he looks like a charmer
Today: Why you should be putting pickle brine in your fancy sautéed mushrooms, and all kinds of other places.
Dill pickle brine's chief function is to preserve cucumbers into infinity. Its reason for being is utility; its food class: byproduct. When it escapes the jar, it's most often served on the side of a cheap shot of whiskey.
So I don't blame you if you tend eat all the pickles and then throw the juice away—at least, not until right now I didn't.
Maybe nobody told you that tossing pickle brine is just like tipping a perfectly good bottle of vinegar or fish sauce or Worcestershire down the drain. Maybe you never heard that you could cook with brine, not just use it as a bracing, salty slap to chase your sorrows. Or maybe you assumed that brine would always take over, setting its vinegar and salt and spice on top of everything else. You might even have slipped some pickle juice into potato salad or Bloody Marys, where blandness signals a crushing defeat.
But as I learned from Stuart Brioza, chef-owner of State Bird Provisions in San Francisco, brine could be doing so much more. He splashes dill pickle brine into buttery sautéed mushrooms—refined, seasonal, expensive mushrooms. And it makes them even better.
Unless you're approaching the proportions used for pickles (i.e. literally swimming in brine), it's just a contained burst of acid, salt, and mulled seasonings that together work background magic. Used in tablespoons, not pints, it doesn't announce itself, but somehow makes the butter and mushrooms speak louder and more clearly.
"I love pickles. I love mushrooms," Brioza wrote, in explaining how he came up with the idea. "We like to ferment turnips at the restaurant, and it's a great way to use that brine (though dill pickle brine would work just as well)." Imagine what pickle brine could do for your other fine spring vegetable hauls—your ramps, your delicate greens, your radishes.
As for the mushrooms, they're pretty ethereal all on their own, but they'd sit nicely with steak or roast chicken, or in a bowl of lentils or grains. Or, per Brioza, "One great way to eat them would be as 'bread and butter pickle mushrooms': Serve them warm on crusty buttered bread."
Serves 6 to 8, but scales down well
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 medium shallots, thinly sliced (1 1/2 cups)
3 pounds mixed mushrooms, such as cremini, oyster, and stemmed shiitake, thickly sliced or quartered
3/4 cup brine, strained from a jar of dill pickles
Got a genius recipe to share—from a classic cookbook, an online source, or anywhere, really? Please send it my way (and tell me what's so smart about it) at email@example.com. Thanks to Associate Editor Ali Slagle for this one!
The Genius Recipes cookbook is finally here—and a New York Times Best Seller! The book is a mix of greatest hits from the column and unpublished new favorites—all told, over 100 recipes that will change the way you think about cooking. It's on shelves now, or you can order your copy here.
Photos by Mark Weinberg
'line as hell
If you’re in Southern California, you might be interested in a workshop happening at the French General, a speciality shop in Los Angeles selling new and vintage crafting supplies. The owner of the store, Kaari Meng, will be teaching people about indigo dyeing and shibori – a Japanese method of tying and binding fabrics so that they result in the beautiful patterns you see above. Tickets are $85 and all materials will be supplied, although you’re welcome to bring things from home if you want to dye specific items (maybe a pair of canvas sneakers?). At the workshop, you’ll be learning how to prepare vats of indigo, how to dye things, and of course the Japanese method of tie-dye.
Note, there are only four spaces left for this event, as French General tries to keep their workshops limited to sixteen people. If you miss out, know that they hold events every weekend. The ones on shibori and indigo happen about once every three months, and this October, they’ll be holding a darning workshop with Luke Deverell from Darn & Dusted. You can stay up-to-date with their event schedule by visiting their website or emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org and asking to be put on their email list.
This has already been open for two weeks
burn, netwon, burn
Tyler captured the flaming, exploding Bolt bus on the eastbound turnpike in West Newton. State Police report two lanes are shut - and that no one was injured.
Kaboom! Russ Nelligan captured the bus exploding:
Remember the Braintree guy who waltzed across the Red Line tracks just as a train was entering Andrew after the St. Patrick's Day parade?
