Dick Stein

Midday Jazz Host

Dick Stein has been with KPLU since January, 1992. His duties include hosting the morning jazz show and co-hosting and producing the Food for Thought feature with the Seattle Times’ Nancy Leson. He was writer and director of the three Jimmy Jazzoid live radio musical comedies and 100 episodes of Jazz Kitchen. Previous occupations include the USAF, radio call-in show host, country, classical and top-40 DJ, chimney sweep, window washer and advertising copywriter.

His most memorable KPLU moment: Peeling Alien life form from Erin Hennessey’s face after it leapt at her from the biohazard refrigerator he picked up cheap for the station at an FDA garage sale. Dick is married to nationally noted metalsmith, jewelry designer and cowgirl “Calamity” Cheryl DeGroot.

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Nancy Leson's Quick And Easy Tips On Serving Up Fish

File image
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

"Stein, do you cook much fish?" Nancy Leson asked me.

To get a rise out of her, I answered, "No, never!" 

The Gilbert and Sullivan fan that I am, I was hoping she'd sing her reply as: "What neverrrrr?" To which I could have answered, "Well...hardly ever."

Instead I just got, "Oh, c'mon, really?"

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Kitchen Favorites: Nancy's Fancy French Knives And Stein's Busy Bee Cup

I love my cup so much I'm only eatin' it one piece at a time.
Stein

I'm convinced my morning coffee wouldn't taste as good anywhere else but from Mr. Busy Bee. Nancy insists her steaks would not be half as tender when cut with any other knife but her fancy French Laguiole “heavy-duty, feeling-great-in-your-hands” Sabatier knives.

My grandfather Willie would agree. He always maintained that the difference between the $5 steak and the $20 steak is the steak knife.

And so we extol the virtues of our favorite tableware. Nancy likes a fork with heft. She turns up her nose at flimsy little salad forks.

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed June 25, 2014

How Nancy Leson Makes Bagels From Scratch In One Hour Flat

Nancy Leson's creations certainly look bagelish but could they be as good as Dick Stein's three-day jobs?
Nancy Leson

Trigger warning for the gluten-hysterical: This segment contains multiple and appreciative references.

Eaters, I am scandalized! Nancy Leson has slammed out a batch of made-from-scratch bagels in just one hour — that's one hour from the mixer to out of the oven.  

I haven't tried them; I've just seen the pictures, but I must admit that they at least look good. Here's how she did it.

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Help Stein Improve His Halva, Which He Says Tastes Better Than It Looks

OK, it's not as thick as I'd like. It's kind of oily, and the texture's not quite right, but it tastes sort of good.
Dick Stein

When I bragged to my Food for Thought partner Nancy Leson that I'd attempted to make halva, I was absolutely gobsmacked to learn that she doesn't like the sesame candy. 

Even though my homemade version was less than — OK, a lot less than — perfect, I've always taken it for granted that everybody in the world loves the stuff. After all, it's been around in one form or another for at least three thousand years.

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Nancy Gets All Healthy

As part of her new health regime Nancy airs out her brain every day.
Millionaire meglomaniac W. H. Donovan Glass Tank Solutions

When I hear the words "healthy eating," I reach for my pork chop. Still, I must admit that chef Maria Hines had some pretty good ideas.  

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed June 4, 2014

From Hot Pastrami To Matzo Ball-Kimchi Ramen, Nancy Taunts Me With Her East Coast Eats

The open faced pastrami Reuben at Hackensack's Chit-Chat Diner
Nancy Leson

Nancy Leson recently traveled to Philadelphia for her cousin’s wedding, and she taunted me with emailed photos of some of the great deli chow she enjoyed.

She also raved about the teensy lamb chops her cousin served. 

“They were just perfect. I couldn’t believe that it wasn’t rubber chicken,” Nancy said. “But the thing I really want to tell you about is the open-faced pastrami reuben I had at the Chit Chat Diner in Hackensack, New Jersey.”

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed May 28, 2014

How To Make Tom Douglas' 'Cheater's' Green Onion Pancakes

Tom's salt & pepper shrimp with "cheater's" onion pancake
Aaron Hushagen

In this second installment of highlights from our Food for Thought Happy Hour event, we turn to Tom Douglas and his "cheap" green onion pancakes.

