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edibleLA FALL 2019

Issue No. 11

Sharing the Story of Local Food, Season by Season


holiday issue



36 14 EDITOR’S LETTER p. 4

features 23


A handful of amazing products for any cook or foodie in your life.





departments 34




London meets Los Angeles at The Draycott, plus find their recipes on our website.

Local bartenders share cocktail recipes featuring ginger beer—the perfect aromatic fall spice.


in every issue 8






Learn the secrets to making the perfect hot chocolate!

Local pros share tips on how to reduce plastic usage at home and in the kitchen.

Learn about heirlooms and get tips for perfecting a seasonal favorite: apple pie.

recipes 14 16 18 19 22 35 36 36 38 38 42


22 @EdibleLAMag


editor's note

NO. 11

FALL 2019 PUBLISHER Pulp & Branch LLC


In this issue, I contributed a piece on reducing or eliminating plastic usage at home and decided to go entirely zero-plastic for the purposes of the article. Let’s just say it was slightly more difficult than I expected, but I shared by journey and suggestions—hoping that some of you readers decide to give it a go too. In our holiday gift guide, you’ll also find two products that I have really come to love—reusable silicone food storage baggies and glass food storage containers with wood lids. There’s also a fantastic illustration (page 29) showing how to make beeswax wraps at home in order to cut down on using and throwing out plastic wrap at home. Don’t miss Lisa Alexander’s piece on perfecting apple pie—turns out, there’s a lot that goes into making a great pie than just some simple ingredients, but the good news is that these experts have done all the hard work for us. All we have to do is get home and get baking. Don’t forget to share your masterpieces with us on social media!

EDITOR IN CHIEF Shauna Burke CONTRIBUTORS Lisa Alexander Crystal Birns Kristine Bocchino Shauna Burke Ryan Caveywoolpert Jamie Collins Maite Gomez-Rejón Carolina Korman Zephyr Pfotenhauer

To subscribe,




Happy Holidays,


MAILING ADDRESS 27407 Pacific Coast Hwy Malibu, CA 90265

Shauna Burke Editor in Chief


Reach out to me: Instagram: @iamshaunaburke

Winner of James Beard Foundation Award 2011 Publication of the Year

COVER PHOTO © Carolina Korman

Every effort is made to avoid errors and misspellings. If you see an error, please notify us. No part of this publication may be used or reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. ©2019 Pulp & Branch LLC. All rights reserved.










our contributors Our contributors tell us about their

FAVORITE LOCAL PRODUCTS FOR HOLIDAY GIFTING Share yours with us on Instagram @EdibleLAMag #FeastOnLA and we’ll repost our favorites!

"City Gin by Greenbar Distillery never lets me down,” says contributing writer LISA ALEXANDER (Apple Pie 101, p.31). “Meant to be a sensory imprint of Los Angeles, it’s blended with not only juniper berries but a little bit from all our fabulous LA cuisines, like chilies, cumin, cinnamon and cardamom, as well as fennel and kaffir lime and even Lapsang Souchong tea. A perfect multicultural gift that epitomizes LA.”

“It’s ideal to show up to a holiday party with something easy that the host can serve if they need to, but isn’t so perishable that they can’t keep it for themselves. The organic hickory smoke pistachios from Santa Barbara Pistachio Company are my go-to treat right now,” says contributing writer

RYAN CAVEYWOOLPERT (Last Bite, p.42). “Buy a few bags and gift

them in an attractive glass jar!”

“The summer of 2019 is the summer I discovered amaro. (Yes, I’m a little late to the game.) I recently discovered Amaro Angeleno, made right here in SoCal,” says contributing writer MAITE

GOMEZ-REJÓN (The Draycott, p.40). “Citrusy and herbaceous, I

foresee a bottle being my go-to gift this holiday season and many long after dinner conversations surrounding it,” she says.

“Nothing beats the raspberry almond dragées—roasted and caramelized almonds with pink sea salt, covered in dark chocolate and dusted with organic raspberries—from Milla Chocolates,” says editor-in-chief and contributing writer SHAUNA BURKE (Purging Plastics, p. 26). “They are delicious, they look gorgeous, and they come in a Weck glass jar so no wrapping is needed as far as I’m concerned. Elegant and very giftable.”

“Loving the new Essences by Muddle & Wilde from the producers of Our/Vodka based in DTLA,” says contributing writer KRISTINE BOCCHINO (Sip on This, p. 36). “The flavor combinations are amazing and perfect for either cocktails and a nonalcoholic spritz. Just add a splash of tonic or soda and a citrus twist and you’re good to go,” she says.





Photo by Carolina Korman 8


what’s in season

WALNUTS Try some new ways to use fresh fall walnuts this season. WORDS BY JAMIE COLLINS PHOTOGRAPHY BY CRYSTAL BIRNS


id you know that walnuts are technically a stone fruit? Walnuts, in the Juglandaceae family, are indeed the edible seed kernels of a drupe, which means they are not even true nuts! Nuts or not, these healthy brain-shaped seeds pack a punch in the vitamin department and add depth to both sweet and savory dishes. The most common types of walnuts grown commercially for their edible seeds are Persian varieties, now called English walnuts. Black walnuts, with origins in North America, also have an edible seed, but they are so hard to crack that they are mostly used for their gorgeous and highly prized (and priced!) wood. Both the walnut and its oil have been utilized since ancient times. The excavation of petrified, roasted walnut shells found in southwest France show they have been in use since the Neolithic Period, over 8,000 years ago. During the glacial period the walnut died off in parts of Europe, but was likely reintroduced by invaders. The Romans named the walnut tree Juglans regia, and commonly used walnuts to dye wool and human hair. Walnut husks were also used to make durable inks, famously used by Rembrandt and Leonardo da Vinci.

what’s in season Try making walnut milk, spreads, and walnut dip.


California produces 98% of the of English walnuts and 40% of the world market. California currently has 285,350 total acres in walnuts, and locally San Benito County has 1,086 acres of producing trees. Hollister used to be full of larger orchards, but as land was subdivided into smallerplots for housing, many families ended up with a producing walnut orchard in their backyard. Most of these small growers choose to be certified organic due to a higher return on the nuts, and the desire to not live near toxic sprays. Most of the local farmers have their nuts hulled, dried, cracked and sold by Gibson Farms, a walnut processor in Hollister, that also grows walnuts and Blenheim apricots. Chandler is the leading variety grown in California due to the vigorous, upright trees with high yields and desirable lightcolored nuts, followed by Hartley which has a good yield and fruits on terminal buds which are easy to harvest. The Howard variety, arguably one of the best flavored, is also a high yielding nut with strong shells. All three of the walnuts have both male and female flowers but pollen is most often shed before female flowers are ready, so it is necessary to plant two different pollinator trees to set adequate fruit. Franquette is a good choice due to its resistance to late frost and blight, however, it is late to leaf out and may miss some of pollen shed. Cisco is earlier and another good choice. Other varieties that grow well in this area are Payne and Serr. However, Payne requires pruning when trees are young to avoid overbearing, and Serr has a huge canopy and needs to be spaced at least 40 feet apart. German Soto of The Walnut Farm grows the desirable Howard variety in Corralitos on the late surfer Jack O’Neill’s property. Soto sells his walnuts in the shell at the Santa Cruz Community Farmers’ Markets and has a huge following of customers. People are drawn to this variety because it is creamier and less astringent due to higher oil content. Cracking them oneself provides the freshest tasting nut, and even folks who don’t care for walnuts seem to love the Howard. Walnuts are a wonder nut, full of powerful polyphenols that are present in their papery skins and fight oxidative stress and inflammation. Shelled walnuts are 65% fat, 15% protein, 14% carbohydrates, 7% fiber, and 4% water. Theyhave loads of fiber, protein and potassium, heart healthy vitamin E and omega 3s, folate and B6. Eat some before bed to get a good night’s rest; they have some of the highest naturally occurring melatonin as well as magnesium. Eating walnuts feeds your microbiota and increases the beneficial bacteria including one called butyrate, which is a fat that nourishes your gut and improves its health.


