Posts Tagged Food

Prospector Potatoes

So, I have been experimenting with this so it is not perfect yet, but it’s a really good start and they are easy to make.

They use just one pan, a large black cast iron frying pan. I named them prospector potatoes because I always imagine a prospector wandering around with his donkey and having the fry pan hanging off the pack somewhere. Plus it’s easy and can be cooked over an open fire as well.


  • 4-5 medium size potatoes
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 2 cups corn
  • 2 medium size yellow onions
  • 1/4 lb bacon(thick cut)
  • 1-3 tablespoons of diced or chopped garlic.
  • salt and pepper
  • vegetable oil
  1. Cut the bacon into small pieces and put it into a black fry pan on the stove top. Cook it on a medium heat to render off the fat as well as cook the bacon. Turn on the oven to 400° while the bacon is cooking and move to step 2 and keep an eye on the stove at the same time.
  2. Take the potatoes and cut out any large “eyes” and any bad spots, if you use red potatoes I leave the skin on, if russet then I partially peel them. and cut them up into large chunks, usually in half the long way and then cut em into inch wide pieces.  Toss into a large bowl.
  3. Take the onion, cut them in half top to bottom, then cut off the ends and peel away the outside layer. Then quarter the halves and add them to the bowl with the potatoes. The bigger the pieces of onion the better.
  4. Peel the carrot and cut into large pieces, about half the size of the potatoes and add to the bowl.
  5. Take the pieces of bacon out of the fry pan and leave the bacon grease in it.
  6. Take the bowl of potatoes, onion and carrots and toss 1-2 tablespoons of oil onto them, and the 1-3 tablespoons of diced or chopped garlic, then sprinkle with a healthy dose of the salt and pepper, then mix is all around.
    • I personally like to use a little sea salt and kosher salt along with a mixture of fine ground white pepper and cracked black pepper.
    • You can also add other seasonings here, like some Mrs. Dash or Lemon or Northwoods or just some paprika or cayenne or whatever flavor style you might want. I would suggest just salt and pepper the first time to see how that comes out and then adjust the profile later for other meals.
  7. Add the potatoes, onions and carrots to the fry pan and then put it in the oven.
  8. Every 10 minutes, take them out and stir them around with a spatula.
  9. After 20-25 minutes, check the potatoes by stabbing with a fork, if the potatoes are mostly soft throughout but have a slight bit of firmness in the middle, they have about 10-15 minutes left to cook.
  10. Add the bacon and stir them up, then add the corn over the top and put it back into the oven.
  11. Check in 10 minutes and see if the potatoes are done, and check the carrots just for being done as well. If not, stir it all around with a spatula and put it back into the oven for another 5-10.

Once done, serve along side whatever your protein is and you have a mixture of everything.

I will admit, they don’t always look the best, but they really do taste pretty awesome.

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Not So Misdirected…

So, apparently my love of Wegman’s isn’t all that misdirected, they definitely are a great store, and I am definitely not the only person who thinks so. There was a recent Consumer Reports Survery that puts Wegman’s up at the top of all supermarkets in the country.

I am not surprised by this, nor am I surprised about a couple of other supermarkets up at the top which include Trader Joes and Market Basket, but I was surprised at some near the top(Costco), as well as some near the bottom(Shaw’s and Stop & Shop) but then a couple that I thought would be higher because of the cult following they have but they were just in the middle, Whole Foods.

Also really looking forward to the new Wegman’s that is coming to Burlington, it opens up in 73 days I think. I like the Northborough store, but it is kinda far to get to, and the Chestnut Hill store is actually terrible in my opinion. They made a lot of bad choices that stray from the normal things I expect from a Wegman’s store, and the whole feel and enjoyment of the store is affected by it, I won’t be going back there other than to show someone an example of a bad store to shop at for groceries.

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Great Marinade Experiment

So the recipe below is just a guesstimate on the amounts, I haven’t taken the time to actually measure while making it, I have just sort of thrown it together the few times I have made it and it has changed a lil bit, I am going to make it again this weekend and get more exact measurements.

