Celebrate St. Paddy’s Day with homemade fish and chips | HOT FROM THE OVEN!

Carolyn Ossorio and her son Patrick, who is convinced this month’s holiday is for him, with a plate of fish and chips— Image Credit: Submitted
Carolyn Ossorio and her son Patrick, who is convinced this month’s holiday is for him, with a plate of fish and chips— Image Credit: Submitted

 

For me, eating fish and chips is like eating a great burger — if I’m going to go for it, I want it to be the best deep fried fish and chips I’ve ever eaten in my life, otherwise, to paraphrase Mr. T: I pity the fool who disappoints.

Recently, my husband and I went on a date to try the fish and chips at a local restaurant for this month’s column. With five kids, date night takes on biblical proportions, so after securing a babysitter, our expectations were running pretty high.

So I felt conflicted when I ordered fish and chips and they were horrible. I mean, the fish was literally rotten.

Everything was going great, the service was excellent, clean, inviting environment, wide beer selection, wonderful appetizers. They had gotten everything right but that one thing. And serving rotten food is a big deal.

I stewed about it for days afterward.

On the one hand, I never want to write bad stuff about a restaurant. Unless it’s a travesty of justice, why be a jerk? I can always walk away; no harm, no foul. We live in America where there is always another choice.

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A Valentine’s Day brunch from Peyrassol you can make at home | HOT FROM THE OVEN!

Columnist Carolyn Ossorio and Peyrassol Head Chef Sacha Tinsley pose for a photo after making eggs Benedict.— Image Credit: Submitted
Columnist Carolyn Ossorio and Peyrassol Head Chef Sacha Tinsley pose for a photo after making eggs Benedict.— Image Credit: Submitted

 

Sachia Tinsley and Scott Cory are the wife and husband co-owners of Peyrassol, Café at Southport.

Just finding Peyrassol, wedged beneath the Bristol apartments along an inlet road, seems like a secret, unexpected port near the shores of Lake Washington.

Every Rentonite with a little curiosity should absolutely make their way “off the beaten path” because the truth is Peyrassol, which opened in 2010, is at the epicenter of development in Renton, right next door to the new hotel on Lake Washington at Southport.

Offering “Rustic Western European cuisine that is refined yet country” in a quaint, down-to-earth space, the food is made with high quality ingredients and guided by Executive Chef Sachia’s palate and Sommelier Scott’s internal mood ring.

I asked Scott to explain a sommelier.

“Think of a sommelier as a table side wine and beer educator and also a food guide all wrapped in one. Peyrassol offers some Washington wines but mostly Italian and French to complement a menu that, brings the taste of the lifestyle of dining in Europe to our restaurant,” Scott said.

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Fire up your New Year’s with Honey Bourbon Chicken | HOT FROM THE OVEN!

Columnist Carolyn Ossorio poses with Steve McKenna and his New Year's Eve offerings.— Image Credit: Submitted
Columnist Carolyn Ossorio poses with Steve McKenna and his New Year’s Eve offerings.— Image Credit: Submitted

 

The holiday season is great time to try new recipes and meet new friends.

I met Steve McKenna this month while hosting the tree lighting event at the Piazza in downtown Renton and we had the chance to talk about Steve’s two favorite subjects: food and spirits.

With New Year’s Eve on the horizon, I thought it would be fun to invite over a pro to learn how to cook a tasty New Year’s Eve finger food and an inspired cocktail with flare.

And there’s probably no one better qualified to teach cooking with alcohol than Steve McKenna, a New York transplant and now Renton resident who made his television debut on “Three Sheets,” a show about going around the country and world getting to know the locals and the best sights to see by having a drink with people.

Actually many drinks, which earned him thousands of Facebook followers at Iamstevemckennad and the dubious honor of having his name, “Mckenna’d,” recorded in the urban dictionary and loosely translated means “to get drunk and do stupid stuff.”

Steve is best known as co-host of the “Drinking Made Easy” television show.

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A new recipe from the Old World for this holiday season | HOT FROM THE OVEN!

Columnist Carolyn Ossorio and Helga Jacques share a toast before rolling up Helga's Austrian Apple Strudel.— Image Credit: Submitted
Columnist Carolyn Ossorio and Helga Jacques share a toast before rolling up Helga’s Austrian Apple Strudel.— Image Credit: Submitted

 

Pulling up to the driveway of Helga Jaques’ Renton home I was excited to learn a new recipe for the holidays.

Her house is reminiscent of a Chalet in the Swiss Alps in a sea of modern construction. Instead of overhanging eaves made of wood, the house is adorned with a latticed network of connecting grapevines. This year, Helga and her husband of over 50 years turned 120 pounds of their home grown grapes into Verjus, a kind of cooking vinegar.

Yes, it just so happens that we have a real life Austrian grandmother on the hills of the Renton Highlands.

So when I had the opportunity to learn how to make Helga’s homemade, old-fashioned Apfelstrudelthat’s rolled up and filled with tart Granny Smith apples, I was like, “Ja!”

The thing I love to do more than anything over the holidays is to bake with my family and I was excited to learn how to make Apple Strudel with my kids.

Austria is situated in central Europe, bordered by Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Slovakia, Liechtenstein, Slovenia, Hungary and the Czech Republic. German is the national language.

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It’s not Halloween without homemade caramel apples (with recipe) | HOT FROM THE OVEN!

Pippimamma and her caramel apple pops.— Image Credit: Submitted
Pippimamma and her caramel apple pops.— Image Credit: Submitted

 

Editor’s Note: The recipe printed on Page 13 of this week’s Renton Reporter inadvertently left “2 cups of half-and-half” off of the recipe’s ingredients list. The full, corrected recipe is below. We apologize for the error.

I was bantering the other day with my husband, Paul, about the idea of offering out homemade candy to trick-or-treaters, specifically, caramel apples.

He thought I was being ridiculous. I thought I was kind of being ridiculous.

So many things have changed the way we parent, but it seems like Halloween candy has stayed exactly the same since the urban legend of razor blades and pins in candy apples. Which is ironic because there has never been one documented case of razor blades in Halloween candy, ever.

For me, Halloween ain’t Halloween without that caramel apple, (not the weird looking bright red one, it’s all about the creamy, dreamy camel-brown soft one).

The caramel apples were invented many years after the bright red, cinnamon candy apple, by Kraft Foods employee Dan Walker in the 1950s when experimenting with excess caramels from Halloween sales; he simply melted them down, and added apples.

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