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Boston Public Market is here

When I used to go Bluefishing with my Dad, off Montauk Point in Long Island, we'd bring the fish on the boat, immediately fillet it and freeze it. My mom would always make the fillets by putting a bit of olive oil on them, and sprinkling liberally with some salt and pepper, paprika and some curry powder, then put very thinly sliced onion on the top and stick under the broiler. The curry really goes well with the oily nature of the Bluefish. I still make it that way myself.

Aug 24, 2015
mwk in Greater Boston Area

Would you travel out of the U.S. for a great steak?

The only place outside of the United States, where I had steak that was to die for, and I felt like it was better than anything I'd had here, was in Argentina. Their beef is just unbelievable. So yes, I'd probably go to Buenos Aries for a Steak :)

Aug 21, 2015
mwk in General Topics
1

Boston Public Market is here

I'm really excited about that news. I just hope he still has the Bluefish available when I go by after work tonight. Yum....

Aug 20, 2015
mwk in Greater Boston Area

Lobster Bisque on the South Shore? (MA)

The Lobster Hut in Plymouth has an excellent Lobster Bisque:

http://lobsterhutplymouth.com/

Also, the Lobster Stop in Quincy (at the Fore River Rotary) has a very tasty Lobster Bisque:

http://www.thelobsterstop.net/

Aug 14, 2015
mwk in Greater Boston Area

Alton Brown Discusses the Evolution of Food Network, Responds to Anthony Bourdain's Criticism of TV Chefs

While I do agree that these food network competition shows are stupid and un-watchable, I disagree with the premise that Alton Brown is not in the same league with Anthony Bourdain. I mean, why? Because Bourdain wrote a book on restaurants? Because he has made snarky, haughty disdain for others into an art form? Alton's recipes are just as full of flavor, fresh ingredients, techniques and interesting ingredients as any of Bourdain's. Oh wait...to Alton's point, when was the last time anyone saw Bourdain COOK something, or publish recipes?

How Alton Brown chooses to earn HIS living is not a reflection of the quality of his cooking, but rather maybe, he needs a new agent :)

1950s Atrocities

If you all can read this without maybe throwing up a little in your mouth, more power to you :)

http://thekitschbitsch.blogspot.com/2...

Aug 13, 2015
mwk in Home Cooking

Artichokes in a pressure cooker?

I always do my artichokes that way. Depending on the size, it usually takes about 20 minutes with cold water pressure release. Check them by pulling off a leaf, if it comes off without any resistance, they are "tooth-scraping-tender" :) If they are very thorny on top, I'll cut the top off. Also, I usually put them heart side down on the bottom of the pot with about water half way up the artichokes.

Aug 10, 2015
mwk in Home Cooking

Stretching food with beans

All these bean ideas are great. I might also suggest that you could use some of the whole grains to stretch out meals. I just made a delicious meal last night that included a pound of lean hamburger (or ground turkey works too if that's cheaper), a couple of large zucchini that I got in my farm box this week, a large diced onion, and a cup of coarse bulgur wheat that I cooked in 1.5 cups of water. I added a teaspoon of cumin, a teaspoon of cinnamon, a teaspoon of coriander and a 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg.

The bulgur wheat really stretches out the hamburger and you can easily feed four very hungry people and have leftovers for the next day. You can take the basic idea and do whatever you want with it. I've done this with thinly sliced cabbage and a mix of smoked and regular paprika for a goulash, instead of the zucchini and the "Moroccan" spices.

I've also made it Indian style with green peas, curry powder and some dried coconut. You can also sub out the bulgur and use farro, wheat berries, kamut, pearl barley, lentils or any other legume or grain you'd like.

Aug 10, 2015
mwk in Home Cooking
1

Tell me about Haymarket please

This issue of the food at Haymarket being rotten is, for the most part, not true. On all of my recent forays into Haymarket, I've not dealt with any vendor who would not allow me to pick out my own produce. It is, in fact, very wise to do that, for the same reason that you'd do it at any market, so you get exactly what you want.

Certain pre-packaged food items, such as crates of strawberries, for example, may very well have ones at the bottom that are moldy. I've had that happen to me, bringing home a container from Stop and Shop as well.

Having said all that, people are correct in stating that the produce at Haymarket is on its last legs and won't sit in your refrigerator for very long. If you go and you want to buy food, only buy enough food that you can bring home and immediately cook for that day. When I go, I bring everything home and immediately go through it all, picking out the berries with some fuzz, and blanching the vegetables that I may want to then put in the freezer.

The prices at Haymarket can't be beat, and if you are careful and know what you are getting, you will find that you don't need to throw half of it away, as maybe people are indirectly suggesting.

Aug 10, 2015
mwk in Greater Boston Area

Boston Public Market is here

Since I'm the one that caused this "kerfuffle", let me clarify. I did conflate the terms. I think Perdue's fat-breasted chickens are as a result of traditional "breeding" techniques, rather than done in a lab. However, I will say that in the current fight regarding GMO labeling of food, the food industry is trying to remove the differentiation between those two terms, their point being that "Genetic Engineering" and "Selective Breeding" ARE in fact, the same and so GMO food is perfectly safe. I'm not going to get into THAT black hole here, though.

