Food Porn Friday | Avocado and Blood Orange Salsa

I feel like this happens every February…everyone I know is sick, myself included. Good thing it’s blood orange season. We can load up on all that winter citrus vitamin C while enjoying one of my all time favorite fruits. Every year around this time I buy so much blood orange that I’m forced to find new things to do with it, because there are only so many blood orange margaritas one person can have before needing to switch it up. This salsa is super easy and gives you yet another way to enjoy blood orange in all of its red sticky glory.

bloodorangesalsa

 

All you have to do is slice up some blood orange, avocado, jalepeno, cilantro and red onion, add some fresh lime juice, and salt that ish to taste. It’s magical, trust me.

Posted in Dining In, Food Porn Fridays, Recipes, Snacks | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Oh So Yummy Omakase Chef’s Tasting at O Ya | Boston

There are no words to describe the experience I had at O Ya a few months back. I won’t even pretend like there are. My mind was blown with every bite-sized offering of deliciousness, but undoubtedly, this is what many will say who have dined here. The tasting menus and small portions present the perfect scenario given my food ADD. I love being able to sample EVERYTHING, and that’s essentially what I did when I was there. Except for the everything part because that would have required me to take out a loan. I sampled some specials, some cult favorites, and some recently added ish. I was in awe of their chefs Michael, Gucci, Hiro & Akira who spent most of the night making mini-sculptures that were immediately greeted with sighs of sheer excitement. I loved every minute of this indulgent dinner (and the conversation and company that shared it with me)!

OYAoyster

Kumamoto Oyster – watermelon pearls, cucumber mignonette

OYAeggslegsLegs & Eggs – tiny maine lobster legs, white sturgeon caviar & tomalley aioli

OYAribTea Brined Fried Pork Ribs – hot sesame oil, honey, scallions

OYAchefsGucci & Akira making magig happen from behind the sushi bar

OYAya

(clockwise from top left) Fried Kumamoto Oyster – yuzu kosho aioli, squid ink bubbles; Hamachi Belly – yuzu soy marinated Maine  sea urchin; Homemade Fingerling Potato Chip – black winter truffle; Diver Scallop – sage tempura, olive oil bubbles, Meyer lemon

OYAhamachi

Hamachi – spicy banana pepper mousse

OYAsmokedsalmon

Arctic Char –  cured yuzu, cilantro, smoked sesame brittle, cumin aioli

OYAchoco_something

Fois Gras – balsamic chocolate kabayaki, claudio corallo raisin cocoa pulp, sip of aged sake

OYAbluefin

Hamachi Nigiri topped with harissa, mint, argon oil, lime

OYAfoigyoza

Foie Gras Gyoza – kyoto sansho, pink peppercorns

OYAsomen

Warm Somen Noodles – fried Japanese big fin squid, onsen egg, iriko dashi, yuzu kosho

OYAsalmonSalmon Nigiri –  Vietnamese dashi caramel soy, spicy rau ram salsa

OYAuni

Santa Barbara Sea Urchin – uni mousse, kuidashi gelee, tonka bean

OYAlobster

Shiso Tempura with Grilled Lobster – charred tomato, ponzu aioli

OYAkama

Roasted Hamachi Kama – house ponzu, spicy daikon, yuzu

OYAchocolateHomemade Chocolate – Yuzu Kosho Ganache (for dessert!)

O Ya on Urbanspoon

Posted in Boston, Dining Out, Japanese, Sushi, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Parm | New York, NY

Because anything Parm related is automatically the best thing ever, please be aware of the extreme bias I had towards this restaurant before stepping foot inside the door. Parm is my new favorite NYC lunch spot. It’s owned by the Torrisi brothers of Michelin rated Italian restaurant, Torrisi, which is right next door on Mulberry St. in Nolita. Parm is their casual sandwich place, featuring none other than perfection in chicken parm, meatball parm and eggplant parm sandwiches. If that isn’t enough to get your endorphins pumping (you’re crazy, first of all) the Italian small plates will. Let’s just let the photos do the talking…

parm_broccolirabe

Spicy Broccoli Rabe

parm_pickles

Giardinia Pickles

parm_mozz

Prosciutto wrapped mozz – UM. HEAVEN.

parm_poppers

Pepperoncini poppers

parm_eggplant

Eggplant Parm Sandwich

parm_chicken

Chicken Parm Sandwich

parm_chicken2

Chicken Francese Sandwich

parm_zeppellis

Zeppolle

See what I mean? New favorite lunch spot that does Parm justice. Let’s just say it’s hard not to get your panties in a bunch over this place. And it’s cheap compared to everything else in NYC!

