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Category: Cooking
April 15, 2014 at 7:39 PM

Video: Food author Ruhlman has a crack at the egg


They’re incredible, they’re edible. We already knew that. But even the most devoted fan of the humble egg can gain a new perspective on the ingredient in Michael Ruhlman’s new book, “Egg: A Culinary Exploration of the World’s Most Versatile Ingredient” ($40, Little, Brown and Co.).

To Ruhlman, the egg is “a lens through which to view the entire craft of cooking,” a continuum stretching from baking to frying to clarifying a consommé to shaking up a gin fizz.

When it comes to the kitchen, “If you understand everything there is to know about the egg, you increase your skills tenfold,” he explained on a recent pre-Easter visit to Seattle, when we asked him to cook with us.

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0 Comments | Topics: eggs, Michael Ruhlman, Video

December 17, 2013 at 5:34 PM

Kate Lebo casts a spell with poems and pie

Kate Lebo - The Pie SchoolEven casual bakers know there is a poetry to making pie, but Kate Lebo goes beyond that.

Lebo, a Seattle-based author, both creates pies and uses them as her muse. She teaches both baking and writing, sometimes mixing the two.

Why pie? You might as well ask, why poems? With writing as well as with a crust, she said, “you know it’s done by looking at it.” And an envelope of dough which conceals its insides, “a secret waiting to be told,” doesn’t sound so different whether she’s talking about lemon meringue or lines between hardcovers.

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0 Comments | Topics: A Commonplace Book of Pie, Baking, Kate Lebo

August 28, 2013 at 5:54 PM

Making your own pantry essentials

When it comes to condiments, there’s a lot to be said for convenience. You’ll find Heinz, Best Foods, Grey Poupon, Farman’s, Stubb’s and many more familiar labels in my fridge. But if you’ve ever made mayonnaise from scratch, you know it tastes nothing like what’s in the jar. And if you are gluten-sensitive, there is even more reason to consider homemade over store-bought.

TheKitchenPantryCookbookcover_highresThat was the impetus behind The Kitchen Pantry Cookbook, a new book from Seattle chef Erin Coopey, who struggled with digestive issues as a teen but was in her thirties before she discovered gluten was the culprit. When she started looking into what products contained gluten she was astonished to find it was in practically everything.

The book goes well beyond mayo, mustard and ketchup. It includes recipes for barbecue sauces, salad dressings, dips, spreads, pickles and stocks. “They are geared to the person who doesn’t have too much time,” says Coopey. “Many require very few ingredients.”

“What you find when you start making your own condiments, dressings and stocks is that what you get tastes so much richer,” she says. “When you try to go back to commercial products what you taste is synthetic, sugary and salty.”

Meet Coopey, get a signed copy of the book and taste some of her recipes at PCC Natural Market in West Seattle on Friday, August 30, from 5 to 7 p.m.  You’ll also find her signing books at Capers in West Seattle on Sunday, September 8, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

And just in time to perk up the hot dogs, hamburgers or sandwiches at your Labor Day picnic, Coopey shares this recipe for Chow-Chow:

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0 Comments | Topics: Chow-Chow, Erin Coopey, gluten sensitivity

July 22, 2013 at 11:09 AM

Party animals roast pig in a “China” box — photos!

I was living la vida Gidget in a surfing town in Puerto Rico the first time I took part in a pig roast. There on the Rincon beach, a local dude dug a trough in the sand and cooked a pig in the covered pit. There was rum. And cerveza. And a roar from the crowd that drowned out the crashing waves when — 10 hours after its burial — el puerco was devoured on the spot.

So begins my latest Taste column, in which I tell the tale of a neighborhood pig roast. The one where, in a backyard bacchanal disguised as a birthday party, I join forces with family and friends to procure, brine, roast and eat a whole pig. Read the story here. And if you’ve ever wondered what it takes to pull-off a neighborhood pig roast, I’ve got the step-by-step visuals.

One 66-pound pig, brined overnight in an icy citrus bath. (photo/Nancy Leson)

One 66-pound pig, brined overnight in an icy citrus bath. (photo/Nancy Leson)

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0 Comments | Topics: La Caja Asadora, La Caja China, Nancy Leson

July 11, 2013 at 10:17 AM

Door County cherries make local pit stop after hairpin turn

I don’t have to do much to get my husband all misty-eyed. Say “Door County” and away he goes, waxing nostalgic about boyhood summers spent on Baileys Harbor in Door County, Wisconsin. There, far from the urban center that was his Chicago home, he fished Lake Michigan with his favorite aunts, picked the county’s famous sour Montmorency cherries and slept, sunburned and freckle-faced, on a cot in a screened-in porch.

Which is why, 16 years ago, he insisted we plant a pair of dwarf cherry trees in our backyard: edible nostalgia.

