Monthly Archives: June 2011

Thursday Tidbits: Food Fight

Photo: Richard Wolak Photos/Flickr

LOCAL BITES

Competition Never Tasted So Good…
TONIGHT at 6:30pm, Gordon’s Fine Wine and Culinary Center in Waltham hosts a Chef Cook-Off between Tryst’s Paul Turano and Andy Husbands of Tremont 647. Guests choose the winner in this Iron-chef taste off as Turano and Husbands race to prepare three courses featuring a secret ingredient. Click here for more information.

Chef to the Rescue!
Steve Johnson, head chef and owner of Rendezvous Restaurant in Central Square, Cambridge, will participate in the Buzzards Bay Swim on July 2nd, an annual fundraiser organized by the Coalition for Buzzards Bay. All proceeds from the Buzzards Bay Swim will go toward the preservation of this coastal environment, including the resurgence of its native shell fishery. If you would like to sponsor Steve Johnson, click here.

A Food Tour of Roslindale
Lester Esser, a personal chef based in Roslindale, is offering ethnic and artisan food tours of the area on Saturdays in July and August. These guided tours last three hours (10am-1pm) and include stops at the Roslindale Farmers Market, as well as at European-style bakeries, Greek, Mexican and Lebanese markets, an Italian butcher shop, a gourmet cheese shop, a Halal butcher, and a boutique wine store. Phew! The next tour is July 9th. For more information, visit Lester’s website.

A Backyard Ocean
How about a farmers market of the freshest seafood summer in New England can offer? Starting at 5:30pm on July 9th, guests can shop for local fish, oysters and lobsters at the garden outside the Chillingsworth Restaurant in Brewster, MA. Afterwards, stay for a multi-course dinner prepared by chef Nitizi Rabin featuring the market’s seafood and other local summer produce. Call 508.896.3640 to reserve a spot at dinner. For more information click here.

Young Gourmands In the Making
A new “foodie club” has exploded at the Amesbury Public Library. Guests prepare sushi and gluten-free treats, and taste high-end chocolates and cheeses. But the members are a lot younger than you’d think! The club, for students 12 and under, develops the palate and stimulates culinary conversation. Learn more about participating here. Continue reading

Food Therapy from Cooking Whims

Photo: Courtesy of Cooking Whims

Cooking Whims clearly sets her parameters.

She’s got a short list of three criteria that must be met in order for her to commit to making a burger: a) it’s gotta be healthy; b) a unique ingredient is mandatory; and c) get your hands dirty.

The result is a “Lemon Chicken Pita Burger” that looks and sounds delicious. And easy. Cooking Whims is right. “Tis the season to eat burgers…”

What Boston Eats: Sandwiches in Brookline Village

Without giving away the ending, here’s a teaser for what you can look forward to in this newest Boston Eats review of Cutty’s in Brookline Village: a “rock solid sandwich,” plus Sarah Kleinman and her mom taking on the ‘why-share-it-all-on-Youtube?’ conundrum. It’s truth v. vanity, with some outstanding broccoli rabe thrown in. You’ll wind up hungry, and laugh. As always!

Boston Eats reviews Cutty’s.

Food Therapy from La Tartine Gourmand

Radishes

Photo: nola.agent/Flickr

As you may have figured out by now, every day in these Food Therapy posts we like to feature yummy creations by a local blogger. We make an effort not to repeat ourselves in selecting blogs to highlight – but, I’ll admit, it’s difficult.

The northeast, after all, is home to some of the biggest names in the insular world of food blogging – for example, Smitten Kitchen, Art & Lemons, and today’s featured blog, La Tartine Gourmand. So the temptation is always there to highlight these blogs, filled, as they are, with familiar excellence, fantastic photos and frequent updates. These are people who may blog professionally – something out of reach for most local foodies.

I offer this explanation as sort of an apology for featuring La Tartine Gourmand once again – however, after trying one of her recipes for a seasonal, texturally inspired salad, I couldn’t resist. Imagine: the cream of avocado playing off the peppery crunch of radishes. The crisp greens of spring in a mustardy vinaigrette. An apple to sweeten and an egg to make it a meal. The salad was filling enough for a light dinner, but light enough for the heat – I could probably eat it every single day this summer.

