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California produces 50 percent of the fruits, vegetables and nuts consumed in the U.S.  And that kind of agricultural production needs water and lots of it.  Today on Good Food, Rita Schmidt Sudman takes a look at how California's agricultural sector uses water.  Gustavo Arellano of the OC Weekly takes us to Little Arabia in Orange County.  A look into the intense Bocuse d'Or cooking competition.  Andrew Friedman has the scoop on this prestigious event.  Nancy Zaslavsky knows her Mexican food.  She tells us about cemitas, the sandwich from Puebla, Mexico.  The woman behind Julie and Julia, Julie Powell, shares stories of her stint as a butcher.  Chris Cosentino has made meat his mission.  He wants people to try offal.  Even if you're a vegetarian, you need protein.  Ivy Manning deciphers meat-free options.  Plus Jessica Ritz researched French fries in Los Angeles.  She shares her results.  And Laura Avery is at the Santa Monica Farmers Market with news of what's fresh.

One Good Dish

David Tanis

Guest Interview Market Report 7 MIN

David Karp, pomologist, says that the W Murcott Afourer mandarin (tangerine) is the nation's largest mandarin crop. It accounts for nearly half of all the mandarin acreage planted. Commercially they are marketed as Cuties.  At the farmers' market you can find delicious, just-picked Murcotts from Friends Ranch out of Ojai.  Also, try to find the Daisy tangerine which is delicious.

Chef DJ Olsen of Lou Wine Bar on Melrose is really into celery root. He hates traditional celery, calling it a "bully" but loves the gentle flavor of the related celery root. This ugly, gnarled root ball needs to be trimmed of its gnarls. DJ chops the remaining white center and boils it under tender then purees it. He serves a scallop on top with a bit of fennel and Pink Lady apple salad on top.

Pan-seared Sea Scallops with Celery Root Purée, Bacon, Olives, Brown Butter, Apple and Fennel
Yield: 4 servings

Note: Dry-pack scallops are those not treated with sodium tripolyposphate, or STP, a chemical used to bind moisture in seafood. STP is most frequently found in frozen scallops. STP treated scallops are nearly impossible to sear to a nice golden brown as excess water leaches out during the cooking process causing them to steam rather than sear. U10 is a measurement of scallop weight, indicating 10 scallops per pound. In fish markets, such scallops are frequently sold as "jumbo."

1lb celeriac (roughly 2 med.-sized bulbs), exterior of bulbs completely trimmed away to solid white core
Filtered or bottled water
4 oz good quality butter
1/2 cup good quality cream (or more)
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 Pink Lady apple, cored, cut into 1/8” batons, tossed with 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 small fennel bulb, cored and julienned, tossed with 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 slices thick-cut, smoked bacon, cut in half, fried until crisp, drained on paper towels
12 Niçoise olives, pitted, slice in half lengthwise
12 large sea scallops (dry-pack, U10 or jumbo size)
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

1. Wash trimmed celeriac of any residual dirt; cut each bulb into 8 or so equal-sized pieces
2. Place celeriac in a small sauce pan; season with 1 tablespoon salt; cover by 1” with filtered water
3. Boil until tender (to the point where they can be easily mashed)
4. Drain water; mash roughly in the saucepan
5. Add 2 tablespoons (1 oz) butter, 1/2 cup cream
6. Heat until butter has melted; season with salt/pepper; stir to combine
7. Place mixture in blender; blend, adding more cream as necessary, until mixture is smooth and silky
At this point, the purée can be refrigerated (covered) up to two days, then gently reheated when needed, or if served within two hours, kept warm in a bain marie

Brown Butter
1. Place 4 tablespoons (2 oz) butter in a small saucepan
2. Melt over med- high heat until butter boils
3. Boil, constantly swirling the pan, until the butter starts to darken and smelly nutty
4. Immediately remove from heat to cool
Brown butter can be stored, refrigerated up to five days, kept frozen up to one month, or if served within two hours, kept warm in a bain marie

