Thursday, April 24, 2014
John Golden has written about food, dining and lifestyle subjects for Downeast magazine, the Boston Globe, Cottages and Gardens magazine, Gourmet magazine, Cuisine magazine, the New York Times and the New York Post.
In his highly opinionated blog, John reports on his experiences dining out all over Maine and his visits with food personalities, farmers and farmers’ markets throughout the state.
One of the results of chronicling as I do the ups and downs of our flourishing restaurant world is that I don’t often have the time to go to restaurants that had always been my personal favorites. When I visit a restaurant it’s often the target of a future review. Now that isn’t a bad thing necessarily especially if the restaurant is terrific.
That means I always have my camera with me and my recording app ready on the iPhone to record my tasting notes.
But just the other day I was at the bottom of Congress St. where at the base sits Saeng Thai House, that little family-run restaurant where grandmother, mother, daughter, father and other relations prepare these wonderful little meals of typical home-style Thai cooking.
Chicken Scarpariello is one of those classic Italian-American dishes that is totally delicious, easy to make and offers the convenience of being a one-pot preparation.
The dish is prepared like a fricassee, and the flavor profile is based on vinegar, wine, chicken stock, onions, garlic, green pepper and pickled and roasted sweet peppers.
While the recipe given here calls for a small fryer (about 3 pounds) it also works very well to use a duo of Cornish game hens. The smaller pieces are easier to handle and the dish cooks up rather quickly. You can also double the recipe using the fryer, to serve more people.
I haven’t been back to Salt Water Farm since it opened last year, but yesterday was such a fine spring day it seemed like an ideal time for a day trip to the Mid-Coast for Sunday brunch.
The restaurant enjoys a stellar setting overlooking the bay
Some restaurants are better left to their own devices. Consider Ruski’s Tavern, a rosy star of Portland’s dive bar constellation. Beer, booze, broads, burgers, maybe a local brawl or two and the obligatory game of darts add up to some lively local cohabiting there. But go beyond its gustatory norm and you could wind up in unchartered territory especially if you venture past the bar’s basic grub menu.
A chummy bar with a few tables
One of the complementary benefits of roast a chicken is the leftovers. You can make a quick curry, a pot pie, and use in biscuit cream gravy or add to a pasta sauce for a chicken ragu.
One of my favorites dishes, thought, is to use leftover chicken (roast, boiled or grilled) to fill tortillas in an enchilada casserole based on a guajillo chile tomato sauce.