Daily Dish

The inside scoop on food in Los Angeles

Category: Bread

50 shades of food: Warm, gooey jalapeño cheese bread


Pull up a chair and settle in for our 50 Shades of Food series, where we introduce you to mouth-watering, shiver-inducing, hot, sexy food porn. It's safe-for-work browsing, sure to get your heart racing and your palms a little sweaty, and the only drawback is a possible hunger pang or two after viewing.

This week we picked a photo that celebrates our love for fresh baked bread and cheese. Shulie Madnick of the blog Food Wanderings shared a picture and recipe for jalapeño cheese bread. A fresh, hot loaf of any kind of bread is, in itself, something to swoon over. Add swirls of gooey cheese and hot jalapeños and it's enough to make you squeal with delight.

"As you can see, I commit the same crime over and over again and slice the bread while it is still warm," said Madnick on her blog. "I need to be put on probation, but admit it, doesn't the gooey melting cheese look so scrumptious?"

Oh, yes, Shulie, we're head over heels.

If you'd like to get in on the food porn action, upload photos of your food to any of our food galleries --  What did you eat this weekend?; Our recipes, your kitchen; or Cheers! What are you drinking? -- and we'll be on the lookout for photos that make our eyes pop. You can also share photos with us on our Facebook page or on Twitter. Be sure to include your name, a description of the photo and any personal blog or Twitter handle you'd like us to give a shout-out to.


The French and their vegetables

Battle of the Burgers: BLT&E burger

Pantry find: Granulated piloncillo sugar

-- Jenn Harris


Photo: Jalapeño cheese bread. Credit: Shulie Madnick

Farmshop to open artisan market Jan. 29

Farmshop 400Farmshop in the Brentwood Country Mart is welcoming a new addition to Jeff Cerciello's restaurant and bakery: a full-scale artisan market.

The market, comparable in size to the restaurant itself, boasts a deli, cheese and charcuterie counters, products such as Jessica Koslow's Sqirl preserves and seasonally inspired prepared foods. Also stocked on the market's shelves are California wines, craft beers and housewares from L.A. favorites including Heath ceramics.

Managing the floor is Emiliano Lee. With years of experience working as a cheese monger and manager (and even a "fresh foods wrangler" who sourced sustainably farmed produce) while working at Liberty Heights Fresh in Salt Lake City, Farmshop's new hire knows his cheese.

Lee, a Bay Area native, is thrilled to launch a market filled with foods crafted in California. The advocate brings farmstead American cheeses to Farmshop's cheese counter from Oregon and Vermont but mainly from California producers such as Bellwether Farms, Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese, Cowgirl Creamery, Cypress Grove Chevre, Marin French Cheese, Franklin's Cheese, Vella Cheese, Laura Chenel's Chevre, Andante Dairy, Garden Variety Cheese and Bleating Heart.

With the market in place, Cerciello and team are working to add an educational component with dinners, tasting events, cooking demonstrations and book signings on the horizon.

The artisan market at Farmshop will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

225 26th St., Suite 25, Santa Monica, (310) 566-2400, farmshopla.com.


The word is gourmet

International foodie spring flings

Chef Benjamin Bailly comes to Cliff's Edge

-- Caitlin Keller

Photo: Farmshop's artisan market. Credit: Spencer Lowell

Too hot to cook, so what's for dinner?

Panzanella It must have been about 90 degrees in my kitchen when I got home last night. Definitely not cooking weather. But that didn't stop me from being hungry. What to do?

Fortunately, we'd had some neighbors over for Labor Day and I'd made bruschetta (look for an upcoming column). So among the leftovers, I had chopped tomatoes and toasted bread, rubbed with garlic. If you can't get dinner out of tomatoes and garlic bread, you need help.

I tossed the bread with the tomatoes, which, having been salted, had released a lot of juice. After a 15-minute walk with the pup, the bread had absorbed the juices and softened. I dumped the whole thing in the food processor, added some more fresh cherry tomatoes and a bunch of torn basil and chopped it to a mush. Panzanella! Moistened with some good olive oil, topped with a couple of spoonfuls of ricotta, it was tart and tomatoey and just the perfect cool dinner for a blistering hot night.

