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Cuisine

Cuisine - Articles


Enhance flavor of food with truffle salt

Posted On: 12/11/14
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

Enhance flavor of food with truffle salt Today’s light reading may annoy some people in that I will be discussing some things not available to the general public … yet. We will take a fascinating journey into sous vide cooking, liquid nitrogen and truffle salt. Since the truffle salt is the most recognizable and available, I’ll start with that. To begin with, there is nothing – and I mean nothing – better than fresh French fries fried in duck fat, sprinkled with truffle salt. Adding some freshly minced herbes de provence will certainly help, but it is not necessary. This is hands-down one of the best late-night snacks ever. Of course, poutine is a very close second, so maybe I’ll write about that next week. Truffle salt is one of the most uniquely addicting seasoning devices that I’ve ever run across. It is simply good sea salt that has been infused with summer truffles. The best brand that I have found is Sabatino Tartufi and you can buy a 3-ounce jar online for about $12. Consid...
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It’s winter, almost, and time for sticky buns

Posted On: 12/4/14
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

When we were in Hawaii we fell in love with Lava Java, a coffee shop/restaurant on the south end of town, where we spent the mornings drinking great coffee and eating the plate-sized sticky buns. I talk about them often in class, and two years ago a student, Jeri, noted that we had some freshly made brioche dough, some sugar and pecans. She asked if she could try to recreate them and I immediately took her up on the offer. I knew they would be good only because Jeri is about the best baker I have ever met. The resulting sticky buns were as good if not better than those at Lava Java. They were sweet, bready, sticky and messy and had loads of buttery flavor and cinnamon.   Going through some sites this week, Jeri ran across an article in the Kona Historical Society’s recipe section that covered Portuguese Sweet Bread or Pao Doce. Noting that this somewhat resembles Brioche, the Mad Baker went to work in her lab, recreating a spot-on version of Lava Java’s delectable...
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Make your gnocchi and forget packaged product

Posted On: 11/27/14
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

The funny thing about the holiday season is that the cold weather comes along with it. We wouldn’t have many pretty post cards without a fresh coating of snow on the holly trees, but it is cold nonetheless.   Might we be subjected to seven feet of snow? I certainly hope not; my cutoff is somewhere around two feet, with a foot being the perfect amount of fresh powder. But as I have kvetched about in the past, I’ll take snow over freezing rain any day, but I ramble. Accompanying this crisp weather is the urge to cook rich, warming and simple foods. After all, nothing makes the diner’s heart happier than butter and wine, and nothing makes the cook’s heart happier than a simple meal.   Now that I’m throwing this around, maybe some potatoes, flour, eggs and herbs can be kicked around for giggles. What else do we need to make us happy? I mean, maybe a glass of chardonnay to accompany what we are about to eat, but other than that, what do we need? ...
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Brie makes turkey sub something special

Posted On: 11/13/14
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

I’ve been writing about hoagies a great deal lately. It must be something in my subconscious. Too early for a pun? I think not. In fact, my dear old father used to spend hours, alongside my Uncle Tom, spouting off pun after pun after pun. I have since picked up the torch with my uncle and it brings nothing but joy to those in the room with us. Well, I’m assuming that eye rolling and groaning are signs of approval. Tears? Those are tears of joy. In hindsight, maybe those tears on my wife’s face have to do with the “eternal” part of our vows. An eternity of puns. The boys in the family, now in our forties and fifties, make it a point to constantly remind others of our lineage, and when Uncle Tom gets involved, it gets ferocious. The ability to turn anything into a mundane stream of puns never eludes us as much as it may try. Given a string of photos of toilet seats in the shapes of various guitars, there was seemingly no ending to the fun, with even o...
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Duck confit, cherry compote hors d’oeuvre

Posted On: 10/16/14
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

Duck confit, cherry compote hors d’oeuvre It was a scene out of “Rambo IV,” or maybe I’m thinking “Terminator.” I rolled up to Route 589 just as those geese and ducks – those dreaded monsters - started waddling their way into incoming traffic. What ensued was nothing short of sheer terror. Buildings were ablaze, cars stacked in ditches while innocent bystanders were forced to cover the eyes of their offspring to prevent them from seeing the carnage forged by these fiery-eyed, feathered foes. They made their way across the road, nary a scratch on any of them, all the while laughing (In hindsight, I imagine they were honking and quacking) at the ensuing destruction. As I think about this, I shiver as I recall the traffic light falling on a new litter of puppies enjoying an innocent frolic around the pond. And then I woke up. I realized that I can’t imagine the geese being such a problem that we would even consider resorting to killing them to improve traffic conditions. Did I really r...
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Ceviche: ‘bright, vibrant and delicious’

