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Cuisine - Articles


Little effort goes long way in pickling

Posted On: 6/25/15
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

Little effort goes long way in pickling It’s nice to see that most stores are carrying pickling cucumbers in the produce section. That part of the culinary world has picked up nicely.  Every site and book out there would be remiss if they were to leave out this old and venerable practice.  I teach pickling at school and it is an important part of the restaurant industry, as are smoking and curing.  They’re all the rage, as the kids like to say. Making your own pickles is a lot easier than most of us chefs will let on, but I’m not going to write about that necessarily, as I just wrote about pickled mustard seeds and pickled onions recently.   But do yourself the favor of practicing on some easy items such as pickled mustard, pickled onions et al. OK, break my arm; I’ll talk about pickling again.  Pickling can be as easy as pouring boiling vinegar, sugar, salt and garlic on sliced cucumbers letting them sit overnight.  It can be as easy as simmering vinegar, sugar an...
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Chicken tender sandwich with chorizo

Posted On: 6/18/15
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

Chicken tender sandwich with chorizo As the season wears on, I sit on my back deck reminiscing the awful winter that we just experienced. It’s hard for me to get too upset about the heat for that reason and also I guess because I have spent so many years in professional kitchens, hot and sticky have been the order of the day for most of my adult life. Standing on the back deck of the restaurant last night, I was rewarded with a lightning show from the storm that blew over the southern part of the peninsula. We didn’t get a drop of rain in Bethany, but the show was enough. Now that I think about it, I never heard a single clap of thunder, but I can only imagine that it happened, as the show was so magnificent. Set against a backdrop of haze and clouds and what appeared to be some fog north of the storm, it amplified the magnitude of each lightning bolt as it either reached across the sky or touched down as it came in contact with the ground. It was something out of a book. Now as I sit on the back deck, and ...
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Black garlic spread goes great with lox

Posted On: 6/11/15
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

Black garlic spread goes great with lox What a whirlwind the past two weeks have been. It’s nice to be back behind the wheel again, not managing anyone or anything and just cooking; well, shucking is more like it. And deciding that I didn’t have enough to do, I accepted an invitation to work with some good friends of mine, chefs up in Rehoboth, as we cooked lunch for 400 kids at the Sussex Academy. After cooking and shredding two hundred pounds of beef and chicken, we were still looking forward to eating it; that’s precisely how good it was. Done with the school lunch, it was time to get back to work. Yes, finally, it was time to pull out the lox that Chef Jason Diettrich had been curing for a number of days. They look delicious and we’re excited to see how they came out. Of course we knew that the salmon would be delicious, but when you cure anything such as lox or bacon, there’s so much idle time that you can’t help but to think of the little things that you may not have done correctl...
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Bacon-deviled eggs ‘mystically wonderful’

Posted On: 6/4/15
Written By: Paul Suplee CEC PCIII

Bacon-deviled eggs ‘mystically wonderful’  It is nice sometimes to take a step backwards and reacquaint oneself with skillsets that seem to have eluded us. Truth be told, chefs work hard, but as has been noted by aging chefs such as Anthony Bourdain, you just get to the point where the body doesn’t recover like it used to. Even so, chefs still spend a great deal of time on their feet and the mental anguish of being the social worker, hirer, firer, disciplinarian, food order and receiving personnel and kitchen maintenance only adds to the tiresome nature of the job. Regardless, most of us wouldn’t have it any other way. We know what the business is about: long hours, working weekends and holidays, great customers and guests and rewards that are hard to explain. And all of this in a mere 55-80 hours per week. Known to take management positions in the summertime over the past seven summers, I decided not to take that route this season, instead opting to shuck for an amazing little restaurant in Bethany for the...
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Tired after holiday? Get out your grill

Posted On: 5/28/15
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

Tired after holiday? Get out your grill Another Memorial Day has passed, and while the crux of the weekend is to memorialize those who have fallen in service to this great nation, it also means the beginning of summer. We must never forget why the day exists and what it stands for, and I hope that many of you were able to celebrate it both patriotically and ceremoniously. Our family celebrates the Day in our own private way, and we also usher in the new summer in ways that are reminiscent of most people on this glorious holiday, on which we had the nicest weather I could remember. I worked a couple days at the club to help out a little bit and then took our two kids, who happen to love roller coasters, to Busch Gardens for one big hurrah. It was magnificent. I only wish that I had a FitBit or something else that would have measured how much walking we did. At the end of our full 11 hours in the park, we could barely walk. And then I had to drive three hours home. It was a very – and I mean very – long drive. ...
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Warm weather brings fresh produce, pie

