Show 298, November 17, 2018: Cookbook Author Extraordinaire Dorie Greenspan, Everyday Dorie – The Way I Cook

Dorie Greenspan and her cookbook Dories CookiesAward-winning author Dorie Greenspan is the recipient of five prestigious James Beard Foundation Awards for her writing. Her newest title (her baker’s dozen effort) is Everyday Dorie – The Way I Cook. It’s her most personal work to date and an incredible friend for the challenged home cook.

In her latest cookbook Dorie’s legion of loyal fans can find the irresistible food she turns to for weekday and weekend meals. These are the meals she makes for friends in Paris, where she has lived for part of the year for more than twenty years, and the ones she prepares in her small New York City kitchen and her rural Connecticut home.

“The recipes, most of which are simple, none of which needs skills beyond basic, turn out food that’s comforting, satisfying and inviting,” she says.

“Whenever I’m cooking, I like to sneak in a little surprise. I love it when there’s something unexpected in a dish, especially when it’s in one we know well.”—From the Introduction

“Greenspan prides herself on being a practical cook. She prefers to use common ingredients found in supermarkets, farmers’ markets, and her pantry and fridge. Often her fresh touches come from the way she appropriates what she has on hand to create a new dish, like Pasta with Cabbage, Winter Squash, and Walnuts, which gets a pert burst from dried cranberries and a splash of cider vinegar.”

Dorie was recently in Los Angeles on her national book tour and the “SoCal Restaurant Show” was fortunate enough to spend an afternoon with Dorie at her Media Reception at Melissa’s. The Melissa’s team of chefs prepared a representative assortment of 9 dishes from the book (from Ricotta Spoonable to Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies) and Dorie demonstrated some recipes including Sweet and Smoky Roasted Carrots which will be on her Thanksgiving Table.

“These days I have only one rule : There must be dessert! Please follow it.” – Dorie Greenspan. We wholeheartedly agree…

We’re in the home kitchen with Dorie.

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Show 296, November 3, 2018: Chef Andrew Gruel, Chef’s Tips for Stress-Free Holiday Entertaining, Part 2

Andrew and William GruelThe Holidays are fast approaching and it’s the continuation of our Ask the Chef” segment with our own resident cooking authority, Chef Andrew Gruel. Chef Andrew resume providing a bevy of his always reliable best tips for stress-free Holiday entertaining.

Chef Andrew covers tips for defrosting a frozen turkey. How do you work seafood onto the Holiday table? Being creative with the sides…What’s for dessert?

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Classic Cheesecake with Strawberry Sauce

Classic Cheesecake with Strawberry Sauceby Tess Masters
The Blender Girl

Blend, freeze, slice, and scarf. That’s how easy this cake is! Once you have your cashews soaked (essential for a righteously creamy consistency), this decadent dessert takes less than 15 minutes to put together. It looks and tastes just like dairy-drenched cheesecake, but my family and friends tell me they crave this more than the conventional kind. Add the lemon and poppy seeds for an awesome twist and a drizzle of strawberry sauce to up the indulgence.

Makes 10 Slices

Crust

1 cup (160g) raw whole almonds
1 cup (170g) firmly packed chopped pitted dates, plus more as needed

Filling

¾ cup (180ml) coconut oil (in liquid form)
½ cup (120ml) full-fat canned coconut milk (shake, then pour)
½ cup (120ml) fresh lemon juice
½ cup (120ml) pure maple syrup
3 cups (420g) raw unsalted cashews, soaked
1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
Pinch of natural salt
Coconut Cream, to serve (optional)

Optional Boosters

1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest, plus more to taste and garnish
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
Sweet Strawberry Sauce, to serve

To make the crust, grease a 9- or 10-inch (23 or 25cm) springform pan with coconut oil.

Process the almonds and dates in a food processor until the mixture is well combined and clumps together. Form the mixture into a ball; if it doesn’t hold together, you may need to add a bit more chopped date and process again. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan and set aside.

To make the filling, throw all of the ingredients into your blender in the order listed, including the lemon zest booster, and blend for about 1 minute, until rich and creamy. To achieve the smoothest filling, stop the machine periodically and scrape down the sides of the container. Add the poppy seed booster once the filling is completely blended, and then blast for just a few seconds to combine. Pour the filling into the crust. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and freeze the cheesecake for 6 to 8 hours, until solidified.

