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Cuisine - Articles


Bacon fry bread with fermented garlic

Posted On: 7/21/16
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

Bacon fry bread with fermented garlic I hit the snooze button at 4:30 a.m. and it scratched me. I smacked it again 10 minutes later, hoping to get just another moment of respite, when it hissed and pounced off of my chest. Mayhap I wasn’t drumming the snooze button at all. There is nothing that will get you out of bed quicker than an irritable mouser reminding you exactly who is in charge of the den, especially when your own wits are dimmed by a poor night’s sleep. Today was a big day as it was time to go back to Baltimore for an important meeting, so I had to make sure not to fall back into slumber. As my feline timekeeper is more reliable than my phone – the latter being a tool that mysteriously renders itself to vibrate every night at midnight so that I can’t hear it – I was up and ready to go before the misses had a chance to turn the light on. Two points for the little bastard. After a successful, but tiring roundtrip to Mob Town, Julie and I ended up back in the hood, with her settled...
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Simple summer snack: chips and salsa

Posted On: 7/14/16
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

Simple summer snack: chips and salsa This column originally ran on 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 ...
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Grilled chicken skewers simple to prepare

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

Grilled chicken skewers simple to prepare (July 7, 2016) With the whirlwind of moving comes the onslaught of discoveries – some good and some downright frightening. Despite the fact that we’ve only moved seven miles away, it is almost as though we are traversing continents, as we are moving into a house that has been empty for two years. Allow me to explain. Two years – an admirable stretch in time in which animals can and have roamed free, growing at will. I guess what I’m trying to say is that we have found a secret portal to Australia. I’ve never seen bigger wolf spiders, and in fact the only larger spiders I’ve seen in person were the tarantulas in Southern California. Furry little bastards. The snakes have moved on as we disturbed their home around the pool’s edge. The two largest snakes, an Eastern Racer and a King Snake, were easily six feet long. Luckily, most of us in the family like snakes (the same cannot be said about spiders), so we were a little sad once we realized tha...
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Don’t cut out mayonnaise on cold cut sub

Posted On: 6/30/16
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

Don’t cut out mayonnaise on cold cut sub Sometimes it just takes a good, swift kick in the arse to remind us that we may not be purging our belongings on a regular enough basis. I will admit it; I inherited my father’s garage. Needless to say, the man did not keep a clean carriage house. Quite the contrary, on most occasions it was a booby-trapped minefield that only prepared my brother and me for the obstacle courses and myriad adventures that we would encounter in the military. Piles of magazines that had not been read for years in one corner, and mountains of tools dated to the antebellum era in the other. It was not unusual to have to climb over things to get to the 7/8 inch socket wrench that you needed to fix a very specific part of your bike. It was just another day on Bayberry Drive. As I look upon the mess that is our new house, I realize that I have a deep case of the Moving Blues. We are no longer residents of Ocean Pines, and have moved up to Bishopville since we found a house for us and my mother-in-law....
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Do-it-yourself pickling primer, revisited

Posted On: 6/23/16
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

Do-it-yourself pickling primer, revisited This column originally ran in the June 25, 2015 issue of the Gazette. 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 the...
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Please, leave out dye in your Key lime pie

Posted On: 6/16/16
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

Please, leave out dye in your Key lime pie The first time that I ever ate Key lime pie was at a restaurant in Annapolis where I worked in 1984-5, a beautiful spot replete with wood-stoked fireboxes and a smoker large enough to cook 500 pounds of product with the single flip of a switch. I learned a great deal while working here. Although I already knew how to build a fire, I learned how to keep it stoked for 12 hours, how to find the hot spots on the grill, and how to prep huge sides of marlin for the smoker. Countless pounds of baby back ribs and brisket also went through that beast, and then of course there were the buffalo burgers (a marvel in 1984) and conch fritters. The menu was exciting and I enjoyed it to no end. It was a great job, but there was one problem, and that was a questionable lack of management. I was only 16 years old, and there were days on which I was the opening cook. In fact, there were days when my buddy Joe and I were the only cooks, a bold move that I never repeated as a scheduling manager later in...
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How I spent my (2010) summer vacation

Posted On: 6/9/16
Written By: Paul Suplee CEC, PCIII

How I spent my (2010) summer vacation In 2010, I was approached to help run the kitchen at the Yacht Club for the summer. I was in between semesters, they were in-between chefs and I was foolish enough to say “yes.” Hadn’t I learned my lesson from my two-and-a-half year stint as the executive chef? Wasn’t I the focus of unwanted attention at the hands of people who would much rather see the place implode into the sea than turn a profit? The papers. The forums. The complainers… Now don’t get too riled; there were many more people who were supporters, and there are still many patrons that I talk to and hug and enjoy a good cocktail with every now and then. There are so many stories, ranging from the harpoons in the attic to the code words for certain regulars and myriad weddings we would execute flawlessly. It wasn’t that we were the best; it was more to the point that we had a good system down. Sometimes, that’s all you need. The halcyon days of being the chef at the “...
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Smarter chefs, better food — start reading

Posted On: 6/2/16
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

Smarter chefs, better food — start reading It seems an eternity since I was a high school teacher. While I still hold many fond memories of teaching at that level, I much prefer being at the college level, where more of my students are further-intrigued about the craft of cooking. Plainly put, I can get some of them to actually read a book. I recommend books as they are invaluable tools in the expansion of our tiny minds, and while we do have the luxury of computer-assisted information gathering, it is much better to develop critical thinking skills that separate us from beast. There are so many exciting things happening in food and I look forward to reading, picking people’s brains and otherwise never stopping my own education. When I was helping with the AGH Gala for Liquid Assets last week, I was fortunate enough to cook with Nino and Toby (LA and Gilbert’s Provisions, respectively). It was refreshing to work with chefs again who most likely have their nose buried in a book at least a few times a month as was ...
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Just say ‘no’ to TV chefs, ‘yes’ to truffle salt

Posted On: 5/26/16
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

Food Television: The nemesis to any good chef, and the bastion of misinformation for two generations of viewers and connoisseurs of fine dining. The sanctimonious airs of hosts on the now-many food channels drives me insane, but we have to live with it as it is now a part of our culture. To be fair, I will give accolades to one cooking show and that is “Master Chef Jr.,” where young (and sometimes very young) kids try their hand in the kitchen while getting mentored by world-class chefs. I like this show because the hosts seem to be a bit more real and personable than in the other shows, but don’t even get me started on the silly shows like “Hell’s Kitchen,” “Chopped,” or any of the other myriad shows that are much more about entertainment than actual cooking. Recently I was flipping through the channels when I came across an “editorial” by one of the main hosts for Food TV who was lecturing us, the lowly viewers, on using t...
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Coffee, cheese, more coffee essential

Posted On: 5/19/16
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

Coffee, cheese, more coffee essential For the love of all that’s holy, someone get me a cup of coffee. Nay, bring me a tankard – a thermos of joe. Just load me up with one of those one-gallon carafes and I’ll be on my way. My body is buzzing, and I can’t figure out why I’m coming unraveled. I’m supposed to be catching up on rest and relaxation now that the semester is over, but somehow it’s getting worse. My elbows ache, I blew out my bicep muscle and somehow I managed to crease my little toe yesterday at work to a point where it hurts to walk. What in Hades is happening to me? It’s almost as though this aging thing is real, but I refuse to accept that. It must be something else. I remember as a teenager telling my parents that I would never grow old, and they would laugh. My invincibility was a silly notion to them as they were once invincible in their own rights, although when they themselves were invincible, films were still in black and white and World War I was a thi...
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