Written by cnoonz on May 20th, 2010 · 561 views
Taking a break from Pizza today, two of the editors from Foodenator decided to check out Qdoba located in Harvard Square. While one of us was too busy smiling at all the complements she received on her Mohawk…I ordered three chicken tacos.
I opted for two crunchy tacos and 1 soft taco. The taco was filled with marinated chicken, pico de gallo, white cheddar cheese and lettuce. I also threw a little hot sauce on the top. First of all, the flavors were great together. It’s a hot day and overall it felt like a healthy light meal. However, the soft taco shell was a little “slimy” so we would suggest sticking with the hard shell if that suits your taste buds. We like the efficiency of the assembly line at the store, its very “subway-esque” and helps the line to continually move.
Definitely an Americanized version of Mexican food but great for something that is fast and on the healthier side.
Babies love it too!
Written by cnoonz on May 19th, 2010 · 514 views
One of my favorite pizza places in Boston is Santarpio’s Pizza, located on Chelsea Street in East Boston. Unfortunately for many people, East Boston is a little out of the way unless you are making a trip to the airport. We really wish they would open a more central location!!!
They have been voted to the “Best of Boston” numerous times and have an endorsement from Rachel Ray on their website.
Their pizza reminds us a lot of the flavor that you might find in Regina’s Pizza because the flavors that you get in the pizza indicate it’s top of the line. We really liked their crust, it was a perfect combination of crunchy shell with softer dough on the inside. The cheese is bursting with flavor, we don’t know what kind they use but it is definitely a mix. The staff will drop your pizza down on a warped metal try but they still smile and are friendly to their customers.
We are giving Santarpio’s our first ever FIVE STARS!!! *****
This is worth a trip to East Boston to try this slice of heaven.
Written by cnoonz on May 18th, 2010 · 769 views
As a resident of Boston for the past two years, I have had multiple opportunities to check out Boston’s famed Pizzeria Regina. They have won numerous awards for the best pizza in Boston from places like Boston Magazine and the Phantom Gourmet. Started in 1926, you can find the main hub on Thatcher Street in the North End of Boston, aka the Italian Section of town.
First let’s talk about the good…Whether you order a traditional cheese pizza, one with pepperoni or all the toppings, you can be sure they will use the freshest ingredients. Their pepperoni is the best that I have ever had on a pizza and their cheese has a very crisp flavor that mixes well with the sauce and the crust. Each table also has a variety of condiments and a entire bottle of a garlic and pepper olive oil that is great to dip your crust in at the end of the slice. There is not a question at all about the overall quality and taste of this pizza. Finally, while dining you can check out all the famous celebrities adorning the walls of the eatery.
Ok so here is the bad…First, the lines at the restaurant are typically pretty long if you are going during dinner time. We have waited up to 45 minutes to get a table and because the place is small, you have to wait on the sidewalk outside. Second, if you want to go somewhere and have a friendly waitress, this is not the place. The goal of the staff is to move people in and out very quickly. We have been there where they have literally dropped the food on the table and not come back to check on us until our check is received. Finally, you may end up sharing part of a table with another couple or family if the waits are long, so don’t plan on having any type of intimate conversation.
Overall, the pizza quality is fabulous but we suggest getting take out if the option is available.
We give Regina’s 3.5 stars ***
Stay tuned for 2 more reviews of Boston Pizza!!
Written by cnoonz on May 17th, 2010 · 794 views
This past weekend, two of the taste testers from Foodenator visited Ledo’s Pizza. This is a smaller chain, contained within the mid-atlantic region of the U.S. which offers square pizza slices.
Pictured below is the Large pizza, which is split between two different trays. We LOVE that you can order a half cheese/half pepperoni and not have to worry about your toppings mixing! They also use a unique pepperoni which is a thicker slice and each cut of pizza is sure to get pepperoni right in the middle of the slice.
The pizza is definitely loaded with grease and after eating the first 2 or 3 slices we did dab a little bit of it off, but the grease does add to the overall flavor. The first bite of the pizza is a combination of both salty flavor derived from the cheese and a fairly sweet tomato sauce. The crust is thinner with flaky and crunchy texture. The flakiness of the crust is best described as a buttery flake that will melt in your mouth along with the pizza. A large pizza is sufficient to feed a family of four, we had plenty left over for an afternoon snack.
The staff at our Ledo’s was fast and efficient…shout out to our brand new waiter!
