jdubboston's Profile

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Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

I've had good luck subbing 100% whole wheat for the pizza dough from Fresh Loaf: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/recipes/pizza

I also do a 1/2 spelt 1/2 whole wheat crust based off this recipe: http://squtch.quiet-like-a-panther.or...

For both, I do long slow rises overnight in the frig...

Jan 21, 2013
jdubboston in Recipes

Mature 40 yr old Couple Looking to Drink!

Wish I'd seen these last two suggestions! Oh well - we had a great afternoon anyhow, with a little public transportation experience thrown in. :-)

To start things off, we decided to trek downtown and visit Ginger Man. We arrived about 4pm and settled at the bar. The bartenders were extremely helpful and generous with tastes as we figured out what we were in the mood for. The new beer from locals Franconia (a kolsch) is amazing, BTW! After a couple of beers, we wandered back out into the sun over to Colorado and caught the #3 bus. It was a perfect straight shot, only three stops, to Odd Duck. Perfect!

We managed to snag a table in the shade, opened our bottle of wine (which we'd kept cold with freezer packs in our bag) and ordered a few courses, one at a time. My husband had the pork sausage with the duck egg and announced it perfection. He also had the lamb shank over grits which was a bit too rich for him. I had the two vegetarian items on the menu. The salad was phenomenal. The veggies with rice was a tad boring, but had a pretty strong vinegar taste that was overwhelming everything. I finished off with a 2nd serving of the salad and was happy :-)

We then slowly rambled (stumbled?) home, with a quick stop at Bouldin Coffee for espressos. Once home, we broke into cherries we'd bought that day at Whole Foods. All in all, a great afternoon. A lovely celebration of our anniversary!

We've been in Austin for the week and are really enjoying it. Can't wait for the farmers market tomorrow morning -- I'm holding out for Bola's Pizza!!

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Odd Duck
1219 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704

May 27, 2011
jdubboston in Austin

Mature 40 yr old Couple Looking to Drink!

So after much back-n-forthing, we've figured out the later part of the evening: planning to settle in at the Odd Duck food truck on Lamar with a lovely bottle of bordeaux we purchased at the Wine Merchant. Now we just need someplace (relatively) nearby to start things off around 3 or 4pm. Anyplace with good draft brews around there?

Planning this all for tomorrow (Thurs the 26th), just FYI.

And thanks for all the suggestions so far - hubbie has focused in on the Odd Duck, but otherwise Haddingtons looked great. I wish the Crow Bar was closer!

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Odd Duck
1219 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704

May 25, 2011
jdubboston in Austin

Mature 40 yr old Couple Looking to Drink!

We'd considered Perla's but it seemed a little 'too-too' for what we're thinking. I like the idea of Haddington's -- the kind of laid back gastro-pub feel would be great.

Any opinions on The Good Knight or Backspace?

May 23, 2011
jdubboston in Austin

Mature 40 yr old Couple Looking to Drink!

My husband & I are in Austin for the week, halfway through a multi-month cross country drive. We've just decided that we are in need of one of those afternoons where you settle in somewhere for a few hours, drink some great draught beers and wine, nibble some yummy food and catch up on reading The New Yorker all while getting nicely tipsy. And do note, I say 'tipsy' not 'slobbery falling down drunk' :-)

Any suggestions?

Local beers definitely a plus - we're not snobs (PBR cans sometimes are found in our hands) but do like dark beers and complexity. Same goes for wine - reds, mostly, and interesting ones that aren't Cali fruit bombs. As for food, we have one omnivore and one vegetarian. Taking Asian and Mexican out of the mix (not so good w/ wine...) maybe Mediterranean Italian? Or good fresh & local & seasonal American cuisine?

Staying on South Congress near HomeSlice Pizza, and looking for walking distance - although we are NYers and so walking can mean upwards of a mile or two. Thinking that opens it up to Downtown and even the Eastside.

Thanks in advance for your help in our quest!!

May 22, 2011
jdubboston in Austin

Portland ME - CSF Delivery?

Thanks for the link. It only shows one that is in Portland, the Hanna Joe CSF. I'm really surprised that there's only the one that is available to Portland area residents...

