And this little figgy piggy screamed “kiwi, kiwi, kiwi” all the way home!
This semi-exotic fruit lends a clean, tart flavor to savory dishes.
I have been caramelizing apples with sugar, cinnamon and chipotles for some time now to use as a condiment alongside Forever Roast Pork, a classic recipe from Tra Vigne Restaurant in St. Helena California.
Placing the sweet-hot-cinnamony apples center stage in a rustic tart seems like the perfectly natural thing to do, especially when sitting under a healthy scoop of vanilla ice cream. It’s a great combination – trust me.
The utter simplicity and ease of making this is a welcome dessert in the heat of the summer because there is very little cooking required – just simmering the berries and sugar until they give up their juices. The vibrant colors alone make this a stunning showstopper. You could dress it up with a fancy mold, artfully garnish with whipped cream and maybe some roasted, chopped hazelnuts. Yum!
One of the ways to enjoy the flavor of Oregon cherries is in a no-bake cherry cheesecake. Fluffy and airy, it’s almost like a chiffon.
The topping for this cheesecake uses cherry preserves and it makes for a dazzling presentation at dessert time.
A well dressed Boccone Dolce can be a stunning presentation for a wonderful meal or celebration. Imagine someone presenting this and saying, “I made this just for you.” Whatever effort you put into this will be returned with praise – not to mention the pleasure of enjoying a slice yourself.
Strawberry shortcake – two words that sing America, the Fourth of July, picnics and a reason to stop everything and enjoy its pleasure.
“Why I love this recipe. This is a recipe that can be either a breakfast dish or a dessert at the end of a meal. The flavor can be ramped up w/the amount of brandy you chose to add.
I enjoy it for it’s flavor but also because it was my first attempt to enter a cooking contest. It was fun to challenge myself and come up w/my own concoction….it’s just another form of creative art for me.” Ginny Renaud
Buttermilk pie originally hails from England. Today the deep south stakes claim as its home with Texas bestowing more love on it than most. A custard of buttermilk, eggs, butter and sugar baked in a pie shell is a simple pleasure, no pretentiousness here. However, there is elegance in its simplicity. The tangy tartness of the buttermilk shines through if you don’t drown it in sugar. Sometimes a little lemon zest can add additional brightness.
It seems like in every movie set in Italy, inevitably one of the characters will end up being seduced by one of those famous Italian delectable frozen treats: a granita or gelato. In “Under the Tuscan Sun” a character that Diane Lane plays runs into a blonde bombshell walking along a cobblestone market street, consuming a gelato as if she were making love to one of those muscular hunky descendents of Roman gods. On a hot summer day, there’s nothing more satisfying than diving into a scoop of icy granita. And if you’ve got an ice-cream maker they’re simple to make and the lack of cream means that they’ll freeze quickly. And on a hot summer day, there’s nothing more quenching than watermelon or cantaloupe. In Oregon, we count the days until the watermelon and cantaloupe start arriving from Hermiston. Hermiston watermelon and cantaloupe granita are a perfect way to quench your thirst as well as douse that summer heat.
When we lived in Texas, one of the things that signaled the arrival of summer was the appearance of peaches at the farmers market. In Oregon, we look for the arrival of cherries. Sweet. Red. Juicy.
For berry lovers, it’s heaven when summer arrives in Oregon and cherries, blueberries and marionberries flood the farmers markets and stores. People swarm to the fruit stands like fruit flies. But like all good things, you have to enjoy it while you can. The cherry season is short, if sweet. So here’s a delicious cherry ice cream recipe to try. It’s sure to leave you with cherry-stained smiles.
The autumn has arrived in Oregon. The once vivid-green forests are now splattered with splashes of crimson, gold and canary. The hardwoods are withdrawing to a deep sleep with a colorful yawn while the evergreen sentries of pine and Douglas fir prepare to stand guard over their sleeping cousins. And I’m beginning to crave apples, cinnamon and cloves — flavors that taste of fall to me.
I spent most of my life unaware that there were people around me who could not tolerate wheat. When we moved to Oregon, we learned that one of our dear friends here is gluten-intolerant. She and her husband moved here from Colorado and have found Oregon a wonderful place to live, especially for someone who is sensitive to wheat. Some restaurants have gluten-free menus, with separate kitchens to prepare the food to prevent cross-contamination, and one of our largest supermarket chains, Fred Meyer, has nearly an entire aisle in their natural foods section dedicated to gluten-free products. So whenever we have a dinner party and the couple are included, we try to make the entire meal gluten-free. It has been an eye-opening experience to learn how many processed foods may harbor wheat gluten, innocuously labeled as modified food starch. This gluten-free version of Alsatian apple cake is just as delectable as its wheat-drenched version. Your gluten-intolerant friends will find it a delicious treat and so will you!
Our first year was not only bumpy from flying by the seat of our pants, but we experienced some highs that were unexpected. In March, Saveur Magazine honored us by including The Taste of Oregon as one of the five best regional food blogs in their food blog contest. We’ve taken you almost everywhere we go in our enjoyment of living in Oregon: deep-sea salmon fishing, clamming, crabbing, and of course, wine tasting. Here’s to a wonderful first year.
Peaches are among those juicy-sweet fruits that one eats hand to mouth with abandon, risking its abundant sweet nectar’s dribbling all over you and your clothing. It’s just you and the peach becoming one, oblivious to the rest of the world.
My first date with Ancho Fudge Pie was at the original Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill on 6th Street in Austin, Texas, some time in the late 1980s. I can’t remember if “Southwestern Grill” was part of the name then, but that’s not important.
