For $5 you can get a BLM Christmas tree-cutting permit and have an adventure cutting your own tree in the Willamette National Forest.
For $5 you can get a BLM Christmas tree-cutting permit and have an adventure cutting your own tree in the Willamette National Forest.
You don’t have to be a hunter in Oregon to enjoy game birds like quail. It’s easily available and a marinade of Belgian cherry ale gives it a wonderful flavor.
I’ve had a soft spot for duck. Peking duck, duck noodle soup, duck confit. Ooo la la. It’s no wonder I ended up in a state where one of the universities has a duck for a mascot.
One of my favorite ways to serve duck is to sear it in pork fat (aka lard) and then braise it in red wine. For a change of pace and since I had duck à l’orange on my mind on this occasion, I decided to use Riesling instead and add orange slices as well as preserved peaches, since peaches aren’t in season yet. This dish may be inspired by duck à l’orange, but unlike that dish, this one is easy to prepare and equally rewarding to your taste buds.
“Tonight: Pinot Noir Braised Duck Legs with Roasted Pears and Onions” I wrote in my status quote on Facebook. Friends as far away as Texas declared they could be here by dinner time. Jane Owen, oboist with the Fort Worth Symphony and frequent spokesperson for the duck in Peter and the Wolf, sounded ready to make the trek if only her orchestra schedule would allow. Gail Cook, arts aficionado and book reviewer, was nursing an injured foot and requested special pampering in the form of room service. Would that I could! Alas, in the next few hours 23 commentators had joined the trail.
Two of my favorite vegetables to eat raw are carrots and sugar snap peas. When I’m in search of a simple side dish that’s nutritious and healthy to boot, I will lightly sauté thinly sliced carrots in some butter or olive oil, toss in some sugar snap peas, and then turn off the heat and add water cress and stir in the hot pan until the water cress wilts. When water cress wilts, it retains its slighly bitter bite, but the cooking brings out a sweetness that you don’t notice when it’s raw. Then I’ll drizzle a little champagne vinegar, toss and serve.
For those of you making a mad dash to the grocery store because you’ve procrastinated until now to deal with your Thanksgiving dinner, this is probably too late for you, but if you’re tired of yams and mashed potatoes, there’s nothing that says fall to me more than some under-appreciated root vegetables like parsnips and beets. Add some delicata squash, a wonderfully sweet squash that beats out acorn squash, with it’s edible skin, the old carrot stand-by and toss in olive oil and garlic seasoning and pop in the oven and before you know it, you’ll have a wonderful melange of flavors that screams fall is here and enjoy the bounty.
It’s fall. Chilly nights. Rainy days. Movie night at home requires a throw blanket, a warm fireplace a chick flick or buddy flick to warm the heart, and a switch from a glass of white wine or amber beer to a glass of hearty red wine or a stout beer. What to do for finger food? Forget the popcorn or bag of chips. Savor the sweet flavors of fall with sweet potato and beet fries, kicked up a notch by tossing with garlic seasoning.
I’ve always had a fascination with pâté. There are so many variations, from dense to creamy, but they all have that rich flavor in common. You can also make pâté from a variety of foods, including ground pork, chicken livers, vegetarian ingredients like mushrooms and lentils, and then there’s foie gras. Now before you start [...]
There was a time when I didn’t need a reason to drive to Portland for a casual visit or just to enjoy a day in our area’s most accessible metropolis. Gas was cheap – well, at least it was under $2 a gallon, and I could leisurely drive the 40 or so miles and cruise around town for less than $10. Now I usually wait until I have at least three reasons to make the trip, except for one recent Saturday. I desperately wanted some fresh salmon roe to play with…fuel costs be damned!
While I was assembling my list of supporting ingredients, I had a liberating epiphany. Kick your fear in its hiney and then while staring at your beautiful raw salmon, see what flavors you imagine mingling among your chopped fish. Something Asian – wasabi and toasted sesame oil. Something with a kick – finely minced jalapeños. Something fresh – scallions. Something familiar – olive oil. Something with a citrus bite – lime zest. Something unusual – alder wood smoked salt. Voila! Salmon Tartare according to Charles.