We give Ledo’s 4 out of 5 stars!! ****
Written by cnoonz on May 3rd, 2010 · 691 views
This weekend, two of the editors at Foodenator ventured over to the Upper Crust located in Harvard Square, Cambridge, Mass.
Although the location is very small and the tables are close together, we were able to squeeze into a corner after ordering a “slice of the day” consisting of Pesto & Chicken and a slice of Cheese. First let’s examine the traditional cheese. They use a very thin crust that is cooked to the point where it is crispy but not burnt. The crust is almost flaky. For a sauce, they use chunks of tomatoes that are pretty sweet with a nice blend kick of tart seasoning. They don’t make their slice with a tan of cheese but overall we gave their slice 4 out of 5 stars! ****
We also love that they deliver pizza’s on a bike, way to go green!
Our Second Slice, the Pesto Chicken pizza was also very good. The crust was exactly the same as the cheese pizza. We really liked the flavoring that we picked up from the pesto but we wish it was dispersed a little bit more evenly on the pizza. The chicken was also very good but a little on the dry side. Probably a result of buying it by the slice and re-heating. We suggest if you like this type of Pizza to order an entire pie and ask for extra cheese which should help to hold some of the moisture into the chicken. This slice gets 3 out of 5 stars! ***
Overall we love this chain which has the feel of an individual restaurant.
Written by cnoonz on April 29th, 2010 · 383 views
The Editors at Foodenator had the opportunity to check out some pizza in Midtown West, Manhattan recently. After searching the internet for a tasty piece of New York Pizza, we decided to check out Il Mare, located right by Penn Station and Madison Square Garden.
You can choose to purchase your pizza by the pie or by the slice and there are a variety of flavors to choose from as well. We decided to try the traditional slice of Cheese Pizza and a slice of the Tomato Basil.
First we tried the Cheese Pizza. The first bite was literally heaven in our mouth. There was a perfect amount of each ingredient and it almost melted. The crust is thinner and by the time you get to the end you just want to grab another slice before finishing the crust because the toppings are so good. The sauce used on the pizza is a little too sweet which was our only regret with the pizza.
The Tomato Basil pizza was also very good. They use several different kinds of cheese on the pizza including a fresh mozzarella. We liked that we had a variety of choices by the slice and the staff was very fast and efficient. The prices are very reasonable and you can be in and out of the restaurant in about 15 minutes.
Overall, we give Il Mare 4 out of 5 stars!! Work a trip to Penn Station to check out their pizza.
Written by cnoonz on April 28th, 2010 · 872 views
On a recent trip to Chicago, an editor for Foodenator decided to check out the famous Chicago Deep Dish Pizza.
The restaurant chosen was Giordano’s. The restaurant has been a Chicago staple since 1974 and has since become a local chain. Patron’s have the option to dine in, carry out, delivery or ship a pizza to their homes in a different state. www.giordanos.com
We decided to check out their Tropical Delight Deep Dish Pizza, dressed with cheese, pineapple and Canadian bacon. First of all, the pizza must have weighed at least 10 pounds and we only ordered a small. The first bite was a wonderful mix of flavors but the cheese was so plentiful and stringy that we almost choked on it. The sauce was excellent, a perfect blend of tangy and sweet. There was a good amount of toppings other than cheese. However the crust left us unsatisfied. Not only was it very dry but it really didn’t contain a lot of flavor.
At over $17.00 a pizza, we give Giordano’s 2.5 out of 5 stars.
We are certain there are better deep dish pizza’s in Chicago.
Written by cnoonz on April 1st, 2010 · 388 views
I N G R E D I E N T S
Crisco recommended for preparing the pan
1 cup cold water
3 tablespoons (3 envelopes) unflavored gelatin
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Confectioners sugar (for coating the marshmallows)
1. Prepare a 9 x 13 x 2 inch pan as follows. Invert the pan. Cut a piece of aluminum foil long enough to cover the bottom and sides of the pan. Place the foil over the inverted pan and fold down the sides and corners just to shape. Remove the foil and turn the pan right side up. With a pastry brush or crumpled wax paper coat the foil thoroughly but lightly with vegetable shortening.
2. Place 1/2 cup cold water in the large bowl of an electric mixer, Sprinkle the gelatin over the surface of the water and set aside.
3. Place the sugar, corn syrup, salt and the other 1/2 cup water in a heavy 1-1/2 quart or 2 quart saucepan over moderately low heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture comes to a boil. Cover for 3 minutes to allow any sugar crystals on the sides of the saucepan to dissolve. Uncover, raise the heat to high, insert a candy thermometer, and let the syrup boil without stirring until the temperature reaches 240 degrees. Do not overcook. Remove from the heat.
