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Cuisine

Cuisine - Articles


Overcooking fresh fish akin to crime

Posted On: 8/20/15
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PC III

Overcooking fresh fish akin to crime Suffering from a bit of jet lag this week, I am trying to get back in the groove.  Understanding that I am on east coast time and that I’m back at work, there is no excuse for not getting up on time. But, there have been a couple days where the kids and I have slept until noon, a strange occurrence in our house. Getting ready for the school year is always an interesting task; adding new projects and tweaking existing ones all add up to keep a person on their toes. And the time goes by way too quickly. Mix in a little time zone discrepancy and it becomes easy to see how one’s schedule could get a little messed up. Wanting to not let go of our Hawaiian experience, I made a big batch of chicken barbecue and Kalua pork, the latter being a shredded pork with (don’t judge me) liquid smoke. Now, I smoke a great deal of pork product throughout the year, but every time that I have eaten Kalua pork in the Islands, it has been made with liquid smoke, so I try to keep it t...
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Chef envisions perfect day for breadfruit

Posted On: 8/13/15
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

Chef envisions perfect day for breadfruit I sat on my board off of Poi’pu in Kauai County, soaking it all in while waiting for a set to come in. This was my first time to the South Shore and in fact our first time to this island and so far it has not disappointed. Typical to Kauai was the tropical sunshine to the east and a torrential downpour to the west; a mere six feet away from me. The rain lasted about two minutes as it usually does and then a rainbow surfaced on the ocean from end to end, an inspirational sight. At this point I was wearing a long-sleeve rash guard since I, as a towhead in the tropics, have had enough sun for the year. I don’t necessarily tan, you see; I go from pink to coral, but I ramble. Wildlife thrived on the reef, with the water clear enough to see the Reef Triggerfish, Butterflyfish, barracuda, needlefish et al, and as I dove under the waves it resembled nothing of Assateague, as much as I love our little pony-filled hamlet. To top it all off – to make this the most magical o...
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Fondly remembering (cobb) salad days

Posted On: 8/6/15
Written By: Paul Suplee CEC PCIII

Fondly remembering (cobb) salad days Sometimes you find yourself in an airport that is about as organized as an old episode of Keystone Cops. I’ve had my share of disorganization, especially after that fateful day that ushered in the mighty TSA. Finished with our convention this weekend, it was time to say goodbye to the torrential downpours of Orlando and head home. Shuttling to Orlando’s international air hub was simple enough, and retrieving my bags from the back of the van proved equally as stress-free. The kind and professional ticket agents were moving the line at breakneck pace, and my heart and soul were full of hope; hope that I would be able to get a bite to eat before the plane took off. Southwest Airlines had delivered again, with smiles, courtesy and expediency at the ready. And then I rounded the corner. Those of us who travel more than a little know the feeling of dismay when things are going so well only to end in such a trammel. The TSA lines were not only massive but there were no lanes ...
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For chef, Catholic school was icing on cake

Posted On: 7/30/15
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

For chef, Catholic school was icing on cake It’s hard to believe that we have our first Sweet 16 party this year. Oh, how the years fly by – that outplayed, ubiquitous saying that everyone over the age of 40 must proclaim. At least when I think of my daughter, and in fact all of our kids, I can’t help but to be amazed at how intelligent they are; how much further ahead than I was at their age. And now I have to bake a chocolate cake and ice it before I go to bed. I believe I’ve written about my three years at St. Mary’s High School in Annapolis in the 80s, and how I still truly believe that Catholic school is the only reason that I’m still alive. Suffice it to say that I was not a stellar student through my middle school years, and my late parents felt it wise to remove me from my friends and devices; in hindsight, not a bad plan. St. Mary’s is where I met some of my best lifelong friends. It’s where I sauntered during lunch to Eastport and found my first job at the Chart House....
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When forced to cook, Reuben never fails

Posted On: 7/23/15
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

When forced to cook, Reuben never fails It is often said that a chef’s favorite food is anything that he doesn’t have to cook himself. I have personally subscribed to that tenet for years and it was no different as I went to meet a friend of mine last week for lunch at Sneaky Pete’s last week; the dock bar at Hooper’s on the Bay. The breeze was perfect on that smoking-hot day as was the entertainment, which was kayakers – more precisely people kayaking for what was likely the first time – in the strong currents off of Skimmer Island. Charter boats would motor up-current, shut down and then drift with lines cast-out for flounder. It was a nice reminder as to why this is such a beautiful place to live. As I was eating my Key West Reuben, my buddy asked if the family was still going to Hawaii in the near future. When I replied in the affirmative, he laughed and shook his head. When I inquired as to the basis for his amusement, he merely stated that he was concerned for me, as I am still as ...
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Fresh chips and salsa go great with summer

