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The sap is running in maple trees around the northeast.  This week on Good Food, Rich Focht explains how real maple syrup is produced.   Akasha Richmond shares her Passover traditions.  Jeff Morgan is a vintner making kosher wines in Napa.  He explains why good kosher wine is hard to come by.  Jonathan Gold knows where to get good Texas barbecue in Los Angeles.  He has the details on two great spots.  A listener named George Olesky tells us how to make homemade coconut yogurt.  We'll hear about the world's largest Rice Krispies treat from Brian Malarky.  Crystal Galbraith is the woman behind the sting operation that exposed The Hump, the Santa Monica restaurant caught serving whale.  Maggie Nemser of Blackboard Eats has some ideas for Easter Brunch.  Plus, David Chang on New York's Momofuku chats with Good Food host, Evan Kleiman about how he got his start in the kitchen.  And, Laura Avery discusses the latest in raw milk in this week's market report.

Guest Interview Market Report 8 MIN


Evan Kleiman is at the Farmers Market shopping for her Spring Passover dinner at Angeli Caffe.  She likes to start with a Pinzimonio Primaverile, which is like a crudite.  She bought radishes from Coleman Farms for people to dip in olive oil and salt.  She's also making Garmugia with sugar snap peas.  She uses leeks, peas, mint and any other green vegetables sauteed with green garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Serve at room temperature.  You can serve with pasta or on crostini.  


She's also making her Ricotta Gnocchi.  For the condiment in her gnocchi she is using spinach.  Here is a recipe for her Ricotta Gnocchi with beets. You can use ricotta from the cheese maker at the Santa Monica Farmers Market.

Beet Gnocchi


1 medium or two small red beets, washed
1 pound ricotta – set in cheesecloth-lined colander set in a bowl and allowed to   drain for a day
1 whole egg
1 cup grated imported Parmesan cheese plus more for the table
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cups all-purpose flour plus more for dredging
8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
Fresh sage leaves

Wrap washed beets in aluminum foil and place on baking sheet.  Bake in 450 degree oven until tender, approximately 45 minutes.  Remove from oven, open aluminum foil and let beets cool.  Slip the skins off with your hands.  Grate the beets into a mixing bowl on the large hole of a box grater.   Add the ricotta, eggs, Parmesan cheese and salt and freshly ground black pepper to the beets.  Mix well with a whisk or wooden spoon.  Add 2/3 cup flour to the ricotta mixture and whisk together to mix.   Set the mixture aside for a minimum of 2 hours in the refrigerator.  Can be made up to two days ahead.

To form the Gnochetti roll a walnut-sized piece of  beet mixture into a nice round.  Drop it into the bowl of flour, carefully turning to coat all sides. Lay each dumpling on a parchment lined baking sheet lightly covered with flour.  Continue forming the Gnochetti until all the mixture is gone.

Just before you are ready to serve, melt the butter together with the sage leaves in a skillet.  Let the butter lightly brown, the sage leaves should be nice and crispy.  Set brown butter and sage aside while you cook the gnochetti.

Slip the gnocchetti into a  pot of gently simmering salted water.  Wait until they float to the surface of the water and continue to cook for an additional minute.  Using a slotted spoon, remove them from the water as they are done and place them on a serving platter.  When all gnochetti are on the platter top with melted butter and crispy sage. Top with a liberal dusting of Parmesan cheese and serve.

(c) Copyright 2008 Evan Kleiman

Raw Milk

Organic Pastures sells raw milk at the Santa Monica Farmers Market.  They are one of two dairies that sell raw milk.  Whole Foods Market has announced that they are pulling all raw milk from their shelves.  According to Whole Foods, their insurance company won't provide them coverage so they've decided to stop selling it.

Guest Interview Maple Syrup 5 MIN

Maple Syrup Tubing

Rich Focht owns Hummingbird Ranch in Staatsburg, NY.  They make maple syrup, maple creams and maple sugar.  According to Rich, only 2% of sap is sugar.  It takes 50 gallons of sap to make just 1 gallon of maple syrup.

Rich and Evan spoke more about maple syrup grades.  Hear their interview here.

Maple Syrup Trees

Maple Syrup Evaporator

Maple Syrup Evaporator


Maple and Parsnip Soup
Developed by Chef Jason Baker, JT Bakers, Greenwich, NY
From The New York State Maple Producers Association, Inc.

3 lbs Parsnips - peeled & sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 large White Onion - peeled & sliced 1/4 inch thick
8 cups Water
1 large Bay Leaf
1 cup Pure NYS Maple Syrup
1 cup Heavy Cream Salt/White Pepper

Lightly brown parsnips and onions with vegetable oil in sauce pan, season lightly with salt and white pepper. Add water, maple syrup, bay leaf, and cover. Keep flame low and simmer until tender. Pull out bay leaf and puree all remaining ingredients until smooth in a food processor.

Pour ingredients back into pot, add heavy cream, and reheat being careful not to boil. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. Drizzle with maple syrup and serve warm with crusty bread.


Music Break: Double Infidelite (Instrumental) by Cyrz


Guest Interview Akasha’s Passover 7 MIN

Akasha Richmond owns Akasha restaurant in Culver City.  She hosts a Passover seder every year, run by her friend Albert Spevak. 