Parm on Urbanspoon

248 Mulberry St
New York, NY

Posted in Dining Out, Italian, New York, NY, Travel | 3 Comments

Food Porn Friday | Homemade Stock a la Nemo

Everyone in Boston is doing absolutely nothing right now courtesy of Nemo. And with the snow comes an intsant craving for hot soup.

chicken stock

A good thing takes time, and right now you probably have plenty of it. From now til Sunday you should exclusively be making  your stock from scratch, no exceptions. It tastes great that way, plus you can freeze it, store it, and save it for a while. It’s more robust, well-rounded, and what likely made your moms famous chicken soup so memorable (we hope). It’s also pretty easy on the eyes, not like the stuff that comes out of the can or cardboard box. Just do it. You can thank us later.

Posted in Dining In, Food Porn Fridays | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

How to Make a Bad Ass Beef Wellington

Everyone should learn how to make a Beef Wellington at some point in their life. The combination of filet mignon and puff pastry is undeniably fantastical, plus it’s a BOSS old school culinary move to hide up your sleeve for a special occasion. Maybe you’ll bust it out at your next dinner party, maybe you’ll make one for a significant other on Valentine’s day, maybe you’ll make it by yourself, take the leftovers to work, and brag to your coworkers about it. I would. Either way, it’s rewarding, tastes amazing and guaranteed to turn even the strictest vegan into a meat eater. At the very least you get to say the word “Wellington” a ton of times in the process, which alone makes it worth your time.

beefwellington_0start

Ingredients:
for the Beef Wellington
– 2 1/2 lb filet (or whatever cut of beef you prefer)
– 1/4 lb thinly sliced prosciutto
– 6-8 blanched swiss chard leaves, stems removed
– 2 lbs cremini mushrooms
– canola or grapeseed oil
– 2 tbsp finely minced shallots
– 1 tbsp unsalted butter, 1/2 lb unsalted butter – divided
– 1/2 cup heavy cream
– fresh thyme
– 1 whole head of garlic cut in half horizontally
– 1 tbsp dijon mustard
– 7 sheets pre-made pastry dough
– 1 egg, beaten
– salt and pepper

For Serving
– vegetables for sides – I used roasted carrots
– optional: bordelaise sauce – or other red wine reduction type sauce made in advance
– A1 sauce for dipping – just kidding, you’re classier than that
– salt and pepper

Tools needed
– food processor or blender
– cooking thermometer or probe
– plastic wrap
– rolling pin

Directions:
takes about 3 hours

beefwellington_1raw

1 – Trim and season the beef. Trim filet to an even size lengthwise. Trim off all silver skin (keep in mind the butcher can do this for you at the grocery store). Season filet with salt and pepper. Let filet sit in room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking.

beefwellington_2chard

2 – Prepare layers ahead of time. Place a few layers thinly sliced prosciutto and blanched swiss chard leaves (no stems!) on a flat surface over 3 or 4 layers of plastic wrap.

beefwellington_3duxelle

3 – Prepare Duxelle. Blend raw cremini mushrooms in a food processor until course and consistent. Heat a pan until it’s smoking hot, add enough grapeseed or canola oil to made a thin film on the bottom of the pan. Add mushrooms, season with salt, cook until most of the moisture is released. Move mushroom mixture to outside ring of the pan and add shallots and 1 tbsp butter to the center. Once shallots are tender, add 1/2 cup cream. Once mixture is in a paste consistency, remove from heat. Let it cool. When cool, spread duxelle mixture over chard leaves with plastic wrap and a rolling pin.

beefwellington_4sear

4 – Sear Beef. Dry filet with a paper towel. Heat a cast iron or stainless steel pan until it is smoking hot. Add enough canola or grapeseed oil to coat pan. When oil starts to smoke, brown filet on all sides as quickly as possible.

beefwellington_5baste

5 – Baste Beef. When all sides are browned add 1/2 pound butter, a whole head of garlic cut in half, and a handful of thyme sprigs placed on top of beef. Baste filet with butter for about 30 seconds by tilting the pan and continuously scooping butter over top of it, then remove from heat. Brush filet with a layer of dijon mustard. Put filet in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes and cool until completely cold. Now is also a good time to preheat the oven to 475.

