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Complimentary ...For Now ;)

Spring/Summer 2013

Summertime Treats Ice Cream, Gelato & Frozen Yogurt

Gluten Free, Dairy Free Summer Recipes Best in Barbecues Slow, Stoked & Smoked Ioka Valley Farm The Perfect Family Destination The History of... Tarragon

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Rigatoni with Italian Sausage & SKYY Vodka Cream Sauce Chef Chris Rovezzi Rovezzi’s Ristorante Sturbridge, MA Ingredients: 1/4 pound rigatoni pasta 1 tablespoon olive oil 1/4 pound hot Italian sausage, removed from the casing and crumbled or chopped 1/2 cup chopped yellow onions 1/2 teaspoon salt Pinch crushed red pepper akes 2 teaspoons minced garlic 1/2 cup crushed tomatoes 3 tablespoons vodka 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves Freshly grated reggiano, for garnish Directions Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until just al dente, 5 to 6 minutes. Drain and return to the pan Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring, until browned and all pink has disappeared, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the onions, salt, and red pepper akes and cook, stirring, until the onions are soft and golden, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring, until thick, about 2 minutes. Add the vodka and cook until the sauce reduced by half, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the cream and cook until the sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Stir in the basil and remove from the heat. Toss the sauce with the pasta to coat evenly and transfer to a pasta bowl for serving. Top with cheese and sprig of basil and serve immediately.


BREAKFAST

LUNCH

DINNER

COCKTAILS

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Breakfast & Lunch Hours Monday - Saturday: 7:00am - 3:00pm Sunday: 8:00am - 3:00pm Dinner Hours Wednesday - Thursday: 4:00pm - 9:00pm Friday - Saturday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm

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Spring/Summer 2013 Contributors Publisher: Mercury Media & Entertainment, LLC Managing Editor: Domenic Mercurio Contributing Editors: Julie Grady Thomas Jodie Lynn Boduch Christopher Dufault Director of Social Media: Jodie Lynn Boduch Much Ado Marketing Writers and Contributors: Matt Webster, Alina Eisenhauer, Ellen Allard, Richard Beams, Elaine Pusateri Cowan, Jodie Lynn Boduch, Peggy Bridges, Ryan Maloney, Christopher Rovezzi, Christine Whipple, Sandy Lashin-Curewitz, David Kmetz, Brad Schwarzenbach, Honee Hess, Stacy Horowitz, Kelley Kassa, Isabela Bessa Pelto, Kara Powers, Marni Powers Professional Photography: Scott Erb & Donna Dufault Erb Photography Art Director: Rick Bridges Richard Bridges Design Website: Jodie Lynn Boduch Much Ado Marketing Account Managers: Carol Adlestein Foodies of New England Magazine Box 380 Sturbridge MA 01566 domenic@mercurymediallc.com scott@erbphoto.com jodie@muchadomarketing.com rick@richardbridgesdesign.com All content Š2013, Mercury Media Entertainment All Rights Reserved Printed in USA Foodies of New England assumes no ďŹ nancial responsibility for errors in advertisements. No portion of Foodies of New England, advertising or editorial, may be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written permission of the publisher. The information contained in this publication is believed to be accurate, however the publisher does not guarantee its accuracy. The opinions expressed by others within this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher or its employees. By accepting advertising neither Foodies of New England nor Mercury Media Entertainment is endorsing or guaranteeing the quality of service or products within those advertisements. Every effort is made to ensure that the advertisements come from reputable companies, however we cannot take responsibility for how an advertiser deals with the public.

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Contents Features

14 Frozen Foodie Frenzy Ice Cream, Frozen Yogurt and Gelato

38

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Do You WOO? The Worcester Cultural Coalition WOO Card Program

42 The Science of Bread Making Handcrafted American Bread

50 Food Trucks Keep on Truckin’

60 Ioka Valley Farm

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Family Fun in Western MA

68 J. Anthony’s Italian Grill New Approach to Classic Italian Dining

74 America’s Favorite Food The Best in Barbecues

106 Churrasco The Brazilian-Style Barbecue

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114 Food Rescue The Superheroes at Lovin’ Spoonfuls

124 Wachusett Brewery Local Libations Since 1993

Cover: Ice Cream from Wooberry Frozen Yogurt

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Departments

46 History of...

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56

Tarragon

56 Gluten Free Dairy Free Summer Treats

72 Pasta (and Life): 101 Lobster Tortellini with Basil Cream

90 Food for Thought Barbecue To Go Withs

96 Healthy at Home Smoked Bluefish & Grilled Orange Wrapped in Swiss Chard

110 Sweet Sensations Baked Alaska

112 Brew Review Scrimshaw Pilsner

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Whiskey-Under Loch & Key Smokehouse

126 Wines of Distinction Lanzarini “Montecepas” Viognier

128 Something to Drink Strawberry Mango Mojito

120 Foodies of New England

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Magazine


LETTER

FROM THE

EDITOR

Finally, the Warm, Fun-filled, Delicious Days of New England Summer…

It’s finally here – summer. Not just any summer, summer in New England is vastly different than any other region in our nation.

We not only have different seasons which make summer all-the-more-easy to appreciate, but we have the distinction of seasonal food! Yes, foodies, with every passing season in New England comes a whole new selection of yummy possibilities to enjoy with your foodie family and friends. But none more compelling in New England than the tanginess of outdoor, stoked and smoked barbecue, followed by a deliciously cold and sweet treat – we’re talking about none other than ICE CREAM, that smooth, creamy, icy goodness than stamps its identity on every summer in our lives and makes those special days even more memorable. In this issue, you’ll swoon over New England’s sweetest, frozen-est, most summery summertime treats, from frozen yogurt to Italian gelato (buonissimo!) to savory ice cream, which is actually infused with the flavors of your favorite savory foods! Then there’s barbecue, which has become a painstaking art in New England. The ones who do it best really put their time, energy, and effort into it, using slow cookers, smokers, and proprietary spice rubs. Check out New England’s best BBQ establishments and read about how BBQ sacked New England’s taste buds right from the horse’s mouth – the New England Barbecue Society. We’ve even traveled all the way to Brazil to bring you an incredibly delicious variation on BBQ called Churrasco, and our own Isabela Bessa Pelto will show you how it’s done! Of course, you’ll be dazzled with our regular sheath of departments you’ve come to know and look forward to. Right off the bat, we’d like to welcome Italian chefextraordinaire, Christopher Rovezzi, into the Foodies fold. Chris debuts our new department, “Pasta (and life): 101.” In this skillful and insightful feature, Chris embarks on more than just culinary education and the ins-and-outs of pasta-making; he shares the motivations and life events that lead him down his successful path. Naturally, you can’t forget to check out Alina Eisenhauer’s Sweet Sensations, and learn all about Tarragon from Jodie Lynn Boduch in History Of…, find out how to make a great new and healthy summertime dinner, step-by-step, with Elaine Pusateri-Cowan in Healthy at Home, take a contemplative look at food with Peg Bridges in Food for Thought, and have a gluten-free summer brunch with our Gluten Free Diva, Ellen Allard. Looking forward to a liberating libation at the end of the warm summer workday? Check with Ryan Maloney’s Whiskey… Under Loch and Key for a terrific BBQ pairing, or grab a Strawberry Mango Mojito, courtesy of our own Rich Beams in Something To Drink?, or consult with our Grand Chancellor of Beer, Matt Webster, for a bracing summer brew recommendation. If you’re of the wine persuasion, read up on Viognier, the French white wine that has the world talking (and tasting), in Wines of Distinction. continued on page 12

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Gelato Trio from The Dolphin Striker

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Would like to welcome our new advertisers SKYY Vodka Livia’s Dish Seagram’s Smirnoff Worcester Cultural Coalition J. Anthony’s Italian Grill Wachusett Brewery Nuovo Restaurant Long Cadillac Anzio’s Brick Oven Pizza Kozara Lounge The Taste of Springfield The Twisted Fork

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Foodies love to do it themselves, so if you’re in the mood for a little bread-making, check out our feature with Honee Hess, and take a walk with us through Ioka Valley Farm, in Hancock, Massachusetts, home to natural, hormone-free beef, perfect pumpkins and squash, fragrant, real Christmas trees, contented farm animals, pure maple syrup, and specialty maple products. Then, stop by for a delicious and tastefullymade micro brew at Wachusett Brewery in Westminster, Massachusetts, where locallymade has become a flavorful phrase. If you’re planning a special event or just want some great Italian food, enjoy some al fresco outdoor dining at J. Anthony’s Italian Grill in North Oxford, Massachusetts, where the food and the air are unmistakably fresh. If you like having foodie goodness brought right to you, you’ll want to read up on the Food Truck trend that is deliciously dotting the foodie landscape here in New England. Speaking of community, be sure to look into all of the wonderful work the City of Worcester is doing to promote area chefs and restaurants under their WOO program, and learn how it benefits foodies. Then, take a “Lovin’ Spoonful” of philanthropy with Julie Grady, as she explores Lovin’ Spoonfuls in Boston, a group dedicated to recovering perishable food that would otherwise be discarded, and redistributing it to food pantries and soup kitchens in an effort to eradicate hunger. So, as you can see (and taste) foodies, there’s truly something for everyone in this issue. Pull up your favorite outdoor patio furniture, and enjoy the fruits of a magnificent New England summer!

Domenic Mercurio, Jr. Editor/Publisher


redpassion Bold, passionate and completely unique, Campari makes a dry and refreshing cocktail that can be enjoyed anytime. Hand-crafted according to the same secret family recipe invented in Italy in 1860, Campari is a one-of-a-kind, refreshing spirit.

Feel the passion. WATERMELON CAMPARI GRANITA Chef Enrico Giovanello Avellino Restaurant, Sturbridge, MA

1 lb. rind and seeds removed 2 tablespoons superfine sugar 4 tablespoons Campari ½ teaspoon lime juice Serves 4 Puree the watermelon in a blender or food processor. Heat the sugar, lime juice and Campari in ¼ cup water in a saucepan until dissolved. Add the watermelon and mix well. Pour into a plastic container, cover and freeze. Stir every 30 minutes with a fork during freezing to break up the ice crystals and give a better texture. Keep in the freezer until ready to serve. Serve in a martini glass with fresh mint.

Visit us at: www.campari.com Like us on Facebook at: facebook.com/campari


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A FROZEN FOODIE FRENZY Written by Domenic D. Mercurio, Jr. Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

T

To you foodies who are ice cream junkies, spending a substantial amount of your disposable income on this frozen goodness is justified. But $5,000 in one summer?

That was the monetary equivalent in 1790, when our nation’s first president spent $200 that summer to satisfy his incessant appetite for creamy coolant. Yes, it’s a good thing George Washington “could not tell a lie,” because no one would ever believe that he spent such an obscene amount of money – and they didn’t even have Chunky Monkey back then! Which brings us to the natural question: How much do Americans spend on ice cream these days?

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Well, according to the International Dairy Foods Association and Mintel Oxygen Reports, Americans spent just north of $11 billion in 2012 (that’s about $40 per person), and, with Sunday, July 21, 2013 designated as National Ice Cream Day, it appears that this benchmark will be blown away again this coming year. In terms of quantity, the U.S. produces over 1.6 billion gallons of ice cream each year, and the Dairy Farmers of Washington report that the average American eats over 4 gallons per year. But here’s an interesting fact: although it’s the coldest state in the union, Alaska lays claim to the most ice cream consumption, with over 6 gallons devoured per capita – beating the national average by 50%. But it’s not just about Americans gorging themselves on this sweet summertime sensation that’s become one of our favorite pastimes. With more than 9% of all the milk produced by U.S. dairy farmers used to make the gelatinous greatness, ice cream also supports local farmers and fuels the continued growth of our national agricultural economy. So, to whom do we credit our appreciation for ice cream? Who, actually, is responsible for creating this marvelous and sweet delight (which, today, can be made into just about any flavor, including savory food)? Well, the following account from the Old Farmer’s Almanac points out an interesting chronology ice cream. It is not terribly clear, however, who actually deserves the credit. To begin with, it is written that, back in A.D 54–68, Emperor Nero of Rome would send his slaves into the mountains to collect snow and mix with nectar, fruit pulp, and honey. Then there’s China’s Tang period back in A.D. 618–907, during which ice cream was said to be a dish for the country’s rulers, specifically King Tang of Shang, who supposedly kept 94 “ice men” on hand to carry ice to his palace to make a dish made of koumiss (heated, fermented milk), flour, and camphor. Of course, there’s the American perspective, which points to American colonists bringing ice cream recipes in from Europe. On May 19, 1744, a group of statesmen dined at the home of Maryland Governor Thomas Bladen. Along with them was a Scottish colonist who described “a dessert among the rarities of which was some fine ice cream, which, with strawberries and milk, was delicious.” This, according to the Almanac, was the first written account of ice cream consumption in the new colonies. In 1782, it is rumored that Martha Washington left a bowl of sweet cream on the back steps of the president’s Mount Vernon home one night, and the next morning discovered ice cream. Actually not a true story, but George Washington did have, described in his ledger, “a cream machine for ice.” Until 1843, ice cream was made by the “pot-freezer method,” but on September 9, 1843, Nancy M. Johnson of Philadelphia got her “artificial freezer” patented, containing a tub,

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cylinder, lid, dasher, and crank. This design is still widely used today. The first ice cream factory was built in 1850 by Jacob Fussell, a dairyman from Baltimore. Fussell became the father of the wholesale ice cream industry. Then, in 1880, the ice cream sundae was invented, but it is claimed to be created by four different cities: Buffalo, NY; Evanston, IL; Two Rivers, WI; and Ithaca, NY. Wherever it happened, it first started ap-


pearing in soda fountains during the 1880’s. The inspiration for it was due to the prohibition of the sale of ice cream sodas on Sundays, so the ice cream sundae was a concoction that didn’t exactly resemble ice cream in its tradition appearance, but was still made of ice cream. With the onset of grocery stores selling ice cream in the 1930’s, ice cream had become incredibly popular and was considered a boost for troop morale during WWII. In fact, in 1943 the U.S. Armed Forces were the world’s largest ice cream manufacturers! At that point, ice cream had turned into somewhat of an American symbol. So much so that Generalissimo Benito Mussolini, then ruler of Italy, had banned it in “the old country.” Who would have guessed that Italy would have gone on to embrace ice cream in the form of “gelato”, capturing the palates of ice cream junkies across the world? Regardless of who is actually responsible for the genesis of ice cream, or which nation first put it forth, it is clearly a decadent foodie favorite; and the world’s embrace of and appreciation for ice cream is clear as crystal… ice cream crystals, that is. What’s more, the future for ice cream appears to be bold and intriguing. As you read the ensuing pages, striving desperately to suppress your urges, you’ll find some traditional variations of ice cream (gelato, frozen yogurt, traditional ice cream) and the very best purveyors and modern-day creators of it will be there, profiled for you, right at your fingertips. See, you needn’t be a chef to possess this level of interest in food; remember, not all foodies are chefs, but all chefs started out as foodies, and that’s where such miraculous and palate-pirouetting concoctions like savory ice cream always begin. A remarkable innovation, savory ice cream is infused with the actual ingredients and flavors of your favorite comfort foods. Traditionally, sweet and savory were mutually exclusive flavor profiles, but now you can have your ice cream and eat it, too. We foodies are a unique and interesting species. We want top quality, we’re demanding, we challenge ourselves to produce the best because we expect it from others, and we are passionate about food – all the time, every time, and for food, we make the time, even when there is no time. So read on, foodies, even if it means stealing some time away from the non-essential things in life, and enjoy some of New England’s best summertime treats! FNE. Foodies of New England

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Gelatissimo, Bellissimo!

Written by David G. Kmetz Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

G

Gelatissimo is worth seeking out.

Set well down a shaded side street—aptly named Forest Street— in downtown New Canaan, CT, is an artisanal gelateria painted in a palette of pastel colors. The décor complements all the colorful gelati in the freezer case; a large range of sumptuous flavors Nuccia Mazzonetto has offered her customers for the past six years.

