The Leonard Lopate ShowAuthor: WNYC Studios
19 Oct 2017

The Leonard Lopate Show

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Leonard Lopate hosts the conversation New Yorkers turn to each afternoon for insight into contemporary art, theater, and literature, plus expert tips about the ever-important lunchtime topic: food.

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    Melissa Clark Discovers The Joys Of The Instant Pot

    The electric pressure cooker known as the Instant Pot has become an online phenomenon with a dedicated fan-base. Award-winning NY Times food columnist and cookbook author Melissa Clark wanted to see what the Instant Pot was all about, and that prompted her January 2017 piece "Why Do Cooks Love the Instant Pot? I Bought One To Find Out." Since that time, Clark has only explored more of what's possible with pressure cookers, and it's become the basis for her new book, Dinner in an Instant: 75 Modern Recipes for Your Pressure Cooker, Multicooker, and Instant Pot®. Clark offers recipes that are delicious and easy to make such as Fresh Coconut Yogurt, Japanese Beef Curry, Osso Buco, Smoky Lentils, Green Persian Rice with Tahdig and Lemon Verbena Crème Brulee. 

    Check out recipes from Dinner in an Instant below!





    This risotto may be the classic accompaniment to Osso Buco (page 48), but don’t stop there. Its buttery, earthy flavor and creamy texture make it a special side dish for any braised or roasted meat or fowl. Try it the next time you roast a chicken or grill a steak. It will elevate a simple family meal into a deluxe, company-worthy one. To make this vegetarian, substitute vegetable broth for chicken stock.

    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

    2 tablespoons unsalted butter

    1 large onion, diced

    1 garlic clove, grated on a Microplane

    or minced

    1½ cups Arborio rice

    1½ teaspoons kosher salt

    Large pinch of saffron threads

    ¼ cup dry white wine

    4 cups chicken stock or vegetable broth, preferably homemade (page 114)

    ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

    1. Using the sauté function, heat the oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter in the pressure cooker. Stir in the onion and cook until it is soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, cook for 30 seconds, and then stir in the rice and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the rice is starting to brown, about 5 minutes.

    2. Grind the saffron with a mortar and pestle and add it to the pot. Then pour the wine into the mortar to rinse out any clinging saffron, and pour that into the pot as well. Stir until the wine has been absorbed, about 1 minute.

    3. Stir in the stock, cover, and cook on high pressure for 6 minutes; then release the pressure manually. Stir in the Parmesan and continue stirring until the rice has absorbed the rest of the liquid and the risotto is creamy, 1 to 3 minutes. Taste, adjust the seasonings if necessary, and serve.




    Gochujang, a very slightly sweet and powerfully spicy Korean chile paste made from gochugaru (Korean red chile), has become a staple in my kitchen, where it adds a more intense, complex bite than other hot sauces. Here I use it to flavor tender beef brisket, along with the gochugaru chile flakes for added heat, sesame oil, garlic, and lots of fresh ginger. If you can’t find gochujang, Sriracha makes a good though slightly less spicy substitute.

    And if you’re not a coleslaw fan, you can certainly skip it and simply serve some kimchi or a salad on the side.

    4 to 5 pounds beef brisket, cut into 3 or 4 pieces

    1 tablespoon dried red chile flakes, preferably Korean gochugaru

    1 tablespoon sweet paprika

    2½ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste

    ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    1 to 3 tablespoons peanut or safflower oil, as needed

    1 large onion, diced

    4 garlic cloves, minced

    1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger

    1 cup lager-style beer

    ¼ cup gochujang (Korean chile paste) or Sriracha

    2 tablespoons ketchup

    2 tablespoons soy sauce

    2 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar

    2 teaspoons Asian fish sauce

    1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil


    5 cups shredded cabbage (from 1 small cabbage)

    ¼ cup chopped kimchi, plus more to taste

    2 tablespoons peanut, grapeseed, or olive oil

    1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

    Juice of ½ lime, plus more to taste

    ½ teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste


    Cut the beef into 6 to 8 pieces instead of 3 or 4 pieces. Marinate and brown as in steps 1 and 2. Place the meat in the pot and cover with the sautéed onion mixture from step 3. Cook on high for 7 to 9 hours or low for 10 to 12 hours.

    1. Rub the beef with the chile flakes, paprika, salt, and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour and up to 24 hours.

    2. Set the electric pressure cooker to sauté (or use a large skillet). Add a tablespoon of the oil, let it heat up for a few seconds, and then add a batch of the beef and sear until it’s browned all over, about 2 minutes per side, adding more oil as needed. Transfer the beef to a plate and repeat with the remaining batches.

    3. If the pot looks dry, add a bit more oil. Add the onion and sauté until golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté for 1 minute longer. Add the beer, gochujang, ketchup, soy sauce, brown sugar, fish sauce, and sesame oil. Scrape the mixture into the pressure cooker if you have used a skillet.

    4. Cover and cook on high pressure for 90 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 20 minutes, and then release the remaining pressure manually.

