Friday, September 3, 2010

Foodista - Best of the Food Blogs

Woohoo! My recipe for farro with asparagus and mushrooms was selected to be an entry in the Foodista Best of the Food Blogs Cookbook! Thanks to all of you who voted. I can't wait to see the book; you can pre-order a copy at Happy reading!

Hog Island - Tomales Bay

We've loved Hog Island oysters and their seafood bar at the Ferry Building for a long time now, but when you want to avoid the crowds and enjoy a serene picnic on the water, Tomales Bay is where its at!

Not only can you enjoy a perfectly packed picnic, but you can check out the farm as well -- watching the sorter spin round and round as hundreds of tiny bivalves fall to one side or the other.

Whole wheat pasta salad with grilled sardines

Serves 4-6

½ pound whole wheat pasta
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 large tomato, chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon capers
½ cup chopped olives
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons African basil flowers (or chopped basil)
Salt and pepper, to taste
8 whole sardines, fileted
Olive oil, for rubbing

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, and cook for 7 minutes, or until al dente.
2. Drain pasta water, and set noodles aside.
3. In a large bowl, combine all other ingredients. Add warm pasta, and toss.
4. Let stand for 1 hour at room temperature. Set the oven to broil, or heat a grill to high heat.
5. De-bone sardines and portion into filets (you can also ask your fishmonger to do this for you). Season each side with salt and pepper. Rub each filet with olive oil.
6. Place the sardines on a metal baking sheet or sizzle plate. Broil or grill for 2-3 minutes, skin side down, or until cooked through.
7. Remove sardines from pan, and serve atop pasta salad.

A special thanks to Diana, the photographer for the day, since I forgot my memory card. And, thanks to Nick, whose name-dropping even saved us a few pennies!

Mexican Corn on the Cob

Mexican corn on the cob
By Karoline Boehm Goodnick, Globe Correspondent | August 18, 2010

Serves 6

Also known as elote, Mexican-style corn on the cob can be boiled first or grilled over hot coals until the kernels are charred and toasty. It’s a dish that began as street food and is now served in good restaurants. The white cheese cotija is at many specialty markets, but you can substitute a dry, crumbly cheese such as feta. Sprinkle with cayenne pepper for a kick of spice, guajillo for smoky notes, or paprika for sweet earthiness. Finish with a spritz of lime to make it pop.

Salt, to taste
6 ears of corn, shucked
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 cup crumbled cotija cheese
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper, guajillo, or paprika
2 limes, quartered
1. In a large shallow pot, bring several inches of salted water to a boil. Add the corn, cover, and cook for 3 minutes, turning once.

2. Remove the corn from the water, and pat dry with paper towels.

3. Spread 1/2 tablespoon mayonnaise on each ear. Sprinkle corn with crumbled cheese, pressing lightly so it sticks. Sprinkle with salt and cayenne pepper, guajillo, or paprika. Serve with lime.


Have a meltdown
By Karoline Boehm Goodnick, Globe Correspondent | September 1, 2010

Raclette is both a European cow’s milk cheese and a popular Swiss dish which typically consists of melted cheese scraped onto a heaping pile of boiled potatoes, pickled onions, and gherkins. Today, there are a variety of instruments used to re-create this fondue-like appetizer at home, none simpler than the Barbeclette ($12.39). Made by Boska Holland, in the Netherlands, the nonstick tray has a heatproof handle for use on outdoor grills. A campfire setting was once an essential component for raclette, dinner for Alpine cattle herders. But the tool has other uses. Melt mozzarella as a topping for vegetable skewers; combine provolone, tomatoes, and oregano in the pan for a variation of provoleta; stick by the traditional Swiss or appenzeller, melted and poured over cured meats and grilled potatoes; or top your favorite burger. Whatever way you slice it, there are few things greater than gooey, melted cheese. Available at Boston Cheese Cellar, 18 Birch St., Roslindale, 617-325-2500; Idylwilde Farms, 366 Central St., Acton, 978-263-5943.