Creamy Tomato Seafood Linguine

September 30, 2010

Creamy Tomato Seafood Linguine

Varietal: Semillon-Chardonnay

Serves 4 to 6

Greg Koenig, co-owner with brother Andy of Koenig Distillery and Winery in Caldwell, Idaho, discovered this recipe in the kitchen of a small trattoria in Rome. Its peppery bite is mellowed by tomatoes, sour cream, and a boatload of Northwest shellfish, and Greg recommends pairing it pairs with a well-made Northwest Semillon-Chardonnay blend. Try it with your favorite combinations of seafood, or with shrimp (or Alaskan spot prawns) alone, and accompany with crusty bread and a simple green salad.

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon dry white wine

2 pounds Manila clams, shells scrubbed and rinsed

1/4 cup olive oil

1 cup chopped white or yellow onion

4 teaspoons minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

3 cups cored, chopped Roma tomatoes (5 or 6 tomatoes), or 3 cups canned chopped tomatoes, drained

1/2 cup fish stock, or 1/4 cup clam broth plus 1/4 cup water

1/2 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or flat-leaf parsley, plus extra leaves for garnish

1 pound fresh or dried linguine

1/2 pound medium shrimp or Alaskan spot prawns, peeled and deveined

1/2 pound cleaned squid tubes, rinsed, patted dry, and cut into 1/2-inch rings Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 to 4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (optional)

1. Place the 1 tablespoon of wine and the clams in a stockpot or large sauce-pan over medium-high heat. Cover the pan, and cook until the clams begin to open, shaking the pan occasionally to redistribute the shellfish and lowering the heat if needed, 5 minutes.

2. Uncover the pan and transfer any open clams to a large mixing bowl. Cover and continue to cook until the remaining clams open, about 2 minutes. Discard any clams that do not open. Pour the remaining clams and pan juices into the mixing bowl.

3. When cool enough to handle, remove the clam meat from the shells and discard the shells. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil and reserve.

4. In a Dutch oven or stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion, garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened but not browned, 5 to 7 minutes.

5. Add the tomatoes, the remaining 1 cup of wine, and the fish stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes cook down and the sauce reduces to about 2 cups, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and gently stir in the sour cream and basil. Cover and set aside.

6. While the sauce is cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the linguine and cook until al dente.

7. Five minutes before serving, return the Dutch oven to the stovetop and re-warm the tomato sauce over medium-low heat. Add the shrimp, stir well, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp just begin to turn pink and the tails just begin to curl, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the squid and reserved clams and clam juice and stir gently so the shellfish is incorporated in the sauce.

8. Cook until the calamari is just cooked through and the clams are warm, 1 to 2 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the seafood! Season to taste with salt and pepper.

9. Divide the linguine among 4 to 6 dinner plates. Divide the seafood and sauce over the pasta, sprinkle with the cheese, if desired, and garnish with basil leaves.

Recipe reprinted from Pacific Northwest Wining & Dining: The People, Places, Food, and Drink of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and British Columbia (Wiley, 2007, $34.95) by Braiden Rex-Johnson.

The First Oysters of the Season and Tasty Tea Cakes!

September 29, 2010

Just about a week ago, I enjoyed my very first oysters of the season at the new Bar Campagne in the Pike Place Market. The bar features a simple, and more lengthy menu than before, with items such as Fried Oysters with Lemon-Caper Aïoli (which I can attest to are plump, crispy, and perfectly fried), Baked Tuna and Anchovy Toast, and Bagna Cauda (fresh veggies with warm anchovy dip).

Campagne Bar Oysters on the Half Shell

The briny beauties as crisp and clean as breathing fresh sea air

We stopped by for a nosh and a nip (or three) after a “Tea-up” (tweeting event with tea) at The Perennial Tea Room in honor of the fourth annual Northwest Tea Festival, which runs Saturday, October 2, and Sunday, October 3, in the Northwest Rooms at Seattle Center.

Julee Rosanoff (foreground), who has co-owned The Perennial Tea Room in the Pike Place Market along with business partner Sue Zuege since 1989 and is one of the founding members of the Northwest Tea Festival, talks tea while Anna Li of The Essential Baking Company looks on

It was a truly educational and fun event where we learned that all forms of tea (green, black, oolong) are produced from the same plant (Camellia sinensis). The tastes of tea range from buttery to new-mown grass to fruity to malty–even chocolate!

Two tasty tea breads from The Essential Baking Company, a locally owned artisan bakery

We also learned that The Essential Baking Company was chosen to be the festival’s official food vendor. The locally owned artisan bakery will dish up soups, salads, sandwiches, pastries, and a new product launched especially for the festival–tea cakes–in the Northwest Tea Festival’s Tea Garden Café in the Olympic Room. We were among the first people to try the organic cakes in enticing flavors of Blueberry Orange, Lemon Raspberry, and Carrot Pineapple. . .all moist, full-flavored, and not too sweet. . .just perfect for that morning, afternoon, or evening cuppa!

