Steve Boss's blog

  • Wed
    Oct 19
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  • Fri
    Oct 21
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Regenerative Agriculture and Fat Rice-A New Great Taste this Week!

Dr. ThimmaiahDr. A. Thimmaiah, associate professor of Sustainable Living, joins me in the show's first segment to discuss the new 10-month certificate program at MUM to train future farmers.

The program has three phases-classroom work, a practicum where each student will be given a quarter acre of land, and focus on an agricultural project, and concludes with a month long internship working with farmers in the USA, Bhutan, India, Italy, and other spots.  

The certificate will feature the very first university course in the United States offered on Biodynamic farming methodology.   That part of the curriculumn will be taught by the co-exectutive director of Demeter Association Inc. (the organization established to represent Demeter International and entrusted with upholding the principles of Biodynamic practices and principles), Jim Fullmer.

A groundbreaking ceremony will be held Friday, October 21 at 3:00 pm. for the new Ag Center.  The location will serve as the classroom and laboratory for the new initiative, and is located just north of Reiff Grain and Feed on Highway 1.

PLEASE CLICK ON "READ MORE" for information on the second half of the show! 

Fat RiceMacau.  Do you know what it is or where?  I have to admit I knew the "what," but not the "where."

Abraham Conlon's story of exploring part of his cultural roots resulted in the opening of the popular and critically-acclaimed restaurant, Fat Rice.  Along with his partner, Adrienne Lo, they journeyed to China and Macao, discovering a somewhat mystical connection to the food and people of this historically significant trading port that is now a part of China.

Give a listen as Abraham relates his journey.  It is fascinating and Potstickersintoxicating on a myriad of levels.  I can't wait to eat there.

Check out the recipe below.  Thanks to the authors, Abraham Conlon, Adrienne Lo, and Hugh Amano, for making this experience available in The Adventures of Fat Rice. The recipe below is courtesy of the authors and publisher.

Potstickers Royale with Crispy Crepe

Makes about 3 dozen


Adrienne has a strong childhood memory of hand-forming dumplings of various shapes and sizes with her family. Their potstickers contained an ingredient that isn’t often found in dumplings much outside of northern China: dill, added by Adrienne’s grandparents’ caretaker, Li Na. Despite initial skepticism, Adrienne’s grandparents came to appreciate the strange addition, and a taste for dill trickled down to the recipe we use at Fat Rice. Li Na also introduced the light, eggless crepe that adorns our potstickers, one reason people love the potstickers at Fat Rice; the extra crispy bits can be the best part.

 Potstickers Royale

The crepe batter is a pretty precise recipe, and therefore will yield better results if measured by weight rather than volume. And know now what many a cook at Fat Rice have learned the hard way: the crepe is super difficult to master! There is a certain relationship between you, the pan, the potstickers, the crepe batter, and the universe that has to be in line, and there’s no way to learn that other than by just giving it a go (after you’ve read the instructions, of course—always be careful when flipping a hot, heavy pan containing oil). This recipe makes a lot, so you’ve got some room for failure. And remember, you aren’t selling these in a crowded restaurant (you aren’t, right?), so even the ones that don’t pop out under a perfect crepe will still taste delicious.



1 3⁄4 ounces (about 6 tablespoons) cornstarch

1 ounce (about 4 tablespoons) all-purpose flour

25 1⁄3 ounces (about 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons) water


4 green onions, white and green parts, fisheye-cut

2 stalks celery, minced

1 bunch fresh dill, finely chopped

1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced

3 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

8 ounces shrimp, peeled, deveined, and chopped into 1⁄4-inch chunks

1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine

2 teaspoons tapioca starch

8 ounces ground pork

1 teaspoon salt

1⁄2 teaspoon ground Sichuan peppercorns

1⁄2 teaspoon Five-Spice Powder

1 egg, beaten

2 teaspoons soy sauce

36 dumpling wrappers

1 tablespoon peanut oil

Salt and ground Sichuan peppercorns

1 1⁄2 cups Potsticker Sauce, for serving


Place a large metal mixing bowl in the freezer for 20 minutes.


To make the crepes, combine the cornstarch and flour in a medium bowl. While whisking, add the water and incorporate thoroughly. Place 3⁄4 cup of the crepe batter in a squeeze bottle and set aside. (Always make sure the batter is well whisked right before mea­suring to ensure proper distribution of the ingredients.)


To make the dumplings, combine the green onions, celery, dill, ginger, and 2 teaspoons of the sesame oil in a separate bowl and toss thoroughly. Set aside in the refrigerator.


In another bowl, thoroughly mix together the shrimp, wine, and tapioca starch; set aside in the refrigerator.


