Braised Moroccan Chicken with Apricots and Lemon

BY JESS THOMSON Serves 6 Start to finish: 1 1/2 hours from Edible Seattle January/February 2010 Serve over rice, couscous, pasta, or steamed potatoes. Recipe 1 4- to 5-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces Salt and freshly ground pepper 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, chopped 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon ground turmeric Zest and juice of 1 lemon 4 cups chicken stock 1 cup dried apricots (if you can, find a tart variety, like Blenheim) 1/4 cup chopped parsley Steps Pat the chicken pieces dry and season on all sides with salt and pepper. Heat a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the oil, then half the chicken pieces, and brown on all sides. Transfer to a plate and set aside, and repeat with...

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Cherry-Rosemary Israeli Couscous

BY JESS THOMSON Serves 6 Start to finish: 20 minutes from Edible Seattle January/February 2010 Israeli couscous (also known as pearl couscous) is bigger than traditional couscous and takes a bit longer to cook. Look for it in the bulk food section or rice aisle of a large grocery store. Recipe 1/3 cup dried Bing cherries, quartered 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 1 medium shallot, finely chopped 3 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary 1 cup Israeli couscous Salt and freshly ground pepper 1/4 cup dry white wine 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock, plus more if needed 2 teaspoons unsalted butter (optional) Steps Place the chopped cherries in a small bowl. Add boiling water to cover, and set aside. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil, then the shallot, and cook and...

Paprika-Spiked Sundried Tomato Soup

BY JESS THOMSON Serves 6 to 8 Start to finish: 45 minutes from Edible Seattle January/February 2010 Recipe 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil 1 large onion, chopped 1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika (Pimenton de la Vera) 2 cups oil-packed sundried tomatoes (measured after draining) 4 cups vegetable stock (plus more, if desired) 1/2 cup cream Salt and freshly ground pepper 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled (optional) Steps Heat a soup pot over medium heat. Add the oil, then the onion, and cook and stir until very soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in paprika, then add tomatoes and stock, and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let cool for a few minutes, then carefully blend in batches in a food processor or blender. Stir in cream, season to taste with salt...

Meet Your Market

Savor Seattle Food Tours BY ASHLEY GARTLAND Over years spent visiting the Pike Place Market and its surrounding blocks, I thought I'd uncovered every gem in the city's culinary hub. And yet, before I toured the neighborhood with Savor Seattle Food Tours, the closest I'd come to eating at Tom Douglas's Serious Pie was reading about it in magazines. I had not indulged in a famed Fran's Chocolates salted caramel, or given a passing glance to the charming Il Bistro. And I'd always been too busy making a beeline for the donut stall to notice the impressive artisan charcuterie vendor sitting just down the hall. With all the market has to offer, Savor Seattle's founder Angela Shen knows we tend to overlook some...

Sidebar: The Regulations

Every state and county has its own rules about the sale of raw milk, which is legal for human consumption in 28 states. The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) has set in place some of the following regulations for raw milk products, following the federal code of the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO): *Producers and facility must hold a state-issued Grade A license, and obtain a Milk Processing Plant license. *Whenever unpasteurized milk and foods containing (it) are sold at a food establishment, except for hard or semi-soft raw milk cheeses…aged for a minimum of 60 days…the permit holder and person in charge must ensure that:            -The product is conspicuously labeled "raw milk," or "contains raw milk."           -A sign is posted...

White Lightning

Distilling endless regulations into one glass of milk BY LAUREL MILLERPHOTOS BY CAROLE TOPALIAN Technically, it's legal, but it's hard to find outside a big city. Those who live in rural areas can sometimes get it off their neighbors. Others will go to extremes, bypassing the law in order to get theirs. Regardless of how you feel about it—casual user, diehard proponent, or abstainer, it's a controversial and divisive topic. The substance causing this ruckus? Raw milk. Few foods ignite more fiery debate than the raw-versus-pasteurized milk issue. For the purposes of this story, the focus is on cow's milk, which has a higher potential for contamination than that of goat's or sheep. In the words of one cheesemaker, "Goats are just cleaner....