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Fragola Gelato

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Nuccia, who owns the shop with her husband, Andrea, hails from Italy. Born near Lago Di Como, or Lake Como, she learned to make gelati from her father-in-law, Giovanni Mazzonetto. “It’s part of our culture,” she said of the decadent sweet. “We grew up eating homemade gelato.” The homemade quality is obvious in the blended, sumptuous domes, the velvet texture and the fresh, vibrant taste. It takes around 2.5 hours to produce and each batch yields about one and a half gallons of gelato. Most flavors sell out quickly, but they’re remade often during the busy summer season. Gelatissimo also offers made-to-order crêpes—filled with Nutella, topped with gelato, or fresh strawberries or chocolate sauce or just about any combination of the above. There are even custom-made gelato cakes. But for Nuccia, freshness is paramount. “There is no fixed menu because the flavors change every day. Everything is made with fresh fruit or nuts. We use only natural ingredients, including our stabilizers,” she explained. So, why New Canaan? Why gelato? Nuccia said they chose to open a gelato business in New Canaan because they felt there was a European feel to the town. Between Westport and Stamford and just 10 minutes off of the Merritt Parkway, Gelatissimo was built to appeal to an international crowd. “We thought they’d appreciate it,” she said. And they do. Throughout the year, the rotation of flavors can reach up to 60 varieties. Off-season about 14 flavors are available, while at the height of summer that number can stretch to 25. Still, it wasn’t always about dessert. When Nuccia and Andrea emigrated from Italy over 26 years ago, they settled in Tarrytown, NY, where they opened an Italian restaurant called—naturally enough—Lago Di Como. Andrea was its manager and he eventually took over as head chef. Of course, Nuccia helped wherever she was needed, but when Gelatissimo picked up speed, the couple had to make a choice. In 2009, they closed the restaurant. “It was time,” she said. “To do what I do at Gelatissimo is a full-time labor of love; there are no short-cuts! We like it here. We’re happy.” Gelatissimo 26 Forest Street New Canaan, CT 06840 203-966-5000 www.gelatissimoartisangelato.com Summer hours are Monday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. No credit cards accepted.

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Gelato or Ice Cream: 3 Things You Need to Know To Sound like a Pro Gelato and domestic ice cream are similar. They’re both cold, dairy desserts, but that’s about all they have in common. It’s lower in fat: More whole milk than cream is used, resulting in a slightly lower fat content—yay! It’s denser: Gelato is churned at a slower rate, so it has around 25% to 30% less whipped air than ice cream, which clocks in around 50%. It’s never frozen: Because gelato is stored and served at a slightly warmer temperature, it’s never completely frozen. While this contributes to the rich, luxurious texture, it does mean that its shelf life is two to three days. Coppa o Cono? (Cup or Cone?) When you walk into Gelatissimo, you might be awestruck by the array of delightful flavors. So to prep you, we’ve listed some of those flavors here: Popular Picks (available most days) Mint-Chocolate Chip, Vanilla, Cappuccino and Chocolate Hazelnut Candy Seasonal Sweets (available during appropriate seasons only) Pumpkin, Chestnut, Candy-cane, Smores and Salty Caramel Fantastic Fruits Apricot, Blood Orange, Cherry, Fig, Mango, Mixed Berries, Peach, Pineapple, Rhubarb and Watermelon *Also, gluten-free mixes are now being offered.


Nuccia Mazzonetto

Stracciatella alla menta

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Chocolate Coconut

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Ice Cream

with a Sprinkle of

:KLPV\ Written by Jodie Lynn Boduch Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

Q

Quiz: Which of the following is an ice cream flavor? A. Sweet Avocado Cayenne B. Goat Cheese and Blackberry Chambord Swirl C. Curry Carrot D. Red Beets and Tarragon with Orange

If you said A, you’re correct. You’re also right if you said B, C, and D. All of these—and 50+ other enticing options—are on the flavor list at Rococo Artisan Ice Cream in Kennebunkport, ME.

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The shop embodies the spirit of the 18th-century French art movement for which it’s named. As a sign on the wall explains, the artisan-driven cultural statement “was a reaction against the strict regulations of the Baroque style of Louis the 14th and his Palace of Versailles. In contrast, the Rococo movement was whimsical and ornate. It was characterized by being more playful, with witty artistic themes. It was about not following the norm. It was about shaking things up a bit, and pushing boundaries. It was about creativity and expression. Owner Lauren Guptill’s shop couldn’t be more aptly named. Rococo opened in 2012, and it’s already made quite an impression on the sophisticated palates of locals and tourists alike. The story of how Rococo came to be is, in some ways, as unconventional as the flavor list. Guptill doesn’t have a culinary background. She neither grew up working in the industry nor had aspirations to open a shop dedicated to the summery sweet treat. Like her exotic flavors, things just seemed to come together the right way. Several years ago, the Maine native was living in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Amarula Pecan

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She owned a business and spent much of her time working on a laptop in ice cream shops—the Argentine equivalent, one might say, of the coffee shop/ workspace culture in the United States. Guptill’s friend from South Africa was doing the same. One day he tossed around the idea to give up the grind and return to his home country to open an ice cream shop—and he did. A few years later, Guptill needed a change of pace, too. She sold the business and returned to Maine knowing little of what the future held except that she wanted to do something completely different. Guptill had two criteria for her new venture: she wanted to have creative control, and she wanted to be able to run the business herself. She explored a handful of food-related options and chose ice cream in part because it allows for “a lot of space for creativity.” And here’s where, like the luscious ice cream she creates, the ingredients for Rococo blended perfectly. Guptill’s drive, her time in Argentinian ice cream shops, and her travels all earn a spot on the recipe card. She made the decision to open an ice cream shop in late 2011, learned to make ice cream thanks to an intensive 3-day course, opened for business on May 2—and made her first batch for Rococo just a few days before opening. Other than that course, all her ice cream-making is self-taught and the result of trial and error (and some very long days). The style of ice cream at Rococo is a direct outcome of Guptill’s experience in Buenos Aires. It’s an Argentine-style with regard to butter content but frozen like Italian gelato. Most American ice cream is 12-14% butter content. Rococo has a 15% butter content, allowing for a rich flavor further enhanced by serving it slightly warmer than other kinds of ice cream. There’s also less air in Rococo’s ice cream. As for Guptill’s international travels, they serve as inspiration for Rococo’s

Lauren Guptill

offerings. Take, for example, Pecan Amarula. Amarula, a fruity cream liquor, was a taste she experienced in Tanzania years ago. The aforementioned Sweet Avocado Cayenne was influenced by avocado milkshakes she enjoyed in Brazil. “It’s a reach for people,” she said of this particular flavor. continued on page 67

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Traditional Banana Split

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Summer’s Reigning Queen of Ice Cream Written by Stacy Horowitz Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

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When the temperature is soaring and you are desperate to cool off, well, you know how the old childhood song goes, “we all scream for ice cream!” Ice cream is as attached to summer as we here at Foodies to food, so not just any ice cream will do. Exotic flavors of the homemade variety at Mad Maggie’s in North Andover tops our list for the place to cool off this summer. The nine-year-old Mad Maggie’s derives its name from the Reppucci family that runs the business. The children’s names—Mike, Amanda, and David—form the “MAD” acronym, with the rest of the ice cream shop’s name coming from their mother and co-owner “Maggie”—who helps run

the store during the day. Co-owner Steve Reppucci rounds out the family tree. There is nothing quite like the taste of creamy melt-in-yourmouth homemade ice cream which sets Mad Maggie’s apart from its competitors. So what exactly goes into making the freshest homemade ice cream around? “While the ice cream you might get at the supermarket or at places that buy commercial ice cream could have been made 8 to 10 months ago, it’s unusual for us to be scooping anything that’s more than a week or two old, and oftentimes what we’re scooping today was in the cow just a few days before,” says Steve of his sweet concoctions. continued on page 28

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The current menu at Mad Maggie’s is an overload of sweet and spicy delights for all of the senses. The current menu has a confectionary medley of Black Raspberry Cookie, Big City Brownie, Peanut Butter Cookie, Vanilla Caramel Turtle, and Blueberry Grapenuts. “We’re small, and we’re pretty particular about making the absolute best flavors we can, using the best ingredients we can find. For example, we could purchase pre-cut “brownie pieces” for our ice cream, but I hate the taste and texture of them. The best brownies I’ve found are a very rich, fudgy, chocolatey brownie, so we buy them by the sheet and hand-cut them. It’s more work, but it makes a better ice cream. We’re also lucky to be within a small cluster of other local area stands that also make their own homemade product, so there’s a little pressure to keep making our flavors better and better all the time,” said Steve. Mad Maggie’s also carries their own homemade frozen yogurt with 5 to 6 flavors in stock. There is no shortage of help from the Mad Maggie’s fan base. In fact, the current menu consists of many flavors that came directly from customer suggestions. “We’re always getting customers offering ideas for new flavors. As an example of the advantage we have in making our own, we make a “Brown Sugar Oatmeal” flavor. One customer, after tasting it, suggested adding in raisins to make the flavor of an oatmeal raisin cookie—guess what flavor we had a couple of days later?” said Steve. Mad Maggie’s supports the local community buying raspberries from Barker Farm, and blueberries from Turkey Hill Farm. They also buy maple syrup from the wonderful team of Paul and Kathy over at Turtle Lane Maple Farm. “In the past, we have made the Maple Bacon flavor when they’re harvesting sap, though

we’ve debated giving in to customer demand and making it for a longer period this year.” “I try to pick and choose where we take the time to prepare our recipes “from scratch,” and where it makes more sense (and a better product) to use a commercially available flavoring,” said Steve. They are also involved in the community by having tours with small school groups and other assorted friends. As the Reppucci’s say, “We’d be delighted to share a peek at our production process with just about anyone.” It takes some serious research to

boat this impressive of an eclectic flavored roster. Besides taking customer suggestions, Steve runs an ice cream discussion group on Yahoo where they have over 850 members and ice cream flavors are shared. Steve also belongs to the New England Ice Cream Restaurant Association—he is the incoming President this year. He also loves attending conventions and talking to others about new or interesting flavors. The Mad Maggie’s Facebook site boasts an impressive and ice cream hungry 1,139 members. Traveling adventures also provide more flavor inspiration. “We’re passionate continued on page 94

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Stephen and Maggie Reppucci

Peppermint stick

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Fresh & Frozen

at Wooberry Written by Bradley Schwarzenbach Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

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Wooberry Frozen Yogurt on Highland Street in Worcester, Massachusetts is the brainchild of Ted Domville. Originally from upstate New York, Domville cut his culinary teeth in San Diego and Durham, North Carolina (as Domville describes it, “the foodiest small town in America”). It was in Durham that we broke into the soft serve frozen yogurt trade.

“When I was in Durham, you just couldn’t get [frozen yogurt]. In San Diego, it was everywhere,” Domville said. “One day a patron at the restaurant heard me talking about it and he just said, ‘We should open one!’” Domville’s brainchild — a full service, soft serve frozen yogurt shop — took off in North Carolina and grew into three locations.

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Warm dark chocolate and house made whip cream

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Ted Domville

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After the initial success he sold his stake in North Carolina and moved to the Worcester area. “I didn’t quite know what to expect but what I found was that there were a lot of amazing things going on here. Armsby Abbey is doing great things with local food. Niche Hospitality is bringing fine dining to the city,” he said. But—once again—that frozen yogurt he’d enjoyed out west was not available. So what is it exactly? Starting with a skim milk base, sweetener is added (for most flavors that’s pure cane sugar) along with yogurt cultures. Stabilizers and emulsifiers are added to prevent separation and it’s all poured into a traditional soft serve machine. Domville noted that, “a small original yogurt is only 125 calories with zero grams of fat.” Six different main yogurt flavors rotate with seasonal gelatos and a daily sorbet. The magic, though, tends to happen with the toppings. The options run from fresh fruits and berries to chocolate chips and Golden Grahams cereal. They sometimes even go more exotic with such unexpected toppings as lychee, pumpkin seeds, or Lucky Charms! There are no secrets to Wooberry’s success. Domville has carefully pulled together key elements that have made this west-coast-inspired yogurt shop into a standout of the Worcester culinary community. First, the location. It sits on the corner of Highland and West Streets, shoulder-to-shoulder with such luminary establishments as the Boynton Restaurant and The Sole Proprietor. A light cup of frozen yogurt makes for the perfect after-dinner treat. Also, Wooberry standing in the walking paths of many Worcester Polytechnic Institute students also surely helps. The design of their space, however, is just as important as where it resides. At a glance, the contemporary white tables and bright design are reminiscent of the sterile moon base sequence of 2001: A Space Odyssey. But the space is large and inviting. “[The design] is unique and part of the experience. We have parking, free wifi, and board games,” Domville said. Also, Domville has made exemplary customer service essential to the Wooberry experience. “You walk in and it can

be overwhelming,” Domville said. “With so many toppings and yogurt or gelato choices, it helps to have someone walk you through it. And sampling! Sampling is so important and we are happy to let you try all the flavors first.” Finally, though, the most important part of the Wooberry equation is the fresh, local ingredients. “We make some of the yogurts in house with seasonal flavors. Our whipped cream is made with local cream and vanilla beans... Most of our toppings, the fresh ones, are locally-sourced from farms in the area. We’re over 60 toppings now so managing inventory is getting to be a challenge!” Domville said. As for the future, Domville wants Wooberry’s growth to be -- like a lot of his product -- organic. This year, Domville has chosen to take the business mobile with the addition of a frozen yogurt truck that will bring the same delicious yogurt and toppings from the store to the streets of Worcester and Central Massachusetts. It’s a modern play on the old ice cream truck. The Wooberry yogurt truck will even be available for corporate events, parties, and family gatherings because who wants to be the one stuck doing the sticky scooping? “We don’t want to be a chain. But, if I see the right space, I’ll know it’s right.” For now though, his entreaty to customers is simple: “Come in. Sit down. Stay. Relax. Eat some yogurt.”

“One day a patron at the restaurant heard me talking about it and he just said, ‘We should open one!’”

Wooberry Frozen Yogurt 141 Highland Street Worcester, MA 01609 508-459-2311 www.wooberryyogurt.com

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Small-Town Ice Cream,

Big-Time Flavor Written by Jodie Lynn Boduch Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

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If there’s something to be said for staying true to classic ice cream flavors, SoCo Creamery is saying it. And they’re saying it in a clear voice that stands out from the crowd. Based in Great Barrington, MA, SoCo produces “ultra-premium all-natural” ice cream. The adjectives are more than marketing copy—they represent the measurable standards of a truly high-quality product.

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Owner Dan Mazursky explains that “ultra-premium” refers to the 15% butter fat content; “all-natural” means no colors or preservatives and no hormones. The texture is dense, a result of low overrun (“overrun” is the amount of air pumped into ice cream). SoCo uses no eggs and is all vegetable-based, including for its emulsifiers and stabilizers. The ice cream is, as Mazursky puts it, “pure and clean.” SoCo’s philosophy is one of small batch creation over mass production. The company prides itself on this and has been operating in this fashion for 22 years in both shops and the retail sector—long before such micro-methods became trendy. In fact, SoCo isn’t about trends. While they don’t endeavor to avoid them per se, they feel strongly about “not being gimmicky.” Need some examples? Consider Berkshire Berry, which has raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries. The idea behind this flavor was to do something different from a single-origin fruit, though SoCo produces those as well. Mazursky notes that fruit flavors are not their most popular (delicious blend with native fruit notwithstanding); the big draws tend to be flavors that incorporate coffee, caramel , and chocolate. Ah, chocolate. Dirty Chocolate is one of their most popular flavors. Mazursky identifies it as a “cult classic” (try it, foodies…you’ll understand why that’s the case). As for the name, it’s a matter of callin’ it as you see it: Mazursky gave it that moniker because “you get dirty making it, scooping it, or eating it.” The decadent, complex flavor uses several kinds of chocolate, which ensures that it has a lot of depth and isn’t overly sweet. It’s both the most difficult and most expensive ice cream that SoCo makes. In addition to sticking (ice cream pun intended) to the classics, SoCo believes in sticking close to home. They purchase as much as possible regionally (e.g., cocoa beans are not native to the area but they’ll use a local distributor with highquality products). They’ve also become part of the community culturally. Mazursky says that people come to the Berkshires from all over, and they associate SoCo with their experience of the region “whether they come from Boston, Worcester, or Greece.” This explains, of course, why they’re known for having lines

out the door. “It’s a consistent product,” said Mazursky, “and people have grown up on it.” SoCo has built a solid reputation for flavor and quality, but it’s not just the ice cream that gives the brand its coolness factor. People also love the vibe of the shops. “It’s one of the most pleasurable, rewarding businesses to be in; that’s why we do what we do,” said Mazursky, adding that he has a personal motivation to give people a great experience. And that they do. In the shops, the service is friendly, they play good music, and local kids are behind the counter. In Great Barrington, SoCo is legendary in the camp counselor where-to-go-in-town community. It’s been handed down from one generation of counselors to the next as something fun to do in the area. Speaking of the shops, when asked what would surprise people about the ice cream business, Mazursky replied: “Just how hard it is to keep an ice cream shop clean. It goes from spotless to messy in no time!” It must be all that Dirty Chocolate. SoCo Creamery 5 Railroad Street Great Barrington, MA 01230 413-528-9420 www.sococreamery.com

Marie Humes

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Do you “WOO”? If you live in or around Worcester County, you should have a WOO card Written by Christine Whipple Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

Mary Beth Benison from Coco Beni Confections, Northborough, MA

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The WOO card is a program of the Worcester Cultural Coalition introduced free to college students in 2007 with a dozen cultural institutions participating. It gave, and continues to give, discounts and special offers to help introduce students to Worcester’s vibrant creative community. As popularity and participation grew, the public asked for a WOO card. In 2011 the Public WOO card was introduced for $20 with no renewal fee. College cards remain free for students of participating Colleges of Worcester Consortium campuses. Before unveiling the Public WOO card, Ellen Ganley, Special Projects Assistant for the City of Worcester, and her team with the Cultural Development Division, set out to find for-profit partners. The intent of including restaurants, retailers, accommodation venues, and transportation services as a compliment to the galleries, museums, music, and theatrical performances who were already members, was to offer a complete Worcester County experience to users. The first two restaurateurs to participate were Mike Covino with Niche Hospitality, which includes Bocado Tapas & Wine Bar, Mezcal Cantina, and the People’s Kitchen of The Citizen, and Paul Barber with The Flying Rhino Café & Watering Hole. By the end of the first year, eight restaurants were on board. There are currently 16 participating eateries, and Ganley likes to remind people, “Calories don’t count when you use your WOO Card.”


