Oregon Home Grown Chef

Tacos with fresh rockfish, plentiful year-round, offer a winter getaway for the palate.

A Rockfish by Any Other Name

written by Thor Ericksonphotography by Tambi Lane Order rockfish at a restaurant in New York, and you’ll likely get a striped bass. Place the same order in California, and you could end up with a vermilion rockfish. Here in Oregon, rockfish can be anything from quillback, pygmy, shortbelly, longspine, yellow-eye, to widow, canary, chilipepper, thornyhead and the old standby—red snapper. Oregon sport and commercial fishermen regularly catch more than twenty-five species of rockfish. Many of these rockfish have similar characteristics and are difficult to tell apart. According to the Food and Drug Administration, a single fish species can go by multiple names from the time it’s caught until the time it ends up on your plate, and many kinds of fish can legally be sold under a single name. The good news is that all these species of Oregon rockfish taste relatively the same. The flesh is versatile and can…

Honey-Brined Roasted Turkey Recipe

A recipe for honey-brined roasted turkey from our home grown chef written by Thor Erickson  | photography by Charlotte Dupont Ah, honey—the sweet, viscous gold crafted by winged artisans. roughout history, this culinary treasure has been revered—used to anoint kings at birth, nurture them through life, and preserve their bodies when they died. Many civilizations have relied on honey not only for its sweetness, but also for its healing properties. As a child, I suffered from severe hayfever. After a few years of useless antihistamine shots, my mother heard from a local macramé maker (it was the ’70s, after all) that raw honey was a great natural cure for hay fever. After some searching, she found some local honey. My mom paid the hefty price of $15 a gallon and made me swear not to tell anyone about it. (Unlike the kings anointed with the stuff, it didn’t fit my family’s modest budget.) The…

Herb foccacia

Homegrown Chef: Fresh Herbs

Fresh herbs are easy to grow here in Oregon. Most of the hardy varieties and some tender varieties will survive the cold winters. Growing herbs yourself makes it easy to pick what you need, and the freshness is unmatched.
Fresh herb blends are especially key to getting the herbal flavor you want without overshadowing other ingredients in a dish.

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DIY Coffee Roasting

While some of us have heard stories of do it yourself coffee roasting, not a single 1859 staffer has ever actually attempted it. Until now.

Oregon Home Grown Chef: Cooking Elk

Oregon Home Grown Chef: Confessions of an Elkaholic Our Home Grown Chef Thor Erickson talks butchering and cooking elk I am not a hunter. As a butcher and chef, I am a friend to the hunter. I have a special appreciation for hunters who eat what they kill, and learn to be stewards for these animals and their habitats. My friend Greg is one such person. He is a die-hard elk hunter. He grew up in Tillamook, hunting the Roosevelt elk that roam the Coast Range. In Central Oregon, Greg hunts the Rocky Mountain variety. The two differ slightly in physiology, but the meat of each animal is equally delicious. Early one evening a few years back, I was finishing cleaning my kitchen, just getting ready to turn out the lights and start my weekend, when Greg rushed in. His wiry frame—seemingly made of jerky and twine—was decked out in…