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A great dinner at a new restaurant in Marion

19 Oct

dinner2 Just-right ribs, a unique soup, a yummy white pizza and a really lovely, warm, setting made dinner at Brew Fish in Marion a wonderful experience. Here’s my Dine Out review in Coastin’ for more:

We started with a cup of the Ch’ale (Portuguese chowder), ($5) described this way on the menu: “kale soup and clam chowder, both local favorites, combine for one flavorful thin broth yet creamy chowder. Chock full of clams, chourico, flavor, and thick cut vegetables.”

Odd as it sounds, the broth was flavorful and the kale leaves large and tasty. It was somewhat like a Rhode Island chowder but yellow in color and much better.

Then we ordered the sticky ribs appetizer ($9) that our friendly waitress said was very popular, and the vegetable white pizza ($12).

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Don’t miss Chowderfest this weekend

4 Oct

I still can’t get over the great fish stew and whiting plate served by talented home cooks at last weekend’s festival but I am all ready to sample chowder at New Bedford’s annual Chowder Festival Sunday. Yep, I’m going be a judge at that one too so see you Sunday afternoon!

chowderfest

Chefs shine with unique creations at Cooking for a Cause

10 Apr

The ninth annual Cooking for a Cause was bigger and better this year — securing funds for the great work the East End House in Cambridge does and providing guests an opportunity to sample treats from the best chefs and mixologists in the area.

Read my writeup online on Wicked Local Cambridge.

Unlike last year, this one had more variety in food with a leaning towards seafood and fish.

I swear I tried doing a blind taste by walking around, not trying to look at the signs or the chefs. Even then I ended up picking up some of the usual suspects… Anyway, here’s what I thought was spectacular among the smorgasbord of mouthwatering tastes that night:

  • Char crudo with ginger pickled rhubarb, parsnip chips, and pea shoots – Jody Adams, Rialto: delicate and mouthwatering, with a crunch.
  • Homemade beet pasta with boudin noir ragout – Tony Maws, Craigie on Main: yay, pig’s blood! Unique and tasty.
  • Cuban-style pulled pork shoulder – Jason Heard, East Coast Grill: well-cooked and packed with flavor.
  • Charred pork belly with chipotle and purple carrot and jicama slaw – Richard Rayment, Aura: mindblowingly yummy.
  • Mexican-style seafood tortilla soup (photo below) – Eric Brennan, Post 360:  full of fresh seafood and delicious.
  • Brown sugar cupcakes with butter cream frosting, caramel popcorn  (photo on top) – Chef Michael Levitov, Area Four: crunchy, not too sweet and just plain different.

A special shout out to my chef friends – Culinary Chair of the night Jason Santos of Blue Inc. with an interesting pastrami reuben fried dumpling and Paul O’Connell of Chez Henri with his family recipe for Lent, fish chowder.

HBT recovering from holiday feasts

21 Feb

Sorry readers, Sir Eatsalot was so busy eating through the holiday season, then digesting and then trying to hot yoga away the pounds, that it left no time or energy to blog until today It makes total sense when you learn that I celebrated Thanksgiving, Eid, Durga Puja, Christmas, Hanukkah and New Years.

HBT is deeply sorry for the holiday hiatus and hopes everyone had as productive and delicious a season. Here’s a quick recap of some of my favorite eats this season. Burp.

1. An outstanding Christmas lunch at Beacon Hill Bistro. They ran out of the goose entree but replaced it with duck which was divine.

2. Excellent biriyani and kabab feasts at Darul Kabab near Porter Square.

2. Made Bengali khichuri for Durga Puja and grabbed dosas at Dosa Factory in Central Square in an effort to go vegetarian for a couple of days.

4. My amazing roommate hosted a lovely wine tasting at home where I discovered a taste for fine ice wines, which are really expensive, btw.

5. Had a great brunch with friends visiting from Canada at Sel de la Terre with johnny cakes at Long Wharf.

6. A group dinner at Rangzen proved tasty and economical.

7. Hardly had a bad dinner at North End but there’s something special about the pasta at Al Dente – highly addictive.

8. I have become a huge fan of the charcoal chicken and quinoa salad at Machu Picchu Chicken and Grill in Union Square. I could eat it every day.

9. All the home-cooked goodies from turkey and goat curry (by yours truly) to cheese and charcuterie… mmmm.

Gosh, I can hardly wait to do it again!

Bar bites par excellence at Olde Magoun’s

19 Apr

Among area bar food, I highly recommend Olde Magoun’s Saloon in Magoun Square (Broadway and Medford Street in Somerville).