FUN FACT Did you know? Paul Barber from The Flying Rhino Café & Watering Hole, Worcester, MA

WOO Card holders receive discounts, and special offerings at over 60 venues and businesses throughout Worcester County… “an abundance of collective energy,” says Ganley. Every time you visit participating venues or attend a WOO event, your card will be swiped for points. Your WOO points will earn fantastic prizes, such as restaurant gift cards, passes to cultural venues, and tickets to a Hanover Theatre show. Bringing culture, creativity, and community together, the WOO Card Program is all about collaboration. With over 6,600 cardholders, this is a recipe that works well. A great example of collaboration is the Wow WOO Packages. In a single point of purchase the consumer has an opportunity to have an eating and a cultural experience. Wow WOO packages offered this past winter included: • Luck of the Irish - two tickets to one of more than a dozen shows at The Hanover Theatre along with lunch or dinner at The Celtic Tavern. • WOOnderful Date Night - Dinner at the Flying Rhino Café & Watering Hole and a concert of your choice from Music Worcester’s 2013 season. • Sweet Treat - WooBerry Frozen Yogurt & the Worcester Art Museum’s

(WAM) “yog-ART” program. That includes 50% off admission for two to the Worcester Art Museum and treats at WooBerry before or after your WAM visit. WooBerry (which is listed under “Quick Bites”) gets more swipes than any other food category. WOO Cards can be purchased online at www.woocard.org, at The Hanover Theatre or DCU Center’s Box Offices and at other WOO venues and events (see website for a complete listing).

That according to a recent survey by Esquire Magazine, 93% of Americans pick up and read magazines an average of 43 minutes a day. Still think you can get that much exposure from a billboard or the web? Try advertising with us and savor the rewards! Foodies of New England

Mike Covino from Niche Hospitality, Worcester, MA

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The Science of Bread Making

Written by Honee Hess Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

Julia Child, the dowager of all things good to eat, once said, “How can a nation be great if their bread tastes like Kleenex?” Foodies wondered if all American bread fell into Child’s Kleenex category. We found two local professionals—attorney Jonathan Finkelstein and health care executive Phil Magnusson, both of Worcester—who have dedicated much of their free time during the last several years to proving that handcrafted, American bread is anything but “Kleenex.”

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Jonathan Finkelstein and Phil Magnusson

Finkelstein and Magnusson first discovered their common love of making good bread when they were out cycling five years ago. And while they have combined their talents to raise money for charity through their bread baking (last year at Family Health Center of Worcester’s Art in the City fundraiser, two individuals paid $1400 each for a basket of breads and a bread-baking session with the duo), they have taken their individual bread-making in different directions. Jonathan is the master of rustic white breads (baguettes and ciabattas), challahs, foccacia, bagels, and ethnic ryes. Phil creates more muscular baguettes and boules with whole wheat and the use of spent grains (grains left over from the beer-brewing process) to enrich the texture of the bread and increase the dietary fiber count. Both have eschewed buying bread at the grocery store. “I haven’t bought a loaf of bread in over 7 years,” said the ever-busy Magnusson, “and only once did we run out of bread!” Neither of these bread-baking buddies sees bread as the demon of good eating and health; in fact, they believe just the opposite: When you eat bread that has been baked with the best ingredients and that provides fiber and nutrition, what’s not to like? continued on page 44

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Finkelstein attended “Bread Camp” at King Arthur’s Educational Center in Vermont. “The only down side is the continuous cleanup and washing down the counters,” he quipped. “Left untended for a while, a little dusting of flour and a drop of water will usually end up as concrete.” Magnusson rounded out his home-schooling with attendance at the Kneading Conference held in Skowhegan, Maine. “Making bread is relaxing for me. I think about it as science, then art, then therapy!” The science of bread making involves understanding yeast and the properties of leavening, kneading, and elasticity. The art part involves a variety of bowls, bennetons, boards, lames, and shaping tools. The therapy part is the physicality of working the dough, the discovery of patience (have you ever watched bread dough rise?), and the reward --the smell of bread wafting through the house and the wholesome taste of handcrafted bread just out of the oven. No Kleenex allowed.

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“History of...”

Tarragon Written by Jodie Lynn Boduch Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

Jodie Lynn Boduch, owner of Much Ado Marketing, serves as Social Media Director and Staff Writer for the Foodies team. She’s an adventurous explorer of the culinary landscape and enjoys writing about food. Educated in both business and history, she has big plans to put the latter to good use for this column.

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It’s not every day you come across an herb whose name invokes flame-resistant shields or the wielding of swords. But alas, tarragon (from the French estragon, “little dragon”), achieves precisely that.

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peculation is that the aromatic herb acquired its mythological moniker due to one of two possible reasons: its tangled root system or its alleged effectiveness curing the bites of mad dogs and other venomous creatures. To take the fantasy story metaphor a bit further, tarragon is also known as the “king of herbs.” It should come as no surprise, then, that this herb has a strong, distinctive flavor profile akin to anise (think second cousin twice removed from black jellybeans). Tarragon is used in sauces, stews, and butters; it also goes well with fish, chicken, cheese, egg dishes, and vegetables. It’s also used frequently in condiments such as vinegars, relishes, and prepared mustards.

The Franco-Russian Alliance—Or Divide Tarragon is believed to have Siberian origins, and there are two primary varieties today. Russian tarragon, or “false tarragon,” has narrower, spikier leaves and a more bitter undertone than its preferred counterpart, French tarragon (which is called, you guessed it, “true tarragon”). The French variety is sweeter, smoother, and lighter, although overcooking it can bring out bitterness even in this version. French tarragon has a unique feature among herbs in that it cannot be started from seeds—it can only be grown from seedlings or cuttings, and is unique in this regard. It was the French who declared tarragon king of herbs, and its prevalence in French cooking gives homage to the royal title. It’s the distinctive flavor in that delicious filet mignon accompaniment, Béarnaise. And unlike most herbs, the fresh variety is stronger and thus more fragrant than the dried version. The latter has a place in French cooking as well: tarragon is also one of four components in the French herbal blend fines herbes. The other three club members are parsley, chives, and chervil.

Tarragon Outside of France Tarragon is rarely mentioned in ancient texts, and while there are medieval and Asian references to its digestive aid properties, it has far fewer medicinal affiliations than other herbs. It’s chronological place in culinary history is one of modernity compared to garlic or basil, having only—wait for it—taken root in England in the 16th century. Henry VIII’s family, the Tudors, is responsible for cultivating it there. It was brought to the United States in the 19th century. continued on page 48

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Sort of Hitchcockian Tarragon, for all its elegance in the kitchen, is a tough cookie. First, let’s talk about that root system. Tarragon has a lot going on under the surface, with twisty roots that can get so out of control that the herb can strangle itself if not divided regularly. The serpentine underground network aids the perennial in survival in arid conditions, which perhaps explains propagation in Siberia’s conditions. Second, tarragon has a hoodlum edge to it, at least when it comes to insects that like to feed on kitchen greens. The powerful licorice flavor is a pest deterrent, so the little dragon is a good “companion” plant. Think of it as the keep-your-distance-and-no-onegets-hurt resident of your herb garden. Finally, as a testament to both its flavor and its colorful fantasy/horror flick/gangster proclivities, consider this quote by master chef James Beard: “I believe that if I ever had to practice cannibalism, I might manage if there were enough tarragon around.” Look, we don’t want to give zombies and other people-eaters any ideas, so we’ll sidestep any elaboration on Chef Beard’s playful remark. Nevertheless, it’s undeniable that tarragon has a welldeserved seat of honor at the Table of Sophisticated Ingredients. Just don’t, you know, tick off its root system or mess with its garden pals...


ROYAL PLAZA TRADE CENTER

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KEEP on TRUCKIN’

Written by David G. Kmetz Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

Food Truck Festival of New England Comes to Worcester 50

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On the national culinary scorecard, food trucks have been on the upswing for over a decade now and are still one of the hottest trends around. Though Boston/Metrowest were a little late to the program, much evidence of serious food truck (FT) activity is afoot. Expansion—both in scope and types of cuisine—has been rampant. Case in point, the recent Food Truck Festival of New England (FTFNE) that rolled into Worcester’s Elm Park for one afternoon in July.


This may have been just one of eight events hosted by the FTFNE team this year, but it was Worcester’s first. And it was impressive. Seventeen trucks lined up nose to tail, offering something to please every taste: basic dogs and frozen treats to soba noodles, chilled gazpacho, lobster rolls, deep fried pickles, pulled pork, BBQ ribs, fish tacos, ice cream sandwiches plus numerous vegetarian and gluten-free options.

Homespun History Two trucks were local to Worcester, but most came from afar with home bases in Boston, Malden, Hingham, Weymouth, Medford and even Nashua, NH. No matter the mileage, each truck hauled over its kit along with its own brand of history. The Away Cafe of Hingham started in 2007 with husbandand-wife team David and Porchinart Ericson. Porchinart has been cooking Thai cuisine since she was six, but their truck also offers Cuban fare, Italian, BBQ, hot dogs and burgers. Still, on a typical day in Hingham, their menu offers 50 items total. At the other extreme is Cookie Monstah, owned and operated by another married team, Melissa Dale-Lindenman and Scott Lindenman. With the help of two able assistants, this truck was up and running for a mere 10 days prior to its appearance at FTFNE. But Cookie Monstah itself was the only thing fresh out of the oven. In fact, the baked goods plated up for each customer could not be any fresher; a 72” swivel from the oven to the customer takes a few short seconds, according to Melissa herself. Cookie Monstah even sources its chocolate from local purveyor Richardson’s Dairy in nearby Middleton. Based in Danvers, they have several events set up into the fall, including a plan to offer their fresh cookie dough online.

If Fish is What You Wish… Another hit at the festival was seafood, which may be typical when you think of New Enlgand. Still, trucks Captain Marden’s “The Cod Squad” and Brother Trucker GO FISH! each brought their own take on New England sea fare. For FTFNE, Captain Marden’s “The Cod Squad” served up clam chowder, coconut shrimp, fish cakes and an excellent lobster roll (which this writer consumed with gusto). And while the success of Captain Marden’s Seafood has long been recognized throughout New England, “The Cod Squad” truck is a very new addition having just rolled out in June. On the whole, Captain Marden’s is a fourth generation family owned business and Kim Marden admits its success depends on the high quality of the catch, proper prep and service from his veteran crew, some of whom have been with the company for over 28 years. Another truck that has been years in the making is Brother Trucker GO FISH! Owner David Stein is a 1987 grad of the Culinary Institute of America and he holds a B.S. in Culinary Management from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. Throughout his culinary career, David held positions in catering as well as being a corporate executive chef, the continued on page 52

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saucier at Boston’s Parker House Hotel and an executive chef at several top dining establishments in Eastern Massachusetts. He runs his food truck with the same dedication, experience and enthusiasm. David’s offerings at the festival included his delicious summer gazpacho, catfish tacos, seafood fritters and grilled shrimp burgers. He clearly knows his stuff and so does his first mate Rich Cambriello. If you’re up for a taste, you can find Brother Trucker GO FISH! curbside at various locations in downtown Boston throughout the week or you can inquire about full service catering.

Did Someone Say BBQ? While seafood is New England’s domain, The South has mastered BBQ. Gabi’s Smoke Shack, run by young Gabrielle Martino (under tutelage of her dad, Anthony) is the genuine article. The family hails from Texas, so naturally they have a good pedigree for doing right by brisket and pulled pork sandwiches. The Smoke Shack got its start last year and usually sets up in a Harley-Davidson dealership in Nashua during the week. In spite of its Boston location, well above the Mason-Dixion Line, M&M Ribs sported one of the longest lines of the day. Locals knew the regional truck would hit the spot with the carnivore crowd. The half slab of ribs and beef brisket sandwich were hugely popular.

Just Desserts Worcester’s own Kona Ice is in its third season, offering a wide variety of Hawaiian shaved ices, with customization always available. While Kona Ice is a national franchise (represented in 40 states and growing), owners Shawn and Ellen Smith have been living and working in Worcester for 27 years. Earning a strong following over the years, blue raspberry is the most popular flavor to date. Yet each flavor is intense and refreshing, much more so than the average ice slushy alternatives. Starting out with ice cream sandwiches and ice cream bowls, Frozen Hoagies is one lively business. FTFNE marks its fifth event after it started last year. Open six days a week in and around the Boston/Medford area, the menu offers many delectable options, but the mint explosion ice cream sandwich with chocolate cookie “bread” was outstanding— a potent mint flavor surrounded by melting, gooey cookies. Food trucks. The ingredients are fresh, the prices are competitive, the service is friendly and the offerings are creative, inspired and delicious. So fellow foodies, keep an eye out for Food Truck Festivals of New England rolling into a town near you!

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Foodies of New England would like to thank the many men and women who responded to the Boston Marathon tragedy. Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims and all who were affected by these terrible events.

God Bless America.


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Rovezzi’s has always been known as the ultimate in fine Italian dining, but many may not know about our fresh, hand-made pastas. With our comfortable atmosphere and personal attention, Rovezzi’s is the perfect meeting place for a casual dinner or that important business meeting. If you don’t see exactly what you’re craving on the menu, just ask our chef to customize a dish to satisfy your appetite. Rovezzi’s Restorante - “Buon Appetito Miei Amici”

Located at the corner of Rt. 20 and School Street Sturbridge, MA • 508-347-0100 www.rovezzis.com


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Gluten Free

Written by Ellen Allard Gluten Free Diva www.glutenfreediva.com Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

Ellen Allard, the Gluten Free Diva, is an over-the-moon enthusiastically hip and motivational Certified Holistic Health Coach who helps clients banish the bloat and embrace gluten free lifestyle changes that enable them to fall madly in love with the food that unequivocally loves them back. A graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Ellen is a recipe developer, food writer, food photographer and videographer (www.glutenfreediva.com/blog/.) She passionately promotes optimal health through informed food choices and whole plant-based foods. She loves all things food and health and is happy to talk to you about the same!

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Gluten Free & Dairy Free Summer Treats When I was a little girl, one of the most exciting sounds my sisters and I heard on summer evenings was the jingle of the ice cream truck. We would rush outside, begging our parents for money so that we could buy a treat before the truck passed by our house. I used to love the ice cream bar that had vanilla ice cream surrounding a chocolate cake inside and chocolate cake crumbs on the outside. Oh, it was heavenly. After all, summer time = ice cream. Fast forward to today, oh so many years later! Given that I’m now 100% gluten free and dairy free, I have to go the extra mile to make sure that the creamy treats I indulge in are indeed devoid of gluten and/or dairy. And one of the best ways to do that, not to mention loads of fun, is to make these summertime treats in my very own kitchen. Which I do, often! And I’m guessing, when you realize how easy it is, you’ll be churning up your own ice cream on a regular basis as well. Consider these recipes a blueprint. You’ll find a coconut milk based ice cream, a cashew based ice cream, and a sorbet made with a most surprising list of ingredients. You can easily customize the coconut and cashew ice cream recipes to your own liking. For example, for the coconut milk-based ice cream recipe, instead of using pineapple and mint, try chocolate chips and the scraped insides of a vanilla bean. For the cashew based ice cream, instead of blueberry, sub in strawberries or raspberries. You might even get fancy and add some Grand Marnier. And don’t stop there. Give the Chocolate Ginger Cookies a whirl and serve them along side these frozen treats. Better yet, try your hand at making ice cream sandwiches. I think that the cookies would be wonderful surrounding the Coconut Pineapple Mint Ice Cream. Either way, you’re in for a treat. A creamy, summery, ice cream delight!


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Coconut Pineapple Mint Ice Cream Ingredients: 1/2 c. unsweetened, shredded dried coconut 1 (14 oz.) can full-fat coconut milk 1 1/4 c. non-dairy milk (I used Blue Diamond almond-coconut) 1/2 c. agave syrup 1 tsp vanilla extract 3/4 c. canned pineapple, diced small 2 tsp. minced fresh mint *Optional: 2+ drops of doTERRA Peppermint Essential Oil Heat shredded coconut in saucepan over medium-low heat until it just starts to turn golden brown. Watch carefully as it can turn dark quite easily. Add canned coconut milk, almond-coconut milk, and agave and stir to blend. Remove saucepan from heat and add vanilla extract, stirring gently. Allow mixture to come to room temperature. Store in refrigerator for 10 - 12 hours, covered. Pour mixture into ice cream maker’s freezer bowl, following directions for your particular ice cream maker. About five minutes before ice cream is finished to your liking, add pineapple and mint. (Note: I churned my ice cream for 25 minutes and then another five minutes after adding pineapple and mint.) Serve immediately or store in freezer until you are ready to serve. *The doTERRA Essential Oils are very potent, so a drop or two is plenty to flavor this entire batch of ice cream. For more information on obtaining this brand of essential oils, go to http://www.mydoterra.com/glutenfreediva/.

