PCS Blog

 
Who Loves Food?

Posted by Natalie Gilmore | 13 December 2012 | Comments (286)

In preparation for our next production, January's I Love to Eat, it seems that everyone at Portland Center Stage has become immersed in the culinary world of James Beard. Oh, let's be honest. All we can seem to think about is FOOD!
 
Of course, food is not an unusual obsession in our fair city of Portlandia. Even James Beard, the man himself, was raised here. It seems that the entire Rose City revolves around the delicious seasonal fare that has made us famous.
 
So, in honor of Portland food, James Beard and I Love to Eat, we thought we'd have a little contest. (But when you check out the drool-worthy prize package, you'll discover that this contest is anything but little...)
 
We want to know: What is your food obssession? Is it the perfect, hardy crop of winter kale growing in your pesticide-free, raised beds? Is it FINALLY getting in to brunch at Tasty-N-Sons? Do you scour the Saturday Farmers Market downtown for just the right seasonal veggie to pair with your locally-raised, free-range prime rib? Do you raise your own chickens to have the freshest eggs possible for your morning meal? Or perhaps you have a giant spreadsheet with an intricate rating system for the dozens of food carts you've visited?
 
Tell us your food obsession. No need to be embarrassed! In this town, we pride ourselves on foodie obsessiveness and unabashed eccentricities.  So come on. Spill it.
 
In the comments section below, tell us about your personal culinary obsession and you'll be entered to win the ultimate Portland foodie package! The winner will receive: 
 
  • Two passes to Forktown's James Beard-themed tasting tour of NW Portland on January 11, 2013, from 2-5 p.m.
  • A unique backstage tour of the Gerding Theater at the Armory, home of Portland Center Stage, at 5:30 p.m.
  • Two tickets to that same evening's opening night performance of I Love to Eat, at 7:30 p.m.
  • Entrance for two into the exclusive after party, featuring five of Portland James Beard Award-winning chefs! Party begins after the performance, at approximately 9 p.m.
This prize package is valued at $390. We will draw a random winner on Friday, January 4, 2013.
Comments (286)

James Beard took me way beyond Betty Crocker when I was a young bride. I loved his writings because they often suggested other food pairings with the entree. Today my food focus is on cooking ethnic dishes with my grandchildren in our home kitchen and on introducing them to Portland’s many fine restaurants in various neighborhoods.

  • Elizabeth Hathaway
  • Portland
  • 04 Jan 13 01:41

I love to travel, but while I’m home bound here in Portland I satisfy my taste for foreign food by dining out at the vast array of restaurants we now have.  Three friends and I go out every other month to a try a different type of international cuisine.  We never fail to be delighted!

  • Linda Shanbeck
  • Portland, OR
  • 04 Jan 13 01:47

One of our emphasis points since I retired 17 months ago was to improve our eating. We’ve cut back on red meats and usually eat fish twice a week. Joined a CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture) farm in the summer to get fresh organic fruits and vegetables every week. Replaced most of the starch with a variety of beans, sweet potatoes, etc. We usually have two vegetables with every dinner and are having fun trying out new recipes to increase our variety and interest. I’ve been making killer fish tacos with salsa fresca about every other week. My partner works out at the gym in the evening after work and I have dinner on the table about 15 minutes after she arrives home. In the past 15 months we have lost 75 pounds between the two of us.  She has 5 pounds and I have 10 pounds left to our target weights. Who thought eating healthy could be so much fun!

  • Craig Dewey
  • Vancouver, WA
  • 04 Jan 13 12:41

One word.  Pie. 
I love pie of every variety, but my real obsession is the crust. 
I’m always looking for that delicious flaky crust. 
As for filling Pumpkin is tops and should be around all year. 
Sweet or Savory, when it comes to pie, I love them all.

  • Robert Dike
  • Portland, OR
  • 04 Jan 13 12:41

My mother in-law recently gave me an awesome cookbook on Root vegetables. Growing up in the Midwest meant a childhood of canned beans and over-cooked carrots, but out here in abundant Oregon vegetables have taken on a whole new meaning. My first attempt from the cookbook was a lemongrass cabbage soup featuring water chestnuts as the root of choice ... despite their plain and unassuming nature, the cool thing about water chestnuts is that they have the same consistency whether frozen, room temperature or cooked. This versatility is something I appreciate as I learn how to properly cook vegetables!

  • Claire
  • Portland, OR
  • 04 Jan 13 12:28

Where to begin?  First, there isn’t much that I don’t like (ochre and fiddlesticks might make this list).  But my favorites are varied—a good apple pie, omelets and eggs benedict, home-made spaghetti and meatballs, beef stroganoff, and definitely home-made ice cream.

  • Rick Swift
  • Portland
  • 04 Jan 13 12:30

My food obsession has been developed from a term that I heard during the showing of the British Arrow Awards shown by the NW Film School last year where one of the ads challenged us to be “intrepid frig foragers”.  Since then I have taken it as challenge to be as creative possible with whatever food items happen to be available to me before buying new items-  that means the dreaded leftovers, or the celery and chard still alive in my garden, so that I eliminate waste.  It’s been entertaining and educating to maintain my focus as an “intrepid frig forager”.

