Food for Thought

Food For Thought
5:01 am
Wed March 5, 2014

How To Make Your Own Crème Fraîche — And Why You Should

A jar of homemade créme fraîche.
Marisa McClellan Flickr

I freely admit that up to now, I hadn't really been sure what the stuff was or even how to say it. Let's get that out of the way right now: It's pronounced “kremm fresh.” So what is it? Think sour cream, only not so sour and, for my money, way better-tasting. 

“Crème fraîche is really a cultured cream, just like sour cream,” says Nancy Leson. “And you can put it on anything, from sweets to savories. You can put it on fruit, you can put it on dumplings.”

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed February 26, 2014

No Need To Presoak Beans For This Cheese Rind-Flavored Minestrone Recipe

Mmm...that blob at noon to 2 is a good n' chewy chunk of Parmesan rind.
Nancy Leson

My whole life I've been soaking dried beans overnight for use in the next day's soup or stew. At this late date, I've learned I've been wasting my time. 

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Nancy Leson Couldn't Stand Meatloaf Until She Tried This Unusual Recipe

Warning: This meatloaf contains raisins and apples.
Nancy Leson

I'm an open-minded, non-judgmental kind of guy (disregard that snickering from my wife), but I draw the line at fruit in meatloaf. Nancy Leson doesn't, as she made brazenly clear in her Seattle Times story last weekend.

Amazingly, Nancy sees nothing shameful about including raisins, apples and curry powder in meatloaf mix, and then topping the whole mess with chutney. 

“Don’t knock if you haven't tried it, buddy,” she said. “The raisins and the apple are what make this meatloaf so delicious to me.”

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Bread of the Ana-Damned?

Anadama in the pan
Nancy Leson

The delicious bread with the strange name.

Given the blustery weather we're enjoying this week, why not some molasses-laden Anadama bread to provide the interior insulation we need? What's more, it turns out that I've been wrong, wrong, wrong all these years about the stuff.

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed January 29, 2014

The Tossed-Off Magic Of Chinese Hand-Pulled Noodles

Those noodles were putty in Nancy Leson's hands. Unfortunately, they stayed that way.

Chinese hand-pulled noodles -- made with no equipment but the chef's hands.

The first time I watched hand-pulled noodles being made, I could hardly believe what I was seeing.  

The chef took a lump of dough, stretched, twisted, tossed and swung and lo — there were noodles.

Here. See for yourself.

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Closure In The Form Of A Fish-Shaped Cod Cake With An Olive For An Eye

The impossible dream realized – a fish-shaped codfish cake.
Dick Stein

Dick describe how he finally created the meal his mother wouldn't make: codfish cakes shaped like codfish.

Back when Caddys had tail fins, my favorite dish was equally piscine: Gorton's Codfish Cakes. Mom mixed this whitish paste with mashed potatoes, shaped it into patties and fried them like little fishburgers. 

But I didn't want my codfish cakes in patties. I wanted what the photo on the side of the Gorton's can described  as "serving suggestion," which was the patty shaped into the form of a stylized fish. It even had a slice of pimento-stuffed olive for a fish eye. 

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Jazz and Blues
10:00 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Join Nancy Leson And KPLU Listeners In San Francisco This March!

KPLU is excited to announce our first listener trip of the year, which you won't want to miss:A Taste of San Francisco”—a jazz, food and art lover’s trip to the City by the Bay (and home of Rice-a-Roni), March 20-23, 2014—with special guest, KPLU's Food for Thought commentator Nancy Leson.  The trip features Wynton Marsalis in concert at the new, state-of-the-art SFJAZZ Center, culinary tours, and a visit to the renowned de Young Museum

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Holiday Recipes from Top Seattle Chefs

Autumn Martin's Apple Cardomom Pocket Pies. The Platonic Ideal of Pop Tart.
Nancy Leson

Nancy tells Dick about testing some new new holiday recipes.

Nancy and her colleagues at the Seattle Times must have had a ball testing the 14 holiday recipes they got from Seattle chefs. If Times photographer Ken Lambert's beautiful shots hadn't already made me psychotically hungr, the names of the dishes alone would have blasted my appetite into low earth orbit.

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed October 9, 2013

Nancy Leson Threw a Dinner Party and All I Got was This Can of...

From the Archie McPhee guy -- one of Nancy's guests
Dick Stein

Big fun at Nancy's dinner party.

OK, I admit it. I'm not big on throwing dinner parties. But Nancy Leson sure is, and in this week's Food for Thought adventure, she tells all about her last one. I must admit I'm envious. But at least I got those swell bandages.   

Here's a recipe for just one of the enticing dishes she served.

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Waiting for a Table

The line around 1 pm on a Saturday at Paseo's in Fremont
Heather W. Yelp.com

So how long would you be willing to stand on line for a table at a popular restaurant? Ten minutes? A half hour? Longer? Not KPLU’s Dick Stein, as he tells Seattle Times food writer Nancy Leson on today’s Food for Thought.

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Food for Thought
11:03 am
Wed August 28, 2013

And the Haiku Contest Winnahs Are...!

From left to right, Mike Yanega, Dick Stein, Stephanie Fisher, Nancy Leson, Jody Dills.

Thanks to all who contributed an amazing 481 haiku to the contest. There were so many clever and inventive entries that Nancy and I are gladder than ever that we didn’t have to judge. But you did.

Here are the top three:

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Cold Food, Hot Contest

Welcome to my 'fridge. L-R: Half-Sours, pickled radish, preserved lemon, pickled shitakes.
Stein

Cold soup, cold pickles and the hot new Food for Thought haiku contest.

With hot weather comes cold food. In this episode of Food for Thought, Nancy Leson offers a cold soup made with grapes, cream cheese and cucumbers among other things. I talk about those pickles up there. But wait—there's more! Be very excited because you're just...

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Food for Thought
4:59 am
Wed May 22, 2013

My secret shame's no secret anymore

It's versatile. And red.

This is an encore episode of Food for Thought.

I blame my mother. 

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Homemade vinegar: For starters, it's easy to do

This "mother of vinegar" starter turns red wine into red wine vinegar.
Nancy Leson

Making your own vinegar is not complicated, thank goodness, but it does require a  good starter. Seattle Times food writer, Nancy Leson, tells KPLU's Erin Hennessey how she makes her own red wine vinegar and why it's so special.

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Food for Thought
4:00 am
Wed December 12, 2012

A clever gift idea for cooks

Nancy Leson loves these cookbooks but they're not the clever idea.
Nancy Leson

It's not the three cookbooks pictured above, though Nancy really loves them and recommends them swooningly and from a great height.  Nope, this is an enjoyable DIY project.  Click "Listen" and all will be revealed.  Now let's talk about saffron,

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