Author Archive: Charles

Music, food and photography are at the center of Charles' life. He performed with the Dallas Symphony, Dallas Opera and was assistant principal bassoonist with the Fort Worth Symphony for more than 20 years. When Charles and Victor moved to Baltimore, Charles created Lone Star Personal Chef and Catering Service and taught cooking classes at Williams-Sonoma. Now in Salem, Charles is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Mountain West Real Estate, taught cooking classes for children at the A.C. Gilbert Discovery Village, and owns and operates Charles Price Photography. Charles and Vic enjoy entertaining and frequently host dinners as fundraisers for local non-profits and charities

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Stuffed Bell Pepper with Saffron Rice, Lentils, Shrimp and Bacon

Stuffed Bell Pepper with Saffron Rice, Lentils, Shrimp and Bacon

One of the great things about making stuffed peppers is the ability to recycle leftovers and/or unused items in your refrigerator or pantry and present them at the table with a fresh new look. The possibilities for stuffing are almost limitless, from vegan and vegetarian all the way to serious carnivore. How about kid-friendly mac and cheese or teach your kids to make their own thick sloppy joe mixture as a stuffing? They will enjoy playing with these colorful and edible packages.

February 7, 2010 | 4 Comments More
Dungeness Crab Martini

Dungeness Crab Martini

The martini is perhaps the most romanticized and bastardized alcoholic wallop ever invented. Among famous martini aficionados are Winston Churchill, FDR, Ernest Hemingway, Cary Grant and the fictional James Bond who preferred his “shaken, not stirred” and with vodka. H. L. Mencken once called the martini “the only American invention as perfect as the sonnet.”

Does martini always = cocktail? What about shrimp cocktail? Why not an ample serving of simply dressed crabmeat presented in the same glass. My vision of a crab martini will be beautiful, unadulterated crabmeat dressed as simply as possible, allowing the sweetness of the crab to command center stage.

February 4, 2010 | 4 Comments More
Pasta with House Sauce du Jour

Pasta with House Sauce ● Yours or Mine

How generic can you get with a recipe? How about “Pasta with House Sauce”? In truth, how often, especially when time is an issue, do we turn to pasta to help us put a meal on our table? It can be the “go-to” for stretching quantities when unexpected diners are coming. It can help turn boring leftovers into something new and fresh, as well as serving as a dependable base for knockout sauces. And…….it’s nutritious, satisfying and inexpensive.

January 29, 2010 | 5 Comments More
Forever Roasted Pork with Chipotle Glazed Apples and a Knockout Winter Salad with Maple Dressing

Forever Roasted Pork with Chipotle Glazed Apples and a Knockout Winter Salad with Maple Dressing

Vic gave me a copy of The Tra Vigne Cookbook from the Napa Valley restaurant of the same name some years ago. Two recipes captured me immediately — Forever Roasted Pork, and Mozzarella Martinis. The pork recipe can be made any time of the year, but the Mozzarella Martinis are best left to when the very best vine-ripened tomatoes are available. Check back in late summer for Mozzarella Martinis — they’re not what you think.

January 22, 2010 | 5 Comments More
Gwyneth’s Clams

Gwyneth’s Clams

The foods of Spain are equally as rich in history and flavor as those of the Greeks and Romans and are tinged with abundant Moorish touches. Gwyneth’s Clams was inspired by a dish the four foodies enjoyed at Casa Pintos in Cambados. They were enthralled with the freshness, simplicity and the inclusion of fresh bay laurel and a copious amount of Albariño wine.

January 18, 2010 | 2 Comments More
Black-eyed Peas with Smoked Ham Hocks

Menu for Good Luck - Black-eyed Peas, Cornbread and Love

New Year’s Day was always an open house for family and friends and the table was laden with other pleasures as well. A baked ham, potatoes, some turnip or collard greens and various cold salads such as potato, macaroni or green pea and there was always a substantial bowl of one of my favorite condiments, chow-chow for the beans. Oh, and there were pies, pecan pies. A generous slice of pecan pie is the best chow-chow chaser.

January 11, 2010 | 2 Comments More
The Cooking of Joy ♥ Savoring the Flavors of Life

The Cooking of Joy ♥ Savoring the Flavors of Life

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.”

January 1, 2010 | 11 Comments More
Chicken Piccata with Grapes and Capers & Roasted Delicata Squash and Mushroom Risotto

Chicken Piccata with Grapes and Capers • Roasted Delicata Squash and Mushroom Risotto

When I came across a recipe for Sole Piccata with Grapes and Capers in Bon Appétit, I knew I had to try it. It was one of those “Holy capers Batman, this dish goes super kapow!” recipes. The grapes added a bold dimension without overpowering the lemon and capers but stood next to them equal in flavor. This is a weeknight dish that you can have on the table in a reasonably short time and can be dressed up for company if you don’t mind cooking at the last minute.

