Dick Stein

Midday Jazz Host

Dick Stein has been with KPLU since January, 1992. His duties include hosting the morning jazz show and co-hosting and producing the Food for Thought feature with the Seattle Times’ Nancy Leson. He was writer and director of the three Jimmy Jazzoid live radio musical comedies and 100 episodes of Jazz Kitchen. Previous occupations include the USAF, radio call-in show host, country, classical and top-40 DJ, chimney sweep, window washer and advertising copywriter.

His most memorable KPLU moment: Peeling Alien life form from Erin Hennessey’s face after it leapt at her from the biohazard refrigerator he picked up cheap for the station at an FDA garage sale. Dick is married to nationally noted metalsmith, jewelry designer and cowgirl “Calamity” Cheryl DeGroot.

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed August 27, 2014

'The Easiest, Most Delicious Thing To Do With Corn' That Nancy Leson Has Ever Tasted

Corn, jalapeños, a little butter and that's it.
Nancy Leson

I can't believe I've never come across this method for corn off the cob before. After our friends Lori and Denny made it for us this weekend, I checked online and there were pages of variations on this same theme. It's so simple that ingredients are measured in units of "some." 

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed August 20, 2014

2 Recipes To Turn The Season's Cucumbers Into Crisp, Appetizing Pickles

When you see that "can't miss it" sign, you know you're there.
Nancy leson

It's my favorite time of year. The cukes are out at the Duris Cucumber Farm on River Road, just a little west of Puyallup. For years, I've been trying to convince my Food for Thought pard Nancy Leson to accompany me there. She finally did, and boy, was she glad.

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed August 13, 2014

What Is This Thing That Nancy Leson Brought Back From The Midwest?

What IS this thing?
Nancy Leson

Nancy Leson's just back from a trip to downstate Illinois where she ate not wisely but too well. Besides the extra avoirdupois, she also brought back the rust bucket pictured above. It came from the estate of her husband Mac's aunt. Can you guess what it is?

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Food for Thoght
5:00 am
Wed August 6, 2014

Warning: Wire-Brushing Your Grill May Be Hazardous To Your Health

My cheap and perfectly-fine gas grill with some lemon grass prork skewers. Try not to look past the grate — it's a grease pit down there.
Dick Stein

Nancy Leson thought I was repeating an urban legend when I told her that diners have swallowed bristles from metal grill brushes along with their steaks.  But then I showed her this story about their dangers , and she admitted in an email I will save forever, "You were right — as always, Stein."  

And it's happened not just in Seattle, but all over the country.

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed July 30, 2014

To Bee Or Not To Bee: That Is The Question For Nancy Leson

Here's Nancy's friend and beekeeper Larry Brainard.
Nancy Leson

Nancy Leson's got a brand new bag, and it's full of bees.

In a recent Seattle Times piece about backyard beekeeping, she expressed interest in keeping bees in her backyard. In this week's "Food for Thought" I suggested that she leave them where they always were — in her bonnet. Ms. Leson begged to differ.

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Fun With Making Your Own Banh Mi Viet Subs And The Pickles, Too

Nancy's pickled snap peas variation on a recipe in Andrea Nguyen's cookbook
Nancy Leson

I'm a recent though enthusiastic consumer of banh mi and a longtime fan of Andrea Nguyen's superb cookbooks. Her newest, "The Banh Mi Handbook: Recipes for Crazy Delicious Vietnamese Sandwiches," was just released.

That subtitle is no overstatement. If you're unfamiliar with banh mi (bunn mee) Viet sub sandwiches, it's time to try one. And what better way to get started than to make your own with the easy-to-follow instructions in Andrea's handbook. 

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Iced Tea, Salad Dressing And Other Things Better Made Than Bought

It's just this easy. Tea bags and water.
Stein

I know, I know. It's no concern of mine what other people do with their money in a supermarket.

But for the life of me, I cannot understand how bottled iced tea got to be such a popular item. How could something in a bottle on a shelf possibly be better than what you can get started at home in 10 seconds? One thing I do know — it sure ain't cheaper. And it's not exactly hard to make. You don't even have to boil it.

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Nancy Leson's Quick And Easy Tips On Serving Up Fish

File image
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

"Stein, do you cook much fish?" Nancy Leson asked me.

