Friday, March 26, 2010

Homage to Tupelo and Hybrid Fruits

Hello! It’s been way too long since I have last posted. And while I feel like an apology for the lag is a little presumptuous at this point, I want to at least acknowledge it and have you know that I carried around sufficient guilt for the recent pause. In the future I will do my best not to be deterred by swaying buses or turbulent flight patterns.

Anyway, I arrived in Boston's South Station Wednesday night and walked as fast as my Sanitas would carry me on to the Red Line to Central Square and down Prospect Street to Tupelo in Inman Square. The hurry to this restaurant was not only to see my sister, but also to make it there before the kitchen closed. Lucky for me, I made it in time to have the best Moules Frites ever. The mussels were plump and piping hot sitting in a white wine broth with fries piled high and some amazing aioli sauce drizzled over it all. For those of you that find this information of no use because you either do not eat shellfish and/or do not live close enough to said restaurant to go there this very evening and try them for yourself, please forgive the indulgence and read on.

Because I need to tell you to go out and get the April issue of Everyday Food by Martha Stewart. So far I can give the Red Rice with Sausage and Peppers two thumbs up. And while I find the Bites section –tips, information, and news, from our kitchen to yours- a little annoying, I’m happy to skip those pages because it has a lot of things in it I want to try. I just wish I knew how many times they have informed their readers that buying a whole chicken is more cost effective than buying boneless chicken breasts.

Also, have you discovered the power of mineolas yet? It is a hybrid between a grapefruit and a tangerine and whoever first crossed these two fruits deserves a blue ribbon. I hope it was a farmer and not a lab tech. One day I will find out, but in the meantime their juicy, tangy flavor remains untarnished.

Here they are with strawberry friends waiting to be dipped in chocolate.

The chocolate sauce comes from Barefoot Contessa’s Back to Basics, although I tweaked it:
7oz semisweet chocolate chips
6 tablespoons of half and half
2 tablespoons of light corn syrup
1 teaspoon mineola zest (optional)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat the half and half (or heavy cream) over a very low flame, or double boiler if you wish. Add the chocolate and stir until it melts. Just lift the saucepan from the heat if you are worried about it burning. Add the corn syrup and the zest. Stir until combined and transfer to a ramekin.

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