Food for Thought

Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Just Back From Spain, Nancy Leson Offers A Few Pointers On Paella

Here's the paella Nancy Leson and fellow KPLU Travel Clubbers made at the Barcelona Cooking School.
Nancy Leson

Both Nance and I have been traveling these past weeks. I traveled across Canada by train, and Nancy went to Spain and France with the KPLU Travel Club. While there, she and her fellow eaters tried their hands at the iconic Valencia dish, paella.

Read more
Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed October 15, 2014

Hugs And Kisses For XO Sauce, The Mommy Of All Umami

Simple and tasty. Plain boiled noodles with a gob of XO.
Nancy Leson

Editor's Note: This is a rerun of a vintage Food for Thought post.

Nancy Leson and I love the XO sauce, the incredibly flavorful Chinese condiment, but we don't love the price. Besides, it's always more fun to make your own. And there's no shortage of recipes.

Read more
Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed October 8, 2014

How Many Cookbooks Are Too Many?

Nancy's loss is the Friends of the Edmonds Library Book Sale's gain.

What say you? In Nancy Leson's case, "1,500 to 2,000" was too many cookbooks — so many that she could hardly get into her office any more.  So she called in her good friend Judy Amster, she said, "and we had an intervention." 

Read more
Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Nancy Leson Knows Her Apples, Including The Best Kind To Grow In The Northwest

Northern Spy apples and Nancy Leson's pie.
Nancy Leson

Nancy Leson now knows more about apples, thanks to her friend Bill Davis, who really knows his apples. Which is way more than I knew, never having bitten into one in my whole life. But even fruitophobic me learned plenty of interesting stuff this week, including the best kind to grow in the Pacific Northwest.

Read more
Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed September 24, 2014

'Tis The Season To Have Fun With Fungus

Justin Steyer KPLU

Fall is mushroom madness time, which means the new book "Shroom" by Seattle author, chef and 10-year PCC cooking instructor Becky Selengut couldn't be more timely. 

Read more
Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Wok This Way — Not Nancy Leson's Way, Says Stein

Still life with curry paste
Nancy leson

Nancy Leson keeps a lot of stuff on hand to do what she characterizes as stir-frying. These techniques include first searing meat on the grill rather than in the wok. Tut-tut.

She also uses "stir-fry" as a noun, as in "my favorite stir-fry." I am left with no choice but to remonstrate.

Read more
Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Nancy's A Geek For Greek Yogurt

It was full of fruit! I don't like fruit.
Nancy Leson

Who but Nancy Leson could go so gaga over yogurt? You, maybe, but not me. A  little may do no harm but I'm just not an eat-it-out-of-the-carton kind of guy. Still, when Nancy cajoled me into trying Ellenos Greek Yogurt, it really was the best I'd ever tasted. The Big Balk came when she attempted to get fruit-o-phobic me to try the passionfruit variety.  

"I would not get out of an electric chair to eat that," I told her. And I didn't.

Read more
Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed August 27, 2014

'The Easiest, Most Delicious Thing To Do With Corn' That Nancy Leson Has Ever Tasted

Corn, jalapeños, a little butter and that's it.
Nancy Leson

I can't believe I've never come across this method for corn off the cob before. After our friends Lori and Denny made it for us this weekend, I checked online and there were pages of variations on this same theme. It's so simple that ingredients are measured in units of "some." 

Read more
Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed August 20, 2014

2 Recipes To Turn The Season's Cucumbers Into Crisp, Appetizing Pickles

When you see that "can't miss it" sign, you know you're there.
Nancy leson

It's my favorite time of year. The cukes are out at the Duris Cucumber Farm on River Road, just a little west of Puyallup. For years, I've been trying to convince my Food for Thought pard Nancy Leson to accompany me there. She finally did, and boy, was she glad.

Read more
Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed August 13, 2014

What Is This Thing That Nancy Leson Brought Back From The Midwest?

What IS this thing?
Nancy Leson

Nancy Leson's just back from a trip to downstate Illinois where she ate not wisely but too well. Besides the extra avoirdupois, she also brought back the rust bucket pictured above. It came from the estate of her husband Mac's aunt. Can you guess what it is?

Read more
Food for Thoght
5:00 am
Wed August 6, 2014

Warning: Wire-Brushing Your Grill May Be Hazardous To Your Health

My cheap and perfectly-fine gas grill with some lemon grass prork skewers. Try not to look past the grate — it's a grease pit down there.
Dick Stein

Nancy Leson thought I was repeating an urban legend when I told her that diners have swallowed bristles from metal grill brushes along with their steaks.  But then I showed her this story about their dangers , and she admitted in an email I will save forever, "You were right — as always, Stein."  

And it's happened not just in Seattle, but all over the country.

Read more
Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed July 30, 2014

To Bee Or Not To Bee: That Is The Question For Nancy Leson

Here's Nancy's friend and beekeeper Larry Brainard.
Nancy Leson

Nancy Leson's got a brand new bag, and it's full of bees.

In a recent Seattle Times piece about backyard beekeeping, she expressed interest in keeping bees in her backyard. In this week's "Food for Thought" I suggested that she leave them where they always were — in her bonnet. Ms. Leson begged to differ.

Read more
Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Fun With Making Your Own Banh Mi Viet Subs And The Pickles, Too

Nancy's pickled snap peas variation on a recipe in Andrea Nguyen's cookbook
Nancy Leson

I'm a recent though enthusiastic consumer of banh mi and a longtime fan of Andrea Nguyen's superb cookbooks. Her newest, "The Banh Mi Handbook: Recipes for Crazy Delicious Vietnamese Sandwiches," was just released.

That subtitle is no overstatement. If you're unfamiliar with banh mi (bunn mee) Viet sub sandwiches, it's time to try one. And what better way to get started than to make your own with the easy-to-follow instructions in Andrea's handbook. 

Read more
Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Iced Tea, Salad Dressing And Other Things Better Made Than Bought

It's just this easy. Tea bags and water.
Stein

I know, I know. It's no concern of mine what other people do with their money in a supermarket.

But for the life of me, I cannot understand how bottled iced tea got to be such a popular item. How could something in a bottle on a shelf possibly be better than what you can get started at home in 10 seconds? One thing I do know — it sure ain't cheaper. And it's not exactly hard to make. You don't even have to boil it.

Read more
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?"

Read more

Pages