Daily Dish

The inside scoop on food in Los Angeles

Category: Amy Scattergood

IACP cookbook and journalism awards finalists announced

Fairchild The award season is heating up. No, not those silly old Grammys and Oscars -- the ones that really mean something, the food awards.

The International Assn. of Culinary Professionals announced the finalists for its cookbook and journalism awards this week. Among those honored were local cookbook authors Barbara Fairchild and Amy Scattergood, and local journalists Patrick Comiskey and Jonathan Gold.

Scattergood is co-author with Kim Boyce of "Good to the Grain," and Fairchild, the former editor of Bon Appetit magazine, is the author of "Bon Appetit Desserts." Comiskey, a frequent contributor to the Los Angeles Times Food section, was nominated for a blog post on the Zester Daily website, and Gold was nominated for restaurant writing.

-- Russ Parsons

Photo: Barbara Fairchild. Credit: Ann Johansson / For The Times

A cereal bar, deviled eggs, look who's getting into Harvard, and more

--Cereal meets grilled cheese at the new Mix 'n Munch in South Pasadena, with 30 varieties of cereal plus mix-in and milk options, and pretty much every grilled cheese combo you can think of. EaterLA asks: "Why?" I ask, "Why not?" and "Can I show up in my pajamas?"

--The Washington Post reports that chefs Ferran Adrià and José Andrés will teach a first-of-its-kind course in culinary physics at Harvard University. The mind reels. The pressure of bringing snacks? (You know they are taking food breaks.) What would you have to do for extra credit? Is it safe to have liquid nitrogen knocking around in your backpack?

--Two weeks ago, Amy Scattergood wrote a glorious article for us about the joys of green garlic. Some of you asked, "Where can I buy it." There are many places, including farmers markets and well-stocked specialty stores. But this just in: Christopher Ranch -- "the largest domestic garlic grower" -- is bringing green garlic to market this spring. Here is the news release, which includes a recipe for green garlic puree with roasted garlic miso salmon.

--Blogspotting: Tired of the same 'ol deviled egg recipe that you serve each Easter? Lori Lange over at Recipe Girl is giving it a bacon-and-balsamic makeover. To which we say, Brava! Check out her blog, and consider this your Twip of the Day: Follow @recipegirl. But tread cautiously: It will make you want to cook.

--"Dancing With the Stars'" Brooke Burke claims she loves to eat. Here, she lists her favorite dining spots in and around L.A.

Kudos to L.A. Youth magazine -- written by teens, about teens, and not by a bunch of adults trying to be teens. They've tackled the thorny issue of healthy eating. Be sure to read student Ernesto Pineda's article about the challenges of fending off fast food when it's all around.

-- Rene Lynch
On Twitter @renelynch

Pavlova revisited

Pavlova1 When berry season starts to peak, I can't help but obsess about this Pavlova. It's a recipe that was published with a story by Amy Scattergood a couple of years ago, and it probably has crossed my mind at least once a month ever since then. Now that berries are looking pretty glorious and a long weekend is ahead: well, hel-lo, Pavlova. Maybe I'll make two -- one with fresh berries and one with roasted cherries and apricots splashed with Armagnac. (The recipe calls for just cherries, but you can substitute quartered apricots for some of the cherries. I haven't spotted Blenheims yet, but have seen some pre-Blenheim varieties.)

The base is a spectacular meringue, as big around as a pizza. It's crisp and toasty on the outside and marshmallow-y on the inside. It then gets topped with vanilla or cinnamon whipped cream and all that great summer's-coming fruit. Happy long weekend.

See the recipes after the jump. 

-- Betty Hallock

Photo credit: Eric Boyd / Los Angeles Times

Continue reading »

Do you have this in your kitchen?

Kitchen twine is a kitchen staple -- do you have yours?. Here's everything you need to know -- along with a step-by-step guide to that quintessential function, the butcher's slip knot. With that under your belt, you're just a ball of twine away from making: bacon-wrapped pork loin with roasted apples, boeuf a la ficelle and chicken roulade with red chard, pepitas and chiles over hominy.

-- Rene Lynch

Where is your Nutella jar from?

PolishnutellaMany readers have written in about last week's Nutella story, to share stories and recipes and generally to register their love for the stuff.  A number of people have also said they believe Nutella does taste different, depending on its place of manufacture.  (One reader confessed that she's begged friends to smuggle back jars in their suitcases from Germany.) So when I found a stack of squat jars of Polish-made Nutella at an Armenian grocery in Glendale this morning, I had to buy one -- and eat what's turned out to be the vast majority of the contents. (Research.) The German and Italian-made Nutella both seem a bit thicker and slightly less sweet than the American product, which is actually made in Canada.  However, the Polish-made Nutella tasted, to me, more like the contents of the North American jars.  What do you think?  Where is your jar of Nutella from? 

Sadly, the locator on Nutella's website does not give place of manufacture.  Italian Nutella is available at Bay Cities Italian Deli (check out this post from L.A. blogger Hobson's Choice), 1517 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica. (310) 395-8279.  German Nutella is available at Alpine Village Bakery, 833 Torrance Blvd., Torrance. (323) 327-2483.  Polish Nutella is available at Avakian's Grocery, 1100 S. Glendale Ave., Glendale. (818) 142-3222.  If you'd like to share your source, please comment below.

-- Amy Scattergood

Photo by Amy Scattergood

Huckleberry bakery opens Wednesday

Photo_2Rustic Canyon Wine Bar & Seasonal Kitchen owner Josh Loeb and pastry chef Zoe Nathan (the couple just got married) are set to open their new Santa Monica bakery Wednesday morning (Feb. 18).  Huckleberry, which is one block west of Rustic Canyon (the spot was previously a Pick Up Stix and shares ample parking with Santa Monica Seafood), is having a soft opening: The menu and hours will both increase in the coming months. No, the bakery isn't named for the Mark Twain novel: Huckleberry is the name the couple have picked out for their future firstborn. Which, says Loeb, is sort of what this bakery is.

