Monday, November 12, 2007

Three Latest and Best

Pommes Anna from Hoaglin To Go: Who knew scalloped potatoes could be this good? While the super-thick quiche and "Big O" omelets make this Mass Ave eatery a brunch spot to love, the thin sliced, tender potatoes in a rich, cheesy sauce -- Pommes Anna -- make it worth a commitment. Like an every-Sunday-morning-even-if-I-gain-10-pounds commitment!

Cilantro Lime Potstickers: Sometimes Saraga can be a bit of a lottery. Unless you read Japanese or Korean, you don't always know what flavors of dumplings or noodles you're buying. But lately, I've found something cravable and labled in English -- Cilantro Lime Pork potstickers. They come frozen and uncooked, but these luscious, fresh tasting, addictive dumplings are worth the extra time. (Simply boil for soft dumplings, or boil, then pan fry for the chewier style.) The pungent cilantro lends them a flavor that's great on its own -- or with the traditional soy and rice vinegar sauce.

Flavor of the Month -- Concord Grape: Maybe it's the cold weather, impending holidays, or just an increasing desire for comfort food, but concord grape has been on my mind for the past few weeks. Don't know that distinctive grape taste of Concord? Think Welch's. Think dark purple, tongue-staining, sugar-loaded grape juice and you have the dark, sweet essence of concord. It's burned in many of our brains as an essential flavor of childhood. Lately, I've seen this flavor popping up in some pretty sophisticated ways -- like an amuse bouche of a sweet concord grape and salty proscuitto, or a smear of rich concord grape sauce with a peanut butter tart. Better yet? One local chef is tinkering with an entree of seared duck breast married with a rich concord grape sauce and a savoury duck jus. Look for some appearances on winter menus just in time for comfort food cravings.

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