Archive for the 'Holiday Meals' Category

Christmas Tamales in Los Angeles with Mom’s on Riverside

December 20, 2012

Networking is a beautiful thing! Check out http://momstamales.com/Tamales.html

moms

Today, a co-wacko and I were talking about where I could score some homemade tamales for Christmas. She didn’t know a resource but she knew someone who might. Having tamales as my contribution to Christmas dinner with my sweetheart’s family is my idea of a good thing! And that conversation at work got me talking with another co-wacko who highly recommended Mom’s Tamales (see link above) later in the afternoon.

You may have seen Mom’s, this hole-in-the-wall treasure, on an episode of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives on Food Network. Sitting at lunch today I quickly scoped this place out on Foursquare, located the menu, address and phone number (323) 226-9383.

Mom’s offers several tamales to tempt you: Pork, Beef, Chicken, Cheese or try some of their specialties: Chicken with Mole, Cheese with Spinach, or a sweet tamal with pineapple. Yow! Buying them frozen to steam later (for 1 hour, 15 minutes) will save you $2 per dozen. Mix and match.

Remember it’s cash only, they close their doors at 4:00 pm and checking in on Foursquare will make it more visible to other tamale lovers seeking a source for handmade tamales. Mom’s Tamales & Mexican Food, 3328 Pasadena Ave, Los Angeles CA, 90031

If tamales for Christmas are not something you have time to make, try some love from Mom’s instead.

Holiday Recipes (6): Eight Layer Casserole and Greek Noodle Casserole @foodinjars

December 3, 2012

The rainy weather in Los Angeles this weekend prompted me to drive more cautiously and to think about casseroles – well, not in that order, but you understand. Truly, there is nothing more comforting after a long day of trying to create holiday cheer in the office (event planning and gift wrapping) than to arrive home and find a hot soothing casserole and a glass of wine waiting for you. Here are two recipes to boost the comfort in your comfort food this December. I am reminded of my childhood favorite we called “Ussi Souffle” – a cheese and egg casserole inspired by a Danish neighbor. I might post that recipe at a later time.

 

Eight Layer Casserole

eightlayer casserole

Makes 8 servings in 2-quart square baking dish

30 minutes prep, bake 55 minutes, 10 minutes to stand before serving

 

Ingredients:

3 cups dried medium noodles (6 oz)

1 pound ground beef

2 8 oz cans tomato sauce

1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed

½ teaspoon sugar

½ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1 8 oz sour cream

1 8 oz cream cheese, softened

½ cup milk

1/3 cup chopped onion (1 small)

1 10 oz frozen chopped spinach, cooked and well drained

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (4 oz)

 

Directions:

Grease a 2-quart casserole or a 2-quart square baking dish; set aside. Cook noodles according to package directions; drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet cook beef until brown. Drain off fat. Stir tomato sauce, basil, sugar, garlic powder, salt, and pepper into skillet. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.

In a medium mixing bowl beat together the sour cream and cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Stir in milk and onion. In prepared casserole or baking dish, layer half of the noodles (about 2 cups), half of the meat mixture (about 1 1/2 cups), half of the cream cheese mixture (about 1 cup), and all of the spinach. Top with the remaining meat mixture and noodles. Cover and chill remaining cream cheese mixture until needed.

Cover casserole or baking dish with lightly greased foil. Bake in 350 degree F oven about 45 minutes or until heated through. Uncover; spread with remaining cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle with the cheddar cheese. Bake, uncovered, about 10 minutes more or until cheese is melted. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 8 servings

 

Alternate: Prepare as directed through Step 3. Cover with lightly greased foil and chill in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes or until heated through. Uncover; spread with remaining cream-cheese mixture. Sprinkle with the cheddar cheese.Bake, uncovered, about 10 minutes more or until cheese is melted. Let stand for 10 minutes before baking.

