April 23, 2011 |
Dieters are more fooled by misleading health labels than people who don’t obsess about calories, a new study suggests. Dieters believed a heap of pasta shells, mozzarella and salami was healthier if it was called a “salad” instead of “pasta.” They also ate more jelly beans than non-dieters if they were presented as “fruit chews” instead of “candy.” Dieters appear to be stuck in a trap—they try to be healthy in their...
April 21, 2011 |
I used to know a guy who would drive up to Santa Barbara just for the afternoon to visit with an old man he respected. I couldn't believe it. In my mind's eye, the Central Coast city seemed much farther than a couple of hours away. Yet it's really not much farther than some unlucky souls' daily commute. It's the perfect getaway, not punishingly distant, with mostly wonderful weather and a relaxed vibe that can make a day in the city feel like a mini-vacation. There's just enough to do — shopping, Lotusland, lolling on the beach.
February 24, 2011 |
Aromatic vegetables suspended in a rich sauce, maybe a little melted cheese, all of it hidden under a crisp golden brown crust. Behold the glory that is the gratin. One of the oldest dishes in the comfort food playbook, the gratin is a celebration of lush creaminess and crisp crust that is often based on the simplest of ingredients. Its poster child, the gratin dauphinois , is made from nothing more than potatoes and cream. Sliced potatoes are layered with cream or milk in a shallow baking dish and baked until the filling is thickened and bubbly and the top of the dish is toasted to a rich brown.
December 23, 2010 |
Dear SOS: The lemon pasta at Angelini Osteria on Beverly Boulevard seems remarkably simple. My attempts at re-creating it have been remarkably underwhelming. Can you get the exact measurements and ingredients for this memorable comfort dish? The restaurant describes it as "Tagliolini al Limone with Lemon, Cream, Parmigiano-Reggiano and Basil. " However, there is obviously a specific method as to how the kitchen gets it to come out so balanced and tasteful. Thank you. Janie Orenstein Pacific Palisades Dear Janie: We loved the wonderful simplicity to this dish: Fresh basil and a touch of lemon are infused with a little heavy cream, which is cooked down just until it thickens, and is poured over pasta.
December 9, 2010 |
I distinctly remember an Italian friend raving to me a few years ago about the new mozzarella bar Obikà she'd just come across in Milan where you could get bufala mozzarella still dripping with milk, fresh from Campania to the south. Now, you have to understand that in Italy, food is always regional. And although, yes, you can buy mozzarella in practically any little deli in Italy, it usually isn't super fresh and mostly it's fior di latte , mozzarella made from cow's milk rather than the much more prized buffalo, which has its own delimited production area just like a wine.
September 30, 2010 |
When it comes to most things around the house, I'm about the most unhandy guy you've ever seen. I can't hang a picture straight. But when it comes to cooking, I go a little do-it-yourself crazy. The last couple of weeks I've been making my own ricotta. Before you dismiss this as just another wacky fad, trust me — you've got to give it a try. It doesn't require any special equipment, and you can find all of the ingredients at your neighborhood grocery. And the results are so much better than almost any commercial ricotta you can buy that you won't believe it's the same stuff.
June 10, 2010 |
They're the sounds of blue-collar commerce: the pneumatic squeals of an impact wrench, the resonant clangs of metal striking metal. Out on the boulevard, a chorus of tires thrums across the asphalt. Together, it's something like jazz, an improvisational soundtrack of working-world rhythms and melodies that coalesce around Eatalian Cafe, a 4-month-old restaurant in the middle of an industrial zones in Gardena. It seems a mirage at first, an apparition of a restaurant improbably hidden among manufacturers and repairmen.
March 29, 2010 |
By now, everybody who's ever frequented Osteria La Buca knows that the partners split recently and that Filippo Cortivo left the restaurant, taking with him his Mamma, Loredana, who made the osteria a neighborhood favorite for her handmade fresh pasta dishes. Now the two have opened their own place just blocks west of La Buca on Melrose Avenue, close to Larchmont. The corner space is drenched with light at lunch and is dark and subdued at night. Most nights Mamma, who used to be quite the vamp in her youth, if the photos on the back wall are any evidence, is in the kitchen.
March 11, 2010 |
Long before "Twilight" and "True Blood" and the Modern Age of Vampires, garlic was used as a talisman: a panacea against bad spirits in the Middle Ages and against illness during the Crusades. Even those of us who happily load our soups and stews with dozens of the pale cloves can tell why it was hung across doorways to prevent entrance. Mature garlic can be overwhelming, even relentless; a single raw clove minced on a board is capable of determining the course of an entire meal, whether you want it to or not. But imagine garlic without its bite, the autocracy of its properties calmed, even made subtle.
February 11, 2010 | ,
Behind the tall counter at Il Dolce, a new Costa Mesa pizzeria and restaurant, silver-haired owner Roberto Bigne stretches pizza dough over the backs of his hands in a sure, practiced gesture. The pizza oven behind him glows a fiery orange. Bags of almond wood are stacked on the floor in front of the counter; the 2-month-old restaurant is so small there's nowhere else to put them. Meanwhile, the smell of pizza dough cooking in that wood-fired oven wafts over the counter into the simple dining room with bare-topped tables lined up in rows.