Speaking of tomatoes and bread (how's that for a slick segue): Come by the Hollywood farmers market Sunday morning for the Tomato Festival. At 10 a.m., Evan Kleiman and I will be demonstrating some tomato recipes, and I've got gazpacho on my mind.


Vermouth makes a comeback

5 Questions for John-Carlos Kuramoto

Google buys Zagat

-- Russ Parsons

Photo credit: Russ Parsons / Los Angeles Times

Hot French baguettes ... from a vending machine?

Baguette vending machine

Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger, writes:

The quintessential Paris experience is to enter a boulangerie, inhale the heavenly smell of fresh bread and buy a baguette for an impromptu picnic on the Seine.

Now imagine stuffing a euro into a vending machine that dispenses warm baguettes with all the cachet of an ATM machine. Talk about a buzz kill.

Read more about what French baker Jean-Louis Hecht calls the "bakery of tomorrow" by clicking here.


5 Questions for David LeFevre

Dine like it's 1981: Saint Estèphe returns

Test Kitchen tips: Clarifying butter

Photo: A vending machine in Paris spits out hot baguettes 24/7. Credit: Michel Euler / Associated Press

Jambon beurre sandwich

Jambon beurre 1 (1 of 1) In France, on a road trip, lunch is usually jambon beurre (literally, "ham butter"), a crusty baguette spread with good sweet butter with some thinly sliced pink ham laid between the two halves. If you find a great example -- made with excellent bread, quality ham and good butter -- there's no better travel companion.

Americans sometimes have a hard time wrapping their heads around the idea. What, no tomato? No lettuce? No mustard? Non. Its beauty is in its simplicity. Admittedly, it's a long way away from the sub or hero sandwich, but I love it.

Lately, I've been making a pit stop at Cookbook in Echo Park for baguettes (some of the best in town). One Sunday I got there early (it opens at 8 a.m.), and the woman behind the counter was making up what looked very like a jambon beurre. "Yes, it is," she said. But made on the most slender ficelle (super-skinny baguette).

On Monday, I picked up a sandwich for lunch. The ficelle is wonderful, slathered with sweet butter and enclosing a single slice of prosciutto. Perfect if you're headed for a hike in Elysian Park. 

It didn't get that far. I ate it in my car.

Cookbook, 1549 Echo Park Ave, Los Angeles; (213) 250-1900; www.cookbookla.com. Jambon beurre sandwich, $5.


Terrific strawberries

Our new restaurant map

-- S. Irene Virbila

Photo credit: S. Irene Virbila / Los Angeles Times


He's known for crusty perfection (and that's a compliment for this bread-maker)


Here's a sneak peek at what's coming in this week's Food section:

Mark Stambler is a no-nonsense, get-straight-to-kneading sort of guy, and the devout caretaker of 50 to 60 whole-wheat sourdough loaves that wind up each weekend at the Cheese Store of Silver Lake, Cookbook market in Echo Park and Silver Lake Farms CSA. And if you manage to nab one of those rare loaves, you're in for a yeasty, crusty treat. Read more in the latest installment of our Artisan series, a look at food crafters in and around Los Angeles.


Enter the L.A. Times' Battle of the Burgers -- if you dare

Food and drinks the Korean way

Nancy Silverton answers your focaccia questions

Photo: Mark Stambler sells his breads at just a few select locations. Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times


Food art: Toasty coasters

Coasters3 Shaped like pieces of bread with a perfectly toasted appeal (thanks to the cork), this fun-for-the-home-or-as-a-gift coaster/trivet set designed by Patricia Naves proves that some things, with a purpose as simple as keeping rings off your furniture, can be gratifyingly amusing. Available online at Urban Outfitters for $14. Urbanoutfitters.com.

-- Caitlin Keller

Photo: The Toast It trivet/coaster set. Credit: Oiti.com.br

Sweet & savory: 13 bread pudding recipes from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen

Banana_bread_pudding.story Let me take a guess: You really like bread pudding.

