Photo credit nullalux
We’re celebrating! One year ago FOODalogue went live and in the vernacular of the over-used and the cliché…it’s been quite a ride!
What to do with small amounts of 4 different exotic dried mushrooms? I thought about a mixed saute that could be put in some puff pastry, but that seemed like a cop-out. I thought about a cream soup but I really didn’t feel like making soup. Besides, since I wanted to taste the flavor of each variety, I decided to rehydrate them and give them a quick saute separately…a little olive oil and a garlic clove in each pan. Continue Reading
On the way to the airport for our trip home, my son had the taxi stop while he picked up two live 2-lb. lobsters to bring home as a souvenir/surprise for his girlfriend, Julie.
I asked Jim to save the carcasses for me thinking I would make a stock, but was I ever delighted when I got the goodie bag. They don’t eat lobsters like I do. I utilize the Hoover Vacuum approach. Nothing is left but the shells…and I’ve been known to chew on them too.
Their shells still had a little residue meat here and there…and all of the red roe from 2 female lobsters! OMG, score! I decided to make Fettucine with a Lobster Roe Pasta Sauce and Roe-Stuffed Scallops.
The Sauce. I scraped every morsel I could find out of the shells and reserved them to the side. In a pan, I sauteed garlic in a little olive oil, then added the scrapings and all the roe (except about 1/2T) and a 1/2 cup of white wine which I let cook down a bit. I then added about 1-1/2 cups of pasta sauce and fresh basil.
The Pasta. When the water came to a boil, I dunked the lobster shells in it for a moment to capture any residual flavor before dropping in the pasta.
The Scallops. I just seasoned them, coated them with a little olive oil and made a little slit in the top and inserted the remaining roe. I pan-sauteed them and then finished them under the broiler for a minute since I didn’t want to flip them in the pan and risk losing the roe.
To Finish. I added a little cream to the pasta sauce making it a rosé.
Served: 2 very happy people.
And thus ends the travelogue about celebrating July 4th in Boston. Hope you enjoyed it.
Shrimp & Pork Dumplings at Gourmet Dumpling House, Chinatown
According to photos on the wall, Michael Douglas ate there…twice!
Chacarero, traditional Chilean sandwich with beef, cheese, tomatoes, avocado spread, secret hot sauce…and stringbeans!
The North End (Little Italy)
We unanimously agreed that our dinner at Trattoria Il Panino was our best meal in Boston. Nice atmosphere, good service, great Sicilian wine and delicious food.
Ricotta-stuffed zucchini flowers
Mama’s Quattro Carne Ragu
Penne with fresh tomato sauce
The Cannoli Taste Test
One from Mike’s Pastry and the other from Modern Pastry, two famous North End bakeries. Split decision but my vote was cast for Modern’s (the one with the chips).
Last Night, Barking Crab
4 lbs. of mixed crabs
Coming Next: Lobsters, Redux
Freedom of Speech: the right to speak freely without censorship or limitation; the ability to express opinions without hindrance and especially without fear of punishment.
On July 4th, while a crowd of almost 500,000 people gathered through the day at the harborfront esplanade to await the Boston Pops concert and fireworks display, a much smaller cadre of citizens spent the afternoon at Boston Commons Park* for what they billed “Revolution Reborn, Boston Tea Party 2009′. Amid speeches, sign-waving, animated conversations, and I must add a little craziness, the freedom of speech we all cherish was embraced.
*Boston Commons is the oldest park in the country and the starting point of the famed Freedom Trail, a 2.5 mile red-brick walking trail that leads to 16 nationally-significant historic sites.
Like any good foodie, I researched where to eat while we were in Boston. Not that we followed my itinerary; in fact, we only ate in 2 of the places on the list and the rest were stumbled-upon-good fortune. Except the first night.
Arriving late at the hotel, we asked for a nearby recommendation and were given two: “Legal Test Kitchen” (which we assumed, mistakenly, was just another branch of Legal Seafood – our mall has one and it was, therefore, unappealing). The other was “No Name” on the pier which was billed as a popular place in a rustic setting where “all the fisherman ate”. The promise of an immediate immersion into the food and culture of Boston was enticing, so off we went.
It was was rustic and it was popular (crowded). But, as my son quipped, instead of “No Name”, it should be called “No Good“. Anyway, it was not to our tastes. The fish chowder was greasy and bland. And we weren’t that happy with the fish fry either. [We later heard that Legal Test Kitchen is very good. Oh, well, no crying over spilled chow-dah.]
The best celebration ev-ah (I imagine that’s how the Bostonians would pronounce it since lobster is lob-stah and chowder is chow-dah.)
You might notice I’m wearing a pedometer. In 4 days we walked 35.7 miles!
Bostonians take their history and this holiday seriously — and we jumped right in! Early in the day we went to the Harborfront Esplanade on the banks of the Charles River to get wristbands for the Boston Pops and Fireworks show. Once we had secured admission for the evening’s festivities, we took off on foot and visited most of downtown Boston — the Public Gardens, the Boston Commons, Fanneuil Hall, Quincy Market, and Cheers (where, unsurprisingly no one knew my name). I’ll post the highlights of these activities another day but, for now, I’d like to share our July 4th experience.
Activities were scheduled to begin at 8:30PM but when we arrived for our wristbands about 11AM, many thousands of people had already staked out their patch of green on the lawn in front of the bandshell, called “The Hatch”. Blankets were laid out, tents and umbrellas erected, people were playing games and tossing balls, and picnic baskets and coolers were at the ready for later on.
By the time, we got back (around 6PM), it looked something like this. I heard we were part of the 10,000 people allowed into the restricted Hatch Shell. Overall, a reported 500,000 people were on the grounds.
