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Cuisine

Cuisine - Articles


Soup that puts ‘pho’ back in phenomenal

Posted On: 3/16/17
Written By: Paul Suplee, MBA, CEC, PC-3

Soup that puts ‘pho’ back in phenomenal Star anise and cinnamon perfume the air, but not in the manner in which we might think of Christmas potpourri or a random autumn’s candle. The aromas wafting through the air are intermingled with nuances of beef, ginger, onions and myriad delights that you may or may not be able to discern at first whiff. By the time you reach the kitchen, you should be able to tell what I’m cooking; I am making a big batch of pho, that magical and nourishing, ubiquitous Vietnamese soup of which I could probably never tire. I am trying to perfect my recipe, as I want to mimic as best as I can the one that is made at my favorite Vietnamese restaurant, Simply Bahn Mi. After long and arduous stays in our Nation’s Capital recently, I have found myself heading down to Georgetown Proper on more than one occasion to enjoy a much-needed respite and a quick bowl of this refreshing, vibrant and (quite frankly) curative dish. The owners of the restaurant Simply Bahn Mi are John and Diana (br...
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Got leftovers? Everything goes in frittatas

Posted On: 3/9/17
Written By: By Paul Suplee, MBA, CEC, PC-3

Got leftovers? Everything goes in frittatas Anthony Bourdain once commented on the professional walk-in in a manner in which most, if not all, professional chefs can relate. Regardless of the number of times that cooks dig through and clean the refrigerated space, every now and then you will find that one lonely pan that someone lazily crammed into a corner or is otherwise simply stashed somewhere it shouldn’t be. And it’s usually not pretty at the time of discovery. Well, we have that issue at home on occasion as well. With three children and a young adult at home (along with us), there tends to be crap everywhere in the refrigerator. And when it comes to cleaning out the icebox, I lean on the expertise and memories of my mother, rest her soul, in compiling dishes in masses of unrecognizable slop. Of course, she had fancy “French” names for them, but it was still a pile of slop nonetheless. Nowadays, I’ll try to put leftovers in something that will not only make some kind of sense, but that our...
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Still crazy about manoes after all these yrs.

Posted On: 2/23/17
Written By: Paul Suplee, MBA, CEC, PC-3

Still crazy about manoes after all these yrs. This column originally ran in a Feb. 19, 2015 edition of the Bayside Gazette. Many times over, I am sure, my wife has questioned her sanity as to why she married me. During the first few years of dating, we would drive from Baltimore to Denton to visit my mother, and every time we would pass a certain store, I would audibly wonder as to whether they were selling manoes, or softshell clams. We probably made that trip 40 times, and I asked the same question at the same portion of every blasted trip.  It drove her crazy, but she still said “yes,” so I guess that says something.   For me, manoes hold a special place in my heart because I have adored them ever since I was in the highchair.  I would fight for them tooth and nail when an older sibling would mess with me and pretend to take them away.   As a child, I was often tormented by my older siblings, and there were a lot of them.  Vicki and Christi were a good number of years older than me, as w...
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What to do with all that pesky leftover duck

Posted On: 2/16/17
Written By: Paul Suplee, MBA, CEC, PC-3

What to do with all that pesky leftover duck Our oldest son just made a trip to California, helping his half-brother move out to Camp Pendleton, his new duty station in the Marine Corps. I can’t sit here and tell you that I wasn’t jealous, because I most certainly was. Visiting Carlsbad and Oceanside, Tyler was able to see where I lived/was stationed for well over three years back in the late 80s and early 90s when I myself was a young Marine. I’m glad that he had a chance to see it, and all I could think about was the true-blue Mexican food. Oh, the taco stands, sit-down restaurants and bars out there. But I don’t tell the full truth. I miss a whole lot more than that. I haven’t set foot in Cali for over 25 years, but I still remember it like it was yesterday; the beaches, the waves, regular trips to Mexico, miserable runs in the foothills on Camp Pendleton, forced swims in the Pacific (it always humored me how much fun and how much misery one could have in this watery medium depending on the circ...
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It’s ‘Wayne’s World;’ we’re just living in it

