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Russ Parsons shares his favorite vegetable side dishes, while Jonathan Gold takes on Piero Selvaggio's V-vinbar. Will Clower leaves out food for Santa Claus and sophomore Bronson Chang fights hunger by donating excess USC "dining dollars." Etiquette maven Helena Echlin has advice for surviving New Year's parties, Jennifer Nugent uncorks sparkling wines, and Ted Allen braises succulent pork. The Hot Knives celebrate New Year vegan-style and Laura Avery finds what's in season in the Market Report.

One Good Dish

David Tanis

Guest Interview The Market Report 7 MIN

Laura Avery speaks with private chef Dave Rubell, who shares a delicious pasta dish that combines toasted orzo with caramelized onions and wild mushrooms. You'll need 1 ounce of white truffle plus crimini, mitake and shitake mushrooms.

  • 1/4 stick butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 lb orzo
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken (or mushroom) stock
  • crimini, mitake and shitake mushrooms, cut-up
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Chives
  • 1 oz white truffle

Melt butter in a pan. Add onion and orzo. Cook for about ten minutes until the onion caramelizes and pasta turns a nutty color. Add stock. When pasta gets al dente (tender to the bite) add mushrooms. Cook a few minutes to soften the mushrooms. Stir in the cheese and some chives. Plate the pasta then shave the truffle to taste.

Laura Avery also chats with Greg Nauda, who brings in grass-fed and grass-finished, free-range pork and beef. These products are naturally leaner and so take only 15 minutes per pound to cook.

Music break: Senor Thump by Mohawks Featuring Alan Hawkshaw

Guest Interview Vegetable Side Dishes 7 MIN


LA Times food editor Russ Parsons shares his favorite vegetable side dishes. His latest book is How to Pick a Peach.

Spiced Crown Pork Roast with Glazed Root Vegetables
Total time: 3 hours, 40 minutes, plus brining time
Servings: 6 to 8

Note 1: The glazed vegetables are used here as a stuffing, but they can also be prepared separately.

Note 2: The pork should be brined for at least two days. Failing that, season it generously with salt and pepper and follow the remainder of the recipe as written. Crown pork roasts are available by advance order at most supermarkets.

  • 1/3 cup salt
  • 2 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1 tsp coriander seed
  • 1 (3-inch) stick cinnamon
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 1 (8-lb) crown pork roast
  • 5 lbs mixed root vegetables (parsley root, carrots, turnips, celery root and rutabaga)
  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp grated orange zest
  • Generous grating of nutmeg
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1/3 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts

1. Bring 4 cups of water, salt, peppercorns, cloves, coriander and cinnamon to a rolling boil, then set it aside to steep for 10 minutes. Add the cider and cool to room temperature.

2. Place the pork roast in a large plastic bag and pour the cider mixture over the top. Seal tightly and refrigerate at least 2 days.

3. Heat the oven to 300°F. Place the roast upside-down in a roasting pan, so that it is supported by the rib bones. Roast 30 minutes, then turn the meat over and continue cooking to an internal temperature of about 140°F, 2 to 2 1/2 hours longer.

4. While the roast is cooking, peel the vegetables and cut them into half-inch pieces. The shapes need not be consistent, but the sizes should be. You will have 5 to 6 cups of cut-up vegetables.

5. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat and stir in the salt, sugar, wine, vinegar, cloves and orange zest. Stir in the vegetables; cover and cook until the vegetables begin to become tender, about 10 minutes. There should be a lot of liquid in the pan.

6. Remove the lid and increase the heat to high to evaporate the liquid. Cook until the vegetables are covered with a shiny glaze and begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir carefully to avoid breaking up the vegetables. Add the nutmeg, parsley and hazelnuts and adjust the seasoning for salt and vinegar.

7. When the roast is ready, spoon as much of the vegetable mixture as possible into the center of the crown roast, spoon some of the fat from the bottom of the roasting pan over the stuffing, and return the meat to the oven. Cook the roast to an internal temperature of 145°F, an additional 10 to 15 minutes.

8. Transfer the roast from the pan to a platter and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving. Discard all but 1 to 2 tablespoons of the rendered pork fat from the roasting pan. Place the pan on the stove over medium heat and gently stir the remaining stuffing in the pork drippings. Transfer this to a bowl and keep warm before serving alongside the roast.

Turnip and Potato Gratin

  • 1/2 clove garlic
  • Butter
  • 2 large boiling potatoes, peeled
  • 6 turnips, peeled
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 3 ozs Gruyere or Comte cheese, grated or sliced

1. Heat oven to 450°F. Rub the garlic all over the inside of a heavy gratin dish, then butter it well and set it aside.

2. Slice the potatoes and turnips as thinly as you can, ideally using a mandoline or Japanese slicing tool. Toss them with salt and place them in rough layers in the gratin dish. Don't worry about arranging them, you'll be stirring them later. Bake until the potatoes and turnips have softened, 20 to 30 minutes. Stir with a spatula every 10 minutes, making sure the bottom layer doesn't scorch.

