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26 May 2016

Tonight's Episode: Touring Seattle one bite at a time

Heading into the heart of the tourist season here in Seattle, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to introduce you the "Eat Seattle Tours." I had the chance to spend the day with the delightful and engaging Chef Liz McCune as we wandered the Pike's Place Market and all its bounty. Through her connections with the amazing local purveyors we were able to taste local cheese, bean to bar chocolates, tangy pickles, rich non-corporate Seattle coffee, and much more. 


 What is "Eat Seattle" and what do you think people will enjoy most in spending some time with you?

Eat Seattle is a company that operates food tasting tours and cooking classes in the Pike Place Market. We focus on the “Meet the Producer” motto of the market by highlighting what’s local and seasonal in the Northwest. We only do one public tour a day Thursday thru Sunday and 1-2 public cooking classes a month. We have lots of fun private party/team-building options for food tours and cooking classes as well that can be scheduled based on our team’s availability. 
How did "Eat Seattle" come about, and what is your background in food?

In 2014, my husband and I spent a year vacationing in Europe. We knew that being a tourist for a year would become exhausting so we sought out ways that would help us integrate into each region faster. Since I’m a trained Le Cordon Bleu (from Paris) graduate and food has always been a large part of my life, it seemed natural to discover each region through its local food scene. We would seek out food bloggers, do cooking classes with chefs, use apps that would allow us to dine with locals in their homes (Eatwith.com), wine tours etc. As I learned about agriculture, the state of the Mediterranean, farming practices, traditional dishes, I started researching more about what we were doing in the Northwest. I was fascinated to learn about how much the Northwest was producing, the steps we make to take care of our environment and I was anxious to seek out these types of foodie experiences when we returned home. Unfortunately, I didn’t find this educational element and thought it was  an opportune time to create a platform where chefs educate visitors and locals about our special area by tasting delicious food and, for our cooking classes, actively use our ingredients to create a meal. 
We all know the amazing diversity of Seattle food. What about this region's bounty inspires you most?

What impresses me the most about our bounty in Seattle is that we live in a cosmopolitan city and we don’t have to go far at all to forage for our own food, if we so choose. We have an array of wild products right in our own city: nettles, mushrooms, crab, blackberries, seaweed just to name a few. It doesn’t get cooler than that! 
What 'Tourist Trap' is still worth braving long lines for?

If you’re referring to a touristy experience then I would say the Underground Tour is incredibly interesting. I recommend it for locals and tourists.  Otherwise, I’d like to point out that the Pike Place Market isn’t a ‘tourist trap’ what-so-ever. I work closely with the Market and they make sure that they are supporting local producers providing the best products. This approach organically attracts top Seattle chefs and appreciating locals who shop and hang out in the market year-round.
The one dish in Seattle that you can't live without?

There isn’t one dish per se. The types of restaurants that capture my palette’s attention are those that use fresh locally sourced ingredients. I’m a big fan of Rene Erickson’s restaurants.  I love what Blaine Wetzel is doing on Lummi Island.

The dishes that we eat in our cooking classes are made using the finest Northwest products and the recipes are designed by talented chefs. We even grow some of our own food. Some of my favorite meals last year were in our very own cooking classes! 

The one culinary trend you hope sweeps Seattle next?
Understanding where are grains are coming from and how they are processed! This movement is just beginning and I look forward to seeing it take shape to bring awareness and change as to how our country grows, processes and labels our grains. 
Any plans to expand Eat Seattle in the near future?

No plans to expand. Right now, we are focused on providing the best quality experience possible. I would only consider an opportunity if it added more value to what we currently offer.


Eat Seattle Tours is a wonderful introduction to the bounty of Pike's Place Market and the history of the Market. At $49 + tax, it is a fun and affordable way to spend a few hours in the heart of the Emerald City.



19 May 2016

Recipe: Pickled Red Onions




This is one of the simplest recipes in my arsenal, and yet it is one I am most asked for. Pickled red onions are a beautiful and tangy addition not only to taco night but excellent in sandwiches (particularly Cubans and Grilled Cheese), chopped up into egg salad, or mixed in a bitter green salad.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup white vinegar

1/3 cup white sugar

1/4 cup plum vinegar

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon whole peppercorns

1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 large red onion, sliced into rings

(Optional 4 habaneros, with one small incision in each)

Directions:

1) Bring the white and plum vinegars, sugar, bay leaf, peppercorns, and salt to boil in a large pot. Stir to combine

2) Add onions and habaneros (If you want them spicy). Allow to simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Allow to cool to room temperature

3) Serve! These will hold well refrigerated for up to one week

Recipe: Honey Garlic Chicken for the Slow Cooker

This is a nearly idiot proof one pot meal for the slow cooker. Hearty restaurant style dinner with minimum effort.




Ingredients:

4 Chicken Thighs, Bone in skin-on

8 ounces red potatoes, quartered

8 ounces French green beans, trimmed

2 large carrots, cut into 2 inch pieces

2 tablespoons Italian parsley, minced

4 sprigs fresh Rosemary

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Sauce:


1/2 cup Soy Sauce 

1/2 Cup Honey

1/4 Ketchup

4 gloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon ginger, grated

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary 

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:

1) Place chicken thighs in center of slow cooker, skin side up. Season with salt and pepper and place sprigs of rosemary on chicken.

2) Place carrots and potatoes in slow cooker

3) Combine soy sauce, honey, ketchup, garlic, ginger, oregano, rosemary, red and black pepper in a large bowl. Pour into slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat 7-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours

4) In last half hour add green beans

5) Serve with diced parsley 

(To take it to the next level, before serving preheat broiler. Place chicken thighs on a baking sheet, skin side up, and place under the broiler 2-4 minutes until skin is crisp but not burnt)

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