Posted On: 5/21/15
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

Warm weather brings fresh produce, pie I’ve been in an animal sort of mood lately. Last week my invective was focused on tourists and their infrequent but blaringly stupid interactions with large wildlife, whether it be the good people in Yellowstone with the brown bear and her cubs or the tourists in our neck of the woods with the ponies on Assateague. We just don’t seem to be able to let these magnificent beasts be … we’re all animal extremists on vacation. Today, all I can think about is sharks. After all, they are so shocking a discovery in our ocean that they are making news left and right. The nation is aghast at the presence of these sea monsters, a predator that has been around as long as water itself. But enough of the sardonic attitude. I feel I need to try to help at least a few people come to terms with why sharks seem so much more prevalent today than even a year ago. Research outfits such as OCEARCH do great and important work in understanding the migration patterns, breeding patter...
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A little fermentation can go a long way

Posted On: 5/7/15
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

A little fermentation can go a long way The Koreans have mastered the art of fermentation, a skill that is becoming more and more prevalent as we try to understand exciting, homemade global foods such as kimchi. The first time that I ever made kimchi was about a year and a half ago, and I just finished my experimental jar today – a sad yet satisfying day in that I learned a great deal about the process. The fermentation process that occurs when you make kimchi creates probiotics and other living organisms that aid in digestion on top of adding an intense layer of flavor to a bowl of rice. In fact, many studies have shown that kimchi has more lactobacilli than yogurt, a notion that should excite a great many health nuts out there. Before I go any further, I need to tell you to do your own research on kimchi and food safety. Be careful with this, as food safety is paramount in all instances. But the fermentation process is what helps to keep this safe. Similar to brewing beer and fermenting wine, the process of makin...
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Plate so easy board member could make it

Posted On: 4/30/15
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

Plate so easy board member could make it (Reprinted from Bayside Gazette May 1, 2014 issue) Yesterday at the club, I had the opportunity to discuss life, liberty and the pursuit of bigger and better things in Ocean Pines with one of the directors on the board. While we may not have agreed on everything (disagreement and discourse being some of the great blessings of a community within a democracy), the conversation quickly turned to the topics of the military and food. They were not subsequent topics; we were merely bouncing around. In the midst of our friendly tête-à-tête, he told me that he read my column regularly but that he didn’t, or rather couldn’t, cook what I had to offer up in my weekly ramblings. I assured him that I would find something for him to master before long. Getting home from work, it was hard to believe that it was time to cook dinner. In my mind I start reeling that maybe I need to invest in that Jetsons-style self-cooking system that I saw so often as a child. Maybe that...
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Feeling sluggish? Why not try escargot

Posted On: 4/23/15
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PCIII

Feeling sluggish? Why not try escargot There’s just something about the French that I adore.  Maybe it’s because of my namesake; mayhap I long to understand my lineage long-removed from the old country.  The first Souplis, Andres, landed in America in 1962.  It wasn’t long before the name was Anglicized closer to the name as we know it today. French class is one of my favorites to teach, although I must say that teaching it one night a week for six weeks is next to impossible.  There are signature dishes, to be sure, but the country is so vast and the culinary traditions so deep, that it is very difficult to give even a skimming of teachings on French food.  But every year, when I teach about the southwest corner of the country, I reunite with an old friend: a la Perigourdine.  But more on that later. I’m sorry that you have to suffer through this, but every now and then I have to write about something that I know most people will not cook.  The time and the ing...
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Head back to ‘old country’ with pierogis

Posted On: 4/16/15
Written By: Paul Suplee, CEC PC III

Head back to ‘old country’ with pierogis  The horrors began early in the afternoon, just after the beautiful wedding in Queens.  I was warned of the drinking abilities of the Polish, but I felt I was ready for the task.  In fact, I knew I was ready. The day started off innocuously enough, with my five-hour drive to New York ending with a bowl of pork and barley soup, sweets on every floor of the house, a beer and some traditional Polish snacks.  I wasn’t worried a bit. But it wasn’t until I was at a small table in the bride’s house with the older men, uncles and aunts that I realized that I would have to pace myself.  It was only four o’clock in the afternoon, for god’s sake. My dear friend married a beautiful Polish woman and her family flew in from the Old Country to celebrate.  As I was somehow in the house alone with the family and one other Anglophone, a Frenchman who was a friend of the groom as well, we quickly learned that we were grateful for the limousin...
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