A judge ordered him to stay out of South Boston, but didn't order him to stay away from the T, which might have saved him some trouble Wednesday night, when, as Transit Police report, he was in a foul, foul mood around 11 p.m. at Park Street station:
Upon arrival officers were met by a T employee who informed them of the following; a male, later identified as Patrik Finnerty (YES !! that Patrik Finnerty), 19, of Braintree was on the Red Line platform yelling at and threatening passengers and employees. Finnerty, when informed TPD were on their way, exited the station and attempted to enter into a taxi. However prior to doing so Finnerty, while issuing expletives to the MBTA customer service agent, dropped his pants and exposed his genitals. Finnerty then turned his body and exposed his backside.
Police arrived in time to stop the taxi and arrange alternate transportation for Finnerty to TPD HQ for arraignment on a charge of indecent exposure.
Three men are charged with bringing Maine women - and one teenager - to the Boston area to serve as prostitutes, the US Attorney's office charges.
One of the three, Tyrell Gorham, allegedly kept trying to run his prostitution business - and to threaten witnesses - even after state authorities locked him up in the Nashua Street jail, the FBI says.
Gorham, a.k.a. Sheek, 30, of Lewiston, Maine; Chelanjei Greene, a.k.a. Young, 32, of Brockton and Lee Young, a.k.a. Chop, 32, of Brockton, all face federal charges of sex trafficking of a minor across state lines and sex trafficking through force, fraud, or coercion.
According to federal officials, the three scouted for troubled teens and women in the Portland, ME area and convinced them to come down to Massachusetts to turn tricks for them. One of the people they convinced was under 18, according to the federal complaint against them.
An FBI agent involved in the case detailed the February operation that led to the three men's downfall in an affidavit: FBI agents and Revere and Woburn police officers scouted Backpage.com for young-looking women and arranged "dates" with them.
After checking into the Best Western Plus Roundhouse Suites in the South End on Feb. 22, the teen and a woman were driven up to the Fairfield Inn in Revere, where a man agreed to pay them and they undressed and "engaged in sexual activity with one another" - until the man told them to stop because he was an undercover agent. The two then agreed to talk to investigators.
The next day, the affidavit continues, the law-enforcement officers arranged a similar meeting with two other women working for the three - one of whom told officers she was plied with heroin in an attempt to keep her alert for the 10 to 15 sexual encounters a day the men required her to perform.
The affidavit says Gorham was arrested on local charges on Feb. 23 and put into the Nashua Street jail. Based on the intercepted phone calls, the agent wrote, Gorham told another woman to forward nude photos of one of the three women to her boyfriend in an attempt to get her to stop cooperating with authorities. Also:
GORHAM also told Bloomquist “I left Chop with two able bodied girls who are willing to work” and inquired as to why YOUNG had not sent GORHAM money while he was in custody. Bloomquist told GORHAM that “they got [Minor A] and [Woman A]. GORHAM asked Boomquist why “Chop” wasn’t also in custody then. Bloomquist had no answer, but told GORHAM that she had two “girls” she could put to work to raise money for him.
So do I! Theya re building something huge near JFK
The city of Boston's Department of Neighborhood Development has filed legislation (sponsored by Mattapan's State Rep. Russell Holmes) that would allow the MBTA to sell land along its rail lines to developers at discounted rates, according to Scott Van Voorhis at the Globe. A second proposal would allow the city to offer property tax incentives to developers in order to encourage them to build housing affordable to those with low and/or moderate incomes.
Gloucester Police say the opioid crisis, which is killing large numbers of users, has convinced them to try treatment first instead of arrests. Starting in June:
Any addict who walks into the police station with the remainder of their drug equipment (needles, etc.) or drugs and asks for help will NOT be charged. Instead, Gloucester Police will walk them through the system toward detox and recovery.
"We will assign them an 'angel' who will be their guide through the process. Not in hours or days, but on the spot," Chief Leonard Campanello said.
Addison Gilbert Hospital in Gloucester and Lahey Clinic have committed to helping fast track people that walk into the police department so that they can be assessed rapidly and the proper care can be administered quickly.