December 27, 2009 | 6 Comments More
Linguini with Doppelbock Wild Mushroom Sauce

Linguine with Doppelbock Wild Mushroom Sauce

Of all the abundant natural resources we enjoy in the Pacific Northwest, wild mushrooms occupy a lofty status due to their rarity. Even if you don’t live in an area where you can forage for wild fungi, locating dried shouldn’t be that difficult. Gourmet stores and many supermarkets stock dried mushrooms. If your community still doesn’t offer a source, consider the Internet. Oregon Mushrooms, a provider of local mushrooms and truffles, offers mail order service from Keno. Unfortunately, the farther you are from the source, the deeper you have to dig into your pocketbook.

December 23, 2009 | 3 Comments More
Cornmeal Anise Biscotti

Lovin' from the oven - Sweet Spiced Pecans and Cornmeal Anise Biscotti

“Nothin’ says lovin’ like something from the oven, and Pillsbury says it best.”

—Poppin’ Fresh, The Pillsbury Doughboy

Here’s a duo of oven-baked love you can make for holiday gift giving. Sweet Spiced Pecans and Cornmeal Anise Biscotti.

December 21, 2009 | 4 Comments More
Homemade Spicy Oatmeal Stout Mustard

Homemade Holiday Gifts — Spicy Brown Mustard with Oatmeal Stout and Home-brewed Worcestershire Sauce

Mustards and Worcestershire sauce are always on hand in our house but I couldn’t resist the idea of making my own. This mustard is fiery and capable however it mellows as it ages. Both recipes recommend storing in the refrigerator with a shelf life of 6 months for the mustard and up to 8 months for the Worcestershire sauce.

The Worcestershire alone is amazingly complex. Now - good as it is, will you ever want commercially made sauce again?

December 16, 2009 | 17 Comments More
Butternut Squash Soup with Toasted Hazelnuts and Fried Sage

Give Thanks for the New Allison Inn and Spa — Especially for the Restaurant’s Butternut Squash Soup

Our usual holiday group scattered this year leaving us to fend for ourselves on Thanksgiving. No problem! We began dreaming about our options of letting someone else pamper us with dinner at favorite restaurants that we visit on special occasions. That’s when we thought of Jory Restaurant, a new one for us. Fortunately we called in time to score a 7 PM table at the newly opened restaurant in the equally new Allison Inn and Spa in Newberg, Oregon. It was a wise choice. Our expectations were met with traditional Thanksgiving fare carried out with the creative touches of Executive Chef Nathan Lockwood and served with relaxed, friendly attention.

December 8, 2009 | 9 Comments More
Boeuf Beerguignon

Boeuf Beerguignon — Flemish-style Beef Stew

A beef stew appears on the tables in many cultures and countries. France has “boeuf bourguignon” as well as “daube de boeuf Provençal”. Belgium has “vlaamse stovery” or “les carbonades Flamandes”. Mexico and the Southwest have “carne guisada” which translates as “meat in gravy”. In Ireland it’s called, of all things, Irish stew and more times than not, it contains a liberal glug of Guinness Stout. Here in the US of A we have, well, beef stew and, being as we are the self-proclaimed melting pot of the world, we often make it any way we wish.

December 7, 2009 | 2 Comments More
Roast Chicken with Truffles

Roast Chicken with Truffles

Oregon truffles have begun coming in and none too soon either. Some years they arrive in time to grace our Thanksgiving table. Some years we’re just glad to see them come in at all.

These precious babies were a real surprise for me upon arriving in Oregon in December of 2002. On my first visit to one of my favorite food markets, I spied two glass custard dishes in the produce cooler with strange shaped “things”. My mind was saying, “Could these be truffles in the supermarket?” I leaned over to take a whiff and was nearly swept off my feet by their earthy, intoxicating perfume.

December 4, 2009 | 5 Comments More
Civil War Salad — Orange and Green Olive Salad with Cumin

Civil War Green Olive and Orange Salad with Cumin

I have managed to escape personal injury and public shame over my post on Duck Legs Braised in Pinot Noir and a days-gone-by holiday dinner of Grilled Roast Beaver. I would like to make amends by offering this simple vegetarian salad that allows the Beavers’ orange and the Ducks’ green to mingle together peacefully if only until the dish is gobbled up.

