek through here and there. Place the dish under a very hot preheated broiler until the smoked mozzarella begins to melt, taking care not to let the radicchio burn.
    6. Remove the dish from the broiler using oven mitts. Sprinkle with the thyme leaves, and add a drizzle of olive oil and pepper to taste. Garnish plate with the remaining whole thyme sprig. Serve immediately accompanied by a robust red wine.
    - 1990 Evan Kleiman, Cucina Rustica, William Morrow.

    Laura Avery also chatted with Greg Nauta from Rocky Canyon Farms about his grass-fed, all natural beef and pork. To place an order with Greg or inquire about his products, call 805-461-5754.

    Through a generous offer from Heritage Foods USA, Slow Food is once again able to offer you some incredible turkeys for Thanksgiving from Good Shepherd Ranch in Kansas. Frank Reese, a fourth generation farmer, produces historically natural, free range, healthy birds. Frank's Bourbon Reds and Standard Bronze turkeys are the oldest continuous flock of Standard bred turkeys in the United States. Slow Food is offering these turkeys at $5 per pound, including shipping. You can specify the weight off your bird and they will come as close as we can. (Birds are in three weight groupings: 11-14 lbs; 15-18 lbs; 19+ lbs.) All birds will be delivered fresh to a central location in Los Angeles, one week before Thanksgiving. To order, email by November 5. All orders require a $50 deposit with the remainder payable when you pick up your bird.

    Erik Marcus, author of Meat Market: Animals, Ethics, and Money is a vegan extraordinaire. He podcasts Erik-s Diner three times a week. The restaurant he discussed is Truly Vegan Restaurant (323-466-7533) at 5907 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood.

    Dr. Will Clower has challenged KCRW listeners to partake in a new campaign called "Not One Ounce," a program that encourages people to not gain any weight during the holidays, and offers weekly email advice to keep participants on target. To sign up for this free program, visit his website.

    Andy Besch, owner of Manhattan-s West Side Wine, helped us move beyond the intimidation of purchasing wine. He believes it should be a fun experience. And he-s got some suggestions to help the novice consumer feel more empowered in the wine store. Andy says the only skill a wine buyer really needs is the ability to identify and articulate their own preferences, and then find a wine seller they can trust. In the belief that the only skill a wine buyer really needs is to identify and articulate his/her own preferences, and then find a wine seller (s)he can trust, he offered suggestions to help thenovice consumer feel more empowered in a wine store. He also debunked the following myths (from his book):

  • The more I spend, the better it will be
  • The older the better
  • Sulfites are bad
  • Only winos drink from bottles with screw caps
  • It-s better to know about a wine than to take a chance on something you don-t recognize

  • Nichola Fletcher traced the history of feasting, describing the bizarre and sometimes nauseating delicacies that have graced the feast tables since history has been recorded. To learn more about Nichola, her book Charlemagne's Tablecloth : A Piquant History of Feasting or about her extensive knowledge of venison, visit her website.

    Jane Goldman of Chow discussed the magazine's latest issue as well as the propaganda behind our wonderful pomegranates. She also revealed why those doggone shopping carts never seem to work right and suggested some fancy food that we can make in our dorm microwave or toaster oven.

    Dorm Cooking Recipe #1: Pork Tenderloin with Spicy Apricot Glaze
    Total Time: 1 hour
    Active Time: 10 mins
    Serves 4

    • 1 lb pork tenderloin, trimmed as needed
    • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/2 lemon
    • 1/2 cup apricot preserves (with whole fruit, if possible)
    • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
    • 1/8 tsp cumin
    • Salt
    • - cup olive oil
    1. Preheat toaster oven to 400-F. Place the pork tenderloin in a shallow oven-proof dish. Cut six small slits across the top of the loin, insert the garlic wedges, and season with black pepper. Cover and let marinate for 20 minutes.
    2. In a separate bowl, combine apricot preserves, juice from the lemon, crushed red pepper, cumin, and black pepper. If preserves are still thick, add more lemon juice to thin; don't add too much, though, because the mixture should remain dense, not runny.
    3. Uncover the tenderloin, salt it, then drizzle with the olive oil. Place the loin in the toaster oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove and spread evenly with 6 tablespoons of the apricot mixture. Replace the loin in the oven and cook another 5 to 10 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 150-F. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
  • Technique Note: When cutting the tenderloin, it's best to cut against the grain at an angle.
  • Service Note: Slice the leftover tenderloin and serve it cold on a baguette with Manchego cheese, a handful of mixed greens, and a teaspoon of the remaining apricot mixture.
  • Overachiever: To make a simple sauce to complement this dish, saut- 3 chopped shallots and 2 tablespoons butter over medium-heat until the shallots are translucent. Add - cup red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons molasses, and the remaining 2 tablespoons preserves. Simmer until some liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes, and pour over sliced tenderloin before serving.
  • Sorority Girl: Perfect for those high-protein diets!
  • Dorm Cooking Recipe #2: Microwave Cr-me Br-l-e
    Total Time: 2 hrs 25 mins
    Active Time: 15 mins
    Serves 4


    • 1- cups cream
    • 3 egg yolks
    • 4 Tablespoons granulated sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    Caramelized Top
    • 5 Tablespoons granulated sugar
    1. In a large glass measuring cup, heat the cream uncovered for 3 minutes at full power. Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl until well combined.
    2. Whisking constantly, pour the hot cream down the side of the bowl in a thin stream into the egg mixture. When combined, divide the mixture between four --cup ramekins (or any ovenproof or microwaveable container like a mug).
    3. Place the ramekins in a shallow dish, making sure they don't touch one another. Pour hot water around the ramekins until it reaches two-thirds of the way up the sides. Cook on high in the microwave for 2 to 3 minutes. The custards are done when the edges are set and the center is still wet. Remove from microwave and let the ramekins cool in the water. When completely cool, refrigerate covered for at least 2 hours.
    4. Once custard has set, preheat toaster oven to broil and sprinkle about 4 teaspoons of sugar on each custard. Place the custards under broiler for about 5 minutes, or until the tops are caramelized and golden brown; watch carefully to avoid burning. Remove from the oven and serve.
    5. Note: Do not put the custards in the refrigerator immediately after broiling because the caramel tops will liquefy. Also, the timing used in this recipe is based on our averages from multiple tests. Since each microwave and toaster oven operates slightly differently, you may need to adjust the times. Overachiever: Add a few fresh raspberries to the bottom of each ramekin prior to pouring in the custard, or add a teaspoon of either coffee extract or Pear William liqueur to the cream.
    Sorority Girl: Don't eat cr-me br-l-e!
    -Audrey Robertson

    Critic Colleen Flippo loves cookbooks, but this California Culinary Academy graduate and former test-kitchen cook is writing a blog to tell us which cookbooks have recipes that actually work and which don't. She cautions us to be wary of celebrity cookbooks, and claims that many of the recipes by Rachel Ray and other Television Food Network cooks don't work. The successful Rachel Ray recipe that Colleen mentioned is Green Minestrone.