Posted On: 2/9/17
Written By: Paul Suplee, MBA, CEC PC-3

It’s ‘Wayne’s World;’ we’re just living in it I always find it fascinating how some things never change in our ever-evolving world. Our tastes seem to come and go, whether it be for a certain food or movie or musical genre. Many of our likes and wants are refined while others seem to regress backwards as we age, and if anyone could please tell me that there is rhyme or reason to any of it, I’d like to hear the argument, because the only two things that have remained steadfast for me over the decades are beer and beef. The music has evolved, other food and drinks have evolved and even my pastimes have changed. What happens in our adult life that precipitates a change in attitude towards movies and music to which we were never drawn before? I, for one, never found much humor in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation in my younger days, and while I certainly did not despise Caddyshack, it also never made my top ten list of must-watch cinema. In my youth I leaned more towards Monty Python dry humor with obscurity as the ...
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Battered, pork-stuffed Sichuan eggplant

Posted On: 2/2/17
Written By: Paul Suplee, MBA, CEC, PC-3

Battered, pork-stuffed Sichuan eggplant  Now that we’re in full swing of the semester, it’s time to get our serious nosh on. And while the food in of itself is great, there is nothing better than standing back to watch our students receive accolades for the various foods that they are preparing and sharing with others. There is no truer judge than a fellow student. But, at least the students are learning, right? Rare is the negative comment, and even I must admit that I’m more than moderately impressed with the quality of foods that are regularly coming out of our kitchen. The new program is broken down into various cuisines, and a class that just started in January is International – Asia. What’s nice about this 13-week course is that we can spend four full classes looking at the foods of China, as opposed to “studying” China and Korea in a four-hour class as we used to in the old curriculum. It just wasn’t where we thought it should be in lining up in compliance with ...
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The Clash, Minor Threat, and smoked fish

Posted On: 1/19/17
Written By: Paul Suplee, MBA, CEC PC-3

The Clash, Minor Threat, and smoked fish There was something very special and exciting about growing up in the mid-80s in Annapolis. I played piano as a kid, and studied at Peabody Prep for a few years, but once I realized that I was never destined to play Carnegie Hall (I hated all of those Czerny exercises and the hours of concentration that a career in serious music would entail), I turned to a louder, faster and crazier music. Hardly will you find a better time to have been in the scene in the Annapolis/Baltimore/DC triangle.  We were second generation punks, and while we relished tunes by The Stooges, Sex Pistols, The Clash and the like, our standbys were bands such as Minor Threat, Government Issue, Bad Brains, Black Flag, SOA, Teen Idles et al. Local bands included The Spastic Rats, The Hated and more, and we regularly attended concerts at skating rinks, local community colleges or bars in town or in DC.   The music was intentionally loud, fierce and disruptive. Later turning our interests to SoCal-style ba...
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Bacon jam, horsey sauce play well together

Posted On: 1/12/17
Written By: Paul Suplee, MBA, CEC, PC-3

Bacon jam, horsey sauce play well together One and only one snowfall has occurred, and it was a blasted blizzard!   What in the world is going on around here? To top it off, my family and I had to make a trip from here to DC on Saturday during the storm. Needless to say, it was a hair-raising ride.   I consider myself a sturdy snow-driver, but even with my eons-worth of confidence it was still tossing me around the ice-capped asphalt. With a little tenacity and a great deal of time (over five hours to be exact), we were in DC for an event that we simply could not miss, but that is for another day. Upon returning home, it was both warming to the soul and downright frigid, with temperatures in the teens.  After building a fire it was time to take a survey on the amount of work that I have to do before classes resume; no small task, I can assure you. It seems like only yesterday that I started decorating for Christmas, and now I realize that I’ll be taking down tinsel and lights or one form or another for ...
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Turn those holiday leftovers into potpie

Posted On: 12/29/16
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

Turn those holiday leftovers into potpie So Christmas is over, and now it’s time to prepare for New Year’s Eve. When I say that, all I mean is that I have to buy a pork loin. That’s about the extent of our festivities these days, as we’re more concerned with socializing with family than actual ball drops and huge crowds. Besides, the drive home is nonexistent … a wonderful gift when you’ve had a drink or two on the last day of the year that has been insane, to put it mildly. But now that the holidays are officially underway, which in turn means almost over, we are inundated with leftovers. As my youngest daughter and I worked our way through the refrigerator we realized that we were up against an army of undigested edibles. Turning leftover roasted chicken and vegetables into a scrumptious soup was the first order of the day, and I took care of that. Next, I had to decide which items I could turn into hors d’oeuvres for our small New Year’s Eve gathering and then I was left ...
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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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