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New Bostonian's wish list

Cutty's in Brookline makes a great banh mi. Not perfectly authentic, perhaps, but delicious.

Apr 08, 2012
SSqwerty in Greater Boston Area

Food Culture in Boston (or lack thereof)

LOL fishmanator! I'm going to enjoy watching for your posts --if they even make it to this board. If you question the majority opinion here you can look forward to having your posts yanked. Period.

Take it from another newb in Boston: there is good food to be had here, but Boston cuisine is wildly inconsistent. Just realize that the dish and the restaurant you liked last week won't be very good next week though it might be excellent again the week after that. Keep experimenting. It's out there, but you'll have to find it for yourself.

Yes, you'll have to travel like a FedEx deliveryman from one borough/town to another to find individual places you like. And good luck navigating Boston's roads.

Best bets here? Bread. French bakeries abound and they're
all wonderful, with European-style loaves and pastries to choose from. Local ice cream is also expertly made. Wine shops stock really good stuff. The beer is fabulous. As noted above, the coffee is first class and they told you true about the pizza. I agree with you about the ethnic food, at least as much of it as I understand. Don't believe anybody here about the Chinese or Mexican. Beware reviews that address how MUCH food a restaurant offers; we both know that isn't the point. And the rapturous reviews of hot dog wagons gives you an idea of what passes for gourmet here. It's too bad, as you say, that a city this sophisticated in every other respect would settle for restaurants this indifferent, but it's possible that Boston's physical isolation from the rest of the U.S. accounts for it.

I'll be surprised if this post even makes it to this board. On the off-chance that it does, I wish you luck with your culinary travels an advise you to get over your shock and approach each meal with an open mind.

Jan 15, 2011
SSqwerty in Greater Boston Area

Let's go dippin' now, everybody's learnin' how: Favorite Dip Recipes

Hahahaha! I'm originally from Michigan, so I guess smoked fish is mother's milk to us --please excuse the hideous mixed metaphors. Will have to fire up the smoker soon myself. We spend summers in New York State now and smoked trout is easy to do and a wonderful summer app. We should have a "Thank you for smoking!" thread.

May 05, 2009
SSqwerty in Home Cooking

Let's go dippin' now, everybody's learnin' how: Favorite Dip Recipes

Thanks for the Greek layer dip! Will try this out sometime soon. Here's one that's always a hit. You can increase it to feed more; this makes one cup:

SMOKED TROUT DIP
Serve with melba toast or carrot and celery sticks. Also serve with Scandinavian martinis --vodka martinis with a dill head in each glass.

3/4 lb. smoked trout (Supermarkets carry this in the deli section. Actually, any smoked fish will do, even smoked salmon. Smoked cod is really good, too.)
1/2 pound (8 ounces) softened cream cheese
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh dill
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
grated rind of one half lemon
1 Tablespoon chopped parsley

If the trout is whole, remove the head and the bones. Be very careful that you get ALL the bones.
Combine all ingredients and mix until smooth. I use a fork for this.
Store in an airtight container overnight. The dip can be molded if you use regular cream cheese. If you use light cream cheese, it's very soft, so it's a dip.

Sometimes I find these bite-sized phyllo dough cups in the supermarket freezer case, and I bake them, then stuff them with this. Wonderful!

May 03, 2009
SSqwerty in Home Cooking

Easter Menus!

--Martha Stewarts Rack of Lamb for 2 (an herbier Lamb Persillade)
--This lovely Easter vegetable dish: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...
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--Roast potatoes or maybe some homemade rolls
--my husband is diabetic. Any suggestions for a delicious dessert?

Apr 05, 2009
SSqwerty in Home Cooking

Best Chinese food in Brookline?

Second Jo Jo TaiPei. If you don't want the standard fare they have Cantonese listed under "other." And it's really GOOD Cantonese!

Mar 18, 2009
SSqwerty in Greater Boston Area

Favorite Barefoot Contessa Recipes?

Ina REALLY knows how to make a drink. I spent all of last summer guzzling her Mai Tais and plan to do it again this summer!

Feb 16, 2009
SSqwerty in Home Cooking

Best Boston Hotel Bar Lounge

I've always liked the bar at Great Bay. Cocktails are mostly n the $9-13 range, nicely made and a decent size. Wine goes for $10-12 a glass unless you want champagne. And on certain late afternoons/early evenings they run a $1 hors d'oevres special --you'd have to call and inquire. They're really wonderful and more or less sushi based.

Jan 28, 2009
SSqwerty in Greater Boston Area

Got a good salad dressing recipe?

I got this from Tyler Florence and it's brilliant on any kind of green. Note: I cut his amount of sugar in half as I think he uses too much sugar in everything.

