Oregon Home Grown Chef

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Home Grown Chef: Pears

One of my favorite things to eat is a ripe Bartlett pear—so ripe that I can barely hold it. So ripe that when I bite into it, I barely feel the skin yield to my teeth and the juice runs down my chin. So ripe that the flavor resembles a sweet perfume.

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Home Grown Chef: Blueberry Pickles

I COULD SAY MY earliest memory of blueberries was picking them on a sultry August day beside a cool stream at my grandparents’ farm, and that I put more in my mouth than in the bucket, and there almost weren’t enough for grandma’s pie that night. In fact, my earliest memories of blueberries were the TV commercials about the stains they caused on dentures.

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Home Grown Chef: Herb Burgers

I was raised by a man for whom a perfectly grilled burger was, and still is, almost next to holiness. He follows a strict 80-percent-meat-to-20-percent-fat rule. To serve him a low-fat burger is practically a cardinal sin. 

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Home Grown Chef: Oysters

written by Carrie Cook Minns I was coerced into slurping down my first oyster during my teenage years. My friend and I huddled on the far end of her deck, avoiding the adult revelers at her family’s barbeque. The adults weren’t going to let us escape that easily, and taunted, “Oh, come on. You can’t grow up in the Northwest and not have slurped down an oyster.” There was even chanting, “Do it! Do it!” And so I did. Not an instant convert, I never contemplated eating another oyster until my sister married an oyster lover. For his first Thanksgiving with our family, my brother-in-law brought a corn and oyster soufflé. Their family vacations (even their honeymoon) always seemed to take place near bodies of water with fresh oysters. This past summer, they returned from vacation with stories of the hundreds of oysters they had harvested and how my 9-year-old…

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Home Grown Chef: Summer Peach Sangria

As a youngster, I would not eat peaches unless they were canned yellow cling slices in light syrup without skins. If I were going to eat something fresh and peach-like, I preferred the nectarine. The thought of biting into fuzzy skin was akin to licking the fur of my Siamese cat.

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Home Grown Chef: Tomato Canapes

I’ll admit that when someone says, “Let’s get together. My house. Friday,” part of the draw is the wine. It’s true. Almost as equally alluring are the appetizers. I am fortunate to be surrounded by friends who know how to fill a counter with all kinds of scrumptious tidbits. One friend always treats us to bowls of soup—spicy vegetarian, curried pumpkin—and plates of salad with roasted veggies with quinoa, chickpea and feta. Another friend does vegetables, fruit, dips, cheeses and spreads that we layer to create our own tasty bites.

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Pork Recipes

Koho Bistro Eugene | kohobistro.net Chef Jeff Strom Braised Berkshire Pork Coppa with House Made Spiced Apple Butter Makes 8 servings | total cook time: 5 hours 1 large pork coppa (Ask your butcher for the large loin from a fresh pork neck, used mainly for the Italian cured specialty meat of the same name, roughly 3-4 pounds. Ask the butcher to truss the coppa for you as well. This keeps it in a nice cylindrical shape through brine and cooking process.) 1/2 gallon water 1/2 cup pink peppercorns 1/4 cup whole mace (or whole nutmeg) 1/2 cup fennel seed, toasted 6 cinnamon sticks, toasted 1/2 cup juniper berries, toasted and crushed 1 tablespoon vanilla paste (or vanilla extract) 1/4 cup dried lemon thyme 1/2 cup fresh ginger, peeled and crushed Zest strips from 2 oranges 1 cup kosher salt 2 cups dark brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon pink curing salt 1/2 gallon…

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Homegrown Chef: Cranberry Crostini with Sautéed Mushrooms and Shallots

PERHAPS NO FRUIT HAS COME TO SYMBOLIZE A PARTICULAR TIME OF THE YEAR more than cranberries. Cranberries are virtually synonymous with the holidays. November and December wouldn’t be the same without my mom’s cranberry apple gelatin salad, or my aunt’s cranberry bread, or my mother-in-law’s cranberry orange sauce, as well as the canned version tipped onto a plate.

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Deep Autumn Green Salad: A Respite from the Starch

Okay, folks, I’m hoping you’ve been following my pre-holiday workout plan that I laid out in last month’s post. If so, you have built-up your poultry roasting muscles. The big day isn’t far away and I trust you will be up to the task of confidently roasting that Big Bird now.

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Practice Makes Perfect: Roast Chicken

In my house, the first of October marks the start of pre-“holiday” season. This is also the time my brother calls to tell me he is already drawing up plans for where he plans to hang the 10,000 holiday lights he owns. My sister calls to discuss who’s going to be where for which holiday and I’m already thinking about the turkey that needs roasting in less than two months’ time.
How does one prepare for roasting the Thanksgiving table pièce de résistance? Most of us, myself included, roast a turkey once a year. You either get it right on the big day, or you serve it dry and burnt and hope things go better the following year when you can’t remember what you did or didn’t do the year before. What can be done to help flex those poultry roasting muscles before it’s game time?
Two words: Roast chicken.