No to fear. Even if you can’t be among the estimated 2,000 tea aficionados to attend this year’s festival, you can try the tea cakes at The Essential Bakery Cafés in Wallingford, Madison Valley, and Georgetown beginning this weekend.

Eat My Words Hits Portland

September 27, 2010

Mark your calendars for the Portland Culinary Alliance’s second annual “Eat My Words” culinary book event and luncheon, which takes place on Saturday, October 2, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Cookbook authors signed on for the day include Vitaly Paley and Cory Schreiber (both from Portland) and Ethan Stowell (from Seattle). The trio will offer their insights on cookbook writing from a chef’s perspective, followed by lunch featuring their recipes.

Hosted by cookbook author Diane Morgan and chef/owner Adam Sappington of The Country Cat Dinner House, this year’s event will include renowned Portland and Seattle chefs and culinary entrepreneurs, including:

Vitaly Paley and Robert Reynolds, “The Paley’s Place Cookbook: Recipes and Stories from the Pacific Northwest,” Ten Speed Press

Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson, “Rustic Fruit Desserts: Crumbles, Buckles, Cobblers, Pandowdies, and More,” Ten Speed Press

Ethan Stowell, “Ethan Stowell’s New Italian Kitchen,” Ten Speed Press

Piper Davis and Ellen Jackson, “The Grand Central Baking Book,” Ten Speed Press

Mark Bitterman, “Salted: A Manifesto on the World’s Most Essential Mineral, with Recipes,” Ten Speed Press

This accomplished panel of author/chefs will each discuss their unique experience in cookbook writing, including such topics as:

· Conceptualizing the book idea

· Landing a book deal

· Working with a professional writer

· Balancing the hectic schedule of running a thriving business while tackling a book project

· Recipe development, writing, and testing

· Formatting restaurant recipes for home cooks

· Photography and design

· Promoting the book

Following the discussion, the audience is encouraged to participate in a question-and-answer session in which the authors will “tell all” about the book-writing process. Then, Gracie’s Chef Mark Hosack and team will prepare lunch featuring recipes from the featured authors’ books.

Eat My Words will draw chefs and culinary entrepreneurs interested in having their own book published, as well as writers, cookbook collectors, and fans of the Pacific Northwest epicurean scene.

The event will be held at the Hotel deLuxe located at 729 SW 15th Avenue in downtown Portland.

Tickets are $65, or culinary professionals are invited to become a member of the Portland Culinary Alliance and receive a discounted ticket price of $50. Price includes morning coffee and pastries provided by Piper Davis of Grand Central Bakery, admission to the symposium, and lunch featuring recipes from the chefs’ cookbooks. To request more information, visit, or e-mail Andrea Slonecker at

The Golden Arches in Russia

September 23, 2010

We had to chuckle during one of two day excursions we enjoyed in St. Petersburg during our Baltic cruise this summer when we spotted this McDonald’s sign prominently placed right across the street from St. Isaac’s Square, a must-see for all tourists to that great and beautiful city.

In that same area was the Hotel Astoria, which our tour guide told us was built by the American family of the same name and opened in 1912, and a popular place for visitors from around the world to lay their weary heads.

We also enjoyed seeing the Monument to Nicolas I equestrian statue (a bronze horseman).

Coming Up October 2: The New American Olive Oil Dinner

September 17, 2010

Extra-virgin martinis, a four-course menu, and a decadent dessert duo are just some of the highlights of The New American Olive Oil dinner that is coming to the Seattle Art Museum’s TASTE Restaurant on Saturday, October 2.

This very special evening commences with a reception during which guests will enjoy an olive-oil cocktail dubbed the Extra Virgin Martini. Created by TASTE mixologist Duncan Chase, it’s a clever combo of craft spirits and dehydrated olive-oil powder (to avoid oil slicks on top of the cocktail).

The dinner menu, a collaboration between Fran Gage, author of “The New American Olive Oil” (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2009); Danielle Custer, director of TASTE Restaurant; and TASTE executive chef Craig Hetherington, is made up of recipes from Gage’s cookbook and Hetherington’s original creations. All feature a specific type of California extra virgin olive oil.

Sponsored by Les Dames d’Escoffier, Seattle Chapter in partnership with TASTE Restaurant and San Francisco Dame Fran Gage, The New American Olive Oil dinner takes place at TASTE Restaurant at the Seattle Art Museum on Saturday, October 2, starting at 6 p.m.

