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What to Look for When Buying Your Next Coffee Maker?

There are so many aspects taken into consideration when deciding the parts of a coffee setup, it’s overwhelming! There is no one way to brew coffee; the art of coffee making varies from person to person. However there are universally accepted rules followed by amateurs and professionals alike. Coffee lovers around the globe have invented new and improved methods of brewing. One such interesting variant is a Japanese technique that uses cones and dippers.

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The shape of the machine is a major determining factor in the taste and quality of coffee brewed. For instance, a conical shape increase the flow of water while a wedge shaped one curbs the flow. This affects the flavour as well. Coffee prepared by a conical shaped machine will offer more extraction and hence better taste than that of a Wedge.

Also flat bottoms slow down the brewing process, you can control the flow of coffee through the filter while pointed bottoms have to be scrutinised closely as the liquid passes through faster. A pointed bottom yields a crisper and heavily flavoured coffee. Both types have their pros and cons; you just have to learn to adjust accordingly. For example, one has to be more cautious using pointy bottom machines as the liquid passes faster, unlike wedges where the flow of water can be controlled easily

The best coffee brewing method

There are about six conventionally used coffee brewing methods that range from the Japanese ritualistic brewing to the modern electronic coffee machines. Each method has used a set brand of tools and products and its surprising how the same coffee beans taste so differently when brewed in different coffee machines and methods. Let us see what the best technique is!

The most flavourful

Wave was proven to brew the most flavourful coffee with its pour over technique and wedges that allow more extraction, hence a more interesting mix of flavours. Also the wavy filters are of better quality and can enhance the filtering tenfold. But this 2013’s Brewer Cup Champion product might be a bit hard on the pocket. The usability, compactness and time saving design of the product make it an instant favourite for both home use and cafes. Keurig’s K55 Coffee maker is know for being good at flavoured coffee.

What comes next?

Closely following Wave is Bee House, with its affordable price range and consistent output. The cone filters and wedges allow a controlled flow of liquid through the filter, although sometimes the coffee might be a bit too strong for taste. The weak plastic framework and insulators help in regulating the temperature. Also the product is more compatible to a manual dipper than an automatic one.

The most user-friendly

The Clever is an ideal choice for users who want a simple and effective single serve coffee maker. It doesn’t require any kettle, thereby cutting on cost. But the coffee brewed using the Clever can be very light, somewhat bordering on bland. The cheap and functional design, easy operation and quickness are more average than extraordinary.

Farmer’s Market Salad

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Mesclun, blood orange, sweet onion and fresh fennel salad.

We only use sweet onions for our salads, then soak them in ice cold water to take off any bitter edge.

Quick recipe for heirloom tomato salad:  you don’t even have to make a vinaigrette. Slice or chop tomatoes, season with coarse salt and a little bit of freshly ground black pepper. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or so until the tomatoes release some of their delicious natural juices. Remove from refrigerator, drizzle with good extra virgin olive oil and enjoy with crusty bread. A little burrata is a nice addition.

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We like baby green salads, but sometimes feel that they are a bit bland. We like to add radicchio and frisée to mixed salads for color and textural contrast. These sturdier lettuces also have a mild bitterness to them that has a palate cleansing effect. We dressed this salad with aged balsamic vinegar and Spanish arbequina olive oil.

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Chef’s tip: soak very thinly sliced radishes, carrots or fennel in ice cold water to make them even more crunchy. This is a carrot, fennel, sweet onion and pine nut salad we made for a recent wedding shower we catered.

Fresh Desserts

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Yesterday, we used fresh Incan golden berries, strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries for our farmers’ market inspired cream puffs.

Our strudels are made from hand stretched dough and filled with in season fruits. Look closely, our dough is indeed thin enough to see through. We don’t like gloppy, gummy fillings, so we don’t use any fillers or additives. We want the flavor of naturally ripe fruit to shine.

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Our customers describe our almond baklava as “everything you love about baklava without everything you hate about it”. In other words, our almond baklava is crispy with the flavor of good almonds. We don’t drench our baklava with cloying syrups or honey. We make fresh citrus sauces.

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Open Faced Sandwich on French Bruschetta

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Depending on the topping and the amount of it, tartines are either open-faced sandwiches or over-sized French versions of bruschetta.

We made two different lunch tartines today. Egg salad tartine with Farmers’ market eggs and radicchio from Living Lettuce Farms and a tomato and boursin tartine with Japanese Momotaro tomatoes and cucumbers from Yasutomi Farms.

