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Simple Roasted Sprouts

BY JESS THOMSON Serves 10 | Start to finish: 45 minutes from Edible Seattle November/December 2009 Finished with a swirl of cream and mustard, these simple sprouts are sure to convert the most devoted sprout-haters. Recipe 2 pounds Brussels sprouts (about 1 1/2" in diameter), trimmed and halved 2 tablespoons olive oil Salt and freshly ground pepper 3 tablespoons Dijon or whole grain mustard 1/3 cup heavy cream Steps Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the trimmed Brussels sprouts in a large heatproof skillet. Drizzle the oil on top, season with salt and pepper, and mix until all the sprouts are coated. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, until bright green and beginning to soften, shaking the pan once or twice. Take the sprouts out and make a little space in the...

Classic Pavlova

Serves 8 | Start to finish: 20 minutes, plus overnight cooling time from Edible Seattle November/December 2009 You can add other fruit to your liking, generally tart flavors best balance the sweetness of the meringue. Typically in Australia it would be fruit that is readily available, such as kiwi, mango, banana and strawberry as well as fresh passionfruit. 4 egg whites, room temperatureM Pinch of salt 1 cup plus two tablespoons superfine sugar 2 teaspoons corn starch 1 teaspoon white vinegar 1 1/4 cups whipping cream 1 four-inch vanilla bean 2 teaspoons powdered sugar 1 can of passionfruit pulp Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment and lightly grease the parchment. With an electric mixer, beat egg whites and salt until satiny peaks form. Beat in a third of...

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Think Moss: A Conversation with a 21st Century Forager

BY JILL LIGHTNER The best way to connect with Langdon Cook is to wait 'til he's up to his elbows in cold, wet sand, digging for a clam. Author of the locally famous forager's blog www.fat-of-the-land.blogspot.com, Lang's new soon-to-be-nationally-famous book (Fat of the Land, $26.95, Skipstone Press) hit the shelves in late September. It's a terrific read for both practical foraging information—perfect for our seasons and possibilities—and for the occasional incompetence in the face of (mild) danger. ES: What foraged foods have you got on hand this week? LC: Right now in my fridge: two dozen cockles; a salmon fillet curing on a bed of blackberry must left over from winemaking; half a geoduck (other half—the neck—made a superb ceviche); poundage of smoked...

Tips for Living with Food Allergies

Hosting Allergic Guests Let your guests know you're interested in feeding them well, and seek their advice. Ask what they can't eat, and how cautious you should be about exposure.If their reactions are severe, avoid serving those foods altogether. Tweaking your menu beats a trip to the emergency room. Avoid cross-contamination from earlier food preparation by using clean equipment and surfaces. Use fresh, whole foods when possible. When using packaged foods, read labels carefully for warnings required by the FDA for the 8 common allergens. If theirs is an uncommon allergy, ask for help identifying unexpected ways the ingredient might be listed. Check labels even if you've used that food in the past, since ingredients change. If you're stumped about what to make, ask what...

Triggering a Response

One family's quest through an allergen-filled world BY JENNI PERTUSET   My daughter asked if she could have another cookie, and I felt my pulse quicken. Another cookie? I didn't know she'd had the first. "Oh, yeah," my uncle said. "I thought it was OK. They were no-bake, made without flour or eggs, so she should be fine, right?" No. Those cookies had peanut butter. I wouldn't have even let her hold one in her hand to pass to a cousin. Feeling close to panic, I examined Meg for the symptoms I'd seen on her two previous exposures. I listened for wheezing or shortness of breath, which she'd suffered the second time. She was breathing fine. I looked for hives, which appeared on the...

Sidebar: Takeout

Johnson's home is conveniently located near the wildly popular Zippy's Giant Burgers. He's a regular. "Unbelievable… It's inexpensive, but they way they go about it—they grind the meat every day. They hand-pat it. They have their own little special secret sauce. It's their thing, right? It's that mentality of the love. If you're taking and grinding that meat, and you're pattin' it, and you're lovin' it, it's going to be good. All they're doing is focusing on the burger… And you're gonna get a damn good burger. I think the whole world's going to shift like that, and people are going to start getting more focused on what they're about, what food they're about." ...

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Bringing the Love: Wayne Johnson

BY BETHANY JEAN CLEMENT PHOTO BY KELLY O In which Edible Seattle visits the home of a prominent Pacific Northwest chef and reports on the contents of their refrigerator, snacks served, the advantages of buying in bulk, how to understand people and other miscellany. THE SUBJECT: Wayne Johnson has been the executive chef of the Mayflower Hotel's posh, intimate Mediterranean restaurant Andaluca for 10 years and counting—which, in chef-years, is approximately 117. Johnson's lived in West Seattle all those years, the past five of them in an old-fashioned two-story house with a giant yard. By the front door is a "Home Sweet Home" sign; "One of the kids made it," he says. "The kids" are the blended family of Johnson and his "better...

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The Pavlova of OZ

There's no taste like home BY JAY FRIEDMAN PHOTOS BY RINA JORDAN "Those Kiwis are crazy," Helen Taylor insists, in a playful way. She actually likes New Zealanders, but Helen disputes their claim of first creating pavlova. "The dessert comes from Australia," she asserts. It's at this point that I realize I'm not sure if she comes from Australia, as I initially thought. Helen's at home with food. She loves to stroll and shop the farmer's markets, appreciating the colors and imagining potential outcomes of her purchases. I met her through a mutual friend; they're in a cooking club they call the Food Whores. She's proud of Australian cuisine, having witnessed the change from a "meat and 2 veg" culture. We talk about iconic foods like...

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The Grappa Guys

Soft Tails' smoother style of grappa appeals to new grappa drinkers and visitors who have tried other brands of grappa, but dismissed them as too harsh for their taste. It also attracts locavores and wine country tour groups who are looking for a respite from another glass of Merlot during their trip to Woodinville Wine Country....

Cooking Fresh

Sustainable Side Dishes BY JESS THOMSON If you're a strict traditionalist, it's hard to take turkey and gravy out of Thanksgiving, especially when you're lucky enough to live in a place with flocks of local bird producers. But even if you're married to your famous mashed potatoes, there's always a little wiggle room when it comes to side dishes. Wander a little. I dare you. This year, trade your greens beans in for a creamy sausage and winter greens gratin, rich with the flavors of kale, chard, and collards, or swap your sweet potatoes for a kabocha squash puree made with cardamom and honey. Or whip up a bowl of cranberry-pear jam, spiked with Clear Creek Distillery's pear brandy—because really, doesn't the...

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Grown Happy

Skagit River Ranch's pastured turkeys BY LAUREL MILLER "Turkeys are not as dumb as people think," says George Vojkovich. "They retain the characteristics of a bird, and have the need to develop their natural instincts. Raising any animal penned shoulder to shoulder doesn't permit that." George's pasture-raised birds respond to his voice, and remember the location of hidey-holes that protect them from the elements and predators. "They do not," says George, "drown by looking up at rain falling from the sky." While George's mission in life is not to debunk avian myth, he does love his flock of 150 Broad-Breasted Whites, which he raises with his wife, Eiko, and daughter, Nicole, 15, on their 120-acre certified organic Skagit River Ranch in Sedro Woolley. Popular market...

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Reinventing Comfort

Mark Fuller of Spring Hill BY AMY PENNINGTON PHOTOS BY KENNETH DUNDAS [caption id="attachment_19250" align="alignright" width="400"] By Chris[/caption] In a tiny restaurant with only 66 seats, nine people are in the kitchen, silently working. Hunched over cutting boards, turning pans over flames on a hot stove, running blenders and putting away boxes of fresh produce, this team of cooks is well choreographed. No one is working furiously or causing a ripple in the silent meditation of prep work. It is an incredibly organized pre-dinner dance that is awe-inspiring to watch. At Spring Hill, the menu is labor intensive and it demands both attention and capable hands. "We don't want to compromise (the food), and we want cooks to take the time to do it right,"...

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The Limpa Laboratory

A tiny bakery with serious talent   BY MEGAN HILL PHOTOS BY JILL LIGHTNER When Claes and Kristina Bavik began selling their Swedish treats, they approached their recipes like the research scientists they are. "We manipulated our recipes in a scientific manner, changing one ingredient at a time," Kristina said. Such precision created splendid results: The pair now they operates Svedala Bakery in Pike Place Market. They're also selling at the Edmonds Farmer's Market, baking cakes and tarts for all Puget Sound-area Whole Foods markets, creating sandwiches for the Swedish Cultural Center's Swedish Kafé, and baking for weddings and other special occasions. Kristina and Claes met at the Scripps Research Institute in California. They married and moved to Claes's native >Sweden, where the country's traditions made a...

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Holiday Books

BY JILL LIGHTNER I assume it's going to rain steadily from December to March. Over the years, I've learned to react to these fuzzy gray winters with calm fortitude, and a pile of good books. Some inspire me to plan for sunnier days, others get me into the kitchen to further my carbo-loading semi-hibernation. Best of all, they keep my brain active even if I don't leave the house. Gardening Edible Heirlooms It seems like everyone started eating their yard this year, and along comes Bill Thorness beautifully encouraging gardeners to take their edibles to the next level. Designed specifically for the western coast of the Pacific Northwest, the book goes into particular detail for the history behind specific varieties; it also includes start-to-finish...

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Urban Foraging: Trixie Bakes Brownies

BY JILL LIGHTNER Genius baker Jill Hamada's creations are a chocolate force to be reckoned with. Barely cakey enough to be considered a brownie (as opposed to a piece of fudge), the "In the Dark" variety is nothing but pure, intense chocolate flavor, with a soft texture and not a nut in sight. More accessorized flavors include Juiced Up (with orange zest), Dulce de Lechorous (chocolate and caramel cake layers), Blonde Bombshell (blondie with pecans) and Nut-orious (chocolate with walnuts). She bakes each batch herself, from a small kitchen space in Ballard, so they're just one step removed from homemade. Available at the Madrona farmer's market, and online. ...

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Urban Foraging: Fungi Perfecti

BY JILL LIGHTNER Hunting mushrooms is thrilling (if you get lucky), buying mushrooms can reach exorbitant prices as soon as you reach past the bin of plain white buttons. There's an entertaining (and humid) middle ground: growing your own. Mushrooms need very little attention, and can be grown indoors or outside. A specialty company in Olympia has put together simple kits that grow a single species—shiitake is the most popular, while the oyster kit can be started in recycled newspapers or coffee grounds. A standard indoor kit can provide up to six months of regular harvests. Coming up on its 30th year in business, Fungi Perfecti is certified organic by the WSDA and the European Organic Verification Program. www.fungiperfecti.com ...

Editor’s Letter: What It Means to Cook with Love

We all know that food creates deep knots of emotion. Loss, comfort, guilt, solace, disgust, sensuality: the most memorable meals, the foods we crave, are all tied up with these connections. But over the last few months, there's one emotion I've been hearing from folks at every step of the chain, from farmers to chefs to teachers. These days, it's one that comes loaded with a pile of corny, cloying advertising campaigns. But lately, locally, it seems sincere, and simple, and almost revolutionary. It's love. This isn't the sort of love that's guilt-inducing or romantic or even very specific. It's referring to ideas about how we treat the world we live in, how we communicate with our neighbors, and how we...

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Urban Foraging: Sound Bites

BY JILL LIGHTNER At some point in the 90s, hummus became ubiquitous; at this point, you might assume you're simply tired of eating it. Before you let familiarity breed contempt, nibble a bite or two of an updated, locally-sourced version from these Tacoma-based snack masters. Each is developed with a different Yakima Valley grapeseed oil (which are high in healthy polyunsaturated fats), blended with a specific Central Washington bean--navy bean/chardonnay oil, red bean/merlot oil, and garbanzo/riesling oil. Find the dips at Ballard Farmer's Market, Tacoma Boys, Spud, Marlene's Markets, Madison Market and many Whole Foods locations. ...