MAPLE-BALSAMIC DRESSING:
1 small shallot, finely diced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoons maple syrup (I used sugar free.)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

HERE'S WHAT HE SERVED IT ON:
1 head endive, separated leaves
2 hearts frisee, hand torn
red lettuce
1 red pear, sliced
1/4 cup shaved Parmesan
candied walnuts

There are no words to describe how heavenly this is when nestled next to a wonderful piece of roast pork in the autumn!

Jan 28, 2009
SSqwerty in Home Cooking

Favorite recipe from Jacques Pepin's More Fast food my way?

One last observation about anchovies: Look for Ortiz brand in a jar (which taste less strong to the ones in the can), then wash them under cold water and dry them before using. I was really surprised that Pepin doesn't do this since that downscale oil and strong fish flavor can sometimes ruin a dish.

Jan 28, 2009
SSqwerty in Home Cooking

Best-tasting inexpensive bleu blue bloo cheese varieties?

I always look for "Saga" cheese. It's mild, inexpensive and tastes like bleu cheese should.

Jan 28, 2009
SSqwerty in Home Cooking

How many tries are too many?

I've been to Via Matta four times over the last couple of years and two of those times I've had lousy meals. During a recent lunch I ordered gnocchi with brussels sprouts. The gnocchi were gummy & squishy and the brussels sprouts were overcooked.

I was hoping that this fourth time would be the charm, but now I think Chef Schlow should spend more time at the restaurant supervising his chefs.

Strike four, and for me, this restaurant is out.

Jan 28, 2009
SSqwerty in Greater Boston Area

Buffet Dinner Party Suggestions?

I'd just like to slip in a plug for Ina Garten's Beef Bourguinion as well. It's absolutely delicious and dead easy to do. It's here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in...

We served it to guests over Christmas and they loved it. Plus it tastes even better if you make it ahead.

Jan 24, 2009
SSqwerty in Home Cooking

What's good at Orinoco?

Second the dates. If you go to the Brookline location try the Cranberry mojito. I'm still trying to recreate that one at home!

Jan 12, 2009
SSqwerty in Greater Boston Area

Best Tasting Supermarket Ham For Baking

What exactly does the milk bath do for it?

Dec 27, 2008
SSqwerty in Greater Boston Area

Local Fresh Turkey

This year we got our fresh-killed turkey from Roche Bros. in Wellesley and it was the best tasting turkey I've ever had. Just DELICIOUS!

Dec 01, 2008
SSqwerty in Greater Boston Area

Indian Appetizers

Somebody on this board (and with apologies, I can't remember who) put this incredible appetizer on another thread. It sounds like exactly what you're looking for:

"My new favorite (and super-easy!) is roasted chickpeas –

toss some canned chickpeas into a bowl with whatever spices you want (i use cumin, curry powder, and powdered ginger), then roast them on a greased baking sheet for 45-50 minutes until theyre crunchy. Delicious!"

Nov 25, 2008
SSqwerty in Home Cooking

Thanksgiving pies - Brookline

I have a friend who has brought me Thanksgiving Pie in the Sky pies for years. The good ones were really good, the not-so-good ones were at least tolerable and the only really bad one was a pecan that liquified before we got to it! On balance, more good than bad, but be aware that the quality varies.

Nov 17, 2008
SSqwerty in Greater Boston Area

Thanksgiving Menu

If you're not crazy about cranberries, this would be a good relish for the turkey and it's easy, too:

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

Nov 15, 2008
SSqwerty in Home Cooking

"Cantonese" Chicken Chow Mein

Here is my husband's recipe. He was born in Brooklyn, though raised in Manhattan. I never know which has the dry, crispy noodles, which is what I've got here. He makes this for me when I nag him. It's fantastic!

CHICKEN CHOW MEIN for 2
This is from the chef of the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. You can also make it with porktenderloin. Pass the soy sauce when you serve! 1) In a bowl, marinate for 15 minutes:

1/2 lb chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
1 minced garlic clove
1/2 Tablesp oyster sauce
1 teasp soy sauce
1/2 teasp salt
1/4 teasp cornstarch

2) Keep these cut vegetables in separate bowls:
1 chopped celery rib, cut diagonally
3 oz snow peas, cut diagonally
1 baby bok choy, sliced (they're always at Star Market)
a handful of mushrooms, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced
1/2 green pepper, sliced

3) Rinse and drain:
a handful of beansprouts
1/2 of a 5-oz can sliced water chestnuts

4) To cook:
Drizzle 1 teasp oil around side of HOT wok. Stir-fry celery till crisp cooked (2 minutes?). Remove celery to a large bowl.

Do exactly the same with the remaining vegetables, adding 1 teasp oil each time. Don't overcook the bean sprouts. When you cook the bok choy, add a Tablesp of water so it softens.

