Create a DIY Portland Food Tour From Home

Article by Lost Plate Food Tours

Published on June 23, 2020

Favorite Recipes from our Portland Food Tours

Lately, many of us in Portland and around the globe have found ourselves spending more (or almost all) of our time at home. Some people are still able to support small, local restaurants by ordering take-out or delivery, and some people are cooking their own meals at home. We think now is the perfect time to try out some new recipes that you and your family can enjoy!

If you’ve ever been on one of our Portland food tours, you know we are passionate about the food and drink we serve. You probably even heard your tour guide say the dish was “the best thing on the menu” or their “favorite food in all of Portland!” So we’ve compiled some of our favorite recipes from our tour right here, plus a boozy extra, for you to try at home!

Susanne's Famous Seed Crackers


One of our favorite partners, Fullerton Wines, creates an amazing cheese and charcuterie board inside their tasting room. If you’ve ever had it, you know the star of the show is Susanne’s Famous Seed Crackers. These crackers are the perfect accompaniment with most cheeses, jams, or even just a tasty snack on their own.

Recipe makes three baking sheets worth of crackers.

2/3 cup sunflower seeds
2/3 cup sesame seeds
2/3 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup flax seeds
2 cups cornmeal
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cups boiling water
2 tsp salt

· Preheat oven to 275F.
· Mix all seeds, salt, and cornmeal into a large bowl.
· Pour boiling water into the bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until everything is well mixed and has a doughy consistency.
· Place one layer of parchment paper on three baking sheets.
· Divide your mixture onto 3 baking sheets, about one large dough ball size amount on each sheet.
· Spread the mixture slightly, then cover with another layer of parchment paper.
· Spread the mixture with a rolling pin or pat with your hands.
· Spread thin enough that you almost see through the spread.
· Pull off the top layer of parchment paper.
· Put the baking sheets in for 70-90 minutes on convection.
· Keep your eye on them. They’ll start to turn brown as they cook. They won’t be ready to take out until they look just a little burnt with no green seeds in them. You want them crispy, not chewy.
· Let cool.
· Sprinkle with kosher or sea salt.
· Break apart into desired size

Try more of Susanne’s recipes or order a bottle of their delicious wine here: https://fullertonwines.com/

Lebanese Fried Cauliflower

If you’ve joined us on our Portland Food Cart Tour, then you remember the exact moment you bit into the fried cauliflower dish from Pleasant Peasant. If you’re in Portland you can visit the cart and get this dish to-go, but if you’re not, try making a variation of it at home with the recipe below.

Oil, for frying
1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into small florets (do not wash)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 lemon, sliced
Sea salt
Optional: cilantro or parsley to garnish

Tahini sauce ingredients:
2 tablespoons tahini
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 small garlic clove, grated
A pinch of sea salt

· Add 2 inches of oil to a medium-sized pot with high sides. Attach a deep-fry thermometer to the side. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it reaches degrees 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Lower the heat to medium and let the oil continue to heat until it reaches 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
· Toss the cauliflower with the cornstarch. This will ensure it is completely dry and safe to deep-fry. Fry the cauliflower, several pieces at a time, for 5-7 minutes, or until the cauliflower is golden brown and soft. Remove the cauliflower pieces from the hot oil and set them on a paper towel-lined tray. Keep them warm on low heat in your oven while you fry the rest.
· While the cauliflower is frying, prepare the tahini sauce by mixing all the tahini sauce ingredients together with two tablespoons of water.
· Once all the Lebanese cauliflower has finished frying, squeeze a generous amount of lemon juice over the cauliflower and sprinkle with sea salt. Serve with extra lemon wedges on the side and a little cilantro or parsley over the top.

Find this recipe and more at https://www.theendlessmeal.com/najibs-special-lebanese-cauliflower/

Cacio E Pepe Pasta

The best thing about this dish is that it’s simple yet incredibly delicious, and you can probably make it with ingredients already in your kitchen. Cacio e Pepe, which translates to cheese and pepper, is a favorite on our Evening Food & Drink Tour and sure to be your next dinner staple.

Kosher salt
6 oz. pasta (such as egg tagliolini, bucatini, or spaghetti)
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed, divided
1 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
3/4 cup finely grated Grana Padano or Parmesan
1/3 cup finely grated Pecorino

· Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a 5-qt. pot. Season with salt; add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until about 2 minutes before tender. Drain, reserving 3/4 cup pasta cooking water.
· Meanwhile, melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add pepper and cook, swirling pan, until toasted, about 1 minute.
· Add 1/2 cup reserved pasta water to the skillet and bring to a simmer. Add pasta and remaining butter.
· Reduce heat to low and add Grana Padano, stirring and tossing with tongs until melted.
· Remove pan from heat; add Pecorino, stirring and tossing until cheese melts, sauce coats the pasta, and pasta is al dente. (Add more pasta water if sauce seems dry.)
· Transfer pasta to warm bowls and serve.

This recipe and more at https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/cacio-e-pepe

Smothered Fries

Another crowd favorite on our Portland Food Cart Tour is poutine: French fries smothered in gravy and cheese curds! We think smothered fries are the perfect comfort food to make at home with ingredients you may already have in your kitchen. If you have gravy and cheese curds on hand, make poutine, if you have tots on hand, pile ‘em high with ingredients already in your fridge. The possibilities are endless! The smothered fry recipe below is just one idea of what you can do!

