Smoke This Rib Fest

Outdoor food events may soon vie with weekend brunches as my favorite food-oriented activity, especially when they serendipitously fall on picturesque weekend afternoons.  Sampling good food between sips of crisp autumnal air on sun-soaked city streets, mm.  The Boston Local Food Festival from a few weeks back and the East Cambridge Rib Fest this past weekend have teamed up to convert me. The fact that such events are often conduits for supporting local charities and spreading awareness about important issues does not hurt, nor do the curious sitings that amuse (such as a passerby wearing an “I heart female orgasm” shirt).  Last weekend’s Rib Fest featured ten Cambridge restaurants, including East Coast Grill and Hungry Mother, competing for various charities of their choice.  You could only partake of the rib sampling with a taste ticket, which I did not purchase; but I snagged enough bites from J’s ribs to keep me satisfied.  Had he voted, I believe he would have cast his ballot for Tupelo, perhaps the top cofo joint in Cambridge.  He also took well to the Carolina-style (mustard-based) rib sauce from East Coast Grill.

The competitors and respective charities:

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Oink oink:

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Continue eating “Smoke This Rib Fest”…

Weekend eats: Boston local food festival and Legal Seafoods

This past weekend, my friend L came up for a reprieve from her busy life as a law student in NYC. Friday’s petulant weather gave way to a beautiful Saturday, which we enjoyed to the fullest.  We had a lovely lunch spread courtesy of the Boston Local Food Festival, where we also sampled local cheeses, meats (sniffed out the bacon from five stalls over), and baked goods, and caught some cheese-making action and the beginnings of a seafood throwdown. Here’s a rundown of what we ate/saw:

Scones hanging out, looking pretty tasty, if a bit unconventionally shaped:

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Continue eating…

Week of 7 July 2008

Food-wise, a quite eventful week — a nice way to kick off this blog. A barbeque with the fam provided the perfect occasion for me to debut my balsamic and olive oil-marinated, inside-out cheeseburgers with sundried tomatoes, onion, and basil. I came up with the sumptious idea while lounging on the beach with a friend a few days before, and I could literally feel my stomach gnawing away inside me at the thought of them. I used Monterey Jack for my inside-out cheese, and the spiciness of the cheese cut through the burger and definitely added a pleasant kick to all the beefiness. Speaking of beef, these were ginormous burgers, though unfortunately, I failed to capture the girth of these bad boys. Here was mine, in all it’s glory:

I grilled some ciabatta for the carbs, and the bread complemented the burger well — I loved the crunch and the overall bready goodness. In addition, I also made a zucchini tort, the recipe for which I found in a Mexican cookbook. A relatively simple dish: just zucchini and onions seasoned and baked with some eggs and a bit of flour to provide the “tort” aspect. A dash of Mexican chili powder gave the dish some kick, although taste-wise, I was a bit disappointed with the results.

Dad also baked some sausages and served them with an Asian peppers and onions sauce on some whole wheat tortillas, but they all disappeared while I was manning the grill, so I didn’t get any shots of them (not a taste either).

The next day, a friend of my mom’s stopped by for the express purpose of teaching me how to make my favorite dim sum dish: loh bahk goh (turnip cake). i absolutely adore this dish — every time I go to the dim sum place where my uncle works, he always makes sure to grab me at least 2 or 3 plates of these suckers. The ingredient list went as follows: cured pork, a couple Chinese sausages, dried shrimp, shredded turnips, scallions, and the binding ingredient, which was something that literally translates into “wet flour,” though I was told that you must buy this ingredient and cannot just make it by combining water + flour. After chopping, shredding, stirring, and seasoning with some soy sauce, oyster sauce, and salt, we steamed the resulting product to achieve this:

I previously thought turnip cakes were relatively healthy, but as you probably guessed, they really aren’t. I’m not entirely sure what inspired such a thought in the first place. Regardless, I don’t think that will stop me from gorging on them when I get the chance. I suppose I could always try to make my own healthy version, but that would just ruin all the fun, wouldn’t it?

Mom’s friend and I also made some wonton and dumplings, which came out super delicious. Nothing but some ground pork, mushrooms, chive-like greens, and a handful of water chestnuts. Here’s a shot of our filling:

Our wonton, pre-boiled:

Dumplings, post-boiled:

Dumpling innards, cooked:

She also brought over a traditional Chinese dessert with which we ended the meal, a heavenly coconut milk-spiked cross between a custard and jello.