It's that time of year to host gatherings, brunch parties, and brainstorm for Mother's Day. A smattering of bright, seasonal vegetables with a vibrant spring-inspired dip is the perfect balance for appetizers or casual bites that won't fill guests up too much before the main event.
Among the signs that spring has sprung in New England, fresh asparagus ranks right up there with opening day at Fenway Park. And I'll admit it — I'm a diehard fan!
April in Boston means opening day, and once baseball season starts, so do the hot dog cravings. I have always been a big Red Sox fan, but living on Queensberry street during the 2013 championship season brought my fan level to new heights and also brought my hot dog obsession to the next level. During home games, it was easy for me to walk out my door, wander over to Lansdowne, and grab a dog from the nearest street vendor. It was always such a rush to hear the crowd and see all the excited people so close to where I lived!
Pull your sleeves up and get out your tasting journals. We're digging in to some pretty unconventional, budget-friendly, and absolutely perfect food and drink combos here.
Sometimes you need a snack. And we're not talking about the kind you find in an organic bulk-foods bin, or the crisper drawer. There are events — whether they be a late night study session or an afternoon game — that call for something that smacks of sweet childhood nostalgia, or turns the tips of your fingers orange.
We know these nibbles make you thirsty, but put down the Big Gulp for a minute and come in close, we have to share a little secret — even your low-brow noshing deserves something better.
We found some superb regional Chinese spots all around Boston. And guess what? None of them are located in the parking purgatory known as Chinatown.
Let’s start by distinguishing between American-Chinese cuisine and regional Chinese cuisine. At Chinese restaurants that don’t break the bank, the former is largely hit or miss, while the latter can knock your socks off if you know what to order.
As food writers go, I wouldn't hold myself out as a Chinese food expert, so I do my research on best dishes beforehand when possible, pay attention to the food at other tables and always ask waitstaff for help on what to order. It's the only way to learn.
Miso, in its sushi-restaurant basic form, consists of four ingredients: dashi (a fish stock made with bonito flake), miso paste, tofu and wakame (seaweed). It’s rich with umami, which is good news for those greens: They can easily hide with the seaweed, and surprisingly enough, greens like arugula play off the nuttiness of the fermented soy. To add a little spice to the mix, I rehydrated my seaweed with rice vinegar and gochujang, a korean chili paste you’ve probably spotted in your bibimbap.
I am staring down a bag of arugula, and I know it’s seen better days: The leaves feel velvety and soft, patches of brown peek from behind wrinkled leaves, and little spots of slime make me cringe. I know this is my doing, that if I just avoided the tempting simplicity of takeout, I would be eating fresh, leafy greens with a splash of balsamic and cracked pepper. And still, I ask the question every poor college student asks at one point in her life:
Can I eat this?
Two Massachusetts food pros — a cheesemaker and a chef — share their cheeses of choice for fickle March weather.
A recent spate of warm weather had me all sorts of fired up for spring and summer foods. I was even sufficiently motivated to whip up a batch of my mango salsa to top off some grilled tilapia and cilantro-lime rice. Who knew we were about to get walloped with a winter storm?
The month of March brings an agricultural awakening in New England with the start of sugaring season. For the last few weeks, farmers throughout the Northeast have been busy tapping their sugar maples for gallons of sweet sap to boil down into thick, amber syrup. It's currently Maple Month in New Hampshire, where sugar houses open their doors to neighbors and tourists alike, offering jugs of freshly made maple syrup, tours, and even special events like pancake breakfasts.
The earliest examples of filling pasta go all the way back to around 300 BC in China. It's said that Marco Polo brought the first noodles from Asia to Italy in 1291, but in reality, Italians were making pastas on their own well before that time. The history of pasta and its various fillings is a global story that fuses many different flavors and cultures.
Growing up in the South, glazed ham is not only a must for special occasions, the act of glazing the ham is a rite of passage. Traditionally, my maw maw (translation: grandmother) would glaze her ham with brown sugar and coca-cola. Yes, you read that correctly; good ole' soda was her best-kept secret ingredient, and it was delicious. It's true what they say about southerners — we have a taste for sweet food, and we love pork. Staying true to my roots, I've adapted the ham I grew up eating to showcase the flavors of New England.
Although I wasn’t born in New England, I’ve lived here long enough to consider myself a full-fledged New Englander, and along with that comes a true affinity for popovers. The tall, top-heavy, and irregularly shaped orbs are somewhat of a cross between bread and pasty. Their odd appearance, however, belies their addicting qualities — the crisp, golden-brown exterior that yields to amazingly moist ribbons of custardy interior with a buttery, slightly eggy flavor.