While only the 10-11PM segment of the show was televised nationally, we were entertained from about 8:30. It began with a flyover from the 104th Fighter Wing followed by cannons blasting and church bells ringing while the Boston Pops plays Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. During the evening, we were also entertained by a vocal jazz quartet and a fifth grader, a member of the Boston’s Children’s Choir, who has been performing since she was 5 years old as well as the U.S. Army Herald Trumpets. The headliner was Neil Diamond and the host was Craig Ferguson, a Scot who recently became a U.S. citizen, and is the comedic host of “The Late Late Show”. The evening is capped with a spectacular fireworks display.
Neil Diamond wowing the crowd, especially with “Sweet Caroline” which he sang twice. Bostonians love this song! In fact, they play it in the 8th inning of every Red Sox game. I don’t get it.
The confetti end to the concert and the beginning of the fireworks.
Can you spot me and Cassie in this long shot Jim took with his monster camera?Since we were visitors, we didn’t have all the comfy things others had to sit in the park for so many hours, but we made do. We spread our 8×10 programs on the grass, plopped down and enjoyed a very patriotic and entertaining July 4th celebration.
We also didn’t have our own picnic basket, so from the onsite vendors, I Ate the biggest sausage sandwich…ev ah!
I don’t know what I like better…an ethnic market with all kinds of products I’ve never seen, like the Russian one I visited in Brighton Beach, or the big city upscale markets with beautifully displayed products at sky-high prices. I visited a few of those in the West Village/Soho area while we were shopping for the party at Morton Williams, Dean & De Luca, Gourmet Garage and D’España.
One of several bakery counters at the International Market in Brighton Beach
No clue. (International Market, Brighton Beach)
Gourmet Garage in Soho
(Soho is a popular downtown neighborhood named for its geographic area South of Houston Street)
One of Gourmet Garage’s own coffee blends. Note the store’s tagline “shop like a chef“.
Jamon Serrano from D’España, $25 per lb.!
Morel mushrooms at $70/lb., Dean & De Luca
Purple & full-stemmed Artichokes, Dean & De Luca
Loved the decor at Morton Williams. Traffic lights indicate which lines are open and each aisle is named for a street in the neighborhood. So NY!
I’m going to skip with post with the scenic photos from my 5-day trip to NY (but they are available on Flickr.) I want to move on to Boston which I traveled to 2 days after I returned to FL. Just enough time to empty the suitcase, repack it and head north again! This was our annual ‘family vacation’ and we decided Boston would be a great place for an elongated July 4th celebration. And it was!
But, first, as we leave NY, here is a character who started celebrating the 4th early.
See you in “Beantown”.
One of the reasons I went to NY was to help cater a party for a friend’s birthday. The hosts were my friends, Norma & Phil, and the birthday boy, Carlos. I’ve mentioned Norma here before and said that she and I do a lot of food-speak to each other. She is very talented in the kitchen and while she insisted on giving me partial credit for the fabulous dinner, the truth is that by the time I got there she just about had everything prepped. (Now that’s a friend!)
Prosecco Sangria for guests upon arrival.
The menu began with an array of appetizers and things to pick on (a meal in itself). Not shown are boquerones (fresh anchovies in olive oil and vinegar), artisan breads, and I can’t remember what else.
A variety of imported Spanish cheeses, membrillo, and fruits.
2 lbs. (at $25 per lb!) of Jamon Serrano from D’España in Soho.
Empanada Gallega (a pie made with shredded chicken, peppers, onions and the flavors of Spain)
Assorted crudites and dips.
One of 2 Spanish tortillas (potato & egg omelet tapas)
And this heavenly salmon-wrapped mousse with caviar which everyone loved!
We called the entrée “Mar-i-zuela” because it was a combination of Mariscada and Zarzuela (2 fish stew techniques) along with chicken and chorizo. The pot was so big that Norma had to use 2 burners and cook the rice separately.
Lobster tails, scallops, clams, mussels, shrimps going into the pot. Somewhere on the bottom were the chorizo and chicken.
Ready to be served with saffron rice.
and to finish it off, a heart-shaped humongous flan served with an assortment of berries.
Oh…and did I mention the view?
Coming Next in I Ate • New York: The markets
The residents of downtown Manhattan have a daily reminder of the horror of 9/11. Scaffolding and fencing still surround the area where the World Trade Center once stood. There is signage promoting a beautiful design with architecturally-splendid buildings, pedestrian walkways and shopping. But, almost 8 years later, it sadly remains an unfinished project.
The “alert” remains high. On a prior trip, I was walking on the Manhattan side under the Brooklyn Bridge and stopped to take a photo when I was approached by a policeman who asked me not to take photos of the structures. I probably could have had my camera confiscated or been hauled off to jail for these shots of the entrance to my friend’s building. One side of the building has a view of both the Brooklyn and the Manhattan Bridges. The other side, which fronts Police Plaza, has been manned 24-7 by U.S. Marshals since 9/11 and is closed off on both sides to vehicular travel. As you can see, one cannot drive through without an o.k. from the marshal-on-duty who then releases the upright plate making passage possible. I asked one of the marshals if there were any plans to re-open the street and he responded “not likely”.
But, like typical New Yorkers, my friend and others in the neighborhood ‘deal with it’ and life goes on!
Not to leave you on a ‘downer‘ and since this is I Ate • NY, one of the fun things of this neighborhood is that it sits at the mouth of Chinatown (and is a stone’s throw to Little Italy.)
Dim Sum Go-Go, 5 East Broadway
Turnip Cake, Pumpkin Cake & Roast Pork Bun
Coming Next: A private party, the markets, walking across the Brooklyn Bridge and scenic shots.