I have found some interesting uses for walnuts that are a good way to incorporate their health benefits. You may want to ask a walnut farmer for bulk pricing. I go directly to the farm and pick up 25 lbs. at a time, which gets a substantial discount. If you buy in bulk, freezing keeps them the freshest; otherwise, refrigerate. Walnuts are so delicious; a chocolate chip cookie just isn’t the same without walnuts in it. But, have you tried replacing the butter or oil in chocolate chip cookies with walnut oil? So delicious and heart healthy! Or use walnut oil to make a delicious fall vinaigrette (equal parts oil and aged balsamic vinegar, a splash of maple syrup 10


and some sautéed shallots, salt and pepper) and serve atop a salad with chunks of roasted butternut squash, goat cheese and candied walnuts. Candied walnuts are easy to make. Simply toast them on a skillet with butter, ghee or my favorite, Miyoko’s vegan butter, add maple syrup, honey or agave syrup and some vanilla, stirring until coated. You can add cinnamon and black pepper to spice them up, if you like. Let them dry on parchment paper, then store any you don’t eat in the refrigerator. Try making your own walnut butter with a food processor. You can use raw walnuts, or roasted nuts, or my preferred way— soaking then dehydrating before grinding, which makes them easily digestible. Add cacao powder for a delicious chocolate walnut butter. Or simply dunk a chunk of dark chocolate in plain walnut butter. Walnuts also make a tasty coating for fish or chicken. Just toast and crush in a food processor and use instead of breadcrumbs. Walnut milk is almost non-existent on grocery store shelves and it just happens to be my favorite type of nut milk, because it is so rich and creamy. First, soak 2 cups of walnuts overnight in water to remove the bitter tannins and make them more digestible. Pour out the water. I use an electric nut milk maker called the Almond Cow, which makes short work of nut milk, but a blender and a nut milk bag work just fine. Put softened walnuts in the blender or in the nut milk machine with 7 cups of fresh water, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, a pinch of salt and cinnamon. Blend until creamy, about 2–3 minutes. Strain through nut bag. Store in the refrigerator and use within 4 days for best flavor. Save the meal for a walnut spread or pâté. Use walnut meal left from making milk to make walnut meal pâté, by folding in minced olives of any variety, sundried

tomato pieces, fresh herbs like parsley, basil or thyme, juice and zest of a lemon, and salt and garlic, to taste. Try making muhammara, a Turkish walnut pepper dip, by adding roasted red peppers. Blend the walnut meal with three, roasted and peeled red bell peppers, 3/4 cup olive oil, 4 raw garlic cloves, the juice and zest of one lemon, 1½ teaspoons paprika, ½ teaspoon cumin and 2 tablespoons of pomegranate molasses (this is optional; if you don’t have it, just leave it out). Pulse in the blender until creamy, add salt and pepper, to taste. Great with warm bread, as a sandwich spread, or on top of steamed veggies.


Get your hands on some green walnuts and make some nocino. In Italy there is a special day for gathering green walnuts called the Feast Day of San Giovanni. Italians like this liqueur in their coffee, where it is called caffè corretto or corrected coffee. It is also poured over gelato or used in place of vanilla extract in making biscotti or simply as an after dinner digestif. The flavor is nutty, slightly bitter, yet sweet, with the taste of vanilla and oak. All you need is about 30 immature green walnuts chopped into quarters (be sure to use gloves or your hands will turn black!), a sliced open vanilla pod, a few allspice berries, a portion of a cinnamon

stick, long strips of zest from 1 large lemon, and 1 liter of 50% proof vodka or cane alcohol. (Some people add a handful of coffee beans to the mixture, which is tasty but makes the nocino taste a bit more like coffee liqueur.) Put all ingredients in a half-gallon jar, add the alcohol and seal the lid well, store in the pantry, and shake every so often to blend ingredients. After at least 8 weeks, filter through cheesecloth, removing the solids and leaving just the liquid. Next, make a simple syrup by heating 10 ounces of water, 5 ounces of sugar and a squeeze of a lemon. When cool, add to walnut liquid, stir, and taste. At this point the nocino can age in the pantry and can be pulled out for holiday cocktails! Be sure to filter the mixture again by pouring it through a coffee filter, as this will remove bitter tannins that settled. The flavor mellows as it ages and will keep forever due to alcohol content. Jamie Collins is the owner of Serendipity Farms, which you can find at all of the Santa Cruz Community Farmers’ Markets and at the Pacific Grove farmers’ market on Mondays. Reprinted from Edible Monterey Bay.

Nocino is an Italian liqueur made from green walnuts and often served over gelato.

Pumpkin-Maple Cheesecake with Walnut Crust Recipe by Caroline Chambers

The thing that’s always bothered me about pumpkin pie is the absence of a true pumpkin flavor. The spices that characterize the pie—nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and ginger—are so overpowering that one can scarcely taste the pumpkin at all. This pumpkin cheesecake foregoes any spices at all, allowing the true heroes of the dessert—the pumpkin, maple and walnuts—to stand on their own. An extra thick walnut and graham cracker crust and a maple walnut topping ensure that each piece of cheesecake delivers a distinct walnut crunch.

CRUST 18 whole graham crackers 1½ cups walnut pieces ⅓ cup brown sugar ¼ teaspoon salt 14 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted FILLING 1½ pounds cream cheese, room temperature 1 cup sugar 1 cup cooked, puréed sugar pie pumpkin (or organic canned pumpkin) ⅓ cup maple syrup 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 3 large eggs, room temperature MAPLE WALNUTS ¼ cup maple syrup 1 teaspoon cornstarch 1 cup walnut pieces ½ teaspoon flaky sea salt (such as Maldon) Preheat oven to 350° F. To make the crust: Add graham crackers to a food processor and process until they have turned to the texture of sand. Add walnuts, brown sugar and salt and pulse 15–20 times, until walnuts are about the size of peas. Pour in the butter and process for about 20 seconds, until combined. You may need to scrape the sides and bottom of the food processor to make sure everything is combined. Dump the mixture into a 9-inch springform pan. Using a drinking cup, pat down the crust starting in the middle, then working your way out to the sides. The crust doesn’t have to be perfect on the sides, but it should come up to about ¼ inch from the top.



Place the springform pan onto a baking sheet and bake for 10–12 minutes, until the top of the crust is starting to brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Lower the oven to 300° F. Wipe all of the crumbs out of the food processor and add the cream cheese and sugar. Process until smooth and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the pumpkin, maple syrup and vanilla extract and process for an additional 20 seconds, until combined. Add one egg at a time, and pulse three times to incorporate it before adding the next egg. It is very important not to over-mix when adding the eggs. Pour the mixture onto the cooled pie crust. Bake on the middle rack at 300° F for 2 hours, then turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake inside to cool for at least 3 hours. After 3 hours, refrigerate for a minimum of 6 hours before serving. To make the maple walnuts: Heat maple syrup in a small pot over low heat until it bubbles. Stir in the cornstarch, then remove from heat. Stir in the walnuts and turn to coat. Spread them out on a piece of parchment paper, sprinkle with sea salt, and allow to cool and harden into praline. Store nuts in an airtight container at room temperature until ready to serve, then sprinkle over the cheesecake. Serves 8–10. Carmel resident Caroline Chambers grew up in North Carolina, where she was raised on the robust flavors of the South. She has owned and operated a farm-to-table catering company in San Diego and has worked as a recipe developer and stylist for publications and brands including The New York Times, Robert Mondavi Wine, Food Network and MagicChef. Her first cookbook, Just Married (Chronicle Books), was published in October 2018. ◆



reading corner



These titles all have one thing in common: flavor! Fall is the season for warm, vibrant flavors, baking at home, and holiday entertaining. Grab one of these cookbooks, all worthy of taking up precious counter space, and vow to try something new this season. For a sneak peek, find a recipe from each book in the pages that follow—make the recipe and show us on social media!

SABABA FRESH, SUNNY FLAVORS FROM MY ISRAELI KITCHEN Adeena Sussman (Avery) This is an ode to Adeena’s adoptive home, Israel, and the ingredients found at the open-air shuk just steps from her apartment: “juicy ripe figs and cherries, locally made halvah, addictive, fried street food, and delectable cheeses and olives.” In this debut solo cookbook, she offers up bold, sunny recipes to match. Think Tahini-Glazed Carrots, Crispy Sesame Schnitzel, Freekeh and Roasted Grape Salad, and Halvah Coffee Cake. Filled with lush images and transporting stories, this cookbook is the ultimate map to the Israeli kitchen. Find recipes for Broccoli Cottage Cheese Pancakes and Mushroom Arayes with Yogurt on @EdibleLAMag


GINGER CAKE (recipe on page 14)

makes 10 to 12 servings I call this my three-ginger cake because it has ginger powder, fresh ginger, and candied ginger. The secret is out—I like ginger. This cake can be really casual and served at any time of day. During the holidays, this is my showstopper! I serve it with Maple Glaze. You can chop 1 or 2 ounces of candied ginger into a fine julienne to add to the batter or save and use as a garnish. Gluten-free nonstick spray 120 grams (1 cup) sorghum flour 72 grams (1⁄2 cup) potato starch 67 grams (3⁄4 cup) almond meal or sorghum flour 35 grams (1⁄3 cup) tapioca starch 1 Tablespoon ground ginger 2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder 11⁄2 teaspoons xanthan gum 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 3⁄4 teaspoon baking soda 3⁄4 teaspoon fine salt 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cardamom 190 grams (1 cup) firmly packed brown sugar 1⁄2 cup melted and slightly cooled clarified butter or coconut oil 1⁄2 cup molasses 1 Tablespoon freshly grated ginger 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 2 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk, room temperature 3⁄4 cup buttermilk, room temperature Maple Glaze (recipe follows) 1⁄4 cup (1–2 ounces) julienne of candied ginger, to finish (continued on page 20)



SHE-CRAB SOUP (recipe on page 18)

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GINGER CAKE (continued from page 16)