Put the pork in the chilled bowl from the freezer. Put a glove on your hand and set all five fingers on the counter like Thing from The Addams Family. This is the position you need to hold your hand in while you’re mixing the meat. Once you’ve mastered the Thing technique, use it to mix the pork in a clockwise motion, aggressively stirring about fifteen times around the bowl. Add the salt, Sichuan peppercorns, and five-spice powder and mix with Thing technique fifteen more times. Scrape the side of the bowl with the blade of your hand, Julia Child–style. Add the egg, soy sauce, and remaining 1 teaspoon sesame oil and mix fifteen more times, until incorporated. Add the chilled shrimp mixture to the pork mixture and mix fifteen more times, scraping as needed. Add the chilled vegetables and mix another fifteen times. Set aside and fill the potstickers.


Using a 1/2-ounce portion scoop, place filling onto the center of the wrapper (the starchy side should face up). Wet your middle finger and moisten the rim of the wrapper.


Using your dry thumb and forefinger, draw the edges of the wrapper together and pinch the center, leaving the ends open.


Using a pinch and fold motion, pleat the side of the wrapper facing away from you with three folds.


Turn the dumpling around and finish the pleat in the same manner. You should have a completely sealed, crescent-shaped dumpling.


Do that again thirty-five more times. Good luck!


When all of the potstickers are formed, set your­self up with a well-seasoned, snugly lidded 10-inch cast-iron skillet and a plate that will fit comfortably inside the rim of said pan. Rub the peanut oil all over the pan to evenly coat it. Place seven potstickers in the pan in an evenly spaced pinwheel pattern and place over medium-high heat until they start to sizzle and become light brown on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Meanwhile, give the crepe batter a good shake to get it mixed up again. With the pan’s lid in one hand and the crepe batter in the other, quickly and deliberately pour the batter over the potstickers in two circular motions and immediately cover the pan with the lid to capture the steam. Continue to cook, covered, until the potstickers start to swell and the top of the dough starts to become translucent, checking only after 4 minutes (be careful of escaping steam!). Remove the lid to allow the steam to evaporate and the bottom of the potstickers to crisp. At this point, rotate the pan as necessary to maximize evaporation and even browning, and lower the heat as needed. This process takes about 4 more minutes—things can burn easily, so pay attention! Gently lift each potsticker by its corner to be sure nothing is sticking. Give the pan a shake; everything will slide around freely when done.


At this point, turn the heat off. You have a couple of methods to get the potstickers out of the pan. You can take them out as cleanly as possible with a spatula and then invert them onto the plate or you can take the committed route we use in the restaurant and go for broke. Fat Rice and all interested parties are not responsible for the scalding oil burns that can result if you do this improperly! Place a plate that is larger than the pan upside down on top of the pan. With feet shoulder-width apart under springy knees, form the Thing with your nondominant hand, placing your fingertips in the center of the plate. Lift the pan from the stove with your dominant hand. Remembering that you are dealing with extremely hot food and even hotter oil, build a bit of momentum using a three-count bounce, then invert the pan so the plate is on the bottom, using an arclike motion. Make sure that the arm holding the plate is straight up and down to avoid any dripping oil. That’s really important! Carefully remove the pan and ensure that all potstickers and crepe have come out uniformly. When you have produced flawless potstickers, season with salt and ground Sichuan peppercorns and serve immediately with the sauce. Of course, the ones that didn’t come out so beautifully will still taste delicious—nibble on them while you perfect your technique.




1⁄4 cup Chinese black vinegar

1⁄4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

1⁄4 cup water

1⁄2 cup soy sauce

1 (1⁄2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1⁄ 4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chillies, pickled chillies, or sambal oelek


Whisk all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Store, refrigerated, for up to 1 month if not using immediately.


Small VictoriesInterviews either click or they don't.  Luckily, most of the time, they flow smoothly.  Some times they flow like they could go on forever.

It was a real pleasure talking with Julia Turshen, and I actually discovered the "why" near the end of our discussion.  Sorry, I can't give the revelation away, but I hope you'll listen and find out for yourself.

Julia has co-authored cookbooks, many for top-notch chefs and cooks like Mario Batali and Dana Cowin, and even the actor, Gwyneth Paltrow.  She even hosted her own radio show for a time, Radio Cherry Bombe, on the Heritage Radio Network.  Small Victories is her first cookbook, and it is an intimately personal tome full of stories that accompany each recipe.

