Summer/Fall 2014

Look!  Pictures as promised!

There are probably more pictures I should upload but this is all I remember.

grilled chicken and stewed okra at Kareem's (Watertown, MA)

grilled chicken and stewed okra at Kareem’s (Watertown, MA)

kale2

tuscano kale in my garden

kale1

red kale in my garden

lobster and peach dish  at Kareem's (Watertown, MA)

lobster and peach dish at Kareem’s (Watertown, MA)

Kareem’s is a place in Watertown that serves dinner on the weekends (otherwise, it’s dedicated for catering and cooking classes).  An entree is typically around $25, but the food is fresh and lovely.  Chef Ahmad is very talented.  He also makes delicious desserts.  Expect the menu to rotate with the season.

let's talk about food festival swag

let’s talk about food festival swag

let's talk about food 2014

let’s talk about food 2014

let's talk about food 2014

let’s talk about food 2014.

I meandered through the Let’s Talk About Food festival by myself this year.  It’s not as fun when you’re alone.  It was smaller this year, which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.  I found that having two demo locations last year to be overwhelming.  So, I’m glad that there was only one demo location, but the down side is that it meant fewer demos this year.

I had a lot of homework looming over my head that weekend, so I didn’t stick around for too long.

Farmstead board at the Salty Pig

Farmstead board at the Salty Pig

Salty board at the Salty Pig

Salty board at the Salty Pig

I still love the Salty Pig.  I was there on a Saturday with some friends for lunch.  Menu set up is a little different on lunch, than dinner or Sundays.  We ordered sampler boards instead of the normal charcuterie/cheese a la carte.   The Salty Pig board came with (I think):

Porchetta, SP Kitchen, MA Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder, Fennel Pollen, Rosemary
Stracciatella, SP Kitchen, MA Mozzarella Style Pulled Cheese Marinated Olives
N’duja Rillette, SP Kitchen, MA Smoked Pork, Calabrian Chili, Sea Salt

While I think our Farmstead board was:
Manchego de Corcuera, SPA Sheep, Aged 3 Months, Rich & Buttery
Pont L’Evêque, Normandy, FRA Cow, Washed Rind, Soft & Strong
Vermont Wildflower Honey
Marcona Almonds
Stravecchio, Veneto, ITA 
Cow, Aged 12 Months, Sweet & Nutty

I also ate a Broccoli Rabe pizza with Ricotta Salata, Lemon, Garlic, Chili.  No pictures because we devoured it so quickly, but it was delicious.  Definitely different, but no less awesome.  If you ever have a chance to visit the Salty Pig, I highly recommend it.

Thai night

Asano-mama and I had a hankerin’ for Thai food, so we decided to have a mini Thai food night. The menu was pretty simple: homemade vegetable pad thai with tofu and a fusion-ish chili pork with scallions and sesame seeds.

stovetop cooking

The secret to good pad thai? Two things:

1. Make your own tamarind sauce. If you can get block tamarind pulp from your neighborhood Asian supermarket, do it. Avoid the canned or powdered tamarind ready-to-eat stuff; it’s much more rewarding and all around better flavor to make it yourself using the pulp. Reconstitute the pulp with water and strain the seeds and skin till only liquid remains. Then combine 1 part pulp with 1/2 part fish sauce, 1/4 part sugar, and chili paste to taste. The fish sauce and sugar bring a sweet/sour flavor to the tamarind, while the chili gives it a little (or a lot of) kick.

2. When soaking the rice noodles, only soak them until they start to get soft. They shouldn’t nearly be soft enough to eat. When you’re actually cooking the pad thai in the wok, they’ll absorb the moisture from the other ingredients and cook the rest of the way. I made this mistake so the pad thai came out a little soggy in the end, but it was still yummy.

pad thai closeup

chili beef