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Maybe it's the recession, or maybe it's Julie & Julia.  Whatever the reason, people are heading to their kitchens to cook and they need the ingredients to do it right.  This month, Los Angeles Magazine features a food lovers guide to the Southland.  Lesley Bargar gives us a preview of where to get you meat, fish, cheese and everything in between.  Cactus is a staple of the Mexican diet.  But what about all those needles?  Orange County native Gustavo Arellano invites us into his home to explain the wonders of eating cactus, or nopales.  If you want to eat out, try Billy's Deli in Glendale.  Jonathan Gold is here to tell us about this perplexing deli.  Can food be turned into art, which is then turned into an environmental benefit?  Mara Haseltine thinks so.  She's an artist in New York who is using the oyster in her next art installation.  Food can also be turned into words through recipes.  Meet Maureen Evans, of Twitter fame, who is turning full recipes into 140 characters.  Like it or not, there is a place in our culture for those individually wrapped slices of orange cheese.  Liz Thorpe of the famed Murray's Cheese in New York puts American cheese in context.  Good Food's pie obsession continues.  Pastry chef Cindy Mushet is here to guide Evan through the challenge of Lemon Meringue Pie.  While we've been pie crazy, an NPR producer has been just as enthusiastic about cake.  Melissa Gray made a cake every week and wrote a book.  All Cakes Considered this week.  And, a visit with Chef Mark Peel at the Santa Monica Farmers Market.  

My Bread

Jim Lahey

Guest Interview Market Report 8 MIN, 19 SEC

Jimenez Family Farm from Santa Ynez is bringing in fresh goat and lamb meat. Their animals are raised on 100% grass. They recommend non-premium cuts of lamb like the shoulder, breast or neck meat.


Greek Lamb Stew with Fresh Green Beans


2 lbs Lamb (breast, shoulder, neck or stew meat)

1 can tomato paste

2 lbs green beans

2 cups water

Olive oil

2 onions

2 leeks

2 - 3 cinnamon sticks

Salt & pepper


In a heavy casserole or Dutch oven, brown lamb in a small amount of olive oil over medium high heat.  Drain fat. Coarsely chop onions & leeks, add to lamb, cooking until slightly browned. Season with salt & pepper. Add tomato paste and water.  Stir gently.  Add cinnamon sticks.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 1 1/2 hours, checking once to stir.  Clean and snip stem end from green beans.  Add to stew. Cook 10 to 15 minutes or until beans are tender.  This goes great with mashed potatoes.


Mark Peel

Chef Mark Peel of Campanile loves to make Potatoes a la Boulangere this time of year.  It's a no-recipe dish but we found one online adapted from a French food cookbook. You can put in any vegetables you like in addition to the potatoes. Mark likes to add sliced savoy cabbage and wild mushrooms. He cooks his at 250 for 3 hours but other recipes turn up the heat and cook it much faster. He uses a 2 inch deep Pyrex dish.


Boulangère Potatoes Recipe

(Adapted from The Food of France Cookbook)

Serves 6


2 lbs potatoes

1 large onion

2 Tablespoons finely chopped parsley

16 oz hot chicken or vegetable stocks

5 Tablespoons butter, cubed


1. Preheat the oven to 350F.

2. Thinly slice the potatoes and onion with a mandolin or sharp

knife. Build up alternate layers of potato and onion in a 2 inch deep

dish, sprinkling parsley, salt and plenty of black pepper between each

layer. Finish with a layer of potato. Pour the stock over the top and

dot with butter.

3. Bake, covered with foil, on the middle shelf of the oven for 30

minutes, then remove the foil and lightly press down on the potatoes

to keep them submerged in the stock. Bake for another 30 minutes, or

until the potatoes are tender and the top golden brown. Serve piping




Music Break: Wandering Star by Quantic And His Combo Barbaro

Guest Interview Cruising for Cactus 5 MIN, 13 SEC

Gustavo Arellano


Nopales Stir Fry

Gustavo Arellano is the food editor and columnist for the OC Weekly.  He writes the popular Ask a Mexican column.  He grew up in Anaheim, California where his parents still live.  His father, Lorenzo, grows prickly pear cactus, or nopales.  His mother, an excellent cook, uses nopales for a side dish or a salad.  