On the menu? Lamb and Bulgur-Wheat Meatballs, Foraged Chanterelles with Poached Farm Egg, Fresh Ricotta Gnocchi, and Fish Stew.

And let’s not forget dessert. TASTE executive pastry chef Lucy Damkoehler plans to pair Olive-Oil Ice Cream with Grape & Rosemary Focaccia and Beecher’s Honey Blank Slate cheese. Gage’s offering? Almost Flourless Chocolate Cake.

With olive oil generously donated by the California Olive Oil Producers and wines by Seattle Dame Susan Neel (McCrea Cellars Grenache and White Grenache), the evening promises to be both lively and educational.

Cut-off date for reservations is fast approaching. . .Monday, September 27. Reservations can be made by calling TASTE at 206.903.5291 or e-mailing

Schedule of events for The New American Olive Oil Workshop, Book Signing, and Dinner taking place on Saturday, October 2, 2010, includes:

3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., The New American Olive Oil Workshop: Dame Fran Gage presents a workshop and olive-oil tasting of California extra-virgin olive oils at SAM’s Alvord Boardroom, $45 per person.

4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., The New American Olive Oil Book Signing: Book Signing with Dame Fran Gage at TASTE. Free to attend; books for sale (for $29.95 plus tax) at TASTE.

6:00 p.m. to 8:30, The New American Olive Oil Four-Course Tasting and Dinner: The four-course California extra-virgin olive oil-themed dinner features Gage’s and Hetherington’s recipes and takes place at TASTE, $85 per person, tax and tip inclusive.

SAM is located at 1300 First Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101. The entrance for SAM is on First Avenue and Union Street; entrance for TASTE Restaurant is on First Avenue between Union and University Streets.

Partial proceeds from each ticket sold will go to Les Dames d’Escoffier, Seattle Chapter to help provide educational opportunities for women in Washington State pursuing careers in the culinary arts, beverage, and hospitality industries; support community outreach programs; and promote sustainable-agriculture projects.

About Fran Gage: Fran Gage tastes olive oil for the California Olive Oil Council, for two University of California taste panels, and judges olive-oil competitions, including the prestigious Los Angeles International Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Competition. Her latest book, The New American Olive Oil (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2009, $29.95) includes profiles of artisan producers and 75 recipes.

About TASTE Restaurant: TASTE Restaurant nourishes its community of guests with great food made from the best local ingredients in an inviting atmosphere while minimizing the impact on our environment. To see menus and learn more about TASTE, visit the restaurant’s blog at or visit

About Les Dames d’Escoffier, Seattle Chapter: Les Dames d’Escoffier, Seattle Chapter, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charitable organization, is an invitational society of professional women of high achievement in the fields of food, beverages, and hospitality. Its mission is educational and philanthropic, and it provides and supports opportunities in these areas. During its 21-year history, the organization has disbursed in excess of $275,000.

Pike Place Market Artisan Food Festival

September 16, 2010

Mark your calendars for September 25th and 26th, when the first annual Pike Place Market Artisan Food Festival hits the cobblestones alone Pike Place!!!

The festival celebrates local food, sustainability, and biodiversity with tastings, seminars, chef demos, live music, a busker stage, and a beer-and-wine garden.

The Artisan Food Festival replaces the long-running Pike Place Market Street Festival that was traditionally held in June, and benefits the Pike Place Market Foundation.

Here’s a list of the chef scheduled to appear on the Chef Demo Stage:

11 a.m. – Café Campagne: Daisley Gordon
12 p.m. – Steelhead Diner: Anthony Polizzi
1 p.m. – Le Pichet: Brent Harding
2 p.m. – Sur La Table: Anne Haerle
3 p.m. – Lowell’s: Mark Monroe
4 p.m. – Matt’s in the Market: Chester Abel

The 2010 Artisan Food Festival sponsors include the Pike Brewing Company, Charlie’s Produce, Caffe Vita, The American Lamb Board, Mahatma Rice, Clockwork Studios, and CWP Music Productions.

Shuckers Stupendous Crab is the Dish of the Day

September 13, 2010

Doesn’t this dish just make you proud of the Pacific Northwest?

It’s the Whole Roasted Dungeness Crab with Rosemary Roasted Potatoes and Grilled Asparagus from Shuckers seafood restaurant. Worth every penny of its $37 price tag, it also merits a Dish of the Day award

Two Winning Chicken Recipes

September 9, 2010

Marci Adelsman of Kent, Washington, and Monica King of Vancouver, Washington, will vie for a grand prize of $10,000 and a one-year supply of fresh Foster Farms chicken after both were declared regional finalists in the first-ever Foster Farms West Coast Chicken Cooking Contest held at Kathy Casey Food Studios in Seattle.