Blueberry Cashew Ice Cream Ingredients: 1 c. raw cashews 3 c. frozen wild blueberries 1/2 c. maple syrup 1 tsp vanilla extract Optional: 1/2 c. chocolate chips Grind the cashews into a fine powder, in either a blender or a food processor. Add the blueberries, maple syrup, and vanilla extract and blend until thoroughly combined. The final product should be smooth. Store in refrigerator for 10 - 12 hours, covered. Pour mixture into ice cream maker’s freezer bowl, following directions for your particular ice cream maker. About five minutes before ice cream is finished to your liking, add chocolate chips if desired.

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Chocolate Ginger Cookies Ingredients: 1 tbsp ground chia mixed with 1/4 c. boiling water 1 1/2 c. raw almonds 1 - 2 tbsp coconut oil 1 tbsp agave syrup 1 tbsp whole chia seeds 1/2 c. coconut sugar 3 tbsp cocoa powder 1 tsp ground ginger 1 tsp ground cinnamon 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/4 tsp sea salt 2 tbsp diced crystallized ginger Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking pans with parchment paper. Mix the ground chia and boiling water and set aside while you prepare the rest of the recipe. Toast the almonds in preheated oven for about 7 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and place in food processor fitted with S blade. Add the coconut oil, agave syrup, whole chia seeds and process for 1 - 2 minutes. You will need to stop the food processor a few times and scrape down the mixture that clings to the sides of the bowl. Add coconut sugar, cocoa powder, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, salt. Process to combine thoroughly. Keeping the machine running, add the chia/water mixture and and crystallized ginger, and process until the mixture resembles a dough. Remove from food processor and flatten into a rectangle. Score the rectangle into 16 equal pieces. Remove one piece at a time, roll into ball, place on parchment paper and flatten. Repeat with remaining scored pieces. Bake for 6 minutes and then reverse pans front to back and shelf to shelf. Bake for another 5 - 6 minutes, making sure that cookies don’t burn. Remove from pan and place on cooling rack until room temperature or freeze.

Mojito Sorbet Ingredients: 3 c. ice 1/2 c. unsweetened apple juice or white grape concentrate 1 frozen banana 1/2 c. pineapple 2 large handfuls baby spinach or dandelion greens 1/8 fresh lime (peeling is optional, though the peel lends a bitterness to the final product) 1 mint leaf water, as needed Put all ingredients in blender, in order of appearance in recipe list. Blend until it reaches a sorbet-like texture. If mixture is difficult to blend, add a tablespoon of water at a time.

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Ioka Valley Farm Written by Peggy Bridges Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

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day trip to the Berkshires holds a special appeal for most of us. With the area’s breathtaking views and seemingly endless points of interest to visit, it’s a perfect family destination. One of the must-see locations to visit, especially if you’re bringing the family along, is Ioka Valley Farm in Hancock, Massachusetts. 

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Ioka Valley Farm was established in 1936 by Robert and Dorothy Leab with the original 13 head of cattle they drove from Lanesboro through the Berkshire and Taconic Hills to a spot which they settled and named Ioka from an Indian word meaning “beautiful.” The second and third generations of the Leab family now operate the farm which offers high-quality, locally-grown products as well as pasture raised, hormone-free beef. The operation also features a variety of family oriented activities throughout the year. Each season has activities to offer. In the spring and summer there’s “Uncle Don’s Backyard” with its outdoor farm theme playground, the pickyour-own strawberry patch, and the Maple Sugar House, the site of a complete sugaring-off operation. Year-round there’s the “Calf-A” where delicious pancake meals are served, there’s the pumpkin patch to visit in the fall, and a Breakfast with Santa is a highlight for the little ones in winter. There’s something for every member of the family to enjoy and many experiences to be shared at Ioka Valley Farm. Ioka Valley Farm 3475 Route 43 Hancock, MA 01237 413-738-5915 www.IokaValleyFarm.com

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“With the area’s breathtaking views and seemingly endless points of interest to visit, it’s a perfect family destination.”

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Robert and Dorothy Leab

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Serving Memories Since 1946 Remember the time when things were simpler? When you walk into Harry’s Restaurant, you’ll feel like you did growing up, walking into mom’s kitchen as the smells of home-cooked meals lingered in the air. Our friendly staff will make you feel right at home with our exceptional service and gracious hospitality as they serve up the best in breakfasts, lunches and dinners. From delicious fried clams and onion rings, to lobster rolls, soups and salads, there’s something for everyone. We even have low carb menu options for diabetics. Harry’s Restaurant - Great food, just like it used to be.

149 Turnpike Road Westborough, MA 01581 508-366-8302 www.harrysrestaurant.com

Follow us on Facebook HarrysRestaurantWestborough


continued from page 25

“They ask, does it taste like guacamole?” (It doesn’t—there’s honey in there to add sweetness and a touch of cayenne pepper for some delayed warmth.) Rococo has flavors that stay closer to home, too. Strawberry Basil is one of the shop’s most popular offerings; it’s also seasonal in the truest sense of the word, because Guptill will only use native strawberries. If there’s a hint of farmers market in that assertion, it’s only fitting: in addition to the shop, Rococo ice cream is available at the local farmers market (alongside two other stalls with family offerings—her mother is a gourmet chocolatier; her brother, a bison farmer.) The shop has 14 flavors in rotation, so Guptill is constantly making ice cream. Other places, she notes, make ice cream in volume in March or April that they’ll use in August. Rococo isn’t that kind of shop. Guptill wants the flavors to be cyclical and artisanal, not mass-produced. The hands-on creativity is clearly her favorite part of the process. Guptill believes her lack of experience in the industry adds to the sense of whimsy she has when experimenting with flavors. “If I feel like doing it, I do.” When asked about instinct, she doesn’t hesitate to respond: “90% of what I do is instinct.” Something else Guptill notes, almost as an aside, is that “people come in and talk about their ice cream experiences elsewhere—Texas, Puerto Rico, and so on.” Fitting small talk indeed for a shop inspired by international flavors. Rococo Artisan Ice Cream 6 Spring Street Kennebunkport, ME 04043 207-251-6866 www.rococoicecream.com

Baskets Made Just for YOU!

Customization is our specialty! Call Greenbriar Gift Baskets 508.864.5079 and 800.558.0807 www.greenbriargiftbaskets.com info@greenbriargiftbaskets.com Scan to go to our mobile website!

Like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/ Greenbriargiftbaskets

Advertise with Foodies of New England 508-479-1171 Foodies of New England

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When classic Italian food is done well, it can seem a revelation when compared to “standard fare” in many restaurants. J. Anthony’s in Oxford does the classics really, really well. And it’s all part of the Villatico family’s new approach to its decades-old restaurant.

Seafood stew

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J. Anthony’s: A New Look, New Vibe & New Approach to Classic Italian Written by Kelley Lynn Kassa Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

What used to be Periwinkles Bar & Grille has transformed itself into a modern, unique-to-New England Italian restaurant. The newly-renovated space evokes Italy, with much of the aesthetic and design done by owner Arnie Villatico, Jr. and his son Jason Villatico. “We made numerous trips to California to get inspiration for J. Anthony’s,” said General Manager Jason Villatico. “We wanted to do some things no one else in New England was doing.” Just one of these features is a “snow bar,” which is designed to keep drinks cold. Other modern touches include tile throughout the restaurant and ornate woodwork for the bars. The bar offers stemless white wine glasses (so the wine comes in contact with the snow bar) and 14 beers on draft. The beers include newer craft beers – both standards and seasonals. One of the 14 lines rotates on a weekly basis. But the big focus is on the food. The Villatico’s brought on board a locally well-known chef to revamp the menu and bring gourmet food at reasonable prices to the area. Chef John Grosse, who owned and operated East Park Grill in Worcester, has built a menu sure to please everyone. continued on page 70

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“What we’re trying to do is to bring back the flavors we grew up with,” said Grosse. The classics appetizers include a Signature Calamari appetizer, of fried calamari sautéed with pepperoncini, olives, and garlic; Stuffed Mushrooms stuffed with red peppers, onions, butter, and Ritz crackers; and Tortellini Alfredo. Entrees include Parmigiana and Marsala dishes, pastas, linguini and clams, and homemade lasagna. While J. Anthony’s offers incomparable Italian classics, the modern dishes and specials stand out among an area rife with chain restaurants. The restaurant’s current menu features modern entrees such as Sausage and Wild Mushroom Raviolis, Lemon Chicken Parmigiana, and Lobster Ravioli. One current special is Chef Grosse’s extremely popular Chicken Appianna, which is pan-seared chicken with prosciutto, mushrooms and fresh mozzarella topped with Marsala sauce and served over linguini. Other specials include Stuffed Haddock topped with a parmesan, romano, and mozzarella potato pancake, and dressed with a spinach lemon butter sauce; Lake Como Italy, with sautéed chicken, artichokes, roasted peppers and spinach with a

Chicken Appainna

Jason Villatico

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lemon cream sauce; and a Seafood Stew, featuring lobster, shrimp, scallops, haddock, and mussels in a lobster reduction sauce over linguini. The menu also offers burgers and sandwiches, steaks, chops and ribs, traditional seafood and modern seafood. There’s an entire section of the menu dedicated to haddock: options include baked, ala lobster, bruchetta, horseradish, Tuscan, and Caprese. The Villatico’s and Chef Grosse take care to use fresh, high-quality ingredients in all their dishes – just like many restaurants did years ago. It’s all part of a focus on delivering quality. “We’re bringing our fish in daily from the Cape,” commented Grosse. “We fillet it here in our kitchen. Part of how we’ve revamped the kitchen is that we are doing much more prep to the food.” One great example of the work that goes into J. Anthony’s food is the bread they serve. Grosse comes in seven days a week to make high-quality fresh bread: a serious commitment to serving customers the best possible product. The Villatico’s plans don’t stop with there. They are currently constructing a beautiful, spacious patio that will seat 60 people. The offerings on the patio will differ from the inside. Diners can order from the full menu, but the patio will feature small plates for sharing – an Italian take on tapas – and a raw bar. Between the new décor, the new vibe, and of course, the outstanding new menu and quality food, J. Anthony’s is a must-visit.

A great place for gathering

At Nuovo, we are committed to bringing our customers high-quality food that is made from scratch – everyday. Whether it’s for lunch or dinner, we offer a wide variety of delicious dishes. Check out our function room, perfect for birthdays, anniversarys, rehearsal dinners, showers and more.

Ask about our new bar and patio menu!

92 Shrewsbury Street • Worcester, MA 01604 • 508-796-5915 www.nuovoworcester.com

J. Anthony’s Italian Grill 206 Southbridge Road North Oxford, MA 01537 508-832-9705 www.Janthonysgrill.com

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Pasta (and Life): 101

LOBSTER TORTELLINI with Basil Cream

Written by Christopher Rovezzi Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

Chef Christopher Rovezzi started in the restaurant business at age 11 washing pots and pans at his dad’s restaurant in Worcester, MA. When his dad closed the doors to the original Rovezzi’s Restaurant it forced Chris out into the culinary world to continue his training. He attributes much of his success to the 3 years he spent under Chef Tommaso Garguillo. Chris re-opened Rovezzi’s in 2002 in Sturbridge, MA and has happily provided the community with his take on Italian and Medditeranean cuisine ever since. Chris is a two time winner of “Worcesters Best Chef” competition and also “Iron Chef” Champion of 2012. Known for lusty, hearty dishes that are simply prepared, his focus lately has been artisinal hand made pastas.

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Twelve months ago when my culinary team and I decided to start handmaking all of the different pastas we serve, we weren’t exactly sure what we getting ourselves into. As a practice, many restaurants that serve pasta rely on high-quality, often imported pasta products that are purchased through purveyors. Here at Rovezzi’s, we use dry pasta imported from Italy and our filled pasta came from a wonderful family-owned company outside of Boston. Although their pastas are mass-produced, the ingredients are fresh and their process is authentic. Partly as a way to stay new and innovative, and partly just because we LOVE a challenge, I decided that we were no longer going to purchase the pastas; we would demonstrate our love for creating delicious food and meticulously craft our own. Our menu typically has 6 specialty pastas, filled pastas, long cuts, and gnocchis (dumplings). Making each different type is hard work to be sure, but what made this such a daunting challenge was the AMOUNT of each type that had to be produced. For example, to have enough jumbo lobster tortellini for a busy weekend, I have to hand-make 180 raviolis on Thursday evening. That’s just ONE of six choices on our menu. Oh, and handmade is exactly that—we do not yet have filling or extruding machines that would cut the production time in half—all of our pastas are truly made by hand. The artistry that embodies the culinary world is perfectly illustrated through our pasta making. A process exhibiting the passion and creativity that goes into everything we make for our customers. Repetitive and monotonous at times yes, but instantly knowing of a diner’s satisfaction with our “creation”— that’s enough to feed any artists desire for continued improvement in their craft.


Pasta Dough Ingredients: 2 cups “00” flour 2 teaspoons e.v.o.o. 9 egg yolks 1 teaspoon kosher salt DIRECTIONS Add flour, egg yolks, e.v.o.o., and salt to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse several times until mixture comes together into a ball. Turn out onto floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and set aside while making the filling.

Filling Ingredients: 1 pound whole milk ricotta 8 ounces cooked Maine lobster meat cooled and rough chopped Half-cup pecorino romano cheese Half-cup shredded mozzarella cheese DIRECTIONS Mix all ingredients in mixing bowl Split the dough in half, and roll it into a 1/8th inch sheet. Cut 1 1/2 inch circles from the sheet. Place half of a teaspoon of the lobster filling into the center of each circle, and fold them in half, with the top being just short of even with the bottom. Press the edges together firmly, and roll the ends together until it forms a ring. Let the tortellini sit and dry for 20 to 30 minutes. Bring a pot of water to a boil, and drop in the tortellini. Cook the tortellini until they float to the surface, and remove them using a slotted spoon. Drop the tortellini into a sauté pan of your favorite Alfredo sauce recipe. Drop in a hearty pinch of rough chopped fresh basil and you now have a quick and delicious basil cream!

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AMERICA’S

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FAVORITE FOOD

Written by Domenic D. Mercurio, Jr. Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

A

merica… There are so many great things to say about this incredible nation, it’s hard to know where

to start.

So, how about starting where it really counts - Food. America has pioneered and invented a great number of things, but nothing more memorable or satisfying than barbeque. Ah, yes, the great U.S. of A. … maker of meat on a bone, the home of the pig-sicle, the purveyor of the great delight.

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A delight so great, in fact, that the mere thought of it causes salivation that even Dr. Pavlov couldn’t explain. So great that suggesting it as a dinner option in an email or a hand-written note is done with such zeal and urgency that we’ve taken to creating an abbreviation just to accommodate our anxious anticipation of it: “BBQ.” So great, actually, that a waft of the miraculously massaged meat emanating from a roadside smoker has been known to cause a conscious cataclysmic collision. Indeed, barbeque’s influence on the American male is so palpable that its contribution to his temporary loss of faculties can only be paralleled by a blast of booze or a drag of something torpedo-like. In fact, many an American male and female have outwardly fantasized about taking BBQ sauce intravenously, were it available in that form. So why is barbeque so darn important to the taste buds of most American men, women and, increasingly, children tall enough to reach the BBQ sauce? Well, tantalizing taste aside, barbeque is steeped in the cultural richness of the American heartland (and just a wee bit east of there). According to the Economist, which achieved a very thorough exposé of the tangy treat, there are four basic geographic areas in the U.S. that are responsible for the sprawl of barbeque throughout America’s cities, towns, highways, by-ways, villages and boroughs — and each has its own slant on the savory sensation. Barbeque in North Carolina, for example, is usually pork, either whole hog or shoulder, and has very little, if any, seasoning. And, when the Carolinians use sauce, they usually apply it at the table, not during the cooking process. Most of the time, the sauce is comprised of simple ingredients (simplicity being one of the great things about barbeque) such as cider vinegar, hot red pepper, and salt.