Apr 15, 2011
jdubboston in Northern New England

Portland ME - CSF Delivery?

Sorry - it's a Community Supported Fishery, based on the Community Supported Agriculture model -- you pay in advance for a 'share' in a farm (or a fishery in this case) and then over the course of a season or period of time you get a weekly box of vegetable & fruit (or fish). Great way for the food producer to get an influx of cash ahead of time for operational needs.

There are a number of CSFs in Maine - actually I think the first ones in the country were started there....

Apr 13, 2011
jdubboston in Northern New England

Portland ME - CSF Delivery?

I would like to get a CSF subscription for my dad's birthday. Can anyone tell me which of the various Maine CSFs have drop off or delivery sites in Portland?

I've started to do some research, but couldn't tell from some of the websites. Figured CHers could probably tell me more quickly and specifically!

Thanks in advance for the help.

Apr 12, 2011
jdubboston in Northern New England

Cambodia & Laos Report

Just returned from 5 1/2 weeks traveling around Cambodia and Laos and figured I'd offer some thoughts and suggestions. All in all, we found most of the Cambodia food a little blah (you really had to go to town with the condiments on the table in order to create better depth of flavors) and generally loved Laotion cuisine.

CAMBODIA
Siem Reap:
LYLY -- on the main road leading from the tourist spots (Pub Street & The Alley) up to the airport road, right next to the mall with the grocery store on the first floor - Looks like your typical random meat spot, but there are a few surprises: yummy pressed tofu and the ability to add it to some stir-fried veggies for a good veg meal, an amazing noodle soup with beef bone, and if you're lucky, good old fashioned rice porridge with some great mix ins. Highly recommended - we went back for a 2nd time!

Kep:
Avoid KIMLY (near the crab market) at all costs. An inability to be friendly and at all flexible is the rule here. Also, my stir-fried veggies came swimming in oil. We're talking a POOL. Ugh.

Kampot:
CURRY HOUSE - An amazing tiny gem of a place, right on the street with most guesthouses (across from Blissful). A nicely thick and yummy lentil dal (made with green lentils), well cooked vegetables, nice chapatis and a really friendly and accomodating owner. A nice respite from stir-fries...

LAOS
Thalat:
SALAPA FISHERMAN'S HAVEN - a guesthouse one hour north of Vientiane on the lake formed by the Nam Ngum Dam. The owners are Laos, but the husband spent most of his life in France. His wife (& their staff) create miracles in the kitchen, seriously. We arrived and just told him that we loved Lao food, lots of spice and lots of variety and to just feed us their specialties. Over the course of three days, we had various grilled and steamed fish with veg accompaniments, multiple flavors of chili sauces, noodle soups, fish & coconut milk & ginger steamed in banana leaves, amazing, amazing local fruits and other things. Not cheap, but worth it from the perspective of really knowing what Lao food can be when a little love and care is put into it.

Vientiane:
KOREAN - There are two Korean places on Rue Hengboun, off Rue Chao Anou, beside the big grocery store/home store (I think it's called Ideal Home). The other further away from the grocery store is definitely worth a visit. It was filled with visiting Korean businessmen and the food was a step above your average Korean. The soybean paste soup was filled with tofu and very miso-ey and the normal accompaniments were a mixture of veg & non-veg, with some seriously stinky kimchi. Yum!

In general, that bit of Rue Hengboun between the grocery store heading out of the center toward Khun Bu Lom Road has a bunch of great food stalls and vendors: noodle soup, rice porridge, grilled meats, duck, and other various fun things. A few meals could easily be consumed here...

We also visited Ban Na Hin, Tha Kaek, Pakse, Bolaven Plateau and Champasak and had a few good and a few not-so-good meals. Nothing more really worth really mentioning.

My last recommendation is to get out of the cities and into the countryside, either by doing a kayaking or trekking tour, and stay in the villages. The food cooked at homes that we stayed in was universally good, and people were THRILLED that we were willing to taste different things and that we loved the spices, flavors and textures. Plus, eating with your hands using sticky rice is a blast!

Mar 11, 2011
jdubboston in China & Southeast Asia

Scottsdale - place to purchase buche de noel?

