Saturday, December 7, 2013
Shannon Bryan is a feature writer for the Portland Press Herald and content producer for MaineToday Media's entertainment website, www.mainetoday.com.
And here's a well-known truth: Shannon can't cook. She's also ostroconophobic (in Maine?!?), but in a foodie place like southern Maine, she's determined to learn how to cook, eat, and order with the best of them. Read about her culinary crusade:
Pans on fire
She's also an investigator into all that's strange and entertaining to do around here. Those findings are gathered here:
Out Going: Things to do in southern Maine
Whatever your culinary classification, I think we can all agree on one thing: Anything breaded and fried is good.
Whether it's shrimp or avocado or yesterday's ham, simply dip it in some panko and fry it in a pan.
Maybe I'm pan-frying some chicken or scallops or toasting up some arborio rice and tomatoes (en route to a splendid risotto), but inevitably, the crud appears. Like some stove-top phantom, it finds its way into the pan. It adheres like golden-brown quick-dry cement, sometimes in spots, sometimes covering the whole pan.
Hence why I'm such a bad flosser with poorly managed investments and a car that rarely gets treated to preventative maintenance.
But when it comes to cooking, I'll take advice from just about anywhere. Those expert tips and educated recommendations can mean the difference between prematurely flipped pancakes and pancakes that are flipped at just the right moment - when the batter starts bubbling. And I will not stand for a pancake with batter in the middle. It's shameful!
I picked up a monster-sized one (a full 1.5 pounds of root vegetable wonder) at the Portland Farmer's Market yesterday. It was another foray into the land of vegetables I've never eaten/cooked/seen before because they were never served during school lunches under a blanket of Velveeta cheese.
I didn't need a bag, I told the parsnip purveyor, because I wanted to run through Monument Square carrying this gargantuan root vegetable like an Olympic torch. I ended up walking with it instead. And people started commenting on it.
Really. Goat cheese goes great on a date.
Goat cheese is like the smart, good-looking cheese that's witty and easy to talk to and it takes you to all the nicest restaurants and makes you feel pretty and you just know it's love even though you just met but that doesn't matter because your kids will be so attractive!
Ahem. Excuse me.