Monthly Archives: January 2011

PRK On The Air: The Boston Vegan Scene

Photo: Michael Piazza, Courtesy of Edible Boston

Radio Boston welcomes two vegan/vegetarian chefs into the studio today, Stuart Reiter of Somerville’s True Bistro and Pankaj Pradhan of The Red Lentil in Watertown.

We’ll be tasting quite a bit on the air and if your interest is piqued, never fear, we scored some of the recipes!!

Also important, we’ll be taking your questions (really, how do you use tempeh) as well as your comments.   Call us at 1-800-423-8255 or tweet us @pubradiokitchen and @radioboston.  Follow Radio Boston and Public Radio Kitchen on Facebook, too.

Here are some recipes for YOUR kitchen (all in PDF).

Gluten-Free Vegan Shepherd Pie (The Red Lentil)

Death By Chocolate (True Bistro)

Gluten-Free Vegan Chocolate Cake (The Red Lentil)

Black Bean and Plaintain Torte (True Bistro)


Tidbits: Almost Pieday

Photo: Visit Hillsborough/Flickr


Grab a Slice
According to Bonny Wolf, “Weekend Edition Sunday” food commentator, cupcakes are dead, but pie is alive and kicking. January 23rd is national pie day, so jump on the trend at Le Cordon Bleu’s Boston location where the cooking school will be offering a pie making extravaganza cooking demonstration and open house January 22nd. Admittance is free, but reserve your spot before the event by calling (888) 394-6222.

Waste not, Want not
Goodbye fuzzy strawberries in the back of the fridge. A new application for the iPhone helps you save your Apple and eat it too. “Consume Within” lets users enter food items along with where the item is located. The app tells you daily what items will be expiring in the next three days, theoretically helping cut down waste. The full app costs $2.99 from iTunes, but a lite version that stores four items is available for free.

Fried. Chocolate.
Every foodie has a restaurant or event s/he is unwilling to share. This was one of mine, but here’s something to butter you up. Forgive me South End chocolate lovers. Lee Napoli, owner of ChocoLee in the South End, fries up ganache-stuffed, glorious beignets to order – but only on weekends. Napoli’s shop is tiny, so be prepared for a short wait. And, please save me one. Call her shop at (617) 236-0606 for more information. Continue reading

In Defense of Fannie

Life and Times of Fannie Farmer: Quick Version

It should have been a match made in heaven.

She liked to cook; he liked to cook. She liked to measure; he really liked to measure! (As well as apply the scientific method to the ancient and inexact art of making tasty things to eat.) Her goal was (culinary) world domination; his goal was (culinary) world domination. They even lived in the same neighborhood for Chrissake!

But after the initial infatuation wore off, he began to find her annoying. She smothered everything in sauce—white, velouté, béchamel—thinking it Frenchified her dishes. He preferred that each ingredient express its true essence. She was content with mere kitchen competence in her legions of country bumpkin, desperate immigrant and insecure housewife students. He preached perfection, issuing recipes to his followers only when he’d discovered a dish’s Platonic ideal (“The Best Beef Stew!” “The Best Chewy Brownies!”).

Ever the romantic, he wouldn’t admit their basic incompatibility. They would make a feast together! It would redeem their union! It would impress his friends! He installed a wood-fired iron stove to replicate period cooking conditions. He tracked down fresh calves’ brains, heads and feet—now in disrepute except among hot-dog makers; ripped agonized live lobsters in half lengthwise and deliberated over the perfect substitute for Canton ginger (galangal). He even bought a spendidly overdone repoussé punch bowl. But to no avail.

He could no longer overlook her shortcomings. “Sure, Fannie was on solid ground when dealing with simple roasts, chops, puddings, and the like, but once she tried to tart up a dish or had to cook more delicate items such as vegetables or fish—well, the modern cook would find the food more compost than compelling.”

Disillusioned, he turned to tearing down her most ambitious 12-course menu, the very dinner they were preparing together. The filling for her rissoles was “bland.” The lobster á l’Américaine was “a bit ham-handed.” The venison was accompanied by “lackluster” potatoes lyonnaise. Her salmon was “pedestrian;” the deep-fried artichokes, “heavy and pedestrian;” the goose stuffing “soft and boring.” Even her grand finale of cakes, “uninspired.” (This to the lady who may have singlehandedly turned us into a nation of sugar junkies!) With each course, Kimball elbowed his way further into the kitchen, until at last he evicted poor Fannie altogether, finishing the feast with recipes from The Epicurean (penned in 1894 by the French chef of Delmonico’s) and the illustrious author himself.

Fannie’s Last Supper is a supremely entertaining read. Continue reading

Creating a Crop Plan

Winter at Powisset Farm

Meryl paints a pretty picture in words, below, of her home office (a.k.a. her kitchen) and the view outside. Keep reading, though. Sh’s in full-fledged planning mode–reviewing, assessing, number-crunching and creating the new season’s crop plan.

Meryl LaTronica
Farm Manager, Powisset Farm

Here I am, sitting at my kitchen table, in the farm house on Powisset Farm. Seed catalogues are stacked all around me in three piles, each a dozen high. The snow is two-feet high and pristine outside the sliding doors leading from my kitchen to the back forty acres of the farm. The coffee pot is half-full, and my favorite little white mug with a royal blue stripe around the rim is luke-warm, needing a refill. Three documents are open on my computer screen:  ‘crop plan 2010’, ‘crop plan 2011’ and ‘master seed order 2011.’ Welcome to January at Powisset Farm. Continue reading

PRK On The Air: Vegans Take America

Photo: Flickr/UrbanWoodsWalker

Yumm, much? On Point’s second hour takes on vegan-ismo.   Tom Ashbrook will chat with three guests, Isa Chandra Moskowitz (author of the “Post Punk Kitchen” blog and author of the new book Appetite for Reduction), Molly Katzen (books include Moosewood Cookbook and The Enchanted Broccoli Forest), and Professor Susan Nitske (chair of the department of nutritional sciences at the University of Wisconsin, where she also is a researcher in diet and nutrition).