    5. To make the kimchi coleslaw, combine the cabbage, kimchi, both oils, lime juice, and salt in a large bowl and toss well. Taste, and add more salt or lime juice if needed.

    6. Transfer the beef to a plate or a rimmed cutting board and tent with foil to keep warm. Set the pressure cooker to sauté and simmer the sauce for 15 to 20 minutes, until it is reduced by half or two-thirds (remember that it thickens as it cools). Use a fat separator to skim off the fat, or let the sauce settle and spoon the fat off the top. Serve the sauce alongside the beef, with the kimchi coleslaw.

    Reprinted from Dinner in an Instant. Copyright © 2017 by Melissa Clark. Photographs copyright © 2017 by Christopher Testani. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.

  • Posted on 19 Oct 2017

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    Gabrielle Langholtz Explores America's 50 States Of Food

    Food writer and award-winning editor Gabrielle Langholtz joins us to discuss her new book America: The Cookbook. She documents and celebrates America's diverse cuisine and food culture. Her compendium includes 800 home-cooking recipes for tasty and authentic American dishes including Pork Posole, Whoopie Pies and Korean Pancakes. 

    Check out the following recipes from America: The Cookbook!


    States: Maine, Pennsylvania

    Preparation time: 20 minutes

    Cooking time: 20 minutes

    Serves: 8-9 large whoopie pies

    This cake-like chocolate sandwich cookie started showing up in bakeries and lunchboxes in the 1920s, and both Maine and Pennsylvania claim it as their own. It gets its name from the reception it gets when it is served. A whoopie pie can be as big as a hamburger. Serve with a glass of cold milk.


    For the cakes:

    • 2 cups (260 g) all-purpose (plain) flour
    • ½ cup (40 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 stick (115 g) butter or ½ cup (115 g) solid vegetable shortening, at room temperature
    • 1 cup (190 g) packed light brown sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

    For the filling:

    • 1 stick (115 g) butter or ½ cup (115 g) solid vegetable shortening, at room temperature
    • 1 cup (120 g) powdered (icing) sugar
    • 2 cups (190 g) marshmallow cream, such as Marshmallow Fluff
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


    Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350°F (180°C/Gas Mark 4). Lightly grease two baking sheets or line with parchment paper.

    For the cakes: In a medium bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda (bicarbonate of soda), baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Reduce the speed and beat in the egg. On very low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour. Beat in the vanilla.

    Drop ¼ cup (60 ml) batter 2 inches (5 cm) apart on the baking sheets. Bake until the top springs back when lightly touched, 15–20 minutes, switching racks halfway through. Transfer the cakes to wire racks to cool.

    Meanwhile, for the filling: In a bowl, with an electric mixer, whisk the butter with the powdered (icing) sugar until smooth. Beat in the fluff and vanilla.

    To fill the cakes, turn half the cakes upside down (flat side up) and spread with the filling. Top with the remaining cakes.


    State: New Mexico

    Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus overnight soaking time

    Cooking time: 3 hour 25 minutes

    Serves: 8


    This pork posole recipe is in the New Mexican style, using green chilies. The dish can also be made with red chilies. Posole, or hominy, is large-kernel white corn soaked in a lime solution (made from limestone), then dehydrated.


    • 1½ lb (680 g) dried posole
    • 3 lb (1.4 kg) bone-in pork shoulder
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • Vegetable oil (optional)
    • 7 whole cloves garlic
    • 2 large onions, chopped
    • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
    • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 12 Hatch green chilies, roasted and peeled (see page 86)
    • ½ cup (20 g) chopped fresh cilantro (coriander), plus more for serving
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
    • Lime wedges and warm tortillas, for serving


    Rinse the posole until the water runs clear. Cover with cold water and soak for 8 hours or overnight.

    If the pork is very fatty, trim some of the fat off, but leave enough to add flavor and richness to the stew.

    Cut the pork into 2-inch (5 cm) chunks, leaving some meat on the bone. Season with salt and pepper. Heat a large cast-iron skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat, with a small amount of oil if necessary (there may be enough fat on the pork that it can brown in its own fat). When the pan is very hot, add the pork and brown, in batches if necessary, not crowding the pan. Add the bone to the pan and brown it too. Transfer the pork and bone into a large soup pot or slow cooker. Deglaze the pan with ½ cup (120 ml) water and add the scrapings to the pot. Drain the posole and add it to the pot. Add the garlic and onions and cover with 10 cups (2.4 liters) water. Bring to a boil.

    Reduce the heat to a simmer (or set the slow cooker on low). Add the oregano, cumin, and cayenne. Cook until the pork and posole are very tender (the meat will have fallen off the bone), about 2½ hours (3 or more in the slow cooker).

    Finely chop the chilies and add to the stew. Simmer for another 30 minutes. Add the cilantro (coriander) and lime juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    Serve in bowls, with chopped cilantro, lime wedges, and warm tortillas on the side.


