Oregon Magazine

New Cookbook Celebrates
Pacific Northwest Dining

          By Fred Delkin

     Having resided or traveled throughout the USA, plus forays to Europe and Asia, this
writer remains convinced that my native Pacific Northwest reigns supreme when it comes to producing the natural ingredients for unrivaled wining and dining.  Now a prolific Seattle writer has compiled a owerful testament to that belief.  BraidenRex-Johnson, a native of Philadelphia, moved to Seattle with her husband 19 years ago after serving a 16-year stint in Dallas and still resides in a condo in the Belltown district adjacent to the Pike Place Market.  That location has established her as that venerable shopping place's regular scribe in print, internet and television.

We can testify that her "Pike Place Public Market Seafood Cookbook" is a thorough look at local cuisine based on the denizens of the deep.

She has authored the recently published "Pacific Northwest Wining & Dining" (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.). Herein she covers the cuisine of Oregon, Washington, Idaho and British Columbia with recipes from the region's most accomplished chefs, plus interviews with area winery owners.  The whole is gqrniashed with superb color photography of scenics and savories by Jackie Johnston, an accomplished lensperson and designer based in Pasco, WA.

Native ingredients are the basis of this compilation of regional dining and drinking, with Clams, Crab, Oysters, Salmon, Sablefish, Albacore, Lamb, artisan Cheeses, wild Mushooms, Fruits and Berries the stars in the recipes. The author gives a primer of Northwest wines, including Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Viognier whites and Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Gamay Noir, Merlot, Syrah and Zinfandel reds...and also covers our area's dessert wines and sparklers.  Recipes include recommended wine/food pairings.


Oregon restaurant recipes revealed include Paley Place's (Portland) Crab Chowder with Cheddar Cheese Biscuits, Joel Palmer House's (Dayton) Deep Fried Hazelnut-coated Chanterelle Mushrooms, Nick's (McMinnville) Dungeness Crab Lasagne and oven-roasted Salmon from Eugene's Marche'.  Oregon winemaker food favorites include Abacela's cracked Dungeness Crqb with Ginger-Cilantro Mayonnaise and Kingf Estate's seared Albacore.  Don't miss the treatise on Rogue Creamery's blue-veined cheeses  which recently bested Frqnce's legendary Roquefort in an international tasteoff.

Johnson includes 88 recipes in her culinary tour.  Our attention was grabbed by Snake-bit Indian Crisps emanating from B.C.'s Okanogan region.  The dip promises a memorable tqaste with fresh Garlic, Gqrbanzo Beans, Olive Oil, Lemon juice, freshly ground Black Pepper, Tabasco sauce and chopped fresh Parsley blended together.

Nowhere on our planet is there a wider variety of fresh goodies available at hand as in the sea-washed, mountain backdropped land of the Pacific Northwest.  As former owner of Portland's Jake's Crawfish restaurant and af childhood spent on the shores of Puget Sound, plus numerous siling cruises fin B.C. coastal environs, I have had a thorough indoctrination in the glories of our regional bounty.  My sole critique of transplant Johnson's new volume is that it contains no mention of our native Mudbugs  (Crawfish).

© 2009 Oregon Magazine