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 10-inch Bundt pan with gluten-free nonstick spray. 2. In a bowl, whisk together the sorghum flour, potato starch, almond meal, tapioca starch, ginger, baking powder, xanthan gum, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and cardamom. 3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the brown sugar, clarified butter, molasses, and fresh ginger and beat on medium speed until well blended, 1 minute. Add the vanilla, then add the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition. Add the buttermilk and mix until well combined, about 1 minute. 4. Add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl in two batches, mixing on low speed after each addition, until all of the ingredients are well incorporated, about 2 minutes. The batter will seem fairly thin for a cake batter, but not to worry. 5. Using a rubber spatula, transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. 6. Remove the pan from the oven. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a cake plate or cake stand. Once the cake has cooled to room temperature, drizzle it with the Maple Glaze and garnish with the candied ginger. Let the glazed cake set in the refrigerator for 10 minutes before serving. Note: Store leftovers wrapped in plastic wrap or in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 days. If you are not serving the cake immediately, let the cake cool to room temperature then tightly wrap it in plastic wrap and store it in the freezer. Maple Glaze MAKES 1⁄3 CUP, ENOUGH FOR 1 LOAF, 12 MUFFINS, 8 SCONES, OR 1 BUNDT CAKE 47 grams (1⁄2 cup) confectioners’ sugar, plus more as needed 1 Tablespoon melted and cooled clarified butter or coconut oil 2 Tablespoons maple syrup, plus more as needed 1 teaspoon maple extract (optional) 1. Using a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl, sift the confectioners’ sugar. To the sugar add the clarified butter, maple syrup, and maple extract (if using) and mix with a spoon. If the frosting is too thick, beat in more maple syrup, 1 teaspoon at a time. If the frosting becomes too thin, blend in a small amount of confectioners’ sugar (1 Tablespoon). Blend until smooth. 2. Drizzle the baked good using a spoon. The glaze will set up really fast if the drizzled baked good is placed in the refrigerator for 10 minutes. Note: The glaze can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Allow it to come to room temperature before using or reheat gently in the microwave for 30 seconds, or until it reaches a drizzling consistency. Reprinted with permission from Gluten-Free Baking at Home: 102 Foolproof Recipes for Delicious Breads, Cakes, Cookies, and More by Jeffrey Larsen, copyright © 2019. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Photography copyright: Kelly Puleio © 2019

SHE-CRAB SOUP (as shown on page 17)

She-crab soup has several origin stories, but there seems to be a 18


consensus that it came to the Lowcountry via Scottish immigrants, who brought with them a recipe for partan bree, or crab soup. The dish as we would recognize it now was probably served for the first time in the early 1900s. One bit of lore has it that Charleston’s then mayor, Robert Goodwyn Rhett, instructed his butler, William Deas, to spruce up traditional crab soup to impress President Taft during his visit to the city. Deas added the bright orange roe of Charleston’s blue crabs, and a classic was born. When the soup is prepared well, you realize that it is famous for a reason. Make it during crab season when you can get beautiful live fresh blue crabs. I cure the crab roe much like bottarga and finish the soup with a generous grating of it right before it hits the table. Note: Ask your fishmonger for male crabs. They generally have a higher ratio of meat to shell. If you don’t want to cook fresh crabs or can’t get them, you can substitute a container of fresh blue crab meat. Serves 4 Three 6- to 8-ounce live blue crabs, or one 8-ounce container fresh blue crab meat, carefully picked over for shells and cartilage 3 cups whole milk 1½ cups heavy cream 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced ¾ cup small dice sweet onion 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1½ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, preferably Bourbon Barrel ¼ teaspoon ground mace 2 teaspoons kosher salt ½ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper ¼ cup finely chopped tarragon ¼ cup dry vermouth 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 4 tablespoons grated Crab Roe Bottarga (page 295; casing removed, grated with a Microplane) To humanely kill the crabs, chill them in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to gradually reduce their body temperature; this will slow their metabolism and make them easier and safer to handle. Then, one at a time, remove the crabs from the refrigerator, place on a cutting board, and insert the sharp point of a sturdy knife through the shell directly behind the eyes. Combine the crabs, milk, and cream in a medium pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes to cook the crabs through and develop the flavor. Remove the crabs with tongs, quickly rinse them under cool running water, place on a rimmed baking sheet, and cool to room temperature. Strain the milk mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a container and cool to room temperature. When the crabs are cool, pick the meat (see the box on the following page) and discard the shells. Transfer the crabmeat to a container, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use. Heat the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until foamy. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until translucent, about 4 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute to make a very light roux. Slowly add the milk mixture, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Add the Worcestershire sauce, mace, salt, and white pepper, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes to develop the flavors. Fold in the crab and heat through. Fold in the tarragon, vermouth, and lemon juice. Divide the soup among four warm bowls and sprinkle each with about 1 tablespoon of the bottarga.

reading corner How To Pick A Cooked Blue Crab Using your hands, break off the two large front claws andset aside. Hold the crab in one hand and carefully pry offthe top shell with your other hand. If you have female crabs and find bright orange, sweet roe when you open the shell, remove it and reserve it as an additional garnish for the soup. Give the inside of the crab a quick rinse under cold running water to wash away the internal organs and any fat. Using kitchen shears, cut away the triangular gills from both sides of the crab and discard. Turn the crab over and remove the apron—the tab-like feature—and discard. Cut the crab lengthwise in half. Using the kitchen shears or a large chef’s knife, make a cut between each leg through the body of the crab. Using your fingers, carefully pick the crabmeat from the cartilaginous membranes where the legs meet the body. Using the back of a large chef’s knife or a small wooden mallet, crack open the claw and leg joints to reveal more crabmeat; remove it. Discard all the shells. Pick over the crabmeat for any shell fragments or cartilage. Transfer to a container, cover, and refrigerate. Tightly covered, the crabmeat will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Crab Roe Bottarga Crab roe bottarga lets you push the fresh blue crab roe season out a little longer. This recipe came about because I wanted to grate a little cured egg yolk over a she-crab soup to get an added layer of richness. Then I realized I could combine the egg yolk with the sweet crab roe and preserve that flavor for use throughout the year, until the next roe season came around. Note: Blue crab roe is available in some seafood markets and from online sources. Makes one 12-ounce piece 8 ounces blue crab roe, carefully picked over for shells and cartilage 12 large egg yolks 1 summer sausage casing (2.9 by 20 inches) 4 cups kosher salt, plus more as needed Combine the roe and egg yolks in a food processor and process until completely combined, about 1 minute. Using a funnel, slowly pour the roe mixture into the casing. Lightly tap the side of the casing to remove air bubbles. Cut off any excess casing about 3 inches above the mixture and tie the end off tightly with a double knot of butcher’s twine. Pour 2 cups of the salt into the bottom of an 8-by-6by-4-inch glass loaf pan or other nonreactive container. Add the bottarga and cover with the remaining 2 cups salt. Refrigerate, uncovered, for 3 days. Remove the bottarga from the salt and wipe away any salt from its surface. Attach a length of butcher’s twine to the bottarga just below the knot at the top of the casing and hang the bottarga in the refrigerator, making sure it hangs freely and doesn’t touch anything; it’s important to have good air circulation around it. Place a bowl filled with kosher salt underneath the bottarga to catch any drippings and absorb odors. Let the bottarga hang for 7 to 10 days, making sure the temperature stays below 40°F. The bottarga will lose moisture and the texture will become firmer. Transfer the bottarga to a container, cover, and refrigerate for up to 1 month. Excerpted from South by Sean Brock (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2019. Photographs by Peter Frank Edwards.

APPLE-FENNEL KRAUT with Red Cabbage (as shown on page 20)

This is a very nostalgic kraut for me and reminds me of my time in Germany. A version of this recipe was one of the first krauts I ever made. If you like crunch, red cabbage produces a more toothsome kraut than white or green varieties. When you bite into a fennel seed, the sweetness “pops” and is a lovely contrast to the tartness of the apple that develops in fermentation. If you’re open to cooking your kraut, this kraut might be the most delicious choice. If you add a little red wine and some type of fat (like goose or duck fat, or ghee) and cook it for 15 minutes, you’ll have the most wonderful side dish imaginable for a holiday meal. To get those live cultures back into your meal, you can add a little of the fresh kraut just before serving. —Kathryn MAKES ½ GALLON 1,550 grams shredded red cabbage (1⁄8-to 1⁄4-inch-thick shreds) 40 grams coarse unrefined sea salt 200 grams thinly sliced firm-fleshed tart apple (we prefer Pippins or Granny Smith) 100 grams thinly sliced fennel bulb 100 grams thinly sliced yellow onion 10 grams fennel seeds 2 whole cabbage leaves EQUIPMENT Kitchen scale 1⁄2-gallon or 2-liter wide-mouth glass jar Canning funnel (optional) Kraut tamper (optional) Fermentation lid 1. Wash and sanitize all your fermentation equipment, including a large bowl, knife, and cutting board, and set aside to air-dry. 2. Put the shredded cabbage in the large bowl and sprinkle the salt over the shredded cabbage. Using your hands, vigorously massage, squeeze, and mix the salt into the cabbage until the cabbage begins to release liquid, about 5 minutes. The cabbage will transform in color and texture, becoming more translucent and pliable as you go. When you can grab a handful of the shredded cabbage and squeeze the liquid out of it easily, it’s ready to go. Add the apple, sliced fennel, onion, and fennel seeds to the bowl with the cabbage and mix to combine. 3. Transfer the mixture to the jar along with the natural brine at the bottom of the bowl (a canning funnel is useful here and helps to minimize spillage). As you add the mixture, tamp it down with your fist or a kraut tamper to submerge the solids under the brine and force out any air pockets. Continue until the jar is almost full, leaving 2 inches of headspace. 4. Take one of the two whole cabbage leaves, give it a quick rinse, and fold it up so it fits into the mouth of the jar. It should cover all the cabbage below and very slightly protrude from the top of the jar. Depending on the size and density of the leaves, you may need to fold and add the second cabbage leaf if the kraut is not submerged under the brine when the lid is sealed. 5. Seal the jar with the fermentation lid. You should feel some resistance from the cabbage leaf, but not so much that tightening the lid is overly difficult. Place the sealed jar on a plate or in a bowl to catch any liquid displaced through the airlock during fermentation. 6. Ferment the kraut in a cool place away from direct sunlight (3 @EdibleLAMag


APPLE-FENNEL KRAUT (recipe on page 19)



Wiener Schnitzel (recipe on page 22)

reading corner weeks at 64°F is ideal). Taste the kraut after 2 weeks to determine if the flavor and sourness are to your liking. If it’s not sour enough, reseal the jar and let it ferment for another week, then taste again. When the kraut is sour to your liking, replace the fermentation lid with a regular lid, seal, and store in the refrigerator for up to 10 months. Reprinted with permission from The Farmhouse Culture Guide to Fermenting by Kathryn Lukas and Shane Peterson, copyright © 2019. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, Inc.

