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Garlic knots perfect way to start meal

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

On the road with family this week for our mini-vacation, we stopped to get some lunch.  Seeing a sign for New York Style Pizza, we knew we had to go.  It was just the respite that we needed, and starting off with the garlic knots was the perfect way to bring everyone back from the hunger-fueled fighting that so often happens with kids in cramped quarters. Family vacations are still some of the greatest memories from my youth.  I still remember the feeling of headed up to the Skyline Drive for our four-week summer hiatus in the back seat of the Polara station wagon; as the youngest three of eight children, we weren’t given the option and only when someone vomited from the backwards motion were they granted passage to the middle seat or, god forbid, to the middle of the front seat between Mom and Dad. Oh, the memories.  When Dad would get upset at our rambunctious behavior, we would be instructed to place our hands on the back of his seat.  For hours.&nbs...
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Kale salad great summer menu addition

Posted On: 8/7/14
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

Kale salad great summer menu addition My Assateague permit just expired and I just may have to get it renewed. There’s something fantastic about a drive-on bonfire, dinner, the roar of the ocean and the ghost crabs. The squeals and squeaks of the children abound as they finally find the translucent little white beasts who in their retreat turn and make chase of their own. Instead, I sit at home and grab a bowl of kale salad, a new addition to my arsenal. Introduced to me by my sister-in-law, it is sweet, tart, crunchy, soft and just about everything in between. I was admittedly hesitant to try it; after all, how good could raw kale be? Quickly blanched in some salted water, the kale is cooled and then tossed with myriad fruits and vegetables and becomes a powerhouse; a high-anit-oxidant snack and side dish. Perfect for the beach and the pool, this salad is fantastic. Paired with a Dream Machine IPL (yes, lager) from Rita’s, it’s a match made in heaven. Now, for those of you in the know, you underst...
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Dry-aged steak with bone marrow butter

Posted On: 7/31/14
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

Dry-aged steak with bone marrow butter It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, or mayhap it was simply the season of plagiarism.  The muddled thoughts of my mind make it difficult to discern what has been stolen and that which is unique. As it stands, I am wrestling with what could be the greatest culinary day of my life.  The triumvirate of taste.  The mêlée of meal-esque monsters.  I am not in L.A.; I am not in New Orleans, that city about which I have written much on my culinary travels.  No; I am in Kansas City. Strolling through the wily streets of Missouri during the ACF national convention, a friend of mine and I happed upon a butcher shop / bar with a façade reminiscent of Baltimore in the 80s.  An old brick grocery store from 1898, it had all of the potential that most of us dreamers find existential.  As my luck with finding great vit...
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Serving up summer strawberry shortcake

Posted On: 7/10/14
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Serving up summer strawberry shortcake 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 halcyon days of ignorant, blissful youth. ...
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New Orleans reminds Suplee of muffaletta

Posted On: 5/29/14
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

New Orleans reminds Suplee of muffaletta (Reprinted from Bayside Gazette May 30, 2013 issue) There is nothing like a weekend in New Orleans to remind me of the aging process and the natural degeneration of the human immune system. Visiting the French Quarter for a Marine Scout Recon reunion with buddies that I have not seen in 22 years, we left few stones unturned as we roamed through the streets of the Big Easy. Age does at the very least have the benefit of wisdom; we may not be wise, but we are wiser. I think. Since all of us are music lovers our goals were much more oriented to finding the amazing music for which New Orleans is known. Having done my share of traveling over the years, I have learned to ask locals where they go to enjoy themselves; surely they wouldn’t hang out on Bourbon Street, unless of course they were playing a gig or two or tending bar. Eating our first dinner at the bar in the hotel, rarely a good choice, we were shocked at the caliber of our meal at Wolfe’s in the Warehouse.&nbs...
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Recreating nova lox of the old country