 

http://www.bhg.com/recipe/beef/eight-layer-casserole/

*                  *
*

Greek Noodle Casserole (Pastitsio)

GreekCasserole

Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis (tips from Marisa McClellan @foodinjars)

Prep Time: 20 min

Inactive Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 1 hr

6 to 8 servings in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish

 

Ingredients:

Butter, for greasing the baking dish

Kosher salt

12 oz egg noodles

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 cloves garlic, chopped or smashed

1 pound ground lamb

2 tablespoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

One 26-oz jar tomato-basil sauce (3 1/4 cups)

1 1/2 packed cups fresh mint leaves, chopped

 

Sauce:

1 cup milk, at room temperature

1/2 cup heavy cream, at room temperature

3 cups grated Parmesan (about 6 oz)

1 cup plain Greek yogurt, at room temperature

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves, optional

 

Directions:

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook the noodles until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 7 to 9 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add the onion, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add the lamb, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, allspice, 1 teaspoon salt and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until cooked through, about 6 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and mint. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

For the sauce: Simmer the milk and cream over medium heat in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. Reduce the heat to low. Add the cheese and whisk until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the yogurt.

Add the meat sauce to the pasta and toss well until the noodles are coated. Transfer the mixture to the baking dish. Spoon the cheese sauce evenly on top and bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped mint if using, and serve.

 

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/greek-noodle-casserole-pastitsio-recipe/index.html

 

Before you get cooking, here are a few things you should know:

— Ground lamb can often be quite greasy. If your meat seems to be swimming in oil after you’ve browned it, pour the fat off into a small dish before proceeding to the next step in the recipe.

— When you cook the pasta, make sure to stop just shy of al dente. Because this dish gets baked, this prevents the noodles from dissolving into mush during their time in the oven.

— This dish calls for a ton of mint. If your mint plants have died back for the season or you can’t afford the grocery store prices, use baby spinach instead. Simply chop it fine and stir it in. It won’t be quite as authentic, but you’ll still get your greens.

— I like to serve this casserole with a giant green salad to balance out its richness. Should you want to keep all the components of the meal warm, however, a pan of softened kale with garlic is also nice.

 

Holiday Recipes (5) @CoralTreeCafe Vegetable Soup

December 2, 2012

“To feel safe and warm on a cold wet night, all you really need is soup.” ~Laurie Colwin

coraltreesoup

Total time: 1 hour
Servings: 8 to 10
Vegetable Soup recipe adapted from Coral Tree Cafe in Los Angeles. http://www.coraltreecafe.com/

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons oil
2 cups diced carrots
2 cups diced onions
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
3/4 cup pearl barley
1 quart vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups prepared marinara sauce
2 cups quartered mushrooms (optional as I do not eat mushrooms)
2 cups diced zucchini
Salt and pepper

Directions:
Heat a medium, heavy-bottom pot over medium heat until hot. Add the oil, then add the carrots, onions, bell pepper, thyme and barley. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are golden-brown, about 18 minutes, taking care that the barley does not burn.
Stir in the vegetable broth and marinara. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.
Cook until the barley is al dente, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms and zucchini, and season to taste with salt and pepper (the amount of seasoning needed will vary depending on the vegetable broth and marinara used). Cover and continue to simmer until the mushrooms and zucchini are just tender, 4 to 6 minutes.
Remove from heat, thin if desired, and season again to taste, and serve. This makes about 2 1/2 quarts of soup.

Holiday Recipes (4) Atole/Champurrado @MuyBuenoCooking @lacocinasf Gift Bazaar 12/7

December 1, 2012

Let’s start first with the food in recipes, then explore the intersection of discovery with La Cocina, a Bay Area nonprofit cultivating food entrepreneurs.

champurado

Atole is a traditional masa-based Mexican and Central hot drink. Chocolate atole is known as Champurrado or atole. It is typically accompanied with tamales, and very popular during the Christmas holiday season (Las Posadas).