WIENER SCHNITZEL (as shown on page 17)

makes 6 schnitzel (4 for dinner, plus 2 for sandwiches the next day—no one has ever complained about a schnitzel sandwich) YOU WILL NEED Deep-frying thermometer or probe Meat mallet (or ask your butcher to pound the meat) 6 veal escalopes, 5 to 6 ounces (140 to 170g) each FIne sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour 3 eggs, beaten 2 cups (220g) fine dried bread crumbs 1 quart (950ml) peanut oil or canola oil 1/4 cup (5g) minced flat-leaf parsley 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 3 lemons, halved Cranberry jam, parsley potatoes, or cucumber salad for serving Schnitzel is a quintessential Alpine dish, one that can be found on all the menus: whether it’s a rifugio, hut, hostel, motorway stop, café, five-star hotel, low-end joint, high-end lodge—you name it, they serve it. I like to imagine Ötzi the Iceman (who was discovered in the Ötztal Alps on the border between Austria and Italy) had it on offer, with a side of foraged berries, in his cave dwelling. And yet, Wiener Schnitzel does not come from the mountains. Despite the presumption that schnitzel is a German thing, the first cookbooks to record such a dish—a veal loin pounded thin—were Italian. Time Life’s Food of Italy makes reference to a Milanese banquet in 1134 serving lombolos cum panitio, breaded veal chops. Not until the nineteenth century did it occur to an Austrian general to bring the Milanese recipe back to Vienna. It was, to be fair, the Viennese who thought to get rid of the bone; they knew they were onto something good when they then protected the Wiener Schnitzel with an appellation. I would estimate my schnitzel count at more than two hundred over the course of traveling and eating to research this book. Ask me what my favorite one is, and the real answer is “wherever I ate the last one.” At the same time, served on good china with a lemon wedge, a side of potatoes, and maybe cranberry jam or a cucumber salad, schnitzel is also a sophisticated, if not elegant, dish. And that’s where a little technique comes into play. In my opinion, the best schnitzel should have a bit of puff, meaning some nice air pockets between the meat and the breading. Austrians call this souffléing, and it happens when the schnitzel has room to float freely in the fat in which it’s cooked. When I tried the schnitzel recipes given to me by Austrian friends and cooks, they never tasted as good at home as they had in the mountains. So, with two friends to assist, I set out to develop my own 22


recipe. Now when people ask me what’s the best schnitzel, it’s this recipe right here. Team Schnitzel was torn over the use of oil versus clarified butter as the cooking fat. Clarified butter yielded a much richer flavor (some said too rich); oil ensured crispier breading. Because this recipe calls for a lot of cooking fat, we recommend you use oil only to fry the schnitzel. If you’re feeling fancy, substitute 2 cups (430g) clarified butter (see page 146) for 2 cups (480ml) of the oil. Otherwise, a drizzle of melted butter on the meat when serving tastes just as luxurious. The temperature of the oil also turned out to be key: the schnitzel cooks more slowly at a lower temperature, but this resulted in a more-tender breading and meat, and—we think—better souffléing. If your butcher hasn’t pounded the meat for you, cover a chopping board with plastic wrap. Lay the veal down, then cover with another sheet of plastic. Use a meat mallet to pound the meat slices to a thickness of 1⁄4 inch (6mm). Transfer the meat to a large tray. Season both sides of each slice with salt and pepper. Set up a breading station by placing the flour on one plate, add the eggs to a shallow bowl, and put the bread crumbs on a second plate. Place a clean platter at the end to hold the breaded slices. Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). Line a baking sheet with a layer of paper towels. Pour the peanut oil into a large Dutch oven or cast-iron pan. The oil level should be about 3⁄4 inch (2cm) deep (if you’re using a very large pan, increase the amount of oil accordingly). Slowly warm the oil over low heat to 265°F (130°C) on a deep-frying thermometer. Meanwhile, working with one slice at a time, dredge the veal in flour to coat completely, then shake off any excess. Next, dip the meat through the egg until well coated, then, with a fork, lift, allowing any excess egg wash to drip back into the bowl. Transfer to the bread crumbs, flipping to coat well on both sides, then shake off any extra crumbs. Place the breaded slice to the platter. Repeat with the remaining slices. Working with tongs, slip one piece of veal into the hot oil and cook until pale golden brown, 3 to 31⁄2 minutes. Keep an eye on the oil temperature, adjusting the heat regularly to keep the oil around 265°F (130°C). While the meat is frying, if you notice parts of the meat surfacing above the oil, gently lift your Dutch oven or pan by the handle, back and forth, to encourage the oil to wash gently over the meat. (If you are not a nervous fryer, you can instead baste the meat using a spoon, as needed.) Otherwise, leave the meat untouched and unflipped, to avoid puncturing the coating and releasing the valuable steam that creates the souffléed effect. Transfer the finished schnitzel to the prepared baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm. Adjust your oil temperature before frying each new slice. When you are finished frying all of the meat, drop the chopped parsley in the hot oil and fry for 10 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, remove from the oil and transfer to a paper towel. Transfer the schnitzels to individual plates, then drizzle 1⁄2 tablespoon butter across each and garnish with a sprinkle of fried parsley. Serve with the lemon halves for squeezing, and your choice of a side of cranberry jam, parsley potatoes, or a cucumber salad. Reprinted with permission from Alpine Cooking, by Meredith Erickson, copyright © 2019. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC.Photographs copyright © 2019 by Christina Holmes. ◆





Sparkling Cocktail 4-pack Greenbar Distillery; $19.99

They’re all tasty, but ginger is my go-to. It’s bright, spicy, bubbly, and slightly sweet with some backbone. These spritzes are a treat.

Glass Containers with Wood Lids Pyrex; $38 A great addition to a plastic-free kitchen, these containers are elegant and functional. Made of durable high-quality tempered glass, it’s pre-heated oven, microwave, fridge, freezer and microwave safe.

Be Hot Avocado Sauce Kumana; $6.99

An incredible flavor forward sauce combined with approachable heat. Made with ripe avocados, mango & habanero chili peppers. It’s your new secret sauce. The habanero chili peppers add delicious depth of flavor with just enough heat to keep you reaching back for more.

Holiday Box

The Butchery; $285

The limited-time box will include a Saratoga Rib Eye Roast with WheelyQ SPG seasoning and Bubbie’s Creamy Horseradish for serving, plus a recipe card with instructions on how to artfully prepare and cook the Saratoga roast. The box also includes Italian Goats Milk Cheddar Sausages for a crowd-pleasing appetizer, and Olli Chorizo, OG Kristal Aged Gouda, and Bonne Maman Plum Preserves to create a thoughtfully-curated cheese & charcuterie board.



holiday gift guide Backyard Fruit Project Gelateria Uli; $80 per batch

Take your backyard citrus, figs, loquats, or other fruit into Gelateria Uli’s DTLA location and they’ll turn it into small batch gelato or sorbet for you. It costs $80 per batch (3 x half-gallon tubs) with a $20 surcharge to pint it (into 12 pints). Talk about a uniquely local project and such an awesome gift for loved ones this holiday season.

Under the Citrus Trees Gift Box Eataly; $249.90

That hint of citrus in the air? It’s the lemon and orange groves that dot the Italian coasts and countrysides. As one of Europe’s largest producers, Italians have been refining the art of cooking, eating, and drinking with citrus for centuries. This luxurious basket is overflowing with an array of lemony confections and savory ingredients that will transport you to these famous perfumed groves.

Coratina Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Rio Bravo Ranch; $30

Plastic-Free Bags Stasher; price varies

My new favorite kitchen item: plastic-free baggies for storage, on-the-go snacking, and so much more. The smallest size is perfect for storing chopped garlic or herbs and is also the perfect way to bring supplements along while I travel. Made from pure-platinum silicone, Stasher bags can withstand temperatures up to 400 degrees and can easily go from the oven and boiling water to the freezer and cleans easily in the dishwasher!

