December 22, 2012 |
One of the things that keeps me excited about what I do is that I am always learning. When I was making puff pastry not long ago, someone asked me why I made a tic-tac-toe-like slash in the process of making the dough. I had been slashing puff pastry dough, and having my chefs do it, for 30 years, or for as long as I'd been making puff pastry, and yet I had no idea why. I was thinking about this during a drive down to Pizzeria Mozza in Newport Beach. Then, just when I got out of the car, like magic, there was the renowned French baker Claude Koeberle.
July 28, 2012
Total time: About 1 hour Servings: 12 éclair or cream puff shells Note: Inspired by a recipe by Rose Levy Beranbaum in "The Pie and Pastry Bible. " For savory pâte à choux, omit the vanilla bean. 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) butter, cut into ½-inch pieces and at room temperature 1 cup water 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon sugar Seeds from ½ vanilla bean 1 1/4 cups (5.3 ounces) flour 3 eggs 2 egg whites 1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees, and place a rack in the center of the oven.
May 26, 2012
Dear SOS: Recently, my boyfriend and I went to try Zengo in Santa Monica Place, and I ordered its Thai chicken empanadas. It was amazing, and I ordered another round. I was so tempted to ask the chef for the recipe, but I was, like, "Why would he give away his recipe to his customers?" If you guys can manage to get the recipe from the chef, that would be fantastic. Joseph Gallana Van Nuys Dear Joseph: It's so hard to eat just one of these. The little Thai chicken empanadas are a project but are well worth the time and effort, and they make a perfect appetizer for a party or gathering.
March 8, 2012 |
In this era of "less is more" and "cheap runs deep," it's no surprise that Spam, the canned meat staple that haunted dinner tables of the 1940s and 1950s, is reporting a continued and otherwise inexplicable uptick in sales. Edible forms of Spam continue to enter the culture, with the latest coming courtesy of an aircraft mechanic from Auburn, Wash. He's won the grand prize in the Great American Spam Championship with his recipe for Spam doughnuts. Full disclosure: This writer is not completely unbiased, having once helped her best friend create the winning entry at a private Spam party in Orange County: Spam Zimbabwe, consisting of chunks of Spam, pineapple and hearts of palm impaled on tiny spears.
January 5, 2012
Priscilla Mary Isin's piece on the role of sweets in Turkish Ramadan celebrations was a fascinating combination of history, culture and cooking. As an added bonus, it had what is probably the best recipe for baklava that any of us have tasted. Forget every humdrum, too-sweet, sticky version you've ever had. This one, built on a base of homemade phyllo dough, is very simple and very delicious. If you prefer, of course, you can substitute puff pastry or even store-bought phyllo. Baklava Total time: 2½ hours Servings: This makes about 3 dozen pieces Note: You can substitute prepared puff pastry sheets for homemade dough if desired (1 sheet of puff pastry for each 20-layer sheet of homemade dough)
June 2, 2011
Semolina-filled puff pastry purses Total time: 1 hour Servings: About 2 to 2½ dozen purses Note: Puff pastry sheet sizes vary by brand. A sheet measuring at least 9½ by 13 inches should yield 1 dozen purses. Do not overfill the purses or the filling will leak out. Pinch tops tightly to close. If despite your best efforts any of the filling does leak out, it can be removed with a spoon while the pastries are still warm after baking. Our recipes, your kitchen: If you try this or any other recipe from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen, we would like to know about it so we can showcase it on our food blog and occasionally in print.