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Dr. Daniel Vigil taps into the myths behind drinking 8 glasses of water each day; Natalie MacLean pairs comfort foods with wine; Tom Philpott explains the effect of food conglomerates on our food resources; Jonathan Gold is on a roll with Korean sushi at A-Won; Chef Michael LaDuke gives grilling tips for the perfect Fourth of July barbecue; Peter Hertzmann shares his obsession for French cuisine; Nancy Zaslavsky discovers the foods of Veracruz, Mexico; and Laura Avery has the Market Report.

One Good Dish

David Tanis

Guest Interview The Market Report 7 MIN


Laura Avery
meets with Samir Mohajer, chef of the Santa Monica restaurant, Rustic Canyon, about okra. He suggests a sautee of okra, with shallots and butter and a little bit of salt and pepper. He slices it thin and serves it with fresh lemon juice squeezed on top, which complements the okra's nutty flavor.

Rustic Canyon
1119 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica


Atascadero farmer and rancher, Greg Nowda, has fresh melons at the market this week. He talks about the different varieties of melons, including the top-of-the-line ambrosia, ogen, sharlyn, and cranshaw melons. Each has a slightly different flesh color, and all are sweet. He devulges the secrets of choosing the right melon, how to keep them fresh, and when they're at the perfect level of ripeness for eating.

Guest Interview The Water Myth 7 MIN

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How many glasses of water should you drink each day to maintain proper hydration?  Most would say 8 glasses (64 ounces), which has been largely accepted, but not scientifically proven, as a proper guideline. An Institute of Medicine panel (part of the National Academy of Science) is now recommending that fluid intake be driven by thirst, dispelling the belief of already being dehydrated by the time one feels thirsty. While the dehydration myth may be true for endurance athletes, most people can hydrate properly simply by listening to their body’s demands.

Dr. Daniel Vigil goes even further, indicating that too much water can cause overhydration, flushing the body of vital electrolytes and sodium. He also disproves that water is the best liquid for hydration, suggesting that other liquids, including caffeinated drinks can contribute to our daily liquid intake.

Daniel Vigil, M.D. is a sports medicine physician, with a special interest in heat illness in endurance athletes.  He is the Chief of the Department of Family Medicine at Kaiser Permanente's Sports Medicine Residency and Fellowship program.  More information about proper hydration is available on the Kaiser Permanente website.

Guest Interview Food & Wine Pairings 7 MIN

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In her book, Red, White and Drunk All Over: A Wine Soaked Journey From Grape to Glass, Natalie MacLean takes the mystery and arrogance out of choosing wines and how to pair them with food.  Natalie proves that you really can drink wine with any type of food – discussing unusual pairings, from champagne and potato chips to Chardonnay and fried chicken.  She has created an interactive food and wine matcher with thousands of combinations on her website, where she also offers a free e-newsletter.

Guest Interview Food Conglomerates 7 MIN

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In the United States, we are surrounded by messages that scream "bigger is better."  Supersized Big Gulps and Hummers abound. But is bigger really better when it comes to our food? Tom Philpott talks about the impact of food conglomerates on our food supply -- from local farmers to our own dining room tables.

Tom Philpott is the Co-Founder and Co-Director for Maverick Farms -- an educational, nonprofit farm that is dedicated to reconnecting local food networks. He is a staff writer for Grist, a website that covers environmental news and sustainability issues.

Guest Interview A+ for A-Won 7 MIN


As any Los Angeleno foodie will tell you, L.A. appears to hold the distinction of the most strip-mall culinary surprises – with an endless number of small, non-descript restaurants offering some of the best food in town.  A-Won, a Korean sushi joint in Koreatown, is no exception.  Jonathan Gold visits A-Won and reports on his favorite sushi finds.

913½ S. Vermont Ave.
Los Angeles

Guest Interview Summer Grilling 7 MIN


The Fourth of July backyard barbecue is a classic American tradition.  Chef Michael LaDuke goes beyond grilling hot dogs and hamburgers – sharing recipes for grilled fish dishes that are delicious, impressive and a great way to enjoy summer grilling.

Michael LaDuke is the Director of Product Development & Chief Executive Chef for Red Lobster.  He is a New York native who holds an associates degree in Professional Chef Studies from the State University of New York.  Before joining Red Lobster in 2005, Michael spent 17 years at Walt Disney World, where he held a variety of increasingly responsible culinary positions. Most recently, he served as executive chef at EPCOT Center, where he was responsible for all EPCOT restaurant menus and its Food Court, which he redesigned and re-launched with more innovative food. He also directed EPCOT’s International Food and wine Festival.

Orange-Rum Glazed Snapper
Serves 4 

Fresh fish is flavored with a sweet glaze that carries a kick. The glaze is made from fresh oranges, tropical rums and just a little bit of spice.

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic, chopped (1 clove)
¼ cup sweet chili sauce (this is usually found in the Asian section at the grocery store)
¼ cup rum (Regular or Dark)
½ cup orange marmalade
1 large fennel bulb, white part only, thinly sliced
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
4 Snapper fillets, skinless
Salt and pepper to taste
4 orange slices
Aluminum foil


1.  Preheat an indoor grill or conventional oven (If the indoor grill has a temperature control, preheat to 350 degrees, for the oven, preheat to 400 degrees).

2.  In a small saucepan, over medium heat, sauté the olive oil and garlic for 3-5 minutes.

3.  Mix in the sweet chili sauce, rum, and orange marmalade and stir often until a syrup is formed and all the marmalade is melted, remove from heat.