Made from 100% Californian grown, organic Coratina olives, this extra-virgin olive oil features notes of olive leaf, green almond and has a peppery finish. A medium to robust oil with light bitterness and a pungent finish. Grown on a 160 year-old Bakersfield ranch, having found the perfect climate for Italian and Spanish olives in Kern County.



local heroes

PURGING PLASTICS Local pros discuss our plastic problems and offer tips to make changes at home and in the kitchen. BY SHAUNA BURKE


ost of my life has been lived by an ocean—a vast expanse of sparkling blue where I’ve gazed into the unknown more times than I could ever count, marveled at the swirly sunsets, and walked in the uprush at dawn. No matter where I am in the world, a beach feels homey; the water, familiar. It’s only recently that I’ve realized I am not doing enough to protect our struggling oceans, or our world, from the imminent threat of climate change and plastic pollution. The future of plastic recyclability is uncertain or, at the very least, unpredictable and I found myself feeling confused, frustrated, and anxious, not knowing how, or even if, I could make the slightest difference. Many of us, myself included, have a narrow view of plastic waste—just seeing what we are creating ourselves, in our own homes, and not zooming out to take in the bigger picture. Each time you consume something out of single-use plastic from now on, think about how many other people on the planet are doing the same thing at the same moment and imagine all those billions of water bottles or coffee cup lids or takeout containers being discarded. Where are they all going? The news is not good: most of our plastics—yes, even the plastics that we think we are recycling—are still ending up in landfills or oceans. According to a 2014 paper called “Plastic Pollution in the World’s Oceans” by oceanographer Marcus Eriksen, more than 5 trillion pieces of plastic are already floating in our oceans. Researchers at the University of Georgia found that by 2015, humans had generated 8.3 billion metric tons of plastics, 6.3 billion tons of which had already become waste. Of that waste, only 9 percent was recycled, 12 percent was incinerated, and 79 percent accumulated in 26 @EdibleLAMag

landfills or the environment. It can be a hard pill to swallow for many consumers to learn that their recycling efforts have been for naught. And it can be even harder to learn that the most impactful thing we can do now is not to recycle and reuse but to reduce—or, in an ideal world, eliminate—our purchases of new plastics. Speaking with some friends about it ultimately led to an “I know, I know” eye roll, which I empathize with because I’ve been in that role too, but ignoring the problem won’t solve anything. It’s our responsibility to seek out the solutions and find out what we can do, at least on the most basic level—at home. It’s not just someone else’s responsibility to deal with, since we’ve participated in the problem—so let’s participate in the positive change too. Believe it or not, there are organizations that want our old toothbrushes, wetsuits, and shampoo bottles. We can find a place to responsibly recycle the things that we’ve already accumulated, but to say that it won’t require effort would be a lie. It’s going to take work. STOP THE SINGLE-USE I went entirely no-plastic for the purposes of this article, thinking it couldn’t really be that difficult. The biggest challenge I faced was certainly with single-use plastic. I couldn’t purchase most of the convenience foods I realized I relied on day-to-day like cottage cheese, yogurt, cereal, oat milk (or any dairy or alternative milk due to either a plastic top or spout), tortillas, cheese wrapped in plastic film, protein or greens powders, wellness shots, hummus, tofu, tempeh, pre-washed lettuces and herbs, berries, bags of nuts and seeds, cartons of vegetable stock, bags of grains and beans, and almost anything from the frozen aisle. The more annoying challenges



were the completely unnecessarily plastic-wrapped vegetables offers refill stations to fill your reusable containers with household like cucumbers, cauliflower, tomatoes, or mushrooms. And even cleaners, body care products, and bulk goods from sustainable more annoying, or totally obnoxious, were the plastic stickers that sources. Their refill stations also pop up at farmers’ markets around adorned every single lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, avocado, Los Angeles, so keep up with them to plan a visit. banana, and other produce—this is the point where I almost gave up. I stood there thinking, all I want is a damn lemon and I can’t get one THE PROBLEM WITH TAKEOUT damn lemon without there being plastic involved?! I thought we were I almost never get food delivered, but I do occasionally pick up doomed as a society. I snapped a photo and frustratingly texted my takeout from a few nearby restaurants. I now know that there are sister that there was no hope. At the time, my little outburst didn’t really very few restaurants which actually provide sustainable feel as dramatic as it now looks on paper. I also had to steer clear of takeout containers—many that we believe to be eco-friendly are the salad bar, deli case, and any prepackaged meals. At my favorite actually a mixture of paper and plastic, making them very difficult local grocer, the single-use containers at the deli are biodegradable to recycle. Same goes for single-use coffee cups and butcher paper. but the lids are plastic—huge bummer. Restaurants often refuse to pack takeout orders in a customer’s If you’re wondering what I actually walked out of the container for fear of cross-contamination, so I decided that going to market with, here’s the list: local eggs (packaged in cartons made a restaurant would now only involve sitting down and eating a meal from recycled paper and pulp or cardboard), glass jars of nut butters, on a real plate. I kept a clean glass food container in my handbag to local fruit jam, olives and pickles, honey, maple syrup, olive oil, and take leftovers home with me, which was never a problem. fresh vegetables and fruits without stickers or packaging. In July, California passed a new law that allows restaurants I found solace in going to the Santa Monica Farmers the option of following some new guidelines to accept a customer’s Market early on Wednesday mornings. Of course, I brought my own containers for this purpose, but it’s still up to the restaurant to market tote and lots of small reusable cloth produce bags which I determine whether or not it’s a practice they want to adopt. As used for all sorts of things like green beans, dried beans and legumes, Monica Heffron, executive project manager at the Rustic Canyon mushrooms, nuts, seeds, and herbs, and only purchased that which Family of Restaurants, tells me, it’s not as simple as we might believe had zero plastic involved. I walked away with sticker-free citrus it to be. “We…are definitely analyzing the best way to incorporate fruits, stone fruits, and unwrapped cucumbers, mushrooms, lettuces, this more into our operations to cut down on single-use packaging, and herbs. The only time this didn’t work for me is when I had a but it’s not something that can be done overnight and requires a last-minute need to cook dinner for a small group of friends and good amount of thought and planning on our end to ensure our struggled—but succeeded!—in staying plastic-free at the grocery process is as safe and effective as possible. The new regulations are an store closest to my house. As long as I planned appropriately, a trip exciting change to see, though, if they represent a larger shift in the to the farmers’ market once per week mindset of how people look at takeout served to provide the majority of the Many of us are so locked into our routines that we and packaging in general,” she says. food I needed. As someone who was a just don’t know where to start to make a change. Not being able to rely on caterer, I know how much single-use convenience foods, like the 6-ounce Our modern lifestyles beg for convenient, single- plastic can go into both sourcing and containers of my favorite cottage cheese use, time-saving, stress-free packaging so we can preparing food. I cringe when I think or pre-packaged tortillas or sliced focus on other things—things that we deem more about the amount of plastic wrap I’d sprouted bread, completely changed go through in one day—now I use the way I eat. I couldn’t find a plastic- important. But I ask you, what is more important beeswax wraps (see opposite for a DIY free almond milk, so I stopped adding than this? version) and reuseable containers only. it to my coffee. I started eating local The Rustic Canyon restaurant group eggs for breakfast with a bit of local butter and chopped herbs from is located in Santa Monica, a city that has set their own admirable my own garden. I’d keep a few big salads ready to go in plastic-free sustainability goals, so I asked Monica if the restaurants have set containers, which consisted only of locally-grown lettuces and other goals beyond what the city mandates. She shares, “We put a huge vegetables, dried nuts and seeds from bulk bins, and homemade amount of thought and consideration into our vendors to make dressing that I kept in a mini glass jar, in my refrigerator—and sure we’re sourcing seasonal, local, organic ingredients whenever we that’s lunch. Snacks—like pickles, olives, or granola—are all kept in can. Quality of ingredient is a top priority on every level, especially reusable silicone storage bags or glass jars. regarding sustainability. A lot of people only think about what To stay prepared, the trunk of my car contains all the happens in the restaurant, but a lot of it happens before products essentials: grocery totes, cloth produce bags, bamboo utensils, one even reach the kitchen, so being mindful of where one’s ingredients or two glass food containers for leftovers from restaurants, and a come from is very important to us. We also work closely with reusable plastic-free water bottle and coffee cup. Once I got into a the Surfrider Foundation to stay certified as part of their Ocean routine, it became easy to stick to a zero-plastic lifestyle, but there Friendly Restaurants program – their feedback is a huge help to us are definitely times when it’s very challenging. in improving our operations to make sure we’re as environmentally I’m a proponent of plant-based eating but I have a weak friendly as possible.” spot for cheese. Going to the cheese counter at any local grocer left me despondent, however, because every single variety used plastic A THOUGHTFUL PURGE in some manner. I did some homework and was pleasantly surprised One major concern I have about the plastic-free movement is the that every cheese store I called, including Andrew’s Cheese Shop idea that we need to immediately toss all the plastic in our homes in Santa Monica and The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills, allow right into the dumpster. I’ve seen more than a few seemingly wellcustomers to bring in their own containers for taking their cheeses meaning people on social media go on plastic purges, where they’ll home. I also found that local, independently owned markets and rummage through their refrigerator, pantry, and the rest of the house shops are more likely to accept foreign containers since they may only to toss full bottles of condiments, unopened yogurts, and old not have corporate guidelines to contend with. food storage containers or utensils right into the trash, exclaiming Other stores, like Sustain LA in Highland Park, make that they want a plastic-free home. On the contrary, we should be shopping a breeze. Founder Leslie VanKeuren Campbell has done finding creative ways to reuse or properly recycle all the existing all the hard work and customers get to reap the rewards. The store plastic in our homes in an effort to reduce what ends up in landfills 28