Atole

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup masa harina blended with 1/4 cup warm water in blender
  • 3 cups water
  • 5 tablespoons brown sugar or piloncillo
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon or 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla or one one vanilla bean

Directions:

Heat all ingredients (except for any toppings you may be using) in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat while stirring. Bring to a simmer and continue to stir frequently for 20-25 minutes until thickened. If used, remove the cinnamon stick and/or vanilla bean. Pour into mugs or thick glasses. Warm fruit puree in a small saucepan and drizzle on top of Atole. Serves 2-3

Champurrado (Mexican Hot Chocolate)

Yield: 6 (4-ounce) servings

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 anise star
  • ¼ cup masa harina
  • 2 cups milk
  • ½ disk Mexican chocolate, chopped (Abuelita or Ibarra chocolate)
  • 3 ounces piloncillo, chopped or 1/2 cup packed brown sugar

Directions:

In a large saucepan boil water with the two cinnamon sticks and anise star. Remove from the heat, cover and let the cinnamon sticks and anise star steep for about 10 minutes. Remove the cinnamon sticks and anise star, return to low heat and slowly add the masa harina to the warm water, whisking until combined. Add milk, chocolate, and piloncillo.

Heat over medium heat just until boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, about 10 minutes or until chocolate is completely melted and sugar is dissolved, whisking occasionally. Serve immediately.

(Thanks to http://www.muybuenocookbook.com)

And here’s the Discovery…

La Cocina, Cultivating Food Entrepreneurs

http://www.lacocinasf.org/

Faces-of-La-Cocina

This holiday, give the gift of food with Holiday Gift Boxes or a gift certificate for classes http://www.lacocinasf.org/classes-workshops/. Your purchase does create opportunity and contribute to the success of local aspiring entrepreneurs in the Bay Area.

Don’t miss December 7, 2012 Holiday Gift Bazaar in Crocker Plaza in Downtown San Francisco (50 Post Street)

http://www.giftbazaarsf.com/welcome.html

 

The mission of La Cocina is to cultivate low-income food entrepreneurs as they formalize and grow their businesses by providing affordable commercial kitchen space, industry-specific technical assistance and access to market and capital opportunities. We focus primarily on women from communities of color and immigrant communities. Our vision is that entrepreneurs will become economically self-sufficient and contribute to a vibrant economy doing what they love to do.

San Francisco’s First Incubator Kitchen

La Cocina is a ground-breaking business incubator designed to reduce the obstacles that often prevent entrepreneurs from creating successful and sustainable small businesses.  By providing shared resources and an array of industry-specific services, business incubators ensure small businesses can succeed. La Cocina follows this model by providing commercial kitchen space and technical assistance focusing on low-income women and immigrant entrepreneurs who are launching, growing and formalizing food businesses.

Breaking Down Barriers

The food industry has a notoriously high cost of entry: the fees for licensed and insured commercial kitchen space, the start-up costs to open a restaurant, the standards set to compete for shelf space at specialty stores and large retailers. Such restrictive barriers to entry often discourage burgeoning food entrepreneurs from launching a business. Those who do, face an uphill battle for success in an overwhelming and incredibly crowded marketplace.

La Cocina provides a platform for these motivated entrepreneurs to hone their skills and successfully transition into the highly regulated and competitive food industry.

The Story of La Cocina

La Cocina (pronounced la co-see-nah, meaning “The Kitchen” in Spanish) was inspired by its current home, San Francisco’s Mission District. (2011 La Cocina 2948 Folsom Street, San Francisco, CA 94110 | 415-824-2729 | info@lacocinasf.org | www.lacocinasf.org) It is located in an ethnically diverse and economically vulnerable neighborhood that thrives in part due to the many small informal businesses that serve the community. As is the case in many cities, food lies at the heart of this community, and you don’t have to look far to find hidden entrepreneurs in the kitchens of many homes.

