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Duck fat fries pair well with remoulade

Posted On: 1/29/15
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

Duck fat fries pair well with remoulade Previously published in Jan. 30, 2014 Bayside Gazette Every now and then we see something in class that brings back vivid memories associated with food; memories rushing through our minds as images just seem to come together in our imagination.    Recently, as one of our students, Bob, made a fresh remoulade, I tasted it and was immediately transported to countless late nights of the Frenchiest French Fries I had the pleasure of enjoying.  I can’t even remember the name of the place in East Baltimore but it was always jumping and their fryers could not keep up with them. Fried in rendered duck fat (buy online from a variety of vendors) and then topped with fresh herbes de provence and truffle salt, they are only improved by the presence of a side of remoulade.  They go well paired with anything from Iced tea to beer to wine.  Of course, I would go with the beer with these but that is your call. Remoulade is a close cousin to tartar sauce and in many...
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Matzo adds twist to chicken and dumplings

Posted On: 1/22/15
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

It’s hot. I mean, it’s cold. I mean it’s snowing. Argh, now it’s sleeting.   Welcome to Delmarva Winter the way it used to be. Ah, the golden days on the Shore; when winter is merely a hiccup between our amazing autumn and the always-welcome spring. We have been spoiled the last few years with tremendous snowfall, and yes I am in the minority that wishes that there was at least one mountain down here for snowboarding and sledding. Regardless, it is time to make some soup for these rusty old bones, but luckily our kids are coming around the bend in terms of liking homemade broths and soups.   It all started at a Japanese steak house when the tykes fell in love with the chicken broth with scallions and shaved mushrooms. We used that as a launching pad and began regularly offering it for their school lunches and eventually daring to make it from scratch. Yes, my kids prefer canned soups, or at least they did. After some prodding, I was convinced to ...
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Pricey picatta can be cooked on cheap

Posted On: 1/15/15
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

Years ago, my wife and I travelled with an employer and his wife to the Bahamas for a business trip, which was a lovely five days at The Atlantis on Paradise Island in Nassau. The goal was to observe the hospitality facets of this massive property and to help us gauge how to improve things at the property in Ocean City. After the first four days of eating on-campus, I convinced everyone to eat lunch at Fish Fry, a small gathering of restaurants in Nassau that attracted tourists and Bahamians alike. I kept asking the locals where they ate (surely they didn’t venture to The Atlantis for their dining-out adventures), and in unison they mentioned Fish Fry. It was here that I learned how to shuck live conch, although I didn’t do it myself. All you need is a hammer with a claw and a boning knife and – voila! – your scorched conch (a Bahamian specialty) is shortly at hand. We happened upon the food village at 10 a.m., and I was excited to try some indigenous foods....
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A simple but great New Year’s plate

Posted On: 1/1/15
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

A simple but great New Year’s plate As Christmas draws to an end, it is time to realize in the words of Ed Asner’s Santa Clause, “You know what that means; it’s time to get ready for next Christmas!” As the days dwindle on and the family visits and travel come to a close, it’s time to sit back and take a quick breather before we start with the New Year’s preparations. Not expecting too wild an evening, I, of course, need to figure out something that we’ll take to our friends’ house. The first thing that comes to mind is Capt. Monty Hawkin’s bluefish, but we’ve eaten all of that. I think at one point we had about a 100 pounds of blues at school that my students and I broke down, brined and smoked. We made traditional smoked bluefish, salt-free and spicy. We were on a roll, and then the blasted fish stopped biting. So, as time has moved on, so has the bluefish. My mind immediately goes to a fruit and cheese, but seriously, who eats the fruit and cheese tray a...
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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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