As I explained to my radio partner Dick Stein this week on Food for Thought (listen in here), this year I bore the brunt of the picking and pitting, though Mac took to the task for the last of them and — necessity being the mother of invention — shared with me for the first time his mother’s secret for pitting cherries: use a hairpin!

Who needs a fancy cherry pitter?

Who needs a fancy cherry pitter when a hairpin will do? No hairpin? A sturdy paper clip works, too.  (Photo by Nancy Leson)

When he asked if I had a bobby pin, I was skeptical, but when I rustled up the only hairpin I had, he showed me how it’s done. “No way!” I said, pulling out my iPhone camera so he could show you:

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0 Comments | Topics: cherries, Death's Door, Door County

June 26, 2013 at 6:01 AM

Nora Ephron’s favorite cookie comes from Seattle

ephronpic28The great Nora Ephron passed away last year today. I like to think that she’s looking over us, with that toothy, mischievous grin of hers, doing a happy dance as she leaves peanut butter cookie crumbs.

Seattleites remember Ephron for “Sleepless in Seattle.” But Ephron remembered Seattle mostly for The Dahlia Bakery’s peanut butter sandwich cookies. As she put it in the Dahlia Bakery cookbook, “This may be the greatest cookie ever ever ever.”  In honor of Ephron, playwright, journalist and director, that beloved cookie recipe is reprinted below.

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0 Comments | More in Cookbooks, Cooking, Recipes | Topics: Nora Ephron, Tan Vinh, Tom Douglas

June 13, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Our crayfish are better than yours

University of Washington biologist Julian Olden holds a native Signal crayfish, right, and a smaller, nonnative Red Swamp crayfish, caught in Pine Lake in Sammamish.

University of Washington biologist Julian Olden holds a native Signal crayfish, right, and a smaller, nonnative Red Swamp crayfish, caught in Pine Lake in Sammamish. Photo by Mark Harrison / The Seattle Times

Like a proud papa, we constantly boast about our seafood bounty (oysters, salmon, etc.)  to out-of-towners.

But who here  has ever bragged about our native crayfish? It’s not a legend. They’re out there, lurking under rocks and logs in Lake Washington and other local bodies of water.

They’re bigger and meatier than those found in the waters of Louisiana. And they taste better too, I think. 

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0 Comments | Topics: crawfish, crayfish, Seafood

August 1, 2011 at 2:34 PM

“Get out of my kitchen!” You got a problem with that?

“Can you talk and cook at the same time?” Eater Jennifer Bundy asks. She can’t, and that inability is driving her bonkers. “I’ll invite friends over for dinner and at least one of them will always want to come in the kitchen and chat with me while I’m cooking, and I’ll finally have to say, `I can’t talk to you right now.’”

Jennifer’s far less tactful with her partner (aren’t we all) and feels free to pull a Greta Garbo and kick that intimate interloper out. Which, by the way, is exactly what my husband does when he’s cooking and I come in, grab a tasting spoon and say, “Hon, don’t you think this could use a little salt?”

Don’t ask (“Does this need a little salt?”), don’t tell (me how to cook, says my husband). “And can you please stay out of my kitchen?” begs Jennifer Bundy.

Jennifer insists she loves to cook and hates to be a curmudgeon, but she’s unable to concentrate on a conversation while trying to get dinner on the table. Worse, she says, “I have friends and relatives who make cooking look easy, and it’s never easy for me — it’s stressful.” She’s prepared to chalk her problem up to her age, noting “I don’t remember being so reactive about it when I was younger, but I was a much less ambitious cook then.” And what she wants to know is this: “Do other people have that experience?”

So, I thought I’d throw her question out there. Do you find it difficult to be interested and polite while you’re chopping garlic, sauteing vegetables or doing what ever it takes to get a meal on the table? When a well-meaning friend asks, “How can I help?” Do you say, “Get lost!”? Or do you fake a smile instead, then grind your teeth and suggest they grind some pepper into the pasta?

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June 27, 2011 at 9:46 AM

Chicken adobo a-go-go: it’s a rap, and a recipe, Seattle-style

It’s been a while since I’ve had chicken adobo — the unofficial national dish of the Philippines — but last week I had the jones for some. Must have been that Blue Scholars “Fou Lee” rap my pal Andrew Matson turned me on to: the one with rapper Geo and DJ/producer Sabzi seen shopping at Fou Lee market on Beacon Hill for adobo fixins’, before heading home to cook up a pot for a crowd (check it out here).

Since Geo and Sabzi failed to invite me over to partake, and since Andrew waxed so eloquently about how easy it is to buy a chicken, get into the kitchen and get your groove on (something you’ve heard from me a time or two), I decided to do something I’ve never done: make chicken adobo at home.

Chicken adobo fixins’ here at home.

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0 Comments | More in Cooking, Pike Place Market | Topics: Pike Place Market

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