4. Beating constantly at medium speed, pour the syrup slowly into the gelatin mixture. After all the syrup has been added, increase the speed to high and beat for 15 minutes until the mixture is lukewarm, snowy white, and the consistency of whipped marshmallow, adding the vanilla a few minutes before the end of the beating.
5. Pour the slightly warm and thick marshmallow mixture into the prepared pan and, with your forefinger, scrape all the mixture off the beaters. Smooth the top of the marshmallow.
6. Let stand uncovered at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours or longer if it is more convenient.
7. Then sift or strain confectioners sugar generously onto a large cutting board to cover a surface larger then your pan. Invert the marshmallow over the sugared surface. Remove the pan and peel off the foil. Strain confectioners sugar generously over the top of the marshmallow.
8. To cut into even 1 inch strips use a ruler and toothpicks to mark it every 1 inch.
9. Prepare a long, heavy, sharp knife by brushing the blade lightly with vegetable shortening. Cutting down firmly with the full length of the blade, cut the marshmallow into 1 inch strips. (After cutting the first slice, just keep the blade sugared to keep it from sticking.)
10. Dip the cut sides of each strip into confectioners sugar to coat them thoroughly — you should have enough excess sugar on the board to do this.
11. Now cut each strip into 1 inch squares. (You may place three strips together and cut through them all at once.) Roll the marshmallows in the sugar to coat the remaining sides. Shake off excess sugar.
12. Store in a plastic box or any airtight container — or plastic bag.
Yield: makes 1 pound, 10 ounces of marshmallows
FINALLY: BITE OFF THEIR EARS AND ENJOY!!!
Written by cnoonz on March 31st, 2010 · 334 views
Looking for a non-traditional dessert for your Easter Sunday dinner?
Check out these awesome cupcakes. Perfect for Easter
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 extra-large eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 3 cups grated carrots (less than 1 pound)
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
For the frosting:
- 3/4 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 pound confectioners’ sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Beat the sugar, oil, and vanilla together in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the eggs, 1 at a time. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add 1/2 of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Add the grated carrots, raisins, and walnuts to the remaining flour, mix well, and add to the batter. Mix until just combined.
Line muffin pans with paper liners. Scoop the batter into 22 muffin cups until each is 3/4 full. Bake at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and cook for a further 35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a rack.
For the frosting, cream the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the sugar and beat until smooth.
When the cupcakes are cool, frost them generously and serve.
Written by cnoonz on March 30th, 2010 · 531 views
Last year, the staff at Foodenator was proud to bring you a guide to hunting a rabbit for your Easter dinner. So many people will settle for the traditional lamb or baked ham for their Easter meal but we say, why settle for something you can eat any time? Please refer back to our “catching the easter bunny guide” from last year and then follow our simple recipe below to make a dish your children will not soon forget.
Rabbit Coq Au Vin
8 rabbit thighs
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons milk
12 ounces bacon chopped
1 pint pearl onions, peeled
¼ cup chopped shallots
2 tbs. chopped garlic
1 tbs. chopped fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
3 cups fruity Wine
2 cups brown chicken stock
2 tbs. butter
1 tbs. finely chopped parsley
Season the rabbit with salt and pepper. In a shallow pan, add 2 cups of the flour. Season with salt and pepper.
In another shallow bowl, whisk the egg and milk together. Season with salt and pepper. Dredge the rabbit in the seasoned flour.
Dip the rabbit in the egg wash, letting the excess drip off. Dredge the rabbit back in the seasoned flour, coating completely.
In a large hot oven proof skillet with a lid, render the bacon until crispy about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the crispy bacon from the pan and reserve.
Lay the rabbit skin side down in the hot bacon fat and brown the rabbit for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Remove the rabbit from the pan and set aside.
Add the onions to the bacon fat and sauté for 2 minutes.
Add the mushrooms, shallots, and garlic, sauté for 2 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper. Add the thyme and bay leaves.
Add the rabbit to the vegetable mixture. Add the wine and chicken stock.
Bring the liquid up to a simmer and cover. Cook the rabbit until very tender about 30 to 35 minutes skimming off the fat. Remove the rabbit pieces from the pan and set aside. Blend the remaining flour and butter together into a smooth paste. Whisk the paste into hot liquid. Bring the liquid to a simmer and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the rabbit back to the pan and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Serve the Coq Au Vin in individual bowls with crusty bread. Garnish with the reserved crispy bacon. Yield: 4 servings