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Jonathan Gold digs into a bowl of goat meat soup.  Debi Mazar and Italian husband Gabriele Corcos make home cooking videos that are inspiring. Ruth Reichl of Gourmet Magazine shows us how to love your mom even though you turned out okay in spite of her. Ten year-old Katie Stagliano grew a 40 pound cabbage. Find out what she did with it.  Aussie chef Curtis Stone knows how people are really cooking at home and he tells all.  Foie gras or fatty goose liver caused an uproar and was banned in Chicago, according to writer Mark Caro.  And Kathleen Collins traces the history of the televised cooking show.  Plus Laura Avery checks in with farmers for the Market Report.

Cooking Up a Storm

Marcelle Bienvenu and Judy Walker

Guest Interview Market Report 8 MIN, 31 SEC

Chef Christophe Bernard, Academic Chair of the International Culinary School at the Art Institute of California, Los Angeles.  His students will be making a California-style ratatouille at the Santa Monica Festival.  Ratatouille, a French country-style dish, includes a variety of vegetables including zucchini, onions, carrots, eggplant, tomatoes, red and green bell pepper.  Dice the vegetables into a 3/4 inch pieces.  Christophe likes to saute each vegetable individually before combining in a large mixing bowl.  The vegetables are cooked according to taste. Some people like them crisp, some like them stewed.  The tomatoes are added last and act as a kind of sauce. 

The Santa Monica Festival is this Saturday, May 9 at Clover Park in Santa Monica. 

Cherries have arrived at many area farmers markets.  Steve Erickson grows Tulare, Brooks and Rainier cherries in Fresno, CA.  The Brooks variety is crunchy.  The Tulare cherries are softer and dark red.  The cherry season lasts about five weeks.  Steve doesn't grown Bing cherries, which need a cooler growing climate.  Bing cherries at L.A. area markets usually come down from Stockton, CA.


Laura Avery writes a weekly post on the Good Food Blog.  Read about what's fresh and see pictures from the Farmer's Market.


Music Break: The Crossing Guard's Coffey Break by The Kabalas

Guest Interview Goat Soup 7 MIN, 5 SEC

Jonathan Gold is the Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic for the L.A. Weekly.  He recently feasted on goat in Koreatown.  For a late night meal, he recommends Bulrocho.  Read his review at the LAWeekly.com.  Another option for goat in Koreatown is Chin Ko Gae.

955 S. Vermont Ave., L.A. (213) 383-0080

Chin Ko Gae
3063 West 8th St., L.A. (213) 487-0159


Music Break: Days Of Elaine by The Decemberists

Guest Interview Under the Tuscan Gun 6 MIN, 54 SEC

Gabriele and Debi

Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos host the web video series Under the Tuscan Gun.  Debi is an American actress and her husband, Gabriele, is an Italian chef from Fiesole, Italy.  Most recently, Debi has appeared on Entourage.  The couple live in Los Angeles and in Tuscany. 

Polenta Pasticciata

Polenta Pasticciata (Polenta Cake "Parmesan") 
Serves: 4 

Red Sauce (see below) 
1 Box Instant Polenta 
1 lb Mozzarela (not Bufala because it's too wet) 
1/2 lb Freshly Grated Parmesan  

Red Sauce: 
1/2 Red Onion, chopped 
3 Cloves of Garlic 
2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil 
1 Can whole tomatoes (16 ounces), processed in a blender
2 Handful of Fresh Basil 
1 Sprinkle of Crushed Red Pepper 
Salt & Pepper to taste 
On a medium high flame brown the onion.  When golden, pour the tomatoes, add salt, pepper and red pepper, and lower the flame to medium.  The cooking time is about 15 minutes...this is what it takes to the sauce to get to a nice consistency. 
A few minutes before taking your sauce of the fire, put the basil in the pan .

