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Never too early to get Halloween costumes ready

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO  - Lake Oswegos Tyler Craven, creative director of BeerQuest, is offering Haunted Pub Crawls from Oct. 17 through Nov. 2, which tour haunted bars in Portland.

It is just three short weeks to Halloween. I imagine you’ve started decorating your front porch and planning costumes for the trick or treaters in your household. If you want to create a very special costume I suggest you get to the Lakewood Theatre Company’s costume sale, which starts Friday, Oct. 11 and runs through the weekend. The theater company is selling all sorts of clothing and costume parts for men, women and children as well as props.

Get as much mileage as you can out of that perfect ensemble by attending many Halloween events. There are haunted houses throughout the Portland metro area. There are a couple of events of that deserve a special shout out — the Haunted Pub Crawl and a Soundstage Rhythm Orchestra Halloween dance party.

The Haunted Pub Crawl is a 21 and over event offered by Lake Oswegan Tyler Craven through his company, BeerQuest. Costumes are highly recommended. The Haunted Pub Crawl is a guided ghost tour of Portland’s most notorious haunted bars. The tour includes beer sampling at Kell’s Irish Pub, Old Town Brewery and Pizza and, if you dare, a spooky stroll through the Shanghai Tunnels.

Tyler tells me he will introduce the tourists to the resident ghosts of Kell’s and Old Town and share true historical accounts of shanghaiing, corrupt police, underground speakeasies, brothels, drug dens and more of Portland’s wicked and lawless past. The tour includes tasting and sampling of eight local craft beers. Tickets are $25 each and bookings must be made in advance at beerquestpdx.com. The Haunted Pub Crawl runs Oct. 17 through Nov. 2.

Tyler founded BeerQuest this year with a mission of providing the best beer tours in Portland. He leads a Beer-O-lymics Pub Crawl and tasting in the Alberta art district. He just returned from living two years in South Africa, where he worked as a tour guide and volunteered teaching English to young children. BeerQuest combines two of his favorite things: being a tour guide and craft beer. He has pledged to donate $1 from each sale to the Hillcrest AIDS Center, a nonprofit AID hospice in South Africa.

Freshen up your costume and be ready for Oct. 26, when the Soundstage Rhythm Orchestra shakes it up for its annual Halloween dance party. SRO promotes itself as Portland’s largest, hippest dance and performance orchestra. The orchestra’s fusion of musical styles unites the golden era of the big band, the memorable age of the dance orchestra and the smooth styling of the ballroom with the energy of the here and now.

The Halloween dance party is an all-ages event held at the Pacific Crest Grand Ballroom, 610 McLoughlin Blvd. in Oregon City. Come in costume and enjoy Halloween-themed entertainment including a costume contest.

Tickets are $15 in advance via TicketTomato.com. Food and bar items will be available from Portland Catering Company.

If you think it is too early to be focus on Halloween, save the Transylvania Goulash recipe for a few weeks and have the Pretzel-Crusted Pork Chops with Orange-Mustard Sauce, which is more Oktoberfest focused. They will go great with a tall, cold craft beer.

Bon Appetit! Eat something wonderful!

Pretzel-Crusted Pork Chops with Orange-Mustard Sauce

Makes 8 servings

1 1/2 cups balsamic vinegar

2 oranges

3/4 cup water

1/4 cup sugar

2 cups whipping cream

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

3 large eggs

2 cups crushed pretzel sticks (about 5 ounces)

8 1-inch-thick center-cut pork rib chops

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, divided

Simmer balsamic vinegar in small saucepan over medium heat until reduced to 2/3 cup, about 10 minutes. Transfer to small pitcher. DO AHEAD: Balsamic reduction can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.

Using vegetable peeler, remove peel from oranges (orange part only) in long strips. Slice peel lengthwise into very thin strips. Place peel in heavy small saucepan and add enough cold water to cover peel by 1 inch. Bring to boil; strain. Repeat 2 more times. Return peel to same saucepan. Add 3/4 cup water and sugar. Boil until almost all liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Drain. DO AHEAD: Candied orange peel can be made 2 days ahead. Place in small bowl, cover and refrigerate.

Mix cream, mustard, and 2 tablespoons candied orange peel in heavy small saucepan. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium and cook until sauce is reduced to 1 cups, about 12 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover and chill.

Place flour in shallow bowl. Whisk eggs to blend in another shallow bowl. Spread crushed pretzels on rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle pork chops on both sides with salt and pepper. Working with 1 pork chop at a time, press 1 side of chop into flour, dip floured side only into eggs, then press into pretzels, coating 1 side only. Transfer to baking sheet, coated side up. Repeat with remaining pork chops, flour, eggs, and pretzels. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

Preheat oven to 450°F. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in each of 2 large ovenproof skillets over medium-high heat. Add 4 pork chops to each skillet, coated side down, and cook until brown, about 2 minutes. Turn chops over and transfer both skillets to oven. Roast until pork is cooked through and thermometer inserted horizontally into chop registers 140°F, about 10 minutes. Let chops stand 5 minutes.

Rewarm sauce. Spoon 2 tablespoons sauce onto each plate and place chop atop sauce. Drizzle with balsamic reduction and garnish with remaining candied orange peel.

Bon Appétit, September 2006

41 of 52 Sunday Dinners

This is a favorite fall dinner at the Randall household. Serve it over wide noodles with roasted acorn squash and apple crisp for dessert for a frightful fall feast! BR

Transylvanian Goulash

Makes four servings

1 pound sauerkraut

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup onion, finely chopped

1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

2 tablespoons sweet paprika

3 cups chicken broth

1 -2 pound boneless pork shoulder, cut in 1 in cubes

1 1/2 teaspoons caraway seeds

1/4 cup tomato puree

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons flour

Wash the sauerkraut under cold running water then soak in cold water for 20 minutes to reduce its sourness. Strain well, pressing out all the water.

Melt the butter in a 5-quart casserole and add the onions. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until lightly colored, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic, season with salt and cook a minute or two longer. Stir in the paprika, pour in 1/2 cup of broth and bring to boil. Add the pork cubes. Spread the sauerkraut over the pork and sprinkle with caraway seeds.

In a small bowl combine the tomato puree and the rest of the broth and pour the mixture over the sauerkraut. Bring the liquid to a boil once more, then reduce heat to its lowest point. Season with a pinch of salt, cover casserole and simmer for 1 hour. Check occasionally to make sure that the liquid has not cooked away. Add a little stock or water if required.

When the pork is tender, combine the creams in a mixing bowl and beat the flour into the cream with a whisk. Carefully stir the mixture into the casserole. Simmer for 10 minutes longer and season with salt to taste.

Serve in large wide bowls accompanied by a side of sour cream.

From The Cooking of the Vienna Empire, Time Life Books

Randall welcomes your food questions and research suggestions. She can be reached at 503-636-1281, ext. 100 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow her on Twitter at @barbatthereview




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