  • Sarah Laughlin
  • Beaverton
  • 04 Jan 13 12:54

Being and actor and a food lover it should come as no surprise that my obsession is an audience.  I love to cook for people.  I love to make fabulous meals for myself too but those are just rehearsals really. 
This New Years I manifested the highest ideal of my obsession.  The perfect roast for 20 people.  A huge beast of a beast.  I researched several cook books and blogs to cull the best techniques and thoughts on the matter.  I stood in line a Gartners for an hour as I fantasized about the meat and all the tricky things I was going to do with it.  (Gartners is another obsession.  Best cross section of Portland people watching ever- behind and in front of the counter.  One of the most authentically diverse gatherings in Portland!) Then the laying out of equipment the night before, the sticky notes, the list making,  the review of recipes, the creating of tomorrow’s schedule. 
New Years Eve- so many sweet friends offered to help in the kitchen but due to my planning there was truly nothing for them to do but enjoy.  I even got in plently hanging out time outside the kitchen!  While hearing the music of two different tables of games in laughter, their syncopated rise and fall, I pulled the most gorgeous crusty roast out of the oven.  A salty, meaty cloud of heat in my face, a bit of crust off the end, delicious.  A private pause.  A thanks.
Then in goes the salmon, on go the potatoes, up goes the foil tent and I wait.  Laughter rises and falls.  Bit by bit I bring side dishes out to welcome oohs and ahhs. and finally I cut into the meaty crust to find the tenderest pink center.  Perfection.  Before plating it I call in a professional chef friend as witness.  He will understand.  And he does. 
And they do too.  The silence falls upon the eaters like snow in winter.  A cozy, a calm, a community at peace.
To cook for others is a gift.  You weave your self into every molecule, you weave your wishes for them, your happiness for them and your gratefulness for them and your gratefulness for the food its self.

  • Adrienne Flagg
  • Portland
  • 04 Jan 13 12:20

Final destination for all things food, Portland Oregon

  • SB
  • SE Portland
  • 04 Jan 13 11:30

I am obsessed with any food that will bring my extended family together.  We are scattered across the West and not a large group but with my mom gone the only activity that seems to pull them towards each other is a meal.  Could be a mexican potluck for Christmas eve where even the 20-something nephews can figure out how to make a pretty mean guacamole or round up some tamales from a food cart, or a meal at home or at a favorite dive of a Chinese restaurant for a not so special occasion like “it’s Saturday and so- and-so is in town”.  Anything that brings us together to reminisce, laugh, argue and EAT!

  • Juli
  • Portland
  • 04 Jan 13 11:04

I too am on a life long mission to find the worlds best burger.

  • Jim Bourdin
  • Portland
  • 04 Jan 13 11:16

I _get_ that everyone loves food, but the topic is obsession.  I’m seeing remarks saying something of the order of, “I like _____(insert name of food here)______.” This is not about liking!  This is about living, breathing, dreaming, craving a particular edible object until you can’t stand being without it another day, about taking an full-day side trip from Paris to Brussels because you want to compare the chocolate, about eating something delicious and immediately fretting that you ran out and scheming about buying more, i.e. obsessing!  Let yourselves go, people.  Everyone likes something.  What do you obsess about?

Signed, an interested onlooker who mistakenly subscribed to this feed and can’t get off because the “To stop receiving notifications for this comment, click here:” link doesn’t really take you to a place where you can opt out, and since s/he must read all the entries s/he insists they be worthy and obsesses about why some people don’t recognize the difference between enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning and reconfiguring a hot air popcorn maker so you can roast your own beans!

  • OCD
  • PDX
  • 04 Jan 13 11:14

Seasonal produce! Love the creativity that the farmers market inspires!

  • Lisa
  • Portland
  • 04 Jan 13 10:36

My true obsession is getting Portland Monthly, Willy Week & The Oregonian reviews together and picking a restaurant that I have not tried. Armed with a crossword puzzle I hit their Happy Hour and eat for as long as it takes me to do the puzzle and have as many of the dishes as I can, then write a review onFacebook, plus fotos. All my friends consider me their personal critic!

  • Julie Wallner
  • Beaverton
  • 04 Jan 13 10:43

Finding the perfect burger ... so many candidates, so little time.

  • amber
  • 04 Jan 13 10:11

There is nothing like fresh heirloom tomatoes and basil, grown in our own garden, the tomatoes sliced thick, layered with the basil and the best fresh buffalo mozzarella, sprinkled with organic extra virgin olive oil ,sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Eating this caprese with a large slab of any kind of grilled meat on a late summer evening on our back patio (accompanied by an ice cold Boodles martini) is a frequently repeated ritual of our summers in Oregon.

  • Erin Stammer
  • Portland
  • 04 Jan 13 10:17

onions, shallots, leeks. all good, all the time.