How did I know that? It was elementary, my dear Watson. As I was posting this L.A. Times Test Kitchen recipe online for bread pudding drizzled with whiskey sauce -- it's on the menu at Handlebars Food & Saloon in Silverton, Colo. -- I realized that we've published a bunch of bread-pudding recipes of late.

And many of them are Culinary SOS requests -- that's when readers ask Times Test Kitchen manager Noelle Carter to help them get their mitts on one of their favorite restaurant recipes.

See? I told you it was elementary.

So I put together this photo gallery of 13 of our favorite bread pudding recipes -- some sweet, some savory.

And, you'll notice, several that include alcohol.

In the mix: this banana bread pudding, adapted from "Ad Hoc at Home" by Thomas Keller with Dave Cruz. We especially like this one because it can be made up to two days in advance.


-- Rene Lynch
twitter / renelynch


-- Want more recipes from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen? Click here.

-- Wine of the week: 2009 Chateau Graville-Lacoste Graves

-- 94 wine picks by Times restaurant critic S. Irene Virbila

-- Mexican feast fit for a king

Photo: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times


John Lennon, baker

JohnLennon A recent segment on NPR’s Weekend Edition called “All We Are Saying: Three Weeks With John Lennon,” introduces tape recordings that writer David Sheff made while interviewing Lennon in New York over a three-week period in 1980. The Playboy interview hit the newsstands just two days before Lennon’s death. 

It’s fascinating to hear a relaxed Lennon talking candidly. (The interview has just been released as an ebook, unfortunately not as an audiobook.) But get this: At the time, Lennon was a stay-at-home dad and got into bread baking with his 5-year-old son Sean.  John Lennon, baker?

“I took a Polaroid photo of my first loaf,” Lennon says. “I was overjoyed, you know. I was that excited by it. I couldn’t believe it, it was like an album coming out of the oven on the instant. And every day I was cooking lunch for the staff--drivers, office boys, anybody who was working. Come on up! I love it!”

Such a happy memory. Wonder what he cooked.

Hear the story at NPR Weekend Edition.

 “All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono” by David Sheff  is published by Macmillan as an ebook ($4.99 at Barnes & Noble and Amazon’s Kindle Store). The paperback published in 2000 is out of print. 

--S. Irene Virbila

Photo: John Lennon plays Frisbee with his son Sean. Credit: EMI Music


Beard bakes the books


Baking, probably more than any other form of cooking, relies on strictly following the recipe. So which baking books have the best ones? The James Beard Foundation's cookbook awards committee chose a baker's dozen of their favorites. As with all such lists, some, uh, "discussion" is bound to follow. So let's start here: What are your indispensable baking books?

The Beard choices, which range from contemporary favorites to classics from the 1970s, include Times contributors Dorie Greenspan (for "Baking: From My Home to Yours") and Peter Reinhart (for "The Bread Baker's Apprentice"). Other choices were: James Beard's "Beard on Bread" (the oldest book, originally published in 1973); Maida Heater's "The Book of Great Desserts"; Rose Levy Beranbaum's "The Cake Bible"; Richard Sax's "Classic Home Desserts"; Alice Medrich's "Cocolat: Extraordinary Chocolate Desserts"; Marion Cunningham's "The Fannie Farmer Baking Book"; Carole Walter's "Great Pies and Tarts"; Carol Field's "The Italian Baker"; "Martha Stewart's Cookies"; Jim Lahey's "My Bread"; and Flo Braker's "The Simple Art of Perfect Baking."

The list is the first of what the organization says will be several themed recommendations, following last year's compendium of 20 books that belong in every cook's library.

-- Russ Parsons

Photo: The cover of Dorie Greenspan's "Baking: From My Home to Yours." Credit: Houghton-Mifflin


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


Recent Posts
5 Questions for Thi Tran |  August 6, 2012, 8:00 am »
SEE-LA hires new executive director |  July 31, 2012, 9:34 am »
Food FYI: Actors reading Yelp reviews |  July 31, 2012, 9:16 am »
Test Kitchen video tip: Choosing a bread wash |  July 31, 2012, 6:04 am »



About the Bloggers
Daily Dish is written by Times staff writers.