beefwellington_6wrap

5 – Roll it up. When filet is cold. Use the pastic wrap to roll ingredients together, fully surrounding the filet with pre-made layers. Push the filet away from you to roll for best results. When completely rolled, take each side of the pastic wrap and secure it around the filet. Place rolled mixture in refrigerator for 20 minutes so the mold sets.

beefwellington_7dough

6 – Prepare pastry dough. If you make your own pastry dough, by all means do so. If you still want to look cool but not invest the time in that, buy pre-made pastry dough. It saves time and still tastes really good. Attach as many sheets together as needed to cover the entire filet. Make sure to place them flat on a couple sheets of plastic wrap, one is not enough to hold the weight. When you overlap more than one piece of dough together, make sure to cut off the excess dough so the whole plane is even.

beefwellington_8wrap

7 – Roll it up again. Roll the filet in the pastry dough, covering it completely. Roll away from you for best results. Make sure to cover the sides as well.

beefwellington_9decorate

8 – Decorate. If you have extra dough, decorate your wellington with a pattern! It looks way better that way.

beefwellington_10preoven

9 – Egg Wash. Paint the wellington with the beaten egg to make sure it gets golden brown on top. Now is also a good time to season with salt and pepper.

beefwellington_11oven

10 – Bake. at 475 for about 35-40 minutes. The best way to monitor the progress is using a probe thermometer. If you don’t have a probe, use a regular cooking thermometer every once in awhile to check on it. You want the inside to be right around 128 degrees for medium / medium rare. If you do not have a convection oven, rotate the wellington every ten minutes.

beefwellington_12carrots

11 – Prepare sides. Here we have some simple roasted carrots.

beefwellington_13donewhole

12 – Admire. And let sit for at least 10 minutes.

beefwellington_15done

13 – Cut. Very carefully.

beefwellington_14done

14 – Serve. The best medium rare piece from the middle first. Then add your sides and sauce

beefwellington_16done

15 – EAT.

16 – Say “you’re welcome” at least 20 times to whomever you’re with.

17 – Eat leftovers. 

P.S. shoutout to Tom for all the help with this. It was one of the best Christmas dinners we’ve ever had! 

Posted in Dining In, Entree, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Food Porn Friday | Chickpea & Fava Flour Pasta | Rialto

glutenfreeCeliacs rejoice! There’s now a zexy new homemade pasta dish that even you can devour without worrying about whipping out your EpiPen. Thanks to the talented chefs over at Rialto, there’s a dough made from chickpea and fava flour which makes this gluten-free and totally delish! The pappardelle pasta is paired with peppers, olives, chickpeas, garlic and saffron making for some serious yums. Who knew going gluten-free could be so amazing?

Rialto on Urbanspoon

Posted in Cambridge, Dining Out, Food Porn Fridays, Harvard Square, Healthy, Italian, Uncategorized, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

WTF Did I Just Eat? | Breakfast Salad Doughnut Frittata

Who else but Brian Poe? I know we talk about him a lot, but that’s just because there are so many things to talk about. Like this mountain of randomness, for example, which is part of his new Tipsy Brunch menu at the Tip Tap Room.

tiptapbrunch_frittata

Yes, that is a doughnut, hiding under a salad, sitting on top of a frittata. This totally-weird-but-I-can’t-stop-eating-this combo of salad, pastry, eggs and cheese actually tastes pretty awesome, in a McGriddle sort of way. (Come on, you know you like McGriddles.)

When I asked Poe about the inspiration behind this brunch dish, I got nothing short of the best answer ever: “I thought to myself, ‘I’m drunk and hungry for brunch and what am I hungry for?’ Answer: I want a doughnut, eggs, cheese, and champagne – and some greens to make me think its healthy. Fact.”

 

Posted in Beacon Hill, Brunch, Dining Out, WTF | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Food Porn Friday | Cinnamon Bran French Toast | M3

DSC_0479French toast is french toast. Except when it’s not. One of the easiest things to make, what does it take to make a french toast memorable? Is it adding some crunch with Cinnamon Bran? Is it dolloping it with vanilla? Is it drizzling it with apple butter syrup? Topping it with a strip of chocolate-covered bacon? All of the above? YUP.

