Follow the culinary adventures and misadventures of the Cooking Agents (Ray and Katie). Watch as we eat/cook our way into adulthood.
In typical Ray fashion, I had friends over this past weekend and had a few days of pure gluttony. When friends come over, I try my best to get a sense of they are looking to try wherever I’m living and plan the weekend around meals that will be satisfying and give Boston a chance to impress.
To begin our journey, we headed to the North End since it would be a little less crowded on a Thursday night. We got on line at Giacomo’s and after 30 minutes, we were treated to calamari, garlic bread and pasta. Calamari was good, but could have been fried better. The marinara sauce was tangy and had a homemade taste to it. Pass on the garlic bread. Lobster Ravioli was finished off quickly as the portion size was small. Linguine with Fra-como sauce and shrimp and scallops and swordfish with a cream sauce were wins. Next, we braved the only semi-hectic crowds at Mike’s Pastry for cannolis. Peanut butter, yellow cream and pistachio all safe bets.
The next day, berry tarts from the previous day were for breakfast followed by UBurger. After some afternoon beer at Sam Adam’s Brewery, it was time for dinner at Yankee Lobster Fish Market were all 3 of us enjoyed clam chowder and Lobster Rolls. This was probably the most fulfilling meal of the weekend for me both because of the concept of fresh seafood by the water at the start of summer. Perfectly crispy fries and a long walk down Seaport Blvd. help too.
Lobster Roll from Yankee Lobster Fish Market
The next day, we hit up a few Asian establishments including Japonaise Bakery for some sweets including their Azuki Cream Bun, cakes and mochi. Take a pass on the cake and head straight for the Japanese cream items and pastries. For lunch we hopped between Bonchon Chicken for some wings, pork buns, and fried octopus balls and Jojo Taipei for soup dumplings, scallion pancakes and minced pork over rice. Finally for dinner, we headed to Redbones for some BBQ. St. Louis ribs won out above all and the smoked brisket was dry. Before my friends left, we had dim sum at Hei La Moon in Chinatown. If you’re concerned about my health right now, rest assured that I’ve been eating like a rabbit since the weekend.
Almond Cake with Oranges and Cream with an Azuki Mochi
The other night, the twin and I were feeling a little fancy. We bought two dozen clams and whipped together a somewhat classic linguine with clams. Clams are a little more than the average fare, but are still relatively inexpensive if you feel like dolling up your normal weekday dinners.
Linguine and Clam Sauce
Eat & Enjoy
In a large sauce pan, add the clams and the white wine. Set the temperature on high and cover. In 8-10 minutes, check for open clams and remove. Cover the remaining clams and give it another 2 minutes. If any clams seem like they’re never going to open, you can give it a minute. If it’s not happening, discard. You don’t want to eat a dead clam.
Set aside and reserve the clam juice. Once the clams are cool enough to handle, remove the clam meat from the shells and give it a rough chop. Despite its fancy nature, this is a pretty rustic dish. There is no need to get crazy with the knife skills.
Throw the linguine in boiling salted water. Depending on the brand you buy, this should take around 9-10 minutes to achieve al dente perfection.
While your pasta is cooking, add the olive oil, minced garlic, and chopped clams to medium-high heat. Add 2 Tbsp. of the clam juice and the red pepper flakes before the garlic begins to brown and turn the heat down to medium. Take about 3 Tbsp. of the salted pasta water and add to the pan. The starch left behind from the pasta will help thicken the sauce slightly. Add the pasta and coat with the sauce, taking care to evenly distribute the clams in the pasta. If the pasta seems dry, you can add another Tbsp. of the clam juice. Add your parsley and squeeze half of the lemon juice into the pasta and mix.
If you’re not afraid of mixing cheese with seafood, grab your cheese grater and some nice Parmesan cheese. Give your pasta a healthy dose of cheese and eat.
Allen, Krissie, and I enjoyed the dish very much (evidenced by Allen’s extremely happy face!). Dinner success!!!