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While Michael Pollan asks whether mega-agriculture makes us vulnerable to mass illness, Michael Foti has simply decided to grow his own food. Jonathan Gold heads to Monterey Park, and Dylan Schaffer affirms that baking can repair relationships. Chef Jet Tila counts down his top-ten LA Thai picks, and Roger Rogness suggests some lovely sparkling red wines to add to our cellars.

One Good Dish

David Tanis

Guest Interview Market Report 7 MIN

Laura Avery speaks about local spinach growers and tells us which counties are considered safe.  The outbreaks were found in three counties in Northern California -- Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Clara.

Also, State officials announced on Friday, September 29, 2006 that an investigation of Organic Pastures Dairy --a raw milk dairy whose product had been recalled showed the company's facilities were clean, allowing them to market milk again.

“Zero pathogens have been found in the state of California linked to organic dairy,” said Mark McAfee, owner of Organic Pastures Dairy. “We test our milk all the time, we agree that raw milk from factory farms should not be consumed, but we have grass-fed cows whose milk we can get test results from in a matter of hours.”

Since no contamination was found, investigators have lifted the quarantine, said Steve Lyle with the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

Laura talks to Laurence Hauben, growing partner of Jeff Rieger, as she describes their Asian Pears. Laurence tells us that Asian Pears must be ripened on the tree and picked by hand when the fruit reaches 17% sugar. Asian Pears should be kept in the refrigerator and eaten crunchy like apples. They can last 2-3 months in the refrigerator. Ask the farmers which pears are best for roasting and which are best eaten raw in salads, they will be happy to tell you. Look for varieties: Hosui, Kosui, Kikusui, Shinseki, 20th Century, Chojuro. Yali, Tsuli, and Shinko.

Visit their website where you can purchase items direct from the farm and find recipes for Asian pears.

Guest Interview Deathly Spinach 8 MIN

Michael Pollan is the author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. 

No one knows about the industrialized food supply in our country better than Pollan. He talks with Evan about how even organic vegetables are being produced in an industrialized way and what we can do to protect ourselves from deadly outbreaks in the future.

Guest Interview Front-yard Farm 6 MIN

Michael Foti and his family live in suburban Lakewood, CA.  Earlier this year the Foti's were pursued by L.A. artist and architect Fritz Haeg to be a part of his Edible Estates project.  In May of this year the vegetable garden replaced their existing front lawn.  Michael's got a blog too.

Fritz Haeg spent 6 months of careful consideration when he selected the Foti's.  He felt the garden should be in a neighborhood where it would have maximum impact, where the family could be articulate spokespeople for the project and where the garden would find the love and patience it required.  The Foti family had already been nurturing a small backyard garden and a chicken coop for some time.  They were progressive and socially-conscious, and also willing to rip up their front yard to replace it with vegetables.
In the beginning, Mike says, some neighbors felt his garden was an eyesore, some were concerned about declining property values.  The upside of what Mike experienced was that by spending time working in his front yard, he began to have a lot more interaction with his
neighbors.  The Foti's have shared the produce with many friends and neighbors, and now they've begun canning.

Guest Interview Deep Fried Crab for Lunch 6 MIN

Jonathan Gold of LA Weekly tells us about a great restaurant where we can revel in pork parts. Macau Street, 429 W Garvey Bl, Monterey Park.

Dishes: pork neck, fried salt and pepper crab, small cookies (which are sweet and savory drop cookies with cubes of pork fat inside.)