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A short list of our tartines:

Boursin, radish, chives

Prosciutto, herbed ricotta, avocado, crisp pear

Asparagus, smoked salmon, crème fraîche

Wild mushroom ragu, gruyere, fried shallots

Tartine Provençale: green olive tapenade, olive oil poached tuna, Spanish anchovies (boquerones)

Burrata, fennel, cucumbers, sweet peppers

Shrimp, broccoli rabe, romesco sauce

Ramp pesto, baby spinach, goat cheese, parmigiano reggiano, walnuts

Wild honey ricotta, fresh figs, marcona almonds

Goat cheese, fresh figs, aged balsamic, hazelnuts

Cafe Livre will open on November 1st

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Why Café Livre? We have a chef’s reference library in our small room and are in the process of acquiring high quality vintage and collectable cook books from various sources for a small book store.

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Eat. Good. Clean. Food. started off as a website to showcase all the types of cuisines and dishes that Chef Zadi prepares. It was never intended to be the permanent name of a cafe or restaurant.

Two days after this website went live, Susan Park and Chef Zadi met a building owner in Culver City who had a space that was a little bit French and a little North African looking.

Approximately 14 years ago, a previous tenant remodeled the front for a French take-away and the owner of the building had installed a vaguely Moorish looking door.  It felt like destiny. That’s our story and we’re sticking with it.

A lease agreement was signed on August 7th, 2011. Opening was delayed for various reasons, hence the awkward temporary name of “Eat. Good. Clean. Food.” for a cafe. Now it’s our motto, an imperative to eat simple, made from scratch dishes.

Read more about us in the LA WEEKLY and Grub Street. Look for upcoming stories in Zagat, LA MAG, NBC FEAST, and so on.

We’ll also have a lot of dips, spreads, sauces and salads that aren’t listed on the menu and freshly baked baguettes.

Farmer’s Market Cooking

Brookhaven Farmers Market; Brookhaven Baptist Church 1294 North Druid Hills Road, Saturday March 29, 2014 10:00am. The first market of the season which goes from March 29th through Thanksgiving. Corey Self who is on the Board of Directors for the market said, "I love coming out, meeting everyone who work hard making this a great venue. And I love talking to my Brookhaven nieghbors." Chef Christophe Le Metayer, and Carmela Vivian do a cooking demonstration. Le Metayer owns three "To-Go" food stores. Vivian works at Cooks Warehouse.

This is a variation of a recipe originally published in Chef Zadi’s Test Kitchen column for The LA WEEKLY using morels.

While we love morels, they can be on the expensive side. We suggest just about any meaty textured mushroom as a substitute. Chanterelles or even shitake mushrooms would work well in this dish. However, don’t use portobellos as the dark gills will discolor the cream sauce.

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Pasta with Mushrooms in light cream sauce:

1 pound dried tagliatelle pasta, slightly undercooked, rinsed and drained well

For the sautéed mushrooms:
1 tablespoon butter
1 small shallot, finely diced
1 lb mushrooms cleaned, sliced
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Heat butter in a large sauté pan over medium high heat, add shallots, season with salt and pepper, saute for 2-3 minutes, add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 3-5 minutes or until tender.

For the sauce:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium shallot, finely diced
1 cup wine
2 tablespoons crème fraîche
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Heat olive oil a large saute pan over medium high heat, add shallots, season with salt and pepper, saute for 2-3 minutes, add wine, and cook until wine has reduced by half, add crème fraîche, stir, add more salt and pepper if desired, and heat through.

2. Add cooked pasta to the sauce, toss to coat evenly with sauce, cook for about 2 minutes to heat through and finish cooking the pasta. Taste, add more salt and pepper if desired. Transfer to a serving platter and top with hot sautéed morels.

Tri-colored cauliflower, broccoli, baby asparagus, chanterelles, and veal sausage. We use this gorgeous melange for frittatas, tartines, or bruschetta.

Veal, chanterelles, figs, and armagnac filling for our Pastilla.

We also make our pastilla with Spinach, creamy and mild French feta, ramps and dill.

Aguas Frescas from Luscious Ripe Fruits

Aguas frescas are an excellent way to use slightly over-ripe fruit.

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Aprium Agua Fresca
Note: Apriums are an apricot-plum hybrid.

2 cups apriums, peeled with stones removed
4 cups water
Juice of 1 small lime
sugar to taste
Whole mint leaves for garnish

1. Add apriums, lime juice and water to a food processor or blender, puree until smooth. Add more water if the mixture is too thick and sugar to taste.

Mint Tea Sharbat
Notes: Sharbats often start with a simple syrup base of sugar dissolved in hot water and stirred until syrupy in consistency.

Matcha green tea powder
Mint leaves, crushed
Granulated sugar
A pinch of ground cardamom (optional)
Hot water

1. Prepare matcha tea according to package instructions, add more or less matcha to taste. Add cardamon at this point, if desired.

2. Dissolve 1 tablespoon of sugar per serving in an equal amount of hot water. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture has a syrupy consistency.

3. Stir in crushed mint, add simple syrup to taste. Chill in refrigerator for at least a couple of hours, add ice cubes before service. Garnish with whole mint leaves if desired.