  • jackiee cashion
  • United States
  • 04 Jan 13 10:00

Chanterelle mushrooms.  I’m always trying to find new ways to incorporate these mushrooms into every dish.  Over the years I’ve dried and frozen them so I can enjoy them all year long.  The PSU Farmer’s Market has been the best place/price that I’ve found in Portland, although one of these years I’m going to go out and pick them myself…

  • Heather
  • Portland
  • 04 Jan 13 09:47

In this world where we are encouraged to eat healthy, I turn the other cheek.  I love to eat doughnuts. Vodoo, Krispy Creme or straight from Fred Meyers.  As long as it has a lot of fat and sugar I’m there.  I do try to limit myself but that’s not working.

  • Gene Bivens
  • Milwaukie
  • 04 Jan 13 09:51

Oh my obsessions…Oysters! Raw or pan fried. Pan fried Pacific Northwest Razor Clams Beets par boiled and chilled, add fresh farmer market greens, roasted walnuts and Chevre. Braised Tail and Trotters pork loin. Apple pie, pumpkin pie, marion berry jam. Farm fresh eggs and double smoked bacon. Fresh Chinook Salmon. Beard was food’s Bard!!! And the world is a more delicious place because of the art he created.

  • David De Vere
  • Portland
  • 04 Jan 13 09:56

Chile rellenos. The first one I ever had was over 30 years ago, and made by an elderly gentleman known for his culinary skills and wine making. The burst of gentle flavors in each bite was heaven - green chile, monterey jack, and the perfect egg batter coating. I thought - I NEED to learn to make these! - so the journey began. The local library hosted several humble offerings with a hidden gem between one of its book covers. I cannot remember the name or author of the ethnic book; however, I did find a faded piece of paper scrawled with the basic ingredients and steps to make the stuffed chiles to perfection during a recent move. (smile) My obsession has more to do with finalizing the absolute recipe, a science project gladly endured. Whenever at a new Mexican restaurant I MUST order chile rellenos, not only for the taste sensation but also to decipher the difference and how to improve my next pan of chile rellenos.

  • Debra
  • Donald
  • 04 Jan 13 09:42

I just received the complete set of Mastering the Art of French Cooking and I can’t wait to dig into it and recreate some of the recipes!

My main food obsession in Portland is charcuterie. I LOVE Olympic Provisions. They definitely know how to make a tasty bite.

  • Alison
  • Portland, OR
  • 04 Jan 13 09:27

Root vegetable hash…good lord who knew roots could be so fantastic.

  • David Crawford
  • Walla Walla, WA
  • 04 Jan 13 09:33

Fresh berries picked in the earliest rays of daylight,  from a field where the soil and foliage are still moist with dew and the smells take me back to childhood.

  • Jennifer Tujo
  • Lake Oswego, OR
  • 04 Jan 13 09:14

Right now it’s basil & tomato.  basil & tomato on bread with some balsamic vinegar. Chopped basil & tomato on scrambled eggs.  I can’t get enough of it!

  • Des
  • Portland
  • 04 Jan 13 09:05

As a pie shop owner, I am obsessed with the perfect pie crust.  It should be tender and flaky, buttery and flavorful, rich and light all at the same time.  That is a lot to ask from the humble ingredients of flour, butter, and water!  I love teaching pie making classes at our bakery, it is such fun to show home cooks how to master the perfect pie.  Pie is the ultimate comfort food, and making pie, eating pie, and sharing pie with others is a true joy!

  • Sarah
  • Portland, OR
  • 04 Jan 13 08:05

Biscotti.

  • David
  • Sellwood
  • 04 Jan 13 08:16

My food obsession for the last year or so has been to make healthy food delicious! Gluten free, dairy free, and sugar free but oh so yummy grin Since last January, I lost 50 lbs and my husband lost 60 lbs through healthier eating, and neither of us felt like we were missing out on anything! We cook pretty much all our meals at home and it has become both of our obsessions. Recently, we made an ice cream with roasted bananas, cacao nibs, coconut milk, and xylitol- it was an explosion of tropical flavor and SO good. We’re always searching for new and exciting recipes to try!

  • Meghan
  • Portland, Or
  • 04 Jan 13 07:27

I seem to go through food obsession spells, currently on a Cuban sandwich kick.  Ultimately, even though I’m not a dessert type of guy, it would have to be creme brulee.  There’s something about burnt sugar; it calls my name.

  • Reynaldo Lara
  • Portland, OR
  • 04 Jan 13 02:52

Marionberries - picked fresh or baked in pie served warm with french vanilla ice cream.

  • S. L. Anderson
  • pdx
  • 04 Jan 13 02:57

It has to be blue cheese. I am obsessed with trying as many different types as I can!!

  • Donna
  • pdx
  • 04 Jan 13 01:18

I love trying new places for breakfast…and frequenting the favs.
Just a taste:
Zells, Broders, Jams, Bijou, Mothers,Cafe Dew Berry, Cafe Murrayhill, St Honore, Beesaws to name a few. Yummy!