Posted On: 10/9/14
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

This semester, I am teaching my way through the foods of America. In New England, we discover the fruits of cold weather: lobster, clams, cod, squash, pumpkin et al. As we move down the coast, and specifically into Eastern Shore cooking and Southern cooking (two of my absolute favorites), the buffets become noticeably more beige in theme. The frying of already-brown food makes for a fairly dull appearance on the plate, but that can quickly be elevated by adding some vine-ripened tomatoes, sweet corn and other wonderful local products. The south is where we see greens cooked to oblivion (I don’t let that happen here) and pies and more fried foods. Throw in some country ham for an addition of the week’s supply of salt and you have a winner. Now we are going through Florida’s distinct cuisine and, more accurately, Southern Florida’s Floribbean cuisine – a fusion of Latin, Caribbean and mainland foods. Obviously, seafood is of great importance to Florida...
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Suplee serves up Oreo pancakes, bacon

Posted On: 10/2/14
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

Suplee serves up Oreo pancakes, bacon In the hallowed halls of any culinary museum, you will find references to James Beard and Julia Child, their contributions to the world of food so far remaining unsurpassed. Are there chefs who are better than they were? Possibly, yes. But with their departure years ago, we’ll never know. They spoke to the masses at a time when few others were. They had a new voice and took cooking in a new direction: on television and onto the bookshelves on the mass level. Their poise, ideas, vast network of chefs and entertainers and their dedication to the craft were unparalleled as were their marketing skills. When I was a kid, I remember watching Julia Child and not really understanding what was going on. I respect everything that she was able to accomplish, but I was not a regular follower. James Beard was not a recognizable name for me until I went to culinary school in the 1980s, but TV’s “Galloping Gourmet” (Graham Kerr) was an early hero of mine. But that’s th...
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Squid ink pasta with celery-tomato essence

Posted On: 9/25/14
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

Squid ink pasta with celery-tomato essence There are times when something just strikes my fancy and today marked one of those spells. Walking through the kitchen after straightening out the walk-in, I remembered my days in Baltimore. I cooked in some good restaurants and one such place was the Polo Grill by Johns Hopkins University. The chef was very talented and the menu changed daily, a task that I personally would never undertake in an a la carte facility. We learned some great techniques at The Polo Grill and as I reminisced, I realized that I had not made squid ink pasta in years. Recalling that I now had the aforementioned cephalopod-goo on hand, it became a no-brainer. It was time to play. So, grabbing the 00 Flour and the squid ink, I headed for the nearest stand mixer. The flour is a special, finely ground product that lends itself well to pasta. If you make fresh pasta as much as I do, you will immediately tell the difference as the pasta from 00 flour will be tender and have a much smoother appearance. This flour ...
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Crabby pretzel, a salute to summer’s end

Posted On: 9/4/14
Written By: Paul Suplee, PCIII

Crabby pretzel, a salute to summer’s end Maybe I’m getting old.  I no longer feel the thrill of standing cheek by jowl with thousands of sweaty, sunburnt tourists in tribute to the end of summer; it just doesn’t seem as much fun as it was in youth.  Who knows?  Perhaps it’s just that I’m cranky thinking about the first day of school. Today is a stark reminder that the solar activity (heavy again this summer according to some meteorologists) is lending an eerie predictor to yet another brutal winter.  While I love the snow, I can forego the negative-10 temperatures with ease. One bright note is that I am returning to school refreshed for the first time in my six years of teaching.  Typically, I work full-time at the end of the school year in a side job in preparation for summer work.  This year, however, it was decided that I would not pick up any side work.  As such, I stayed at home, while not really getting much done.  It was a nice break. And now that thin...
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Working with parmesan, mahi and pesto

Posted On: 8/28/14
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

Working with parmesan, mahi and pesto There are times when we all just need a swift kick in the duff to get us off the couch, or out of wherever we may be in our head.  One such moment for me was last weekend as I sat languishing my decision to not participate in an endurance run in Ocean City. The run was a fundraiser for Save-a-Limb Foundation, a group that utilizes cutting-edge breakthroughs to help people with limb deformities who may not be able to afford reconstructive surgery and physical therapy.  Without these, often times the result is amputation. Our good friends have a child whose leg was significantly shorter than the other at birth.  And here he is, a toddler, with more major surgeries under his belt than most of us will have in our lifetime. My family is inundated at present, so I dropped out of this run a while ago, only to sit on my decision.  Finally, with less than five hours to go, I called some friends to see if I could still participate in the Custom GoRuck.  But I must ...
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