Monthly Archives: March 2012

Food Fact, March 20: Ravioli

Photo: fugzu/Flickr

Today, the vernal equinox, is also National Ravioli Day. 

This means you can celebrate the first day of Spring by feasting on those tidy egg-pasta parcels known as ravioli, stuffed with whatever ingredients you please. My own favorite filling is spinach and ricotta cheese — nothing fancy. Yours?

Here’s a primer on making your own ravioli from our friends at how2heroes.

Read more about the history of ravioli, traceable to 14th-century Venice and England (the English by way of Norman Sicily…who knew?).


Food Therapy: Because Spring Means Salad

As I’m sure you’re aware — it’s an impossibly lovely day out today. In fact, the weather this week looks downright summerish. So to celebrate these jacket-free times, why not keep the oven off this week and make a dinner salad you can throw together in minutes, perhaps for an impromptu picnic? (Even if it’s just on your fire escape — it still counts!)

Here are some suggestions, culled from around the web:

PRK On The Air: Jackson Cannon, Mixologist

The Avignon (Photo: Susanna Bolle)

If you read PRK regularly, especially Susanna Bolle’s posts on Boston’s cocktail scene, Jackson Cannon’s name will be familiar to you. As familiar, say, as that classic cocktail he likes to make — the Jack Rose.

Today on Radio Boston, Cannon will be talking with co-hosts Anthony Brookes and Adam Ragusea about the cocktail culture in Boston. The launching point is tonight’s Mad-Men inspired cocktail competition, a “mashup” being hosted by The Hawthorne on Commonwealth Ave., where Cannon manages bar. To this master mixologist’s mind, the Mad Men era of the 1960s was not exactly a hey day for cocktails.

Listen to the interview.


Food Therapy From Sweet Foodie

Photo: courtesy of Sweet Fooodie

There’s tofu in there. True or false?

True. Caroline at Sweet Foodie created this recipe, Dark Chocolate Orange Tofu Mousse, for a theme-based recipe share that called for marrying dark chocolate with other heart-healthy foods (read the details in her post).

Caroline’s mousse is a non-dairy version. It calls for silken tofu to attain the creaminess you want in a mousse without the saturated fat that comes with cream. Add in an orange — high in fiber and glorious to the eye — and a bit of vanilla, and voilà!

Caroline says she “loves a good presentation.” But she hardly needed to say so. Who could resist this?




Photo: Flickr/terren in Virginia

Friday on Radio Boston, we take on the big one — burgers.

What makes a burger unforgettable? Richard Chudy, personal chef and the man behind Boston Burger Blog, joins us in studio to deconstruct, derail and delight in Boston’s vast array of burger choices.

Also important: your calls, comments and questions. Feel free to start commenting below or on Facebook; we’ll also take your tweets and calls.

Listen to the segment.

Pairing Beer And Food In Honor Of St. Patrick

Perhaps there’s no holiday more closely associated with the consumption of beer than St. Patrick’s Day. Too often, however, the beer consumed is of a quality not worthy of the patron saint of Ireland.

In honor of Saint Patrick, we thought we’d go beyond watered-down green beer and get some tips for matching strong beer with hearty Irish food, as well as some general ‘rules of thumb’ for successful beer pairing.

I talked with Julia Herz, a beer sommelier (the official term is Cicerone) who also directs the Craft Beer Program at the Brewers Association. Here are her suggestions for combining Irish dishes and craft beer. Continue reading

St. Patrick’s Day: Tradition And Innovation

Photo: CouldBeKim/Flickr

Even with one day to go til St. Patrick’s Day, you’ve got PLENTY of time to gather together the ingredients for the following two recipes.

The first is simply, beautifully traditional. No eggs, no raisins, no sugar. Just plain soda bread, pure and simple.

The second recipe is admittedly unconventional — but it IS festive! Think of this prosecco cocktail as quaffable tribute to all those Irish-Italian unions out there (my own included). It’s for the non-beer drinkers in your crowd.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all! (Recipes after the jump.) Continue reading

Thursday Tidbits: Eat/Drink Your Grains

Photo: epicbeer/Flickr


Happy St. Patrick’s Day
So many venues and so much time to celebrate this year because St. Paddy’s Day is on a Saturday! Drink your grains responsibly, but don’t forget to eat your greens. It’ll make for a kinder Sunday.

Eat Your Grains
Award-winning, local cookbook author Maria Speck will be speaking this coming Monday, March 19, as part of the Pepin Lecture Series offered by BU’s Metropolitan College. The topic: ancient grains, what to do with them and just how good they taste. Tickets are $25/pp. Read more.

Local Cocktail MashUp
Hosted by BU’s School of Hospitality, the American Idol/Iron Chef Mashup Cocktail Competition is being held March 19 at The Hawthorne. True to Iron Chef form, the finalist bartenders will be given ingredients only moments before the action starts. The best style, taste, creativity and skill win the day. Tickets are $25 for this fundraiser — you’ll get cocktails and light nibbles, courtesy of The Hawthorne.

Taste of South Shore
Featuring 28 top chefs from the area, the 16th Annual Taste of the South Shore, sponsored by the South Shore YMCA, is being held Thursday, March 22, 6-10 pm in Randolph. Admission is $100 per person. Proceeds help children and families in need. Continue reading

Meeting Your Child’s Sweetheart: 12 Tips For A Successful Meal

Photo: Dinner Series/Flickr

Readers: who remembers that first dinner with your boy/girlfriend’s parents? Who has hosted their own child’s sweetheart for dinner?

Family therapist Anne Fishel of The Family Dinner Project just did. She shares not only her original thoughts on the topic, but a postscript, too.

Anne Fishel
The Family Dinner Project

It’s hard to be our best, most authentic selves when our children bring a significant other home to dinner. As both generations wonder how they’re being sized up, it’s only natural that the meal feels a little tense and awkward. The parents may be fast-forwarding, wondering whether this interloper could one day be an in-law. The young guest may feel in the hot seat, while also questioning what he or she could be getting into if the relationship becomes a “forever” one.

When I first brought home my 20-year-old boyfriend, my usually stylish mother greeted us in her bathrobe, as if to say, if I dress casually, maybe I can pretend this isn’t such a big deal. She then holed up in the kitchen, sending out one burnt waffle after the other. Meanwhile, in the dining room, my father grilled my boyfriend about his career intentions, his previous job history and his left-of-left political leanings. I raced back and forth trying to do damage control. It was probably another decade before we had another meal together at my parents’ house.

And it didn’t go any better when I went to his house. He had instructed his mother that I didn’t eat red meat, but she interpreted that information to mean that she could serve veal, since pink isn’t red. I so wanted to make a good first impression that I dutifully ate an oversized portion, and then tried to be as quiet as a mouse as I threw up all night in their bathroom. Continue reading