Grow Your Own Fall or Winter Spinach

The Puget Sound area is a mild temperate zone, which means vegetables can be grown here year-round. Spinach is one of the cold-hardiest of the leafy greens; others include kale, Swiss chard, cilantro, arugula, collards, beets, endive, escarole, and radicchio, all of which are being bred for further cold hardiness by John Navazio at the Organic Seed Alliance. Good sources for cold-hardy spinach seeds like 'Winter Bloomsdale' and 'Tyee' are www.uprisingorganics.com and www.seedsofchange.com. Sow seeds in good, fertile soil with full sun. The rest is timing. Timing for Fall Spinach: Navazio recommends that seeds be planted in late August-early September, two months outside of summer solstice and not before August 20, or else the plants will get too much sunlight and...

Buying Winter Spinach

Extensive checking turned up exactly one source for true winter spinach: Nash's Organic Produce. Scott Chichester of Nash's said, "Because of where we're located, in the Sequim area with its unique rainshadow climate, we can grow some things other areas can't. I don't always get winter spinach to happen for commercial production, but this year's patch looks really, really good. We should be harvesting winter spinach starting in February." Folks should check to make sure, because extended colds and such can kill these crops. Nash's is at both the University District and Ballard farmer's markets year-round. www.nashsorganicproduce.com...

Winter Spinach

The next big green thing BY SUMI HAHN My father, who moved to the United States from Korea 40 years ago, can't help foraging. It's a compulsion, this need to find free food, gather it in unseemly quantities to force upon friends and family, and then eat it for days on end. I'm pretty sure foraged food tastes better to him not because it's been growing wild and free, but just because it's free. Foraging might be too dainty a term to encompass the full range of my father's gathering sprees. The gourmet delicacies he discovers in the wild—chestnuts, chanterelles, matsutakes, fiddleheads, kelp, horse clams, butter clams, mussels, crab—definitely fit under the romantic mantle of foraging as an enlightened outdoorsman's sport. But then there's...

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Between the Dungie and the Deep Blue Sea

BY BECKY SELENGUT PHOTO BY ALEX B. I love Dungeness crab—all ways, but especially pure and simple, where the shortest distance between two points is a straight line from a cracked crab to my mouth. Butter is always a nice accompaniment, but good Dungeness crab seems to contain its own oceany butter, unctuous yet still crisp and clean (an extra bonus is its onboard sea salt seasoning). I used to be the "fish girl" at the Herbfarm Restaurant, not initially for any reason other than the fact that I lived near Mutual Fish where we picked up our Alaska king salmon, Washington sturgeon, and endless boxes of skittering Dungeness crab. As the fishmonger set them in the box, I'd lock eyes with a...

The Futuristic Fishmongers

Local Moms with a Passion for Seafood BY SUMI HAHN Photo courtesy Surfin' Seafood Every working mother needs what Tina Montgomery has for her minivan: a set of magnetized signs that indicate when she means business. The bright blue letters shout "Surfin' Seafood." When Montgomery slaps the rectangular magnets onto the front doors of her black Ford Windstar, they transform her nondescript mom-mobile into a gourmet seafood delivery service with a passionate customer base stretching from Everett all the way down to Tacoma. "After five years, I can't get the fishy smell out of my car," Montgomery admits as she places the blue coolers of frozen fish and freezer packs into her minivan. The scent is a small price to pay for the satisfaction of...

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Always Cooking

Wine-Thirty with Kim Ricketts BY BETHANY JEAN CLEMENT PHOTO BY KELLY O Edible Seattle visits the home of a Pacific Northwest food notable and reports on their refrigerator's contents, political leanings, celebrity-chef encounters, and other miscellany. THE SUBJECT: Kim Ricketts, founder of Cooks & Books, matching visiting chefs and food writers with Seattle restaurants for dinners-with-conversation since 2003. Over the course of 100 events (so far), culinary luminaries such as Anthony Bourdain, Mark Bittman, Michael Pollan, Jacques Pepin, Patricia Wells, and Thomas Keller have been hosted by local heroes at the likes of Brasa, Union, Lark, and Boat Street Café; anyone with the (sometimes steep) price of admission is invited. Cooks & Books has also celebrated hometown talents Jerry Traunfeld, Greg Atkinson, and Langdon...

