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Thursday, October 04, 2012

Melissa Clark discusses how to make the most of this fall’s amazing produce selections. Tori Hogan suggests ways foreign aid can be improved to benefit more people. Tarun Tejpal discusses his novel The Story of My Assassin, based on real events. We’ll have our latest look at the economy and the election. Plus, our latest Backstory segment.

Melissa Clark on Fall Cooking

New York Times Dining Section columnist and cookbook writer Melissa Clark shares some ideas for enjoying fall’s bountiful produce. Her most recent cookbook is Cook This Now: 120 Easy and Delectable Dishes You Can't Wait to Make.

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The Realities of International Aid

Tori Hogan describes how working for a foreign aid organization in Africa made her realize that poorly managed aid can sometimes do more harm than good. In Beyond Good Intentions: A Journey into the Realities of International Aid she offers improvements to the way we offer aid overseas.

Comments [4]

Tarun J. Tejpal’s The Story of My Assassins

Based on actual events, Tarun J. Tejpal’s The Story of My Assassins is about a journalist who learns that the police have captured five hit men on their way to kill him. The news prompts him to launch an urgent investigation into the lives of his aspiring murderers and their mastermind, and forces him to reexamine his own life. The novel is part thriller, part romance, and moves from India’s grand palaces to its seediest slums.

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Washington State and the 2012 Election

There have been major economic shifts across the country since President Obama was elected in 2008. Washington State is home to Boeing as well as Amazon and Microsoft, and Chris Grygiel, Seattle news editor for the Associated Press, talks about how the economic recession and recovery have affected these major employers.

Comments [1]

Backstory: The Future of Wall Street

More than four years after the financial crisis, Wall Street is still struggling to find a new business model. We'll speak with Tom Braithwaite, US Banking Editor at the Financial Times

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Melissa Clark's Carroty Mac and Cheese

Serves 6

2 cups whole wheat macaroni

2 ½ cups coarsely grated carrots (about 8 small)

3 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese

¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

¾ cup sour cream

¼ cup whole milk

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon kosher salt

¾ teaspoon mustard powder

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 400° F and grease an 8-inch-square baking pan. Arrange a rack in the top third of the oven.

2. Cook the macaroni according to the package instructions in a large pot of boiling salted water. Add the carrots 3 minutes before the pasta is finished cooking; drain well.

3. While the pasta is hot, stir in all but ½ cup of the Cheddar and the butter. In a bowl, whisk together the sour cream, milk, eggs, salt, mustard powder, and pepper. Fold the mixture into the pasta.

4. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the remaining Cheddar and the Parmesan over the top. Bake until the casserole is firm to the touch and golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Comments [1]

Melissa Clark's Celery Salad with Hazelnuts and Parmesan

Makes 4 Servings

1 cup hazelnuts

1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

8 large celery stalks with leaves, thinly sliced

2 ounces good parmesan cheese, shaved

1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Spread hazelnuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast, tossing once halfway through, until nuts are golden, 7 to 10 minutes. Pour the nuts into a clean dish towel and use the towel to rub off some of the skins (do not try to be thorough here, it takes too much time, just get rid of what flakes off easily). Cool and coarsely chop the nuts.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, salt, and pepper; whisk in the oil. Combine nuts, celery and leaves, and cheese in a large salad bowl. Add vinaigrette and toss gently to combine.

 

Comments [2]

Melissa Clark's Raw Brussels Sprouts Salad with Manchego and Toasted Walnuts

Time:15 minutes

10 ounces Brussels sprouts (1 container), trimmed

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Coarse sea salt or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, or more to taste

1 cup chopped toasted walnuts

3/4 cup grated Manchego or young pecorino cheese (or even aged Gruyere)

1. In a food processor using the thinnest slicing disk, slice the Brussels sprouts (they will fall apart into shreds). Or, using a knife, slicing the sprouts as thinly as possible. Put the sprouts in a bowl and toss with the lemon juice and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Let rest for 5 minutes.

2. Add the olive oil and toss well. Add the walnuts and cheese and toss gently. Taste and adjust seasonings. You can serve this immediately, but it gets better after an hour or so. 

Serves 6

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