Your calls and comments are, as always, welcome.

Have a favorite vegan recipe?  Let us know!  Comment below or tweet us @pubradiokitchen.

Thursday Tidbits: Beat the Cold

Photo: cheongwah2002/Flickr


Climbing the Summit
Start the weekend off right at the Beer Summit Winter Jubilee January 14th and 15th at the Park Plaza Castle in Boston. With over 50 brewers in attendance, you know you won’t go thirsty. There are three sessions, so don’t fret if you can’t get out of work early enough to make the first one. Tickets are $40 and are available online.

Late Bfast
Soundbites in Somerville invites you to an all-you-can-eat breakfast-for-dinner January 16th from 5-8pm to help benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. There will be a cash bar and, don’t worry, a big screen for all you Pats fans. RSVP via their Facebook invite.

Piggy to Market
The Butcher Shop kicks off their first CSA of 2011 with Berkshire pigs from upstate New York. Members can pick up their goods starting January 16th with two rack chops and two loin chops. Click here for more information on the rest of the giving, or call them at (617) 423-4800.

Jumping the Gun
Dorchester and Milton can’t wait for Winter Restaurant Week (March 6th-11th and March 13th-18th), so they’re offering their own prix fixe menus January 17th-31st. 224 Boston, 88 Wharf, Abby Park, Ashmont Grill, Blarney Stone, dbar, Ledge Kitchen & Drinks, and Tavolo are all joining in on the discounted fun. Visit their websites for more info.

Continue reading

Keeping Warm With Journeyman’s Hot Chocolate

Photo: Susanna Bolle

We recently visited chefs and co-owners Tse Wei Lim and Diana Kudayarova of Journeyman in Somerville to get some hot chocolate secrets.  What better day to try them out?  Enjoy! (and stay warm).

Journeyman Hot Chocolate

4 oz, ea, whole milk & heavy cream or 8 oz half-and-half
2 oz chocolate, in small pieces
pinch salt

This recipe can be scaled to any volume; the trick is in the proportion, 1 chocolate : 4 dairy.
We make our half and half ourselves, but you can buy it at the store.
The better the chocolate you use, the better the final hot chocolate will taste. We recommend using a chocolate that is above 60% cocoa; at the restaurant we use Valrhona chocolate in the Manjari or Tainori blends for our hot chocolate.
We recommend cooling the hot chocolate overnight and reheating it to serve; this allows the flavors to mix and mellow, and also creates a better texture.

Combine milk & cream in a small sauce pan. Heat on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, to a simmer.

Add a pinch of salt, turn the heat down to low, and begin whisking. Slowly add in the chocolate, whisking constantly. You may need to scrape down the sides of the pan periodically to make sure that everything is combined and evenly heated. Continue whisking the hot chocolate over low heat until you can no longer see specks of chocolate on the sides of the pan as you stir and the mixture appears completely homogeneous.

When the chocolate is completely melted and incorporated, pour into a bowl set over an ice bath to chill (or just stash it in the refrigerator). To reheat, return to the saucepan, and heat on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until it reaches your desired temperature.


  • Journeyman’s Tse Wei Lim and Diana Kudayarova are PRK’s newest contributors.  They’ll be sharing their adventures, wisdom, mishaps, and victories every month.  You can read their first post HERE.

The Return of Rabbit

Edible Boston has a feature article in its Winter issue that’s worth a read. It’s on local interest in rabbit. 

In “Rabbit Redux,” Suzanne Cope gives us a window onto who’s farming it, which chefs are choosing it, how rabbit has fared over time as a New England food staple and why we might be interested in eating it.

Photo: Michael Piazza, Courtesy of Edible Boston

Personally, I flipped right to “Redux” because the most memorable meal I’ve had in a while was, in fact, rabbit (beautifully served at Oleana, but not currently on the menu). And I certainly took note that newbie chef Sarah Minton, who writes for this site, chose to take on and prepare rabbit–Fricassee de Lapin–for her Moist Heat cooking class this past Fall (see Sarah’s post “Foray into Meat“).

Tastes and trends in food are like the moon–they wax and wane regularly. Once rabbit shed its connotation of being ‘a poor person’s food’  (think, beans!), the culinary opportunities and nutritional benefits could be celebrated and given full voice, free of baggage. For meat-eaters, the ‘cute factor’ is another cultural attitude to overcome.

But, the interest is out there. Rabbit is being humanely and organically raised by local farmers and, as a budding trend in tastes, it seems to be gaining ground.

Read “Rabbit Redux” by Suzanne Cope.

Chop Chop

freezing bananas for later

Freezing bananas for later (Photos: Carl Tremblay, courtesy of ChopChop)

I ran into Sally Sampson, founder and president of the family cooking magazine ChopChop last week and she handed me the Winter issue (she also handed me a jump rope, but I’m guessing that’s for use when the weather gets warmer, and definitely not by me!).

Later, back at my desk, I got really inspired as I thumbed through the magazine. Sure, the magazine is geared towards kids but a) that’s the point and b) just as with any successful toy, children’s book, board game, CD, TV show or you-name-it gadget, ChopChop readily engages the older set. How? 

Smart writing, beautiful food photographs, easy hands-on cooking tips and versatility. By “versatility” I mean there are recipes galore, nutritional facts, activities (mazes, word searches, ‘I spy’ challenges) and healthy living ideas that make the issue a resource to come back to many more times than once. Continue reading