5) In a measuring cup:
2 Tablesp chicken stock
1/2 teasp oyster sauce
1/2 teasp cornstarch

Reheat wok add in 1 teasp oil, cook chicken till done. Return all vegs to wok and toss. Make a well in center, then stir broth mixture and add to well. Bring sauce to a boil, UNDISTURBED, then stir to combine with chicken and vegs.
Serve topped with Chow Mein Crispy Noodles. Don't buy the Chun King ones (they suck). Ralph bought "Luv Yu" brand at Stop and Shop and they were fine. You can also buy fresh Chinese egg noodles, boil them and then fry them to top your dish with.

Nov 15, 2008
SSqwerty in Home Cooking

Thanksgiving leftovers? What's your fave?

I have a whole file of turkey and other recipes for using up the meal....sometimes I wait all year for these. They involve turkey chili, fancy turkey sandwiches, enchiladas and my own self-invented
version of the Hot Brown sandwich from Kentucky which is really good. (Apologies to everyone in Kentucky because this isn't authentic AT ALL.)

My favorite by far, and the one I wait for every year is:

TURKEY WALDORF SALAD
2/3 c. mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 c. diced cooked turkey or chicken
2 red apples, cored and diced
2/3 c. sliced celery
1/2 c. chopped walnuts (make sure they’re fresh)
pinch of cinnamon
small handful of dried cranberries (Craisins)

In large bowl combine mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add turkey, apples, cinnamon and craisins and celery. Toss to coat well. Cover and chill.

Serve on a beautiful lettuce leaf. Just before serving sprinkle with walnuts.

NOW THEN. WHAT'S YOURS?

Nov 12, 2008
SSqwerty in Home Cooking

Tuna Salad Sandwiches

This sounds fabulous. Will do after Thanksgiving when we're sick to death of turkey.

Nov 12, 2008
SSqwerty in Home Cooking

Store-brined turkeys

Today's NY Times discusses brined turkeys, says you can't make gravy out of them:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/12/din...

Nov 12, 2008
SSqwerty in Home Cooking

Thanksgiving...Want to bring Something to Future In-Laws but will be Traveling the Day Before

Peanut brittle, fudge and divinity, packed into wax paper-lined tins, can be made ahead and will keep for a while. Watch these come rolling out about 11 pm!

Nov 12, 2008
SSqwerty in Home Cooking

What's new in Thanksgiving?

I would also ask some of the "extendeds" bring some of the dishes i.e. the onions, the salad, the cranberries, etc. Then you can be excited by being surprised by what they brought. Cooking this much food by yourself is just wrong, and no one should expect it.

Nov 12, 2008
SSqwerty in Home Cooking

My very quick clam chowder

You know what's really good in NE style chowder? Dots of Tabasco green sauce on the furface of the soup. You won't believe how good it is till you taste it!

Nov 12, 2008
SSqwerty in Home Cooking

Thanksgiving dinner: what do you "cheat" on?

Truth to tell, amela, the freezing ahead seems to help the flavor by letting the dish "season" for a while. Your chutney sounds delicious! I'll bet it will freeze like a dream.

Here's the one I make and freeze. By the way, it's fabulous frozen and tastes like sherbet: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

Nov 11, 2008
SSqwerty in General Topics

Tuna Salad Sandwiches

Two that I like a lot:
1) albacore packed in spring water, drained and mashed into medium pieces. Hellmann's mayo, a little fresh dill, salt and pepper, red onion slivers, siced celery and a thin leaf of soft lettuce (Boston). Piled on UNtoasted and really fresh buttered rye with caraway seeds, the best "new" deli pickle I can find on the side. Ruffles potato chips.
2) More albacore in water, drained and mashed medium. More Hellmann's. diced scallion, including some green parts, diced cucumber or radish, salt and pepper and a good pinch of curry powder. Piled into whole wheat pita halves with frisee for its herbal bite. Served with several cornichons on the side. Ruffles, naturally.
I love the greygarious suggestion of Old Bay seasoning. Will try that next time on #1.
A Sam Adams is a great accompaniment to both of these sandwiches.

Nov 11, 2008
SSqwerty in Home Cooking

Share Your Favorite Brussels Sprouts Recipe

I love brussels sprouts and I'm dying to add this to my TGiving menu but I just don't have room for it on my menu:: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

Nov 02, 2008
SSqwerty in Home Cooking

Your best cranberry sauce recipe please

I've been making this one for years, though I cut the sugar back to one cup in total. I wouldn't dream of making anything else. And the bonus is that you can make it up to a month beforehand (along with your turkey stock) and freeze it:

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

Nov 02, 2008
SSqwerty in Home Cooking