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Cuisine

Cuisine - Articles


Grilled scallops with lemon-chervil gastrique

Posted On: 1/16/14
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

Grilled scallops with lemon-chervil gastrique There is simply nothing in this world that can’t be fixed by listening to the theme of “The Benny Hill Show” sans video.  Having run across it this week for the first time in eons, I giggled - chortled even - as the saxophone blurted out the ridiculous and inspirational melodies known to so many, reminding us of simpler times in a long gone age. Without the nonsensical visual stop-motion of Benny et al running amok in the intro of the show, it is easy to imagine the silliest of scenes in one’s own mind as the song blurts through its short lifespan. The man himself, Benny Hill that is, was a genius in his heyday.  From his eponymous sketch comedy to “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” he entertained as few did in the business. Sometimes it is the light and playful that brings us down to earth.  When we realize that we have been taking ourselves a little too seriously, a small touch of humor, or something just a little afar from the norm, goes ...
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Cook your dinner from scratch, Suplee says

Posted On: 1/9/14
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

Cook your dinner from scratch, Suplee says We were watching television the other day as my wife and I had a little kid-free down time to enjoy some random shows.  Truth be told, we didn’t have the remote, weren’t in any hurry to get up and weren’t really paying attention to the telly since we were talking. I made the comment that digital cameras have seemed to make every kid a photographer.  Phones with 40 megapixel cameras do most of the average teenager’s pictographic grunt work that would have taken Ansel Adams days to accomplish.  Most don’t understand the composition and lighting that makes for truly artistic photography (No, I do not consider myself in this category so settle down), but how many photography pages have you seen crop up online overnight?  Come on, be honest.    I then mused that software suites have made it possible for anyone to be a web designer (albeit not a formidable one, but you get the point).  Other applications made it easy for peop...
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Want to eat healthy? Great, let’s fry cheese

Posted On: 1/2/14
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

Want to eat healthy? Great, let’s fry cheese Among many New Year’s resolutions floating in space right now is the desire by many to eat healthy.  We all know that we can do better than we did in 2013.  We are well aware of the conventional wisdom that warns of fat content, sugar levels and fried foods. We listen to the TV ads until we’ve had it up to here, being lectured about how a life of lettuce and nuts will set us free.  Then the next guy pops up and tells us that a few pounds of protein every day will take us back to our primal selves.  With just a little more self-control you can learn to lick that lackluster waistline and replace it with a meaner, leaner you. So go and grab that celery stalk.  Set out, dear friend, to throw some carrots, spinach and ginger in the juicer as you work your way through Schwarzenegger’s Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding. I’ll just be right over here turning on the deep fryer.  I mean, seriously, who doesn’t like fried cheese? T...
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Holiday time perfect for Porterhouse steak

Posted On: 12/19/13
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

Holiday time perfect for Porterhouse steak Sometimes all I need is a stroll through our cool little town of Berlin to realize what a quaint and wonderful place it is.  Not having been able to snap into the holiday spirit yet, I decided with the kids to do a 12 Days of Christmas gift giving crusade for my wife, and Berlin seemed like the perfect place for ideas. Heading downtown to pick up said gift as well as gift cards for bus drivers, teachers et al, I stopped in to see Pete at SiCuli, the latter one of our favorite Italian eateries.  After eating a Fiery Soppressata pizza in three bites, a record if memory serves, I went to Ta-Da and then to JJ Fish where I found the perfect gift for Day 3.   On the wall was a shelf of knitted socks that were mismatched with the slogan Life’s too short to wear matching socks!  I chortled inwardly as I recalled my exhausted wife exclaiming earlier in the day as she sorted the kids’ socks, “Grrr.  Two damn mismatched socks.  Every load!”...
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Beef flautas bring back memories for chef

Posted On: 12/12/13
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

Beef flautas bring back memories for chef I can’t help but to wax nostalgic during the holidays.  Like any family, we have seen the best of times and some of the not so very best of times.  I remember fondly the adventures of life in a large family and  reminisce the first time I was able to win a fight with my older brother. Then there was the time that we launched bottle rockets at our neighbors’ deck party.  The revelers relished the uninvited missiles and cheered as they were bombarded.  Luckily they were high school kids (older than we at the time) with no parents at home so I guess the activities made their rebellious event even more exciting. As it is football season, I start thinking about the games seen and arenas visited over the years; RFK, Memorial, Jack Murphy, Astrodome, Cardinals Stadium, M&T et al.  While I’ve never been an out-of-control football fan, I enjoy the sport and when I find tickets I take them; there is nothing like a live game. This morning an ...
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Add your favorite liqueur or liquor to Frappe