Polenta and Mozzarella: 
We usually cook the instant Polenta. It takes between 3 to 8 minutes to be ready to serve, depending on the brand; the traditional polenta needs to cook for hours, and I honestly do not know anybody that can fit that in a family's schedule when grandma is not around. 

Follow the instruction on the box, mold the polenta in two bread pans, and let it cool off as long as you can...about one hour would be ideal, but 15 minutes can work as well.  Grate the mozzarella, or cut it in very small pieces and set aside in a bowl. 
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Butter a 7x11 Pirex Pan.  Start cutting the polenta in thin slices and prepare a first layer.  In the following order: one layer of polenta, one of red sauce, a generous sprinkle of grated mozzarella and one of parmesan cheese. Keep on going until there is no more polenta (usually two layers), then dress with the red sauce and the cheese. 

Cook in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, then broil for a final 5 minutes to brown the cheese top and "make it beautiful".  Serve dressed with some Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper to taste, and a final touch of grated Parmesan.  

Polenta and Beef Stew

Polenta & Beef Stew
Serves 4  

2 lbs Beef for stew, cut in 1 inch cubes 
3 ripe tomatoes 
3 carrots 
3 celery stems
3/4 red onion 
2 handfuls of Thyme 
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper 
2 glasses of wine

Peal and chop the onion medium fine.  Rinse well the celery and chop it in 1/2
inch pieces.  Peal the carrots, cut them length wise if they are big enough, and then chop in 1/2 inch pieces.  Rinse the Thyme well.  

In a cast iron casserole, sauté the onion, the carrot and the celery in about 3 tablespoons of olive oil on a medium – high flame, until the onion gets a nice golden color. 

Add the meat, maintain the stove on a medium – high flame, and brown it well. 
Before the meat starts pouring its juices in the pan, add the two glasses of wine, stir well, and let the alcohol evaporate...you can smell its pungent essence right away. 

In a couple of minutes your stew is ready to start cooking and finally settle down into the casserole.  Lower the stove to a medium flame, add salt, pepper, the thyme and the tomatoes cut in half.  Stir well and cover with a lid.
From now on is just a waiting game.  Stir constantly, every 10 minutes, make sure the flame is not too high or the stew will start sticking to the bottom of the casserole and then burn.  The sauce the beef is cooking in will start doing its job, wrapping the meat with flavor. 
In the beginning the sauce will look like a broth, that is because the meat is loosing all the water; it won’t look really pretty until about an hour and a half into the cooking.  At that point, the sauce will start turning into a darker color, it will start getting dense, and it will push its oil on the surface.
Serve over your polenta.


Music Break: Defektor by Greg Camp 

Guest Interview Not Becoming My Mother 7 MIN, 55 SEC

Ruth ReichlRuth Reichl is the Editor-In-Chief of Gourmet.  Her latest book is Not Becoming My Mother and Other Things She Taught Me Along the Way.









Music Break: Dig Dis by Hank Mobley

Guest Interview A 40-Pound Cabbage 6 MIN, 51 SEC

Katie and Cabbage

Katie Stagliano is a ten-year old from Summerville, South Carolina.  Last year, in a third grade project, she planted a cabbage seedling.  That cabbage grew to 40-pounds.  Katie donated it to the soup kitchen at Tricounty Families Ministry and it fed 275 people. 

Inspired, Katie encouraged her school to start a vegetable garden.  The produce grown by the students will be donated to charities fighting hunger. 

Katie was named Kid of the Month by Amazing Kids, an organization whose mission is to inspire children to greatness.  Katie also won the "Launch My Dream" t-shirt contest.  Support Katie's dream of no hungry children by buying a t-shirt here.

Katie's T-shirt


Music Break: Disco Groove by The Checkmates

Guest Interview The Take Home Chef 7 MIN

Curtis StoneCurtis Stone is an Australian chef, cookbook author and host of Take Home Chef on TLC. His latest book is Relaxed Cooking with Curtis Stone.  Curtis also has a selection of cooking tools, including this reversible cutting board called the Flipper.

