Trend-setting restaurants, Northwest cookbooks, local food news and the people who make them happen.
August 28, 2013 at 5:54 PM
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.
That 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: (more…)
July 22, 2013 at 11:09 AM
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.
July 11, 2013 at 10:17 AM
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!
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: (more…)
June 26, 2013 at 6:01 AM
The 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.
June 13, 2013 at 6:00 AM
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. (more…)
August 1, 2011 at 2:34 PM
“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?”
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?
June 27, 2011 at 9:46 AM
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.
April 25, 2011 at 9:35 AM
Sunday morning, as I sat reading newspapers, drinking coffee and hoping my kid would sleep an extra hour before getting up to examine his Easter basket (dream on), I saw this terrific article about our own Seattle Food Geek, Scott Heimendinger. This guy’s so fabulously geeky he’s happy to share his step-by-step process for building your own sous vide immersion cooker using $75 in scrap parts — though you could invest instead in the fancy happy-homemaker version.
Like me, the Seattle Food Geek thrills to the joy of eating a perfectly cooked egg. And his DIY machine slowly cooks food sealed in plastic and brought to perfection using the precisely controlled temperature of a hot-water bath. I, on the other hand, have exactly no interest in owning — or building — my own sous vide machine. But immersing an egg in water and cooking it for about the time it takes to toast a piece of bread, making for a real quick breakfast? That I’m buying. The good news? I’ve got all the machinery I need in my kitchen.
Got a minute? My old cheap microwave does the trick. And what a trick!
I’ve long known about nuking eggs to make the gentle custard served as a side dish at Korean restaurants. And I’ve seen the trick where you can make scrambled eggs using the steaming-wand of an espresso machine. But until I read the directions this month in Bon Appetit, I didn’t realize you could successfully poach an egg in your microwave. The minute I read that, I stood right up and went to work. Lo and behold: breakfast.
March 16, 2011 at 11:02 AM
Whoa. Nice food-page cover-spread this morning in the New York Times: a “D.I.Y. Cooking Handbook” courtesy of food writer Julia Moskin. Julia’s right: it doesn’t take molecular gastronomy — nor fancy kitchen equipment — to produce the easy-to-make staples in her aptly named “starter-kit”: a kit that includes more than a dozen recipes, from cultured butter to chocolate-hazenut paste to kimchi.
I know she’s right because I’ve got some of those do-it-myself staples in my kitchen. Including the creme fraiche I started making from scratch (for the first time, this year) when I was trying to figure out how to use up the extra gallon of heavy cream I had on hand post-Thanksgiving. And now, every time I see those little 8-ounce tubs of the stuff at the fussy supermarket for $6.95 I feel really smug.
I use Dorie Greenspan’s ridiculously easy creme fraiche recipe from her gorgeous new book “Around My French Table”. All you need is a clean jar with a tight-fitting lid, a cup of heavy cream, a tablespoon of buttermilk or plain yogurt plus a good arm for shaking and — Voila!
My breakfast. This time of year, you’ve got to love those frozen berries from Remlinger Farms, a staple in my freezer.
March 7, 2011 at 6:15 AM
As someone who’s been eating banh mi for more than 20 years, it’s never occurred to me to try to make those Vietnamese sandwiches at home. I love the fresh, crusty baguette-style rolls that help make a banh mi a banh mi — and often buy them at my local Vietnamese deli for 50-cents a pop. But I always use that bread to make something else (say, an Italian sausage sandwich).
Why? Because the cost of putting together homemade banh mi is a recipe for adventure, but given the plethora of banh mi options in my neighborhood, it’s faster and cheaper ($3 plus or minus a couple quarters) to buy the done-deal.
In order to make banh mi, I’d need the roll(s), plus cilantro, cucumber, jalapeno, carrot, daikon radish, mayo and some kind of protein as the central ingredient. And while I usually have many of those ingredients in my kitchen, the one thing I haven’t had around — till now, that is — is the daikon and carrot pickle (do chua) that adds crunch, oomph, sweet and sour to the sandwich.
A recipe for success: homemade daikon and carrot pickle, which keeps in the fridge a month.
Trending with readers