But, one important point left out from this discussion was that one "harmful effect" of eating Perdue chicken is that it doesn't taste like chicken. It's the meat equivalent of those squarish, rock-hard, ethylene-gassed pink tomatoes that have been "selectively bred" for their ability to ship easily, and in the process, all the taste has been bred out. Or, in another example, the Red Delicious apple which may be red, but is anything but "Delicious".

Aug 10, 2015
mwk in Greater Boston Area
1

Boston Public Market is here

I forgot one other point. Meat was traditionally an expensive treat for most people. In my Grandmother's day, they had meat on Friday nights with the Shabbat chicken and most of the rest of the week was beans, vegetables and bits of that chicken.

In most of those European countries that have those wonderful markets, the meat is a secondary element in most meals. Sure, it's crazy expensive to buy two, 16oz sirloin steaks at $17.00/lb for one dinner. I bought one 8 oz steak and split it for two people for one meal. Big slabs of meat at most meals is a relatively new development and also a side effect of the intense factory farming that is prevalent in the US.

Aug 04, 2015
mwk in Greater Boston Area

Very Large Pitted Olives

Any of the markets on Mt. Auburn St. in Watertown would probably have them. Sevan or Arax Market.

Aug 04, 2015
mwk in Greater Boston Area

Boston Public Market is here

I think the issue isn't the prices at this market. The problem is the fact that the Food Industry in this country has conditioned all of us to having cheap, factory-produced food. How much do you think Perdue would charge for chicken if they didn't have them penned up in cages so tightly that they can't move, genetically engineered to grow so tremendously fast that they can barely walk? That's where $.99/lb chicken comes from.

Perdue's subsidiary Harvestland, now has Organic chicken and they sell it at BJ's now. It's $4.75/pound, whereas their regular chicken is $1.25/pound. I'm sure that you can understand why a little family farm with 10 acres in Mendon can't offer the same prices?

As for the $17 pastrami sandwich that everyone is talking about, when was the last time you all went to Katz's in NYC?

Finally, the vegetables at the farm stands weren't really all that expensive at all, compared to the supermarket. Unless you were looking for special heirloom tomatoes or Lion's Head mushrooms.

What's for Dinner #378 - The Hot! Hot! Hot! Edition [through August 3, 2015]

They just opened a brand new Public Market here in Boston, with all vendors showcasing local food from Massachusetts and New England. I stopped by last night and bought a large heirloom Pineapple tomato (probably weighed 3 pounds), some lemon cucumbers, fresh onions, bi-color corn, and some freshly made ricotta Salata.

Dinner was a chopped tomato/cucumber/onion salad with fresh basil and Olive oil, topped with shavings of the ricotta, along with the grilled corn. This is probably all I'll be eating for dinner until Labor Day :)

Boston Public Market is here

Karl's Ring Bologna is the greatest thing evah :) I usually buy four or five and put them in the freezer. Frying some up with scrambled eggs on a Sunday morning is heaven on a plate.

Aug 03, 2015
mwk in Greater Boston Area

Orange Flower Water--looking for this too

I buy it at the local Star Market in Quincy, they have a large World Food section. I imagine other Star Markets would have it as well.

Jul 31, 2015
mwk in Greater Boston Area

Boston Public Market is here

So I stopped off last night on my way home from work. Boy, this place is going to be causing me no end of trouble :) It was wonderful. Such a great selection of vendors. The produce looked fantastic, just like you see on one of those Food Network travel shows. It was crowded of course, and at least half of the people seemed to be tourists, if the cameras and guidebooks were any indication. All the vendors were really friendly and seemed genuinely thrilled to be there. The customers were all smiles too. I especially loved the meat selection from the various farms. It all looked amazing.

I bought fresh "ancient grains" pasta, some wonderful tiger stripe heirloom tomatoes, some arugula, a chunk of fresh Ricotta Salata and a growler of Mayflower Summer Ale and boy did I eat well last night. I also bought some delicious smoked bluefish pate at the Boston Smoked Fish store, which I had on some toast for breakfast this morning. It was really tasty, just the right amount of smoke and not overly salty.

I needed to force myself to leave before I bought so much stuff that it would go to waste. I'll definitely be back on a regular basis.

My only quibble about it so far is that it's really a confusing layout. I came out of the Orange Line station and I had no idea how to get inside the market. I wandered around the building until I saw what looked like a door to get inside, but it was the entrance to the "kitchen" and it was locked. I finally found my way in. Once inside, it was also very confusing. It isn't really one large open room, it's a lot of little aisles and far corners and there's no signage at all to direct you, just the signs for the stalls themselves. I wanted to stop at the Daniele charcuterie stall, but I couldn't find it. I had to ask twice at the information booth to find the liquor store, it's sort of hidden away. I assume they will work out all those little details though.

Definitely worth a visit if you like good food.

Jul 31, 2015
mwk in Greater Boston Area

Where does Market Basket chicken come from?

Check out the new Boston Public Market, if you really are looking for locally grown, humanely raised, organically fed meat.

