Two for the Road; French Diet Plan; Walmart Organics; Quick Fixes; Kitchen Races; Community Garden

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From the Santa Monica Farmers Market, Laura Avery speaks with Tommy Peltier about his carnivorous snails, ladybugs, praying mantises, and other wiggly creatures.

Jane and Michael Stern have logged more than three million miles on America's two-lane highways, eating some 72,427 meals and counting often at the rate of twelve a day over the last three decades. They recount their experiences in Two for the Road : Our Love Affair with American Food.

Jonathan Gold visits Penang Malaysian Restaurant (626-338-6138) at 971 Glendora Boulevard in West Covina. He recomments the roti canai, sambal ikan bilis, fried eggplant, kangkong belecan, rojak and the beef rendang.

Will Clower, who's latest book is The French Don't Diet Plan: 10 Simple Steps to Stay Thin for Life, explains the connection between carcinogens and grilled meats.

Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma, says that Wal-Mart's entrance into the organics market may be good news and bad news.

Anne Willan, founder of the renowned French cooking school, La Varenne, and author of A Cook's Book of Quick Fixes and Kitchen Tips: How to Turn Adversity Into Opportunity, offers tips on how to fix our kitchen mishaps. She also shares a recipe with us.

Steak Bordelaise
Makes 4 servings
In southwestern France around Bordeaux, steak is simply pan fried at the last minute and served with a red-wine reduction sauce and a shower of crunchy chopped raw shallot. Unbeatable. She suggests using a a Bordeaux blend containing plenty of fruity merlot for the wine in the pan, and a mound of "skinny fries" as accompaniment.

  • 4 boneless steaks cut about 3/4-inch thick
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cut in cubes
  • 11/2 cups fruity red wine
  • 4 shallots, finely chopped
  1. Shortly before serving, season steaks with salt and pepper to taste. Heat oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large heavy frying pan. Add steaks and fry over high heat until browned, 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Turn and brown the other side, 1 to 2 minutes longer for rare steak, 2 to 3 minutes for pink meat.
  3. When pressed with your fingertip, steaks should be firm around the edge and still soft in the center. Set them aside, cover and keep warm.
  4. For sauce, add wine to the pan and boil until reduced to about 2 tablespoons of glaze, stirring to dissolve pan juices, 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Whisk in the cold butter, a few pieces at a time, taking the pan on and off the heat so butter softens and thickens the sauce without melting to oil. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  6. To finish, set steaks on 4 warm plates. Spoon sauce over and scatter chopped shallots thickly on top. Add your chosen accompaniment on the side and serve at once.

Michael Ruhlman, author of The Reach of a Chef: Beyond the Kitchen, elaborates on "Black Chefs' Struggle for the Top," a recent article he wrote for the New York Times.

John Quigley speaks about the South Central Farm, where for the last three years, 350 families have been fighting to preserve the largest contiguous piece of open green space in South Central Los Angeles. On April 22, 2006, the Trust for Public Land negotiated a 30-day option to purchase contract that depends on efforts by the City to find matching money for the $5 million put up by a private foundation. With only $6 million raised, the 30-day contract was not enough time for politicians and the community to raise the $16.35 million needed to purchase the land. With no time left, the South Central Farmers and their supporters are now vowing to do what is necessary to permanently protect the largest urban community farm in the United States.