December 3, 2009 | 4 Comments More
Shrimp, Scallops, Clams, Mussels and Potatoes Steamed in Belgian-style Ale

Shrimp, Scallops, Clams, Mussels and Potatoes Steamed in Belgian-style Ale

Vic and I were served this dish as an appetizer at The Brewer’s Art in Baltimore some years ago. It impressed us so much that we asked for the recipe. No dice! Realizing that steaming these ingredients wouldn’t be too difficult to re-create, we then begged for advice on which ale to use. A Belgian White was the curt reply. We dined at this well-known Baltimore spot frequently and surly service was never the norm. As a matter of fact, when creating the link to their site for this article, I learned that Esquire magazine had named them the #1 bar in America. For the record, Portland’s Horse Brass Pub was #5.

November 30, 2009 | 1 Comment More
Permesan-crusted Halibut with Sauce Marseillese and Clams

Simple to Spectacular — Parmesan-crusted Halibut with Sauce Marseillaise and Clams

Parmesan-crusted Halibut is a simple preparation worthy of standing alone with perhaps a spritz of lemon or a tartar sauce. It can also be dressed up in grand style with a heady Sauce Marseillaise which is tomato-based along with copious amounts of garlic, black olives, capers and anchovies. Nothing shy in this sauce! Steaming clams in this sauce and adding to the presentation is probably gilding the lily but sometimes it’s fun to put on the dog.

November 21, 2009 | 9 Comments More
Chicken Marsala with Oyster Mushrooms and Sage

Chicken Marsala with Oyster Mushrooms and Sage

Chicken Marsala is one of my main “go to” dishes when I’m too lazy to look for something new. Over the years I have added onions or shallots and mushrooms. Recently I found a recipe on for Chicken Marsala with Sage. Adding the sage to my evolving recipe was a hit, and using oyster mushrooms instead of white or crimini was perfect. The family proclaimed it the best Marsala I have made to date.

November 16, 2009 | 2 Comments More
Tomato "Sushi"

You Say Tomato and I Say Tomahto, You Say Susie and I Say Sushi — Tomahto “Sushi”

I was perusing for ideas and inspiration for a new appetizer or an amuse-bouche if you want to be hoity-toity and au courant. I came across Tomato “Sushi”. I’m a patsy for such things that aren’t exactly what they seem to be but rather are culinary amusements, or twists like “Filet Mignon of Tuna.” (You can read more about that in an upcoming post.) It’s also creations like these that Thomas Keller of French Laundry fame does so well and so often.

November 15, 2009 | 10 Comments More
Duck Legs Braised in Pinot Noir with Roasted Pears and Cipolini Onions

Duck Legs Braised in Pinot Noir with Roasted Pears and Cipollini Onions

“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.

November 11, 2009 | 6 Comments More
Pranee’s Nua Pad Prik — Beef with Peppers

Pranee’s Nua Pad Prik — Beef with Peppers

Pranee doesn’t eat meat (meat=beef to her; pork, poultry and seafood are still on her “A list”) but occasionally renders up some beef dish for her hungry sons. Not long ago, she surprised me with her Beef with Peppers. She noticed the tears and sweaty scalp all the way through my enjoyment while asking, “Too spicy?” “No,” I wheezed, “just right.” Tears and reactions such as perspiring aren’t always synonymous with sadness or discomfort. Sometimes wonderfully spicy food will just shoot you straight into an endorphin high.

November 9, 2009 | 0 Comments More
Chicken and andouille gumbo

Oregon’s Got What It Takes to Serve Up a Taste of The Big Easy — Chicken and Andouille Gumbo

Making a gumbo can be a religious experience and shouldn’t be attempted when you’re short on time. Most will agree that any gumbo will begin with a dark roux and can be thickened further with the okra or filé powder (ground sassafras leaves). Not wanting to be exclusive, I use all three.

November 6, 2009 | 16 Comments More
Crown of Deep-fried Crab-stuffed Shrimp with White Remoulade Sauce

Crown of Deep-fried, Crab-stuffed Shrimp with White Remoulade Sauce

If you read this blog regularly, you know of our love for all things from seas, lakes and rivers. My first encounter with stuffed shrimp came at the Clear Creek Inn in Kemah, Texas. Kemah is on Galveston Bay near Johnson Space Center. Many restaurants in that part of the country are seldom fancy; they’re there to simply serve up the freshest seafood available. It was one of the famous Gulf of Mexico hurricanes that dealt my favorite Kemah restaurant its final blow.

November 3, 2009 | 3 Comments More
Pork Chops Stuffed with Dried Apples and Cranberries, Gorganzola, Sage & Braised in Cider with Caramelized Onions and Apples

The Stuff of Pork – These Little Piggies Are Full of Fall Flavor

My inspiration for this post was simply a desire to braise some pork in the wonderful cider from Wandering Aengus Ciderworks in Salem. I settled on combining some ingredients and methods from the recipe mentioned in the previous paragraph with another for Stuffed Pork Chops with Roasted Apples and Calvados from Saveur Magazine. Amazingly, all the ingredients came from Oregon.