Does anyone have a recommendation for a bakery that might make this wonderful dessert for our Christmas dinner? In doing a little searching for 'french' bakeries, I've come across a few that look like that a) they may do it anyway or b) might be capable of creating it for me: Amy's, La Madeleine and Essence. Any thoughts on these three? Or alternative ideas?

Not sure of the exact address where we'll be staying (a family member), but we are willing to drive for it.

Thanks in advance!

Dec 14, 2009
jdubboston in Phoenix

Cooking tempeh

Tempeh can definitely be an acquired taste. I have been vegetarian a long time (& briefly vegan) and only just in the last year started working with tempeh & liking it. I prefer the ones made from soy, just because they provide better protein bang for the buck than the others, although I believe ones like the 3-Grain are less 'fermented' tasting.

A couple recipes that have worked for me & are kind of fun:
Cajun Tempeh 'Bacon' - if you do a google search you'll find many versions (one I use is from www.fatfreevegan.com, but I omit the liquid smoke & use smoked paprika and some chipotle to get the same 'smokiness'
)Maple Grilled Tempeh from 101cookbooks (http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/...) - amazing marinade, I've also just pan sauteed it or broiled it rather than grilling
Thai Curries - any recipe will work here, subbing the tempeh for the tofu, etc. Lots of veggies, some coconut milk and red curry paste plus some peanuts. Yum!

Hope this helps get you started...

Dec 12, 2009
jdubboston in Home Cooking

Good cider donuts close to Boston?

Oh boy - you must try the ones from Russell Orchards in Ipswich - they are amazing. Depending on where you are in Cambridge, I'm guessing it's probably about the same driving time as getting to Cider Hill.

Russell Orchard
143 Argilla Road
Ipswich, Ma
http://www.russellorchardsma.com/

Oct 19, 2009
jdubboston in Greater Boston Area

Oh glorious day! Oh wonderful year! Oh lucky me! I finally, finally, finally get to host Thanksgiving. I banish thee jarred gravy (tell me about your single favorite dish)

I love love LOVE cooking & hosting Thanksgiving dinner. Almost every year I take a bit of a different route, as my family is pretty open & receptive of new flavors & dishes (to a point, of course...)

First off, the bird. May I suggest something other than turkey? Partridge? Pheasant? Individual guinea hens? Very fun.
My other great success has been with different takes on a very old recipe from Cooking Light, of all places. Cider Scalloped Potatoes - I ignore their suggestions for low fat cheeses (please!!!), don't peel the potatoes (personally, I like the peels) and sometimes do a mix of sweet & regular potatoes.

As others have said, sometimes 'tradition' needs to trump all, but you certainly know your family better than we do, so take the room you DO have to play around and go for it!

Oct 03, 2009
jdubboston in Home Cooking

How to make fries in the oven?

I do 'oven fries' often with great success.... My recipe is essentially the same as Janet's, with a couple of adjustments:
I just cut them with a heavy, large chef knife. I have better luck with them more of rectangle (thin) than a perfect square
I use a plain baking sheet and the important thing is that I put it IN THE OVEN as it's preheating - that way, when you spread your potatoes on the sheet, they almost immediately develop a crisp on that side.
Bake for about 10 minutes and FLIP the pieces over, so that the other side also develops some crisp. Continue for another 10 minutes or so, and voila!

I do sweet potatoes or jicama with chili powder, red potatoes with rosemary & salt, carrots or parsnips... Any root type vegetable works.

Sep 06, 2009
jdubboston in Home Cooking

No knead bread? What's the point?

Any chance that you might share your beet/carrot/ginger and zucchini/tahini bread recipes?
I have a tough time digesting wheat & yeast, but am not entirely GF - I tend to use spelt or other alternative grains/flours in my breads. Your descriptions sound enticing... I'd love to try them out!
Thanks!

Sep 06, 2009
jdubboston in Home Cooking

one Place Beyond Istanbul?

Many thanks on the suggestions - I am going to look into Ayvalik, Adatepe and Bektas. The thought of being on the coast and the amazing seafood & veg mezes. Yum.