My food obsession will always be cheese , mushroom’s and spinach . Alone or in combination these are winner’s . Triple brie cheese , room temperature , paired with apples, yum . Along with a glass of red wine or a Guinness is where it is at . Perfect three food combination .  You could stuff a portabella mushroom with spinach and cheese . Maybe a combination of spinach , goat cheese , nutmeg , sea salt and bread crumbs drizzled with garlic butter in a mushroom cap. A cheese , mushroom and spinach polenta on a cold winter night . Cheese , mushroom and spinach pizza , the list goes on . Different mushrooms and cheese variations never get boring . Spinach cooked along with cheese and mushrooms in everything from salad , soup, sandwiches to omelets. You could write a cook book alone just on cheese , mushrooms and spinach and many winning food combinations . The pacific NW is the place to be for a mushroom and cheese lover . With the farmers market I buy bunches of spinach at a time .  I don’t think I will ever get over my obsession of cheese , mushrooms and spinach .

I have a thing for guacamole !  I can’t help it! I love adding a little pico de gallo to a mashed avocado, or even just lemon juice!  I could eat this everyday!

  • Donna Butterfield
  • 04 Jan 13 12:13

Mexican Flan… recuerdo… flan as served at Sanborn’s House of Tiles, Mexico City, 1945 and later. Memorably, flan is a rich vanilla custard baked in a dish lined with a dense brown sugar coating, so that when the dish is inverted, the caramelized topping spills gently over the sides of the custard. Great flan is infused with real vanilla, ideally cultivated by the Totonaa indians of Papantla, state of Veracruz. Spaniards and Cubanos make flan “delicioso” as well. Local expert is Alberto Rafols!

  • Joella Werlin
  • Portland, OR
  • 04 Jan 13 12:46

Crab cakes (dungeness, of course).

  • Emilia
  • SE PDX
  • 04 Jan 13 12:05

I’m convinced I must have Bobby Flay’s skate with smoked chili butter as my last meal.  It SEEMS too odd to eat, a skate’s wing, but at The Bar Americain, it was pure heaven.

  • Jeanine Copperstone
  • Milwaukie
  • 04 Jan 13 12:03

When I was a teenager I was introduced to baklava by a local Hungarian grandmother.  From that moment I was hooked.

When I entered college I thought it would be fun to try to make baklava for my suite-mates.  Thus began the bi-annual tradition of me baking fresh baklava for those around me, a tradition that has continued to this day Not only that, but I get to continually tweak the recipe, adding different flavors, experimenting with different nut/phyllo layering techniques, all of which leads to being complimented, year after year, on making the best baklava most of my friends have ever had.  15 years of baking and tweaking a recipe—now THAT’S an obsession!

  • Eric Scheur
  • Portland, OR
  • 03 Jan 13 11:49

Bread.  It’s all I need.  Okay, with some gooey blue cheese.

  • Randy
  • SE Portland
  • 03 Jan 13 11:33

Chewy chocolate walnut cookies from Nuvrei Bakery…Yum

  • Chuck
  • Pearl District
  • 03 Jan 13 11:09

I love food that plays tricks. When I was little I used to make landscapes with my dinner plate––fields of lettuce broken up with a road lined by carrot slices, big eyes made from my boiled eggs, elaborate birthday cakes made to resemble the beach, a castle, or my favorite stuffed animal. Although I’m older now I’m not sure I’ll ever grow out of this obsession. Candy sushi, “hamburger” cookies, I’ve tried it all.

  • Hannah
  • Vancouver
  • 03 Jan 13 11:35

Long before Julia (RIP), long after MFK Fisher ... long before artisanal cheese, kale, quinoa, gluten free, flour-less, Beard touted in his columns and books simple pleasures at his mother’s table, the bounty of Oregon’s unique soil and sand - mussels, clams, from the waters, esp. Dungeness crab, our state treasure, of wild mushrooms in secret woods, and snouted-up Oregon truffles and dark chocolate. Esp. his joy was mine: a table of great friends assembled, the gusto of good talk, good Oregon red, a glass raised. I say the same. The freshest ingredients simply prepared. And, if possible, love, the ingredient without which all foods pale. Except the very greatest of dark chocolates, esp. those with poems inside. And candied ginger. We eat and drink well not so much to stay alive as to live life to its fullest, each season bringing a cornucopia of the season. Like a pagan, I celebrate first of everything from chestnuts to peaches. New corn. White asparagus with hollandaise. I can’t stop ....

To have a library of cookbooks is to have an accessible feast. I grew up on my mother’s original Gourmet magazines. James Beard’s arrival on the national scene drew me here. With his delicious memories of growing up in Oregon, “Delights and Prejudices”, his wonderful prose style, I was seduced by mushrooms I’ve never tasted, Dungeness crab, our state treasure. He wrote about food long before the rise of kale, quinoa, Child… wrote about food as a way of living. To eat well, to live well, to raise a glass of Oregon pinot or cab among good friends, good talk, a bountiful feast of Oregon-grown treasure—and Love! What more can anyone ask but to pull up to that table, a theater of events for the imagination. Truffles anyone? Dark rich Chocolate? Or the snouted-up in secret kind, that (with certain wild mushrooms), call up all we ever wanted to know of the mysteries.