and oceans. I reached out to Brigit Binns, an accomplished cookbook author and owner of the unique culinary retreat Refugio in Paso Robles, to chat about our mutual frustrations and see what she’s doing to reduce her footprint. For starters, she’s made a point to entertain more thoughtfully—no single-use anything. Yes, cleaning up requires more effort, but what’s an extra 5 minutes when it makes such a huge impact? We agree that companies and manufacturers need to be taking more responsibility and communicate more with consumers about how to recycle or send back their products. She says, “without the motivation of money or profit, corporations have less incentive to put in the effort and want to recycle.” Brigit goes on to tell me how many times she’s reached out to companies to ask if they’ll accept containers back for recycling or even just get advice on how to recycle a particular type of plastic. “These companies need to be more responsive—there’s no personal touch or conversation and customers are just left in the dark,” she says. Companies should hear from their customers in droves and start to feel the pressure of us all wanting to see change and greater involvement from the folks who created these items in the first place. At the end of the day, we can only control our own purchases, our own waste, and our own impact. Start small, get friends and family involved, and the movement will grow exponentially. Not all manufacturers are on the wrong side of things, of course. A growing number are finding ways to be innovative while also profiting from recycling plastics—turning water bottles into shoes, abandoned fishing nets into sunglasses, and yogurt cups into toothbrushes. I’ve seen examples of plastics being recycled into bike paths, roads, and even housing—I’m hopeful we’ll see many more positive examples like this in the coming years. is a fantastic resource for finding free recycling programs in your area—we’re talking everything from contact lenses and toothpaste tubes to cigarette filters and dog food bags. Again, it just takes effort on our part to figure it all out and make it happen. Yes, it’ll mean saving all of these little items we are 30


so accustomed to tossing into the trash and transporting them to the proper location. I urge local business owners and homeowners associations to offer to be drop-off points for any number of recyclable items. Visit TerraCycle’s website to learn more and get involved. JUST TAKE A FIRST STEP For anyone wondering how they can start to make a change: we all need to take stock of how, when, and why we use plastic. Start with the worst offenders. For you, that may mean rethinking a daily takeout or salad bar habit, or maybe it means giving up plastic water bottles and only using a reusable bottle. Just start somewhere. Accept that the plastic in our homes is now part of this planet—let’s just all do our part to make the best of this. The answer is not to purge all the plastic from our homes and go about the day, rather it is to simply be aware and do our best to implement positive change from this moment forward. So finish the plastic bottle of ketchup in the refrigerator, but next time search for a homemade ketchup recipe and store it in a glass jar or only purchase ketchup sold in glass bottles and make sure it’s properly cleaned and recycled. Start small, get friends and family involved, and the movement will grow exponentially. Don’t forget to speak out and let companies know that you want to see them participating in efforts to find alternative and sustainable packaging. If they don’t hear from their customers, there’s little pressure to make a big change. Take it upon yourself to be part of the conversation and help instill change in how we all prepare, purchase, and consume food. I’ve noticed that much of the resistance to ditching plastic is simply fear of the unknown. Many of us are so locked into our routines that we just don’t know where to start. Our modern lifestyles beg for convenient, single-use, time-saving, stress-free packaging so we can focus on other things—things that we deem more important. But I ask you, what is more important than this? ◆

around town

APPLE PIE 101 The Lowdown on Heirlooms and Tips for the Perfect Apple Pie BY LISA ALEXANDER


wouldn’t immediately think of California as apple country, but it definitely is. Our Central Coast has the perfect combination of coldish winters, coastal fog, and hot summer days to grow happy apples. That’s why our farmers’ markets are about to see a parade of early and late-season heirloom fruit. It’s also why I got more than a little bit obsessed with learning about these old apple strains as well as a grail of my own: the perfect apple pie. First, more about the apples themselves. So much more than just a fruit. An apple pie coming out of the oven—that’s childhood, that’s home. And it’s also hard-wired into the American DNA, if not soul itself. In the 19th century, we grew over 14,000 apple varieties and some of our present-day trees are over 200 years old. Since then, agribusiness has done what it does, narrowing our selection down to around ninety of the heartiest, the easiest, and the most disease-tolerant. Somewhere along the way it was also decided that red was best, and so color won out over texture and taste. Now, thankfully, farmers are once again giving us back the apples of our ancestors. Heirlooms can taste like strawberries or bananas or nutmeg or freshly cut grass—but they’re fragile and not commercially sold. You have to know the farmers and

markets and seasons as well, all of which made me want to know more. Which heirlooms are best to bake with or just eat plain? And which farmers are growing the ones we’ve never tasted, and where can we get them? To find out, I figured LA’s master bakers were a good place to start. Roxana Jullapat is the kind of person who likes a meaty apple with a good snap. She gets excited when they’re a little starchy too, because she knows they’ll bake up well. Roxana is the pastry chef and co-owner of Friends & Family in East Hollywood. A former pastry chef at AMMO and Lucques, she and her husband, Daniel Mattern, were chefs at the much-loved Cooks County as well. Roxana has a whole lot to say about apples, not least because she grew up in Costa Rica, where mangoes and bananas were normal, and apples were the most exotic fruit. According to her, the apple is the potato of the baking world and an apple rustic, a dessert she learned while working for Nancy Silverton, pretty much takes the cake in terms of perfection. “You can’t outdo a classic because you’re fighting all kinds of things… like preconceptions and traditions, tried and true flavors, @EdibleLAMag


techniques, and memories. It’s really hard to mess up something that heirlooms like Winter Banana, Wine Sap, Greening, Missouri Pippin, people have such an incredible emotional attachment to.” Pearmain and Arkansas Black. “Grandma and grandpa trees,” as Susie Though she’s realistic about the pitfalls of pie. “I love the says. idea—we all love the idea—that you can just whip a little something The warmth seeps into her voice as she talks about their lives, together, throw in a little sugar, encase it in dough, put it in the oven how her husband “just put his own magic on this place. Now we make and it’s wonderful, but that idea is the mother of a lot of bad pie.” our own cider, have our own bees—over 90 hives—and sell our own Roxana’s four-star version has been fine-tuned over years of ciders and honey and apples.” trial and error and baking marathons. She tosses the apples with spices The Kennys have grown their family as well—eight children, and brown sugar, white sugar, a little bit of cider, a small amount of many of whom work on the farm—and Susie’s famous for her applesauce. thickening, and roasts halfway. And then she does the same with her She makes it with cider, four or five different kinds of apples and just a own personal curveball: grapes (get the recipe on page 35). bit of cinnamon. As for Susie’s favorite variety, she’s democratic in her “I like those autumn grapes that are really big and fleshy with apple tastes. “I love every season because every season has such a gift to that beautiful dark purple skin and a tannic flavor.” She also admits to give.” trying a raisin from time to time, like the Red Flames and Sun Goldens Mike Cirone also grows down the road and is widely from Peacock Farms in Arroyo Grande. Drizzling them with sugar and considered an expert on heirlooms. He’s been dry farming See Ranch butter, she blisters them in the oven so they release their juices while since 1984, and now cultivates three-quarters of the cropland in keeping their integrity. California’s central coast. His top quality heirlooms include Akane, It’s no surprise that Roxana’s pies are stellar, flaky and buttery, Cox’s Orange Pippin, Elstar, Empire, Gold Rush, Honeycrisp, Pink and graced with a depth of fruit. Roxana was one of the judges, for six Pearl, Spitzenberg, Stayman Winesap, and Winter Pearmain. I catch years running, at the annual KCRW’s Good Food Pie Contest. up with Mike at the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market: “Apples like cold “When I first started,” she says, “It was amazing how bad the winters, so that could be why apples are successful in our area. They just pies were in the beginning. And then, in time, people were getting really tend to grow. The soils are really nice, very deep. We have a very cool good. I feel like collectively LA bakers gained a kind of consciousness winter because of our canyon configuration…without the blazing hot that this is a dessert that has to be approached with respect.” inland climate. Apples have been growing well here for over a hundred Nicole Rucker did pastry at the Gjelina Group where years.” she conceived one of my personal favorite desserts of all time: the Mike does have a favorite apple, a late-season heirloom gorgeously perfect berry galette. She’s also owned her pie-famous called Gold Rush, a yellowish apple that’s rock hard and looks “kind of restaurant, Fiona, and is the author of Dappled, an entire cookbook funky.” It’s got a fan base too in Santa Monica. “The people who know about baking with fruit. I talk heirlooms with her as well, and she tells that apple here, they just can’t wait to see it.” me that, come a certain time of year, she has a hankering for Strawberry Going home with my bag of early season apples, I find each Parfait apples from Windrose Farm. She’s also into Pink Pearl and her of them utterly distinct. I love the idea of baking a pie that would favorite apple of all time, the Japanese Mutsu. In fact, she’s so crazy highlight the individuality of each of these fruits and, since all baking is about Mutsu that she made a pilgrimage to the apple-growing region a chemical reaction, I also wonder what science can tell us about pie. To north of Tokyo when she did a bakery pop-up there. In Asian apples, find out, my last stop is a bonafide expert, an integrative biologist and Nicole admires the “watercore” where sugar settles and makes a physiologist at University of California Los Angeles, Amy Rowat, who translucent area of extra deliciousness. teaches the popular Science of Pie. “Watercore in Asia is something kind of special, but in I find her off a long grey hall with graphs that say things like America, it’s a blemish,” she says. “sex differences in circadian rhythm of food intake in mice caused According to by gonadal hormones Nicole, apples are often “An apple pie coming out of the oven—that’s childhood, and complement of sex just plain misunderstood, chromosomes.” Sitting covered up with cinnamon that’s home. And it’s also hard-wired into the American in her office—a joyfully and spice when they’re DNA, if not soul itself. In the 19th century, we grew over cluttered cubicle—we talk remarkable on their own. science and food. “I didn’t grow 14,000 apple varieties and some of our present-day trees First she gives me up eating apple pie. It’s are over 200 years old. Since then, agribusiness has done a rundown on her career, not a childhood memory ranging from an obsession membranes, at all. It’s something that what it does, narrowing our selection down to around with “nanoscopic and thin, I came to later in life, so ninety of the heartiest, the easiest, and the most disease- 1,000 times smaller and I love the idea of making thinner than a piece of it something a little more tolerant.” [plastic wrap],” to post-doc special.” dinners with her fellow scientists, “we informally christened ourselves She tells me how she entered the National Pie Championships The Gastrophysical Society,” to her collaboration with chef Ferran Adria in 2013 in the Perfect Pie category, which she won, and that’s how she during her PhD in Emulsions at Harvard University where they created came to her own personal philosophy of ditching the cinnamon and the first annual Harvard Science of Food class. Her subsequent work spice, par boiling the apples, and adding sour cream, brown sugar, and at UCLA has included founding a Science and Food Organization— a lot of salt. And she loads it up with four kinds of apples for different hosting talks for the public that have included NASA growing food in levels of textures and sweetness. space and food waste icon Massimo Bottura. She’s also been a judge Nicole favors growers like Barbara Spencer at Windrose, at KCRW’s pie contest and is solely responsible for dozens of students Susie Kenny at See Canyon Fruit Ranch, and Michael Cirone at Cirone baking pie assignments in toaster ovens in their dorm rooms. Farms. I figure they’re my next stop—the folks who actually give us the So, I ask Amy, what does the underlying chemistry teach us fruit. about making the perfect pie? Susie and Paul Kenny, an ornamental horticulturist, got A lot, it turns out, and much of it aligns with the intuition married in 1976 and shortly after took over See Canyon Fruit Ranch. and experience that bakers like Nicole and Roxana bring as guests to Nestled in a small coastal canyon just outside of San Luis Obispo, her class. the place was opened in 1894, and already it had venerable rows of 32


