Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Food for Thought: Down East eating in the Pacific Northwest

All we need is a cold 'Gansett.
All we need is a cold 'Gansett.

For a real New England style seafood roll, you need a New England style hot dog bun, also called a split-top. As you can see from the picture above, they look like a folded slice of thick bread. Griddle the sides and stuff them with lobster, crab or shrimp. They're great for fried clams too, or even an actual hotdog.

Problem is those buns are thin on the ground around here. I've long thought about getting the special pan and making my own. Then, when DeGroot came home with a big can of crab, I had all the excuse I needed.  A few days later I pulled a batch of perfect New England style buns out of the oven and stuffed them with the canned crab dressed with mayo, lemon juice, minced celery and a dash of Old Bay.


They were awful.

 The texture was soft and tasted like a bland tuna salad. But I still had the buns and wasn't giving up. What about shrimp instead? They're sort of like lobster, only cheaper and less like giant bugs.


Credit stein / KNKX
New England style buns straight from the oven. You split each hump down the middle then separate the buns.

Next day I poached off some shrimp using Daniel Gritzer's method. Start them in cold water over medium high heat. Monitor closely with an instant read thermometer and the second that water hits 170 degrees Fahrenheit, strain them out and plunge into an ice water bath.

Best poached shrimp ever. Cooked just barely enough, with a snappy texture from the pinch of baking soda I'd mixed into them 30 minutes before. I dressed them with the same mayo-lemon-celery combo, just enough for a light lube.

Don't want to go to the trouble? Chesapeake Bay Crab Company will mail you six rolls and a pound of lobster for a mere $169.95


Nancy Leson's fun with flour.

“I made three different types of bread dough on the same day.” She worked up dough for dinner rolls, flat bread, and the Italian bread from Bread Illustrated. She baked off the Italian bread and put the other two doughs into the fridge. “I just put them into plastic tubs and take stuff out as I need it.”


For those still having trouble finding flour, Nancy suggests a number of local mills, some of which do mail order and curbside pickup. Fairhaven Mill, Finnriver Farms and Ciderey, Nash's Organic, and Cairnsprings Mill.


Attention music lovers.

This week's (and probably last) installment of Kitchen Appliance Melodies is “Also Brewed Zarathustra.”","_id":"0000017a-8d22-d4f4-a97b-af2bdae10002","_type":"035d81d3-5be2-3ed2-bc8a-6da208e0d9e2"}">","_id":"0000017a-8d22-d4f4-a97b-af2bdae10001","_type":"035d81d3-5be2-3ed2-bc8a-6da208e0d9e2"}">","_id":"0000017a-8d22-d4f4-a97b-af2bdae10002","_type":"035d81d3-5be2-3ed2-bc8a-6da208e0d9e2"}">" href="","_id":"0000017a-8d22-d4f4-a97b-af2bdae10002","_type":"035d81d3-5be2-3ed2-bc8a-6da208e0d9e2"}">","_id":"0000017a-8d22-d4f4-a97b-af2bdae10001","_type":"035d81d3-5be2-3ed2-bc8a-6da208e0d9e2"}">","_id":"0000017a-8d22-d4f4-a97b-af2bdae10002","_type":"035d81d3-5be2-3ed2-bc8a-6da208e0d9e2"}">" style="color: rgb(17, 85, 204); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small;" target="_blank">


I don't eat lobster because they're alive when you kill it.” – Snooki

Dick Stein joined KNKX in January 1992. He retired in 2020 after three decades on air. During his storied radio career, he hosted the morning jazz show, co-hosted and produced "Food for Thought" with Nancy Leson and wrote and directed the Jimmy Jazzoid live radio musical comedies and 100 episodes of Jazz Kitchen.