Anything with fresh Oregon dungeness crab and of course, Macarons from Pix Patisserie.

  • Dennis Brophy
  • Portland
  • 03 Jan 13 11:15

unsubscribe

  • JAMES B. STENGLE
  • Troutdale
  • 03 Jan 13 11:47

My food obsessions (I am a Vegetarian , almost Vegan), at home:
fruits, veggies (incl. soy beans), whole grain breads, oat meal, walnuts and other, dark chocolate, coffee with soy, some cookies.
In restaurants: salad (mixed greens) with vinegar+oil dressing, beet salad, or and other vegetarian dishes, wine (preferably Oregon Pinot Noir), or cocktails (e.g., Cosmo). As dessert small cheese plate with little extras as nuts, fruits, etc., or sweet desserts (if with ice cream, I ask to substitute with whipped cream), a coffee.
Generally, regarding alcoholic drinks: I love “Coffee Nudge”, but only few of my known restaurants make it right, one of them is Heidi’s in Gresham, and, for instance, the bartenders of PCPA, who work in the ‘Schnitz’ and the ‘Keller’ (and know me because I am a subscriber of all classical concert series of Oregon Symphony, Portland Opera, OBT). grin

  • Heide Oeldorf-Hirsch
  • Portland, OR
  • 03 Jan 13 11:22

Right now it’s soup with home grown or locally harvested ingredients: chanterelle, leek, pumpkin, squash, beets or clam chowder. And I’ve become snobbish about the accompanying local beer or pinot noir.

  • Chris Chennell
  • McMinnville
  • 03 Jan 13 11:08

Making a new cookie recipe with my five year old daughter and watching the joy on her face as she eats the warm cookie.

  • Jeffrey
  • Portland
  • 03 Jan 13 11:16

I am a Southerner, born and bred and I love my Southern food roots….Fried Chicken, collard greens with ham shank, mashed potatoes.  That, for me, is the ultimate meal of the South…. top it off with a homemade peach, apple or cherry cobbler ...ala mode of course!

  • Jeanne CR
  • Portland Oregon
  • 03 Jan 13 10:29

My food obsession is continuing to perfect the best Jewish sourdough rye bread West of the Mississippi (and probably east of it as well!).  I use a starter developed by my Dad which is now probably more than 30 years old.  Dad and I drove the starter from Tennessee (in a cooler, keeping it on ice) when he and my mom moved to Oregon in 1990.  He taught me how to make and bake these loaves (2 1/2 pounds each) as he was struggling with cancer.  My addition to the tradition is producing these loaves entirely with the sour starter (no yeast) and my husband claims that a slice is a meal!

  • Regina Brody
  • United States
  • 03 Jan 13 10:16

HOMARD AMERICAIN !!! Ex-PAT (N.E.)

  • RobertSmith
  • Portland O
  • 03 Jan 13 10:35

I love cheese and bread of all kinds!

  • Sandra
  • Vancouver
  • 03 Jan 13 10:15

Pie is my passion!  Pumpkin, pecan, apple/cranberry, marionberry, banana cream ... you name it.  Just needs to be surrounded by an incredibly flaky crust (oil based is best) and my fork is ready!

  • Laurel Bookhardt
  • Beaverton
  • 03 Jan 13 10:59

Beets and goat cheese, or any cheese really.
Fresh fish (just back from Hawaii where we got yellow fin tuna from the boat at the harbor, yum).
MUSHROOMS

  • Laura
  • United States
  • 03 Jan 13 09:15

Food is LOVE!Feeding my loved ones from my garden is my way of sharing my soul, my vitality and promoting health through simple, high quality food. From the kale corner to the beds of basil, oregano,sage and garlic there is bounty and beauty in a simple salad,stew or primavera. Blueberries were generous on our plants this year spawning creativity in flour-less almond crusted tortes, smoothies and sorbets. Trunks of friends cars were filled and shared throughout the city. I have fed my diabetic mother and restored her ailing health with sumptuous simple sugar free cooking and a new relationship to the food she takes in. She has gone from a size 3X to a size 12 in 18 months eating frequent small meals of the freshest foods and brightest flavors. Food is LIFE! Eat to LIVE!

  • Mary Slac
  • United States
  • 03 Jan 13 09:27

Noodles! Rice vermicelli in a piping hot Pho with japalenos and fresh basil. Hmmm! Fresh fettucini in a homemade creamy gorgonzola sauce. Ahh! Gnocchi in anything! Yay!