To serve, transfer the pan from the freezer to the fridge and defrost for about 30 minutes. Gently release and remove the sides of the springform pan, and then cut the cheesecake into 10 even slices with a very sharp knife. Keeping the slices together on the springform pan bottom, return the cheesecake to the fridge to continue defrosting for another 30 minutes before serving. Serve the slices plain or drizzle each one with 2 tablespoons of the Sweet Strawberry Sauce booster and top with a dollop of the Coconut Cream. Pass remaining strawberry sauce and coconut cream at the table.

Note: Because of the coconut oil, this filling will melt if left out at room temperature.

nutritional facts (per serving, based on 10 servings)

calories 594 kcal | fat 45.2 g | saturated fat 20.2 g | sodium 38 mg | carbs 44.8 g | fiber 5 g | sugars 28 g | protein 11.8 g | calcium 91.8 mg | iron 4 mg

Sweet Strawberry Sauce

This quick, easy sauce is like a little black dress. It complements almost any dessert without upstaging it, fits into any menu, and never goes out of style. Best of all, it takes less than 5 minutes to prepare. Enjoy it over ice cream, cakes, or pies. Try it drizzled over this Classic Cheesecake. Depending on the quality of your berries and your preference, tweak the lemon juice to taste. With well-ripened fruit, I reduce the dates to a third of a cup. But a half cup typically hits the sweet spot. For a sensational sauce, boost with the Grand Marnier, ginger, and vanilla.

Makes 2 Cups (480ML)

¼ cup (60ml) raw coconut water or filtered water
½ cup (85g) firmly packed pitted dates, soaked
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
Pinch of natural salt

Optional Boosters

1 teaspoon Grand Marnier
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger, plus more to taste
¼ teaspoon natural vanilla extract

Throw everything into your blender, including any of the boosters, and blast on high for 30 to 60 seconds, until smooth. Tweak the dates, lemon juice, and ginger to taste. This sauce will keep in the fridge for about 5 days.

nutritional facts (per serving, based on 16 servings)

calories 20 kcal | fat 0.1 g | saturated fat 0 g | sodium 18.6 mg | carbs 5.5 g | fiber 0.7 g | sugars 4.5 g | protein 0.2 g | calcium 6.6 mg | iron 0.1 mg

CREDIT: Reprinted with permission from The Perfect Blend, copyright 2016 Tess Masters. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
Photography Copyright 2016 by Anson Smart

Show 215, March 18, 2017: Kim Heim, Main Street Oceanside, Sunset Market

Kim HeimThe expansive Thursday evening Sunset Market in Downtown Oceanside is the weekly gathering spot for up to 8,000 locals. Eighty-eight top quality food stands featuring appealing ethnic cuisine from around the globe are one of the primary attractions. (There is little duplication of menu items between food stands.)

Think of an intriguing mix of everything from Chicago Polish pierogis to wild caught salmon that is eye-catchingly fire-roasted in front of you on oak planks. Then, for dessert, there are the incredible Atsuko’s Japanese Cakes, an unusual taste experience with exotic natural flavors.

Southern California has attracted people from all over the world and is renowned for its diversity which is reflected in the distinctive international food offerings of the Sunset Market.

Kim Heim from Main Street Oceanside is our informed tour guide.

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Show 166, April 2, 2016: Chef Philip Pretty, Restauration, Long Beach

philip-prettyThe annual Dine LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week is taking place April 23 – May 1, 2016. Each participating restaurant from twelve unique neighborhoods in the city offers a three course menu priced at $20, $30, $40 or $50, either per guest with wine pairing options at fine dining locations OR dinner for two priced at $20, $30, $40 or $50, where diners share an appetizer, each enjoy their own entree, then share a dessert at more casual establishments.

Producer Terri Henry and Chef Philip Pretty of Restauration (a DINE LBC participating restaurant) are our guests with all the hunger-inducing specifics.

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Show 122, May 16, 2015: Feride Buyuran, Pomegranates & Saffron – A Culinary Journey to Azerbaijan

Feride BuyuranImagine a country where East and West are beautifully intertwined in the cuisine and culture and where its treasured cooking secrets are just waiting to be discovered. Welcome to Azerbaijan.

