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Cuisine

Cuisine - Articles


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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Loving brussels sprouts just like Beach Boys

Posted On: 10/17/13
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

Loving brussels sprouts just like Beach Boys I sit in shock and wonder;  I don't know what to say.  It hits me that The Beach Boys have been recording for 51 years.  That's six years longer than I've been alive; and the latter is a very long time. I can't say that I've ever been the biggest fans of the Boys, but I have always admired what they stood for.  In the early days of Rock 'n Roll they were the godfathers of the strand, working the beaches of Southern California in that cool, laid-back fashion.  They were a symbol of relaxed adventure at a time when a lot of people needed that. I remember as a child in the 70s thinking that The Beach Boys were already ancient.  In my room you might hear the likes of The Clash, Pistols, Iggy Pop or other sundry loud bands from the day.  The Beach Boys?  I wouldn't have listened to them if you paid me, and in the common areas of our house one was much more likely to hear classical music or the folk music popularized in that era.  ...
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Side dishes serve as supporting characters

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

Side dishes serve as supporting characters There are times at which the supporting character makes the entire performance.  Without the complimentary affectation of the little guy, the main attraction oft goes unappreciated and underutilized.  Take Shakespeare's cons, for example.  Would Hamlet have been anything without the awkward comedic and seemingly despondent relief of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern?  Who were they, anyway? Would Buzz Lightyear have been as effective a hero if it weren't for the efforts of Mr. Potato Head, Slinky Dog and Hamm?  I challenge you to say otherwise. The theater is home to a great many challenges, one of which is to compel the viewer, the guest in the audience, to see things as they might not otherwise be seen.  Simply watching the egoist-lead read through their lines can bore one to complete and utter ennui; enter the Prince's soliloquy as evidence, your honor. Yet having the same actor or actress give the performance of a lifetime while backed by...
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Seared scallops with green lentil and salad

Posted On: 9/26/13
Written By: Paul Suplee CEC PCIII

Seared scallops with green lentil and salad We were driving down the road a few weeks ago during a day of shopping and sundry tasks when my daughters started discussing alliteration.  I laughed to myself as they discussed the many facets that comprise both sides of the argument of whether one should employ this literary technique in their writing. Known to alliterate myself on occasion I started in the conversation with a question.  "What worldly woe prevents proper penning?"  It was easy to see that the laughs were courteous at best, stifled more by the groans of agony arising from my passengers. I continued, "What about the letter P?"  They looked confused.  "The letter P is my favorite letter for alliteration. Take python, for example, or psychology and pterodactyl, philosophy, and let us not forget pneumatic.  Paul is practicing palpable prose!" More grunts of discontent made their way forward with maybe a few appreciative laughs.  There was no ...
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Place fried eggs atop breakfast has dish

Posted On: 9/19/13
Written By: Paul Suplee CEC PCIII

Place fried eggs atop breakfast has dish On any other day, I would be happy to write about a heavy breakfast item. But at the moment, I am sitting and wishing I could instead be walking off today’s lunch — a tasty regional spread of crab imperial, crab cakes, barbecued oysters in homemade sauce, steamed clams in brown butter, beer-battered soft shell crabs, Dijon-encrusted soft shells, corn pudding, roasted squash and kale et al. Was it delicious? You better believe it was. Was it filling? Well, let me just say that the more my fingers type about food, the less I want to think about it. I guess that is one downfall of a job like mine. I have to taste the wares of my students and must do so judiciously so as to not leave anyone out. Had it not been for the shellfish-laden, high-calorie luncheon at high noon, I would be relishing in the overly flavored and rich brunch food offered up as today’s sacrifice to the Gazette. Yea, verily I love such hearty items, but not for breaking the fast we ha...
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