4.   Meanwhile, tear off a piece of foil about 3 feet long. Mix the fennel and red pepper slices and lay out on the foil, covering about half of the foil & drizzle with ¼ cup of Orange Rum glaze.

5.  Place the Snapper on top of glaze and season the fish with salt & pepper. Pour the remaining glaze over the Snapper, coating the fish well.

6.  Place an orange slice on top of each piece of Snapper. Fold over the rest of the foil and crimp the edges to seal the pouch. 

7.  Place on the indoor grill or in the oven and cook until fish is white and flaky. This took about 10-12 minutes on a hinged top indoor grill and about 20 minutes in a conventional oven.

Maui Luau Shrimp & Salmon
Serves 4

The Maui Luau Shrimp & Salmon takes its inspiration from the Hawaiian Islands and includes fire-grilled salmon & skewered shrimp brushed with a sweet chili sauce.

4 each 5–6 oz. skinned salmon fillet
24 each 26–30 count peeled shrimp
4 each Bamboo skewers (soaked in water for 10–15 minutes)
8 each Fresh pineapple half moons (super sweet variety)
Olive Oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Sweet chili sauce (choose your favorite brand, but make sure it is sweet)

Sweet chili sauce is usually found in the Asian specialties section of your local market. It should not be confused with the thicker tomato version of chili sauce.


1.  Brush both sides of salmon with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. 

2.  After soaking the skewers, slide 6 shrimp onto each skewer, leaving room on either end. Brush both sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. 

3.  Cut the fresh pineapple into slices approximately half inch in diameter and then cut in half. Brush both sides with olive oil.

4.  On a medium heated grill, place the salmon flesh side down. Grill approximately 6–7 minutes per side or until the fish reaches 150 degrees.

5.  Grill shrimp approximately 3–4 minutes per side or until 150 degrees.

6.  Grill pineapple for 2–3 minutes per side or until there is good carmelization.

7.  Brush all items generously with the sweet chili sauce.

8.  To serve, place the pineapple at the top of each plate and crisscross. Top the pineapple with a scoop of your favorite rice. Crisscross the salmon and the shrimp skewer on top of the rice. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve with your favorite vegetable.

Guest Interview French Cuisine 7 MIN

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In the online world, there are an excess of people who love food – the glut of food blogs with recipes, commentary and food criticism are overwhelming.  Peter Hertzmann has a zeal for food that goes above and beyond most others.  He writes an e-zine called A La Carte dedicated to culinary topics.  His fascination for cookery – its preparation, materials, history, politics, and culture – has gone from East to West: first for Chinese cuisine and now French.   The massive archives on his site feature recipes, history and a bit of Francophile passion for those who share his love of French cooking.

Guest Interview Foods of Veracruz 7 MIN

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Nancy Zaslavsky is a culinary tour guide with an obsession for the culture, people and foods of Mexico.  She shares a few recipes from the state of Veracruz, a southeastern province on the Gulf of Mexico with beautiful hills of coffee growing estates, banana trees and flatlands of coastal pineapple plantations.  With such rich agricultural resources, Nancy finds unforgettable local food specialties, restaurants and markets.  More information about her tours, books and recipes are available on Nancy’s website.

Huachinango Veracruzana (Snapper Fillets in the Style of Veracruz)
Serves 6

For the sauce:

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 white onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 jalapeño chiles
4 red-ripe plum tomatoes, chopped
½ cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
12 capers, plus some jar juice
10 large Spanish green olives (pitted), with or without pimento, coarsely chopped
3 bay leaves

1. Heat the oil in a very large skillet. Add the onions and sauté until translucent.  Stir in the garlic and cook until golden.

2. Stem and chop (with seeds) one of the chiles and stir it into the onions along with the  tomatoes, parsley, capers, (plus 1 tablespoon liquid from the jar), olives and bay leaves. Simmer 15 minutes, uncovered. Taste for salt and seasoning. If you want a spicier sauce chop the other chile and add it to the thickened sauce.

For the fish:

6 red snapper fillets (6 ounces each, ½-inch-thick)
½ cup coarsely chopped cilantro
2 limes (Mexican, a.k.a. Key lime, if possible)

1. Slide the fillets into the sauce (overlapping a bit), cover and cook about 5 minutes. Remove the lid and cook another minute until ALMOST done (not totally opaque) at the thickest part.

2. Transfer one fillet, using a large spatula, onto 6 serving plates and surround with sauce. Scatter with cilantro leaves and garnish with a few lime wedges. The fish is traditionally served with steamed white rice.

Tiny New Potatoes with Caramelized Garlic
Serves 6 to 8, as botanas (cocktail snacks) on toothpicks

2 pounds baby potatoes, 1-inch maximum
¼ cup olive oil
½ cup coarsely chopped garlic (about one head)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
8 grinds black pepper
½ cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1 lime (Mexican, a.k.a. Key lime, if possible)

1. Bring 3 quarts salted water to a boil and add the potatoes. Cook with the cover askew until done, about 20 minutes. Drain well and blot dry with towels.

2. Heat the olive oil in a wide skillet. Carefully roll the potatoes into the oil and sauté until golden, shaking the skillet from time to time to lightly brown all over.

3. Stir in the garlic, lower the heat , and slowly simmer until the garlic turns deep golden and is sticky and caramelized. Carefully scoop the potatoes and all of the garlic into a shallow serving bowl (leave behind any remaining oil). Sprinkle on the salt, black pepper and parsley, and then gently stir, covering the potatoes with seasoning.

To serve:
Serve either warm or at room temperature. At the last second, sprinkle a wedge of fresh lime juice over. Serve with toothpicks.

Recipes courtesy of Nancy Zaslavsky

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