Goldie Lox and Four Friends – our little Goldie shuns her three bears and dresses up with four strong flavored condiments: Soft Scrambled Eggs with Lox, Red Onion, Capers, Chives and Cream Cheese
Scandal in the valley! Indiscriminate crushes with vineyards here and yon! Wonton knowledge of a Seattle dish known to hang out near Pikes Place Market. Can Her Humpty Dumptyness be made whole again?
“How do you like your eggs in the morning? Boiled or fried I’m satisfied as long as I get my kiss.” From a vintage Dean Martin recording.
Among all of their guises, I believe that poached eggs are the most seductive. Some chefs deep fry poached eggs to add texture to their soft exterior. Many more simply dress them up as stars on a menu than can be served from breakfast, through brunch all the way to a late night, post-theater dinner.
The weather in the Mid-Willamette Valley has turned cool and wet again. It’s the perfect weather to light a fire in the fireplace, turn on some relaxing music and cozy up to a serving of hot stew and a glass of pinot noir.
I’m convinced that there are spices that can make you high. I can be roaming the streets of Portland, Vancouver, B.C., Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, and my hair will start to vibrate and stand on end when I get that first whiff of star anise in the air. My heartbeat quickens. My sweat glands go into overdrive. I start blinking uncontrollably, as my mind disconnects from my body and my feet start searching for the source of the heavenly aroma. Pungent, sweet, savory. Like licorice but more intoxicating. It’s a key ingredient in one of my favorite Thai dishes of ethnic Chinese origins, a stew of hard-boiled eggs, sweet dark soy sauce and pork hocks, that is flavored with star anise and cinnamon.
It doesn’t happen frequently, but every now and then I just can’t bear to eat another meal of chicken, beef, pork or seafood. On those occasions when Mom’s in charge of the meal and asks what we want for dinner, I’ll say Kang Chup Chay, or our family’s version of a hearty Asian-style vegetable stew.
Mai-fun noodles are perfect to serve cold, their delicate texture takes on the flavor of sauces easily and these thin noodles are refreshing chilled and served with julienned vegetables such as cucumber and carrot. Add refreshing bean sprouts and you have the basis for a summertime noodle salad. And what about a dressing? Something sweet, salty and tangy like the Vietnamese nuoc cham sauce is perfect for a dish like this. It’s light and refreshing. All you need to do is add a little meat. I love the flavors of cumin and paprika and created a marinade for pork that reminds me of Moroccan flavors so I christened it Morrocan pork. Quickly seared in a cast-iron pan and then sliced into thin pieces, the pork makes a wonderful addition to the salad.
I grew up in the Dallas/Fort Worth part of Texas and am familiar with the scorching heat that bakes Texans and much of the mid-west in the simmer summer months.
Putting food on the family table in the blistering heat of summer requires some advance planning. If cooking is necessary, it’s best done early in the day or outdoors. A cold shrimp remoulade salad fills you up with cooling, crunchy ingredients.
A caprese salad is so utterly simply that if you don’t use the best quality ingredients and tomatoes in their absolute prime, it will be ordinary at best. NOW, late summer is the ideal time when tomatoes are in their splendor.
Only three main ingredients are required – Tomatoes, fresh basil and fresh mozzarella. Although usually served as an anti pasta, this salad makes a stellar light entrée if served with some fine salami and a baguette.
Nowadays, you don’t have to go foraging for mussels at the beach. Farm-raised mussels are so common that fresh mussels are available at most grocery stores year-round. One of my favorite ways to prepare them is in a Thai style with peppers, basil and a sweet and salty sauce. You can make it a starter or part of a meal by pairing it with another stir fry.
A little rain didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of hundreds of people who came to satisfy their appetite for Thai food and culinary adventure Sunday at Wat Buddha Oregon, the Thai Buddhist Temple nestled in the woods in Turner. For a donation into the collection boxes that lined the food tables, visitors got to sample such [...]
