Steve Boss's blog

Burma Superstar cover

If you are lucky enough to live in the San Francisco Bay Area, perhaps you regularly stop at the Burma Superstar restaurants to enjoy their take on Southeast Asian cuisine.  If not, I recently spoke with Kate Leahy, co-author along with Burma Superstar founder, Desmond Tan, of a fascinating book filled with authentic recipes, great photos, and stories about the country now known as Myanmar.  

A major part of Myanmar's cuisine is a fusion of Thai, Chinese, Indian, and Laotian influences. Many of the spices and main components will seem familiar, but how they are utilized to fashion finished dishes definitely captivated me.  Pay special attention when Kate talks about tofu, and eating tea or "Myanmar's most mysterious food."

Coconut Rice

  • Wed
    Jun 07
    7:00 pm -
    8:00 pm
  • Fri
    Jun 09
    7:00 am -
    8:00 am

GREAT TASTE was LIVE this Week with Farmer's Market Growers and Cooks!

Farmer's Market Vendors

Great Taste Features Farmer's Market Vendors this Week

Broadcast:  7:00 PM Wednesday and 7:00 AM Friday (CDT)

(Click Read More or you'll miss cool info)

We had a fun, taste-filled evening at Green Building Supply during our LIVE show this week.  Several of our local Farmer's Market vendors showed off their cooking skills, plus shared information about growing vegetables, seed-saving, nutrition, and their personal stories. 

Doug Webster

The menu featured these great dishes:

We are so fortunate to have the opportunity to meet amazing people regularly because of the Great TastLucy Leane radio program.  Through solar-powered KRUU we get to bring those folks into your home or car or wherever you may happen to pick up the stream.

Right from the beginning of our conversation with our guest this week, Lucy Lean, Kathy and I felt like we had met a kindred spirit on many levels.  Lucy is a mother, wife, farmer's daughter, former editor of edible Los Angeles, blogger, photographer, a food judge for the Gordon Ramsay Fox hit TV show Masterchef, and the author of Made in America:  Our Best Chefs Reinvent Comfort Food.  The book features 100 recipes from chefs located all over the country and with varying cultural backgrounds.  The diversity of personalities and Lucy's vision of adapting 20th century regional comfort food recipes to today's ingredients and techniques makes for an engaging read and amazing recipes.

Cooks at Italian Fest-GTTofu meatballs

Great Taste was live on Tuesday at Green Building Supply with guests Liliana Rosano, Ed Malloy, and Pete DeCicco.

Ed and Pete were amazing.  Pete's grilled eggplant parmigianno with loads of other veggies was super tasty and pleasingly light.  His tofu meatballs, laden with fresh herbs, and some other flavor enhancers like Spike and Bragg's liquid aminos were partnered with Ed's famous red sauce.  I'm not saying you wouldn't have noticed the meat was missing, but they were great-a definite crowd pleaser in a vegetarian-friendly atmosphere.

 Also, the crew made penne with chickpeas, kale, and the red sauce.  Dessert featured strawberries and ice cream with traditional balsamic vinegar.

There were plenty of fun moments, some liberties taken that may have caused lovers of Italian cusine to wither, but I was impressed with the results and dedication to craft exhibited by Pete and Ed.  

Luckily, we also had Liliana around to explain what is happening on the culinary scene in Italy and with Italian chefs in New York.

Catch the Great Taste radio show on KRUU Wednesday night or Friday morning.  You can find the video (soon if it is not up yet) on the Fairfield Media Center's YouTube channel.

  • Wed
    Apr 26
    7:00 pm -
    8:00 pm
  • Fri
    Apr 28
    7:00 am -
    8:00 am

WARNING: THIS SHOW IS ABOUT ICE CREAM!!!!!!!!

Hello, My Name is Ice Cream

WARNING:  This show is about making ice cream at home.  It may entice you to do it.  KRUU and Great Taste assume no resonsiblity for your increased pleasure or girth.

I doubt that few people have thought as much or as deeply about ice cream as Dana Cree.  Her book, Hello My Name is Ice Cream, opens up a world of possibilities for the home cook, and offers recipes that can appeal to both the novice ice cream maker or someone with many years of dessert making experience.