Thanks M3, while I’ve spent the last 3 months eating donut holes at Five Horses Tavern, you made me realize you’re serving up something even more spectacular across the street. How I let this little lady escape me for all this time is beyond me, but thank god we’ve found each other. I’ll never disgrace my griddle with plain ol’ french toast ever again knowing something better lives 5 feet from my doorstep. See you again tomorrow, same time same place!

Posted in Breakfast, Brunch, Davis Square, Dining Out, Food Porn Fridays, Somerville | Leave a comment

Superbowl Recipe: Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps

If I were to tell you I have tons of free time, I’d be lying. When it comes to cooking at home, I live for my slow cooker. I regularly stock it with randomness, abandon it for hours, and return to its side to find deliciousness in the place of raw meat and stock. So when Wayfair hit up Meesh and I to see if we were interested in creating a Super Bowl Sunday recipe in a newly minted slow cooker courtesy of Hamilton Beach, we were all over it.

Slow cooked pulled pork is the EASIEST way to impress a guy, or anyone in general. You throw in a pork shoulder with some BBQ sauce, Blue Moon and fresh orange and 8 hours later you’ve got dinner for 12 and will be pulling in praise for the rest of eternity. Since that recipe can literally be outlined in 2 lines (as seen above) we decided to go a different route for this one, and in our opinion, a Superbowl staple: slow cooked buffalo chicken. I like Buffalo Chicken just as much as the next chick, but I’ll be damned if I throw some played out recipe for buff chix dip on the blog. Or worse, get blasted by Barstool Sports for doing so. There are much better ways to make tasty buffalo chicken than mixing it with cream cheese.

So we give you…

buffchixfin

Slow Cooked Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing. You can put your buffalo chicken on anything you want, we were just having a skinny moment and decided to omit the carbs. In terms of the dressing, there are two kinds of people in this world: bleu cheese lovers and ranch lovers – conveniently, we both fall into the latter category. This homemade dressing is dangerous though, try not to drink it before you assemble your lettuce wraps.

Part 1: Pulled Buffalo Chicken a la Slow Cooker

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless chicken breast
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 12 oz chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup Frank’s hot sauce (or whatever cayenne hot sauce ya want)
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions

Set crock pot to high and add all ingredients. Cook for 6 hours. When finished, add more hot sauce to your likings. We used almost the entire bottle.

buffchixingredients

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buffchixslowcook

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buffchixchix


Part 2: Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
(adapated from The Pioneer Woman.)

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 cup mayonaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • buttermilk (amount based on desired consistency)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • dash of tobasco
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • healthy pinch of paprika

Directions

Mince garlic with a knife. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and mash into garlic using a fork, creating a thick paste.

In a bowl combine all of the ingredients except for the buttermilk.  Stir.  Add buttermilk until dressing reaches it’s  desired consistency.  Add salt, pepper & paprika to taste.  Chill before serving.

buttermilk ranch dressing

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buttermilkranch_done

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buffchixdip

3. Wraps

Ingredients

  • lettuce – bib, iceberg or Boston
  • shredded carrots

Directions

Now it’s time to assemble. Take your lettuce (we used Boston obvs) and top with your slow cooked buff chix, homemade buttermilk ranch, and some shredded carrot (in that order). Done and yum. If your man friends are looking for a manlier snack, just have some potato rolls or slider buns on hand and turn it into a sandwich.

buffchixwrap

Posted in American, Dining In, Recipes, Snacks | Leave a comment

Food Porn Friday | Buttermilk Fried Chicken | Estelle’s

I know, this doesn’t even look real. It looks like something a food stylist was paid to create for an Applebees commercial or something. Because you know the chicken in the commercials is definitely way better looking than any actual Applebees chicken dish.

estelles_friedchicken

Thanks to Brian Poe and Eric Gburski, THIS chicken actually does exist IRL. Estelle’s offers many Southern fried noms on their menu, but this was by far my favorite of the night: buttermilk fried chicken with bacon mac ‘n cheese. It’s everything a fried chicken should be: tender, juicy and crunchy. FYI this is only an appetizer potion of the chicken, so this is only about half of what you’ll get if you order the full thing. And don’t worry about the cals, we still have six more weeks of oversized sweaters before it’s time to actually care about eating healthy. Right??

Estelle's on Urbanspoon

Posted in American, Food Porn Fridays, South End, Southern | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments