Food for Thought With Nancy Leson And Dick Stein

Food for Thought With Nancy Leson And Dick Stein


"Food for Thought" with Seattle Times restaurant critic and columnist Nancy Leson airs Wednesdays on KPLU. Her slice-of-life food commentaries air the third Wednesday of each month; on subsequent Wednesdays she joins Midday Jazz host Dick Stein for a tasty Q&A.More from Food for Thought With Nancy Leson And Dick Stein »

Most Recent Episodes

Food for Thought: Nancy's African Adventure

Africa was never on my bucket list, but after traveling with family and friends to Kenya and Tanzania this month, I hope it's on yours. There are a million reasons why, and I told Stein only a handful of them (food related, of course!) this week on Food for Thought. So, what was I doing there? For years, our friends Emily and Aaron, a young Seattle couple who've lived, worked and traveled extensively on the continent, have been carrying on about how they'd love to introduce us to their favorite place on earth — East Africa. The plan: We'd meet Emily's longtime pals in Nairobi, rent a bus and spend a day at Arusha National Park with children from the school where Aaron once worked, and hang with the lions, zebras and elephants on a dusty five-day safari with Em, Aaron and a trio of their Seattle pals ("You can help cook, Nancy!"). After that, we'd cross back into Kenya and fly from Nairobi to Mombassa, then take a rickety late-night ferry and drive to a quiet beach where we'd finally

Food For Thought: 3 Views Of A Brazilian Seafood Stew

The first recipe I tried from "Churrasco: Grilling the Brazilian Way" by chef Evandro Caregnato had nothing to do with grilling. It was Moqueca De Peixe com Coco (moh-KE-kah de pay-SHEE com Ko-ko); a seafood stew with coconut milk, peppers and onions. How good was it?

Food For Thought: Black Peppercornucopia

Since last week's Food for Thought was all about salt it seemed only right this week to ask Nancy Leson "Where is the love for plain old black pepper?" With all the exotic heat available today, black pepper doesn't get the respect it should. As Nancy points out, "Black pepper is the world's most traded spice. Who among us doesn't have black pepper in the house?" True dat. And we're fortunate that it's so affordable today because once the stuff was rare and expensive enough to be called "black gold." Black Pepper Fun Facts Black peppercorns were found in the nostrils of Ramses II's mummy. He's been dead since 1213 BCE and his nose still looks fabulous, darling. Black pepper makes a terrific topping for vanilla ice cream or strawberries – really! I, too, was taking the stuff for granted until I came across this recipe for the classic Cantonese dish stir fried beef with black pepper. The tablespoon of coarsely cracked BP it calls for seemed excessive to me, but I went ahead and used it

Food For Thought: All Salt Tastes The Same

Nancy Leson loves the taste of Maldon sea salt. I claim that what she loves is the texture. She says "Some salts taste saltier than others." I maintain that all salt tastes about the same, "It's all sodium chloride," differing only in mouth feel.

Food For Thought: Yucatan Pork Pack Revealed

Cochinita Pibil, the Yucatan-style roast pork is smoked and slow roasted in banana leaves. My mistake was trying to smoke it in a gas grill. After 30 minutes over max heat my little disposable aluminum tray of wood chips was barely scorched, let alone smoking.

Food For Thought: Summer Drinking Through Rosé-Colored Glasses

"I do like to have a nice summer quaff," says Nancy Leson. My Food for Thought pard goes on to explain that "At our house, what we drink in the summertime is really different than what we drink in the winter." What's that? Read on, dear reader, if you would know.

Food For Thought: Do It The Hard Way For Fun And Profit

Okay, maybe not "profit," exactly; but not all that "hard," either. Plus, you could save a few bucks. Recently, KPLU Promo Queen Brenda Goldstein-Young, chatting with me on a non-food related topic, asserted, "I live in hope." "Hope!" I scoffed. "The only thing left in Pandora's box after she released all those evils into the world" I added, "Who but the Greeks could've come up with that one?" Brenda said, "Yeah, but they sure make great yogurt." Now so can you.

Food For Thought: Old Cookbooks Are New Again

Nancy Leson was so excited! "I just came back from Goodwill with the definitive Chinese Cookbook!" I recognized the title immediately. I've been using that one since it hit the shelves in the '70s.

Food For Thought: Simply Perfect

Recently, DeGroot and I shared a root beer float made with Tacoma's Ice Cream Social vanilla at the Crown Bar, right down the street. We reflected on how simple and perfect a concoction that is. It got me thinking that some of the very best food preparations are the simplest. When I mentioned this to Nancy Leson, she was quick to weigh in with some of her favorite simple preparations.

Food for Thought: Holy Sheetpans!

Kitchen queen Nancy Leson claims that size does matter. She thinks my tried and true sheetpan, pictured above, is (sob)... inadequate. Sheetpan snobbery, I calls it. She'd never even have known had it not been for...

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