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.

Ways To Connect

Sniff, memory!

May 8, 2013

Some smells always bring back fond memories. Seattle Times food writer Nancy Leson says one whiff of mint, and she's suddenly 6 again. 

Two of my favorites are  flame-broiling meat in a highly air-conditioned room, and the aroma of onion soup on a freezing Quebec day. I guess I just like the memory of warm food smells in a cold environment. Not always, though.

Nancy Leson / Seattle Times

These look like some nice beans. And there's a story behind them, too. In this week's Food for Thought, Nancy and I chatted about what we're putting into the ground this spring, and what we hope to get out of it—including something I never knew could be grown around here.

Justin Steyer / KPLU

Need more Jimmy?

You can listen to the wildly popular, live radio performance of Jimmy Jazzoid Rides Again below! Want to take Jimmy Jazzoid with you, wherever you go?  You can download the podcast here

Jaki Byard calls B.S.

Apr 26, 2013

One night in New York City a long time ago I was in search of a last gasp of civilization before a taking up a year’s exile at an Air Force radar site in the Bering Sea. I found it – and more — at The Dom, an East Village Jazz joint where pianist Jaki Byard’s quartet was playing.

Nancy Leson / Seattle Times

So says the Hostess company of its frozen food saw. I hadn't known there even was a tradition for frozen food saws. I do know that the Hostess company would never exaggerate, so probably the tradition they mean is that of medieval surgical tools. 

Kevin Kniestedt / Unrepresented

Nancy Leson surprised me when she said she was using cake flour and plain cold water for her dumpling wrapper dough.  I've been using all purpose and just-boiled very hot water. 

Nancy got the recipe from Judy Fu of Seattle's Snappy Dragon restaurant fame and wrote about it recently.  There's something I like about her method. And something I don't.

Nancy Leson / Seattle Times

My friend and fellow–though fancier– eater,  Seattle Times food writer Nancy Leson is just back from the Windy City, and telling wide-eyed tales of exotic dinners.  Nance and her fellow Times gastro-journalist Providence Cicero lucked into reservations at two of the top restaurants in the country, if not the world.

John Lok / Seattle Times

I would. And so would Nancy. She calls Michael Sanders' loaves "perhaps the best bread in town" and says she'd happily pay twice that.  

Only about 50 of these beauties come out of Sanders' oven each day and most of those are going to a Matt Dillon restaurant. But if you get to Sitka and Spruce in Melrose Market early enough, you just might be able to score one.

5.  Celebrating a super Seattle sushi chef

Seattle's own Daisuke Nakazawa was featured in the sushi documentary, Jiro Dreams of Sushi.  

Speaking of sushi, Nancy expressed surprise that I'd never eaten sushi before she offered me some. It wasn't really any big deal. We were leaving the Tacoma Pal Do World supermarket with a car full of Asian cooking supplies, and she'd picked up a container of the little rice rolls to eat on the way home.  

Stein / Marshmallow Mavens, Inc

There are Peeps diorama contests held all across the nation, not least of which is that sponsored by the Seattle Times. Here, take a look.  This year's contest attracted hundreds of entries. As Nancy pointed out, it's perfectly possible that these Peepsle have too much time on their hands. Some fun, huh?

Be a recipe renegade!

Mar 20, 2013
Stein

Run wild!  Sure, if you've never made something before, it's a good idea to follow the instructions. But if the instructions look weird or include ingredients you really don't like, that's another story.

Recipes come from all-too-fallible humans. Take it from me that some of them can haul you right over the Foodscal Cliff. I speak from bitter experience.

old-picture.com

This week's discussion was inspired by the TV comedy Portlandia  and its Brunch Village episode about an endless line of would-be brunchers. 

I have lurked in the lobbies of dim sum joints waiting for tables.  And once in a while I've been been willing to wait in the bar.  But queue up out on the sidewalk?  Uh-uh.  I've stood on all the chow lines I care to, thank you. 

Nancy Leson / Seattle Times

You don't need an oven to make great flatbread.  You can do it all in a skillet right on top of your stove.  Here's how:

Nancy Leson / Seattle Times

I can't believe that Leson got that "natural" style starter to work.  I've tried over and over again with no success.  Her success encourages me.  Maybe I'll try again. 