Jul 30, 2015
mwk in Greater Boston Area
1

Favorite dishes in which olive oil shines?

If it's really good, top notch olive oil, you don't want to cook it, that will ruin the flavor. To showcase it, use it as a condiment after cooking. Make a raw tomato pasta sauce and finish the dish with some of the oil just before serving. Caprese salad is a classic use for it. Make some polenta and just before serving, add a good helping of grated parmesan and the olive oil.

I also love to pour a bit of olive oil over hummus when I serve it. Make a little well in the top and fill it with some oil before serving.

Jul 28, 2015
mwk in Home Cooking

Chick Peas - "Snack"

The chickpeas themselves don't have a strong flavor. It's what you spice them with that makes the dish. The chick peas have almost as many calories and fat as regular tree nuts, so if you are looking at them as a calorie-saver, it's not really that worthwhile. Do it for the flavor and experiment with spicing them.

Jul 28, 2015
mwk in Home Cooking

September 2015 Openings and Closings

I saw that there is a Moldovan restaurant opening in Newton in August. My grandfather was from Moldova, and I've been to Moldovan restaurants in Brooklyn. The cuisine is very tasty, and I think it will be a nice addition to the area, since we don't have a wealth of Eastern European restaurants.

http://www.tastemoldova.com/

Jul 24, 2015
mwk in Greater Boston Area

Lunch in Braintree

The Tokyo Japanese restaurant at South Shore Plaza is pretty good, it would be a nice place for lunch.

http://www.tokyobraintree.com/

Jul 21, 2015
mwk in Greater Boston Area

Making bacon dishes a tad healthier?

You can use the same argument about any type of portion control. If you take 1 pound of bacon and eat it all at a sitting, or freeze it and use it to flavor your dinners over the course of a month, that makes a difference. Your body can only handle so much at one meal, is the issue.

Jul 20, 2015
mwk in Home Cooking

No knead bread

This is by far, my favorite "no knead" bread recipe. It's as simple as can be, and doesn't require any "special" pans, except for a loaf pan (which you alredy have). It's fantastic toasted with lots of butter, or some good jam spread on it.

http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe...

Jul 16, 2015
mwk in Home Cooking

Making bacon dishes a tad healthier?

If you are using it for flavor, then it's even more critical that you use the "good stuff" that actually HAS flavor. Most of these recipes don't call for all that much, so I think you are worried about it for nothing.

To be honest, if you really want to make the dishes healthier, use portion control and be careful how much of it you eat. Stretch it out and make it last a bit longer.

Jul 16, 2015
mwk in Home Cooking

Where to buy Japanese whiskey in Boston?

We just bought a bottle of the Nikka Coffee Whiskey at Bin Ends in Braintree. I imagine they'd have it in their Needham store too.

Jun 26, 2015
mwk in Greater Boston Area

What Unusual or Uncommon Vegetables Do You Eat - And how do you prepare them?

In the New England area, fiddlehead fern shoots are a big deal during the Spring. I don't know how common they are in other areas, though. They are delicious just sauteed in some garlic butter, simple preparation.

My CSA sometimes will give us stinging nettles as a vegetable in the Spring. It's not my favorite thing, but I'll eat them. The key is in the preparation. They need to be cooked without touching them first. They come in a plastic bag and you get some water boiling and dump them right from the bag, being careful not to touch them. Once they have boiled for a minute or so, they are safe.

I also like using the tops of things. Carrot tops are very good, made into a pesto. Radish tops are very spicy and are good sauteed and mixed in with other greens, like chard. You can also eat them raw in salads. And of course, beet greens are very nutritious and tasty sauteed in some olive oil and garlic.

Jun 25, 2015
mwk in Home Cooking
1

The Townshend, Quincy

I haven't had a chance to try it myself, but from what little I've been able to find online, it looks interesting. A good friend of mine works at the President's Place building, and has been there for lunch a few times so far. He's been raving about it, so I think it will be worth a try. The difficult thing is that the last two times I've been thinking of going to dinner in the Q, were Sunday nights, and they aren't open on Sunday (which I think is a bit unusual).

Speaking of something a "cut above", I do like Rozafa, the place that used to be the Alba Deli. They do a really nice breakfast, and I was there last weekend for dinner and sat on the patio outside. Food was quite tasty and service good too.

Jun 25, 2015
mwk in Greater Boston Area
1

Best price on wild salmon?

I just bought wild alaskan salmon, frozen and vacuum-packed, from the Star Market in Quincy. Normally $11.99/lb, it was on sale for $5.99, so I bought four. I poached one and had a piece of it cold for lunch today. It was very tasty.

Jun 22, 2015
mwk in Greater Boston Area

'Salad' / cheat comfort foods

I had mentioned this in another thread a while ago, but absolutely my favorite comfort salad is a macaroni salad I make from a recipe my mom used to make. You use whatever shape pasta you like and the dressing is mayo, good seasons Italian salad dressing packets, white vinegar. To give it color and crunch, I add a package of Mann's broccoli slaw.

Jun 08, 2015
mwk in Home Cooking
1