Steve Boss's blog

NOTE:  THIS WEEK'S BROADCAST IS AN ENCORE PERFORMANCE.  JOIN US NEXT WEDNESDAY FOR HOLIDAY FOOD AND COOKING LIVE IN THE STUDIO.Croqueta de Gambas

One of the winners of the 1st International Culinary Schools Tapas Competition held last week in Valladolid, Spain, Mangal Tamang, and his culinary instructor, Gordon Rader take over the cooking chores in the studio Wednesday, November 18. Mangal was one of 11 culinary students from the USA, Canada, Mexico, Ireland, Italy, Denmark, and Sweden participating in the contest.

The official press release summarized the criteria and results:

pastamakingtortelloniWhen I think about the meals our family has been fortunate to share in Italy the most heartwarming have been those  cooked by women; women whose love shines through their preparation of local dishes, which reflect the culture and personality of the soil.  We reveled in food, laughter and love while dipping vegetables in the bagna cauda  made by Davide's mother in her Torino home, fought over the last piece of Christina's eggplant parmesan with just-made mozzarella di bufala, and studiously listened to our Italian mother and grandmother, Severina explain how to make cedano Veronese.  We swooned over each delectable bite of Dada's amazing soups and pastas, patiently waited for Erika's risotto with porcini, watched as tortelloni was crafted by a group of village ladies at Albergo Corsini, and enjoyed many other specialties found in the kitchens of friends in towns like Sant Ambrogio di Valpolicella and Spello.

La Bella Lingua book cover shotpasta with zucchini, cherry tomatoes, rosemary & basilWhat a perfect combination-discussing the Italian language with noted author, Dianne Hales, and preparing Italian food in the studio.  Dianne's book, La Bella Lingua, published in 2009,  is a great read full of history about how the language developed, populated with insights into colorful characters like Petrarch, Julius Caesar, Boccaccio, St. Francis of Assisi, Lorenzo de Medici, and Brunelleschi and, the author's own  journey as she navigated the complexities of the language and culture. 

Since our show is Great Taste, we'll focus on the language as it relates to different styles of cooking, work our way through some typical food terminology found on Italian menus, and share a simple recipe for pasta with marinara sauce as it was made every Sunday by Kathy's Grandma Gulla. 

  • Wed
    Oct 27
    7:00 pm -
    8:00 pm
  • Fri
    Oct 29
    7:00 am -
    8:00 am

Wedding Cakes on the next GREAT TASTE!

cake samples

wedding cakes

 

 

 

 

 

 

A quick look at any programming guide shows that cakes are a hot topic among the TV-watching public.  The airwaves are filled with a plethora of shows on several cable networks including Cake Boss, Ace of Cakes, and Amazing Wedding Cakes.  There is even a popular blog called Cake Wrecks and the blog's creators have over one million twitter followers.

Limiting your chances of becoming the next feature on Cake Wrecks and delighting your wedding guests are better objectives when it comes to planning for the Big Day.  Finding the right baker and the most amazing cake are major tasks just behind the perfect dress in importance for many families as they plan a wedding.  It's not easy because there are bakers and there are BAKERS.

velouté sauceIndian Hills culinary students take over the GREAT TASTE kitchen in the KRUU studio for a basic sauce session.  We'll learn how to make velouté-the standard version with chicken stock and a vegetarian alternative.  That's just the start as we explore many of the riffs you can create from velouté, one of the four "mother" sauces of French cuisine as classified by Antonin Carême in the first half of the 19th century.  We can also thank Carême for that icon of kitchen fashion, the modern toque or chef's hat.

Charlie Schiller will guide us through the sauce making process.  We're happy to welcome him back after his recently completed internship at the Des Moines Embassy Club.  We'll see if he'll share any stories about what it was like to be "the intern" in a high-powered kitchen.