Each of these Regional Finalists won a $1,000 cash prize and will now compete at the finals in person on September 17, 2010, at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, in California’s Napa Valley. A $10,000 grand prize and one-year supply of fresh Foster Farms chicken will be awarded to the contest’s grand-prize winner.

During the regional competition, judges Kathy Casey, celebrity chef and cookbook author; Cynthia Nims, contributor to Seattle Magazine and Cooking Light; and Jamie Peha, host of Table Talk Radio, selected Adelsman’s Brown Rice Chicken Salad and King’s Balsamic Mushroom Chicken with Honey Goat Cheese as their top picks based on their recipes’ use of fresh, local ingredients, including Foster Farms locally-grown chicken.

Adelsman and King beat out more than 2,000 home, amateur, and professional chefs residing in California, Oregon. and Washington who submitted their original chicken recipes for consideration.

Please enjoy the regional finalists’ winning recipes, below. Cluck, cluck.

Brown Rice Chicken Salad

Marci Adelsman

For the Salad:

1 1/4 pounds Foster Farms chicken tenders
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 cups cooked brown rice
1 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup toasted almonds, chopped
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/3 cup chopped Italian parsley

For the Dressing:

1/2 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

1. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper, add to the pan, and sauté for 4 minutes per side or until cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. When the chicken is cooled, dice into 3/4″ cubes.

2. In a large serving bowl, combine the brown rice, celery, red onion, green onion, almonds, Parmesan cheese, cranberries, basil, and parsley. Stir well to combine. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, apple cider vinegar, honey, and mustard. Stir well to blend.

3. Add the chicken to the rice mixture. Slowly add the dressing to cover, tossing to coat well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss again to combine.

Balsamic Mushroom Chicken with Honey Goat Cheese

Monica King

For the Chicken:

6 Foster Farms chicken breast halves, boneless and skinless
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup goat cheese (one 4-ounce package)
1 teaspoon honey

For the Mushroom Topping:

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm the canola oil. Add the mushrooms, salt, and pepper and sauté, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms have given up their liquid, about 7 minutes. Remove the mushrooms from the skillet and place in a medium bowl. Add the thyme, stir well, and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.

2. Prepare the chicken by warming the canola oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the chicken on both sides with salt, pepper, and fresh thyme. Place in the skillet and cook, turning, about 7 minutes per side, or until cooked throughout. Remove from the pan and place on a large plate; cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.

3. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the balsamic vinegar to the skillet; deglaze the pan, scraping up the browned bits. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the vinegar reduces, about 3 minutes. Stir in the butter. Pour the glaze through a strainer and into a small bowl. Break up the goat cheese into small crumbles, add the honey, and stir to combine.

4. To serve, place the chicken breasts on a clean platter and top with the mushrooms. Drizzle the balsamic glaze over chicken and add the honey goat cheese crumbles on top of the mushrooms.

The Latest Flowers

September 7, 2010

It’s been quite some time since I posted a photo showing one of the flower arrangements I designed that was then photographed by Spencer.

This arrangement especially appeals to me since my favorite color is purple. I love the way the cool green pompoms contrast so well with the elegant tall purple stalks (don’t know what type of flower they are).

A few Sundays ago, The Seattle Times Pacific Northwest magazine had an article on flower arranging by long-time contributor and gardening guru, Valerie Easton. I learned a lot by reading it, and hope you will, too.

Just for fun, here’s a gorgeous bouquet I snapped standing outside the Women’s Conditioning Room at the Washington Athletic Club. The florists there are truly talented; their weekly changing arrangements send me into my workout inspired and uplifted.

Cooking with Class

September 2, 2010

The ninth annual Cooking with Class fundraiser promises to be better than ever.

With each of 22 chefs teaching three, 30-minute classes to 176 guests, knives will flash and flames will fly!

Lucky guests attend three hands-on classes each, with wine donated by Northwest wineries.

This unique way to teach cooking classes has been such a hit, the concept and name have been trademarked.

The fundraiser also includes a raffle of culinary-related items as well as a small live auction with John Curley (formerly of Evening Magazine) and Jeremy McLachlan, exec chef at Salty’s on Alki, acting as the auction tag team.

The event benefits two of Providence Senior & Community Service’s programs–Providence Heritage House at the Market and Providence ElderPlace-Seattle. Both programs assist frail elderly people in King County.

Each year, many of the same chefs and guests return. Unlike more formal fundraisers, Cooking with Class is fun and casual. It even includes the annual auction of Wayne Johnson’s (executive chef at Andaluca)  wildly printed chef pants.


Event: Cooking with Class Fundraiser
Date: Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Time: Check in begins at 6 p.m., guests must be pre-registered
Location: Salty’s on Alki, 1936 Harbor Ave SW, Seattle
Website: (information, registration, payment)