Sunday, April 22, 2012

Orinoco - Venezuelan

A few years ago when I was living in Brookline I was so excited when I heard that Orinoco was opening up a 2nd post in Brookline Village. I had the same exact feeling when I found out that Orinoco was opening a 3rd post in Harvard Square! It's a Venezuelan restaurant (named after one of the longest rivers in South America) - and most people probably don't know what exactly that means, but that's okay - you only need to know that it's delicious! Their cocktails are delicious - with lots of freshly muddled fruit options. None of their locations are huge - and they all get busy. I recently tried out the Harvard Square spot for lunch and while the service was a bit slow, the food was as delicious as always! The menu might have some new sounding dishes that aren't familiar to you - like arepas and empanadas, but take a risk and try something new!
56 JFK Street, Harvard Square
22 Harvard Street, Brookline
477 Shawmut Ave, South End
As usual, I had a tough time deciding what to order. I really like plantains and they aren't an item that pops up on menus a lot, so I ordered a side of these for the table to share - here they call them 'Tajadas' - fried sweet plantains. They also have 'Tostones' - crispy green plantains mini-cakes with garlic mojo. It's a good size portion to share!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Strawberry Orange Muffins

It seems like when I bake with strawberries I have mixed results - probably because I'm often times not following a recipe. Strawberries add a lot of moisture to whatever you're baking so you have to be careful - I've tried making a strawberry banana bread without much luck, though just last week I made a lemon strawberry tea cake that came out delicious! A while back I found a recipe for these muffins which used the pureed strawberries as the liquid in the recipe which was a smart way to use them and keep the recipe healthy at the same time!
Strawberry Orange Muffins
1 1/4 cups strawberries, hulled
3 TB butter, melted
3 tsp orange rind, grated
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups whole wheat white flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
cinnamon sugar to sprinkle on top

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Asparagus and Eggs

These two ingredients pair so well together - and have a long list of different ways in which they can be prepared. This article in the New York Times says it all. This dish is a little inspired by this asparagus dish I had at an Italian restaurant, which had roasted the asparagus and served a cheesy polenta over it. Not quite polenta, but it has the same richness and yellow color, plus I was trying to come up with something breakfasty so I paired eggs with the asparagus instead!

Roast the asparagus in a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes. Rinse the asparagus and cut off the tough, thick ends. You can toss it with a little olive oil, salt and pepper but the actual act of roasting the asparagus brings out its flavors more so than sauteeing or boiling or any other form of cooking.