Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Brunch at Bon Savor!

With a friend having newly relocated to Jamaica Plain, several of us made brunch plans in his new stomping grounds at Bon Savor. Advertising itself as a French and South American Bistro, the restaurant used to serve dinner as well but now is focusing on only brunch. It was certainly packed enough at 11am on a Sunday, so hopefully that works out for them!

The space is rather small, but very warm and homey feeling with several tables and a bar. We were seated in the corner by the window and, despite the many delicious options on the menu, we made up our minds pretty quickly.

One very fun thing about the coffee served is that you have the option of a personal French press. We went with two larger French presses for the table, and the coffee was delicious. In terms of food, you have traditional options like eggs benedict, but also French and South American staples like croque monsieur and bistec a caballo. Or, if you're indecisive like me, you can get the best of both worlds! My Bon Savor Benedict was essentially a ham and swiss crepe topped with a poached egg and hollandaise, served with home fries on the side. The eggs were perfectly poached, the crepe just right, and the hollandaise not too heavy. The home fries on the side were equally well executed.

My second choice would have been the pulled pork benedict, one of the day's specials, and luckily three of us ordered it! The English muffins were generously covered in the smokey, flavorful pork. Definitely on my radar for next time.

Matt went with the Croque Madame, the glassic grilled ham and Swiss cheese sandwich with a French mustard twist, topped with two poached eggs and Bearnaise sauce. The brioche it was served on was thick, golden and buttery. Parfait!

I'm not much of a sweet breakfast person, but I feel it's fairly impossible to not enjoy a banana and nutella crepe. Topped with a bit of whipped cream, it quickly disappeared into Chris's belly.

Last but not least was the French omelet, stuffed with fresh avocado, sautéed
asparagus, tomatoes, and melted Swiss cheese. In Peter's words, "I am not a huge omelet fan but the omelet was delicious and exceeded my expectations. The size and the taste definitely made me feel like I was getting my money's worth. I'd order it again."

I would definitely return to Bon Savor for another great brunch. There was not a bad plate at our table, and for the price, portion, and flavor I'd say we found ourselves a little JP gem!
Bon Savor on Urbanspoon

Monday, September 26, 2011

Decorative Shortbread Cookies

Going through our DVR on Saturday, I came across a Barefoot Contessa episode in which Ina invites her friend over to show her how to make decorative shortbread cookies. Reminiscent of my mother's Halloween Cookies, I decided to give it a go. The cookies were a lot of work. Not because it took a long time to make the dough or icing (it was super fast) but because I made the whole recipe (I would suggest cutting the recipe in half unless you want 40 iced cookies hanging around). Decorating a few different types of cookies can be difficult with all the food color mixing and prep work that you have to do so I would suggest picking one shape and sticking to it, at least for your first time. Below is the recipe as I wrote it.

Decorative Shortbread Cookies:

For the Dough:

Mix together:
24 ounces all purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt

Then cream together:
3/4 lb butter
2 1/4c sugar
Add 3 large eggs
1tbs vanilla extract

Add in dry ingredients

Wrap in plastic and chill until firm
Roll to 1/8th of inch thick
Bake 350 degrees for 8-12 min

Makes 35-40 cookies

Icing for outlining (royal icing):
1 lb confectionary sugar
3 large egg whites
1/2 tsp lemon juice
Beat with paddle on medium speed until thick.

To make flood icing:
1/4 cup of royal icing
1tsp egg white
Consistency of maple syrup. Add more egg white if need be.

First outline the cookie using the royal icing in the same color that you will use for the whole body of the cookie. Then use a brush (#12 artist brush works best) to push the flood icing around on the cookie and cover up to the edges. Let dry (maybe overnight or a few hours) and then you can use more royal icing in different colors to make the details.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

...in which we tried Kikoman Kara-Áge breading mix and ate it on the roof deck

photo source: http://www.foodbuzz.com/photos/4216151-kara-age
We received a free box of Kikoman's Kara-Áge breading mix through the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program. We were actually really excited about it because we'd been wanting to break out Jeff's deep fryer again, and this was the perfect opportunity. So I went to the store and got about 3 lbs of boneless chicken pieces.

All I did was cut up the chicken and follow the directions on the box. As a Southerner, who loves fried chicken and has tried many a time to make it well, I was so happy about how easy it was to coat the chicken thoroughly.

I fried them for about 6-7 minutes per batch, and they came out perfectly coated with a crunchy, flavorful crust. The flavors of soy sauce and ginger were good and not overpowering. I do wish we'd thought of a nice sauce to accompany the golden nuggets, but alas. Maybe next time... I would definitely buy this mix simply due to the fact that it was so easy to get that perfect crust. The nice flavor is just a plus! One thing I would do differently next time would be to use chicken breast meat instead of thigh meat. I think the others on the roof deck would agree.