Nopales Salad (From Epicurious)

6 nopales (cactus leaves)

1 onion, quartered

4 garlic cloves, crushed

3 plum (Roma) tomatoes, cut into thin wedges

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and thinly sliced

1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated queso fresco or ricotta salata cheese



1/4 cup cider vinegar

1 Tablespoons dried oregano, preferably Mexican

1 Tablespoon red pepper flakes

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Fine sea salt to taste


1. To prepare the nopales: If necessary, use a small sharp knife to remove any residual thorns or nodules from the cactus leaves. Bring 8 cups salted water to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add the nopales, onion, and garlic and reduce the heat to medium. Cook at a brisk simmer until the nopales are tender, about 6 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Discard the onion and garlic. Cut the nopales into strips about 1/2 inch wide and 2 1/2 inches long. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.


2. To make the dressing: Whisk the vinegar, oregano, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in the oil. Season with salt.


3. Mix the nopales, tomatoes, red onion, and cilantro in a medium bowl. Add as much dressing as you like (refrigerate any remaining dressing for another use) and toss. Divide the salad among 6 salad plates and top with the avocado and queso fresco. Serve immediately.

Guest Interview Food Lovers Guide 6 MIN, 55 SEC

Lesley Bargar is the food editor at Los Angeles Magazine.  This month, they are featuring a food lovers guide to L.A.  




Harvey’s Guss Meat Co.

949 S Ogden Dr

Los Angeles, CA 90036

(323) 937-4622


Huntington Meats

6333 W 3rd St

Los Angeles, CA 90036

(323) 938-5383


Peking Poultry

717 N Broadway

Los Angeles, CA 90012

(213) 680-2588


Vicente Foods

12027 San Vicente Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90049

(310) 472-4613


Harmony Farms

2824 Foothill Blvd

La Crescenta, CA 91214

(818) 248-3068




Fish King

722 N Glendale Ave

Glendale, CA 91206

(818) 244-0804


Santa Monica Seafood

1000 Wilshire Blvd.

Santa Monica, CA 90401

(310) 393-5244


Fisherman's Outlet

529 S Central Ave

Los Angeles, CA 90013

(213) 627-7231




The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills

419 N Beverly Dr

Beverly Hills, CA 90210

(310) 278-2855


The Cheese Store of Silverlake

3926 W Sunset Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90029

(877) 644-7511


Artisan Cheese Gallery

12023 Ventura Blvd

Studio City, CA 91604

(818) 505-0207


Mimmo Bruno Cheese

Available at Mozza2Go and Bay Cities Italian Deli




Mozza 2Go

6610 Melrose Avenue

Los Angeles, CA 90038

(323) 297-0100


The Larder at Tavern

Neighborhood: Brentwood

11648 San Vicente Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90049

(310) 806-6464


The Larchmont Larder

626 N Larchmont Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90004

(323) 962-9900



Music Break: Tubby by Los Straitjackets

Guest Interview Billy's Deli 7 MIN, 23 SEC

Jonathan Gold writes the Counter Intelligence column for the LA Weekly, for which he won the Pulitzer Prize.  This week, he reviews Billy's Deli in Glendale.   He recommends the brisket sandwich, the matzoh ball soup and the chicken-in-a-pot.


Billy's Deli

216 N Orange St

Glendale, CA 91203

(818) 246-1689



Music Break: Thank You (4 Letting Me Be Myself) by George Semper

Guest Interview Oyster Art 6 MIN, 49 SEC

Oyster Art

Solar Powered Oyster Reef

Mara Haseltine is an artist and environmentalist living in New York City.  In 2007, Mara collaborated with marine biologists to create solar powered oyster reefs in the waters off of Queens.  



