Thursday, April 4, 2013

Thursday Sips & Nibbles

I am back again with a new edition of Thursday Sips & Nibbles, my regular column where I briefly highlight some interesting wine and food items that I have encountered recently.
1) Tuesday nights are now “Arlington Fried Chicken Night” at Tryst Restaurant in Arlington. This off menu special is available only on Tuesdays from 5pm-10pm and is focused on takeout. Guests will get 2 pieces of fried chicken marinated in buttermilk, double dredged and double-fried to a perfect golden crisp, along with a side of house-made whipped mashed potatoes with pan gravy, fresh coleslaw and a warm from-scratch buttermilk biscuit for $20.

The best part, $3 of each order sold will go directly to various Arlington based nonprofits including the Arlington Center for the Arts, Arlington Boys and Girls Club, and the Arlington Education Foundation.

Diners can call ahead and pick up this packaged meal which is available for take-out or dine-in on Tuesday nights only. Each AFC box is $20 (feeds one person) and can be ordered by calling the restaurant at (781) 641-2227.

Fried Chicken Recipe:
One all natural chicken, approximately four pounds. (Serves: 8)

Dry Rub:
1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
½ Tablespoon garlic powder
2 Tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dry mustard
¼ teaspoon cayenne

One day in advance:
Cut chicken into ten pieces, removing the back bone and wing tips.
Combine all of the ingredients for the dry rub and massage into the chicken parts. Refrigerate overnight.

Day of:
Vegetable oil for frying
2 cups buttermilk
4 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat oil to 350˚.
Remove chicken from the refrigerator, do not rinse. Double batter in the buttermilk and flour (buttermilk, flour, buttermilk, flour).
Fry in batches, approximately 8 minutes
Drain on paper towels and season with salt and pepper.

2) Proprietor/General Manager Chris Campbell & Executive Chef/Partner Scott Hebert announced Sue Drabkin has taken the helm as Pastry Chef at Troquet. Drabkin was most recently the Executive Pastry Chef at RIS in Washington, D.C.’s West End.

Campbell said of Drabkin’s work, “Sue's mature dessert approach pairs well with our in-house wine approach: Providing uncompromising quality with sophistication & elegance.

A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, CA, Drabkin has since worked in some other New England kitchens including Rhode Island’s Stone House at Pietra Restaurant in Little Compton, & more recently at Harvest Restaurant in Cambridge, MA. During her two-year tenure at Harvest, she created seasonal menus from local produce available in Boston.

Drabkin said, “I am trained in the nuances of pastry, but what I think our guests will taste in my work is much more than technique & fresh ingredients. I have a lifelong affection for art & antiques – I design my own jewelry, too. My desserts embrace creativity & passion, & are very personal to me.

Drabkin’s inaugural menu includes:
Pineapple Macaroon Napoleon with crème fraîche, roasted & fresh pineapple, mango sorbet, & toasted macadamia nuts
Lemon Meringue Tartlet with Amarena cherries, torched meringue, pistachio & sour cream lemon sorbet
Crème Brûlée Gâteau with orange chiffon, feuille de brick, brown sugar ice cream, blood orange sauce, & pomegranate
Valhrona Chocolate Soufflé with espresso crème anglaise, & cinnamon truffle ice cream
Lime-Ginger Parfait with gingersnap, cassis, lime gel, & lemon ginger sauce
Caramèlia Mousse Bombe with hazelnut crumble, bittersweet chocolate sorbet, & passion fruit coulis

3) Chef & Owner Anthony Caturano is helping everyone gear up for Marathon Monday by offering an array of carb-laced specials on Marathon Sunday, from 5:30pm-10pm, at Prezza in the North End. Chef Caturano will dish out a trio of handmade pasta options that will allow runners and spectators the opportunity to deliciously fuel up the night before going the distance…be it physically or mentally: Orecchiette (broccoli rabe, sausage, Taleggio cheese); Linguini (shrimp, spring garlic, fava beans, white wine); or, Bucatini all’ Amatriciana. Chef Caturano’s Marathon Sunday specials are available as individual entrees for $18 or for an unlimited portion of one for the apt price of $26.2(0) per person.

For one night only, this trio of specials will join Caturano’s staple handmade seasonal pasta offerings, available in both appetizer and entrée portions, including: Ravioli di Ouvo (ravioli stuffed with ricotta and egg yolk tossed with butter and sage - $12); Lobster Fra Diavlo (tagliatelle, roasted tomato, fennel, lobster meat - $18: appetizer; $25: entree); Pea Raviolini (Jones ham, English peas, mint, mascarpone, pecorino cheese - $15: appetizer; $30: entree); Walnut Ravioli (rabbit, fava beans, sage, butter, parmigiano cheese - $15: appetizer; $30: entree); and, Potato Gnocchi a la Bolognese (rustic meat ragout, tomato, porcini cream, pecorino cheese - $15: appetizer; $30: entree).

For reservations, please call 617-227-1577

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