To get a rise out of her, I answered, "No, never!" 

The Gilbert and Sullivan fan that I am, I was hoping she'd sing her reply as: "What neverrrrr?" To which I could have answered, "Well...hardly ever."

Instead I just got, "Oh, c'mon, really?"

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Kitchen Favorites: Nancy's Fancy French Knives And Stein's Busy Bee Cup

I love my cup so much I'm only eatin' it one piece at a time.
Stein

I'm convinced my morning coffee wouldn't taste as good anywhere else but from Mr. Busy Bee. Nancy insists her steaks would not be half as tender when cut with any other knife but her fancy French Laguiole “heavy-duty, feeling-great-in-your-hands” Sabatier knives.

My grandfather Willie would agree. He always maintained that the difference between the $5 steak and the $20 steak is the steak knife.

And so we extol the virtues of our favorite tableware. Nancy likes a fork with heft. She turns up her nose at flimsy little salad forks.

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed June 25, 2014

How Nancy Leson Makes Bagels From Scratch In One Hour Flat

Nancy Leson's creations certainly look bagelish but could they be as good as Dick Stein's three-day jobs?
Nancy Leson

Trigger warning for the gluten-hysterical: This segment contains multiple and appreciative references.

Eaters, I am scandalized! Nancy Leson has slammed out a batch of made-from-scratch bagels in just one hour — that's one hour from the mixer to out of the oven.  

I haven't tried them; I've just seen the pictures, but I must admit that they at least look good. Here's how she did it.

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Help Stein Improve His Halva, Which He Says Tastes Better Than It Looks

OK, it's not as thick as I'd like. It's kind of oily, and the texture's not quite right, but it tastes sort of good.
Dick Stein

When I bragged to my Food for Thought partner Nancy Leson that I'd attempted to make halva, I was absolutely gobsmacked to learn that she doesn't like the sesame candy. 

Even though my homemade version was less than — OK, a lot less than — perfect, I've always taken it for granted that everybody in the world loves the stuff. After all, it's been around in one form or another for at least three thousand years.

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Nancy Gets All Healthy

As part of her new health regime Nancy airs out her brain every day.
Millionaire meglomaniac W. H. Donovan Glass Tank Solutions

When I hear the words "healthy eating," I reach for my pork chop. Still, I must admit that chef Maria Hines had some pretty good ideas.  

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed June 4, 2014

From Hot Pastrami To Matzo Ball-Kimchi Ramen, Nancy Taunts Me With Her East Coast Eats

The open faced pastrami Reuben at Hackensack's Chit-Chat Diner
Nancy Leson

Nancy Leson recently traveled to Philadelphia for her cousin’s wedding, and she taunted me with emailed photos of some of the great deli chow she enjoyed.

She also raved about the teensy lamb chops her cousin served. 

“They were just perfect. I couldn’t believe that it wasn’t rubber chicken,” Nancy said. “But the thing I really want to tell you about is the open-faced pastrami reuben I had at the Chit Chat Diner in Hackensack, New Jersey.”

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed May 28, 2014

How To Make Tom Douglas' 'Cheater's' Green Onion Pancakes

Tom's salt & pepper shrimp with "cheater's" onion pancake
Aaron Hushagen

In this second installment of highlights from our Food for Thought Happy Hour event, we turn to Tom Douglas and his "cheap" green onion pancakes.

The Seattle chef's quickie version of the Chinese favorite starts with "cheap flour tortillas" which are painted with egg mixed with a little sesame oil, then sprinkled with minced green onions and sesame seeds. Fold, press down — or as Douglas says," Stand on it" — and give it a quick fry. 

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Food For Thought Happy Hour: You Had To Be There

Every Tom, Dick and Nancy!
Aaron Hushagen

If you were one of many who joined Nancy Leson and me for our Food for Thought Happy Hour last week, you know what a blast we all had.

But if you just couldn't make it, here's a recap for you with sound and pictures.

Everyone, especially us, had a ball at the event which featured Seattle chefs Holly Smith of Cafe Juanita, the chef in the hat, Thierry Rauturau of Luc and now Loulay, and Large Seattle chef Tom Douglas of, well, pretty much every where else.  All were introduced to the music of Eric "Two Scoops" Moore and his combo. 

And what eating we did!

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