  • Wed
    Oct 06
    7:00 pm -
    8:00 pm
  • Fri
    Oct 08
    7:00 am -
    8:00 am

The Pot and How to Use It with special guest Anna Thomas

Rice PuddingThe Pot and How to Use ItVitaClay Rice CookerRoger Ebert's new book is an ode to the simple, but useful rice pot.  The book conveys his love and admiration for all the amazing dishes that can be easily prepared in this ancient cooking tool that's been adapted for the age of electricity.  But, the book is more than that.  It really can serve as a focal point for anyone who is looking to easily replace that "lost" feeling, when looking in the refrigerator, with the swagger of a confident home cook.  In a snappy style with a large dose of humor Ebert guides us quickly through the type of pot to purchase, breakfast foods, soups, and shortcuts (canned bouillion, instant soup, a can of stew) followed by comments and recipes from readers of his blog.  One of his main principles regarding the suggestions in the book is

Burrrata with tomatoes and pesto

The salad on the left was an integral part of three dinners I had last week at Otto in the Venetian (formerly Enoteca San Marco and the same owners, Batali and Bastianich) on the Las Vegas strip. It was part of  my dining strategy to hold on tightly to any traces that still exist of summer foods. 

In Vegas it was still in the upper 90′s so heirloom cherry tomatoes and fresh basil for pesto were readily available to the Otto staff for this variation of insalata caprese.  But, what sends this salad into the stratosphere is that little white lump on top-burrata.  Burrata is a cheese that originates from Puglia in southwest Italy.  Basically, it’s a ball of fresh mozzarella, but instead of solid inside a little cavernous spot is filled with the most delectable cream and mozzarella shreds.  You might imagine that this cheese is not only delicate, but has a short shelf life.  Very true, but thanks to the Bruno family, owners of Di Stefano in Southern California, we have the opportunity of enjoying this delicacy within hours or days depending on where you live.  Stefano Bruno has perfected the art of making burrata by using milk from local dairies and importing cream from Italy plus devising a unique method for making the mozzarella shreds.  Summer will have one last hurrah in the KRUU studios with pesto from our garden, cherry tomatoes care of a neighbor, and Stefano’s burrata.  We call our creation “Summer in a Bowl” so tune in for how it’s done.

We're taking the week off, but we'll return on September 29 with another wild cooking show in the studio when we present some of our friends' favorite dishes.


You still don't want to miss thRick Baylessis week's show with special guest, Rick Bayless, the dean of Mexcican cooking in the States.  Since the show ran I had the pleasure of eating twice at his newest Chicago place, Xoco.  For breakfast, lunch, or dinner it is amazing with simple, but full of flavor empanadas, tortas (Mexcican sandwiches), soups, and hot chocolate with cocoa beans ground and roasted on the premises.  The Barcelona with churros is a treat not to be missed.

Auguste EscoffierAuguste Escoffier passed away in 1935, but his influence on food lives on.  His Le Guide Culinaire is still used as a textbook in many culinary schools where students learn the techniques and many of the recipes he popularized when he revamped French cooking in the early part of the 20th century.

Indian Hills' culinary program is based on learning French technique and two of the students, Ben Froah and Ben Millard, are going to pass on some of Escoffier's knowledge in our studio kitchen.  They'll walk us through cutting up a whole chicken (organic), and then teach us how to pan fry it, and make it look great, even though it is just fried chicken. 

The usual "come on by and taste for yourself," isn't flowing easily from the computer keys (believe it or not, I am a reluctant food sharer), but "COME ON BY."

If you can't, the stream starts at 7:00 PM CDT and replays Friday at 7:00 AM CDT.  Just click on "Listen Now" on the kruufm.com home page.

  • Wed
    Sep 08
    7:00 pm -
    8:00 pm
  • Fri
    Sep 10
    7:00 am -
    8:00 am

Chocolate Tasting on GREAT TASTE

chocolate chile mousse-Chilam Balamchocolate dryingNot much can be said right now about this week's GREAT TASTE because we're doing a blind chocolate taste test during the show.  Fifteen studio slots have all been filled with our "listener tasters" and they will have a chance to evaluate the five or six different chocolates  before we reveal the details of each special bean.  Guiding us through the process in the studio will be Leonard Pitt, founder of the Berkeley Chocolate Club.  Get some special chocolate ready at home and taste along with us because you'll have the opportunity to learn exactly how to experience the bean and evaluate different qualities and characteristics.  A big "Thank You" to the At Home Store and Rosie Witherspoon who is providing the amazing chocolate we'll taste on the show.

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