About 10 years later I noticed that they had expanded beyond Texas. Lo and behold, they had opened a Z’Tejas in Columbia, Maryland, one of the early master-planned communities in the U.S. Pie heaven come home to me.
I was already enjoying whatever Thai and Vietnamese foods I could find in Dallas and Fort Worth before I met Vic. It was only natural afterward that I would become well fed with foods from Southeast Asia. Vic’s mom, Pranee, has made many memorable dishes that I find difficult to enjoy at restaurants because her homemade versions are usually better. Mango and Sticky Rice is one of those, and it’s a welcome end to any spicy, chile-studded meal. Making this treat at home is easy provided you can get fully ripe mangoes.
Of all the benefits of living in Oregon and especially the Willamette Valley, food, wine and beer-tasting events rank high. Willamette Valley Vineyards is one of our state’s most gracious hosts and promoters of Oregon’s abundance of artisan food products.
The 7th annual Wine, Pear and Cheese Jubilee on the weekend of March 6 and 7 featured a rich selection of cheeses from Willamette Valley Cheese Company in Salem and The Rogue Creamery in Central Point. USA Pears offered a beautiful selection of fresh Oregon pears along with recipes and information about this elegant Northwest fruit.
“We all have hometown appetites. Every other person is a bundle of longing for the simplicities of good taste once enjoyed on the farm or in the hometown [he or she] left behind.”
Clementine Paddleford was a prolific food writer in the mid-20th century. She was best known as the food editor for This Week magazine, a weekly semi-glossy publication that was distributed to newspaper subscribers in the Sunday edition. It was a forerunner to Parade. When she was in her heyday, I was playing with Lionel trains, the clarinet, a camera and still cutting my culinary teeth on cake mixes and brownies from scratch.
Shortly after Jeff DeSantis poured everyone a shell of Emily’s Ember, our servers presented the first course, Tempura of Shrimp and Oregon Dungeness Crab Beignets with Remoulade Sauce. Bringing Japanese and Creole elements together made a perfect first course. The crunch of the tempura batter was beautifully offset by the soft crab beignets and both paired well with the remoulade sauce. Without directly asking the chef, I have a hunch that a touch of Emily’s Ember was in the tempura batter and the semi-spicy remoulade.
With the first sip and bite, we knew we were in for a special treat.
I have been pondering writing an article on “cooking with intention” for The Taste of Oregon for some time now. For those of us who enjoy cooking passionately, is it always entered into and experienced with a feeling of joy and excitement? Where is our mind? Nothing can spoil a pleasurable experience more than chatter between our ears, nagging us: “You didn’t start early enough, you don’t have all the ingredients, you’re out of your league, no one will like this, pickled pork is so passé,” etc., etc., etc. Fortunately, I learned some methods for silencing that chatter. After a brief “negotiation” with my mind’s voice I hear it whimpering, “OK, you win, I’ll shut up.”
Living in the middle of Oregon wine country, I love coming across recipes that use wine and then starting a sometimes lively debate with my partner, Charles, about which of the many bottles of Oregon wine we have in our closet to sacrifice to the recipe. But pears poached in pinot noir do make for a heavenly dessert.
In the Northwest, one of the signs of winter, besides the gathering gray rain-laden clouds, is that persimmons start showing up at the grocery store. Personally, I think these wonderful fruit are under-appreciated . In Asia they’re considered a delicacy and it’s something that we look forward to in our household every winter. Persimmons are […]
When we have dinner parties and cook Thai food for company, our guests usually ask the names of the dishes they’re enjoying. Sometimes things just don’t translate well into English! Sometimes you need a censor at our dinner table. Most of the time you just need a sense of humor. Charles usually will sit there […]
Crater Lake – A Feast for the Eyes, Sustenance for the Soul, and Palate-Pleasing Wild Food – Grilled Venison with Blueberry, Oregon Pinot Noir and Balsamic Reduction and Wild Huckleberry Pie
Upon deciding to write an article about Crater Lake and the food we enjoyed there, I knew I wanted to locate some huckleberries, even though the season had just passed. I called D Loos, the produce manager at the Roth’s Vista Market here in Salem, to see if he could help. I told him I needed only a quart. D returned my call promptly and said I could have my huckleberries tomorrow afternoon. Great news! We’re having huckleberry pie this weekend.
When I was notified that my prize had arrived, I ecstatically went to fetch them. (Note to self: Always ask the price when placing a special order. My pie filling was going to cost me $13.99 a pound. Ouch!)
Thai Black Sticky Rice Pudding Our family likes to entertain, and one of the parties we throw is a Lunar New Year Party. We decided to start doing it a few years ago because in Oregon, January and February are pretty gloomy and wet, and everyone’s looking for a pick-me-up after the holidays. Charles, Mom […]
One of my favorite and most frequently made creations is Martha Rose Shulman’s Alsatian Apple Cake from Supper Club: Chez Martha Rose. It is apple heaven reincarnate; a liberal amount of peeled, sliced apples fused with a pancake-like batter flavored appropriately with vanilla and rum. I make this several times a year and it never fails to evoke praise. I often share the recipe with gratitude and acknowledgment for my source. Enjoy!
Bicycling through the French countryside, a young Steve McCarthy rode past rows of pear trees with bottles hanging from their branches and was fascinated by them. Now, many years later, McCarthy’s apple and pear trees in the Hood River Valley have almost 10,000 bottles hanging from them, each with an apple or pear slowly growing […]