Tacos have become such a part of mainstream American cuisine that on the West Coast other ethnic groups have begun topping the ubiquitous corn tortilla with their cultural culinary specialties. Forget the fish taco, ground beef taco, or shredded beef taco. Their time has come and gone. In Los Angeles and Seattle you can find Vietnamese and Korean food-truck chefs who are creating the latest taco sensations: Korean barbecue and Kimchi tacos, Bulgogi tacos, Vietnamese lemongrass chicken tacos. I mean, when you see a dozen kinds of tacos available in the neighborhood supermarket, and Taco Bells show up in China, what would you expect, right? The taco is ripe for a cultural hijacking. And so this native Thai decided that the time was ripe for….ta da…a Thai taco.
Love of razor clams will make you go to great lengths if you’re an outdoor adventurer. It drove Mom and me to get up at 3:30 a.m. recently on one of my days off in order to pick up friends Tina and Allison Martin and head out on the three-hour drive from Salem to Sunset Beach, north of Seaside, Oregon, in time to get there for the minus low tide at 7:30 a.m. I can’t remember the last time I got up at 3:30 a.m. Nor can I remember the last time I drove 125 miles to catch dinner.
Sometimes it pays off to explore the roads less traveled in Oregon. You never know what magnificent vistas await you. Today, we explored National Forest Service Road 2212, in the Willamette National Forest, and were rewarded with magnificent views of Mt. Jefferson and Detroit Lake.
Celiac disease and gluten allergies don’t have to limit you from enjoying the outdoors and camping. One outdoor adventure company, ROW, has created a special culinary Rogue River rafting trip that provides gluten-free meals during the three-day rafting adventure.
I had the pleasure recently of visiting with John Miller, owner of Mahonia Vineyard, and Travis Henry, Mahonia’s vice president who handles sales and marketing, and getting a chance to learn more about their operation and their wines. This small producer in South Salem has been growing and making wonderful wines for more than 20 [...]
Sometime in the past couple of years, I’ve come to appreciate drinking chardonnays that aren’t drenched in oak, which can mask some of the more delicate flavor notes of chardonnay. Fermenting in oak can add a golden color and flavors of butterscotch or toast to the wine. But with shifting American palates, more and more [...]
I usually limit the topic of my wine column to Oregon wines, but since this rare occasion to learn more about Spanish wines is happening in Portland, I’m giving myself some leeway. Wine from Spain is hosting Great Match Portland, a dynamic evening full of wine tasting and seminars that highlight Spanish wines and winemaking [...]
There are occasions when you’re cooking that nothing can surpass rendered pork fat. You’ll be amazed at how much more flavorful your hash browns are, or any potato for that matter, when cooked in pork fat. Or how robust your sauteed green beans will be. Or delectable your collard greens. Or how flaky your pie crust will be. Or how rich your quail or pheasant will taste when seared in pork fat. Instead of buying commercially available lard bricks at the store, I prefer to render pork fat myself. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to do, and how long it can keep in the refrigerator in a mason jar.
For $5 you can get a BLM Christmas tree cutting permit and have an adventure cutting your own tree in the Willamette National Forest.
Parlez-vous français? No? Well, that’s OK. English is perfectly fine at Domaine Drouhin Oregon, the U.S. outpost of the famed Maison Joseph Drouhin of Beaune, France. According to Domaine Drouhin, the first seeds for what would become Domaine Drouhin Oregon were sown in 1961. Robert Drouhin, head of Burgundy’s legendary Maison Joseph Drouhin, was visiting [...]
Elk Cove Vineyards in Gaston has a beautiful setting and focuses on making excellent pinot noir and pinot gris. It’s La Bohème Pinot Noir has been served twice at the White House during President Clinton’s term.
Commonly known as Sisters, but properly named Three Sisters, these three volcanic peaks of the Cascade Range each exceeds 10,000 ft in elevation. They are the third, fourth and fifth highest peaks in Oregon and are located in the Three Sisters Wilderness, about 15 miles southwest of the town of Sisters, Oregon. The three peaks were originally named Faith, Hope and Charity by early settlers but the names didn’t stick.
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