Maestro Lawrence Loh’s recipes strike right chord

Today is a special day at the Blennerhassett School at 3 p.m. and everyone is invited to attend the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra-Parkersburg, under the direction of Lawrence Loh, our new director.

And you will not want to miss the piano selection by George Gershwin — “Rhapsody in Blue.”

Tickets will be available at the door.

Immediately after the concert there will be a “Donors Reception” at the Parkersburg Art Center with appetizers and champagne.

We are excited to welcome Lawrence Loh and his family as new to our community.

Don’t forget — If you want to support the Symphony there will be a fundraising spirit night on Monday, Sept. 25 at the free standing Chick-fil-A. (Just make sure you tell them that you are here to support the WV Symphony or show the special flier you will be given at the concert.)

Below are two of Loh’s favorite recipes. One is Chicken and White Bean Chili and favorite Oatmeal Raisin Cookies plus some Greek Island Seafood Recipes I promised last week.

We are also happy to report that Chick-fil-A is one of Maestro Loh’s favorite places to eat.

Loh is music director of Symphoria (Syracuse, N.Y.) and is concluding his 13-year tenure at Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic. Previously, Loh has worked with the Syracuse Opera, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Youth Symphony. He also is active as a guest conductor in the U.S. and abroad.

Loh received his Artist Diploma in Orchestra Conducting from Yale, his master’s in Choral Conducting from Indiana University and his BA and Certificate of Management Studies from the University of Rochester.

Loh was born in Southern California of Korean parentage and raised in Carlisle, Pa. He and his wife, Jennifer, have two children, Charlie and Hilary. Visit his website

Until next week.

Chicken and White Bean Chili

2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded

2 cans white Great Northern beans, drained

2 cans diced green chilies

2 tablespoons butter

1 large onion, chopped

1/8 cup flour

2 cups low-salt chicken broth

1 1/2 cups half and half

1/2 tablespoon chili powder

1/2 tablespoon hot pepper sauce

1/2 tablespoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

3/4 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese

1/2 cup sour cream

chopped fresh cilantro

tomatillo or green chili salsa

Melt butter in large pot over medium heat. Saute onions in the butter about 10 minutes. Add flour and stir another 5 minutes, being careful not to brown. Gradually whisk in chicken broth and half and half. Simmer gently until thickened, about 10 minutes. Add beans, green chilies, chicken and next five ingredients. Simmer gently to blend flavors, about 20 minutes. Add grated cheese and sour cream. Stir in just until heated, try not to let boil. Ladle into bowls and garnish with cilantro and salsa.


Favorite Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

1 cup shortening

1 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon molasses

1 tablespoon vanilla

2 cups oatmeal

1-1 1/4 cups raisins

Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients except oatmeal and raisins together. When blended, add oatmeal, continue to blend, then add raisins until fully mixed. Place in walnut-sized balls on an ungreased cookie sheet about 2-inches apart. Bake for 9 minutes.


Scallops in Tomato Sauce

1 1/2 pounds scallops

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup chopped onion

1 clove garlic, crushed

3 cups small whole tomatoes, canned

1 cup tomato sauce

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

1 bay leaf

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Wash scallops carefully, and let stand in colander to drain well. In a large saucepan, saute onion and garlic in hot oil until soft. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce and seasonings. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove cover and simmer until sauce is almost thickened. Increase heat, and add scallops. Stir a few minutes, cover, lower heat and cook 15 minutes longer or until scallops are tender. Remove cover during last 5 minutes.


Shrimp and Oysters in Tomato Sauce

Prepare sauce above; saute 1/2 cup chopped celery, 1/2 cup chopped green pepper and 1/2 pound sliced mushrooms with onions. In skillet, heat 2 dozen shucked oysters in 1 tablespoon butter until edges curl, about 5 minutes. Add to thickened tomato sauce, with 1 1/2 pound cooked shrimp. Heat and serve.


Oysters in Wine

1 pint oysters

1 1/2 cups fine dry bread or cracker crumbs

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

4 tablespoons butter, melted

1/2 cup dry white wine

Mix crumbs with 1/2 cup melted butter and arrange a layer in buttered baking dish. Arrange 1/3 the oysters over crumbs and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Repeat layers, ending with crumbs. Combine wine and remaining melted butter and pour over all. Bake 15 minutes in 375 oven.


Shrimp Pilaf

2 chopped onions

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/3 cup olive or salad oil

2 pounds shrimp, cleaned and deveined

1 cup tomato sauce

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1 1/2 cups long-grain rice

Cook onions and celery in olive oil until soft. Add shrimp, and cook 2 minutes. Cover with tomato sauce, seasonings and 1 cup water. Bring to boiling point. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Measure liquid, and add enough water to make 3 cups. Bring to a boil, add rice. Cover and cook slowly until rice is tender and all liquid is absorbed.

Variation: Prepare shrimp sauce by adding tomato sauce, 1 cup water and 2 bay leaves to sauteed shrimp. Cover, simmer until shrimp is tender and sauce is thick. Prepare rice pilaf, substituting water for meat broth and place in ring mold. Unmold on large platter, fill center with shrimp sauce. One small can mushrooms may be added to sauce.


Parsley Shrimp

1 pound shrimp, cleaned and deveined

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon salt


1 clove garlic, crushed

4-5 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 cup parsley

Heat oil in skillet; add shrimp, salt, pepper and crushed garlic; saute 5 minutes. Add lemon juice and chopped parsley and cook 15 minutes. Add water if necessary.


Greek Shrimp Cocktail

Prepare recipe as in parsley shrimp. Chill in sauce, preferably overnight. Serve in cocktail glasses lined with lettuce leaves.


Kiki Angelos is a food columnist for the Parkersburg News and Sentinel.