I have used this on boneless pork ribs, as well as with some skirt steak. The pork I marinated it for about 15 minutes and then cooked it in the marinade in a sauce pan, then I reduced the marinade with white sugar for a sauce over the pork when done. The skirt steak, I marinated it for 2 days and then grilled it over a very high heat, and while it was cooking on the grill I put the leftover marinade in a sauce pan and reduced it down with brown sugar that I had dried out and then finely ground it in a food processor.

  • 1/2 cup Soy Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon garlic olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon mongolian fire oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon pureed ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sirracha
Wisk it all together, you may need to double it to marinate more than 2 breasts of chicken or more than a couple pork chops or ribs.
To make it into the thicker sauce, I cooked it in the sauce pan and added somewhere between 1/8 and 1/4 cup of sugar to help thicken and sweeten it up a bit, but the boiled sugar also helped give it a nice texture that really clung to the meat when drizzled over the top on the plate.

The oil worked really well on the grill and dripped out nicely to cause some flare ups on the grill which helped give the skirt steak a really nice caramelization on the outside.

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The Laurel Grille and Bar

This was not my first time at the Laurel Grill and Bar, and it is still not going to be my last time either. As it always has in the past, the meal exceeded my expectations and was a delightful treat for the taste buds.

I had only previously been to the Laurel on the weekend while taking my mother to a show, or celebrating a birthday with family. So a Thursday night experience was a new one for me, I felt a little foolish when we arrived and said we had a reservation. The restaurant was less than half full. Not really surprising though but better to have been safe than sorry, I know if we did not have a reservation the place would have been packed and we never would have gotten a table.

I had a tasty cocktail called a pink lemonade to start off the meal with, I forget what exactly was in it, but it tasted great so that’s all that matters. Then we had some calamari, which was very good as well it tasted extremely fresh.. I would have skipped the banana peppers that were mixed in, but I was easily able to pick around them.

For dinner, I had the lobster risotto and Kate had the stuffed pork loin, and they were both awesome. The pork loin was stuffed with italian sausage, onions, and cheese. The risotto had lobster, asparagus, fresh tomato, sun dried tomato, and Parmesan cheese. I really liked how they cut the asparagus up into tiny pieces making it part of the meal instead of putting it on presentation style by laying 2 or 3 pieces on top of the risotto, it was also cooked perfectly by still being crisp instead of the over mushy that so many places end up having.

The bartender was a bit loud, and I think a bit tipsy, but it wasn’t anything that would disturb the meal, plus it was obvious he was dealing with a few regulars with his boisterous actions.

Always a win here, and I will be back… again… and again…


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Joe Tecce’s Ristorante

Now, normally I don’t like to write a bad review of any restaurant, I will generally just keep my opinion to myself and save my posts for praise of a good or great meal/restaurant. I need to make an exception this time for Joe Tecce’s Ristorante on the edge of Boston’s North End. I write this as a customer with extensive experience as a waiter in a restaurant who knows what it takes to wait on a table especially a large party that you are virtually dedicated to because of it’s size.

We headed there for dinner this past Friday night with a group of about 16 people. We were seated at 2 different tables and were working on 2 separate checks, our choice on the checks. One table was basically the kids table with their wranglers and one table the adults table.

First off, the menus are completely screwy with how they are laid out. They lack order and don’t follow the general flow of a meal the way a “normal” menu would be laid out for an Italian restaurant. Antipasto, then salads/soups, pastas, entress, desserts. Theirs had some entrees on the first page, salads/soups on the second, antipasto on the third, pastas on the fourth, and then some entrees and then desserts. Confusing to say the least!

Drink orders went sorta mostly ok, the service of them was very slow. Refills for water or soda were no quicker, and she didn’t seem to be able to remember who ordered what drink.

The ordering of the meal went mostly ok, the waitress did the normal start with one person, and then work your way around the table getting everyone’s orders. Then came the wait, it seemed like forever for the meals to come out, and when it did it was pure chaos! She had no idea who ordered what! She had a list in front of her, with everyone’s order, in order from first person to last person. She couldn’t figure out who ordered what, so she was yelling off what she held in her hand while waving it around hoping someone would tell her “hey that’s mine” meanwhile she is staring right at her list of who ordered what. It had been so long since we had ordered that many people forgot exactly what they had ordered, so meals got mixed up when one person was given a chicken marsala when they ordered a chicken parmesian because all they could remember was they had chicken in the name of it. Also unfortunately, the kids, usually the most anxious group of people while waiting for dinner were some of the last people to get their food.