    State: Louisiana

    Preparation time: 10 minutes

    Cooking time: 10 minutes

    Serves: 4

    This New Orleans–style sandwich owes its name to streetcar union members—the “poor boys” striking in 1929 to whom the Martin Brothers Coffee Stand and Restaurant provided large sandwiches for free. Fried oyster po’ boys remain the best known of the sandwiches, though at the annual Oak Street Po-Boy Festival in New Orleans, visitors can try shrimp, crawfish, catfish, soft-shell crab, and even schnitzel po’ boys.


    For the rémoulade:

    • 1 cup (210 g) mayonnaise
    • ½ cup (120 ml) sour cream
    • 4 tablespoons roughly chopped cornichons
    • 1 tablespoon Creole mustard
    • 1 tablespoon Louisiana-style hot sauce, such as Crystal
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

    For the oysters:

    • 36 shucked large oysters
    • 2 cups (475 ml) buttermilk
    • 2 tablespoons Louisiana-style hot sauce, such as Crystal
    • Peanut (groundnut) or vegetable oil, for deep-frying
    • 2 cups (260 g) cornmeal
    • ½ cup (65 g) all-purpose (plain) flour
    • 1½ tablespoons onion powder
    • 1½ tablespoons garlic powder
    • 1½ teaspoons smoked paprika
    • Pinch of cayenne pepper
    • Salt

    For the sandwiches:

    • 2 large hoagie/sub/po’ boy rolls (each about 12 inches/30 cm long)
    • 2 cups (150 g) finely shredded iceberg lettuce
    • 2 tomatoes, sliced
    • Louisiana-style hot sauce, for serving (optional)


    For the rémoulade: In a medium bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, cornichons, mustard, hot sauce, parsley, and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    For the oysters: In a large bowl, soak the oysters in buttermilk and hot sauce for at least 20 minutes and up to 30 minutes.

    Pour 3–4 inches (7.5–10 cm) oil into a large heavy pot or deep-fryer and heat to 375°F (190°C).

    In a shallow dish, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and cayenne. Drain the oysters and toss them in the seasoned cornmeal. Working in batches, fry the oysters until golden and crispy, about 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Season to taste with salt.

    For the sandwiches: Split the rolls and spread each with ⅓ cup (120ml) rémoulade. Line with shredded lettuce and tomato slices. Top with fried oysters. Close the rolls and cut each sandwich into 2 pieces. Serve immediately, with the remaining rémoulade and hot sauce alongside, if desired.


    State: California

    Preparation time: 10 minutes

    Cooking time: 40 minutes

    Serves: 8

    Dairy-free, Vegetarian

    Los Angeles is home to the largest Korean-American community in the country. Serve these pancakes with a soy dipping sauce, if desired.


    • 1 cup (230 g) kimchi, finely chopped
    • 2 eggs
    • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 1 cup (130 g) all-purpose (plain) flour
    • 1 cup (160 g) rice flour
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 6 scallions (spring onions), thinly sliced
    • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
    • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (coriander)
    • Soy sauce, for dipping


    Place the kimchi in a sieve and press to remove as much liquid as possible.

    In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and 1 tablespoon of the oil until lightly beaten. Add both flours, the salt, and 1½ cups (355 ml) water and whisk to combine into a smooth batter. Stir in the kimchi, scallions (spring onions), chives, and cilantro (coriander).

    Heat an 8-inch (20 cm) nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Add one-fourth of the batter and spread to cover the entire bottom of the pan. Cook until the bottom is browned, about 5 minutes. Flip in one piece and cook an additional 5 minutes. Repeat with the remaining batter, using the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to grease the pan, as needed, between batches.

    Cut the pancakes into wedges and serve.

  • Posted on 19 Oct 2017

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    Melissa Clark On The Joys Of The Instant Pot, Gabrielle Langholtz Explores America's 50 States Of Food

    NY Times food columnist Melissa Clark on how to make delicious meals with your pressure cooker. Food writer Gabrielle Langholtz celebrates the diversity of American cuisine. 

  • Posted on 19 Oct 2017

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    Tom Hanks on Writing Fiction

    Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks discusses his debut collection of fiction Uncommon Type: Some Stories. The collection is filled with surprising and touching tales about a richly varied cast of characters -- from an Eastern European immigrant who arrives in New York City after his life has been torn apart by his country's civil war, to an eccentric billionaire and his faithful executive assistant -- they venture into America looking for acquisitions and discover instead a down-and-out motel, romance, and a bit of real life.

  • Posted on 18 Oct 2017

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    Gretchen Carlson on Stopping Sexual Harassment at Work and Beyond

    Journalist, author and former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson discusses her new book Be Fierce: Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back. Carlson, who sued former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes for sexual harassment, leading to his firing last summer, shares her views on what women can do to empower and protect themselves in the workplace, what to say when someone makes suggestive remarks, how to deal with Human Resources and negotiate contracts. 

    Event: Gretchen Carlson will be in conversation with Samantha Bee at the 92nd Y on Oct. 19th at 8 p.m. For tickets, click here

  • Posted on 18 Oct 2017


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