Besides have a fabulous menu, they have a specials every night from Fish Taco Mondays ($6 plates) to Cajun/Creole Wednesdays.

One recent Wednesday I was blown away by the Crispy Catfish Bites served with a mouthwatering shrimp remoulade, Pan-fried Green Tomatoes with a buttermilk sauce and Rosemary Skewered Gulf Shrimp – all delicious and perfectly cooked with large servings even though they are all appetizers.

It’s also a great neighborhood Irish bar with lots of space and a really laid back atmosphere to grab a drink, dine with a friend or just people-watch. Try it.

Olde Magoun’s Saloon
518 Medford St., Somerville, MA 02145
617-776-2600.
Mon-Thu 11:30 am-1 am; Fri 11:30 am-2 am
Sat 11 am-2 am; Sun 10 am-1 am

Guten Appetit – all the way from Germany

24 Feb

Jennifer Brown sent in this delectable piece on German food after her final college semester abroad in Dresden as an exchange student. This is a photo of her with a German making spaetzle.

Germany is a country known for its beer, politics, eco-friendly ways, and its food. The general characteristics given to German food are “thick,” “buttery,” and “meaty”–words describing recipes that can date back to several generations within families. Food in Germany is prepared fresh and thoughtfully; minute-ready items are seldom preferred and refrigerators are smaller than American standards in order to promote the frequent, fresh buying of ingredients. Additionally, Germans seek out local meat, dairy, and baked goods–towns often have numerous local butchers, farms, and bakeries that daily serve their own delicacies.

Considering my experience with the country and its delectable edibles, the following is a series of specialties that I highly recommend (in alphabetical order):

Bretzel – Behold the famous bretzel! Bretzel is German for “pretzel.” Bretzels are eaten at all times of the day in Germany. People cut them in half and butter them for breakfast, or they pack them away to nibble on with lunch, or they have one while they’re eating a small dinner or at an evening beer garden. My German friends generally agree that the best bretzels are in Bayern (the south-eastern region of Germany). In Bayern, Germans eat a bretzel with a white sausage and mustard, alongside a tall hefeweizen in the morning. Venture to the prominent Viktualienmarkt on an early morning in Munich to make an order!

Gluehwein – A German version of mulled wine, gluehwein is a longstanding wintry tradition in Germany. It’s a main feature at Christmas markets throughout the country, and people make it in the warmth of their homes as well. Red wine is the traditional wine used for the recipes, but white wine has been substituted in recent years. The wine used is typically a cheaper wine that grants low prices for merchants and consumers alike. Spices like cinnamon and anise are added to the wine and mixed with sugar. Drinks like gluehwein make Germany’s brutal winters more bearable.

Kartoffeln mit Quark – A long-time money saver in Germany: potatoes and curd cheese. The potatoes are boiled and usually skinned, and the cheese can be mixed with various herbs. The result is most similar to the American baked potato, however Americans don’t really have quark in their diet; the thick, milky cheese is hard to describe, with a slight sour-cream taste that melts with the hot potatoes. While trying this dish, be sure to mash up the potatoes with a fork so they can really blend with the quark. Continue reading

When it’s cold outside, make soup

11 Jan

Tuesdays are always bad days for me as I am on deadline. They get worse when a giant snowstorm is expected at night and I have a to work late. All of that angst fades when a reporter with a culinary touch hands out a hot bowl of a sweet-spicy concoction made with smoked pork neck bones, PBR and jalapeno peppers. Deliciousness.

Here is the secret recipe for the Smoked Pork Neck Stew straight from Andy Metzger:

1. I bought two packages of smoked pork neck from the Beacon Street Star Market and made a dry rub out of red pepper, crushed black pepper, salt and mustard powder.
2. I covered the pork necks with the rub and then seared them in a cast iron for a minute before dumping them in a crock pot.
3.  I sauteed two finely diced shallots and some garlic cloves. I added two whole jalapenos and two poblanos with both ends cut off, so the broth could pass through.
4. Then in batches of about seven I cooked down about 20 tomatoes – one of the big packs from Market Basket – in the little saucepan, adding pours of PBR along the way if the broth started looking too chunky. In all I used two 16 oz. PBRs.
5. As the broth in the sauce pan looked soupy, I poured it into the crock pot, which I turned on high.
6. After I had my last batch of broth in the pan, I mashed everything up, smooshing the peppers and the tomatoes. Then I added maple syrup until it was sweet and hot.
7. I kept cooking the end of the broth on low while the necks and broth stewed in the crock pot.
8. About two hours in, I deboned the necks as best I could, and added the last bit of broth for the final hour or so of cooking.