October 26, 2009 | 0 Comments More
The Libation Perpetration – How the Green Light Cocktail Took Baltimore

The Libation Perpetration - How the Green Light Cocktail Took Baltimore

These sorts of capers happen in cities like Baltimore. Charm City, home of The Ravens, The Orioles, John Waters, and the late Edgar Allan Poe. It’s where the “beehive” and “Natty Boh” beer linger on in perpetuity. It is a quirky city full of quirky people. My kind of people.

Of the friends we made while living there, Steve and Mary were the most prone to frequent quirkiness. Steve St. Angelo, AKA Shop Boy, and wife, Mary Mashburn AKA Belle Pica, live in Bolton Hill, a grand neighborhood of town homes dating from as early as 1830.

October 20, 2009 | 7 Comments More
Seafood Sausage with Creamy Mustard - Dill Sauce

Vhat’s the Wurst Thing You Can Do with Seafood? Seafood Sausage

My inspiration to make a seafood sausage came from a cookbook I purchased many years ago called Spa Food, by Edward J. Safdie, a beautiful pictorial book with recipes from The Sonoma Mission Inn. In there is a photo and recipe for their Seafood Sausage which is described as “a delicate sole mousse mixed with fresh herbs, diced seafood and sautéed greens.” Other than the preparation method, that’s all I needed to take off on my own.

October 19, 2009 | 4 Comments More
Crater Lake – A Feast for the Eyes, Sustenance for the Soul, and Palate-Pleasing Wild Food

Crater Lake – A Feast for the Eyes, Sustenance for the Soul, and Palate-Pleasing Wild Food

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!)

October 11, 2009 | 11 Comments More
Sage and Rosemary Crusted Roast Pork Tenderloin with Pear Ginger Compote and Slow Baked Tomatoes

Congress Gives Pork a Bad Rap — Sage and Rosemary-crusted Roast Pork Tenderloin with Pear Ginger Compote

Pork has frequently been a controversial food. Various religions forbid the consumption of pork products and there was a time when pork carried dangerous parasites and required thorough cooking. Most controversy today centers around pork fat. Most will agree that pork fat delivers a wallop of flavor, especially if the pork is smoked. There’s a reason so many dishes call for some bacon or salt pork; a pot of beans gently simmered along with a smoked ham hock is undeniably delicious. And who among us hasn’t awakened to the aroma of frying bacon?

September 29, 2009 | 4 Comments More
Comfort Me with Apples — Alsatian Apple Cake

Comfort Me with Apples — Alsatian Apple Cake

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!

September 24, 2009 | 5 Comments More
Mozza and Sage Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Mozzarella Tarantella for “La Nozze di Foglie di Salvia” or Mozzarella and Sage Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

My “Sage and Mozzarella Sandwich” began to take shape quite a few years ago. I was thumbing through The Fine Art of Italian Cooking by Giuliano Bugialli. I became fascinated with a recipe titled Foglie di Salvia Ripieno or “little sage sandwiches.” I imagined Catherine de’ Medici serving these little packages at one of her repasts in France. And by the way, her personal chefs inspired the beginnings of French cuisine as we know it today.

September 14, 2009 | 4 Comments More
Wild Blackberries

Life in Oregon Is Berry, Berry Good in August and September

It’s that time of year in Oregon when marionberries and blackberries appear in abundance. Wild blackberries are everywhere in the Willamette Valley, even growing along the median of Interstate 5.

I can literally walk out my front door and return in a very short period of time with enough berries to make a pie or cobbler from scavenging along the nearby streets.

August 31, 2009 | 8 Comments More
Roasted Hazelnut and Sage Crusted Halibut with Roasted Pear and Crater Lake Blue Cheese and Oregon Poppy Seed Dressing

Oregon Is for Nuts! Hazelnuts

Some years ago The Commonwealth of Virginia launched a tourism slogan declaring “Virginia Is for Lovers.” With tongue in cheek and not to be outdone, Maryland promoted “Maryland Is for Crabs.” Since almost all the hazelnuts in the USA are grown in Oregon, one could infer that “Oregon Is for Nuts.” As a matter of fact, the noble hazelnut was declared the state nut in 1989.

August 23, 2009 | 5 Comments More
Salmon Chanted Evening, or A Fish Tale — Hot Alderwood Smoked Salmon — Thai Boxing Square Chicken

Salmon Chanted Evening, or A Fish Tale — Hot Alderwood Smoked Salmon — Thai Boxing Square Chicken

There were lulls in the morning, with no bites, but we were often treated to schools of iridescent and brilliantly hued jellyfish. Some were tiny and others had tentacles trailing several feet. It was an impressive show. An even more stunning show was the ever-changing and colorful dawn viewed from offshore.

August 16, 2009 | 10 Comments More