Recognizing a need to formalize these food businesses and the opportunity created when you turn inconsistent and illegal home restaurants into sustainable legal businesses, organizations like Arriba Juntos, The Women’s Initiative for Self-Employment and The Women’s Foundation of California and one very special and visionary anonymous donor created La Cocina. La Cocina is both the space-a modern building and commercial kitchen that has been featured in Metropolis Magazine—and the program—an innovative business incubator that supports a growing roster of small businesses, including:

www.aliciatamaleslosmayas.com

www.azalinas.com

www.andapiroshki.com

http://biniskitchen.com/

www.chaacmool.com

www.chiefoskitchen.com

www.clairesquares.com

www.deliciosocreperie.com

www.donbugito.com

www.ejisethiopian.com

www.elbuencomersf.com

El Pilipa guadalupe@elpipilasf.com

www.estrellitassnacks.com

hellaveganeats.com

www.jarredsf.com

www.lalunacupcakes.com

www.lalisf.com

www.loscilantroscatering.com

www.loveandhummus.com

www.maitecatering.com

www.minniebells.com

www.saboresdelsursf.com

https://www.facebook.com/SaintandOlive

www.sajenjamu.com

www.saldevidagourmet.com

www.sweetscollections.com

www.tainosprfood.com

http://zellassoulfulkitchen.com/

www.zepedafoods.com

Holiday Recipes (3) Hot Mulled Cider

November 30, 2012

Hot Mulled Cider Recipe

Image

  • 1/2 gallon of fresh, unfiltered apple cider
  • 1 orange
  • 15 cloves
  • 4 3-inch sticks of cinnamon
  • 15 allspice berries
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 7 pods of cardamon
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

1 Pour apple cider into a 3-quart saucepan, cover, turn the heat on medium-high. While cider is heating up, take a vegetable peeler and peel away a couple thick strips of peel from the orange. Press about half of the cloves into the peeled part of the orange. (You can also just quarter the orange and add the slices and cloves separately. I just like seeing the orange bob up and down.) Place orange, orange peel strips, the remaining cloves, and the rest of the ingredients into the sauce pan with the cider. Keep covered and heat the mulled cider mixture to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes on low heat.

2 Use a fine mesh sieve to strain the hot mulled cider away from the orange, cloves, and other spices. If you want, you can add a touch of bourbon, brandy, or rum to spike it up a bit. Serve hot. Add a cinnamon stick to each cup if desired.

Makes 8 cups. http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/hot_mulled_cider/

Vaariations: add fresh ginger, try allspice, substitute 1/2 cup maple syrup for brown sugar,

Holiday Recipes (2) Spicy Pumpkin Pie Cookies

November 29, 2012

Spicy Pumpkin Pie Cookies

http://cherribolliebakery.blogspot.com/ Thanks to Syd for her innovation and post.

Image

  • 1 cup butter (room temperature)
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 can pumpkin puree (NOT PUMPKIN PIE MIX)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 ½ cup AP flour
  • 1 tb baking powder
  • 1 tb vanilla
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tb ground cinnamon
  • Graham cracker crumbs (about 2-3 cups)
  • Pecan halves
Icing
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tb melted butter
  • 2 tb orange juice
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
Directions:
Cookies
  1. Set oven to 350°
  2. Cream butter, cream cheese, and sugar on med/high heat until light and fluffy.
  3. Scrape down bowl and turn mixer back on, then add pumpkin puree slowly, allowing mix to come together between each addition.
  4. Add the vanilla.
  5. Scrape the bowl, then add dry ingredients.
  6. Mix slowly until well combined. Do not over mix.
  7. Place baking parchment on cookie sheet. Take a small dollop of dough, about the size of a pencil eraser, and place under opposite corners of the parchment to secure it while baking.
  8. Scoop balls of dough and drop into graham cracker crumbs one ball at a time, being sure to completely cover each cookie.
  9. Press half a pecan (or walnut) into each cookie, spaced 1-1/2″ to 2″ apart.
  10. Place racks in oven and back for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on cooling racks.
Icing
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tb melted butter
2 tb orange juice
1 tsp maple syrup
Mix and pour into a plastic ziplock bag, cut a small hole into the corner to drizzle icing on cooled cookies.