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Sometimes, depending on the region of the Carolinas, tomato sauce is incorporated into the mix. Another great American source for barbeque is the musical city of Memphis, which is known mostly for its ribs and the shoulder portion, which we foodies up here in New England often enjoy in the form of a pulled-pork sandwich. Texas, you may have gathered, is an essential cog in the barbeque wheel, and, with so many steer roaming its vast regions, Texas is naturally credited with making the best beef barbeque to be found across the country. While there are deviations, the Texan barbeque brisket is cooked very slowly and is usually served on plain Saltine crackers or simple white bread, with pickles and onions. Conversely, pork and beef barbeque in Kansas City is thoroughly bathed in a sweet, tomato-based sauce, much like we know it in New England, and probably for the same reason: the sauce tends to hide some of the shortcomings in the short ribs and many other meaty mistakes that still allow for good barbeque, just not the fastidiously-prepared greatness achieved in the bottom half of the country where barbeque is a veritable religion. But it’s not just about the region where barbeque is found; it’s about the culinary process involved in creating this iconic American comfort food. The very essence of authentic barbeque lies in the M.O.P., or “Method of Procedure,” involved in its manifestation. Barbeque is the end result – the product – that results from simultaneously slow cooking the meat while infusing it with smoke from all directions in an enclosed vessel called, yes… a smoker. With this method of slow cooking, the meat not only becomes tender, but the bonus is achieved when it is infused with those rich flavors of fragrant smoke, often derived from hickory or other types

6HFUHWVWR*OXWHQ)UHH6XFFHVV ‡7UDYHOZLWKVQDFNV ‡$VNTXHVWLRQV ‡'RZHHNO\PHDOSODQQLQJ ‡(DWZKROHSODQWEDVHGIRRGV ‡%HJUDWHIXO Ellen Allard, Gluten Free Diva, is a Certified Holistic Health Coach trained at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in NYC. She teaches people who are gluten free the tools for skipping right past the overwhelm and frustration of “What CAN I eat?” so that they can enthusiastically embrace the foods they CAN eat! Email support@glutenfreediva.com to inquire about private and group coaching programs.

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of sweet or spicy woods. The smoke itself is also very hot, and serves to cook the meat in a tempered fashion, rendering it incredibly tender. So, for you foodies of New England who love you some smoked meat, you can be sure that the influence from the grand-daddy-regions of barbeque in our great nation has made its way clear through to the local chefs featured within these pages.

Oh, yes, an oversized cloth napkin is most certainly required if you plan to lay focus on the Best Barbeque in New England. After you peruse the last page of this issue, the mere mention of Foodies of New England will make you a believer in Dr. Pavlov’s theory. Ring-a-ding-ding. FNE.

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Maple smoked ribs

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BEST in BARBECUES

Vermont Maple BBQ Written by Sandy Lashin-Curewitz Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

Barbecue lovers harbor a powerful passion for their favorite dishes, and they wear a good sauce proudly. These legions have found devoted foodie practitioners, Vermont Maple BBQ’s Pauline Poulin and Dave Langhans, to stoke and satisfy their yearning. Vermont Maple BBQ’s following has been growing since 2001, and includes local regulars and annual visitors who dream all year of their tender ribs and flavorful barbecue sauce. Through extreme temperatures, snowfall, Hurricane Irene, and warm clear evenings surrounded by the central Vermont mountain range, the folks at Vermont BBQ persevere, perfecting their craft, conjuring new recipes, feeding snow bank barbecue to droves of snowmobilers, as well as sating travelers to and from Canada and across the country, and annual visitors from as far away as Australia. Foodies of New England

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Hand pulled pork quesadilla

Poulin and Langhans are humble, community-minded people who discovered their calling in the high-speed feeding of large groups of hungry people. Poulin describes how it all began: “My nephew built a smoker and welded it on a car frame for his senior class project in vocational metal class.” The smoker garnered her nephew a good grade and a new hobby—smoking whole hogs. When it came time to sell the smoker, “Aunt Polly” was determined to keep the smoker in the family. Poulin became the aunt of invention, and Vermont Maple BBQ’s journey began with a crash course in smoking whole hogs and cooking barbecue at family gatherings, parties, and festivals. Rave reviews and growing numbers of fans led them to build a mobile kitchen and dive into their first barbecue competition. “In 2005,” Poulin says, “I had gotten wind of the Harpoon Championships of

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New England Barbecue. Learning that they ran out of food to serve to the public the previous year, I felt the need to step up and help out.”

“Our local fruit wood– apple, beech and maple–creates a nice blend of flavors” In seven days, they smoked 400 pounds of meat. They fed their own 200-person family reunion, as well as their Harpoon customers. Not every barbecue contender competes and also sells their wares. Our heroes did and, Pauline says, they placed 18th out of 42. “With a lot of soul searching I decided we needed to take the next step to grow the business,” says Poulin. “We had a very strong customer base, and

it was not fair to them if we didn’t grow with customer demand. I was nervous because the economy was taking a bad turn toward a recession in 2008, but I knew I had to take a big chance.” Three mobile kitchens and numerous ribbons and awards later, Vermont Maple BBQ has a home at Rinker’s Mobile, located at exit 4 off of I89 in Randolph, VT. In the highly-competitive barbecue world, Poulin and Langhans’ delicious dishes have consistently placed in the invitational Kansas City BBQ Society’s Northeast Regional BBQ Championship top 10, taking home a first place trophy in 2008. In 2011, they won a second place trophy for ribs at the Harpoon Championships. What is their secret? “Our local fruit wood—apple, beach, and maple—creates a nice blend of flavors, layering in the smoke from each wood during the smoking process,” explains


Poulin. “While smoking whole hog, we inject it with Vermont maple syrup then drizzle smoked syrup over the finished product.” “We developed our very own rub and special sauce, which appeals to all ages—from babies to elders. It didn’t take long before we had our signature rub and sauce; we found a magical marriage when we bring our rub and sauce together.” Vegetables are grown at the farm Poulin inherited from her parents. In season, she grows cabbage for homemade coleslaw; green peppers for steak bombs and award-winning chili; zucchini, summer squash, broccoli, and cauliflower for mixed vegetable; sweet corn to roast for sale by the ear

or to make roasted sweet corn chowder with Vermont maple-cured bacon, which, she says, is a very big hit with customers. In addition to pork, brisket, chicken, turkey, lamb, and sausage, they always make time to try new recipes, like cheese fries and the original Vermont Maple BBQ hand-pulled pork quesadillas. Be sure to check www.vtbbq.com for festival and competition dates, and find frequent updates on the Vermont Maple BBQ Facebook page. Vermont Maple BBQ Rinker’s Mobil, Exit 4 off I-89 Randolph, VT 05060 802-282-1012 www.vtbbq.com

Dave Langhans and Pauline Poulin

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Pulled pork with sauce

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BEST in BARBECUES

BT’s Smokehouse Upends Expectation Written by Bradley Schwarzenbach Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

BT’s Smokehouse owner and head chef Brian Treitman was only a little reluctant to admit that he’s a control freak. “I really get into it. I season the meat myself. I never want to be in the office. I interact with everything we cook here,” he said. He seems willing to give up much of the riches and rewards that some restaurateurs enjoy if it means that he can maintain oversight and control of the quality of the food he produces. In fact, as Brian was in the dining room kibitzing with guests, counter-server Jennifer Buckley admitted that BT’s is 100% Brian’s show. “He calls it ‘southern-style’ barbecue, but, really, it’s all his way.” Foodies of New England

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So what is that way? “A lot of people do the wet style of meat. It’s swimming in red, sweet sauce and it’s just mush. I don’t do that. Here, it’s a dry, smoky style,” said Treitman. “But the great part with customers is that while the product doesn’t meet their initial expectation of what barbecue is, the food’s excellent and it’s fun to see their response.” Buckley added, “People will say that we can’t have good barbecue here [in New England] so they keep their expectations low... They’re skeptical but we just tell them to try it. When that happens, the only complaint we get is that we gave them too much food.” The BT’s Smokehouse experience isn’t what would traditionally be called

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fine dining, nor does it artificially tack on kitsch. There’s nothing frivolous at BT’s because the food speaks everything you need to know. The kitchen is mostly open and the cozy space ensures that you’re never far from the action. “In fine dining places, you never see the customers. But, the way we’ve set it up, you can immediately get feedback.” Brian’s culinary journey took him across the country from high-end dining, to wineries, to country clubs. But it was his time in California’s Napa Valley where Brian was exposed to what he described as “upscale, down-home food.” It was another subversion of expectations. People were eating cuisine often stereotyped as the simple, basic,

chow of the masses, but paired perfectly with fine wines. “Red-eye gravy, pickled cabbage, mustard, molasses... Just southern food that went well with the wine,” Treitman said. I tried a plate of the brisket along with the house-made barbecue beans and coleslaw. The beef, indeed, was immensely flavorful with a full nose of smoky firewood. It almost overwhelmed until I took a bite of the beans that immediately balanced out the salty smoke with a hint of molasses. The fresh, crunchy coleslaw was, rather than drowned in mayonnaise, conservatively-spiced with vinegar that cut right through the fat of the brisket. The elements on their own were good, but when combined into a single experience, the flavors showed the kind of thought and care you’d expect from a more formal establishment. However, this was in a small smoke shack in rural New England. And it was all capped off with a not-too-sweet-but-just-right cornbread muffin. There was some red barbecue sauce available on the side but it wasn’t needed. Brian added that the brisket I was eating had been smoked for twenty-two hours. “There’s nothing like this,” he said. In addition to the restaurant, BT’s also caters across the region. “We want to do more events. I love weddings. Events are just fun!” When I asked Treitman about growth, he seemed less concerned. “I get asked about franchising but I need to be able to be there, you know? Me, I want to go to places where I know the cook and know that he knows what he’s doing. I’m not looking to get too big because then I won’t be able to see everything.” BT’s Smokehouse 392 Main Street Sturbridge, MA 01566 508-347-3188 www.btsmokehouse.com


Brian Treitman

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Shrimp and barbecue ribs

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BEST in BARBECUES

LobsterQ A Different Take on Seafood and Barbecue Written by Kelley Lynn Kassa Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

There are few truly unique concepts for restaurants. Except, perhaps, what Sean Hopkins has created in LobsterQ, in Hampstead, New Hampshire: Hopkins combines New England seafood with barbecue. “People have a tough time with the idea of two completely different cuisines,” said Hopkins, the owner of and man behind LobsterQ. “But they regularly drive by places that have pizza and roast beef. I chose to offer both seafood and barbecue for a simple reason – not everyone eats seafood. I wanted a place that would work for entire families.”

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LobsterQ might be the only place specializing in seafood and barbecue, and Hopkins’ approach is to take his dishes beyond traditional New England seafood fare and Southern barbecue. His passion for both cuisines comes through in the creativity and execution of his dishes. Hopkins’ signature dish, the Lobster Pig (featured as a special and not on the regular menu), is an unusual sandwich with an interesting story behind it. “Most chefs come up with a dish and then figure out the name,” said Hopkins. “I do the opposite – I start with the name, and then work out the dish.” Hopkins came up with the name while prepping for an interview for the Phantom Gourmet radio show. He then spent a year and a half perfecting the recipe. Which, as he says, doesn’t sound like it makes sense…but it does. First he takes pulled pork, which is dry rubbed and smoked over natural apple wood, and puts it on a buttered and grilled bulkie roll. The pulled pork is then topped with coleslaw, followed by lobster salad, apple cider barbecue sauce, and lettuce. The dish offers distinctly different textures, temperatures, and tastes. Not every dish is as unconventional

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as the Lobster Pig, but all are infused with the enthusiasm of Hopkins and his team. On the seafood side, LobsterQ offers mainstays such as grilled or fried fish and shellfish, lobsters, King Crab legs, and more. One of the restaurant’s extremely popular specials, The King’s Haddock, is where Hopkins puts a new spin on a traditional baked haddock. “Nobody dresses up haddock,” said Hopkins. “Usually you can only get baked, broiled, or fried. I decided to do something different.” The King’s Haddock is a made-

to-order whole haddock fillet with an amazing stuffing. Hopkins takes his homemade lobster bisque, adds Maine shrimp, bay scallops, and crabmeat, simmers it, and uses that for the base of the stuffing. It’s then baked with butter, wine, and garlic, and it’s topped with the lobster bisque and chunks of lobster. According to Hopkins, “people go nuts over this dish.” His approach to doing what others don’t shows up in his barbecue selections as well. In addition to pulled pork, ribs, kielbasa, and homemade barbecue sauces, Hopkins often features


unique barbecue dishes on the weekly special menu. One of the recent specials was a Cornish game hen. It was seasoned, smoked, and then deep fried. The result is a super moist, flavorful entrée. Hopkins takes a thoughtful approach to developing all his recipes – and not just those for his interesting specials and Lobster Pig sandwich. Unlike many chefs, Hopkins even invested a lot of time working on creating perfect wings. “Wings are something very few places actually think about,” said Hopkins. “They buy them in bulk, toss them in the fryer or bake them, throw some sauce on them, and then they are done.” Instead, Hopkins buys his wings whole, cuts them down, seasons them, and then smokes them. Then the wings get battered, fried, and sauced. LobsterQ offers homemade desserts to finish out the meal, including the Cabin Fever Corny Cake, a barbecue dessert. One wouldn’t expect this level of sophistication when walking into a small restaurant in a strip mall. But it’s there. And it’s worth the trip to Hampstead, NH. LobsterQ 416 Emerson Avenue Hampstead, NH 03841 603-329-4094 www.lobsterq.com

Sean Hopkins

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Food for Thought

Barbecue

to-go-withs Rounding out your backyard celebration

A

Written by Peggy Bridges Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

Peggy Bridges is a high school Business and Graphic Arts teacher. She is a Yearbook Advisor and Editor, and her writing has also been published in a national educator’s magazine. Peggy is a firm believer in healthy living and an active lifestyle. She enjoys many outdoor activities with her husband and children. Her recipe for a perfect afternoon is a hike with her family and lunch on a blanket served from a picnic basket packed with great food and bottle of good wine.

fter a seemingly long and trying winter, we’re all ready for spring – and summer isn’t far behind. At this time of year many of us, myself included, start to yearn for those warm sunny days when we can relax and enjoy the weather in the privacy of our backyard. We conjure up mental images of yard games and activities like playing catch with our kids or rounding up friends and family for a vigorous tournament of volleyball or bocci. And of course, when you’re outside enjoying all that summer has to offer, you work up a healthy appetite. That’s where the backyard barbecue comes in. Let’s face it. There’s something rather festive about having a meal outside. Everything just seems to taste better when you’re surrounded by lively activity as you grab a plate and fill it, choosing from an array of meats, delicious side dishes, and fresh summer desserts. A simple meal becomes a celebration. A barbecue is one of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to get people to come together in an informal social setting where no one has to dress up or put on pretenses. It’s a time for down-to-earth fun and lots of good food. Can’t you just smell the ribs and burgers sizzling on the grill? Can you see the smoke curling upward from it as the man of the house stands monitoring the cooking, spatula in hand? (Not that women can’t grill; it’s just sort of a cooking domain that most men seem to enjoy. Maybe it has something to do with the meat.) And you know that the flame-broiled meats are just the beginning of what’s in store for your tantalized palate. A barbecue just isn’t complete without traditional as well as adventurous side dishes to trim out the meal. There are endless recipes for appetizers, salads, and fresh summer desserts made with fruit or simply the fruit itself – like a freshly sliced watermelon. Mmmmmmm! If it’s only your immediate family and you just want to gather together at the patio table for lunch or dinner, that’s great. But if you want to expand it to a full-fledged party, you may want to pay attention to a few small details that can make a big difference.

Dress It Up a Little A barbecue doesn’t have to be fancy, but you’ll be surprised at how much some attention to presentation and organization can enhance everyone’s experience. It’s the little details that make things easier for you and more enjoyable for everyone. Try putting up a folding table and tossing a casual tablecloth over it. Presto! You have an instant buffet table. Instead of leaving your side dishes in rubber

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storage bowls, transfer the contents to a colorful or hand-painted serving dish and add a large serving spoon or fork. For your desserts, use a colorful platter. Food always seems more appealing when it’s presented on an attractive plate. A few cut flowers from the garden arranged in a simple pitcher can also perk up the table. Don’t forget the beverages. A nice big pitcher of iced tea or lemonade is a great thirst quencher for all those active guests, and an ice bucket placed nearby makes it easy for people to drop a few cubes into their drinks to keep them chilled and refreshing. If you have a lot of individual serving size bottles and cans such as soda or beer, a large galvanized tub filled with ice makes a perfect vessel for an easy-to-see selection from which guests can choose. There are many of these that come with their own wrought-iron stand, which puts drinks at a comfortable height to reach without taking up table space. You can store larger quantities of these singleserving beverages in coolers nearby or under tables and replenish the ice-filled bucket as it empties throughout the day.

Helpful Hints Make sure you give your guests an ample supply of plates, forks, spoons, knives, napkins, and cups or glasses. Utensils stay neatly together and are easy to get to when they’re standing up in a glass or other sturdy, heavy container. Just remember to put these items on the table in a logical order to make things easier for your guests. Stack plates at the end of the table where guests will begin choosing what they want to eat, and put utensils, napkins and cups at the other end so that people don’t have to hold onto them while they’re trying to fill their plates. Doesn’t it bug you when you have to juggle all that stuff?