Two questions:
First, if I allow for three days/two nights in one of these places, is that OK?
Second, what are my travel options - can it be done via boat/ferry, or am I better off looking into flights?

Jun 10, 2009
jdubboston in Europe

Week of 6/1: Farmers' Markets reports

According to the Fed of Mass Farmers Mkt website, South Station will have: Silverbrook Farm, Gilson Herbs, Springbrook Farm, The Dahlia Farm, Silvermine Farm Fiore Di Nonno, Clear Flour and the Danish Pastry House. There might be more - I do know that Canto 6 Bakery from JP will have a stand there. I live nearby and REALLY hope that someone might also join in that will have meat. Silvermine does have poultry & eggs on their website, I hope they bring some along to the market!

To answer the original question, I did go by the market and picked up some wonderful red radishes & fresh eggs... There were lots of plants & herb seedlings, some greens, radishes, and one stand had fresh strawberries, too. Not much yet beyond that.

Jun 02, 2009
jdubboston in Greater Boston Area

one Place Beyond Istanbul?

We thought about Capadoccia, but were concerned that it might be pretty touristy and so a) was a place that one spends a lot of time looking, but not much time 'experiencing,' if that makes sense and b) wouldn't have a great food culture.

Any thoughts on Princes Islands? For a day trip or an overnight? What about Bursa?

Jun 01, 2009
jdubboston in Europe

one Place Beyond Istanbul?

My husband & I are traveling to Turkey in August and looking for some advice. We have just over a week, but would like to spend the majority of the time in Istanbul exploring the city, enjoying the culture and the food and generally relaxing. The question is, if we want to visit ONE other location for approximately three days, where should it be?

We are looking for a place with strong cultural and food traditions, if possible - we love to learn about different ethnic cuisines, explore markets & farms and learn about the home cooking in countries. We are both adventurous eaters, especially my husband. I do not eat red meat or poultry and cannot handle too much dairy, but have no qualms about being around meat.

We have traveled alot - Thailand, South Africa, Argentina (twice!), Portugal, as well as a fair amount of time around Europe.

Any thoughts? We are open to anything.... Thanks in advance for the help!

May 30, 2009
jdubboston in Europe

Four quick avocado recipes

Wow - have to agree with you on this one. Total overkill adding more oil. Kinda like the people who bury their roasted/baked sweet potatoes in brown sugar...

May 14, 2009
jdubboston in Home Cooking

Gran Gusto - underwhelmed & sad

Gotcha - and definitely understand that when I have a *preference* I need to ask for it (like 'dressing on the side' as one obvious example). I have no problem with it, and understand that as someone who understands food, cooks a lot and is particular as a general rule, I do have different tastes than the 'majority of people.'

My issue is more that if a place is KNOWN for an item or a cooking style in particular, it shouldn't matter what different toppings or fillings I order. If it's on the menu, it should be consistent. Say, a chocolate croissant and a ham & cheese cheese croissant should both have the same crumb, right?

Just to keep this on-topic and Boston-based, rest assured I will return to Gran Gusto and I will order a simpler pie and I will ask for it 'well-done'!

May 08, 2009
jdubboston in Greater Boston Area

Gran Gusto - underwhelmed & sad

Thanks all, for the comments & suggestions. I will most certainly give them another try and be sure to ask for the 'za well-done...

A bit of a rant: will have to say I find it a little frustrating to go a restaurant known for their 'wonderful' pizzas & wood-fired oven and STILL have to temper what I order and additionally have to make a special request for the cooking style. Shouldn't they want to turn out the same kind of crust - particularly the char & the nice 'taste of wood fire' - with EVERY item, regardless of topping? Why not adjust cooking times accordingly?

May 03, 2009
jdubboston in Greater Boston Area

Interesting pizza combos?

I like to make purees to form the bottom layer on my pizzas - last week I made a ramp pesto of sorts with roasted garlic, ramps, walnuts & spinach blended into a paste. Spread that on the bottom, added some drained stewed tomatoes, white beans & gouda. Yum!

Have also used bean purees, caponata, olive tapenade, etc. They all provide a nice deep layer of flavor.