Holiday Recipes (1) Caprese Latkes

November 28, 2012

Caprese Latkes

  • Prep Time : 15 min
  • Cook Time : 25 min
  • Ready Time : 40 min

Servings: 10

Ingredients

  • 2 large baking potatoes (about 3 pounds), peeled and shredded
  • 1 large onion, shredded
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup matzah meal
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Canola oil for frying
  • ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 (7-ounce) balls fresh mozzarella, cut into ¼-inch thick slices
  • 2 medium red tomatoes, cut into ¼-inch thick slices
  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

In a large bowl, stir together potatoes, onions, eggs, matzah meal, and salt.  Line a baking sheet with two layers of paper towels.  Heat enough oil to reach a depth of about 1/4-inch in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Form potato mixture into 3-inch round latke, and fry in batches until browned and crisp, about 4 to 6 minutes per side. Transfer to prepared pan.  Continue making latkes with remaining mixture.  Meanwhile, combine vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce to simmer, and cook until reduced and thickened,
about 10 to 12 minutes. To assemble, place each latke on an appetizer plate. Top with one slice mozzarella, one slice tomato, and a leaf or small sprig of basil. Garnish with a drizzle of reduced balsamic, some olive oil, and pepper to taste.

http://www.joyofkosher.com/recipe/caprese-latkes/

 

Thanksgiving 2012

November 15, 2012

Don’t let the deadlines, headlines or stress mess with your gratitude. We all have a lot to be thankful for. Here’s some Thanksgiving recipes and treats to inspire you! Please feel free to repost and share…just let me know what time dinner is served and I’ll be there!

Try a New Orleans Thanksgiving. Last year Chef Guy DuPlantier III of Crazy Creole made ours magical with an All-American Creole Thanksgiving meal – gumbo, jambalaya, bread pudding, ettouffe. Ain’t nothing but goodness!

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/menu/views/new-orleans-thanksgiving-menu?mbid=RF

http://www.facebook.com/CrazyCreoleCafe

 

Thinking about your Thanksgiving meal? Let the L.A. Food Bloggers group help you! We have tons of great ideas and recipes! http://www.shockinglydelicious.com/food-bloggers-l-a-do-thanksgiving/

http://www.facebook.com/FoodBloggersLosAngeles?ref=ts&fref=ts

 

Bitten Word offers that it’s time to start planning your menu in earnest.

http://www.thebittenword.com/thebittenword/2012/11/thanksgiving-2012-recipe-index-what-the-food-magazines-are-recommending.html

 

@213Nightlife @SonnyMcLeans @PATRICKMOLLOYS Time for a little bit of the Irish on March 17

March 4, 2012

St. Patrick’s Day

What does the Catholic patron saint of Ireland (born a pagan in Wales) have to do with wearing green and drinking too much beer? On March 17, when people might decorate their office cubicles with shamrocks, they don’t realize they are actually celebrating a “holiday” originated by Irish-Americans. It was first celebrated in America in Boston, Massachusetts in 1737. St. Patrick’s Day is rich in detailed folklore and myths – bagpipes, leprechauns and pots of gold, driving out of the snakes, Catholic folkheroes, shamrock and kilts, serving whiskey, wearing of the green and avoiding orange. Today, St. Patrick’s Day is a great way to create unity with parades and to create business for pubs and bars. It’s all in the marketing!

Cheers! What do people tip back when they drink on St. Patty’s Day? The most popular by far is Guinness, legendary Irish stout. Whiskey is part of the folklore, with the legend of a dishonest innkeeper getting his come-upance from St. Pat. Try an Emerald Isle martini with crème de menthe in lieu of vermouth. Try a Dublin Handshake blending Bailey’s Irish cream, whiskey and sloe gin with ice. Every drink can be a version of a margarita – try the Irish Cactus, bringing together tequila and Irish Cream. Or just plain Irish Coffee – Irish whiskey, brown sugar, whipped cream and hot coffee. Please celebrate safely with a designated driver or a cab-ride home.

Did you give up drinking for Lent this year? The feast day for St. Patrick always falls in the midst of Lent – a 40 day period (excepting Sundays) between Ash Wednesday and Easter when Christians choose to abstain from temptations as a religious practice. If March 17 is just a type of half-time break in Lenten observation for having fun and making merry, do we have a pass to go a little wild in the name of a saint with a lot of hype?

