Pacific Northwest Ingredients
Kerry Sear uses ingredients indigenous to the Pacific Northwest. Many can be purchased as well as foraged for. Diamond Organics (888-ORGANIC), Indian Rock Produce (800-882-0512) and Penn Herb Company (215-925-3336) are good mail-order sources.
* Cedar The branches can be used as a base for roasting fish fillets, especially salmon--a variation on the traditional method of cooking foods on a cedar plank.
* Clover Native Americans preserved pheasants and other game birds by wrapping them in wild grasses, such as clover. Then they'd place the bundles directly on hot coals for cooking.
* Lobster mushrooms These large meaty mushrooms turn the color of their namesake when cooked. They're excellent in salads or as an accompaniment to fish.
* Nettles This prickly plant has a peppery bite. Once blanched, the nettle leaves lose their sting but retain their crispness and are wonderful in soups or on their own.
* Sea vegetables Sea asparagus and sea beans are wild kelps with a briny taste that have long been used by tribes in the Vancouver area. They're great with shellfish and in chowders.