And don’t forget to pair with a great local beer! We suggest Rogue’s Dead Guy Pale Ale.

Homemade or store-bought French fries
Homemade or store-bought Ranch Dressing
Fully cooked crumbled Bacon, fresh or store-bought
Grated cheddar cheese
Chopped green onions

· Cook the French fries in oven or fryer.
· Add Ranch dressing, cheddar cheese, and bacon
· Place in oven on broil for 1-2 minutes or until the cheese is completely melted.
· Remove from the oven and add the green onions.
· Eat and enjoy!


Another favorite dish on our Evening Food & Drink tour are crêpes! Whether you prefer sweet or savory, crêpes are guaranteed to be delicious. And the best part is, they’re pretty easy to make at home! Try out the recipe below and add your favorite ingredients for a tasty breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 cup flour
3 tablespoons melted butter
Butter, for coating the pan

· In a blender, combine all of the ingredients and pulse for 10 seconds. Place the crepe batter in the refrigerator for 1 hour. This allows the bubbles to subside so the crepes will be less likely to tear during cooking. The batter will keep for up to 48 hours.
· Heat a small non-stick pan. Add butter to coat. Pour 1 ounce of batter into the center of the pan and swirl to spread evenly. Cook for 30 seconds and flip. Cook for another 10 seconds and remove it to the cutting board. Lay them out flat so they can cool. Continue until all batter is gone. After they have cooled you can stack them and store in sealable plastic bags in the refrigerator for several days or in the freezer for up to two months. When using frozen crepes, thaw on a rack before gently peeling apart.

Topping Ideas:
· Slather with Nutella and/or peanut butter and your favorite fruits – like bananas or strawberries.
· Cover with melted caramel and baked apples.
· Melt your favorite cheese and layer with your favorite ham or cured meat.

This recipe and more at https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/crepes-recipe-1911037

Homemade Donuts

If you didn’t already know, we’re pretty big fans of donuts here at Lost Plate! So much so that we have an entire tour dedicated to them: our Downtown Coffee & Donut Tour. If you’re looking for a sweet treat for breakfast at home (along with a fun attempt at something you probably haven’t made before), try out the recipe below for delicious homemade donuts. And make sure to brew up some tasty Portland coffee for a great pairing!

Vegetable oil or canola oil for frying
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
5 Tbsp butter cold
3/4 cups milk
For rolling
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

· Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt and mix.
· Using a pastry cutter cut butter into your flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.
· Add milk and mix until all ingredients are combined.
· Transfer dough onto a well-floured surface, and knead gently until it forms a cohesive ball. If the dough is too sticky to manage, continue to work in flour until it is smooth and manageable (I’ve found on hot days or if my butter isn’t cold enough the dough can be quite sticky)
· Break off approximately 1 1/2 Tbsp-sized pieces of dough and roll into smooth, tight balls. Set aside.
· Fill a medium-sized saucepan 2-inches deep with your oil over medium-high heat. Use a candy thermometer (make sure it isn’t touching the bottom of the pot) to monitor your temperature.
· Heat oil to 350F (you will have to monitor the heat pretty regularly and may need to increase/decrease your stove temperature to keep it consistent).
· While your oil is heating, prepare your cinnamon/sugar mix by stirring together cinnamon and sugar in a small dish. Set aside.
· Prepare two plates for your cooked donut holes by lining them generously with paper towels.
· Once the oil has reached 350F, very carefully fry your donut holes, about 4 at a time, carefully transferring them to the oil with a slotted spoon (don’t drop them in or the oil may splash, lower them into the oil instead).
· Fry donut holes for approximately 3.5 minutes*, remove carefully with a slotted spoon and place them on a paper towel laden plate. Allow them to sit for about 30 seconds and then use another spoon to transfer them to your cinnamon/sugar dish, roll them in the topping until fully covered, and then transfer to your other paper towel-lined plate.
· Repeat until all donut holes are cooked and have been rolled in cinnamon sugar.
· These donuts are best enjoyed warm/hot and do not carry over well to the next day.

Full instructions and recipe here: https://sugarspunrun.com/fried-donut-holes-no-yeast/

Old Fashioned Cocktail

We think now is the perfect time to go through your bar cart and whip up some inventive and delicious boozy cocktails, like an Old Fashioned! This recipe is brought to you by Mariah T., who can be seen making delicious cocktails behind the bar at favorite Portland restaurant, Nostrana. 

Bitters (we recommend Portland Bitter Project Orange or Pitch Dark Cacao)
Whiskey (we recommend Eastside Distilling Oregon Oaked Bourbon or Westward American Single Malt)


Make a small batch of homemade simple syrup: 1:1 Equal parts sugar to water cooked on the stove until sugar dissolves

Build in your glass:
2oz Whiskey
2 drops orange bitters
4 drops Pitch Dark Cacao bitters
1 teaspoon of Simple syrup
Add ice, lightly stir
Express with orange peel (Using a peeler, peel the orange for one small strip. Express the orange and take your peel and bend it over the glass. You should see a spray of orange oils go into the glass.)

The best part of an Old Fashioned is that you can modify pretty much any part of the cocktail to your liking. Cheers and happy imbibing!

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Read More »

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