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Barbara Hansen

  • ONE PAN, TWO PLATES–(Middle Eastern) FREEKEH

    How many cookbooks do you have that contain recipes for freekeh? Probably not many. More likely none. Freekeh is roasted green wheat, which you can find in markets that stock Middle Eastern products. I recently bought a box, needed a recipe and found a terrific one in Carla Snyder’s latest book, “One Pan, Two Plates:...

  • PAIRING LUNCH WITH NEW ZEALAND WINES

    Wine tastings  are great. They’re even better when wines are paired with food so well that each shows at its best. This happened when Erica Crawford of Loveblock Wines in New Zealand (at the top) presented her wines at a lunch at Wolf restaurant in Los Angeles. Marcel Vigneron, Wolf’s chef/owner, came up with the [&...

  • JAPANESE TACOS AND TAPAS AT NECCO

    Ever seen a taco that looked like this? Probably not, that is, if you haven’t been to Necco, a Japanese tapas restaurant on Westwood Boulevard in Los Angeles. Instead of corn masa, the “tortillas” are made of brown rice and potato starch. The filling is avocado and spicy tuna, as in the rolls you get […]...

  • HERE’S WHERE TO TRY INDO-CHINESE FOOD

    My favorite place for Chinese food right now is Little India in Artesia, not the San Gabriel Valley, Hong Kong or Taipei. The food isn’t classic Chinese but Indo-Chinese, what people in India like to eat. I love Hakka noodles, vegetables Manchurian, chilli chicken, Szechuan fried rice and whatever else turns up on the lunc...

  • A CHANCE TO LEARN ABOUT AFGHAN FOOD

    Imagine a magic carpet of food, sumptuous dishes scented with cardamom, cumin, saffron, mint and turmeric, plates of succulent meats, fish and vegetables, handmade breads and stuffed dumplings, followed by sweets and heaps of fruit. This is the food of Afghanistan, which flies far under the radar in Los Angeles. There may be a h...

  • TRY TURKISH FOOD AT THE KITCHEN

    Want to go out for Thai food? Tacos?  Pizza?  Sure. For Turkish food? What’s that? Turkish cuisine is just not known in Los Angeles, even though Turkish ingredients are easy to get–I even found pomegranate vinegar from Izmir at my neighborhood 99 Cents Only Store. Izmir is Turkey’s third largest city. To put ...

  • THIS FRENCH LEMON CAKE IS REALLY A WINNER

    It was a tough competition. Food bloggers were showing off their finest treats at the annual dessert cookoff staged by Melissa’s Produce. I worked all one afternoon to produce a glorious lemon cake, which I dusted with powdered sugar, then glittery gold sprinkles and surrounded with candied lemon slices. It looked beautifu...

  • A BOOK OF HOW-TO TIPS FOR HOME COOKS

    Home cooking today isn’t what grandma, or maybe even mom, used to cook. Page through “Sara Moulton’s Home Cooking 101” (Oxmoor House, $35) and you’ll see the difference. How many moms of the past made ghee, or paneer cheese? Only those who lived in India, probably....

  • ITALY’S SPARKLERS AND A NOTE ON CHEESE

    Prosecco always seems like fun, more informal than Champagne, bright, casual, and often cheap. I was thrilled to find a bottle marked down to $5 at my supermarket. But later, I tasted Italian sparkling wines at their best....

  • A COOKIE BOOK FROM A BAKING ICON

    Love cookies? Then what you need is “Dorie’s Cookies,” the latest book from baking icon Dorie Greenspan. It was pure heaven to sample the contents when Greenspan appeared for a signing and demo at Melissa’s Produce. Imagine taking your pick from platter after platter of fantastic cookies, not just gooey t...

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