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Cuisine

Cuisine - Articles


Grilled cheese speaks to your inner child

Posted On: 12/22/16
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

Grilled cheese speaks to your inner child Grilled cheese sandwiches: What are they? What makes them so very comforting, yet so maniacally easy that a kindergartener can produce them flawlessly? I know, because I would be in the middle of making these or fried eggs after walking home from the bus stop before my mother could make her way to the kitchen from her shop. But more about grilled cheese later. I’m truly thrilled about something that goes hand-in-hand with this glorious feast. Imagine, if you will, a hand-held cheese board, cloaked in crustini and drenched in Irish butter, and you have but one thing to pair it with; a formidable wine. Recently, I was thrilled to find 90+ Brand wines back on the shelf; they’ve been missing as of late, but I have seen them in more than one shop this month. If you are not “in the know,” you shall be no longer. You see, there was a quagmire in the wine industry in 2008 corresponding to the housing market crash, abysmal stock market, recession and other worldly fin...
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Share tradition with Christmas ‘spritz’

Posted On: 12/15/16
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

Share tradition with Christmas ‘spritz’ How many of us remember the smells that wafted through the houses of family and friends during the holiday season? For me, I’m talking the early ’70s. For some of you, it may very well be the Dark Ages, but I won’t pick on you. I will never forget the cookies fresh from the oven or the roast beef and Yorkshire pudding overshadowing the honey ham.  Once the mashed potatoes were scraped from the Kitchenaid to one of our Franciscan bowls, it was game on. We knew that there was a gallon of gravy somewhere and the stage was set. And it wasn’t just our house, it was everyone’s house. One of my fondest Christmas memories was the annual pilgrimage we would make to Uncle Tom and Aunt Terry’s house on Christmas Eve. We lived outside of Annapolis and they lived outside of D.C. All in all, it was a 45-minute drive, but as children it felt like an eternity. But once we got there, we knew there would be a mountain of food, with brie wrapped in puff pastr...
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‘Dad, this tree won't fit in our back yard’

Posted On: 12/8/16
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

‘Dad, this tree won't fit in our back yard’ My father loved Christmas. There were times that we were grumpy (I guess I came by that naturally), but Christmastime was the one part of the year when dad would light up and look forward to staying home and putting up the big tree. We lived outside of Annapolis, and I guess you could say that we were “that” family. While we kept our jalopies inside the garage, we were always raising hell around and acting like little tyrants. As an engineer, my dad did a lot of work on our house, and at one point he added a four-car garage to the house, turning the original garage into a family room with 13-foot ceilings. To finish off the room, a wood-burning stove and massive ceiling fan were installed and many a good nights were had between heating up the room and throwing magazines into the fan which was turned on full-blast. Yes, it was a fun room. Many stories were crafted there, and many a legend born. But among them all, I can honestly say that Christmas was one of the most memo...
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Liquid smoke key to perfect Kalua pork

Posted On: 12/1/16
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

Liquid smoke key to perfect Kalua pork Today is a day to be reckoned with. Yes, it’s what I call a “Hawaii Day,” a day on which I weigh the pros and cons in my head of getting a permit at $3 per day to camp on the north coast of Kauai for a few months. With just a little money in the bank, I could walk about the island, hitting the trails, snorkeling, surfing, fishing and theoretically cooking on the campfire every night. While this might not sound fun to a lot of people, it sounds like a much-needed respite from our day-to-day life at warp speed. I’d probably leave my phone on the mainland as well. Just a full month of disconnecting to clear the mind. Yeah, I think I could go for that. Of course, with too many things to take care of in what I term “reality,” I have to satiate my wanderlust by watching WSL videos of surfing competitions in the Islands and by preparing dishes that remind me of my limited time in the Aloha State. The foods of Hawaii are notable in that they reach just far...
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Breakfast? In my house, we call it dinner

Posted On: 11/3/16
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

Breakfast? In my house, we call it dinner This column originally ran in the Oct. 2, 2014 edition of the Bayside Gazette. 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 “Gall...
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When weather turns cold, turn to soup

Posted On: 10/27/16
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

When weather turns cold, turn to soup I paddled three times last week, once in an outrigger and twice on an ocean board. I left my house yesterday morning in a T-shirt, only to wish that I could work in shorts and flip-flops, it was so warm. It was almost as though we were being spoiled by the weather gods as we walked with blissful ignorance into that misty night. And then today happened. I walked outside and could see my breath in the chilly, 43-degree air that had our quaint little village beset in frigid misery. Despite all of that, our youngest is an 11-year-old, who walked out of the house in just a T-shirt, assuring me that it wasn’t cold. He mocked me. Remember those days? Being a kid in the pool or ocean in September so long that your lips were blue and your entire body shook in convulsions? “Nope,” you would say to your parents as they told you that you were cold. “I’m fine” and you would stay in for another hour, barely able to move your joints as you stretched out for the...
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Spare goose, but don’t spoil appetite

Posted On: 10/20/16
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

Spare goose, but don’t spoil appetite This column originally ran in an Oct. 16, 2014 edition of the Bayside Gazette. 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...
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Kimchee and cheese top off perfect burger

Posted On: 10/13/16
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

Kimchee and cheese top off perfect burger The great meal mystery shrouds me tonight. My many choices and musings all come down to this moment of great triumph – a point in time at which I decide the fate of hundreds of people, nay, dozens. I am in another hospital in D.C. visiting a loved one and looking for dinner and there is no time to stop and worry about how much it’s going to cost me to pull my car out of the Georgetown garage. Who am I kidding? My heart skips a beat when I consider how much the damage is going to be. I think the garage is $25 per day, and I can’t imagine that I’ll be here for any less than three days. I exhale a dramatic sigh, confident in the fact that my superior math skills have calculated that my injury is somewhere around $75 for not moving my car an inch for the duration. For that kind of money, I think I’d rather be in Disney, where every ride ends in a gift shop and you are well aware that you are being raked over the coals around every corner. At least you get to...
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Squid ink, ‘OO’ flour adds gourmet touch

Posted On: 9/29/16
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

Squid ink, ‘OO’ flour adds gourmet touch The following column originally ran in the Sept. 24, 2014 edition of the Gazette 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 differ...
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Play with your food: making ‘ants on a log’

Posted On: 9/22/16
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

Play with your food: making ‘ants on a log’ I was trying to doze off, having had a very long day. Things usually happen in threes, as they say, and the third event was merely a warm-up for the fourth and fifth mighty dealings that weighed heavily on my shoulders. But, hey, it’s all part of this adulting thing, something that I try to avoid like the plague. I had only been sitting in my recliner (my God, I’m starting to sound like my father) for a few minutes when the food gods smiled on me to usher me off to sleep. Having neglected to eat a decent lunch or dinner, I had just partaken in a late-night nosh of thick schmears of mayonnaise and spicy mustard on salami rollups. They hit the spot, and it was time to get some rest for the onslaught that was sure to be in my life the next day. But just as I was about to meet the Sandman, a thought occurred to me and I started to nod my head in that “Yeah, that would be a great combo” type of way. You see, similar to the great Anton Ego from “Ratatouille,...
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