Music Break: Sunlight - Harlem Shakes

Guest Interview American Cheese 5 MIN, 57 SEC

Liz Thorpe is the author of The Cheese Chronicles: A Journey Through the Making and Selling of Cheese in America, from Field to Farm to Table.  She is a vice president at Murray's Cheese in New York.

Kraft introduced American cheese "Singles" in 1947.  Their American cheese slices contain the following: Ingredients: Milk, Whey, Milkfat, Milk Protein Concentrate, Salt, Calcium Phosphate, Sodium Citrate, Whey Protein Concentrate, Sodium Phosphate, Sorbic Acid as a preservative, Apocarotenal (color), Annatto (color), Enzymes, Vitamin D3, Cheese Culture.

Guest Interview Lemon Meringue Pie 6 MIN, 7 SEC

Cindy Mushet is the author of The Art and Soul of Baking and her new book, Baking Kids Love.  


Music Break: Slow Walk - Bill Doggett

Baking Kids Love

Cindy Mushet

Guest Interview All Cakes Considered 5 MIN, 11 SEC

All Cakes Considered

Melissa Gray is an NPR producer and is the author of All Cakes Considered.  She started her book by bringing in a cake each week for her NPR colleagues.  The first cake she brought in was Martha Washington's Great Cake


Martha Washington's Great Cake


10 large eggs

4 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature

2 cups plus 2 Tablespoons sugar

5 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/2 tsps ground mace

2 1/2 tsps ground nutmeg

1/4 cup wine

1/4 cup French Brandy

1 1/4 lb assorted fruits and nuts


For the frosting

3 large egg whites

1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

1 tsp grated lemon zest

2 Tablespoons orange extract


1) Position a rack so the cake will sit in the middle of the oven, and pre-heat the oven to 250 degrees F.  Prepare the pan.


2) Separate the egg whites from the yolks, collecting the egg whites in the bowl of a mixer, and set the yolks aside.


3) Using the whisk attachment on the mixer, whisk the egg whites to the soft peak stage.


4) In a separate mixing bowl, cream the butter with a handheld mixer.  Slowly fold in a third of the beaten egg whites until incorporated.  Repeat two times, until all the egg whites are incorporated.


5) Slowly fold in the sugar, about 1 cup at a time, until incorporated.


6) Beat the egg yolks lightly (you may use a hand whisk) and fold them in.  Fold in the flour until full incorporated.


7) Fold in the mace, nutmeg, wine and brandy.


8) Fold in the fruits and nuts.


9) Pour the batter into the pan and bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the cake tests done.  


10) Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes, then unmold onto a cake rack.


11) When the cake is almost cool, preheat the oven to 200 degrees F and make the frosting.


12) Using a hand mixer, beat together the egg whites and 2 tablespoons of the confectioners' sugar.  Continue adding the sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating after each addition, until you have the incorporated all of the sugar.


13) Add the grated lemon zest and orange extract flavoring.  Beat until the frosting is stiff enough to stay parted when cut through with a knife.


14) Smooth the meringue onto the cake.  Let it dry and harden in the oven for 1 hour.  The frosting will be brittle when cut with a knife.



Music Break: Sand Steppin by Martin Brew

All Cakes Considered

Melissa Gray

Guest Interview @Cookbook 6 MIN, 36 SEC

Maureen Evans is a chef living in Belfast, Ireland.  She writes 140 character recipes on Twitter.  She has a glossary on her website to help decipher her codes


Guiness Stew: brwn 2lb stew meat/3T oil; rmv. Brwn 4c onion&root veg; +2t garlic&br sug&flr. Boil+2c stout&stock; +beef/bay/s+p. Cvr3h@300F.


Radish Greens Soup: saute onion/2T butter; cvr3m +4c radish leaves. Simmer10m+c peas/2c stock. Puree+8T cream/4T mint/2c stock/s+p. Srv hot.

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