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Local Eats

Home Cooking & Takeout in Roslindale, West Roxbury and Beyond

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Back From New Orleans

Five days in New Orleans left me with a question.  Is Mother's better than Commander's Palace?  I guess the answer is no because Commander's Palace does such a great job with everything, ingredients, preparation, wine, hospitality, service, 25 cent Martinis that just about evaporate as you sip, and whatever else.  But the Ferdi Special Po' Boy at Mother's could be one of the best things I've ever eaten.  Over the top hype?  You could say so, but it was really, really good, great ham and roast beef served on a soft French roll with hot beef gravy poured over the contents.  It was a flavor bomb and absolutely delicious!   If you're going to New Orleans do not miss it.  Wow!!    They're easy to get to from the French Quarter. The web site has all the details.  Mother's on Poydras Street in New Orleans

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Crunchy and Golden

macaroons after
Originally uploaded by Candlemaker.
These took most of two hours at 200 degrees. If you're using stale macaroons they might take less time. The final step is to run them through a food processor or any other device that will render them to crumbs.

Sweet and Crunchy

macaroons before
Originally uploaded by Candlemaker.
Toasted macaroons make a nice dessert topping sprinkled onto fruit or ice cream or as a layer of crumbs for a baked dish. I'm thinking of pears but it would work with lots of things. It might even make a good pie crust a la graham cracker crumbs. Here they are before toasting.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Chickpea Crepes

From The Scent of Green Bananas a recipe for socca which is a crepe like item made from a batter of chickpea flour, olive oil and club soda. It looks very good and I mean that in two ways because the photography in green bananas is the best for food blogs that I know of and everything looks good.
In one of the older Julia Child shows she does a segment from a market somewhere in France where this socca was a local speciality. I think it might have been Nice. Julia Child buffs will know I suppose. the scent of green bananas.: socca

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Applebee's in Dedham, Mass

Not so good!
We had never eaten at Applebee's so we went in, mostly because it was too early to go to Cafe Apollonia, yesterday afternoon. I had a very dry cheeseburger. Even though I ordered it medium it came out so overcooked that it was hard to swallow. J had some kind of spicy chicken sandwich. I didn't specifically ask her how it was but all she did was nibble around the edges and it was three quarters untouched at the end of the meal. Both plates came with fries and they were pretty good. To start we got the spinach and artichoke dip. It came with a tomato salsa on the side that had a nice cumin flavor and was much better than the dip which was salty and on the bland side. My glass of cabernet sauvignon was nice enough but overly sweet for my taste.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

How To Bake A Podcast

From bicyclemark's Communique by way of Amsterdam and Paris - no oven required.

Low budget solution to recording and distributing a podcast.

Poached Pears For Two

There's a great recipe for pears in Julia Child's Mastering The Art Of French Cooking*. Poires au Gratin, it uses pears, white wine or other liquids, apricot preserves, and toasted and crumbled macaroon cookies, (that's the gratin), it's fabulous. It's also a fair amount of work to put together so I made up something easier. Is it as good, you ask? I wasn't trying to compete. It's different and easier, I said defensively.
I'm still looking for a topping. We had it last night and sprinkled it with toasted almond slivers. It was good but I think I can do better. The first time I made it I served it with a raspberry sauce. That was very good but the red against the white made it look like a terrible crime had been committed.

Two pears, peeled and sliced
3/4 cup white wine, approx.
1 Tbs. sugar
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole cloves
pinch of salt

In a small sauce pan, bring the wine to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Add the cinnamon stick and the cloves and simmer while you're peeling and slicing the pears. Add the pears, sugar and salt. Swirl the pan to mix the ingredients, stirring with a spoon will break up the pears. Simmer 4 or 5 minutes and chill for later serving. I put the whole pan into the freezer for 15 minutes and then move it to the fridge. In part this prevents the pears from getting overcooked and otherwise it just speeds things up.

Things that might make good additions: a bit of lemon zest and a pat of butter when it comes off the heat.

*The link is to a very good background piece on the publishing of the book.