Scallops (preheat oven to 350°)
1. Place pre-cooked bacon slices on small oven-proof plate; reheat in oven as scallops cook
2. Use a sauté pan large enough to hold scallops at least 1” apart, or use two sauté pans
3. Pre-heat pan/s over hi-heat for 30-45 sec.
4. Add 1 tablespoon butter to each pan; melt until butter has stopped foaming
5. Meantime, season scallops with salt and freshly ground pepper
6. When butter has stopped foaming, place scallops in pan at least 1” apart
7. Sear over hi-heat until golden brown (3-4min.)
8. Turn heat off, flip scallops over, continue cooking in pan (2-3 min. more for med. rare)
9. Remove bacon from oven

To serve: Pre-heat serving bowls. In a small stainless bowl, combine fennel julienne and apple batons. Place two good dollops of celeriac purée in the center of each pre-heated serving bowl. Use the back of a spoon to spread the purée into a circle in the bottom of each bowl. Place scallops around the edge of this circle. Spoon 1tablespoon brown butter over scallops. Garnish with a little fennel apple salad, black olives and one slice bacon.

Guest Interview Water Rights in California 7 MIN

Rita Schmidt Sudman is the director of the Water Education Foundation.  California farmers produce 50% of the fruits, nuts and vegetables consumed in the United States.  Much of the water they use comes from reservoirs and aqueducts, what Rita calls developed water.

Rita and Evan spoke recently about California's water infrastructure.  Here it here.

Music break: Binga Banga Bonge Percolator by Terry Snyder and the All Stars

Guest Interview Little Arabia in Orange County 7 MIN

Gustavo Arellano is the food editor for the OC Weekly.  He recommends Forn al Hara in Little Arabia, located in Anaheim.  They make pizza-like dishes called sphihas.  He likes soujouk and the zaatar with labneh. 

Al Hara
512 S. Brookhurst, Ste. 5, Anaheim
(714) 758-3777

All of Gustavo's restaurant suggestions are on the Good Food Restaurant Map.

Music break: Part like Waves by Psapp

Guest Interview Knives at Dawn 5 MIN

Bocuse Celebration

Bocuse Presentation

Andrew Friedman is the author of Knives at Dawn: America's Quest for Culinary Glory at the Legendary Bocuse d'Or Competition.  Every two years, chefs compete at the legendary Bocuse d'Or cooking competition.  Started by French chef Paul Bocuse in 1983.  The competition is known for its raucous fans and intense competition.  

The 2009 US team was represented by Timothy Hollingsworth and Adina Guest.

Music break: Peter and the Wolf by the Clyde Valley Stompers

Knives at Dawn

Andrew Friedman

Guest Interview Cemitas 5 MIN

Nancy Zaslavsky runs culinary tours to Mexico.  Cemitas is a type of sandwich from Puebla, Mexico.  It's served on a rich bread sprinkled with sesame seeds.  It's served with meat, avocado, cheese and the herb papalo.  Papalo can be found at Coleman farms at the Santa Monica Farmers Market.  Nancy likes to make her cemitas with shredded Oaxacan cheese.  

Cemitas are sold all over Los Angeles:

Pal Cabron
2560 E Gage Ave., Huntington Park

Elvirita Cemitas
3010 East 1st Street, Los Angeles

Cemitas Tepeaca Truck
(various locations)

Taqueria don Adrian
14902 Victory Boulevard, Van Nuys

Guest Interview A Meat Obsession 7 MIN

Julie PowellJulie Powell is the author of Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat and Obsession.  It's her second book after writing Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously.  

She worked as a butcher at Fleisher's in Kingston, NY.

Music break: Peter Gunn Mambo by Jack Gostanzo


Julie Powell

Guest Interview Offal-lot of Meat 6 MIN

Chris Cosentino

Pig Head

Chris Cosentino is the chef at Incanto in San Francisco.  He is an offal connoisseur.  Offal is the "other" part of the animal - not the skeletal cuts commonly found on dinner plates.  Offal is entrails, intestines and organ meats.

More of Chris' videos here.