The food itself, well, it gets a giant MEH from me, it wasn’t bad, but for the $30 that I dropped for the Veal Medallions with Proscuitto and Mozzarella, I was extremely disappointed. The medallions themselves were good, but when the waitress was rattling off the specials to us from memory instead of having them written down, she somehow failed to mention they were going to be covered in a mushroom and artichoke hearts sauce. I was certainly shocked when it arrived that way. I was also disappointed when I ordered and was told that it did not come with a salad since when she was rattling off the specials she said that it came with a salad and choice of pasta. The choice in pasta did not come with a choice of sauces though, and along with incredibly small size of the side of pasta, this was an extreme disappointment.

While other people’s meals were larger, I did try some of the chicken parm that kate had ordered, while it was tasty, it didn’t really strike me as anything exceptional.

Overall, underwhelmed doesn’t even come close to describing my experiences at Joe Tecce’s Ristorante. I will not be back.


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Dinner in Washington at D’Acqua

So… I am way behind on this, as well as my posting of my photos from the trip… it’s been a month and they still aren’t up? I am just terrible.

Anyway, dinner in Washington at D’Acqua was amazing.

When we were planning our trip it was decided that we would go out for a “nice” dinner one of the nights, when looking at our schedule, we realized it was either Monday Night or Friday night for this nice meal since we would be at the Red Sox/Nationals games Tuesday through Thursday, and arriving Sunday night we weren’t in the mood to get all dressed up after traveling to go out for a nice meal.

We didn’t check places out ahead of time, we sort of just winged it the whole time while there. Before I get into D’Acqua though, I need to explain the other 2 meals we had out in the city.

The night of our arrival, we kind of just wandered to find a place, we were staying at a hotel up on the northwest side of the city, so we were close to what is called “The Golden Triangle” in Washington. So we went and wandered around a little bit til we found something that looked good, we stumbled onto a small place called Luigi’s Famous, not sure how famous it really is since I have never heard of it. Although the whole famous thing is always interesting since it seems like so many places are “famous”, but that’s beside the point. We had a really nice meal, we split an appetizer of calamari and then shared Assaggini luigi – combination of the tortellini, agnolotti, & ravioli in three different sauces. These were just awesome and totally hit the spot after traveling all day, even though we had some tasty peanut butter and banana sandwiches for lunch on the train, this was really nice. The atmosphere was quaint and quiet for a real nice end to the evening.

Then the next night we were wandering around the city, and came up to the White House, took some pictures and then realized it was time for dinner, so what better way to find a place than to ask someone who’s local, and who’s more local than a cop, right? Turns out the cop isn’t local either, turns out he’s from MA and works down there for the Capitol Police and actually knows someone who also works with Kate up here in MA, who woulda thought, right? So brief moment talking with him and then he tells us about this nice little place down the street, The Old Ebbit Grill. We get there are just the right time and put our names in, 30 minute estimated wait time, that’s nothing from our point of view. Ten minutes later and we were hearing the hostess tell people it would be an hour or more for a table.

This place was really cool, you could tell it had been around a really long time, it had that old feeling to it where you know that some major people had been sitting in those seats way back when, concocting deals and bargains in the background of the political landscape of the city. One thing I really really liked was the atmosphere that was created by the restaurant still using the very old gas powered chandeliers and lights. We had some delicious calamari as an appetizer(can you tell our favorite appetizer yet?) and then I had grilled salmon and Kate had a jumbo lump crab cake. Both were terrific!

Funny thing while we were sitting and enjoying our dinner, I kept glancing at the table to our left on the other side of a support pillar trying to place why the guy I could see looked familier. Eventually, right at the end of the meal it hit me and I turned to him to say hello. The person I could see was Ben, and the guy I could not see was Bryan. Both of these guys were part of the team who runs the Red Sox Fantasy Baseball Camp that I went to this past February. They also work with the “get away” trips put on by the Red Sox, and are lucky enough to get to go on the trips themselves. They appeared to remember me, or if they didn’t they faked it really well.