Bring It On The nice thing about having a barbecue and inviting friends is that most of

the time people like to bring something to add to the buffet table. That’s another thing that makes backyard parties such great food events. Most people have a favorite item that they like to make and bring, so you usually end up having the best items from several kitchens. What’s especially nice about this tradition is that everyone feels as though they’ve contributed to the celebration, and it enhances the sense of community and friendship that characterizes the backyard celebration. Now that you have a game plan for a great backyard barbecue, it’s time to start cooking! What follows are a few of

my own favorite recipes that usually get requested when I bring something along to someone else’s barbecue. You probably have your own traditional recipes too that you can combine with some of these to round out a great backyard barbecue. So dig out the yard games and baseball gloves, set up a canopy to keep the food out of the hot sun, and enjoy your summer! Here are a few of my favorites that are almost always crowd pleasers. From appetizers to salad and fresh summer dessert, they’re easy, colorful, and oh, so delicious! continued on page 92

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Prosciutto, Melon, and Mozzarella Skewers As your guests are working up an appetite and quenching their thirst, appetizers that are easy to grab and walk around with are great to get people started. The sweet juices of the melon in these skewers are complemented by the saltiness of the prosciutto for a classic flavor combination. Ingredients: 24 thin slices prosciutto (about ½ pound) 12 cantaloupe melon balls 12 honeydew melon balls 16 small mozzarella balls Fresh basil leaves Olive oil mixed with balsamic vinegar for drizzle 8 - 8” bamboo skewers Preparation: Slice each of the prosciutto slices in half, lengthwise into strips. Wrap each melon ball with a strip of prosciutto, threading the wrapped melon balls onto the skewers to hold them together. When assembling the skewers, put 3 melon balls on each skewer, alternating cantaloupe and honeydew with a mozzarella ball between each piece of melon for a colorful presentation. Thread a basil leaf between each ball on the skewer. Chill for at least 30 minutes. Place skewers on a plate or platter and drizzle lightly with oil and vinegar mixture.

Colorful Pasta Salad There are probably as many recipes for pasta salad as there are cooks. This is one I developed years ago that has always been a crowd pleaser. Ingredients: 1 box tri-color rotini (spiral shaped) pasta 1 12-oz. bottle Ken’s light Caesar dressing 1 jar sweet red peppers marinated in garlic 1 green bell pepper ½ can black olives ¼ cup Parmesan/Romano grated cheese 1 jar marinated artichoke hearts (optional) Preparation: Boil the pasta according to cooking directions on box. Cut the green peppers in ¼ inch strips, then cut the strips crosswise in half. Cut the olives in half, and do the same with each of the marinated artichoke hearts so that everything is bite size. Put the cut ingredients into a large mixing bowl and add the jar of red garlic peppers using about 2 tablespoons of the water in the jar. (Drain the rest.) When the pasta is done, drain it and add it to the bowl. Pour the entire bottle of Caesar dressing over the pasta and stir until the mixture is combined and the pasta is coated. Add the Parmesan/Romano cheese and stir again. Chill and allow to marinate for at least one hour; stir again before serving.

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Fresh Fruit Pizza Cookie This fresh, colorful dessert always looks impressive on your buffet table, and once your guests taste it, the pan will be empty within minutes. I’ve described here what I usually use on mine, but you can use any fruit you want to decorate your pizza cookie. Experiment with a variety of colors and use whatever’s in season. Ingredients: 1 roll of Pillsbury sugar cookie dough 4 oz. cream cheese, softened 2 tbsp. sugar 4-6 ripe strawberries 1 ripe kiwi 1 can mandarin orange slices 1 can pineapple rings Preparation: Slice the cookie dough into ¼ inch thick slices and arrange, evenly spaced on a pizza pan so as to cover the pan as much as possible. (The slices will flatten and run into each other as they cook, making

one big cookie.) Cook according to package directions. Allow to cool. Drain the can of pineapple slices and blot with paper towels to remove most of the water. Do the same with the mandarin oranges. Peel and slice the kiwi; wash and slice the strawberries in half from top to bottom through the hull. Beat the sugar into the softened cream cheese and spread on the cooled cookie as you would spread the sauce on a pizza. Arrange the fruit in an attractive, colorful pattern on top of the cream cheese frosting. I usually start with the pineapple rings, placing one in the center and arranging 5 or 6 others around it in a circle. Kiwi slices cut in half tend to fit nicely in the spaces between the pineapple rings, as do the strawberry slices. I usually place the mandarin oranges last because they’re the smallest and fill the remaining holes nicely, especially in the center of the pineapple rings.

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about finding new, interesting, and exciting flavors, and never afraid to try them at our store. We try to do a lot of “test” flavors, and are constantly trying out these different ideas that we’ve discovered to find out what our customers like (and don’t!),” says Steve. The Mad Maggie’s staff consists of 22 kids who work the windows and two or three who work the ice cream production end of the store. This year, with the opening of the new Downtown Andover location, they will probably have to double that number. “The kids are really one of the best parts of running a business like this. It’s really fun to hire a group of awkward, clumsy, goofy teens and watch them morph over the course of two or three years into confident, polished young adults,” said Steve. The inspiration Mad Maggie’s was an after dinner summer night drive with the family. The lack of great homemade ice

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cream stores was a turning point for the Reppucci’s. “At some point the “why doesn’t someone” turned into “why don’t we”, and I started investigating what it would take to start an ice cream business—and 12 or so years later, here we are,” said Steve. “I also attended several training courses, and attended an ice cream convention where I had the extreme good fortune of meeting Dick Warren, of Four Seas Ice Cream in Centerville, MA. Dick’s passion convinced me that owning an ice cream shop could be a great career, and he sold me on the value of producing my own homemade ice cream,” said Steve. The location for Mad Maggie’s was also an adventure. “We looked for a storefront in the downtown area of our hometown of Andover, but couldn’t find a suitable location. So we settled for a small, run-down, seasonal stand in North Reading as a way to get our feet wet without too much of a finan-

cial commitment. After a few years, we were contacted by the developers of our current location to ask if we’d be interested in leasing this building and we jumped at the chance to have a store in such a wonderful location in a town as nice as North Andover.” The MM staff does not close the doors in the winter—the REAL ice cream aficionados come out then. They stay open in the winter to keep their staff engaged and to serve their fan base. Mad Maggie’s has won awards at the 2004 and 2005 national NICRA conventions. Trust me: their ice cream will keep you coming back long after summer is over. Mad Maggie’s Ice Cream 1025 Osgood Street North Andover, MA 01845 978-685-2814 www.madmaggies.com




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Healthy at Home

Recipes by Elaine Pusateri Cowan Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

www.elaineslife.com Elaine strives to create beauty everyday. Whether she’s designing web pages or interiors, preparing appetizers or entrees and even reďŹ nishing furniture or making art, she always looks to satiate her appetite for all things artistic. As an artist, foodie, interior designer and amateur photographer, Elaine believes in the quality of a sustainable life, not just living well. Her strong sense of duty to integrate such sustainability into every aspect of domestic life begins with perhaps the most basic of all elements: diet. She believes that anyone equipped with a stocked pantry and local produce can whip up quick, fresh, and delicious meals every night.

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Hickory, Chicory, Dock Smoked bluefish and grilled orange wrapped in Swiss chard paired with a grilled endive salad Blink and you just might miss the season for pairing freshly picked veggies with a grilled protein de jour in New England, so make the most of it. A couple of important things to remember whilst keeping it healthy at home: keep it simple and keep it sustainable. To me, simple means limiting most of my recipes to a few ingredients and a few steps—this is especially true in the summer. My favorite dishes aren’t fussy, but are easily prepared outdoors, either grilled or smoked. Sustainability is really important to me. It has always been a part of my life. Growing up, we had more garden than lawn and as a descendant of a Sicilian fisherman, fresh fish was plentiful. But, if a bluefish doesn’t make its way to your door this summer by way of a family member who caught one too many, I urge you to check some farmers markets that support local fisherman. I purchased the fish used in this recipe at the Hope Artiste Village Wintertime Farmers Market in Pawtucket, RI. It was worth the trip from Central Mass. The few ingredients in this fish dish are obvious, but what might not be is that eating fish caught regionally positively affects your local economy, plus it’s tastier and healthier. Part of keeping it simple means keeping it local; I don’t want to eat fish that had to travel a long distance to get to me and nor should you. Why Bluefish? Three reasons: it’s plentiful in the summer, it’s regional and it’s delicious. Bluefish gets a bad reputation because it’s oily and there’s no disputing this. It absolutely is. However, one byproduct of the oil is the health benefit—the omega 3s. It’s not recommended to freeze fresh bluefish. It should be eaten fresh and grilling is usually the best option. If you need to freeze the fish, you can do so if you smoke it first. In this issue I’ve grilled a previously smoked bluefish, thanks in part to the freshly fallen two-feet of snow on the day of the photo-shoot. I regret not being able to show you the smoking process, but rest assured, it’s not difficult. I use a dry brine for bluefish, which is an essential rub made of two tablespoons of kosher salt, fresh ground pepper and sugar. Rub both sides of the fillet and place it skin down in the smoker for six hours. It really could not be simpler. continued on page 98

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The oranges here are obviously not local. When it’s impossible, try to buy organic. Grilling fruit is so satisfying to the senses. I brushed the oranges with the slightest bit of canola oil, just enough to allow flipping on the grill without sticking. The heat draws out the natural sugars, but the bright citrus burst remains intact. Each bite of this dish is perfection: sweet, smoked bluefish and tangy, grilled orange all wrapped in savory Swiss chard. The grilled endive balances out the dish with its chicory flavor—it’s the yin to the fish’s yang. Happy summer! Have questions? Check out Elaine’s blog www.elaineslife.com.

Ingredients 3 Endive 1 Handful of halved grape tomatoes 2 Bunches of Swiss Chard 3 Organic Oranges 2 Fillets of Smoked Bluefish cut into 6-4 inch pieces 3 Cloves of Garlic Canola Oil Kosher Salt Balsamic vinegar

Grilled Endive 1. Preheat grill or stovetop griddle. 2. Rinse and trim the blunt end of the endive. 3. Cut lengthwise. 4. Brush the endive with canola oil. 5. Sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt. 6. Place the flat side down on the grill for approximately five minutes–I use a cedar block to add a little extra pressure, if you try this please be careful! 7. Plate with halved tomatoes and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

Also available on our website: www.foodiesofnewengland.com

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Smoked Bluefish, Grilled Orange Wrapped in Swiss Chard Swiss Chard 1. Thoroughly wash the Swiss chard. 2. Dice 2-3 cloves of garlic. 3. Wilt the Swiss Chard in an extra– large skillet with the garlic, adding a few sprinkles of kosher salt– set aside.

Grilled Orange 1. Peel and slice orange into ¼ inch slices. 2. Brush both sides of orange with a little canola oil. 3. Grill – 2 minutes should do it. To keep the orange slice intact, you may need to use a spatula to remove it from the grill– set aside.

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Smoked Bluefish 1. Brush canola and grill – leave skin on for grilling – 4 minutes each side. 2. Remove skin. Assemble 1. Fan out 2-3 of the Swiss chard leaves keeping the stems on one end. 2. Place the fish on the leafy end of the Swiss chard. 3. Place 2 orange slices on top of the fish. 4. Roll and wrap the swiss chard around the fish and orange.

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Coming in the next issue of Foodies of New England!

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Giving ‘Incredible’ New Meaning

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Churrasco The Brazilian-Style Barbecue Written by Isabela Bessa Pelto Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

B

razilians are known as a happy and creative people that love to celebrate any occasion (or even for no particular occasion). And there’s nothing more popular around all the country than churrasco (Brazilian-style barbecue). Don’t let all the jokes and smiles fool you, though—Brazilians are talking about serious meat over serious, hot, burning charcoal. The most acclaimed cut for a juicy, mouth-watering barbecue is picanha (top sirloin cap or rump cap), which comes with an incomparably tasty layer of fat that’s between a half-inch and an inch thick. Seasoned only with some coarse salt, that golden brown crispy fat looks like a crown on the top of the meat when it’s done. Despite the rivalry on the soccer field, Brazilians agree that neighboring Argentina has the best grass-fed beef. (Do try it if you have the chance.)

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One of the most beautiful characteristics of Brazilian barbecue culture is that everybody can celebrate with simply a grill or some skewers over two piles of bricks—at home, at the beach, or even on the sidewalk. Other cuts and meats that can be used for a Brazilian barbecue are rump, top sirloin, rump steak, flank steak, beef ribs, chicken wings, chicken hearts, Brazilian pork sausage, pork sirloin, and lamb. All this wonderful meat comes with side dishes like white rice made with garlic, tomato vinaigrette salad and farofa (seasoned yucca flour). For a complete experience try a caipirinha cocktail or the authentic soft drink Guarana from the heart of the Amazon forest. Enjoy!

Vinaigrette Salad Ingredients: 1 medium onion 2 tomatoes ½ green bell pepper ¼ cup chives, parsley chopped ¼ cup green olives chopped Salt and pepper to taste ½ cup olive oil ¼ cup vinegar ¼ cup water Directions: Finely chop onion, tomatoes, green bell pepper and the olives. In a bowl, mix well all ingredients and let it rest covered for at least 30 minutes. Adjust seasoning to taste and serve it at room temperature or lightly cooled.

Farofa (Seasoned Cassava Flour) Ingredients: 2 onions 4 garlic cloves 4 tbsp butter Salt to taste Red pepper flakes Cassava (yucca) flour Directions: Heat the butter in a skillet. Sauté onion and garlic until brown. Add salt and red pepper. Turn the heat to low, add cassava flour, and mix until it looks like lightly moist bread crumbs. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve at room temperature. You can find cassava flour at supermarkets or small stores that have international products.

White Rice with Garlic Ingredients: 2 cups white rice 4 cups of water 2 tbsp of olive oil 2 garlic cloves ½ tbsp salt continued on page 108

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Directions: Using a colander or strainer, rinse the rice under running water until you get rid of the excess starch. Let it dry. In a separate pot, boil water. Place the oil on a saucepan over medium heat and sautÊ the garlic until light brown. Add the rice and stir well, making sure it doesn’t stick to the pan. Add the hot water and salt and mix well. On low heat and with the lid half opened, let it simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the water is almost all evaporated. If the rice is still hard, add a little bit more hot water and keep on low heat until evaporated. Close the lid, turn off the heat, and let it sit for about additional 10 minutes. Serve warm.

Caipirinha Cocktail Ingredients: 6 limes roughly chopped 300 ml of cachaça (or vodka or, for a non-alcoholic version, ginger ale) 5 tbsp sugar Ice cubes Directions: Muddle the limes with sugar, add the beverage, and mix it well with the ice cubes. Serve immediately.

Brazilian Picanha Steaks (Top Sirloin Cap or Cap of Rump) Ingredients: 1 piece of top sirloin cap or rump cap (each piece has 3 to 4 lbs with about half inch of fat) Olive oil Coarse salt Charcoal grill Directions: On a cutting board, place the meat fat side down. Cut 4 of 5 thick steaks against the grain (making the fibers shorter). Brush the steaks with olive oil and season with the coarse salt. When the coals are covered with ashes, put the steaks on the hottest part of the grill for about 5 minutes each side. You can also put them together with two skewers and position the fat side down to crisp for a couple minutes. Remove from the grill and let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

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Low and Slow or Hot and Fast

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Written by Christine Whipple

may interrupt your plans.â€? This year the NEBS will sanction and will hold ďŹ ve “Backyard Tailgate Contests.â€? These are great events for people who are new to barbeque competitions, and will give them an opportunity to test their skills in a competitive atmosphere, while learning what to expect in the larger regional and national competitions. You do not have to be a NEBS member to compete, but members will receive a discount on competition fees. On average, three or four people make up a team, but there is no set number. Mitchell added, “Once in a while, people cook by themselves. This is a very hard thing to do, but a couple of them have won competitions.â€? Charitable work is also a signiďŹ cant component of the NEBS. Annually they host a beneďŹ t fundraiser for a veteran’s hospital in Bedford, MA. They also support food banks and other community organizations. Through their membership in Operation Barbecue Relief, NEBS was able to feed ďŹ rst responders and people without food for several weeks in New York and New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy last October. The New England Barbecue Society is a volunteer-run, non-proďŹ t group made up of dedicated BBQ cooks and consumers. The NEBS was established to offer outdoor cooking enthusiasts an opportunity to learn southern-style barbecue techniques. There are over 500 NESB members throughout New England and New York. Approximately 300 members compete on teams and 100-150 are judges. To learn more about NEBS or become a member, visit their website at: www. nebs.org or you can email directly, contact@nebs.org.