Sidebar: A FIELD GUIDE TO BEAN PASTE

A confection made of beans and sugar, anko or an is a key component of many Japanese sweets. Most anko recipes call for at least equal parts sugar and beans; some are even sweeter. Oki uses as little sugar as possible: "I actually find that people like it better because it isn't as sweet and they taste the beans a lot better."  He's even heard it said that his anko tastse more like Sagamiya's. Anko is often described as jam or fudge; it's a versatile filling and topping. Tsubuan: Whole azuki beans that have been boiled in sugar; a popular topping for chilled summer desserts. Koshian:  A puree of azuki beans and sugar; all the skins are removed to leave it perfectly smooth.Shiroan:  Made from lima...

The Japanese Snickerdoodle

Visits to the Sagamiya bakery were a regular feature of Art Oki's Seattle childhood. At least every other week, Oki and his mother would travel to the popular spot on Main Street in the area known as Japantown. They would step through the glass doors with their usual favorites in mind, only to be tempted by something new....

A Peck of Pickled Peppers

BY ASHLEY GARTLAND PHOTO BY CLARE BARBOZA As the esteemed executive chef of Kirkland's Trellis Restaurant, Chef Brian Scheehser totes some odd tools, among them garden shears, a pocket full of twist ties and,occasionally, a hip­high gardening shovel. In place of a starched dog-­and­-pony chef coat, he sports a t-shirt and shorts. His ride is a little red pickup that provides the final clue that Scheehser is more than Trellis's chef. He's also the farmer. "I like to say that I'm 75 percent chef and 75 percent farmer," he jokes. Nine years ago, Scheehser leased a plot of land on the South 47 Farm and began his farm education along the pastoral back roads of Wood­inville. Initially, he planned to grow produce for...

Urban Foraging: Macrina Bakery Pane Francese

BY JILL LIGHTNER Another benefit to the ongoing success of the Washington wine industry: grapes keep popping up in unexpected places. The starter for Macrina’s new bread is developed from natural yeasts found on the skin of grapes—specifically, Hightower Cellars cabernet sauvignon grapes. The bread’s mild tang, crisp crust and perfect chew make it a lovely companion with spreadable cheese, or toast it up in thin rounds for some delicate crostini. Pane Francese is available only in Macrina’s cafés in Belltown, SODO and Queen Anne. www.macrinabakery.com...

Urban Foraging: Boat Street Pickles

BY JILL LIGHTNER Renee Erickson's genius way with pickles has been known around town since the days when Boat Street Café was actually still on Boat Street. You want these spicy-sweet condiments as extra condiments as an extra on your cheese plate—but you'll also end up adding them to everything from sandwiches to ice cream. Flavors include fig, golden raisin, prune and red onion. Pickles are available at numerous shops around Puget Sound, as well as online. www.boatstreetpickles.com...

The Cheese Plate: New Year’s Blues

BY JULIA WAYNE Of the many blue cheese varieties produced in the world, only a handful are made in Washington, and of that handful, it's hard to pick favorites. Estrella Family Creamery in Montesano makes a mild-medium strength raw cow's milk blue cheese called Wynoochee River Blue. Cheesemaker Kelli Estrella uses milk from both the morning and evening milkings giving the cheese an earthy, natural taste which pairs well with apples, pears and honey. They are currently working on a new variety of blue cheese which uses a different starting culture than the Wynoochee. Estrella sells at the Ballard and University District Farmer's Markets and the Resident Cheesemonger in Edmonds. Another favorite local blue is the Stasera facciamo l'amore (Italian for "Tonight,...

Editor’s Letter: The New Year’s Diet Fad

For several years, I had the puzzling job experience of being paid to review diet books. It taught me a lot—not about what to eat or not eat—but about how health fads get rolling, and how much the nutrition industry does a lovely job wrapping up tight with non-local, non-fresh, non-seasonal food systems. Somewhere along the way, I realized that all the general diet books fell into one of two camps: Camp Carb suggested one's route to perfect health was through the shunning of animal proteins, and relies on whole grains to round off a diet based on a wide mix of fresh plants. Camp Meat is all about lean animal protein—to round off a diet based on a wide mix...