Whatever the case, St. Patrick’s Day in 2012 does fall on a Saturday which offers Los Angeles pubs and bars a rare opportunity to show off their St. Patrick’s Day best and not on a school night, as it were. There are lots of choices! You can’t trust CitySearch for listings – both inaccurate and unreliable.

Casey’s Irish Pub

http://www.bigcaseys.com/info.cfm

@213downtownla or @213Nightlife

613 South Grand Ave., Downtown Los Angeles 90017

http://213nightlife.com/st-patricks-day

“The biggest St. Patrick’s Day celebration in Los Angeles takes over two city blocks! Free admission + food, drinks, games & giveaways!”

Additional bars in the @213 group also offer specials

Great website!

 

Hennessey’s

http://www.hennesseystavern.com/

8 Pier Ave., Hermosa Beach 90254 – original location

313 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Manhattan Beach 90266

Dana Point, Laguna Beach, La Jolla, Las Vegas, San Diego, Seal Beach

Among “the Southern Californian restaurants, Hennessey’s have proven to be a resounding success – demonstrating atypical longevity and prosperity.”

 

Brennan’s Pub

http://brennanspub-la.com/

4089 Lincoln Blvd., Marina del Rey 90292

Festivities start at 6:00 am with breakfast and continue until 2:00 am the next day. Just try to resist green beer.

Rough website, no social media

 

Tom Bergin’s Tavern

http://tombergins.com/

The oldest Irish establishment in Los Angeles was founded in 1936 by Tom Bergin, a former lawyer turned publican. Under reconstruction and scheduled to reopen in Fall. According to Grub Street, this is “the first time in 76 years that the bar won’t be serving the holiday crowd.”

CitySearch will mislead you to think Tom Bergin’s Tavern will be open for business.

No social media

 

Molly Malone’s

http://mollymalonesla.com/

575 S. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles 90036

Owned and operated by the same Irish family for 32 years. Live music.

No social media

 

Joxer Daly’s

http://www.citycheers.com/templates/one/index.php?vid=6806

11168 Washington Blvd, Culver City 90230

American cuisine in “one of the best bars in all of los angeles.”

No social media

 

Sonny McLean’s

http://www.sonnymcleans.com/

@SonnyMcLeans

2615 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica 90403

“Boston Sports Headquarters” offering traditional New England and Irish favorites.

 

Patrick Malloy’s

http://patrickmolloys.com/

@PATRICKMOLLOYS

50A Pier Ave., Hermosa Beach 90254

 

@JenniferReese Making at home vs. store bought: Fudge, Mock Apple Pie, Marshmallows

December 17, 2011

Listening to Jennifer Reese being interviewed on NPR recently inspired me to share some of my own beloved and unique family recipes. Reese is the author of Make the Bread, Buy the Butter, “a chronicle of [her] trial-and-error odyssey to figure out which foods are worth the effort of making yourself, and which foods you should just buy right off the grocery shelf.” There is a link to the interview, and a copy of her “surprisingly simple make-your-own-marshmallow process” at the bottom of this post.

For my recipes, if you have never tried Faux Apple Pie or Velveeta Fudge, you are in for a treat! My grandparents have generously offered to share these Evans’ signature recipes with Three Point Spark readers. They are delicious and fun to surprise guests with – “you made this from what?!” Enjoy!

 

FAUX  APPLE  PIE

from the kitchen/culinary laboratory of CC & TCF Evans, 2011

 

Unbaked pie shells for a double-crust pie

2-1/2 cups white sugar

3-12 cups water

5 teaspoons cream of tartar

50 Ritz Crackers

2 tablespoons brown sugar

½ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon nutmeg

1 tablespoon butter

Boil the white sugar, water and cream of tartar for 8 minutes without stirring.

Drop in whole Ritz Crackers (one for each state of the Union).

Continue boiling for 2 minutes without stirring.

Remove from stove and allow to cool while making the pie crust.

Gently spoon cracker mixture into unbaked pie shell, being careful that   some of the crackers should hold their shape.

Mix brown sugar and spices and sprinkle over cracker mixture.

Dot with butter.  Add top crust and vent (slash or prick) and bake for 20 minutes in preheated 450 degree oven.