3. Pour the whipping cream over the potatoes. It should come just to the top layer without completely covering it. Distribute the cheese over the top and return the dish to the oven until the cream has thickened and the top has browned, about 30 minutes. Serve hot.

Southern Comfort Soup
Servings: 6

Note: The mixed leafy greens can include mustard, kale, collard, beet and turnip greens as well as chard. One-half pound yields 8 cups coarsely chopped.

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 lb (about 8 cups) mixed leafy greens, stemmed and coarsely chopped
  • 3 cups vegetable or chicken stock diluted with 3 cups water
  • 2 tsps salt
  • 3/4 cup jasmine rice
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 1/2 tsps Sherry vinegar
  • Black pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

1. Cook the garlic in the olive oil in a 4-quart soup pot over medium heat until the garlic has softened, about 3 minutes. Add the coarsely chopped greens. They will come close to the top of the pan, but quickly wilt down when cooked. Cook, stirring, until wilted, about 4 minutes.

2. Add the diluted stock and salt, and slowly bring to a simmer, then cook 5 minutes (less, if the colors begin to darken and fade).

3. While the greens are cooking, heat the rice and water in a 1-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. When the water comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cover tightly. Cook until there is no water left in the bottom of the pan and the rice is tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool, covered, until ready to use.

4. Transfer half the greens and liquid to a food processor and carefully puree until the greens are finely minced. Reserve in a mixing bowl and repeat with the remaining greens and liquid.

5. Wipe out the soup pot and return the greens and liquid to it. Bring the soup to a simmer, and stir in the rice and the vinegar. Season with a generous grinding of pepper. Taste, and if the soup needs more salt or vinegar, add it.

6. To serve, ladle soup into heated shallow bowls and garnish with a generous grating of Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Music break: Spy Breaker by West One UK Library

Guest Interview The Gold Standard: Valentino 7 MIN


Pulitzer Prize-winning critic and LA Weekly columnist Jonathan Gold relaxes at Piero Selvaggio's V-vinbar located inside Valentino in Santa Monica. He recommends the crudo (Italian-style raw fish), fricco (fried Parmesan chips) or culatello (the highest quality Italian salumi) to accompany your glass of wine.

3115 Pico Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90405

Music break: Java by James Last

Guest Interview Feeding Santa Claus 7 MIN


Dr. Will Clower leaves out some healthy food for Santa. He suggests ginger cookies or chocolate chip cookies and milk for St. Nick. For his reindeer, he recommends cranberries and carrots. Dr. Clower discusses their health properties, but most importantly, he says the food must be made with love!

Will Clower is a neurophysiologist and neuroscience historian.  He's the author of The French Don't Diet Plan and The Fat Fallacy.

Music break: Hot Pants by Alan Hawkshaw

Guest Interview USC Dining Dollar Food Drive 7 MIN


University of Southern California sophomore Bronson Chang fights hunger by donating excess USC "dining dollars" through the Dining Dollar Food Drive benefiting the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank. Started in 2005, this innovative food program encourages students to use their extra "dining dollars" by purchasing non-perishable food at school and dropping it off in campus bins during the last month of each semester.

Music break: Frankie and Johnny by Ethel Smith

Guest Interview Surviving Holiday Parties 7 MIN

Chow magazine columnist Helena Echlin has advice for surviving New Year's Eve parties. She shares her thoughts on double-dipping, suggestions for mingling, and dealing with boring people.

Music break: Pigeon Toed Banana Peel by West One UK Library

Guest Interview Sparkling Wines 7 MIN


Jennifer Nugent, co-owner of Colorado Wine Company, uncorks sparkling wines to celebrate New Year's.

  • Camille Saves Premier Cru Brut - dry, yeasty flavor with fine, tiny bubbles. $53.99
  • LeBrun Servenay 1997 by Patrick LeBrun - metallic, pencil-lead flavor.  $72.99


  • Domain J. Laurens Brut - light green apple. $13
  • Bortolomiol Valdobiaddene -  not as dry but with an herbacious quality of rosemary or dill depending on what you pair with it
  • Albert Mann Cremant d'Alsace - quince flavor  $21.99

Colorado Wine Company
2114 W. Colorado Blvd
Eagle Rock, CA 90041

Music break: Line for Lyons by Gerry Mulligan Quartet

Guest Interview Braising 7 MIN

Ted Allen talks about slow and low braising for fall and winter seasons. Braising is cooking with moist heat in a covered pot. He explains what meats work well with this cooking technique and shares his favorite pork shoulder recipe. Allen is the food and wine expert on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and host of PBS's Uncorked: Wine Made Simple.

Music break: Woodchopper's Ball by Wood Herman & His Orchestra

Guest Interview Vegan New Year's 7 MIN


Hot Knives bloggers Evan George and Alex Brown pair a vegan baby-potato appetizer with a Champagne alternative, Belgian beer, for New Year's. They prepare the baby potatoes with Vegenaise, a vegan-cream filling, or vegan crema, and nutritional yeast. They accompany this tasty hors d'oeuvre with Deus Brut des Flandres, a beer brewed in Belgium that's shipped to France and aged in oak barrels. The Hot Knives videocast all their culinary creations as well.

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