  • Wed
    Apr 19
    7:00 pm -
    8:00 pm
  • Fri
    Apr 21
    7:00 am -
    8:00 am

Food Film Music with Special Guest Rich Sims

Music

Rich Sims and I started talking about this show two years ago.  We thought combining two of our passions, music and food, would lead to a fun, fulfilling hour.  I put together a list of some of my favorite food movies, Rich located the sound tracks, and chose selections that, along with our banter, will bring back memories or prod you to watch the film for the first time.

I won't give away all the films we're going to feature, but the menu will include music from Ratatouille, Moonstruck, and Chef.  Join Rich and I, and if you have any input, give us a call in the studio during the show on Wednesday from 7:00-8:00 pm CDT at 641-109-1082.

  • Wed
    Apr 12
    7:00 pm -
    8:00 pm
  • Fri
    Apr 14
    7:00 am -
    8:00 am

Remembering Liam Scheff and Eating with Bill Goldstein

Liam Scheff

Twice I had the pleasure of cooking and talking with Liam Scheff when I was doing the live Great Taste shows from Hy-Vee.  Liam was a journalist, a self-described "American heretic."  

He wrote about countless controversial issues with tenacious conviction.  And Liam was, I think, an "old soul."  He had a lot of work to do, critical information to communicate, and, as it turned out, a short time to accomplish that mission.

  • Wed
    Apr 05
    7:00 pm -
    8:00 pm
  • Fri
    Apr 07
    7:00 am -
    8:00 am

Rajasthani Food on Great Taste this Week

Neerja Maheshwari

It turns out the LIVE Great Taste show on Tuesday, April 4 should have been billed as "The Ghee Show."  Neerja Maheshwari shared her love for the food of her native Rajasthan with the ethusiastic crowd at Green Building Supply, and during our discussion it became evident that ghee is one of her favorite ingredients.  Makes sense since Rajasthan is the land of the Maharajas, and ghee is the royal essence of butter.

Neerja cooked dal baati, an indispensable dish that she grew up eating in Jaipur.  Three dahls form one part of the dish-split mung, urad, and channa.  They are cooked together with water salt and turmeric until the dahls break down and the mixture looks like a soup that is on the thin side of thick.  

New Bread BasketOver the past several decades as the growth of artisanal foods has exploded, a greater appreciation for the ”terroir" aspect of coffee, beer, wine, chocolate, cheese, and other foods has given rise to a ”craft" culture that includes a developing pricing system supportive of continued growth. But, one major food group-grains, is lagging behind this surge. What is different about the bread culture in the USA; a culture that is achieving well-earned understanding and recognition, but not at a pace even close to  many complementary food groups?David KaiselOn the most recent "Eater Update" podcast (check it out on iTunes, Overcast or your favorite podcast app), Modernist Cuisine co-author, Nathan Myhrvold shared his thinking on this complex problem:”Bread is something that our society tried to relentlessly get to be cheap.  And oh my God did we succeed.  Wheat is cheaper than dirt.If you take a loaf of bread, whether it is artisanal bread or supermarket bread, the amount of your money that went to the farmer is about five cents. ... Now, that is screwed up."Breadtopia foundersOn this week's show I hope we can plant seeds that will add to the cultivation of our own small, but growing, local grain economy, and countless others around the States.   Assisting us in reaching this objective are Amy Halloran, author of The New Bread Basket, and David Kaisel of Northern California's Capay Mills.  In the studio, I'll be joined by Breadtopia's Eric and Denyce Rusch, along with Run of the Mill Organics Dean Goodale. Please tune into the live broadcast on KRUU or the stream Wednesday at 7:00 PM and Friday at 7:00 AM. All times are Central Daylight Time. Next week Great Taste is LIVE from Green Building Supply on Tuesday, April 4, at 7:00 PM.  Our guest is Neerja Maheshwari, and the focus and tastes are from the Indian state of Rajasthan.

Garlic on braidLong before Bram Stoker popularized the use of garlic in his classic 19th century novel, Dracula, Romanians had been using it for centuries to repel evil in a variety of forms. 

The actual origins of the cultivated plant have never been clearly established though it's probable descendent is from the species, Allium longicuspis, which can be found in Central and Southwestern Asia.

But what really interests us about garlic is EATING it.  Contrary to its popular use in Italian/American restaurants as a main ingredient in almost any dish (read that as "all you can taste is garlic."), garlic is amazing as a subtle flavor element though it can take a leading role as in the classic pasta dish, aglio (garlic), olio, e peperoncino.  That's what Kathy will prepare in the studio along with bruschetta w/roasted garlic.

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