Thursday, October 23, 2014

New England Cuisine and Boston Part One

Cuisine in Boston is similar to the rest of New England cuisine, in that it has a large emphasis on seafood and dairy products. Its best-known dishes are New England clam chowder, fish and chips, lobster, steamed and fried clams, Parker House rolls,
Boston Cream pie 
Boston cream doughnuts,Boston Brown Bread,cranberries, pizza, Boston Baked Beans and corn muffins.
Boston has many restaurants, including those serving various ethnic cuisines. The Union Oyster House is the oldest operating restaurant in the United States. Quincy Market part of Faneuil Hall Marketplace has a variety of restaurants and food shops. See photo below.
Nearby Cheers is a popular dining spot where 'everybody knows your name'. 
Boston's Chinatown has a variety of Asian restaurants, bakeries, grocery stores and Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean and Thai restaurants in the neighborhood.
The North End has a variety of Italian restaurants, pizzerias, and bakeries and is well known as Boston's "Little Italy."
Boston has a tradition of holding a weekly open-air Farmers market known locally as Haymarket. 
Haymarket caters mainly to selling fresh fruit and vegetable produce, though meats can also be purchased in local establishments. In addition to so-called "winter farmers markets", other more seasonal farmer's markets are held in locations around Boston and its suburbs. Boston has over 27 open air farmers markets and a handful of active winter markets.
Hard apple cider was the most popular drink in Colonial America, as it was typically safer to drink than water.  Three top brands recommended are Angry Orchard, Strongbow and Woodchuck. Since it is alcoholic hard cider is found at liquor stores. Hard apple cider has refreshing complexity with its strong apple sweetness and a crisp clean flavor. It is perfect for glazing root vegetables.   
Non-alcoholic sparkling or regular cider can be substituted for hard apple cider but reduce the sugar to 1 tablespoon in the following recipe. 
Cider-Glazed Root Vegetables

Cook's notes: Why this recipe works...
For a seasonal vegetable recipe that produces vegetables with a lightly sweetened glaze, cut the carrots slightly smaller than the other vegetables for even cooking. By  caramelizing the vegetables in butter and deglazing with hard cider, a glaze is created that tastes bright and flavorful. A final addition of diced Granny Smith apple and minced tarragon completed the dish. Other suggested root vegetables that work well for this recipe include: sweet potatoes, fingerling potatoes, celery root and beets.
recipe from Cook's Country October/November 2014
  • 4 TB butter
  • 1 lb. carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 12 oz. parsnips, peeled and cut 3/4-inch pieces
  • 12 oz. turnips, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 3 shallots, peeled and halved
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2-1/2 cups hard cider
  • 3 TB. sugar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces,unpeeled
  • 2 TB fresh tarragon, thyme or rosemary
  • 2 tsp. cider vinegar
  • Melt 1 tablespoon butter in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add carrots, parsnips, turnips, and shallots and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add cider, sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, and remaining 3 tablespoons butter and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until vegetables are just tender, 7 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  • Uncover, increase heat to medium, and cook until vegetables are fully tender, about 13 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in apple and continue to cook until cider is syrupy and apple is just tender, about 2 minutes longer. Off heat, stir in tarragon and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to serving dish and pour any remaining glaze over vegetables. 

Boston Baked Beans
Although traditionally cooked in an oven, Boston baked beans lend themselves perfectly to slow cookers.
Baked beans is a dish containing beans, sometimes baked but, despite the name, usually stewed, in a sauce. American Boston baked beans use a sauce prepared with molasses and salt pork, the popularity of which has led to the city being nicknamed "Beantown".  Beans in a tomato and brown sugar, sugar or corn syrup sauce are a widely available type throughout the US. Canada's Quebec's style beans often use maple syrup.
  • 1 lb. dried navy beans, rinsed and picked over
  • 1 lb. dried small red beans, rinsed and picked over
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 3 c. water
  • 6 slices thick cut bacon, cut into 1” pieces
  • 1 c. celery, finely diced
  • 1 c. onion, finely diced
  • 1 c. ketchup
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp. molasses
  • 4 tbsp. honey
  • 2 tsp. dry mustard
  • 2 TB. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • In a large bowl, combine beans and 4 qt water (you can do two bowls, with 2 qt. of water in each). Add the salt and soak at least 8 hours or overnight. 
  • Drain well and pour into slow cooker. Add 3 c. water. Cover and cook on high for 6 hours or until beans are tender. 
  • In a medium sauté pan cook bacon until just about crispy. Dry on paper towel. Drain most of the grease, reserving about a tablespoon.. 
  • Add celery and onion and cook until translucent. Add bacon, celery and onion to the slow cooker. 
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together ketchup, brown sugar, molasses, Worcestershire, and honey. Mix well and add seasonings and vinegar. 
  • Pour into the slow cooker and stir to combine. Cook an additional 30 minutes to heat throughout.
  • Serve with cornbread.

1 comment:

  1. I only discovered hard cider this year and now I'll choose it any day over a beer.

    I'll say it again--wish I could have tagged along with you so I could see my Boston-dwelling son.


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