Still – if you’re a food blogger who wants to be featured here – I’m sure that even the inclusion of this lovely dish may seem like a slight, or a missed opportunity. So leave us a comment, or tweet our way on Twitter – what blogs do you want to see featured here?

Food Therapy from Cheap Beets

Photo: Courtesy of Molly Parr

Are you flummoxed by strange, green and squiggly veggies in your CSA box?

Well, Molly of Cheap Beets, who is partway through a degree in Gastronomy and Food Studies at BU, turned out to be. The culprit was garlic scapes.

After much head-scratching, she came up with a “painfully obvious” (yet also inventive) solution: Garlic Scape Bread.

Move over, generic foil-wrapped garlic bread! Cheap Beets has churned up her doubts about this farm fare in a food processor, along with a generous portion of butter and a pinch of salt, arriving at a naturally savory snack: Cheap Beets’s Garlic Scape Bread recipe.

PRK On The Air: The Colorful History Of Milk

Photo: Flickr/State Library of Australia

For most of us, it’s our first food.

In Massachusetts, milk has been the stuff of debate for quite some time: whether it’s keeping local dairy farms alive or tackling the issue of raw milk.  The Massachusetts Raw Milk Network has been advocating for the right to deliver raw (unpasteurized) milk straight to consumers.  A hearing on the matter was held in early June.

Why stop there? The endless questions surrounding the broader history of milk is the subject of On Point’s second hour.

Tom Gjelten (in for Tom Ashbrook this week at On Point) welcomes Barnard College professor of history Deborah Valenze who recently penned “Milk: A Local and Global History.”  (Find an excerpt of the book HERE). Also on tap is Heather Paxson, a professor of anthropology at MIT and Karl Klessig, the owner and farmer of Saxon Homestead Farm and Creamery in Wisconsin.

Food Therapy: Summer Soup City

Photo: Flickr/Chalky Lives

There’s nothing like an awesome summer soup.

I’ve been trying my hand at many, including various versions of gazpacho, cucumber, potato leek, even sour cherry.  But this one from Soup Chick has me especially excited: Canteloupe and Yogurt Soup with Ginger, Lime, and Mint.

I mean, WOW.

Do you have any favorites you can share?  My aim is to make one per week and just dole a little out each day.  Share the love (and the wisdom), folks.

PRK on the Air: Louisa Kasdon Talks About Food

Co-host Anthony Brooks of “Radio Boston” recently sat down and spoke with Boston-based food editor and writer Louisa Kasdon. Louisa is the founder of the Let’s Talk About Food initiative (festival tomorrow!), and she has her finger on the pulse of our food culture. Louisa is SO articulate about what is driving the American public’s interest in its food systems, and why our collective interests have been changing.

You can listen to the interview here. Hope to see you at the festival!

Chef Todd Heberlein and Wilson Farm

Chef Todd Heberlein outside the Wilson Farm kitchen (photo: Sue McCrory)

Last Saturday I traveled a couple of miles up Mass Ave. in Arlington to Wilson Farm. There was nothing new about the outing: I’ve driven this strip of road near my home innumerable times since Wilson’s, in Lexington, is where I most frequently shop for fruits and vegetables. But never before had I visited the working kitchen at this 127-year-old farm. And, boy, do they work.

A staff of 15 engages in a daily ballet in what can only be described as tight quarters, preparing over 100 entrees and side dishes from whatever Wilson’s farmers have harvested that day. This means a lot of produce. There are over 30 acres of cultivated fields just past the main parking lot at Wilson Farm, plus over 500 acres in Litchfield, NH, that yields corn, tomatoes, peppers, berries and more for both Wilson farmstands in Lexington and Litchfield.

Chef Todd Heberlein (photo: Sue McCrory)

The man in kitchen whites, the one who orchestrates the field-to-fork transformation of Wilson’s daily yield into (literally) farm fresh, prepared foods is Chef Todd Heberlein. Todd hails from New Jersey, but he traversed the country as a young chef to farmers-market-rich Santa Barbara, CA, cutting his teeth in restaurant kitchens. His experiences there, shaped by California’s abundant fresh produce, were formative.

Now settled back East, Todd has served as head chef at Wilson’s for over ten years. He’s been carefully updating the recipes, the practices and even the thinking at the farm’s kitchen for his entire tenure. Continue reading