So those were our early week meals, the mid week meals were all at the National’s Park. To be honest, the food at the park was pretty tasty. Although, with record crowds all 3 nights, the staff at the stands were definitely not ready for the demand of the crowds!! Major props for the burgers and fries from “Five Guys Famous Burgers and Fries“, there’s that “famous” again!! There burgers were pricy, but they were worth it, so were their fries. The delivery method after ordering was interesting, but still better than some other places I have been.

Then came D’Acqua on Friday.

We decided we wanted seafood, and then searched for a place through Yelp to find the right place, menu looked good and we got ourselves all gussied up for a night out to dinner!

We had a reservation, but we were early and they seated us anyway right away, it wasn’t nearly as busy as we had expected for 7pm on a Friday night, I think Washington might start a little later than Boston. Also interesting, there was a small area near the end of the bar, closest to the kitchen, with fish and other seafood items laid out on ice, apparently you can pick a fish to be your dinner and they will cook it for you. We stuck to the menu in front of us.

We started off by ordering a salad and an appetizer of pan friend mozzarella. The mozzarella was delicious with the flaky crust it was in. The salad was interesting, they actually just left the romaine lettuce leaves whole, piled them on the plate, then draped the anchovies and dressing over it.

Then our meal came, Kate dined on Beef Tagliata with basil flavored mashed potato and mustard sauce, while I had the olive crusted roasted lamb rack with potato rosti, carmelized shallots and garlic.

Blown away is about the only way to describe the meal, presentation was interesting as well. When they brought my lamb out, it was still in the full rack on a cutting board with a garnished plate as well. They actually cut my lamb next to the table, and laid it out for me on the plate before putting it in front of me. A bit extreme from my point of view but bonus points for the style.

Really though, the food was delicious, it melted in your mouth and the flavors of the sides combined with the main dish to compliment one another perfectly.

We savored our meal as we ate it, and were so happy throughout the whole meal.

Then came dessert, we went for it because while delicious, our dinners were not the normal tons of food that fills you up like a gut busting chain in the local strip mall. Dessert was their Chocolate Mousse Cake, and it was delicious as well, and a perfect ending to one of the finest meals I have had in a very very very long time.

I still slightly salivate when I think about this meal…


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Creamy Shanghai Rub…

Shanghai Rub

Originally uploaded by Nedster78

While the title makes this sound like something dirty you get in a massage parlor, it’s really anything but that.

I picked up this dry rub spice at the Christmas Tree Shop while I was there picking up a dried, sliced jar of garlic made by the same company, of course I also ended up getting some sea salt as well. I mean, who can pass up sale spices, right?

So, I tried this out on some pork chops last week, I shook it on them, let them sit a day and then grilled them. They were delicious!

Then, I tried this on some chicken breasts, only this time I didn’t leave em dry, I mixed it with some olive oil and let it sit for 36 hours before I grilled it. It was delicious with a side of mashed potatoes for a meal.

Then I had some chicken left over and wanted to experiment. I boiled some rotini, chopped the chicken up into cubes, and added it to a casserole dish with a mild Three Brothers Alfredo sauce. Granted, I would totally prefer to make it from scratch, but really it’s time I don’t have, so Three Brothers it is.

I thinned out the Alfredo with a little whole milk and covered it with tin foil and dropped it into the oven at 425.

I let it cook for awhile and then when it was mostly hot all the way through, I topped it with a mix of shredded parmesian, romano, and mozzarella cheese and put it back in for a few minutes.

Once the cheese browned up slightly, I took it out and warmed it up, it was awesome! The spice from this combined with the flavor of the alfredo just a little bit and gave a nice creamy and spicy mix to the meal.

I think some fresh garlic bread woulda made it perfect, but there are leftovers so it will be explored for lunch.