Flipper Cutting Board



Rigatoni with Spicy Italian Salami, Baby Tomatoes, Olives and Capers

20 cherry tomatoes on the vine
2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground
Black pepper
8 oz spicy salami, such as Sopressa Vicentina, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
1/2 cup extra-Fine capers
 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
8 to 10 ounces rigatoni pasta

Preheat the oven to 375°F.  Place the tomatoes on a small baking sheet and drizzle with, the 2 teaspoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast the tomatoes in the oven about about 3 minutes, or until they begin to split.  Remove the tomatoes from the oven and let them cool slightly,

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  While the water is heating, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon  of oil in a heavy saute pan over medium heat.  Add the salami and cook for 30 seconds on each side, until light golden in color.  Remove the salami from the pan and reserve,

Return the pan to the heat, add the garlic, and saute for 1 minute, or until tender.  Add the tomatoes and saute for 3 minutes.  Add the wine and simmer for about 3 minutes, or until reduced about half. Add the olives and capers and toss gently.  Bring the mixture to a simmer and add the salami and parsley.

Cook the pasta in the boiling salted water until al dente.  Drain the pasta and toss it in the pan with the sauce.  Season the pasta to taste with salt and pepper.

Tropical Smoothie

Just pop it all in the blender, whiz it, and you're good to go.
Pineapple, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped (about 4 cups)
Papaya, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)
Cantaloupe, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)
Mango, peeled, pitted, and coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)
Kiwi fruits, peeled and coarsely opped (about 1/2 cup)
12 cups fresh coconut water 
8 cups ice cubes

Place half of the chopped pineapple, papaya, cantaloupe, mango, and kiwi fruits in a blender, Add % cup of the coconut water and 1 cup of the ice, Puree until smooth, Divide the smoothie among 3 tall glasses, Repeat with the remaining ingredients, and serve immediately.

Sticky Chicken Drumsticks

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup Chinese barbecue sauce (char sui)
1/2 cup honey
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
12 chicken drumsticks
2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted

Mix the soy sauce, barbecue sauce, honey, garlic, and ginger in a resealable storage bag to blend. Add the chicken, seal the bag, and toss to coat with the sauce. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour but preferably overnight.

Position an oven rack 8 to 10 inches from the heat source and preheat the broiler.  Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with heavy-duty foil. Transfer the drumsticks and marinade to the prepared baking sheet and broil, turning the drumsticks occasionally and watching them closely, for 25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the marinade has glazed it. Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the chicken, and serve.


Music Break: Donde Esta La Playa by The Walkmen

Relaxed Cooking

Curtis Stone

Guest Interview Foie Gras Wars 7 MIN, 1 SEC

Foie Gras WarsMark Caro is the author of The Foie Gras Wars: How a 5,000 Year Old Delicacy Inspired the World's Greatest Food Fight.  In 2006 Chicago banned foie gras, the fattened goose or duck liver widely considered a delicacy among gourmets.  Many animal rights activists object to the way foie gras is produced.  The goose or duck is force-fed through a tube until the liver balloons in size - a process called gavage.  Many foie gras producers and consumers deny the level cruelty and pain involved in production, especially compared to the treatment of other types of livestock in the U.S. 

In 2004, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a law, effective 2012, that would make it illegal to make or sell foie gras.   


Music Break: Ecaroh by Bob Holroyd

Guest Interview The Evolution of the TV Cooking Show 7 MIN, 13 SEC

Kathleen CollinsKathleen Collins is the author of Watching What We Eat: The Evolution of Television Cooking Shows.  The very first cooking show on TV was I Love to Eat, hosted by culinary legend James Beard.  The show ran for one season on NBC. 

Later, Julia Child popularized the genre with The French Chef on PBS, which premiered in 1963.  In the early 1990's, The Food Network was launched and the face of cooking on TV was changed forever. 

Watching What We Eat

Kathleen Collins

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