  • Jen L
  • Portland
  • 03 Jan 13 09:23

My current obsession is trying new foods during my travels in the Yucatan peninsula (Mexico). I LOVE trying new kinds of foods!  Since I’ve been here, I’ve tried “chaya” (which is some kind of tree spinach). I’ve tried it in three ways:  agua de chaya (cooked chaya blended with water, sugar, and lime - then chilled), cream of chaya soup, and chaya with eggs. (Apparently, if you don’t cook chaya first, it is poisonous!).  I’ve also enjoyed “sopa de lima” which is like a chicken soup flavored with “limas.”  Lima is a citrus fruit that I’ve never seen in the US - the taste is similar to a cross between a grapefruit and an orange.  Lastly, I LOVE sour oranges (naranja agria).  I’ve had the juice mixed with sparkling water (and probably sugar). It’s the perfect blend of lemon and orange-ade (but all natural!).  I’ve also had meat marinated in sour orange juice and annato - you can do this with pork, chicken, or steak.  It’s ALL delicious!  Yucatecan food is completely different from Central and Northern Mexican cuisine - it’s been such a wonderful adventure (along with swimming in the ancient cenotes/swimming holes!).

I’m kinda obsessed with reading these comments, but why can’t we see all of them? I only see the one’s from today.

  • john
  • beaverton
  • 03 Jan 13 09:53

Oysters, gently pan fried, and well aged brie on Dollar store round wheat crackers.

  • Manny Hotchkiss
  • 03 Jan 13 09:03

Leftover eggnog and fruitcake,  they get better and better,  or -  fresh asparagus with lemon juice and sour cream.  (Average it out and over the course of a day and it’s pretty healthy.)

Eating can be an art in the Northwest, especially in the Portland area.  Blessed with an abundance of local food sources, including community gardens, farmers markets, and CSAs; and, combined with the talents of highly creative chefs, restaurant entrepeneurs and home chef specialists, there are extraordinary opportunities to eat a variety of tasty, healthy, and nutritious meals most any time, anywhere.

  • Dan W.
  • SE Portland
  • 03 Jan 13 09:38

Cheese. Not stinky cheese or runny cheese or gooey cheese. Real cheese. Cheddar, Colby, Gouda, Edam, Jack, Parmesan, Asiago, Provolone, Mozzarella,,, you get the picture. I eat cheese with just about every meal and snack on it frequently throughout the day. The bottom 2 drawers in the fridge are reserved for cheese. I get worried when my supply drops below 20 pounds. I buy Tillamook Medium Cheddar and let it run past its “Best before” date until it is Tillamook Extra Sharp Cheddar. (That’s a tip for you other misers; just don’t try it with other varieties.) I also love to cook and find it difficult not to cheese-ify everything. (My wife likes cheese, but chocolate is more her thing.) The perfect sandwich? Grilled cheese. The perfect casserole? Macaroni & cheese. Soup? Black Butte-Cheddar baby! And here’s the funny bit: I’m sort of allergic to the stuff, especially the well-aged ones. I turn red, break a sweat, get a little dizzy even. It probably has something to do with my Penicillin allergy. Yah, you might call it an obsession.

  • Daniel
  • Cowan
  • 03 Jan 13 09:18

I have two food obsessions: Moonstruck truffles and the wonderful fruits and veggies of the farmers market.  The heirloom tomatoes and bell peppers make fantastic salads.  I want to make a caprese salad next time I have the chance to get the ingrediants.

  • Ember
  • PDX
  • 03 Jan 13 09:13

My personal food obsession involves travel. I love nothing more than to enter a new city and scope out the local food scene; restaurants, chefs, specialties, cooking schools, local meats and vegetables, etc. I want to know where the food came from, how it became a tradition and why it’s famous. Most recently I was in Paris and enjoyed a cooking class following a tour of a local market with the school Chef. It was an amazing experience and one I’ll never forget.

  • Mary Cecchini
  • Portland, Oregon
  • 03 Jan 13 09:44

Always in search of any yummy taste bud explosions!  So many options.  Currently, truffle anything!

  • Lori
  • Portland
  • 03 Jan 13 09:36

French dark chocolate…...mmmmm

  • Therese
  • West Linn
  • 03 Jan 13 09:19

My obsession is always dessert.  Most places have one or two exceptional choices. Perry’s on Freemont has a menu as large or larger than their dinner menu!  To make things worse (or better), they have everything displayed in the front waiting area, calling to you as you await your table.

  • Dan
  • Portland
  • 03 Jan 13 09:27

My current culinary obsession is experimenting with Bob’s Red Mill pancake mix with my 2-year old every Sunday morning.  She is a wiz with nutmeg and cinnamon

  • Janell Watt
  • Portland, OR
  • 03 Jan 13 08:59

I’ve been obsessed for years with fresh shelled peas that are so deliciously sweet that when you pop them in your mouth, they taste just like candy and you cannot stop eating them.  When I lived in Anchorage, the summer downtown farmers market had a farm vendor from the Matanuska Valley and market shoppers could buy fresh shelled peas in 10 lb. bags (or buy the cup full).  Unfortunately, no one has been able to replicate this tasty and big bag size offering in the Lower 48, and alas, my small garden fresh shelled peas produce only enough for about two meal’s worth.