For the company who makes/imports the spice…. you can go here:

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So last night, I was on the way home with my GF who helped me and my siblings take a picture together to give to my mom as a mother’s day gift, and then picking up a new rug for the living room at Building 19 3/4 – yes, it was actually a spur of the moment stop and impulse buy, but it looks really good in the living room, I will post a picture in another blog or in my pictures at some point.

So prior to that stop we were cruising homeward bound and we were hungry, so we were trying to figure out where to go…

First, we ruled out fast food and pizza places for the obvious reason, then we ruled out a chain because that just wasn’t worth it and she wasn’t in the mood for chinese or japanese etc, so those were ruled out, however we had one last resort option if we couldn’t find someplace, and that was Chipotle, which is both a chain and sorta fast food, but it gets an exemption, tough to explain but it is just different so it gets one.

So we were cruising up RT 1 and seeing what is around and we finally get to RT1/128/95 and realize we have 2 options, Joe’s American Bar and Grill(technically a chain but not a big one so it is exempt) or Finz which is a semi local seafood sorta chain place, there are more than one of them anyway.

So we decide on Finz and make our way over there, it was only about 5:30 so we were pretty much still in old person time which is fine by me since it meant easy to get in and get a table and not too much noise, and yes, there were many an old person in there at the time.

I started off with a sour apple martini which was really good, we got some fresh rolls which were really warm and just plain awesome. Then we had the crispy calamari for an appetizer. WOW, that was the most tender and well made calamari I have ever had, it was crisp on the outside with a light flaky batter which had flavor but not so much as to overwhelm the flavor of the calamari, and the inside was soft and the furthest thing from rubbery you can imagine, it was perfectly cooked. The marinara and garlic butter dipping sauces were great compliments to it as well.

I chose the pan seared scallops with a cider reduction, with bacon whipped potatoes on the side. I was supposed to get a roasted corn and mushroom ragout, but I swapped it out for the much simpler asparagus spears. This dish was FANTASTIC, the scallops were fresh, perfectly cooked and the cider reduction complimented it perfectly. The potatoes were great and while there were no chunks of bacon, you could really taste the bacon in them, I am guessing they had bacon fat added to them for the flavor.

She had the pan seared shrimp wrapped in prosciutto, with pesto Israeli cous cous, and those were delicious as well, nicely cooked and the flavors mixed really well together.

THEN, we had dessert too to make it a perfectly decadent night, we got a square of chocolate marshmallow cheesecake which was absolutely divine, the layer of fudge-like chocolate on the top could have been sliced to about half thickness since it was a bit over powering, but man, even with that, the marshmallow flavored cheesecake center with the graham cracker crust was to die for, and glad we split it because I never would have been able to eat it myself, just too big.

I have eaten up at the one in Salem before, and I know at least one of you has as well, although you may just drink there, not sure exactly. While this one is not on the ocean, the atmosphere is great and the food just plain awesome. Definitely will be back at some point, but not too often since it can be a bit pricey, but definitely worth it if you want a nice, quiet, quality meal to treat yourself with your $$.


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Pretty Disappointed

So, I had a craving last night and went north from the airport instead of west to home…

I picked up a roast beef sandwich and chowder at Kelly’s Roast Beef on rt 1.

The sandwich, as always was great, the meat, the roll, everything was perfect.

The chowder however, left a lot to be desired.

Plenty of clam, that is for certain and the potatoes were a good size, however… it was far far too thin, far too few onions, and WAY too much sand!!


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Country’s BBQ in Troy, AL

Dinner was alright, got the conglomeration plate.

Ribs were good, the pulled pork was pretty good, but the beef was a bit overdone, and tough, I don’t mind overdone if it is fall off the bone and tender, but this was not that kind of beef.

I had some wings to start off with, and they were pretty mediocre, basically deep fried and then tossed with Red Hot, and def red hot though, not a generic.

What is it with pickles down here? I got a pulled pork sandwich for lunch at another local place, and the put pickles on it. What the hell? onions I can understand, but pickles on a pulled pork bbq sandwich?!?!? I spit out my first bite right onto the plate! it was gross!

Anyway, the conglomeration plate had a bed of pickle slices and pickled onions.


damn pickle pushers!


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