Posted On: 7/16/15
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

Fresh chips and salsa go great with summer Reprinted from Bayside Gazette July 17, 2014 As voices echo through our little street, a feeling of summer, fun and family runs through me like an electric current. It’s a wonderful thing as a parent to have a flash of memory back to the days of my own childhood; a prevailing feeling of worth as I remember the emotions that I attached to certain events in my life and that I now share with my children. Years ago as we played at the water’s edge, I was teaching my kids how to dig deep enough to reach the tide line, in essence making your own pool at the ocean.  Something that my father taught me in the early 1970s, it was a laughable concept to my friend who was visiting from out of town. He brushed it off as nonsense, but as I taught my kids, you could see bewilderment in his eyes as the bottom of the hole began to fill with water. Move forward a few years and our next scene is our home. I took my kids outside at dusk to teach them how to summon the bats, those ether...
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Strawberry shortcake ‘refreshing’ in summer

Posted On: 7/9/15
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIIi

Strawberry shortcake ‘refreshing’ in summer Reprinted from July 10, 2014 issue. Every now and then, the near-100 degree temperatures merit a little outside-time.  I don’t mind sweating a little since it means that I have a good deal of the season left; we get a little reprieve from the minus-10 degrees that graced our shores a mere few months ago.  And, let’s be honest, taking my first summer off since 1983 has been a nice respite to catch up on things. An assortment of music plays in the background, and the gentlest breeze blows across my back porch.  The only note of interest today is the pile of tree pieces from what is apparently the only tree to have fallen in the lamest hurricane in Ocean City history: Arthur.  And of course it fell in my yard.  So it goes when you live at the beach where root balls are 2 feet deep and 10 feet around.  Where else would a tree go but down? Tonight feels like it will be a good night for one of my favorite cakes from the days of yore; the halcyo...
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When things get squirrelly, go with Coke

Posted On: 7/2/15
Written By: Paul Suplee, PC CECIII

When things get squirrelly, go with Coke As I sit here eating my mild carnitas tacos, I reminisce of a day not too long ago. It was Christmas 2014. The air was crisp, and I was outside sitting on the front porch enjoying my spoils of war. The dog was prancing around the yard in an effort to find a suitable toilet when she came to a complete standstill. As soon as she did, and before I saw that which had grabbed her attention, I heard a deliberate and ominous “flawp, flawp, flawp!” I looked up just in time to see a monstrous hawk swooping onto the branch of the tree that was nine feet away from me and nine feet up, which Pythagoras tells us put a mere 12.7 feet between me and this magnificent beast. If you’ve never been this close to a mature hawk, suffice it to say I could feel her talons and her piercing glare. I cannot lie; it was a touch unnerving. In her talons was a squirrel, no longer of the living, and I’m not sure whether the raptor lost her grip or whether it was a Christmas gift, but the sq...
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Little effort goes long way in pickling

Posted On: 6/25/15
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

Little effort goes long way in pickling It’s nice to see that most stores are carrying pickling cucumbers in the produce section. That part of the culinary world has picked up nicely.  Every site and book out there would be remiss if they were to leave out this old and venerable practice.  I teach pickling at school and it is an important part of the restaurant industry, as are smoking and curing.  They’re all the rage, as the kids like to say. Making your own pickles is a lot easier than most of us chefs will let on, but I’m not going to write about that necessarily, as I just wrote about pickled mustard seeds and pickled onions recently.   But do yourself the favor of practicing on some easy items such as pickled mustard, pickled onions et al. OK, break my arm; I’ll talk about pickling again.  Pickling can be as easy as pouring boiling vinegar, sugar, salt and garlic on sliced cucumbers letting them sit overnight.  It can be as easy as simmering vinegar, sugar an...
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Chicken tender sandwich with chorizo

Posted On: 6/18/15
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

Chicken tender sandwich with chorizo As the season wears on, I sit on my back deck reminiscing the awful winter that we just experienced. It’s hard for me to get too upset about the heat for that reason and also I guess because I have spent so many years in professional kitchens, hot and sticky have been the order of the day for most of my adult life. Standing on the back deck of the restaurant last night, I was rewarded with a lightning show from the storm that blew over the southern part of the peninsula. We didn’t get a drop of rain in Bethany, but the show was enough. Now that I think about it, I never heard a single clap of thunder, but I can only imagine that it happened, as the show was so magnificent. Set against a backdrop of haze and clouds and what appeared to be some fog north of the storm, it amplified the magnitude of each lightning bolt as it either reached across the sky or touched down as it came in contact with the ground. It was something out of a book. Now as I sit on the back deck, and ...
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