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Trade your zucchini for peaches using a classified ad network created just for produce.  Rob Anderson tells us how it works.  Ian Cheney is growing produce in the bed of his pickup truck.  The controversy behind the banana documentary, as told by reporter Alexa Hyland.  The history of ice cream according to Jeri Quinzio.  Trek through Los Angeles to find the best street food the city has to offer.  Karen Mack of LA Commons encourages us to get out and explore this giant city of ours.  As always, Jonathan Gold has some ethnic eats for us.  Camelia Coupal introduces us to Venezuelan cuisine.  Plus, we get nostalgic with Marilyn and Sheila Brass and their heirloom cookies.  And Laura Avery talks summer grilling at the Santa Monica Farmers Market.


Michael Ruhlman

Guest Interview Market Report 7 MIN

Chef and culinary instructor Amanda Cushman is grilling vegetables this summer.  She recommends marinating them in olive oil and fresh herbs for about 30 minutes before cooking.  Slice eggplant and zucchini lengthwise and drizzle with olive oil.  Make sure the grill is very hot before putting the vegetables on.  You'll know when to flip when they don't stick to the grill.  She also grills fruit for dessert and serves it with a rum sauce.

Grilled Eggplant with Miso Glaze
Serves 4

1 Tablespoon canola oil
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp minced ginger
1 1/2 tsp. soy sauce
1/4 cup light miso
3 Tablespoon light brown sugar
2 Tablespoon rice vinegar
1/4 cup water
2 Tablespoon chopped cilantro
6 Asian eggplants, trimmed and halved lengthwise
Steamed Basmati or Jasmine rice
Cilantro leaves, garnish

Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium heat and sauté the shallot, garlic and ginger for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to small bowl. Add the soy, miso, sugar, rice vinegar, water and cilantro and whisk.

Heat a grill pan or outdoor grill until hot. Brush the eggplants on the cut side with some of the glaze. Place on the grill and lower the heat and grill for 6 to 8 minutes turning occasionally, brushing often with the glaze. Transfer to a platter and spoon some of the sauce over. Serve with rice and cilantro leaves as a garnish.

Grilled Tropical Fruit with Rum Sauce
Serves 6 to 8

4 Tablespoon unsalted butter
6 Tablespoon light brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup dark Rum
Salt and pepper
4 ripe nectarines, plums or peaches, halved and pitted
1 ripe mango, peeled and cut into two slabs
1 ripe pineapple, peeled, halved, core removed, cut into ¼ inch wedges
Vanilla ice cream

Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add the sugar, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes to dissolve the sugar.

Heat the rum in a separate small skillet and tilt to ignite the alcohol. Move the pan back and forth as you are pouring the rum over the sugar mixture. When the flame subsides set the pan aside. Melt the remaining butter in the skillet that the rum was in.

Heat a grill pan or outdoor gas grill until hot. Brush the cut sides of the fruit with the melted butter. Grill cut side down until softened slightly about 5 minutes turn brush with more butter and grill the other side another 4 minutes. Remove the mangoes to a cutting board and slice the mango into slices and arrange on a platter with the other fruits.

Serve the grilled fruit with ice cream and rum sauce.


Eric Stenberg is an apprentice at Fairview Gardens.  He recommends grilling dandelion greens kale by putting them first in a tin foil basket.  Add garlic, herbs and seal it by pinching the edges together.  The greens will be wilted when ready to eat. 

Guest Interview Veggie Trader 4 MIN


Rob Anderson is one of the founders of VeggieTrader.com, a place where growers can trade produce.  The website works like classified ads or Craigslist.  Simply post a listing with a description of your produce and what you want it return. 

Music Break: The Accumulator by Zook

Guest Interview Truck Farming 7 MIN

Curt and Ian

Curt Ellis & Ian Cheney

Truck Farm

Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis run Wicked Delicate, a Brooklyn, NY based production company.  They are the documentary filmmakers behind King Corn and The Greening of Southie.

When they moved to New York, they decided to turn their beat-up pickup truck into a vegetable garden.  Using green roof technology and heirloom seeds their mobile garden resides on the city streets.

Watch more videos.

Music Break: Bastinado by Zook

Guest Interview Going Bananas 7 MIN

BananasAlexa Hyland is a reporter for the L.A. Business Journal.  She recently wrote about the controversial documentary film Bananas*, which reveals the mistreatment of workers by Dole in Nicaragua.  According to the piece, the lawyer who represented the workers in a lawsuit against Dole, fraudulently recruited men for the case against the food giant.  The lawyer, Juan Dominguez, is known in L.A. for his "Accidentes" bus ads.  Swedish filmmaker Fredrik Gertten premiered the film at the LA Film Festival.