 

VELVEETA  FUDGE

from the kitchen/culinary laboratory of CC & TCF Evans, 2011

To a 3-quart microwave-safe mixing bowl, add ¾ lbs. cubed Velveeta Cheese plus 2 sticks Parkay Margarine plus 6 squares Bakers Unsweetened Chocolate plus 2 Tablespoons corn syrup.

Heat in microwave on defrost setting for 10 minutes, stirring intermittently to melt the chocolate and blend all ingredients, and returning to the microwave as necessary.  Remove blended ingredients from microwave.

Add gradually with stirring, 2 pounds Powdered Sugar; then 1-1/2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts and 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Grease a 7 x 10 inch pan and line with waxed paper.  Pour mixture into pan and smooth surface with a spatula.

Refrigerate 2 hours, cut into squares.  Candy may be kept at room temperature.

NPR interview with author/food explorer Jennifer Reese:

http://www.npr.org/2011/12/16/143728616/marshmallows-from-scratch-a-simple-sticky-how-to?ps=cprs

Marshmallows (a la Jenner Reese)

Like most Americans, I grew up thinking a marshmallow was a stiff, eraser-like confection, nominally edible, used in school construction projects involving toothpicks or dropped in hot chocolate. Neither candy nor cookie, a marshmallow was a gummy droid, entirely artificial and not all that enticing. My kids used to eat them only when there was nothing sweet left in the cupboard except raisins. To concoct a marshmallow at home seemed impossible. And to concoct at home a marshmallow that resembles a Kraft Jet-Puffed may be impossible.

After you have tasted a sugar-white homemade marshmallow you will not care. Homemade marshmallows are fairy food, pillowy, quivering and soft.

Make it or buy it? Make it.

Hassle: Negligible, provided you have a mixer (a hand-held mixer is fine if you’re strong and patient) and a candy thermometer. If you don’t have a candy thermometer, buy one. Cheap and useful.

Cost comparison: The most basic homemade marshmallow costs 10 cents. Kraft Jet- Puffed marshmallows: 4 cents apiece. On the other hand, high-end marshmallows like the Whole Foods brand: 50 cents.

Makes 36 marshmallows

Three 1/4-ounce packets unflavored gelatin

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup light corn syrup

2 egg whites

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar

In a tiny saucepan, over low heat, dissolve the gelatin in 7 tablespoons of water. It will be pale beige and viscous. Turn off the heat.

In a larger saucepan, heat the granulated sugar and corn syrup with 1/2 cup water.

Bring to a boil, stirring until dissolved. Let it boil until it registers 265 F on a candy thermometer.

Meanwhile, in the bowl of a mixer, begin whisking the egg whites. Beat until firm and glossy. As soon as the sugar syrup registers 265 F, begin pouring it in a slow steady stream into the egg whites, beating constantly. Add the gelatin and continue beating. When you start, the hot liquid will slosh around the bowl and you will think it is hopeless; by the time you are done, the mixture will have swollen into a luxuriant white cloud. Whisk until the bowl is cool to the touch.

Whisk in the vanilla.

Lightly grease a rimmed cookie sheet. Mix together the cornstarch and confectioner’s sugar and sift half onto the cookie sheet. You want a really generous bed of powder. On top of this, spread the marshmallow and smooth the top. Let sit overnight.

In the morning, cut the marshmallows into 36 pieces with a sharp knife. If they stick, dip the knife in water. (Damp scissors can also help with the job.) Toss the marshmallows in the leftover powder; you want all the exposed sides of the marshmallows to be lightly coated in powder, which will keep them from sticking to each other.

Store in a cookie tin or resealable plastic bag. They keep indefinitely, though they become crustier and less appealing after a week or so.

Excerpted from Make The Bread, Buy The Butter: What You Should and Shouldn’t Cook from Scratch — 120 Recipes for the Best Homemade Foods by Jennifer Reese. Copyright 2011 by Jennifer Reese. Published by Free Press.

 

Make the Bread, Buy the Butter

http://www.tipsybaker.com/p/make-bread-buy-butter.html