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Mark Bittman shares thoughts about how to eat less meat, while Tony and Julie Hook make aged cheddar cheeses. Author Jonah Lehrer talks about how French chef Escoffier discovered umami - the fifth taste, Dr. Michael Wilkes has helpful tips for healing a burnt tongue, and Rocky Suess reveals some incredible uses for nuts. Michelle Rizzolo shares the challenges of running a remote Central California coast bakery, Darci Grindheim harvests North Dakota caviar, and Laura Avery serves up a fresh Market Report.

Guest Interview The Market Report 7 MIN


Laura Avery welcomes a new vender to the Wednesday Santa Monica Farmers' Market. She chats with Robert Jenkins of Carlsbad Aquafarm, which raises clams, mussels, abalone and oysters in an inlet in Carlsbad, California.  The fresh shellfish will survive one week in the fridge as long as they aren't submerged in fresh water. To prolong their shelf life, cover them with a damp towel to keep them moist. Call ahead to order fresh abalone.



Thai Style Carlsbad Mussels
2 lbs Carlsbad mussels
2 Tablespoons Vietnamese or Thai fish sauce
2 cans coconut milk
2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 tsps ground red Thai pepper

If mussels still have their beards, give them a sharp pull toward the mussel's pointed tip. (Wait until within an hour of cooking to remove them.) Lightly rinse the mussels under fresh running water before cooking, then set aside.  If any mussels are gaping open, they are getting weak. Discard any that will not stay closed after squeezing its shell shut, as well as any that have an off odor or broken shell.

Saute coconut milk, fish sauce, ginger and pepper on medium high heat until sauce thickens.  Add mussels and cook 5 to 6 minutes or until the shells open and the meat is no longer translucent.  Stir mussels into sauce, then sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve with steamed rice or crusty bread.

Laura also chats with Jason Chamberlain of Wong Family Farms, who grows Shady Lady (beefsteak-style) tomatoes hydroponically outside at their Salton Sea farm. The plants' roots are suspended in water and fed nutrients. The tomatoes are firm and will ripen to a ruby red.

French Kiss by Pierre Adenot

Guest Interview Eat Less Meat 7 MIN

New York Times food columnist Mark Bittman shares his thoughts about livestock production and the type and extent of our consumption of meat. He references the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization 2006 study "Livestock's Long Shadow," which discusses the impact of meat consumption on the planet. Bittman's latest book is How to Cook Everything Vegetarian If you want to know more about his thoughts on our consumption of meat, check out his column on rethinking the meat guzzler.

Rock N' Roll Ya All by A Tribe Called Quest

Guest Interview Hook's Cheese 7 MIN

Hook's Cheese owners Tony and Julie Hook craft cheddar cheeses that have been aged for a decade in Wisconsin. For a list of artisan cheeses, visit Zingerman's. To find Hook's Cheese, visit these locations:

Hook's Cheese Company
320 Commerce St.
Mineral Point, WI 53565

The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills
419 N Beverly Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

The Cheese Store of Silverlake
3926-28 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90029

Apple and Wisconsin Aged Cheddar Bread Pudding
Serves 8-10


  • 4 whole eggs
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 Tablespoons plus 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 7 cups day-old French bread cubes, 1-1/2 inch cubes

4 cups sliced peeled Granny Smith apples
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1-1/2 tsps ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
2 cups grated Wisconsin Aged Cheddar cheese (8 ounces), divided    

Cooking Directions:
In large bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, 2 tablespoons of the granulated sugar, the vanilla and salt. Stir in milk and cream. Add bread and press down, making sure all of the bread is covered by the custard. Allow bread to soak while cooking the apples.

Toss apples with lemon juice. In large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add apples, remaining 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and cayenne pepper. Cook until apples are slightly tender, 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Cool 20 minutes.

Final Preparation:
Heat oven to 325°F. Generously butter 9" x 13" casserole dish. Pour half of the bread mixture into the dish. Top with half the cooked apple mixture, then with 1 cup of cheese. Repeat layering with remaining ingredients. Cover mixture with small piece of waxed or parchment paper. Cover dish tightly with foil. Bake in water bath for 60 minutes. Remove foil and paper; return to oven. Increase oven temperature to 350°F. Continue to bake in water bath for 25 to 35 minutes more or until browned and puffed, and a butter knife inserted near center comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to rest 20 minutes before serving. Sprinkle top with cinnamon and cayenne, if desired.

Recipes courtesy of Chefs Mary and Greg Sonnier, New Orleans, LA

Lua Aberta by Milton Banana Trio

Guest Interview Proust Was a Neuroscientist 7 MIN

Rhodes scholar Jonah Lehrer discusses how French chef Escoffier discovered umami, the fifth taste, in his book, Proust Was a Neuroscientist. He argues that cooking is a science and an art. Lehrer is Seed Magazine editor-at-large and contributor to Radio Lab on WNYC.

The Turnaround by Big John Patton

Guest Interview Burnt Tongue 7 MIN

Dr. Michael Wilkes, Professor of Medicine and Vice Dean for Medical Education at the University of California at Davis, has helpful tips for healing a burnt tongue. Wilkes is also the host of KCRW's weekly commentary, Second Opinion, which focuses on health issues.

Clear Day by Roy Budd

Guest Interview Nut Shells 7 MIN

Rocky Suess reveals some incredible uses for nut shells. They are used in the defense industry and as fillers for adhesives and plastics by Composition Materials Company. Suess is the vice president of production for ShellPro, Inc.

If Love Is So Good to Me by Larry Elgart

Guest Interview Big Sur Bakery 7 MIN


Baker Michelle Rizzolo shares the challenges of running a remote Central California coast bakery. She is the co-owner of Big Sur Bakery and Restaurant and oversees the bakery, pastries, desserts and bread making. Rizzolo bakes bread each morning using a wood-fired oven.

Big Sur Bakery and Restaurant
Highway One
Big Sur, CA 93920

I Love You by Mellow

Guest Interview North Dakota Caviar 7 MIN

North Star Caviar's Darci Grindheim harvests North Dakota caviar from the paddlefish. In its innovative program, fish roe, or fish eggs, are donated by sportsfishermen in exchange for having their fish cleaned for free. The paddlefish roe is processed into premium caviar and then sold throughout the world.

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