Photo by Carolina Korman @EdibleLAMag


First, let’s talk about that golden brown color. Set the oven to at least 375°F and brush the pie with egg wash and cream. Why? Because egg (protein) and cream (protein and lactose) both help with the Maillard reaction between amino acids or, to put it more plainly, to get the crust that just right scrumptious brown. And what about crust? Gluten gives the crust structure, but too much can make things tough. That’s why adding a little vinegar or alcohol can break up the gluten network that forms when flour meets water. What about how big and how high? Best to do wide and about as thin as a pie tin. Make it too lofty, and your pie will brown before the filling is done. And maximum flakiness? Fat, of course. Butter consists of tiny drops of water suspended in a matrix of fat. The water steams as the pie cooks, and yet remains trapped in the crust. American butters have more water than European butters. Go with American for your pie. And mix it up with those butter chunks. Bigger means less gluten formation and smaller helps make sure the fat is even throughout your crust. Don’t forget your steam vents, please. You don’t want your pie to swell, as apples lose more than a third of their weight as they cook. 34


And let that sucker cool. Too hot will be runny with molecules slip sliding around. Cooling allows the fruit pectin to help solidify your perfect slice. What about cutting your apples into wedges or slices? Slices, it turns out. Remember how apples lose volume when they bake? Water converts from liquid to gas. You want your apples packed tightly or there will be a gap between the filling and the roof of the pie. And thickening? Not all of the water in the apples converts into steam as they cook. The remaining liquid runs into the filling instead so, if you’re not careful, you could end up with a runaway interior and a limp, soggy crust. Not good at all. The fix? Add some flour or cornstarch because these molecules are bigger and slower than the ones in water. Thicken properly and your slice will have that perfect ooze. So, yes, in the end science does go into your pie—but so do craft, courage, heart, and wonderful heirloom apples. As Roxana Jullapat says, there’s nothing more rewarding than baking a perfect pie. “But it’s not going to be on the fly… you’re going to have to play all those tricks. You’re going to have to move the oven rack; you’re going to have to cover it with foil. There’s no easy way to make a pie. This is not for the faint of heart. It’s an endeavor. It’s a journey,” and then she smiles, as if this is what pleases her most of all.

Grapple Pie Makes one 9-inch pie For the grapple filling: 3 cups stemmed seedless grapes ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons melted butter 2 pounds firm apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4 –inch wedges 1/3 cup granulated sugar 1/3 cup brown sugar ¼ teaspoon kosher salt 1/3 cup water 1 tablespoon corn starch For the pie crust: 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour ½ cup Sonora wheat flour ½ teaspoon kosher salt 6 ounces or ¾ cup unsalted butter, cold, cubed 6 ounces or ¾ cup cream cheese, cold, cubed 2 tablespoons iced water All-purpose flour for rolling 1 egg, beaten Granulated sugar for sprinkling Make the grapple filling a few hours in advance. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and position the oven rack in the middle position of the oven. Coat the grapes with 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes or until they just start to burst. Combine the apples, sugars, remaining melted butter, and salt in a mixing bowl. In a separate cup, stir cornstarch and water until there are no lumps. Add to the apple mixture and toss all the ingredients together until well combined. Transfer to a large, nonstick roasting pan and put in the oven. Roast for 15 minutes, remove pan from the oven, toss the filling using a large spoon, put back in the oven, and roast for another 15 minutes for a total of 30 minutes. Transfer to a separate dish, add the roasted grapes, and let cool completely at room temperature. To make the crust: combine the flours and salt in a medium mixing bowl and toss the cubed butter and cream cheese into the flour. Use a pastry cutter (or your fingertips) to cut the fat into pieces the size of the dime into the flour. Make a well in the center and pour the iced water. Mix gently with your hands until the mixture resembles a raggedy dough; don’t worry if bits of butter or cream cheese are still visible. Flatten the dough into a disc and wrap tightly with plastic film. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 48 hours. Position the oven rack in the middle position, and preheat the oven to 350ºF. Roll out the pie dough on a lightly floured surface to form two rounds about 11 inches in diameter. Pick one of the rounds by rolling it onto the rolling pin, and lay it in a 9-inch pie pan. Gently press the dough onto the bottom of the pan, leaving about one inch of excess dough on the edge. Carefully fill the pie pan with the grapple filling trying to form a mound in the center. Pick the other dough circle just like you did before and lay it on top of the pie. Trim the excess dough with kitchen scissors just to the border of the pie pan. Crimp the edges together or gently press them with a fork. With a paring knife, cut four 2-inch slits on top of the pie to let steam out while baking. Brush the top with the beaten egg and sprinkle it generously with sugar. Place the pie pan on a baking sheet and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour. The pie is ready when the top is a rich, golden brown, and the filling starts to bubble. Remove from the oven and let it cool for at least one hour before slicing. ◆ @EdibleLAMag


sip on this

GINGER & SPICE OVER ICE The aroma of baking spices like ginger, nutmeg, or cinnamon often spark childhood memories of the exciting weeks leading up to the holidays, but for us bartenders it can be challenging to come up with new takes on the same old flavors. After I recently had the opportunity to chat with Rayland Fuentes, founder of TrueRoots Brewing Company and one of the best ginger beers out there— mellow and perfectly balanced—I found myself inspired to play around with unique ginger beer cocktails and we asked local bartenders to contribute their own.


GOLDEN FLEECE As apples come into season, Kim Stodel will incorporate them into his renowned bar program at Providence. For this cocktail using Argonaut brandy, Kim borrowed from Greek mythology and named it in reference to Jason and the Argonauts who sought the Golden Fleece. After seeing the golden hue of this fall treat, the name seems a perfect fit. IINGREDIENTS 1 1/2 oz Argonaut Fat Thumb brandy 1 oz apple-lemon juice mix (recipe follows) 1/2 oz cinnamon-infused Aperol (recipe follows) ginger beer 1 apple slice, for garnish grated cinnamon, for garnish INSTRUCTIONS Fill a Collins glass with ice and then add brandy and juice mix. Top off with ginger beer, leaving ½” space at the top for the Aperol. Gently stir and then add the cinnamon-infused Aperol, which will sink to the bottom. Garnish with one apple slice and then grate a bit of cinnamon onto the apple. APPLE-LEMON JUICE MIX INGREDIENTS 2 cored and washed medium tart green apples, cut into smaller 36 @EdibleLAMag

segments 2oz fresh lemon juice. INSTRUCTIONS In a blender, blend the apples and lemon juice on high until pulverized. Strain to separate the juice from the pulp. Store the juice in clean bottle or airtight container and keep refrigerated until use. It will keep for 2-3 days. CINNAMON-INFUSED APEROL INGREDIENTS 2-3 large sticks of cinnamon 1 (750ml) bottle of Aperol INSTRUCTIONS Gently toast 2-3 large cinnamon sticks in a pan or on a grill. In a clean airtight container, combine the toasted warm cinnamon sticks and a bottle of Aperol. Label and store in fridge for 12 - 24 hrs. Strain cinnamon from the Aperol and re-bottle and label for use.

ROLL CALL Melina Meza of rooftop bar Broken Shaker at the Freehand Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles shares this delicious riff on an El Diablo.