In Pomegranates & Saffron – A Culinary Journey to Azerbaijan, Feride Buyuran takes the reader on a delightful culinary journey through this beautiful land in the Caucasus. Interspersed throughout the text are fascinating glimpses of local culture and traditional proverbs related to food that will make the adventure even more memorable.

Explore 200 tempting recipes for appetizers and salads, soups and stews, pasta, meat, vegetable and egg dishes, breads, saffron rice pilafs, aromatic drinks and desserts. All the recipes are adapted for preparation in a Western kitchen.

Feride Buyuran is the creator of AZcookbook.com, a popular food blog that features recipes and stories from Azerbaijan and beyond. Her passion for cooking and fond childhood memories led her to produce Pomegranates & Saffron, her first, about the cuisine of her homeland which was part of the former Soviet Union until 1991.

Author Feride Buyuran is our guest.

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Show 80, July 19, 2014: Chefs Ori Menashe and Chef Genevieve Gergis of Bestia, Los Angeles Continues…

Charcuterie and Cured Meats at Bestia“Chef Ori maintains an aggressive house-cured meats program with over 60 different forms of charcuterie for Bestia. Bestia means “Beast” in Italian. He is also responsible for raising his own yeast culture which he uses to bake Bestia’s sourdough Pain au Levain, used as toast ubiquitously on the menu, as well as for the pizza dough, which rises and falls over a 24-hour cycle prior to being composed as a Napolitana pizza. It’s then baked in the Acunto (wood burning) oven at 900 degrees.”

Chef Ori observes that his wood-burning oven is the most unforgiving oven he’s ever worked with. He loves the results but you can easily scorch things if you’re not constantly monitoring the oven.

‘On the dolci side of the menu, Chef Genevieve is preparing a plethora of desserts from scratch using the finest raw ingredients such as acquarello rice for her al dente rice pudding served with perfectly ripened in-season fruit or her earthy, nutty, chestnut flour zeppole served with house-made coffee gelato and cream. In addition Chef Genevieve was partially responsible for the design of Bestia. She re-furbished oil drum spouts converting them into lighting fixtures.”

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Show 75, June 7, 2014: Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, Valentino, Santa Monica, CA

Piero Salvaggio of Valentino Santa MonicaLegendary Los Angeles restaurateur and host Piero Selvaggio has overseen Valentino on Santa Monica for some 41 years. His elegant Vin Bar at Valentino was one of the first wine bars in Los Angeles.

Piero, along with his Executive Chef, Nico Chessa, have developed the Il Quadrifoglio menu. It’s an Italian-style bento box of four seasonal dishes for $25.00. The quartet of dishes changes nightly and is designed for both its visual and flavor balance.

Valentino is renowned for its use of exceptional Italian products which are showcased in the menus: specially selected Colatura di Alici, 24- Months Aged Prosciutto de Parma, Cerignoli Olives and Bottarga, among others.

Selections from Pierro Selvagio’s legendary wine cellar and Valentino’s extraordinary desserts may be ordered separately. Availability for the Vin Bar at Valentino is on a first come basis and does not require reservations. Quadrifoglia at the Vin Bar is available Tuesday through Sundays from 5:00 p.m. to closing.

Selvaggio and Chessa designed the menu for casual dining at a great price. “We wanted to be able to offer a value where our guests can drop in for an informal meal,” states Selvaggio. “It’s wonderful to be able to taste all four of these dishes for under $30.”

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Show 66, March 22, 2014: Elizabeth Borsting and Terri Henry, Co-Producers, EAT LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week

Eat LBC Long Beach Restaurant Week52 Long Beach restaurants are participating in EAT LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week, the city’s first-ever Restaurant Week. The dates are March 30th through April 5th.

Several prominent Long Beach neighborhoods are represented including Downtown, East Village, Downtown Waterfront, Belmont Shore, Belmont Heights, the PCH Corridor and East Anaheim/Zafaria District. In addition to their regular menu, each restaurant will offer a special three-course menu during Restaurant Week which includes an appetizer, entrée and dessert for $26 at casual eateries, and $38 at fine dining establishments. Tax and gratuity are additional.

Restaurants participate in restaurant weeks to persuade first-time guests to return. You see restaurants at their very best and the menus are value priced.

Co-producers Elizabeth Borsting and Terri Henry join us to preview Restaurant Week.

Time to make your reservations…

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