Also, the department has an agreement with Conley's Drug Store to make nasal Narcan, which can revive a dying user, available without a prescription at little or no cost. It's working with CVS on a similar deal. The department will pay for providing the drug through money seized from drug dealers.
Okay, you caught me. 📚follow me on Instagram @zachsweedler
Drink hitting this non-boston tumblr.
This is how they do a Mint Julep @ Drink… #mintjulep #beenhad #plantlife @bonjouraddy
Bridge can-opener autoshare
Tamra Carhart shows us what happens when a truck that doesn't belong on Storrow Drive gets up to ramming speed before tearing itself apart at one of those quaint little overpasses leading up to the Fenway and Kenmore Square.
Rory Nolan gives us another view.
Wonder what that "Clearance" sign in the photo by P. Cheung reads:
Lower Mills so basically milton. it is so cute it kills me. Icecreamsmith is the best.
Welcome to Dot reposts a query from the Lower Mills Nextdoor group:
Anyone know of a local ceramic shop or thrist store where I can find ceramic fairies?
I know it is a weird request, but I really need a few for the neighborhood kids.
The few I had in my front yard broke over the winter, and at least 3 little girls in the neighborhood feel a real loss because the fairies are missing. One 6 year old girl gave me some seeds to attract new fairies.
Watch out, RS!
Boston Police report they are looking for a guy who came up behind two women and grabbed their buttocks around 1 a.m. Saturday on Gardner Street.
The female victims were walking with two other friends when they were approached from behind by a male suspect who simultaneously groped their buttocks. The suspect then quickly fled between nearby houses in the direction of Ashford Street.
When caught, the white man, 6' or 6'2" and the owner of "boot-style shoes," will face charges of indecent assault and battery, a felony.
I saw this today. It was rad
Boston Magazine details an idiot savant's obsession with a woman who broke up with him and how it led to a national wave of death threats and other forms of harassment against women in the gaming industry.
Turkey as indicator of gentrification
Fields Corner still has grit, trust me
The Boston Business Journal ponders the Brooklynization of Allston now that people are paying $2,000 for a one-bedroom in a LEED-certified building and a neighborhood bro bar is being turned into an upscale market with a cutesy name.
just say no to copper pipe menorah
We're teaming up with Squarespace for a week of inventive DIY centerpieces, from classics with a twist to totally wild takes. We invited a few of our favorite designers and stylists to participate, so join us as they share their tips and tricks—and scroll down for a code to get 10% off a yearlong subscription to Squarespace.
Inspired by her favorite houseplants, Brooklyn-based home decor stylist and designer Megan Pflug dreamed up this leafy arrangement using ivy clippings, fern fronds, and begonia leaves. She tells us that when she uses common houseplants to create an arrangement, a summery green centerpiece is never out of reach.
Pflug loves finding ways to incorporate hanging arrangements into her table settings. (They leave plenty of room on the table for food and wine.) Her design is easily adapted to adorn any type of lengthy hanging object or chandelier—here, she used a copper-pipe chandelier that she made over the winter—and suggests that a small branch would work just as well.
First, she prepped her materials by cutting a couple of lengths of ivy off her plant and wove it around the bottom of the chandelier. "I found that the vines stayed in place on their own, but you could easily use a little bit of thin wire to help hold things in place," she explains.
Letting a few of the vines brush the tabletop created romance in the centerpiece, she adds. She then tucked 2 to 3 fern fronds into the ivy for more texture, and then finished off the look by adding begonia leaves for a little extra color.
And because centerpieces look better with a few friends along for the ride, here are some of Megan's favorite ways to use clippings as place settings:
This article was brought to you by Squarespace. Use code FOOD52 to get 10% off a yearlong subscription to Squarespace.
Because at least the turkeys don't urinate all over your laundry-room floor.
Wicked Local Brookline reports a repairman from Roslindale is charged with doing just that and rummaging around the cabinets while using his customer's clothes to mop up his micturition - after which he allegedly stole her husband's Red Sox tickets.
my commute was awesome. for realz