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Margot Dougherty makes a best- of list for LA's bakeries.  And vitamins aren't doing you any favors according to Dr. Will Clower.  If a hurricane destroys a community, can family recipes build it back up? Judy Walker will let us know. Abby Dodge gets busy with carrot cake and says it's making a comeback. Jonathan Gold eats at Bazaar, the new restaurant. And Erik Knutzen & Kelly Coyne push the Urban Homestead movement -- learn to cook, grow and harvest. Rather than open your own commercial kitchen, why not rent one that's already set up? Andrea Bell talks about her shared spaces. Plus Laura Avery hears how to make a fish dinner in 15 minutes.

The Flavor Bible

Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg

Guest Interview The Market Report 7 MIN, 36 SEC

Farmer Alex Weiser grows "new" potatoes. These are potatoes that have been just dug from the ground and have not had time for their skin to set and get tough.  New potatoes don't need to be peeled and the skin flakes off with your finger.  Alex says they are like the veal of potatoes without any cruelty.



Amelia Saltsman has a 15-minute fish dinner that uses all farmers' market items.
She buys a piece of seabass, some Napa cabbage, green garlic and fresh ginger.



15-Minute Fish Dinner from the Farmers’ Market
Serves 2

1 bunch green garlic
1 small piece fresh ginger
1-1 1/2 cups water or stock
1-2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
8 to 12 oz thick fish fillet, such as white sea bass, salmon, or black cod
1/2 head napa cabbage, cut crosswise into ½-inch ribbons
Handful of cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered

Clean green garlic and slice thinly crosswise, including about 5 inches of the green part. Peel ginger and cut into thin slivers. Place water or stock in small skillet to a depth of about 1 inch. Add garlic, ginger, and vinegar and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, add fish that you’ve seasoned with a little salt and pepper, spoon the broth over, and cover pan. Simmer for 3 to 4 minutes, add cabbage and tomatoes to pan around fish, and simmer covered 4 minutes more. Turn off heat and let the dish stand a few minutes more to finish steaming the fish and cabbage. Serve in soup bowls.

© February 18, 2009, Amelia Saltsman.

Music break: You Were on My Mind by Billy Lee Riley

Guest Interview L.A.'s Best Bakeries 7 MIN, 3 SEC

bakeries_headerMargot Dougherty compiled a list of the 20 best bakeries in the latest issue of Los Angeles Magazine.  If your favorite isn't on this list, tell us.  Leave a comment below.








Cake House
Emil's Swiss Pastry
Euro Pane
Jin Patisserie
Joan's on Third
La Brea Bakery
La Provence Patisserie
Paulette Macaron
Porto's Bakery
Rockenwagner Bakery
Sarkis Pastry
The Sensitive Baker
Susina Bakery
Sweet Lady Jane
Vanilla Bake Shop

Music break: You Can't Do That to Me by The Ettes

Guest Interview Vitamins and Your Diet 7 MIN, 35 SEC

Will Clower, author of Fat Fallacy and The French Don't Diet Plan, says that recent studies that question the efficacy of vitamin supplements on disease prevention.  Several of these studies looked at the affect vitamins had on cancer and heart disease. You can learn more about the studies in this New York Times article.

Music break: Who Am I by Rosey

Guest Interview Cooking Up a Storm 7 MIN, 23 SEC

cookingupastorm_bookJudy Walker is the food editor of The Times-Picayune of New Orleans.  She is the co-author of Cooking Up A Storm with Marcelle Bienvenu, a columnist for The Times-Picayune.  After Katrina, the newspaper became the central point for collecting recipes washed away in the storm.  Judy and Marcelle compiled 250 of them in their book. 

Many New Orleanians eat Red Beans & Rice on Monday, what was once called "wash day."  According to tradition, many people eat a large family meal on Sundays, usually one that includes a ham.  The ham bone is then simmered with the rice all day Monday while the laundry is being done.



Red Beans & Rice

1 lb dried red kidney beans (New Orleanians use Camellia beans)
1/2 lb fatty ham or another seasoning meat, such as salt meat, pickle meat, or smoked ham hock
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 or 2 stalks celery, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large bay leaf
1 to 2 tsps Creole seasoning
Black pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, or more to taste
1/4 cup chopped green onions (green part only)
Hot cooked rice for serving
Hot sauce for serving

Pick over the beans to remove and stones or broken beans.  Soak overnight in a large bowl with about 3 inches of water to cover.  Drain the water, rinse the beans, drain again, and set aside.

Render the ham or seasoning meat in a Dutch oven over medium heat to obtain the fat, then remove the meat and set aside.  Saute the onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic in the rendered fat, adding a little oil if needed, until softened.  Add the beans, return the meat to the pan, and pour in 8 to 10 cups water, or enough to cover everything by at least a couple of inches.  Bring to a boil.  Add the bay leaf and Creole seasoning to the beans, then reduce to a simmer and gently cook, uncovered, for about 1 1/2 hours, until the beans are tender.  Add more water while cooking, if necessary.

Toward the end of the cooking time, mash some beans with a spoon against the side of the pot to make the mixture creamier, if desired, and add the salt and pepper to taste, the parsley, and the green onions. If you prefer, use the parsley and green onions as a garnish.  Discard the bay leaf and serve in bowls over white rice.  Pass the hot sauce.