Dangerous Kiss cocktail at Mezcalero



INGREDIENTS 1 1/2 oz Silver Tequila 1/2 oz Lo-Fi Amaro 1/2 oz Prickly Pear & Shiso Cordial 3/4 oz Lime juice ginger beer fresh mint, for garnish edible flowers, for garnish

Morning Glory cocktail at Redbird

INSTRUCTIONS Fill a shaker with ice and add the first four ingredients. Strain in a Collins glass filled with ice and top with ginger beer. Garnish with a spring of mint and one or two edible flowers. PRICKLY PEAR & SHISO CORDIAL INGREDIENTS 12 oz water 16 oz sugar 10 pieces of shiso, shredded 12 oz prickly pear Perfect Purée INSTRUCTIONS Combine water, sugar and shredded shiso in a pot and stir until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a light boil and stir in prickly pear purée and simmer for 10 minutes. Let cool, strain & chill until ready to use.

DANGEROUS KISS For Josue Romero, also known as The Garnish Guy, a highquality rum is the perfect match for a zesty, citrusy ginger beer. If you catch Josue behind the bar at Mezcalero in the heart of the hot downtown bar scene, definitely ask for this one. It’s as dangerous as it is beautiful. INGREDIENTS 1 1/2 oz Santa Teresa rum 1/4 oz pineapple cordial 1/4 oz Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto 1/4 oz cinnamon syrup 1 oz lime juice 2 chunks muddled pineapple brulee fresh mint ginger beer INSTRUCTIONS Fill a shaker with ice and add the first five ingredients. Strain in a Collins or old fashioned glass filled with ice and top with ginger beer. Using a home kitchen-graded mini blow torch, caramelize the pineapple and place on top of the cocktail. Garnish with a generous bunch of fresh mint. PINEAPPLE CORDIAL INGREDIENTS 1 1/2 kg pineapple cores and peels 2 cups water juice and rind of 1 large lemon 1½ teaspoons citric acid 2 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger 5 cloves brown sugar INSTRUCTIONS Blend the pineapple in a food processor and transfer to a pot, adding the next five ingredients. Bring to a boil and then 38


barely simmer for 15 minutes. Strain though a colander, then strain this liquid again through a fine sieve, pressing down to extract maximum juice. For each cup of this reserved liquid add 1 cup brown sugar and bring up to a boil, then turn down to simmer while stirring for one minute. Cool and then pour into sterilized bottles and seal to keep fresh. CINNAMON SYRUP INGREDIENTS 1 cup water 1 cup sugar 4 cinnamon sticks INSTRUCTIONS Boil water with cinnamon sticks for a few minutes to infuse flavor. Remove cinnamon and add sugar, stirring at a low temperature until sugar is dissolved. Set aside to cool and then refrigerate.

MORNING GLORY Redbird was one of the pioneers of the bustling downtown scene and continues to be at the forefront with both their culinary and cocktail programs. The Morning Glory, from Jerry Thomas’s Bon Vivant’s companion, is Bar Director Tobin Shea’s inspiration for this fall treat. INGREDIENTS 1 1/2 oz Argonaut Saloon Strength Brandy 1/2 oz Brovo Orange Curaçao 4 dashes St George Absinthe 4 dashes Angostura Bitters 2 ounces of Ginger Beer INSTRUCTIONS Add first four ingredients to a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir briskly until well chilled. Add ginger beer and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. ◆

the food historian

The Draycott: Where London Meets L.A. Thinking about a traditional British holiday meal, we head to The Draycott in Pacific Palisades to see a modernity in how London meets Los Angeles—with some classic recipes to boot. BY MAITE GOMEZ-REJÓN


alking into the The Draycott in the Palisades Village, I’m immediately enveloped in warmth, both literal and physical. Large windows bathe the space in natural light, a pastel pink ceiling glows like a California sunset, deep orange leather banquettes act as an open invitation. As I soak in the palettes and textures, Marissa Hermer— restaurateur and co-owner with her husband Matt—greets me with a genuine smile and warm hug. I feel right at home. Marissa and her British husband recently moved back to Southern California with their three young children after having lived in London for over a decade, where the duo built a series of nightclubs and restaurants. They felt it was time to slow down and finally settled in the idyllic Pacific Palisades, which she describes as “heaven on earth sandwiched between the mountains and the ocean.” 40 @EdibleLAMag

Although the Hermers instantly fell in love with their surroundings, they quickly discovered that their new neighborhood lacked a central meeting space—a void that brought up memories of their old London haunts. In Chelsea, their local pub was “where we met up with neighbors, had meetings, celebrated children’s birthdays, or had date nights. It’s where we walked to on a Friday night and bumped into local friends.” Rather than yearn for what they sorely missed, they just built it themselves. And naming the space was a no-brainer. Marissa tells me, “Matt and I first lived together on Draycott Avenue in London. It was where we shared our first home. And [The Draycott] was our first home in LA—a home away from home.” As an Orange County native who grew up on guacamole, Marissa struggled to find good avocados in England so, to satisfy her cravings, she came up with her own version by substituting with readily available peas. English Guacamole, the Hermer’s family staple, was reborn as The Draycott’s English Pea Dip (find the recipe on Fun fact: although peas are strongly associated with the British Isles, they are native to Asia and were first introduced to Europe in the 16th century, when peas were considered “fit dainties for a lady.” Josh Mason—The Draycott’s chef—keeps the menu driven by local farmers’ markets, but Marissa is very aware that not every British recipe is made better with a “California twist.” While London meets Los Angeles in many of the restaurant’s dishes, the menu is certainly not lacking in traditional British fare, too. “My husband is quite a purist about certain things,” she says. As soon as the holiday spirit fills the cooler air, the weekend brunch menu will feel more Victorian England than contemporary California. Alas, the Sunday Roast. Dating to late 18th century England, the Sunday Roast originated as a hearty meal that broke the religious fast. Before leaving for church, families would place a large cut of meat (typically beef, pork, lamb, chicken, duck, goose, or turkey) and vegetables in the oven. Upon their return, the meal was nearly done, except for a simple gravy made from the fat drippings. Traditional sides like peas, roasted potatoes, cauliflower cheese, and Yorkshire pudding surrounded the roast to round out the meal. Although Yorkshire pudding first appears in print in the 1747 cookbook The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy by Hannah Glasse, cauliflower cheese dates to the Victorian Era. Its first recipe was published in the wildly popular cookbook, Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management of 1861. Beeton’s recipe was quite modern at the time given its use of Italian Parmesan cheese and French béchamel sauce. Marissa includes a variation (find the recipe on of the Victorian Era recipe in her own cookbook, An American Girl in London, published in 2017, and her version adds a new world kick, cayenne pepper, which is absent in Beeton’s original. In addition to the Sunday Roast, “we do a big Christmas lunch here which is really lovely,” Marissa shares. The British Christmas meal dates to Victorian England and is a more lavish version of the Sunday Roast. With turkey and cranberry sauce front and center, many of its offerings are strikingly similar to those found on the American Thanksgiving table except that mincemeat pies takes the place of their pumpkin, pecan, and apple cousins. Filled with spiced dried and candied fruits, mincemeat pies have roots that go all the way back to the Middle Ages. Traditionally accompanied by tea, coffee, sherry, or mulled wine, at The Draycott the preferred pairing for the British Christmas staple is a glass of Champagne. The Draycott—along with the Palisades Village—has only been opened for about a year but has become a neighborhood mainstay. “It should feel like your home,” Marissa insists. And it does. It’s a cozy spot filled with personal stories and plenty of room to create new ones. ◆

Photo by Jake Ahles Photography @EdibleLAMag



The Secrets to an Amazing Hot Chocolate A traditional hot chocolate can be the sweetest treat as nights start to cool; here are my secrets to creating the best. BY RYAN CAVEYWOOLPERT

BUY EXCELLENT CHOCOLATE This may seem obvious, but buy excellent chocolate, not just any old chocolate bar but something you know you really love. I think dark chocolate, or bittersweet, is the way to go here. It should have deep flavor. KNOW YOUR MILKS Non-dairy milks all behave differently and I know I’ve been super disappointed when attempting a vegan hot chocolate only to end up with a runny, separated mess. Use whole local cow’s milk or go with coconut milk (or a blended milk with a base of coconut) to make sure there’s some fat involved. ADD FRAGRANT SPICES Add a fragrant cinnamon stick, a star anise pod, or a pinch of nutmeg—something to add a bit of “oh, what’s that delicious flavor I’m picking up here?” AND A PINCH OF ESPRESSO POWDER The best secret: add a pinch of espresso powder to hot chocolate and it just somehow brings out the flavor of the chocolate and makes everything taste more...chocolatey. Trust me on this one! DON’T FORGET THE SEA SALT If you take nothing else away from this, just make sure you add a pinch of sea salt to the pot. As in baking, salt helps to bring everything together and punch up the existing flavors. 42


THE RECIPE 3 cups whole milk 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped 3 tablespoons granulated sugar 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half (or star anise pod, crushed) pinch of espresso powder pinch of sea salt whipped cream, for serving grated chocolate, for serving In a medium saucepan, bring the milk and spice(s) to a simmer over low heat, taking care never to boil the milk. Using a whisk, add chocolate, sugar, espresso powder, and salt to the pan and whisk until chocolate is completely melted. Taste for seasoning and feel free to add more espresso powder or salt, as desired. Pour hot chocolate into a pitcher through a fine mesh sieve to catch any crushed spices. Divide evenly among mugs and top with whipped cream and grated chocolate—or marshmallow, or whatever! ◆

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Profile for Edible LA

Edible LA | No 11  

Fall 2019

Edible LA | No 11  

Fall 2019

Profile for ediblela