  • Wed
    Oct 05
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  • Fri
    Oct 07
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Sheila Higgins/Kris JohnsonKris Johnson's greenhouse provided some fun fall surprises at this week's LIVE Great Taste show.  Kris grew and harvested mixed greens and strawberries (that's correct strawberries the first week of October).  Sheila Higgins, baker/cook extraordinaire, added the creative element, turning out sorrel soup, a tangy dressing for the greens, and some showstopping quinoa mini cupcakes.  

  • Wed
    Sep 28
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  • Fri
    Sep 30
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Bowl and Victuals-A Double Book Dose on GREAT TASTE

Have you noticed that vegetarian burgers are one of the "in" foods of 2016?  Ever since the opening of Brooks Headley's 

Bowl-Lukas Vogler

Superiority Burger in 2015 (and Pete Wells, New York Times critic, awarding it two stars), it seems like the meatless patty's profile has been growing exponentially.  Many star chefs have jumped on the trend, as noted in The Veggie Burger's Ascent, a recent article written by Erik Piepenburg.  

During last week's road trip I opted for the version offered by the standout burger chain, Five Guys.  It's called a Cheese Veggie Sandwich with a note on the menu that "Veggie Sandwiches do not contain veggie burger patties."  It was actually pretty good for road food-grilled mushrooms, jalapenos, and onions, cheese, pickles, tomato, lettuce, and all the condiments.  








JAKE GRATZON OF OLD CAPITOL FOOD COMPANY, JENNIFER KNOX OF SALTLICKERS, and Mary Adam, astounding local cook were guests on Tuesday's LIVE Great Taste at Green Building Supply!

Listen to the show on KRUU at 7:00 PM Wednesday or 7:00 AM on Friday.

Great Taste at GBS-August 2, 2016

  • Wed
    Jul 06
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  • Fri
    Jul 08
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Rosie WitherspoonRosie Witherspoon from the At Home Store joined me Tuesday night at Green Building Supply for our montly GREAT TASTE LIVE show.  We talked and cooked together, and Tom Allen surprised us by dropping by, joining in on the fun, and singing a song about the Boston Tea Party.

We built the show around a few critical utensils that will help you cook more effectively and easily.   We featured silicone spatulas from GIR, Gefu's spiralizer, cheese grater, and mandoline, plus a cool jar lid that makes pickling in small batches a breeze.

  • Fri
    Jun 10
    7:00 am -
    8:00 am

Great Taste-Friday, June 10

Man The KitchenSteve Katz is a renaissance man, cook, writer, recipe developer, attorney, musician, and a deep thinker concerning the role of men in the kitchen.  Rosie Witherspoon, owner of the At Home Store, met Steve at the International Housewares Show this past March, wrote an article about him for the Iowa Source, and joined me this week in a discussion with Steve about gender and location specific (men in the kitchen) behavioral characteristics.  Men (and women) get ready.  You will be nodding in agreement with each observation Steve makes.  

Click READ MORE for more information on this week's show.

Vegetable LiteracyDeborah Madison is one of my food heroes, and this week's show starts with an interview I did with her about Spring/Summer foods last year.  Good timing.  For all her fans, she's working on a new book, and we'll get the details when she is a guest on Great Taste next month.

In GT's second half, Kathy DuBois is in town for a couple of weeks, and she will reprise her long time co-host role this week, and at our live Green Building Supply show next Tuesday.  We have been cooking almost nonstop together since she got off the plane, and, as always, it's a load of fun not only to hang out in the kitchen, but eat and enjoy the results.

We'll talk some food philosophy, and I have some of my latest travel eats to share, including an inspiring dinner at Moxie Kitchen in Jacksonville, Florida.

Next Tuesday is our monthoy live show at Green Building Supply.  Put it on your calendar.  The fun and eats start at 7:00 pm.  Kathy will cook up a dish yet-to-be-determined, and Chiraj El will make his famous vegan pizza plus a hasselback apple dessert.  Will Love is coming, too, so there is probably another dish in store if you show up to enjoy the show.  We'll have a tasting of Jack's Root Beer from our amazing local company Shaktea Kombucha, and door prizes, too!

  • Wed
    May 18
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  • Fri
    May 20
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BBQ and ChefSteps on GREAT TASTE

As soon as the weather starts to warm up, I bet many of you think about breaking out the grill.  I certainly do.  

Legends of Texas BarbequeRobb Walsh has been writing about barbeque for decades.  His latest book is an updated version of Legends of Texas Barbecue Cook Book:  Recipes and Recollections from the Pitmasters.  The photos make every story he tells come alive, and, even more than the recipes, I became engrossed in the history and cultural facets of the book.  In the interview, he discusses some of the different ethnic groups who continue to play a role in the evolving landscape of Texas barbeque.  I bet there are a lot of Texas barbeque lovers who will be surprised when they hear what Robb has to say.

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