Posted On: 12/5/13
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

Add your favorite liqueur or liquor to Frappe After a very chilly afternoon of food science and model rockets, it was time to warm up with some hot chocolate.  After ordering three medium hot chocolates and a medium fry at a local fast food restaurant, I was stunned to have the cashier tell me it would be over $12. How did this happen?  What in the world is going on?  As I proceeded through the Drive-thru I paid closer attention to the coffee menu. The frozen mocha drinks were upwards of five dollars a pop; I guess I’m turning into the old geezer penny-pincher. The prices had given me my first sticker shock in a long time. I believe that we live in a great nation, albeit one in which marketing can often dictate what we perceive as good pricing on mediocre products. As I drove home, my attention turned to the frozen mocha mega-delicious shakes that cost so much money.  I have tried making them in the past to no great success and realized that I had been leaving out a readily available product used in...
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For a sweet treat, how about apple ‘caviar’?

Posted On: 11/27/13
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

For a sweet treat, how about apple ‘caviar’? Yes, I am a geek who plays piano.  I have played for many years and in truth, as a child I was fairly good.  But as things happen in this life, I ‘saw a squirrel’ and my attention was drawn elsewhere around the time that I started working in restaurants. Not one to sit on the bench and fight through countless hours of Czerny exercises, I just slam away at the keys hoping that something of a coherent nature will emanate from the ivories. It is not uncommon to hear me begin Solfeggietto by CPE Bach (one of JS Bach’s many children) before running across a C-minor chord and breaking into a poorly phrased but fun Boogie Woogie riff from Dr. John.  If I don’t watch it (which is often) I somehow digress into the theme song from H.R. PufnStuf, the eponymous children’s show so popular in my youth. I am oft met by members of my family asking me to turn down the volume on our digital piano and I regrettably oblige them,  more than willing to ...
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Creamy pumpkin soup with wilted arugula

Posted On: 11/21/13
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

Creamy pumpkin soup with wilted arugula I know that I should wait at least a fortnight before writing about soup again, but this is soup season after all.  The leaves are falling at a breakneck pace and the winds come and go, slicing through our coats as though they are razor sharp shards. And then Monday, it was 70 degrees, but fret not.  Cold weather is moving in again in a matter of days.   This November nonsense is exactly why I hesitate to transition between summer clothes and winter clothes. I just take my time and eke out as many flip-flop and shorts days as I can. As Halloween came to a close we found ourselves in possession of some beautiful autumn squash that has adorned our front porch for a month or so, as we do every year. Like a precisely set Swiss watch, my wife went to work halving, seeding and roasting the pumpkin in preparation for Thanksgiving dessert.  If you need to ask which one, then shame on you. As the roasted pulp has been sitting in the icebox for a week, and as I have...
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Hummus dip has numerous health benefits

Posted On: 11/7/13
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

Hummus dip has numerous health benefits One great thing about teaching international cuisine is that I get to scout out of the ethnic markets in our area.  There are not many, that I can assure you. The first time that I walked into an Asian market in my youth (Chinatown, D.C.) I was at a loss for words.  The selection of unknown foods and indecipherable labels was staggering.  Not much changed when I walked into an Asian market as a young adult.  I wasn't fluent in the culture and foodstuffs of the Orient.  Now in my middle age.  I still don't speak Mandarin, something I've been meaning to undertake, so I have to rely on the miniscule English print on the added labels required to get products through customs. When we leave what most people think of as Asia (the Orient) we head to India where we are countered with countless new herbs and spices.  After this short jaunt we trek over to the Middle East (Southwest Asia) where we see some of my favorite foods. The perfume of th...
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Shrimp tacos with Tex-Mex slaw, guacamole

Posted On: 10/24/13
Written By: Chef Paul Suplee

Shrimp tacos with Tex-Mex slaw, guacamole  Another week has passed us by as we trudge through the murky waters of Autumn.  As the temperature drops, there are only a few more weeks to get in the fresh and vibrant ‘summery’ dishes that remind us of vacations in Mexico or elsewhere in the world. In our American Regional Cuisine class this week, we visited Texas and cooked our way through Tex-Mex cuisine.  We saw foods varying from chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes and black eye peas to pork flautas and caldo de res.  Finishing the meal off with coffee flan and Mexican wedding cookies, it was easy to sate the body and soul with food from the Lone Star State. It was easy to fall in love with the food on the table and quite frankly this class has exceeded my expectations as they can produce a monstrous amount of food in less than three hours, and do every week. As I walked up to the buffet for final inspection, the first platter stood out for its color and simple design.  The Shrimp Ta...
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