Nancy Leson / Seattle Times

Okay, this one isn't about food -- other than the food scraps that were embedded and festering in both my kitchen floor and Nancy's.  It's about floors -- and the amazing Air Sled appliance mover.  One of the coolest gizmos I've seen in many a year.

Hot legs!

Feb 6, 2013
Nancy Leson

I confess that though I've chewed my way through enough chicken wings to levitate a dumpster I've never had the official Buffalo Wing.   And now I may never bother.  Here's why:

wholeisticallyfit.com

Let's post lunch.   Take your best shot.  After all, who wouldn't want to see a picture of what you're eating?  Not surprisingly, some restaurateurs -- and some restaurant customers -- are not amused. 

thetased.wordpress.com

Daisuke Nakazawa was featured in the sushi documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi.  

Nate McCarthy

Except we didn't explode.  We should have, though.  Included in the dinners we discuss is the Caraway-crusted roast pork I made from from the "Remembering Labuznik" chapter in  Tom Douglas' Tom's Big DinnersHere's how to make it.

Get hot for the holidays

Dec 26, 2012

"Every hair on Dave Matschina's head was drenched in sweat.  It crept into his eyes and dripped off his nose."   So begins Twincities.com  tale of a feast of hot wings made made with the fearsome Naga Bhut Jolokia or Indian Ghost Pepper -- a chili that makes the formerly top dog habenero taste like a slug of Milk of Magnesia. 

Sake nomi, Seattle

I knew going in that I knew next to nothing about sake. As it turned out I didn't even know that much.

Nancy Leson

It's not the three cookbooks pictured above, though Nancy really loves them and recommends them swooningly and from a great height.  Nope, this is an enjoyable DIY project.  Click "Listen" and all will be revealed.  Now let's talk about saffron,

Nancy Leson

As you might imagine my Food for Thought co-conspirator Seattle Times Food writer Nancy Leson collects lots of stuff to do with food.  Menus, old recipe cards, handwritten notes, the works. 

When she mentioned to me that she had recipes from "King's Queen Bea" I admit I had no idea who that was.  But I should have.

Nancy Leson

Sure,  I love to play the philistine in my encounters with Nancy Leson on Food for Thought but it's time to reveal that I have been Velveeta-free for almost four years.   One more year and I get my pin. 

Meantime, I've been enjoying some of the wonderful locally made stuff and so has Nancy.   We had a lot of fun on this one.  Hear all about it with a click on the audio gizmo under the
Read More" teaser.

thearchnemisis.com

You go nuts all day long with the cooking and the cleaning and the worrying and the will  this or won't that and did I remember to and does the house look and will they even show up  and what was I thinking when I decided to do this they could have had their lousy corn flake stuffed pork chops and gone the hell home by now... and waitasecond is that cat-box I smell? 

Or you could be like my Food for Thought pal,  Seattle Times food writer  Nancy Leson.

Clean as you cook

Nov 14, 2012
Nancy Leson

Pro chefs have their kitchen grunts to handle the cleanup but we home cooks have to do it ourselves.  And the way to do it is as you go.  I think the clean-up is as much a part of the cooking process as the mixing and chopping, the slaughtering of the ox, all that kind of stuff.

holytaco.com

Every good home cook has had the dream of opening his or her own restaurant.  But we've also heard the dire warning: "90% of restaurants fail in the first year of operation."   It isn't true.

Simplyrecipes.com

For years I assumed that the word caramel came from the name of the first celebrity chef, Marie-Antoine Careme, A.K.A the King of Chefs and the Chef of Kings. 

But no, it's just a corruption of the medieval Latin for sugar cane, cannamellis. Though I love them dearly I've never attempted to make my own caramels. But I know someone who has ...

Stein / The Corporation for Refrigerated Saxophones

In this week's culinary adventure Nancy Leson and I chat about our canning projects.  Balsamic jams for her and preserved lemons for me.   Preserved lemons give a powerful jolt of flavor. 

Mile high birthday bash

Oct 17, 2012
Kurt Oakley / Morning Glory Balloon Tours

In this week's Food for Thought Nancy Leson and I talk about favorite venues for birthday bashes.  My birthday was double-10 day, October 10th -- a birthday I share with both Thelonious Monk and Dorothy Lamour, who once told me "There ain't room enough in this sarong for the two of us."

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