Guest Interview Top 10 Thai Restaurants in LA 7 MIN

Local chef Jet Tila shares his top ten Thai restaurants in Los Angeles.
1. Yai Restaurant
5757 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
(323) 462-0292
Crispy Catfish with chili paste
Puffed Catfish with Apple Salad
Pork Belly Pard Nar
Spicy Pad Thai
2. Sunshine Restaurant
13212 Sherman Way, North Hollywood, CA
(818) 764-6989
Shallow Sea
Fresh Thai Springroll
Yentafo Noodles
Shrimp Paste Rice
3. Ruen Pair Restaurant
5257 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
(323) 466-0153
Thai Papaya Salad
Laos Papaya Salad
Moo Dat Diew (Pork Jerky)
Spicy Basil Duck

4. Siam Sunset
5265 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
(323) 467-8935
Pork Porridge
Chinese Donuts
Spicy Basil Pork Leg
Fresh Soymilk
5. Sapp Restaurant
5183 Hollywood Blvd.
Hollywood, CA
(323) 665-1035
Beef Boat Noodles
Pork Jerky
Muslim Chicken and Rice
Crab with Rice Stick Noodles

6. Thai Nakorn Restaurant
8674 Stanton Ave, Buena Park, CA
(714) 952-4954
Som Tum
Larb Duck
North Sausage
Larb Chicken

7. Hollywood Thai Restaurant
5241 Hollywood Blvd,
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Tom Kha Gai Soup
Garlic Prawns
Shrimp Cakes
8. Red Corner Asia Restaurant
5267 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
(323) 466-6722
Green Curry
Yum Eggplant Salad
Chicken on fire
9. Palms Thai
5900 Hollywood Blvd,Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 462-5073
Spicy Wild Boar
Grilled Pork Neck
Spicy Pad Thai
Crispy Trout with Mango sauce
10. Thai Original BBQ Restaurant
10036 Venice Blvd, Culver City, CA
(310) 559-9711
Thai BBQ Spareribs
Beef Panang
Dear Crab
Thai BBQ Chicken

Guest Interview Move Over Cold Duck- Sparkling Red Wines to Die For 6 MIN

Robert Rogness is the General Manager of Wine Expo in Santa Monica.  He talked about four sparkling red wines that are sure to please.

1. Picchioni Sangue de Giuda  Means The Blood of Judas. 7% alcohol.  $10
2. Caprari Lambrusco Secco Foieta  Nice looking bottle. $14.99
3. Cascina Fonda Brachetto
4. DeFalco Gragnano Della Penisola Sorrentina Bone dry, black in color.

Wine Expo, 2933 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90404. Tel: 310/828-4428.

Guest Interview Life, Death and Bialys 6 MIN

When Dylan Schaffer’s dying father wanted to atone for mistakes that produced disastrous consequences in his family’s life, he made a wish to take a seven-month long baking course with his son.  They made bread and they made amends.

Dylan’s book is Life, Death, and Bialys: A Father/son Baking Story.

Bialys- from Dylan Schaffer of Life, Death and Bialys
For the bread:
2 cups warm (105-115 degree) water
1 package yeast
2 tsp sugar
2 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/4 cups bread flour
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour

For the topping:
1 Tbs vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp poppy seeds
1/3 cup minced onion
1/2 tsp salt

Directions: In a mixing bowl, combine 1/2 cup warm water, yeast, & sugar and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. Mix remaining (1 1/2 cups) water, salt, bread flour, and all purpose flour into yeast mixture.

Knead by hand or in mixer until smooth. You’ll end up with a relatively soft dough. Place dough ball in a greased bowl, and turn it over so it’s greased side faces up. Cover in plastic and let rise until tripled in bulk.

Punch dough down, turn it over, cover and let rise until doubled. Punch dough down, cut in half, and roll each half into a cylinder. Cut each into 8 rounds. Lay them flat, cover with a towel and let rest. Prepare topping by mixing all topping ingredients. Set aside. Pat dough into flattened rounds (a little higher in middle) about 3 1/2 inches in diameter.

Place on lightly floured work area, cover with a damp towel and let rise until increased by about half in bulk. This should take about 30 minutes. Press the bottom of small glass in center of each bialy, to make a deep indentation. Let rise another 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Put bialy's on ungreased baking sheets. Bake on upper and lower shelves of the oven for 6 to 7 minutes, then switch the pans and reverse positions of pans (both up and down and front to back) until bialys are evenly browned, about 5 to 6 minutes more. Cool on racks.

Cut a bialy down the middle and spread the halves with enormous quantities of both cream cheese and butter. Anyway, that’s the way my dad liked his bialys.

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