The Seattle chef's quickie version of the Chinese favorite starts with "cheap flour tortillas" which are painted with egg mixed with a little sesame oil, then sprinkled with minced green onions and sesame seeds. Fold, press down — or as Douglas says," Stand on it" — and give it a quick fry. 

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Food For Thought Happy Hour: You Had To Be There

Every Tom, Dick and Nancy!
Aaron Hushagen

If you were one of many who joined Nancy Leson and me for our Food for Thought Happy Hour last week, you know what a blast we all had.

But if you just couldn't make it, here's a recap for you with sound and pictures.

Everyone, especially us, had a ball at the event which featured Seattle chefs Holly Smith of Cafe Juanita, the chef in the hat, Thierry Rauturau of Luc and now Loulay, and Large Seattle chef Tom Douglas of, well, pretty much every where else.  All were introduced to the music of Eric "Two Scoops" Moore and his combo. 

And what eating we did!

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed May 14, 2014

Check It Out — Nancy Got Herself A Custom-Made Dining Table

Lumber from the Black Locust trees felled just blocks from her home. Stages of construction follow.
Nancy Leson

When my Food for Thought pard Nancy Leson first met her husband-to-be, Mac, she helped him pick out a dining room table. If she had known that eventually she'd be moving in, she says, "I might have picked something different." 

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Growing Your Own Herbs: Cheap, Easy And Makes For Fun Drinks, Too

Nancy's outdoor herbs, from left: mints, chives, thyme and oregano (in the same box) and (far right) sage.
Nancy Leson

I have a close relationship with the herbs I grow. And unlike some of my previous relationships, herbs actually seem to thrive on neglect. I never do much for them other than snip the blossoms when they bolt and once in a while throw a little water on them. And yet they keep coming back. Nancy Leson reports the same results. 

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed April 30, 2014

How To Cook Artichoke, Including The Stem

That's a nice lookin' choke.
Nancy Leson

Nancy Leson was so excited by the mammoth 'chokes she's been getting at the store these days that I was almost too embarrassed to admit that the only artichokes I've ever eaten have been those pickled hearts in the glass jars.  And that's even though we've been growing artichokes just for their blooms for years now. 

All that's ending this week. I'm going to get me some of those monster artichokes she talks about, and cook 'em using tips from Nancy.

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Nancy's Whole Ham Cooked In Rye Dough, And Dick's Worth-The-Wait Roast Lamb

Nancy's husband, Mac, made this rye dough-wrapped Easter ham last year. The crust for this year's ham had a slightly different design (see video below).
Nancy Leson

How's this for a switch: rye on ham.

It used to be a vague childhood memory for Nancy Leson's husband, Mac. 

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Nancy Eats Paris, Including The Best Falafel In The World

E. Dehillerin, a restaurant supply shop that's been in business in Les Halles since 1820. Yes, she bought stuff!
Nancy Leson

Nancy shares highlights of her trip to Paris

Of all the places I haven't been to, Paris is the place I haven't been to the most.  But my Food for Thought co-conspirator Nancy Leson is just back from the City of Light and boy, did she eat.

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed April 9, 2014

How To Be An Annoying Restaurant Patron

From Caddyshack: The chef reacts badly to Rodney Dangerfield's critique.
Caddyshack

Back in February, Nancy and I devoted a Food for Thought to annoying things restaurants do. It seems only fair that we now open the forum to restaurant workers about the annoying things customers do. 

Nancy and I have both worked in restaurants, so we had a few little items with which to scratch the surface of Annoying Customer Behavior.

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed April 2, 2014

How To Slice A Whole Bunch Of Olives All At The Same Time

What Nancy calls mise en place for her Chicken Adobo. I just call it getting organized.
Nancy leson

Hanging out at Capitol Hill's La Bete Bistro enabled Nancy Leson to learn the closely-guarded secret of slicing multiple olives in one fell swipe using just two yogurt lids and a sharp knife. Continue on, dear reader, if you would like to know...

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