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Common threads bring together land surveyors, municipal planners, caterers, attorneys, and electricians‌ a passion to cook outdoors, to learn, and to compete. Eric Mitchell, Recording Secretary of the New England Barbecue Society (NEBS) shared, “The component that cannot be accurately translated in words is the social aspect that members discover over time. As a team, you sit around a ďŹ re pit cooking. Friendships develop.â€? The most common reasons that people choose to join NEBS are to enjoy outdoor cooking and to compete. Mitchell said, “There’s a huge social component to belonging to NEBS. Kids have come year after year, growing up with NEBS. We’ve even had a couple get married at a competition.â€? The traditional form of barbecue is wood or charcoal ďŹ red in a grill or a pit. Mitchell said about competitions, “Most teams compete in both NEBS grilling contests and Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS) contests. The difference between barbecuing and grilling is that barbeque is ‘low and slow,’ which means cooked at a low temperature for a long period of time and grilling is ‘hot and fast,’ cooked at a hot temperature for a short period of time. Learning how to competitively barbecue takes time and experience. There are variables that no one thinks about until you are there. Teams who prefer to barbecue will camp out on a Friday night to start the cooking process, which will continue throughout Saturday. You need to be prepared to change your game plan immediately and sometimes be creative with your solutions. The air could change from stable to windy, you could experience a temperature drop or precipitation

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Sweet Sensations

Simple

BAKED ALASKA

Written by Alina Eisenhauer Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

As the Executive Pastry Chef and Owner of Sweet - serving up cakes and cupcakes during the day, and cocktails, appetizers & desserts in the evening has earned Alina Eisenhauer many accolades. In addition to being a successful chef and entrepreneur, Alina has been featured on three of Food Networks most popular competition Shows; Chopped, Cupcake Wars and most recently winning the premier episode of Sweet Genius. Alina’s custom cakes have earned her a celebrity following as well as an appearance on the current season of Bravo TV’s hit show The Real Housewives of New York City. Sweet 305 Shrewsbury Street Worcester MA 01604 508-373-2248 www.sweetworcester.com

Most people probably think that, as a Pastry Chef, my favorite dessert would be something extravagant or fancy, something French that takes 28 steps to make....the reality is, if you told me I could only eat one dessert for the rest of my life, I would probably have to pick ice cream. Every since I was a child I have always loved ice cream, and as far as ice cream desserts go, Baked Alaska just might top them all. Baked Alaska gives you your cake and ice cream all in one fluffy, meringue-covered treat – perfection! Still, some foodies curiously ask, “From whence did this fabulous delight get its origin and name?” (Well, they don’t actually say “whence”). Popular opinion is that the name was created at the world-famous Delmonico’s Restaurant in New York City back in 1876. Shrewd business owners and patriots as they were, the owners of the Delmonico wanted to commemorate the nation’s proud purchase of the Alaska territory by solidifying the event on their menu with a new food item. Obviously, it worked. So, we know where the name came from, why I like it, and as you read a little further, you’ll also know how to make the wonderfully-luscious dessert. But, what about the science of making this delicate and tricky treat? Well, en francais, Baked Alaska is called: omelette á la norvégienne, or Norwegian omelette, omelette surprise, glace au four. In ordinary language, the dish is ice cream encased in some sort of hot casing (pastry crust or meringue). Whatever we call it, Baked Alaska consists of hard ice cream on a bed of sponge cake, which is then covered with uncooked meringue. It then must be kept frozen until it’s ready to be served. At that point, the meringue must be browned, which can occur either by placing the frozen portion in a very hot oven just long enough to heat the exterior and brown it. Alternatively, many pastry chefs like to control the process themselves by “torching” the meringue with a hand-held, propane blowtorch. Foodies often wonder how the ice cream doesn’t melt beneath the hot meringue. Well, it’s a miracle of science, actually. The foamy meringue acts as an insulator to the ice cream thanks to the air-filled cells inherent in the foam. Pretty cool (or hot, I guess), huh? So, now that you know a few tidbits about this fun, delicious and fairly easyto-make classic dessert, you can get to actually enjoying it, foodies! Ingredients: 2 pints ice cream (brick-style) sponge cakes (1” thick) or layer cake (1” thick) 5 egg whites 1 teaspoon vanilla 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar 2/3 cup sugar Recipe source: “Simple Baked Alaska.” Food.com.

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DIRECTIONS 1. Lay ice cream bricks side by side; measure length and width. 2. Trim cake 1 inch larger on all sides than ice cream measurements. 3. Place cake on a piece of foil. 4. Center ice cream on cake. 5. Cover; freeze until ďŹ rm. 6. At serving time, beat together egg whites, vanilla, and cream of tartar into soft peaks. Gradually add in sugar beating after each tablespoon is added. 7. Transfer cake with ice cream onto a baking sheet. 8. Spread with egg white mixture, sealing to edges of cake and baking sheet all around. 9. Swirl to make peaks. 10. Place oven rack in lowest position. 11. Bake in a 500°F oven about 3 minutes or until golden. 12. Slice; serve immediately.

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Brew Review

Major Beer Style: Lager Major Style Category: Pilsner Major Sub Style Category: German Pilsner What is a Pilsner? This category of beer as defined by the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) includes German Pilsner, Bohemian Pilsner, and Classic American Pilsner. The color spectrum for each of these respective styles ranges from straw, light gold, yellow, and deep gold. They are very similar in taste with subtle differences. German Pilsners are identified as crisp and bitter and on the palate with a long-lasting aftertaste. Bohemian Pilsners feature a distinct spiciness via Saaz hops—one of the historic “noble” hops varietals. American Style Pilsners are characterized by their propensity to be brewed with corn allowing for a slightly grainy taste profile. Other American Pilsners are brewed with rice, leaving a crisper and somewhat dryer finish. The alcohol contents for each respective style range from 4.2% to 6% ABV.

Written by Matt Webster Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

Matt Webster is a craft beer enthusiast, educator, event goer, blogger, restaurant adviser, private dinner consultant, celebrity video show host and above all, proudly passionate about all things beer.

What is a German Pilsner? In the mid-1800’s, a gentleman by the name of Josef Grolle developed a unique malting system, in the town of Plze (Pilsen), which produced a beer of golden color. This beer, known as Pilsner [meaning “from Pilsen”] swept the countryside by storm with its alluring new look made famous by the introduction of glass to the middle class. The Germans, no strangers to brewing the finest in malt beverages, adapted their own brewing practices to this now world-famous style. Theirs is bright and crystal clear when poured and showcasing a pillowy white head: when holding this beer in a glass, you should be able to see your hand on the other side. A clean, crisp taste profile with a lingering bitterness in the finish distinguishes this style from its closely related cousins. Suited for pairing with the finest foods or drinking in mass quantity, Pilsner is now the number one selling beer style in the world. The alcohol content ranges for 4.4% to 5.2%. Serve at 46 – 48 degrees. Our Choice: North Coast Brewing Company Scrimshaw Pilsner (Fort Bragg, California) – www.northcoastingbrewing.com Why did we choose this beer? Named for the delicate engravings popularized by 19th century seafarers, Scrimshaw Pilsner is the quintessential “session” beer: it is clean, crisp, and dry. The hops shine in the nose presenting an alluring grassy, hay-like fragrance. The finish is silky smooth with a subtle lingering bitterness. Perfectly paired with Baked Alaska. Where can you find it in a 6-pack? KJ Baarons, Mass Liquors, Austin Liquors, Julio’s Liquors, Marlborough Wine & Spirits, Wine Nation Where Can You Find It On Draft or In The Bottle*: The Dive Bar, The Boynton, The Horseshoe Pub ***Note: This beer may not always be available at the above locations at all times.

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Food Rescue

with the Superheroes at Lovin’ Spoonfuls Written by Julie Grady Thomas Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

F

ood. It’s what drives us here at Foodies, if you haven’t guessed. It’s one our passions, and if you’re reading this right now, it’s one of yours too. But food is beyond passion. It’s beyond privilege. At its core, food is a right. And it took a conversation with Ashley Stanley, the founder of the food rescue Lovin’ Spoonfuls, and her team to remind me of that.

How Do You Like Them Apples? Lovin’ Spoonfuls (LS) has one immediate goal: get wholesome, ready-to-eat food to people who need it most. A worthy cause, but what does “food rescue” actually mean? It’s all about taking food that’s going to be wasted and putting it to good use. Everything has a shelf life, but in our modern society perfectly good food gets binned because it’s not perfect—a bruise here, a dent there, and that apple goes in the trash. The catch is it’s not just one apple. According to the National Resources Defense Council, in America alone, it’s $165 billion worth of food each year. “Nothing’s wrong with the food, it’s just coming off of the shelves,” explained Lauren Palumbo, a Massachusetts native and the operations director a LS. “On a whole, the US wastes about 40 percent of its food, and a chunk of that is at the retail level.” This is where LS comes in. Getting in touch with local farmers, retail partners, produce vendors and the occasional restaurant, LS recovers fresh food

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that won’t be sold but is still useable, then delivers it to organizations that need it. “It comes down to bridging the gap between abundance and need,” Ashley said. Every bit certainly counts and their beneficiaries see the results immediately, like the Pine Street Inn, an organization that provides an array of services and meals to 1600 homeless individuals daily. “The donations we receive from Lovin’ Spoonfuls get incorporated into our meal plan,” explained Jack Nolan, Pine Street’s acquisition and distribution manager, “which saves us quite a bit from our bottom line purchasing.” A native of Wellesley, Massachusetts, Ashley wasn’t always knee-deep in fresh produce. She worked across the board in luxury retail until one night when she was dining out at a restaurant with friends. Astonished by the amount of leftover food at the table, she started to wonder just how much food was going uneaten. “I had no idea what was happening. All the research I was doing online, was it hyperbole? Was it accurate? There were such big numbers, such big statistics,” she said of her initial research. LS began its journey to help the food insecure in Greater Boston and since starting up in 2010, the team of five has distributed over 450,000 lbs of fresh, healthy food to those who need it most. And it’s just the beginning.

Kicking Food Insecurity Hunger isn’t restricted to the non-Western countries. One in six Americans is food insecure, which means they’re lacking a secure food supply at the table. Last year in Massachusetts alone, over 800,000 people struggled in the same way. “We don’t want to stay in business,” Ashley admitted. “Hunger relief is not an industry, but unfortunately it’s become one. The number of food banks rise and so does the problem.” Speaking candidly and carefully, she was sure not to place blame on any one particular area, but rather the way in which we as a culture look at hunger relief. “Looking at the now isn’t going to change anything,” she said. “We need to catalyze real change in the way we do things and I want the problem to look different as a result of what we are doing.”

One way to tackle such a massive undertaking: ask new questions. “Instead of focusing solely on solving hunger through the global issue of distribution, start asking at what point in the food system can we be more responsible? At what point can we preempt a response to this?” Reducing food waste in the U.S. by just 15 percent would free up enough food to feed more than 25 million people each year. Cultivating food that’s ultimately being wasted not only costs money, but uses copious amounts land, energy, oil, and fresh water. Food rescue isn’t the only answer to food insecurity, but it’s part of a bigger equation that can help our crisis culture. “We are using resources with abandon. There’s the oil crisis, the health crisis, the financial crisis; when we arbitrarily waste food, it makes those problems bigger,” clarified Ashley. And now we have Lovin’ Spoonfuls, a non-profit born of the simplest, most practical idea. “I’ve always been passionate about sharing food with people,” Ashley continued. “Food is the most powerful and overlooked tool in social justice. It brings us together, to come and have these conversations, to talk.”

Kohlrabi Anyone? LS works as a direct distribution system. At 9AM, five days a week, two drivers drive out to any number of vendors and pick up food. Those drivers then drop off the food with the beneficiaries. At the end of the day, the truck is empty. It’s that easy. “Our drivers are really our best tools. They’re in constant communication on all sides,” confessed Lauren. The drivers even know which recipients are up for creative cuisine. “If there’s kohlrabi on the truck that day, they’ll know who’s open to cooking with unfamiliar stuff. The point is to make sure there’s no waste on anyone’s end.” Because LS only works with perishable goods, there’s no warehouse or storage facility—it’s not a food bank. It’s all about lean protein, dairy, baked goods, breads, grains and produce. “Our beneficiaries are most in need of fresh food. For them, it’s about supplementing packaged products with what’s fresh,” she explained. continued on page 116

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It may be a perfectly plated match, but it’s also a win-win for everyone involved. From a retailer’s perspective, shelves must be cycled constantly and food wasted is money wasted. LS helps them eradicate unnecessary turnover by creating a venue where retailers can turn their losses into a tax write-off, all while helping the greater good. People have certainly been listening. Jack from Pine Street has witnessed LS grow from a “small van with a few boxes” to having a fleet of “two truck loads of food” up for delivery. “Our goal within the next three to five years is to serve all four corners of Massachusetts,” professed Lauren. “We do get outside of Boston to get produce, but we serve mostly Boston area.” What’s great about LS is that as a donor you can track exactly where your food or money is going. “You can see the impact whether its $25 or $25,000. We don’t have a high overhead; it’s just Lauren, Emma, our two drivers and me. [Whatever you give] goes directly to food recovery and addressing different consequences of food waste,” revealed Ashley. Food is fuel, but it’s more than that. It’s transcendental. It possesses the ability to comfort, to heal, to warm, to bring people together, to put a smile on someone’s face. “Think about it,” posited Ashley, “how many office meetings do you go to without food there? Some of the most powerful people in the world are breaking bread. They’re doing it all over food.” So let’s start a conversation. There’s a rumble in the headlines about food rescue and food insecurity, but let’s get loud. For more information on food recovery, food insecurity in Massachusetts, or how to donate to Lovin’ Spoonfuls visit www.lovinspoonfulsinc.org. Lovin’ Spoonfuls is located at 418 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215. Tel. 617.390.4450. Email info@lovinspoonfulsinc.org.

Farm to Fork…to Landfill? In August 2012, Dana Gunders and the NRDC released a report on the state of food waste in the U.S. Here’s a handful of some astounding food stats: • Getting food from farm to fork eats up 10 percent of the total U.S. energy budget, uses 50 percent of U.S. land, and swallows 80 percent of all freshwater consumed in the U.S. • By wasting 40 percent of that food, Americans also waste 300 million barrels of oil and 25 percent of total fresh water consumption each year. • Uneaten food that ends up rotting in landfills is the single largest component of U.S. municipal solid waste where it accounts for a large portion of U.S. methane emissions, a dangerous and major contributor to global warming. • On a per capita basis, food waste represents 1400 calories of food per person per day or 150 trillion calories per year.

We’re Hemorrhaging Food— Personal Food Waste In North America, the highest food losses are at the consumer level: 27 percent of all grain products are wasted along with 33 percent of seafood, 28 percent of fruits and vegetables, 12 percent of meat and 17 percent of milk products. But there are things you can do to reduce personal food waste: • Plan your meals before you go shopping. • Make a detailed shopping list and stick to it. • Serve reasonable sized portions. • Save the leftovers. • And, perhaps the most delicious option, eat those leftovers!

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Fa la Corsa e Mangia... Compete and Eat on Shrewsbury Street!

COLUMBUS DAY WEEKEND

OCTOBER 13, 2013

11AM

Register Today! Early Bird Registration Before July 4th: $25 | After July 4th: $30 | Day of race: $35

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6WDUW<RXU 'D\2II 5LJKW With our signature danishes in a variety of ďŹ&#x201A;avors, using authentic European recipes and methods. We also offer fresh fruit scones, mufďŹ ns, coffee cakes, and sweet breads. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll also want to try our biscotti, assorted butter pound cakes (classic and combination of spices), Parisian macarons, individual desserts and gourmet cookies.

Want to Help? Craving a volunteer opportunity with Lovinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Spoonfuls? Handling perishable and prepared food in Massachusetts requires strict compliance with regulations set forth by state law. While you may not be able to volunteer on the LS trucks or donate food as an individual, you can still help by supporting LS at one of their fundraising events or making a monetary donation. To learn more, just visit www.lovinspoonfulsinc.org. Hungry to learn more? Check out these helpful websites: â&#x20AC;˘ www.nrdc.org/food - a national perspective on the food crisis â&#x20AC;˘ www.wastedfood.com - a helpful blog (and book)

133 Gold Star Blvd. Worcester, MA 508-852-0746 www.thecrownbakery.com

Serving Worcester for over 50 Years! Wedding Cake Specialists Best of Worcester 2013!

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â&#x20AC;˘ www.projectbread.org - a look at food insecurity in Massachusetts


+V@V\/H]L(5LLK -VY=PKLV& Would like to thank Chef Chris Rovezzi of Rovezzi’s Ristorante for his SKYY Vodka recipe. Stop in today and try it!