  • Lauren C
  • Camas, WA
  • 03 Jan 13 08:27

I am making an effort to justify my huge collection of cookbooks.  I have resolved to cook at least one new recipe from each book again this year.  This is the third year that I have done this; it’s a great way to try new ingredients and techniques.

  • Barbara
  • Portland
  • 03 Jan 13 08:04

My obsession is chips and salsa. Growing up in California, I learned what homemade tortillas were. Our neighbor used to bring us hot tortillas wrapped in towels.  It is hard to stop eating my favorite food, I have to just sit on my hands!

  • Michelle
  • vancouver
  • 03 Jan 13 08:54

My obsession is buying local and boycotting restaurants that won’t take a reservation.

  • Cindy
  • Portland
  • 03 Jan 13 08:54

I’m so obsessed with fresh vegetables that I started my own farm (Wealth Underground Farm).  We have grown food for Portlanders for four seasons now and are now planning for a fifth.  We’re committed to providing the best food for Portland foodies and for ourselves.

  • Chris
  • Portland
  • 03 Jan 13 08:54

contest entry

  • sarah woods
  • 03 Jan 13 08:45

My obsession is hummus…properly made with cumin, garlic, salt, pepper, a little lemon juice, olive oil and, of course, chickpeas….These weird variations offered in the markets drive me crazy as does the penchant for people to mispronounce the word, “hummus”...which has a guttural “H”, not an “H” as in “Harry”..

  • Robert Cohn
  • Portland
  • 03 Jan 13 08:43

I am currently obsessed with the quest to make the perfect pie dough. Handmade noodles a close second… and always… truffles. Ripe, freshly unearthed Oregon truffles…

  • DH
  • Aloha, OR
  • 03 Jan 13 08:17

I’m obsessed with birthday cake.  I hate how you go to the bakery and can only choose one kind when what you really want is to have a few bites of ever flavor. For my 40th I bought a dozen or so cakes and hired a server to slice perfect tiny slivers.  I invited friends and family to join me in living out my dream. 

Last year, a friend in Eugene wanted to buy me a cake, but I fretted she doesn’t care about cake the way that I do.  I didn’t want to take a chance she might buy a cake up to my standards.  I want cake with real butter and good quality chocolate and jam.  No artificial ingredients or shortening or dough conditioners.  I was too obsessed with thinking about my birthday cake to give up control, even to a good friend who just wanted to do something nice for me.

I spent a week researching bakeries in Portland, Salem, and Eugene—agonizing over whether to buy cupcakes or a layer or sheet cake, or just make my own.  I finally found the cake of my dreams in Eugene and ordered it, only to get sick before the cake was picked up.  My friend picked it up and took photos of the cake as my other friends enjoyed it, and tried to get a few slices brought back to me in Portland, but the icy roads kept that from happening, so you can guess what I’m obsessing about now, with my birthday just a few weeks away.

  • Leslie
  • PDX
  • 03 Jan 13 08:23

How I love that wonderful clam chowder in a sour dough bowl at the San Francisco wharf!

  • Pat Kehr
  • Tillamook, OR
  • 03 Jan 13 08:09

My homemade cinnamon rolls and a cup of Murchies #22 tea. It’s my favorite breakfast ever.

  • Lisa Freedman
  • Portland
  • 03 Jan 13 08:01

The perfectly homemade butternut squash gnocchi in brown butter sage sauce. There are too many things that can go wrong but when it goes right…....

  • Kasia Rutledge
  • Portland
  • 03 Jan 13 08:45

Ever since my husband watched Gordon Ramsey’s YouTube video on how to make Beef Wellington, I try to persuade him to make it at every opportunity for a special evening!  Yum!

  • Valerie Donald
  • Portland, foodie capitol of the US
  • 03 Jan 13 08:36

Homemade mac & cheese with small shell pasta and as many cheeses as possible!

  • Colleen
  • West Linn
  • 03 Jan 13 07:49

For fun: anything chocolate. For health: dark, bitter greens cooked in red wine and olive oil.

  • Leslie
  • NE Portland
  • 03 Jan 13 07:24

My obsession? Making sourdough French bread using a “mother” that I created out of thin air + milk + flour in Eureka, CA in 1972. I owe a great deal to James B., too. He taught me how to bone a turkey.

  • Diana
  • Portland, OR
  • 03 Jan 13 07:22

My current obsession (it changes often!) is Cafe Yumm’s yumm bowl!  I can’t get enough of their sauce, not easy since we live 1 1/2 hrs away.  It’s best when we have all our fresh organic garden produce, but I just enjoyed one tonight for dinner with my homemade yumm sauce and our last garden cherry tomatoes!  Portlanders, go, eat!

  • Sandy Haechrel
  • The Dalles OR
  • 03 Jan 13 07:30

The vegetarian kibbhe at Portland’s Ya Hala restaurant is the absolute best garnish for their warm house baked pita bread. Lebanese food at its best.

