Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Stephanie's on Newbury

Since 1994, Stephanie's has been an institution on Boston's fashionable Newbury Street. The menu focuses on sophisticated comfort food and the delicious dishes are all beautifully presented. As you would expect of a New England restaurant there is a great selection of seafood, but there are also plenty of other choices for those who prefer their dishes more from the land.

During our recent visit to Boston we found ourselves at Stephanie's on two occasions. On the first I enjoyed a beautiful dish composed of pan roasted native cod over corn chowder and herb roasted potatoes, topped with buttermilk onion strings. It tasted just as good as it looks.

Stephanie's are particularly good with fried onions, and their tower of breaded onion rings is very hard indeed to resist (even if you have had buttermilk onion strings on your main dish!). Their hamburgers are second to none, and their (justifiably) famous meatloaf is not to be missed. If you like macaroni and cheese, their baked three cheese macaroni is incredible, and you can even add proscuitto and truffle oil for a truly decadent experience. I also love their seared Atlantic swordfish, which is always fresh and served with a beautiful lemony beurre blanc.

Stephanie's also make some incredible deserts, and the bread they serve before the meal is home baked. Imagine my delight when the bread basket our server brought to the table last night which contained some exquisite soda bread arrived accompanied by a small card with the recipe attached! It really is delicious. I will probably halve the recipe when I make it at home, but I doubt that will affect the flavour in any way.

Wonderful Irish Soda Bread from Stephanie's on Newbury

8 cups flour
½ pound butter
1⅓ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons baking soda
1½ teaspoons salt
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 cups buttermilk
1¾ cups currants (I plan to use raisins)

Preheat your oven to 375℉ or 180 to 190℃ (170℃ for fan ovens).

Place flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar into a bowl. Cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles cornmeal or bread crumbs.

In a separate bowl, add the eggs to the buttermilk and whisk together thoroughly. Add to the flour mixture all at once, mixing until all the liquid is absorbed. (Do not over-mix; the dough should not be smooth.)

Shape dough into 2 oval loaves scoring an 'x' into the top of each, or for mini soda breads (or scones) drop by tablespoons on to baking sheets.

Bake loaves for an hour, mini soda breads or scones for about 15 to 20 minutes.

If you do find yourself in Boston, Stephanie's a wonderful place to eat. For more information, please click here. Although you cannot book tables outside, indoor tables can be booked in advance, and I highly recommend you do this to avoid disappointment.

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