Okay, I took my own advice, and headed over to Bazaar International, in Brookline, for my prepared food NYE feast.
We jumped into the Soviet era line, and switched out to do recognizance missions around the store. They had a load of NYE specialties, and I glommed onto most of them...
The dinner itself began with a platter comprised of this amazing smoked-trout, hardboiled egg and dill salad, mushroom pâté, with a mellow undertone of garlic that made it addictive, and a taramasalata (in a jar, from some eastern European country), all scooped up with matnahkash, that Armenian/ Russian bread that is a little like ciabbata, but not..
Next course included smoked salmon and sturgeon, each $10.99 a pound, (make sure you get the house-sliced salmon on the bottom shelf), on their exemplary, and imminently reasonable, store-made blini. Huge and thin. And crème fraiche, from Vermont Butter and Cheese, the closest you can get to smetana in this country.
We proceeded to a cooked course, meat pirogin, for my beloved, and potato for me, both frozen, and made by bazaar. I boiled them, then sautéed in onions and butter.
Then, the piece de résistance, the fish in bondage! Actually, I was going to get some of their homemade gefilte fish, but I ended up getting a true, gefulteh, or stuffed fish. A whole Lake Trout, head to tail, sitting up in swimming position, trussed in string. Turned out, it was totally, deboned, including the head, except for the boney cheek-plates, stuffed with wild mushrooms, crumbs, and hard-boiled egg, and then the whole thing was smoked, so that the whole fish was colored by its pink flesh. I served it at room temperature, and you could cut it into slices. And this work of art, for there is no other way to describe it, was $5.99 a pound! The whole fish was $8 and change. We also popped the cheese-filled bread, whose name I don’t know, into the oven at this point, a slightly rich dough, flat, but the size of a dinner plate stuffed with some blend of mild cheeses...Mmmmmmmm.
And the beloved finished with the sour-cherry pastry, wrapped in a very thin skin, that’s also customary for NYE. Plus, of course, he insisted on breaking into the chocolate that the wonderful lady at Bazaar gave me for New years...
All washed down with my homemade cranberry vodka...
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