Music Break: The Big Push by Cal Green & His Orchestra

Guest Interview The History of Ice Cream 7 MIN

Ice Cream

Jeri Quinzio is the author of Of Sugar and Snow: A History of Ice Cream Making.  When they figured out how to freeze liquids in the 17th Century, people started adding custard to make "Iced Creams," a precursor to what we now know as ice cream.  Refrigeration helped ice cream become a nationwide phenomenon in the U.S.

Music Break: Fortune Cookie by Los Straitjackets

Of Sugar and Snow

Jeri Quinzio

Guest Interview Trekking LA 5 MIN

Trekking LA: Local Adventures in a Global City is a partnership between LA Commons and the UCLA Department of Urban Planning.  This summer they are hosting eating tours of various L.A. neighborhoods, concentrating on street food.  Karen Mack is the Executive Director of LA Commons.

On July 17 sample a variety of tamales in MacArthur Park.  Then in August, enjoy Jamaican food in Leimert Park.

Download the Trekking Guide.

Music Break: Boogaloo In Room 802 by Willie Bobo

Guest Interview Green Village 6 MIN

Jonathan Gold is the Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic for the L.A. weekly.  This week he recommends Shanghai-style Chinese restaurant Green Village, which has had numerous locations before settling in Rowland Heights.  Jonathan liked fried fish, "epic" pork knuckles and fried spareribs.

Green Village
1390 Fullerton Rd., # 101
Rowland Heights, CA 91748
(626) 810-5698

The Good Food Restaurant Map



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Blue Dots - Jonathan Gold's Picks

Red Dots - Eddie Lin's picks

Green Dots - Gustavo Arellano's Picks


Music Break: Call Me At Cleo's by Joey Altruda

Guest Interview Venezuelan Cuisine 7 MIN

Camelia Coupal is the owner of Coupa Cafe in Beverly Hills, which serves Venezuelan cuisine. 

The national dish of Venezuela is Pabellon, which is shredded beef served with rice and beans.  Also popular are arepas which are flat cornmeal patties used like bread in a sandwich.  At the time of the interview, Camelia brought in a wide selection of Venezuelan specialties:

Cachapa - corn pancake
Tequeno - white flour wrapped around queso paisa (a type of cheese), served with guava dipping sauce
Maracuchitos -sweet fried plantain wrapped around queso duro
Arepas - corn griddle cake, stuffed like a sandwich
Reina Pepiada - chicken salad with avocado and mayonaise.  Camelia used this as a filling for the arepas.
Cason Empanada - young shark empanada

Coupa Cafe
419 North Canon Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 385-0420

Music Break: The Cat by  Seke Bomba

Guest Interview Heirloom Cookies 7 MIN

Sisters Marilyn and Sheila Brass are the authors of Heirloom Cooking and Heirloom Baking.  They're currently working on a new book called Heirloom Cookies.  Most of the recipes they've worked from are handwritten.  Some of the cookies they feature include Numshedooles, Better Than Robert Redfords, Snickerdoodles and Meltaways.  Find out more on their website.

Soft Molasses Cookies
Makes 3 1/2 Dozen Cookies

Credit for this recipe should go to Juliana Greevsky, P. Finelli, and an anonymous home baker from the 1930s.  These are chewy spicy cookies great with a glass of cold milk, or a cup of Earl Grey tea.  We used mace, but you can substitute nutmeg or ginger.

1 Tablespoon instant coffee
1/4 cup cold water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup molasses
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp mace
1/4 tsp cloves
1 1/4 cups raisins
3/4 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped (optional)

1. Set the oven rack in the middle position.  Preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Cover a 14-inch by 16-inch baking sheet with foil, shiny side up.  Coat the foil with vegetable spray or use a silicone liner.
2. Add instant coffee to cold water, whisk to dissolve, and set aside.
3. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, mace, and cloves and set aside.
4. Add oil, molasses, sugar, and coffee to the bowl of a standing mixer and combine thoroughly.  Add egg and continue to blend.
5. Add dry ingredients to batter and combine.
6. Remove bowl from mixing stand and fold in raisins.
7. Drop by heaping teaspoons on prepared sheet, about 2 inches apart or 12 cookies to a sheet.  Bake 10 minutes.  Cookies will still be a bit soft.  Remove baking sheet from oven and place on a metal rack to cool.  Store cooled cookies between sheets of wax paper in covered tin.  Do not crowd cookies. 

Sweet Tip:  We used golden raisins or sultanas in our Soft Molasses Cookies, but you can use any raisins you want.  You can also add 3/4 cup of toasted coarsely chopped walnuts.  If you add nuts, the yield will increase.

From the soon to be published Heirloom Cookies and Bars With The Brass Sisters from Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers.
©2009 Marilynn Brass and Sheila Brass

Heirloom Cooking

Marilyn and Sheila Brass

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