Trippa alla Romana
From Mario Batali

2 lbs tripe
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 cups basic tomato sauce, recipe follows
1/4 cup pecorino Romano, freshly grated
1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated
1 bunch mint leaves, finely chopped 

In a large pot combine the tripe, vinegar, vanilla and enough water to cover the tripe by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until the tripe is very tender, about 1 to 1 1/4 hours, replenishing the water as necessary.

Drain the tripe, reserving the cooking liquid, and allow to cool. Slice the tripe into 1-inch strips.

In a 14 to 16-inch skillet, heat the olive oil over high heat until almost smoking. Add the onion, garlic and tripe and saute 3 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the grated cheeses and the mint and stir to combine. When the tripe is finished, divide evenly among 6 warmed bowls and top with the cheese and mint mixture.

Guest Interview Meat-free Meat 6 MIN
Adaptable FeastIvy Manning is the author of The Adaptable Feast.  Meat alternatives that provide a good source of protein include tofu, quorn, textured vegetable protein and miso.  

Miso Soup with Tofu or Clams

6 dried shiitake mushrooms
2 cups boiling water
2, 9x4-inch kombu pieces (1 oz)
4 Tablespoons white miso paste
3 green onions, thinly sliced on the bias
1/4 cup diced firm silken tofu
1 cup bonito flakes
1 lb manila clams, scrubbed and rinsed in cold water
Soy sauce


Place the mushrooms in a small bowl and pour the boiling water over them.  Cover with a small saucer to submerge them completely and set aside for 30 minutes.  Stem the mushrooms and thinly slice the caps, reserving soaking liquid.


Put the kombu and 7 cups of water in a large soup pot.  Pour the mushroom soaking liquid into the pot, stopping before you get to any sediment in the bottom of the bowl.  Heat over medium-high heat; as soon as the water comes to a simmer, remove the kombu and discard it.  Reduce the heat to low.  


Vegetarian Option - Ladle 2 cups of the stock into a small saucepan.  Whisk 1 tablespoon of the miso into the stock.  Stir in one quarter of the mushrooms and the green onions.  Carefully add the tofu cubes; keep warm over medium low heat.


Add the bonito flakes to the remaining stock.  As soon as they sink to the bottom, strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve.  Discard the bonito flakes, and return the stock to the pot.  Add the remaining mushrooms and all the clams, bring to a simmer, and cook until the clams open, about 3 minutes.  Discard any clams that do not open.  Whisk the remaining 3 tablespoons of miso and green onions into the soup.  


Season both soups to taste with the soy sauce; serve immediately.


Ivy's Thai Red Curry with Tofu & Vegetables

From Fine Cooking

1 Tablespoons vegetable oil
3 Tablespoons red Thai curry paste
2 cups snap peas, trimmed and cut in half on the diagonal
2 large shallots, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced into 2-inch-long strips
One 13.5- to 14-oz can coconut milk
6 wild lime leaves (magrut or kaffir lime; optional)
1 Tablespoons light brown sugar
1 lb extra-firm tofu, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 cup loosely packed Thai basil (or regular basil, torn into small pieces)
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoons plus 1 tsp. fresh lime juice
Kosher salt 

Heat the oil in a 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Add the curry paste and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, 20 seconds. Take the pan off of the heat and stir in the snap peas, shallots, pepper, coconut milk, lime leaves (if using), sugar, and 1 cup water. Stir to combine.

Add the tofu. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, cover, and cook until the vegetables are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the basil, soy sauce, and lime juice. Let rest off the heat for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt.

Music break: Pink Panther/It Had Better Be Tonight by Plas Johnson

Guest Interview The French Fries of Los Angeles 8 MIN


Photo by Gary Mecija

Jessica Ritz writes for Squid Ink, the food blog of the LA Weekly.  She recently wrote about French fries around L.A. 

The Oinkster 
2005 Colorado Boulevard, Eagle Rock

6654 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles

Comme Ca
8479 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood

800 East 3rd Street, Los Angeles

Church and State
1850 Industrial St., Los Angeles

11648 San Vicente Blvd., Los Angeles


Evan Kleiman

Jennifer Ferro
Harriet Ells

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