  • thor hinckley
  • SE PDX
  • 03 Jan 13 07:56

Cheescake melting slowly in my mouth. Beer in a hundred different brews

  • Andrew Millard
  • 03 Jan 13 07:40

My current obsession is shared/inspired by my 10 year old son.  Paul is a budding foodie and loves trying to recreate at home the dishes we enjoy while traveling.  Our recent trips to the Oregon coast has inspired an obsession with making the perfect crab cake and clam chowder.

So far we’ve found fresh fennel is a must for both.  Fennel bulb minced with garlic and mixed with freshly shelled Dungeness crab adds a major kick to traditional cakes and makes one heck of a topper to a bowl of homemade chowder.  Mmmm…...

  • Shawna Pham
  • Vancouver WA
  • 03 Jan 13 07:32

I am obsessed with food, generally, and cook books, specifically. Although I’m the proud owner of hundreds, they do not sit on the shelf, ignored. The cook books are not so gently used as I prepare meals, using the instructions provided. This is followed by happily devouring the finished product, then making notes for future reference. Sometimes, minor adjustments are made to the ingredients or the process, and the info is jotted beside the recipe. Usually, the date the recipe is tried, is also recorded.. The collection of cook books is  varied, containing topics such as ethnic, baking, beverages, special occasion, bar-B-Q, recipes from the U.S. states, antique cook books, a book containing the favorite  recipes of American presidents, and even an aphrodisiac cook book. A challenge is to duplicate  a special Portland Restaurant recipe, in my own kitchen. The classic cook book, The Joy of Cooking, is often very helpful in this endeavor. Usually, my husband does not complain about his frequent grocery store Treasure Hunts in his attempt to find many unusual, weird items from my extensive lists, including both food and beverages. In fact, he believes that all is well that ends well.  His Aquavit “find” is considered a fantastic, cool beverage. It has become an essential accompaniment to our celebrated holiday dinners. HAPPY 2013
PS - My iPad has been used for some recipes, but the “feel” of the book is the dearest to my heart!

  • Deanne Doorlag
  • Oceanside, OR
  • 03 Jan 13 07:57

My current obsession is creating gluten-free, whole food, mostly raw, energy bars that actually taste GOOD.

  • Lisa Brooks
  • Tigard
  • 03 Jan 13 07:29

Chouquettes from Saint Honore Bakery. You can’t eat just one!

  • Bryan
  • Salem
  • 03 Jan 13 07:49

I’m currently obsessed with infusing cream with various herbs.  Rosemary salted caramel sauce: outstanding!

Duck confit. Can’t live without it! Now easy to make sous vide, no excuses grin
Eggs from my goofy chickens, who knew chickens were so cool!
Veggies from my garden, and in Maui we actually never have an off season!
I need to visit Portland again, please pick me!

  • Julie Stryker
  • Wailea, Maui, Hawaii
  • 03 Jan 13 07:39

fresh sliced organic tomatoes on a warm french baguette drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar….heaven!

  • Dev Dion
  • Portland
  • 03 Jan 13 07:46

My family subscribes to a North Plains garden that delivers fresh produce to our home.  Every week of the year, we look forward to the surprises that come cradled in a bushel basket.  The produce tastes nothing like what one can purchase in the grocery store.  We have our favorites like rainbow chard and sweet peas, but we have learned to love the gnarly celeriac and the other-worldly Romanesco broccoli.  Yes, Portland has a fabulous food scene, but most days I would rather stay home and eat my spinach.

  • Diane Redd
  • United States
  • 03 Jan 13 07:34

I am obsessed with Pho!  Nothing warms you like a big, steaming bowl of noodles!

  • Michelle Brinning
  • Portland
  • 03 Jan 13 07:49

Eggplant—-where are you? What are you? Do you contribute your heritage to the lowly egg? Should I plant eggs to see your little velvet deep purple(ish) head emerge months later and if not eggs then why the egg and plant thus giving me an indication of your link to my next favorite food—-the organic, cadge free, roam free, eat bugs and other things that try to escape the beak of the one that lays you—-the perfect egg.

Oven and Shaker’s salami and honey pizza and their kale salad. Delicious.  Also soups and many of the daily farm plate specials at New Seasons!

  • Amy
  • Portland
  • 03 Jan 13 06:35

Wandering through the misty Oregon rain through the woods to find those sacred hollows where the lobster and chanterelle mushrooms thrive, coming upon them like a treasure in the darkened quiet, their pungent smells straight out of the fantastical rich glory of some Middle Earth dreamtime. returning home to sautee them with some fresh wild salmon and then fresh duck eggs in the morning. Mmm mmmmmmm . . . yes!

  • Chris Browne
  • Portland
  • 03 Jan 13 06:40

I absolutely love Oregon’s wild mushrooms.  Two years ago I went to St. Louis to see my favorite Aunt.  She had been waiting for me to arrive so we could go to a number of fabulous restaurants she had been wanting to try.  It was May and morel mushrooms were featured on many menus.  Several of the chefs we chatted with said their morels came from Oregon - Mt. Hood.  I was not surprised.

  • Lee Ann Gadilauskas
  • West Linn
  • 03 Jan 13 06:35

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