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At The Market

What to watch for this month


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[ IN SEASON ] Honey Mandarin Tangerines

Just as you’re saying good-bye to satsumas and clementines, in come sweet little honey mandarins. They may be difficult to peel thanks to their thin skins, but once you undress them, you get an outpouring of sweet, aromatic juiciness. Use their juice to make a sweet vinaigrette or stir into yogurt and add granola for breakfast. Turn them into jam, add segments to salad or a chicken cavity for roasting, squirt onto seafood when sautéing or baking. Honey mandarins should be available until April.

[ BITES ] Los Andes Empanadas and Chimichurri

Wrapping food in dough is a centuries-old practice around the world. Argentinians Guillermo Helmholt and Jose Landman make a delightful line of empanadas and chimichurri they call Los Andes. Sold at the Hillcrest and OB farmers markets, as well as at Whole Foods’ prepared foods counters, the empanadas have no lard, preservatives, or trans fats, and are low-sodium. What they do have are huge bursts of flavor in varieties ranging from beef and raisin, corn and cheese, to veggie, sausage, and apple raisin. Dip in their traditional chimichurri, a vibrant mix of parsley, garlic, oregano, crushed red pepper, sea salt, and olive oil.

[ MARKET WATCH ] Major Changes at Mission Hills Farmers Market

The Mission Hills farmers market on Falcon St. is a little gem of a community market—emphasis on “little.” It had some setbacks in the fall, but post-Thanksgiving got new management from Brian’s Farmers Markets. With the new year, customers will see some big changes, the first being the change from Friday to Wednesday afternoon from 3 to 7 p.m. Market manager Brian Beevers, who runs four other markets, will also introduce his Brian Bucks—enabling customers to use credit cards throughout the market—a market CSA, the EBT food assistance program, and, woo hoo!, hot food from Poppa’s Fresh Fish and Gourmet Tamales, to start.

[ COOKBOOK ] All About Roasting

What cooking method best suits winter? Roasting, of course. But if you’ve ever sweated out whether to go with high heat or low, basting or not, brining or just seasoning, you must read Molly Stevens’ new book, All About Roasting (Norton; $35). Stevens admits she takes the “term-paper” approach to research, but the results are far from tedious. She starts with an abridged history of roasting (Benjamin Franklin invented the closed stove), and then explains heat transfer methods. You’ll get great tips on brining, basting, rack positions, carving, and resting. This is one of those rare go-to tomes that home cooks will use again and again.

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