As soon as the weather starts to warm up, I bet many of you think about breaking out the grill. I certainly do.
Robb Walsh has been writing about barbeque for decades. His latest book is an updated version of Legends of Texas Barbecue Cook Book: Recipes and Recollections from the Pitmasters. The photos make every story he tells come alive, and, even more than the recipes, I became engrossed in the history and cultural facets of the book. In the interview, he discusses some of the different ethnic groups who continue to play a role in the evolving landscape of Texas barbeque. I bet there are a lot of Texas barbeque lovers who will be surprised when they hear what Robb has to say.
I think you could make a case that Biodynamic farming has been around in one form or another since man began cultivating plants. It was formalized in the 1920's as a part of the anthroposophical philosophy founded by the Austrian philosopher, writer, and esotericist Rudolf Steiner.
The biodynamic approach continues to grow in popularity, and, for example, this week the 1,033 acre King Estate Winery in Eugene, Oregon, announced it will soon become the largest biodynamic vineyard in the United States.
Robert Karp is the Co-Director of the Biodynamic Association, and a long-time food activist. He was one of the cofounders of the Ames Farmers Market, and a former executive director of Practical Farmers of Iowa. Our discussion assisted me in gaining a better understanding of the holistic nature of biodynamics, and I know you will find his insights stimulating.
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Don't miss two of my favorite cooks this week on Great Taste: Amanda Hass and Anna Thomas.
Amanda Hass is the Culinary Director at Williams Sonoma, and she filled me in on what it's like working in the test kitchen. She is also the author of the recently published book, The Anti-Inflamation Cookbook, co-authored with Dr. Bradley Jacobs. Amanda, who has suffered from serious intestinal irritation issues, used her own wellness journey as a basis for developing the recipes in this book, which is filled with helpful tips designed to make eating a joyful and healthy experience again.
Anna Thomas started a cookbook revolution in 1973 when her now classic, The Vegetarian Epicure, was published. Her newest book, Vegan Vegetarian Omnivore: Dinner for Everyone at the Table, is a paradigm-shifting volume filled with over 200 recipes. The book is about hospitality. "Start with the foods that everyone eats," she writes, "design a meal that works, then expand it, make it flexible..." Personally, I think she may have hit on a real solution for world peace.
Don't forget GREAT TASTE is LIVE at Green Building Supply next week, Tuesday, May 3 with asparagus whisperer, Michael Havelka. See you there at 7:00 pm for the show and free tasting of my favorite spring vegetable.
Few restaurants have had as lasting an impact on the San Francisco (and beyond) food scene as Square One. Opened in 1984 by Joyce Goldstein, who served as the iconic spot’s chef/owner over the next 12 years, Square One showcased Joyce’s passion for not only the Mediterranean food of her beloved Italy, but also encompassed dishes from Spain, France, Turkey, Greece, and Morocco. The menu changed daily, and the focus on the plate was whatever was fresh and seasonal.
Throughout the years Joyce has continued to teach and inspire as a consultant to the restaurant and food industries, and as the author of numerous books and magazine articles. Her latest book, The New Mediterranean Jewish Table: Old World Recipes for the Modern Home, is an extensive collection of 420 recipes designed to expand the understanding of Jewish food beyond its generally narrow confines of matzoh ball soup and brisket.
Each easy-to-follow recipe is presented in its context as part of the Jewish culinary spirit that thrived in the Mediterranean, the Sephardic, Maghreb, or the Mizrahi cultures, as opposed to the familiar, but limited dishes of the Ashkenazi or Eastern European Jews.
Joyce continues to be one of my culinary heroes. I look forward to Passover, and the difference some of the recipes in this book will make to our table and understanding of the journey to freedom.
Don't worry! If you missed the tasting on Tuesday, March 1 at Green Building Supply, you can catch the show broadcast Wednesday at 7:00 pm or Friday at 7:00 am on KRUU.
CJ and Brett brought some awesome cheeses to Fairfield for us to taste, plus Brett provided a demo on how to make a superb grilled cheese sandwich. There are tricks. One major tecnique to employ: grate the cheese for a better, faster, more even melt. We were fortunate that Aaron Hall, pizzaiolo at Lincoln Wine Bar, brought a loaf of his fresh-baked bread down for the demo.
Also, Brett passed on a technique for making sauerkraut that doubles as a method of taking your own inner anxiety out on a head of cabbage.
Thanks to CJ for passing along great information on artisan American cheeses and cheesemakers. What a night.
As always, THANKS to Green Building Supply, Everybody's Whole Foods, Jason Strong and Fairfield Media Center, and KRUU.
How about changing the way we eat and positively impacting our pocketbooks as well as the environment? The average household of four spends about $120/month on food that is not eaten. We throw away tons of food each day in commercial establishments. Countless products that are still edible, but past their sell or use by dates are tossed out recklessly. Our society wastes more food/capita than any other country in the world.
Dana Gunders, a scientist from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), has written a simple, easy-to-use guide, the Waste Free Kitchen Handbook, and I'll talk with her during the first segment of this week's show.
Also, a shout out to the folks at Organic Matters Cafe as they are working to not only reduce kitchen and consumer waste, but their lofty goal is to get as close as possible to zero waste. If anyone knows of other restaurant efforts like this one locally, please tell me.
SABHITA SAWHNEY FEATURED
at Green Bulding Supply
If you missed our "DOSA" show at Green Building Supply on Tuesday, you can listen to the broadcast on Wednesday at 7:00 pm and again on Friday at 7:00 am.
Chef Sabita Sawhney was my special guest chef. She made amazing dosas, sambar, and coconut chutney, plus plain and potato paratha. Make certain to have a pen or pencil nearby when you listen. Sabita does not cook with recipes, but I tried to coax as much information out of her as possible.
Sue Conley, one-half of the the amazing creative team responsible for Cowgirl Creamery cheeses along with her collaborator, Peggy Smith, talked with me about their recently published book, Cowgirl Creamery Cooks. It's much more than a cheese book as it is filled with entrancing recipes, kitchen tips, and the personal story of the Cowgirls. Mac and Cheese lovers make certain you check out their recipe for this classic soul-warming dish. You can find it at the end of the post. [Show originally aired 20160226.]
If you haven't experienced their organic cheeses made in Point Reyes, California, the Mt. Tam and Red Hawk are currently available at Whole Foods in Des Moines. Gateway Market in Des Moines is expecting their next shipment of the same two cheeses the first week of March. Both stores will have the seasonal special St. Pat cheese the first part of March.
On this week's Great Taste Live show, half of the Organic Matters crew discussed their new venture, Organic Matters Cafe, opening in Everybody's on January 12. If you missed the live show you can catch all their plans for the restaurant on KRUU Wednesday evening and again on Friday morning. Also, look for the video available soon at www.fairfieldmediacenter.com.