Huckleberry will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner takeout. (For dinner, you can walk up the street -- just follow the staff -- to the restaurant.) The menu includes breakfast items such as pancakes, eggs and pastries; for lunch, sandwiches, soups and salads. There also will be salads from the deli case and, from the rotisserie, whole jidori chicken and whole duck. The coffee beans are from nearby Caffe Luxxe, whose owner was training the staff on the La Marzocca espresso machine last week.

Nathan, who was just named a James Beard semifinalist in the Outstanding Pastry Chef category, is also baking baguettes, ciabattas, brioche and sourdough boules, as well as a long list of sweets and pastries, including seasonal crostata, cookies, biscotti and mini kouign amanns (little Breton cakes).

Huckleberry, 1014 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica. www.huckleberrycafe.com (website still under construction); (310) 451-1322. Open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

-- Amy Scattergood

Photo: Amy Scattergood

Fun Nutella facts


The Ferrero company, maker of Nutella, may not divulge its trade secrets, but it has a great website that includes — along with a Nutella locator and a "Tell a Friend" option — "Delicious Facts" about the spread.

Here are some of the recent entries on the site, courtesy of Nutella U.S.A.:

— Nutella's 40th anniversary celebration is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest breakfast, having hosted 27,854 people at the AufShalke Arena in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, on May 29, 2005.

— The amount of Nutella produced worldwide in one day is equivalent to nearly three times the weight of the Statue of Liberty.

— More than 70 million hazelnuts are used worldwide each day in the production of Nutella.

— The number of jars sold annually, if lined up, would wrap around the moon four times.

— The amount of Nutella produced in a day could provide every person in San Diego with one jar.

For more fun facts, check out Nutella's website, Nutellausa.com

Amy Scattergood

Photo credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

U.S.-bound jamón ibérico pata negra to lose their black feet

PhotoAccording to a release by PRWeb, all U.S.-bound shipments of jamón ibérico de Bellota pata negra, Spain's prized bone-in full-leg jamón ibérico cured from acorn-finished black-footed pigs, must now be shipped without its signature black feet.  Effective next month, any remaining hoof-on hams will also cost roughly twice as much as they do now, thanks to a new 100% duty.  Both changes are due to recent rulings by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

These jamón ibérico are traditionally displayed and carved with the foot still attached as demonstration of authenticity, as is this jamón (right) at the Bazaar by José Andrés.  Once the last hoof-on hams are sold, you'll have to leave the country to find the product in its traditional form.  Until then, Spanish importer La Tienda (the first to retail jamón ibérico in the U.S.) is still selling foot-on hams from its last shipment from Fermín.

La Tienda's Don Harris bought up the foot-on jamón ibérico when he heard about the ruling.  He said this morning that he has about 100 left.  According to Harris, the USDA ruling -- ostensibly about health issues -- is really an import-export turf war.  "We're having a war with the EU over beef," says Harris.  Harris says keeping the foot on the jamón ibérico is about more than tariffs -- it's about aesthetics and cultural pride.  "For Americans who don't know the culture of Spain, it's not a big deal, but to the Spanish, it's a very big deal."

La Tienda, 3601 La Grange Parkway, Toano, Va.  www.tienda.com. (800) 710-4304.

-- Amy Scattergood

Photo of jamón ibérico pata negra by Amy Scattergood

Nutella pizza and other suggestions

Nutella_pizzaThis week's Nutella story has three recipes that call for either homemade or purchased Nutella. Here's another one: Nutella pizza (right). Although you don't really need a recipe.

Just bake a crust using a basic pizza dough recipe (try using hazelnut oil instead of olive oil and adding a bit of sugar), and when the crust is still warm from the oven, assemble the pizza. I used homemade hazelnut-chocolate spread on this one, then added raspberries, bananas and toasted hazelnuts. The powdered sugar on the crust you get by placing a round piece of paper or parchment, cut small enough to show the crust, over the top of the pizza and sifting powdered sugar over the top. Or try shaved chocolate and strawberries. Or chocolate chips and cream whipped with orange zest.

Nutella is also great to frost cupcakes or cakes, to stir into a cup of hot chocolate (or coffee) and as a filling for panini. So far most of the suggestions I've gotten on my Facebook page are for eating the stuff on bread or with a spoon. If you have more ideas, or a favorite recipe that calls for Nutella, I'd love to hear about them.

-- Amy Scattergood

Photo of Nutella pizza by Amy Scattergood

Happy World Nutella Day!

WndToday is the 3rd annual World Nutella Day, the unofficial holiday upon which we celebrate the glorious hazelnut-chocolate spread. World Nutella Day was set up by bloggers Sara Rosso and Michelle Fabio, who had decided that they loved the stuff so much that it warranted it's own day. And why not? People celebrate Arbor Day and a whole lot of other things less critical to a sustainable and happy world order than trees and (for some of us) Nutella. 

My last blog post about Nutella generated a lot of comments from its fans, who are legion. So many that I wrote a story about Nutella -- and how you can make your own at home. Check next Wednesday's Food Section to read it. 

So -- you knew this was coming -- what's your favorite way to eat Nutella? If you need inspiration, check out many of the blog posts popping up today, such as David Lebovitz's, in honor of Nutella. 

Nutella is available at many grocery stores and Italian delis, including Ralph's, Pavilions, Bay Cities and La Bottega Marino. Or see Nutella's website, Nutellausa.com, which has a very handy store locator.

-- Amy Scattergood

Photo: Sara Rosso and Michelle Fabio


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