May 02, 2009
jdubboston in Home Cooking

Gran Gusto - underwhelmed & sad

OK, hoping that it was an off day or I did something wrong, because I have been SO excited to try GG's pizza after all the raves here and elsewhere. Maybe I'd built it up too much, but it definitely disappointed. First off, I am a pizza-lover, make it often at home & search out places with good *hot* coal or wood fired ovens. It has to have that slightly charred, thin crust. Not a fan of bready at all.

Anyway, finally got myself into Cambridge yesterday with a friend for lunch and ordered the Ortolana - and this is probably where we went wrong, as it has multiple vegetables on it... Maybe too many toppings for the oven? Anyway, it came out looking wonderful, but pulling out slices, the pizza didn't seem done - it was pretty oily, quite wet and floppy. Biting into it, the centers were still kind of doughy and there wasn't that nice charred flavor that deepens the crust taste for me.

Had I been alone, I would have sent it back & asked for it to be re-fired, but my DC isn't a fan of making a fuss, so I didn't.

Thoughts from you all? Is this a place, like Santarpios or others where I need to ask for it to be 'well-done'?

May 02, 2009
jdubboston in Greater Boston Area

ISO Local farm raised meat

Agree with everyone's suggestions - one good source for all is the website www.localharvest.org. You can search by zip code and type of item you're looking for. There are many small farms that sell only from their own farmstands and you'll find most of them on the site.

May 02, 2009
jdubboston in Greater Boston Area

Thoughts on Bina Osteria?

Agree with Slim's comments in the other posting - room can feel cold and is VERY loud when things get swinging. With four of you (assuming you want to be able to converse with the other 3) I would ask for a window or a corner if you can get it.
As for the food, I would say don't miss the cured meats, which the chef does in-house, the "spaghetti alla carbonara" is pretty amazing, and I also had a pasta dish about a month ago with three different color baby beets as the sauce - must have been a special, as it's not on their menu now... Personally, the desserts didn't do much for me; too foamy, too 'interesting'. Stick with the cheese to finish, as they do a good job with the plating & accompaniments.

May 02, 2009
jdubboston in Greater Boston Area

Stillman's Farm CSA - any good?

I have done the Stillman's CSA for multiple years and really have enjoyed it - great quality, good amount for the $$, plus Glenn & the others are a joy to see each week.

I pick up in JP on Tuesday afternoons - not sure how late they are or if your work schedule is flexible & you can do a mid-week p/u, but it's always easy then.

Highly recommend it!

Apr 02, 2009
jdubboston in Greater Boston Area

New South Street Restaurant??

Bumping this topic up, because it looks like Boston Deli Delux, which has been trying for a while now to get the OK from the neighborhood to open at night A) has actually been open in the evenings and B) not seems to have changed their name? Italian, I think?

Anyone know anything about it?

Mar 16, 2009
jdubboston in Greater Boston Area

Gluten-Free Cheesecake Crust?

There are many options for crusts, depending on availability in your area of so-called 'alternative grains' and how little or much you want the taste of the crust to matter to the cheesecake filling. A partial list of flours includes almond, quinoa, amaranth, rice, and many brands (Arrowhead, Bob's Red Mill) also make premixed gluten free flours. Be a little careful with oats; depending on the source, some are guaranteed gluten free & some are not.
As another poster suggested, you can also just look for gluten free cookies (ginger snaps, graham crackers, even shortbread!) & crumble them up. (Basic recipe: 1 1/2c cookie crumbs, melted butter to get it sticky, whatever extra spices or ground nuts you'd like to add for flavor, extra sugar if you want it truly dessert-y, press into pie pan, bake @ 350 for about 5+min before adding filling)
Enjoy the baby shower!

Mar 08, 2009
jdubboston in Home Cooking

HELP Squash Soup disaster

Might have saved it - we shall see tomorrow eve. Added some roasted, pureed carrots and a 1/2 cup of soymilk. Both seemed to have increased the complexity, plus upped the sweetness to balance the hot pepper.
Planning to have with a avocado 'creme' and some poached leftover lobster. Will report back!
Thx for the suggestions

Sep 11, 2008
jdubboston in Home Cooking