Crawfish Pie

4 Tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped yellow onions
1/2 cup chopped green bell peppers
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 cup chopped canned tomatoes
1 lb peeled crawfish tails
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup water
2 Tablespoons chopped green onions (green part only)
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onions, bell peppers, and celery, and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft and golden, 6 to 8 minutes.  Add the salt, cayenne and tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.  Add the crawfish tails and cook for about 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally, until they give off some liquid.

In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the water then add to the pan.  Stir for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the mixture thickens.  Add the green onions and parsley and stir to mix.  Remove from the heat and let cool for about 30 minutes.

Pour the crawfish mixture into the pie shell.  Place the pie on a baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes, or until the edges of the pie shell are golden.  Cool for several minutes before cutting into wedges to serve.

Music break: Wheels by Cake

Cooking Up a Storm

Marcelle Bienvenu & Judy Walker

Guest Interview A Carrot Cake Smackdown 6 MIN, 53 SEC

Abby Dodge is a contributing editor at Fine Cooking magazine and the author of The Weekend Baker.  For Fine Cooking's Carrot Cake "smackdown," Abby created a classic carrot cake, complete with cream cheese frosting.  Her competition is Jehangir Mehta, chef and owner of Graffiti in New York.  Jehangir made spiced carrot cakes with candied carrots and pistachios.  Find the recipe here and vote for which cake you prefer.



Photographs: Scott Phillips, Fine Cooking

Classic Carrot Cake with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting
Yields one 9" layer cake; 
Serves 12 to 14

1 cup canola, corn, or vegetable oil; more for the pans
2 cups (9 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour;  more for the pans
2 tsps ground cinnamon
1 3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
3/4  tsp ground ginger
3/4 tsp table salt
4 large eggs
2 1/2 cups (8 3/4 oz) lightly packed, finely grated  carrots
2 cups packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1/2 cup raisins
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 lb cream cheese, softened
12 oz (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, softened
1 lb (4 cups) confectioners’ sugar
4  tsps pure vanilla extract
3/4  tsp table salt

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil and flour the sides of two 9x2-inch round cake pans, tapping out any excess flour. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, ginger, and salt. In a large bowl with a hand mixer or in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the oil, eggs, carrots, brown sugar, walnuts, raisins, and vanilla on medium speed until well blended, about 1 minute. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until just blended, about 30 seconds. Divide the batter evenly  between the prepared pans. Bake until the tops of the cakes spring back when lightly pressed and a cake tester inserted into the centers comes out clean, 28 to 30 minutes. Let cool in the pans on a rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the inside edge of the pans to loosen the cakes, invert them onto the rack, remove the pans, and carefully peel away the parchment. Set the cakes aside to
cool completely before frosting.

Make the Frosting
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter with the mixer on medium speed until very smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and salt and beat on medium high until blended and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Cover the frosting and
set aside at room temperature until the layers are completely cool.

Assemble the Cakes
Carefully set one cake upside down on a large, flat serving plate. using a metal spatula, evenly spread about 11/2 cups of the frosting over the top of the cake. Top with the remaining cake layer, upside down. Spread a thin layer (about 1/3 cup) of frosting over the entire cake to seal in any crumbs and fill in any gaps between layers. Refrigerate until the frosting is cold and firm, about 20 minutes. Spread the entire cake with the remaining frosting. Refrigerate the cake for at least 4 hours or up to 2 days. The cake is best served slightly chilled or at room temperature.


Good Food Producer Holly Tarson was inspired by Abby's baking prowess and she decided to make a cake for her dinner group.  It wasn't a carrot cake, but it was still delicious.  Read about it on the Good Food blog

Music break: We're All Connected by Medeski, Martin and Wood

The Weekend Baker

Abby Dodge

Guest Interview Jonathan Gold Visits Bazaar 7 MIN, 48 SEC

Jonathan Gold is the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer for the L.A. Weekly where he writes the Counter Intelligence column. Jonathan recently reviewed Jose Andres' Bazaar, located in the SLS Hotel (465 South La Cienega Boulevard, Los Angeles).

Music break: Up Front by James Hardway

Guest Interview Making an Urban Homestead 7 MIN, 17 SEC

urbanhomestead_headerErik Knutzen and Kelly Coyne are the authors of The Urban Homestead and the blog Homegrown Evolution.  They own four hens, a vegetable garden, a homemade rooftop dehydrator and are avid canners and lacto-fermerters.




One of Erik & Kelly's chickens eating their termites

Rooftop Solar Food Dehydrator

Music break: Under a Canopy by Gemma Hayes

The Urban Homestead

Kelly Coyne & Erik Knutzen

Guest Interview Kitchen Incubators 6 MIN, 55 SEC

Andrea Bell is the proprietor of the Chef's Kitchen Cooperative in Los Angeles.  The Cooperative has five commercial kitchens, which are rented to artisanal food producers, culinary instructors and catering companies.  These rental kitchens are also called "kitchen incubators."  To find a kitchen outside of Los Angeles, visit CulinaryIncubator.com.




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