Posted On: 5/8/14
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

Recreating nova lox of the old country There is nothing quite like seeing the flash of fear on a child’s face when he realizes that his seat on the water park ride is now at the bow of the craft ... heading backwards as he plummets over the falls. It seemed that the more he requested of the lifeguards to be facing the deep and fast drop the more they employed their stealthy tactics of spinning the multi-person tube just right. I guess it’s the same as pushing the “close door” button on the elevator when someone with an armful of groceries is asking you to hold the car.  Our children enjoyed their weekend at Great Wolf Lodge a few weeks ago as did we. While enjoying the three-acre, four-story water park, it seemed as though the more hair-raising rides we went on, the more our youngest would defy his young mind’s logical processes and continued to get on the rides for more excitement. Arriving home, there was no rest for the weary. It was time to get down to business as I had to plan and ...
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Hearty Hangtown Fry similar to frittata

Posted On: 4/3/14
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

Hearty Hangtown Fry similar to frittata Hearty food.  Nothing is better than hearty food on a day like today.  The winter breeze, the door frozen to the frame of the car and the thought that spring will someday be upon us. But I write this over a week after Spring has sprung.  I think of warmer days, and my thoughts turn to reality as I look at the young blossoms on some of the trees and the flowers that have already shot up through the dirt to make their presence known. We only have a few more days, if not a week, during which we can brag about making the hearty home-cooked meals that sustain us in the chillier months.  So I will get one last hearty meal in and try to stay true to form in moving into lighter, healthier meals as the season progresses. When I wake up in the morning, I would rather eat a plate of steak and eggs or dinner leftovers than what most people consider ‘breakfast’; processed cereals, oatmeal et al. I often think of the Vietnamese street vendors (no, I’ve never...
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Merguez sausage fairly simple to make

Posted On: 3/27/14
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

Merguez sausage fairly simple to make Today was curing, smoking and barbecue day at school and it ushered in the strangest snow storm of all; not a bad way to spend a Tuesday. Students made duck pastrami (to be smoked the next day), Andouille sausage and pepperoni. The latter is hanging in the walk-in after a dip in potassium sorbate, which keeps it from molding up and growing the nasty bacteria that can find its way into cured foods. We will have to wait 20 days before braving the pepperoni, but the duck pastrami and Andouille can be tried tomorrow. That makes for an exciting day. Never one to shy away from making sausages, I pulled out some leg of lamb and made a small mountain of Merguez, one of my absolute favorites. A spicy, tangy Moroccan favorite that has found its way around the globe, Merguez is traditionally made from lamb, garlic and warming spices. It is a fairly simple sausage to make, and as my students learned today, it can be pretty fun. I could open a salami shop with little persuasion; I enjoy doing ...
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No limits to mother’s creativity in kitchen

Posted On: 2/27/14
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

No limits to mother’s creativity in kitchen We knew it was inevitable.  Mom’s passing was an event that we all dreaded but understood given the many years she was blessed to be here.  She had a smile, a wit and a charisma that lit up a room.  The humor groomed over 86 years, a 43-year marriage, eight children, 17 grandchildren and six great- grandchildren was warped to say the least. It was good to be the youngest of eight children; the baby, the caboose.  By the time I came around, our parents were fairly well spent.  I believe her moniker for me and my two older brothers was The Terrible Three.  With the help of my older brothers and sisters, I turned into the man I am today.  In hindsight, I guess I can blame them too, can’t I? When I was in my teens I had a case of empty beer cans under my bed since my parents came home from a weekend trip early.  Being me, as many of you here know, I saw a squirrel and forgot about the cans.  On Tuesday my dad came in and lectured m...
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Learning to cook requires practice, patience

Posted On: 2/20/14
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

Learning to cook requires practice, patience (Reprinted from Feb. 21, 2013 issue) Bram Stoker wrote that “we learn of great things by little experiences” and you would be hard pressed to find any aspect of life to which that philosophy doesn’t apply. In the kitchen, we often find ourselves overwhelmed by learning how to cook, a concept that is further removed from society than ever before due to the convenience products aplenty. All we have to do is go to the store, buy pre-made product, heat and serve. I know this to be true for three reasons. Firstly, as we walk down the freezer aisle of the largest supermarket we can find, we are presented with a dizzying array of colors and images designed and developed to lure us into their trap. Secondly, there simply isn’t enough time in many people’s lives to cook a fresh-scratch meal every day of the week. Thirdly, I do it myself. People regularly approach me to ask me the best manner in which to tackle the skills of cookery and nourishment. The only thin...
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