Her menu includes:
Tuscan Style Chopped Liver, Moroccan Eggplant & Roasted Tomato
Traditional Seder Plates: Beet Horseradish/Charoset with Dates & Walnuts, Hard Cooked Local Farm Eggs/Sea Salt Water
First Course: Sephardic Style Gefilte Fish/Tomato-Shallot Sauce, Wild Arugula & Radish Salad/Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
Second Course: Matzo Ball Soup, Weiser Farms Carrots & Fresh Herbs
Third Course: Braised Chicken with Kennedy Farms Dried Plums & Apricots, Sephardic Potato & Leek Fritters, Rapini with Preserved Meyer Lemon
Dessert: Lemon Pistachio Cakes/Lemon Curd/Candied Kumquats, Chocolate Meringues/Almond Macaroons, Chocolate Chunk Brownies/Pudwill Farms Berries, Chocolate Covered Matzo Toffee Crunch

Fish Balls

Akasha's Moroccan Fish Balls (Photo: Ed Caraeff)

Moroccan Gefilte Fish with Tomato Shallot Sauce

Fish Balls
1 1/2 lb skinned whitefish fillets or a mixture of pike and carp
1 small onion, grated
1 large egg
1/3 cup matzo meal
2 tsps ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp finely grated ginger
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

Tomato-Shallot Sauce
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, minced
1 can (14.5-oz) whole tomatoes in juice, pureed (or 1 lb fresh plum tomatoes, blanched, peeled seeded and pureed)
2 tablespoon tomato paste
1 1/2 tsps sugar
1 tsp Kosher salt
2 cups water

Chop the fish in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Remove to a bowl; mix in the onion, egg, matzo meal, coriander, cumin, turmeric, ginger, salt, pepper and cilantro. Mix well, cover and refrigerate while you make the sauce.

Heat the oil in a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and shallots and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, salt and water. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes.

Take lumps of the fish mixture the size of walnuts and roll into balls. Place one by one into the sauce and add additional water if needed just to cover the balls. Simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, turning over once. Chill. Serve with horseradish and lemon wedges.

Makes about 20 balls.

Guest Interview Kosher Wine 5 MIN

Jeff Morgan

Jeff Morgan runs Covenant Wine in Napa.  Kosher wine must be made by Sabbath-observant and contain only kosher ingredients. 

If a kosher wine is designated as meshuval, it means that it is “boiled” in Hebrew.  Modern techniques use flash pasteurization.  According to Jeff, flash-pasteurization doesn’t harm the wine and some people even say it adds to the aromatics.

 Kosher Wine

Music Break: Foot Tapper by The Shadows

Guest Interview Jonathan Gold Has Texas-style BBQ 7 MIN

Jonathan Gold is the Pulitzer-Prize winning food writer for the LA Weekly.  This week, Jonathan tells us about a Texas-style barbecue joint in Compton called Bludso’s.  He also likes Big Mista’s, which sells at the Atwater Village Farmer’s Market.

811 S. Long Beach Blvd.
Compton, CA 90221

Guest Interview Homemade Coconut Yogurt 4 MIN

George Olesky is a Good Food listener who recently made coconut yogurt at home 

George Olesky’s Homemade Coconut Yogurt

1. With a chef knife, shave away the soft outer chaff-like coating of the young coconut, exposing the hard shell. 

2. Chop into the shell and carefully pry it open.

3. Pour the young coconut water into a blender. 

4. Scoop out the soft flesh inside the shell and place it into the blender.

5. Add an optional 3-4 tablespoons of thick, canned coconut milk.

6. Blend on low then on high until creamy. 

7. Add 2-3 tablespoons of dairy or non-dairy store-bought yogurt. 

8. Blend on low for 15 seconds. 

9. Pour contents into a clean glass jar or plastic container and cover.

10. Fill a small cooler about halfway with warm water; place your container of cultured coconut mixture inside and let culture for 6 hours. 

The result won't be as thick or gelatinous as dairy yogurt but adding a tablespoon or two of tapioca powder early on in the process will thicken it.

Guest Interview Inside the Sting Operation at The Hump 4 MIN

Crystal Galbraith was a participant in the undercover sting operation that exposed The Hump for serving whale.  The Hump has closed and released this statement.  The restaurant was caught serving Sei whale, an endangered species, as part of their omakase.


Music Break: Can't You Hear My Heart Beat by Billy Strange

Guest Interview The World’s Largest Rice Krispies Treat 6 MIN

Rice Krispies Treat

Brian Malarky recently unveiled the world’s largest Rice Krispies treat as part of the TV show, Mega Bites.  Proceeds from event benefitted a community center in La Canada Flintridge.  The entire creation weighed more than 10,000 pounds. 

Rice Krispies Treats

3 Tablespoons  butter or margarine
1 package (10 oz) regular marshmallows
6 cups Rice Krispies® 

1. In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.

2. Add Rice Krispies cereal. Stir until well coated.

3. Using buttered spatula or wax paper evenly press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Cool. Cut into 2-inch squares. Best if served the same day.

Guest Interview Easter Brunch 3 MIN
Maggie Nemser writes the email newsletter Blackboard Eats.  She recommends a few places for Easter brunch.


Royal Claytons


1855 Industrial Street
Los Angeles, CA 90021-1200
(213) 622-0512 

Larchmont Grill
5750 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90004
(323) 464-4277
Papa Cristos
2771 West Pico Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90006
(323) 737-2970

Great Greek
13362 Ventura Boulevard
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423-3939
(818) 905-5250 

451 Manhattan Beach Blvd.

Manhattan Beach CA 90266
(310) 545-4100 
La Petit Greek 
127 North Larchmont Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90004
(323) 464-5160
Inn of the Seventh Ray 
128 Old Topanga Canyon Road
Topanga, CA 90290
(310) 455-1311

Saddle Peak Lodge
419 Cold Canyon Road
Malibu, CA 90265
(818) 222-3888 

Guest Interview Momofuku 9 MIN

David Chang

David Chang is the chef/owner of the Momofuku restaurants in New York City. 


David Chang

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