(^HYK>PUUPUN7YVMLZZPVUHS/++PNP[HS=PKLV7YVK\J[PVU :OVV[‹,KP[‹+\WSPJH[L >LI=PKLV‹*VTTLYJPHSZ‹7YVTV[PVUHS=PKLVZ +VJ\TLU[HYPLZ‹;YHPUPUN=PKLVZ‹:WVY[Z+LTVZ :[\KPVHUK6USVJH[PVU‹(\KPV9LJVYKPUN)VV[O‹.YLLU:JYLLU >OLYL/PNO+LÄUP[PVUPZTHRPUN[OL^VYSK`V\ZLL Q\Z[HSP[[SLIP[JSLHYLY 7YVK\J[PVUJVTWHU`MVY¸-VVKPLZVM5L^,UNSHUK¹;LSL]PZPVUZOV^

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2 School Street Corner of Rt. 20 & Rt. 148 Sturbridge, MA 01566 508-347-0100 www.rovezzis.com

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Whiskey Under Loch & Key

Written by Ryan Maloney Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

Ryan Maloney has over twenty five years experience in the spirits industry. He is the founder of The Loch & K(e)y Society and the creator of www.lochandkey.com a forum based whisk(e)y website. Ryan was just inducted into the Keeper of the Quaich Society in Scotland, one of whisky’s highest honors. He can also be heard on WCRN AM830 on his radio show “It’s The Liquor Talking”. However, Ryan is most recognized as the owner of Julio’s Liquors in Westborough MA, where amongst other accolades he has been three times awarded “Retailer of the Year”.

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  I

love Barbeque. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just something about the smell and the taste of smoke that invokes a feeling of satisfaction unlike any other.

Maybe itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s some genetically imprinted primal urge that harkens back to our hunter-gatherer ancestors. Or, maybe itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s imbedded somewhere even deeper in our basic psyche. After all, I think we might be the only animal drawn to the scent of smokeâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;a typical sign of dangerâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;rather than ďŹ&#x201A;ee. Quite frankly, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not intent on ďŹ nding out why I like barbeque. I like it and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s enough. However, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve noticed over the years that my love of the smoke has seeped into my whisk(e)y drinking. So when I heard this issueâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s focus would be on barbeque, I thought Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d take you on a tour and give you three of my favorite whiskies, all of which taste like theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re straight from the smokehouse. The ďŹ rst stop is Texas; the heart of what many believe is barbeque heaven. Chip Tate and the guys at Balcones Distillery in Waco approached smoky whisk(e)y from a different angle. Unlike their Scottish brethren who smoke the barley in the kilning process, Chip actually smokes the whisky using a very (have to kill you if I told you) secret method. continued on page 122

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Pulled pork sandwich from the Texas BBQ Company, Northborough, MA

His Brimstone Corn Whisky is made from blue Hopi corn and the wood for the smoke is sun-baked Texas scrub oak. The two combine to make a result unlike any other smoky whisky I’ve had to date. The main flavor is reminiscent of mesquite, but there’s so much more going on in this Texas corn whisky. On the nose, you almost get a fresh-husked corn aroma mixed with barbeque and light notes of cinnamon sugar. As you taste this unique expression, everything from orange candy, oak and a slight hint of southern sweet tea mixed with chili peppers passes over your tongue. Finally on the dry finish, there’s an herbal eucalyptus with a pinch of salt before the smoke leaves its last footprint. Brimstone Corn Whisky is not for everyone. I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone say it’s just okay. The usual response is either “I love it” or “It’s not for me.” Still, it’s definitely one of a kind

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and it’s in my smokehouse—I mean wheelhouse. A discussion about smoky whiskies might come to blows regarding which one would best fit the smokehouse theme, but it can never be complete without a representation from Islay Scotland, our second stop. In order to avoid physical confrontations, I’ve chosen an outside-the-box whisky, Big Peat. Big Peat is what is now called a blended malt whisky, but I still like the old term, vatting of single malts. Each expression means the same thing: only individual single malts—no grain whisky—have been blended or married together. In Big Peat’s case, those single malts are from a pretty impressive group. The components that make up this whisky include Ardbeg, Caol Ila, Port Ellen and Bowmore. So as you can see, by drinking Big Peat a good deal of Islay is in-

volved. And even though the name is a bit of quirky fun, this is a serious dram that’s made in small batches of about 2,400 bottles. Each batch will have small variations, so you won’t get the exact same whisky every time. Although for the most part, all of the bottlings will have some commonalities, such as the nose always has that fresh ocean salty aroma followed by a peaty earthy scent and a slight taste of iodine and smouldering campfire can be found on the palate. The finish is long and running with a briny anise and more phenolic smoke. Big Peat is like the pulled pork of smoky whiskies, you can try other types of barbeque, but you’ll always come back to that one that gives you comfort. For the final stop, let’s head back to the U.S. of A. The next whisk(e)y is from my good friend David Perkins of High West Distillery in Utah. His Campfire Whiskey is in fact a blend of scotch,


PɑɤȐȨɕɜɑɄ

bourbon and rye whiskies. I know that sounds unusual, but Dave is an unusual guy who has a propensity to create unusually delicious whisk(e)y. According to Dave, he got his inspiration for this whiskey at a B&B in Islay Scotland. He and his wife could smell peat in the air one morning because the kitchen staff was simmering a bottle of peated whisky and sugar. That night, atop their melon dessert, was a drizzle of the peated syrup. Dave is sure to tell the full story of how he came up with the idea on the bottle’s label (and every time I talk to him), but it reads that the dessert “was the most unusual, delicious and memorable ending to a dinner I’ve ever had. The combination of melon and sweet smoke really worked, so I thought why not mix sweet bourbon and peat?” And the rest as they say is history. But, what Dave doesn’t tell you on the label is that it took over 60 attempts to get the recipe right. The ratios are top secret, although I can tell you the make-up of the blend. The scotch component is a heavily peated blended malt whiskey, and it’s not from Islay, as many may think. The rye and bourbon aren’t from Kentucky, but from Lawrenceburg,

For the freshest, most local, and most organic dining experience you can have, there’s only one place:

The Twisted Fork. 509 Stafford Street • Cherry Valley, MA 01611 • 508-892-5437 www.unclejaystwistedfork.com Reservations are recommended

Indiana. The bourbon is six years old with a mash of 75% corn, 21% rye and 4% malt and it has a very sweet fruity and vanilla profile. The rye is also six years old made from 95% rye and 5% malt, which was was added for a little spice. When you taste this whiskey, there’s not much smoke on the nose, however, more comes through once in the mouth. Strong flavors of dark cherry and Italian

blood orange add the fruit component on the tongue. Plus, the spiciness of the rye brings out a background of tea, tobacco and leather. So there are my three smokehouse whiskies, a pretty good lot if I do say so myself. Now if I could only get that smoky whisk(e)y flavor in my ice cream. (Yes, I’m working on it!)

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Wachusett Brewery Local Libations since 1993 Written by Kara and Marni Powers (Twin Tastes) Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

Many associate northern New England with hiking, skiing and outdoor recreation, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also home to some topnotch breweries, including our very own Wachusett Brewery. After several adventure trips up north, the craft brewery process intrigued three Worcester Polytechnic Institute coeds, Ned LaFortune, Kevin Buckler and Peter Quinn. They started brewing beer on Nedâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s family farm back near Worcester and with the drive to turn a passion into a business, the trio left careers in engineering and biology in favor of starting the Wachusett Brewing Company in 1994. 124

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Almost twenty years later, the successful brewery remains devoted to its fine craft, with sales at a steady incline. Led by energetic and thrill-seeking Ned, who has been known to kite ski before work to clear his mind to spawn creativity, the brewery is home to a team of thirty-plus workers, all of whom are a mix of locals, friends, family members and even retirees. Familiar faces on the marketing team include TJ Morse, an eight-year veteran, Kim Slayton, a twoyear devotee and Amanda Goggin, a recent addition to the company who is already considered “part of the family” by her colleagues. When asked to choose a favorite beer from a list of nearly twenty, Kim selects the brewery’s flagship beer, the Country Pale Ale. TJ prefers the Black Shack Porter for its master craft and use in braised meat dishes. All three agree that the consumer favorite is the Blueberry Ale. Crafted in 2000, they never anticipated its instant popularity, but are quick to add that it is the best blueberry beer out there. While some blueberry ales solely add the fruit extract after fermentation, Wachusett incorporates the flavor throughout the beer-making process. While Wachusett beers are sold all over New England, New York and New Jersey, the brewery’s main focus is to appeal to the local clientele, and as a result, ninety percent of their product is in Massachusetts alone. As TJ explains, “Our focus is to take care of the backyard and to not grow too fast.” TJ commends the brilliant work of the employees and gushes over the newly added canning project. In the works for more than three years, the initiative is the largest independently owned style of production outside of Mississippi, producing 800 cans a minute. In May, local stores will offer twelve packs of Monsta, Blueberry Ale, Light IPA, Summer Ale and Country Ale. continued on page 130

Ned LaFortune, President, Wachusett Brewery

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Wines of Distinction

C’est Si Bon! A Wine Worth Learning French For If ever there was a wine worth pronouncing, this is it – Viognier. Okay, ready? Here it goes… “VEE-OWN-YAY.” Got it?

Written by Domenic Mercurio, Jr. Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

Known in restaurant circles as The Wine Guy, Domenic is focused on food and wine education. Domenic’s enthusiasm and passion for food and wine, propelled him into a local TV wine education series, The Wine Guy, in which he took viewers on a tour of California and Italy’s wine regions and historic destinations. In addition to being the editor and publisher of Foodies of New England magazine, Dom is the host of Foodies of New England, a dynamic and educational TV show. The show features New England’s best, award-winning chefs, and their signature recipes.

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So, just what is this mystical wine of French origin, and why has it been replanted in so many of the world’s vineyards? Its origin is thought to be a town called Condrieu, at the northern end of the Northern Rhône, where it was the only varietal allowed to be grown. In fact, any bottle originating from Condrieu must be comprised of 100% Viognier, with no other varietals blended. In the Condrieu region, it is said, low yields, difficult growing conditions, and late harvesting contribute to the exceptional, concentrated flavors for which Viognier has come to be known. Still, Viognier is presumed by others in the wine trade to be an ancient grape, possibly originating in Dalmatia (Croatia) and then brought to Rhône by the Romans. One school of thought indicates that the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius Probus may have brought the vine to the region in the late 3rd century. Another theory favors the possibility that a shipment of Viognier was hijacked on the Rhône River on its way to Beaujolais. There, a local band of pirates brought their newfound bounty to Condrieu, which was nearby. The origin of the name “Viognier” is even more obscure than the grape’s actual origin. The most obvious similarity is the French city of Vienne, and it is widely thought that the grape takes its name from that city, which happened to be occupied by Roman soldiers. Another train of thought carries the belief that the name stems from Latin term “road to Hell,” or Via Gehennae, reflecting the very high level of difficulty associated with growing the Viognier grape. Specifically, it is prone to mildew, produces low and unpredictable yields, and needs to be picked only when fully ripe. When ripe, it demonstrates a clear, golden color and the aroma of hibiscus flowers and fresh, tropical peach and pineapple. In terms of flavors, Viognier commonly boasts apricot, peach, and subtle spice flavors. Alcohol levels are usually 12.5% to 13.5%, fairly high, but with lower acidity, thereby offering a softer mouth-feel than many whites. Overall, Viognier is meant to be enjoyed in the first few years of release, when its flavors and acidity are bright and fresh, but some versions hailing from France and California offer such high alcohol that they can be aged awhile.


Pairing food with Viognier is relatively easy, as it accompanies new-world cuisine like Thai, Chinese, Mexican, and Sushi with ease, as well as pork, lightlyseasoned chicken dishes, and flavorful fish entrees. Because of its widespread popularity resulting from plantings in Australia,

Washington State, and California in the early 1980s, the grape has found its way to numerous countries across the world. More recent adopters of the varietal are Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada and Japan. The Lanzarini estate in Mendoza,

Argentina, produces our subject wine, the “Montecepas” Viognier. The name “Montecepas” means “the wines from the mountains” and reflects the clarity and freshness of the Viognier grapes grown at high-altitude on the hillside sloping vines at the base of the Andes mountain chain. Originally migrating from Piedmont, Italy four generations ago, the Lanzarini family first arrived in Chile, where they were “given” land to cultivate. They soon discovered, however, that their role was to be that of involuntary servants, so they migrated to Argentina, where they acquired land for their own use, and began the Lanzarini Winery. Since then, the family has been traveling the world, appointing distributors for their wonderful wines, which include, Malbec, Bonarda, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Torrontes, Chardonnay and Viognier, which is an especially quenching and brilliant summertime white. With intensely bright and fragrant tropical fruits and quenching acidity, this Viognier offers the complexities and balance that rivals those more expensive versions from Condrieu, France, but for only around $10-$12 retail. You can find Lanzarini’s “Montecepas” Viognier at Blanchard’s in Boston, Powers Wines in Natick, Warehouse Wine & Spirits in Framingham, The Wine Vine in Worcester, and Micknuck’s Fresh Marketplace in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. So, whether you react with a “C’est si bon!” for the traditional Viognier from Condrieu, or a “Que bueno!” for the modern version from Mendoza, you can’t loose with this voracious varietal. Just in case you need a little nudge making your choice, however, the 2011 Lanzarini “Montecepas” Viognier is Foodies-approved at 88 points. -FNE.

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Something to Drink

Written by Richard Beams Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

Rich Beams has been a bartender for 20 years at places such as Tweeds Pub, Jillians, Holiday InnWorcester, Nuovo, and is currently the bar manager at The Grill on the Hill at Green Hill Golf Course. He is also an instructor at DrinkMaster Bartending School in Worcester, Framingham, and Boston. With his passion and knowledge for wine, Rich has written many articles sharing his thoughts and suggestions. He is currently a member of The Taste of the Nation comittee.

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Foodies of New England

Strawberry Mango Mojito at Kozara When I heard that Wilson from Baba Sushi was opening a cocktail bar right next door to Baba, I knew I had to check it out. Baba is a landmark in Worcester for sushi lovers and I think Kozara will quickly become the same for anyone who enjoys great cocktails. As soon as you walk in, you get an immediate sense of an attention to detail, from the lighting and music to the big comfy booths. The bar takes up almost the whole length of the wall and definitely stands out as the main attraction in the room, but there are only six beer taps; it’s the impressive amount of premium spirits behind the bar that let me know this is definitely a cocktail bar. Before I could even sit down, I knew good things were about to come my way. Reading the cocktail menu, the first thing to jump out at me was the MaiTai. I thought what better way to shake off the endless winter than with the ultimate beach drink? It was great. I thought I found the cocktail for this article, but then my bartender changed everything. She said to try the Strawberry Mango Mojito and I’m glad she did. A Mojito is a muddle cocktail, meaning certain ingredients are muddled or mashed in order to break down and release their flavor and essence. For a classic Mojito, mint leaves and limes are muddled then the rum-based drink is constructed on top of that. Kozara’s version starts with the mint leaves and lime juice plus pureed strawberries, all muddled together. Then add some Don Q Rum, Mango Vodka and a dash of St. Germain Elderflower liqueur and give it all a quick shake. In one sip, I almost forgot about all the snow I shoveled this winter. The mango and strawberry flavors blend perfectly with the hints of


lime, but what ties it all together is the subtle flavor of the fresh mint leaves. The mint seems to allow all the fruit flavors to shine without ever tasting sweet. I found my new favorite cocktail, which perfectly complimented my new favorite bar snack—Kozara also has an amazing Asian Tapas menu. The bartender recommended the Banana Salmon Chips and she was spot on, again. Fried discs of banana topped with finely diced salmon, crabmeat, scallion and tobiko, sprinkled with a delicious wasabi miso sauce. Simply one of the best things I’ve tasted, so much so the Banana Salmon Chips drew me back in days later. I tried some other cocktails on their list, all of which were just as wonderful, including the K-Beer (my second favorite), which is a blend of vodka, raspberry liqueur, Liquor 43, lime juice, pomegranate juice and ginger beer. Even Kozara’s twist on a Gin and Tonic was perfect, adding a splash of elderflower liqueur. Check out Kozara for great cocktails, incredible food, excellent service and all in a very cool atmosphere. While you are there, get yourself a Strawberry Mango Mojito. I promise you, you’ll forget about every inch of snow you saw this winter.

Foodies of New England

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The launch of cans this spring is timed perfectly with the start of barbecue season. The Summer Ale is a refreshing, citrusy complement to a grilled seafood dish and a panzanella salad. The Blueberry Ale is a light and slightly sweet accompaniment to a cold soup like gazpacho or a pungent salad with tart goat cheese and cherries. The hoppy Light IPA complements a spicy meat chorizo burger and the Country Ale, coined by TJ as the â&#x20AC;&#x153;pizza of all beers because it can be enjoyed at any hour,â&#x20AC;? is great while noshing on ribs or grilled lamb kebabs. For the ultimate show stopper at your next barbeque, pop into Wachusett Brewery, pick up a pack of Country Ale and whip up some beer can chicken. Propped atop the can, the bird and the pairing with the craft brew will surely wow your guests. Wachusett Brewery tours are offered to the public Monday through Saturday. Check out their website for more information regarding tastings, purchases, or fundraising opportunities. Wachusett Brewing Company 175 State Road East Westminster, MA 01473 978-874-9965 www.wachusettbrew.com





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Foodies of New England


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Foodies of New England Spring Summer 2013  

Summertime treats. Gluten and dairy free summertime recipes. Best in barbecue.

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