Beach Fare: Oysters

Aug 10, 2012 by

I grew up in the Northeast where we followed the “R” rule for eating oysters: You must only consume oysters in months with an ‘R’ in them. From May thru August, fresh shucked oysters were not an option. Not so in the Northwest where oysters are available year round – many varieties in many preparations. Why? Colder waters, more varieties to choose from, better farming techniques and more knowledge on the part of oyster purveyors and patrons. Seattle is home to fabulous Happy Hours and qualifies as an oyster-eater’s paradise. Several popular restaurants start serving oysters at 4:00 PM for a $1.00 each. By 4:30 you can’t get a seat. But you can always find fresh shucked oysters in jars or containers at reputable seafood sellers and quality markets to transform in cooked preparations....

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The Beet Goes On

Feb 24, 2012 by

I asked the members of my food class called A Matter of Taste-Food and its Many Attractions – what they loved to eat and what they hated. It’s amazing how much energy people have for the foods they don’t like! At the top of the list was liver. A few people came to its defense, including me, but I wasn’t about to convince anybody to give it another chance. (I grew up eating fabulous Jewish chopped liver made with real schmaltz and I still adore Pate of any kind.) Next on the list were beets, followed by Brussels sprouts. That proved to be a rallying call and I pledged to bring in at least one dish from each ingredient to see if we could have a few conversion experiences. I felt a bit messianic...

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New Twist on Cobb Salad

May 27, 2011 by

The weather in Baltimore has been really crummy lately.  Between bouts of intense thunderstorms we’ve had the 3 H’s– hazy, hot and humid.  The saving grace is that our backyard comes equipped with a pool and hot tub. So on a perfect Sunday evening I decided to host an impromptu dinner and swim session for some friends.  But what to make to beat the heat?  I found the perfect hot weather salad that works just as well for dinner as it does for a picnic.  So thanks to Maureen Callahan and the May 2011 issue of Cooking Light, you too can impress your friends and delight your stomach all at the same time. Here is what you need to create a wonderful Memorial Day treat.   INGREDIENTS: 4 slices center-cut bacon (I used microwave...

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Think Buttermilk! A Summer Cooking Staple...

May 20, 2011 by

I’m a buttermilk devotee. Especially in the summertime, this old-fashioned ingredient becomes an essential staple in my refrigerator.  And unlike some of the more exotic ingredients I have to search for on the internet or in specialty stores, you will always find buttermilk on the shelves of most grocery stores. I like drinking it straight, with a sprinkle of salt or mixed with honey and lemon the way my daughter’s Danish dad learned to do as a child.  And I use it for transforming all sorts of summer bounty into cooling, easy-to-prepare soups.  And of course there is Buttermilk Pie – simple, sinful, totally delicious! Here are three of my favorite Buttermilk recipes: Moroccan Cold Tomato-Orange Soup This is a simple assembly job and makes a great way to begin a summer meal. Ingredients...

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In Praise of Green

Mar 25, 2011 by

Back when I was working 60-hour weeks in the corporate world and my friends were stay-at-home moms, we were nevertheless included in “buffets”, to which everyone was expected to contribute a dish. The phone call usually went something like this, “We know you are working and don’t have time to cook, so why don’t you just bring a veggie platter?” Right!  Have you ever tried to peel carrots and slice celery for 40!  It takes a lot more time than anything I ever cook. Alternatively, I would hear “We know you’re busy, why don’t you just bring a plain green salad?” Now I recognize that the hostess really does want something simple and green to complete the meal, but I also know that my friends will be working all day preparing their gourmet specialties...

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