New and Veteran Food Trucks Grab Prime Sites in Boston During Annual Live Lottery

In Game Day Spirit, City Food Trucks Share Football-Friendly Recipes

 

Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s Office of Food Initiatives held its annual Live Lottery of Food Truck Prime Sites the night of January 16 to schedule food truck businesses across 17 locations in the downtown area and neighborhoods.

 

More than 50 food truck vendors, offering everything from gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches to Sri Lankan fare and tempeh tacos, gathered at City Hall to pick shifts for the April start of the 2013 season. Truck names were drawn at random by Director of Food Initiatives, Edith Murnane, and vendors were allowed to pick one shift at a time from available days and times.

 

“I’m thrilled that Boston’s food truck program has grown so quickly and has expanded to such a diverse selection of vendors,” Mayor Menino said. “My administration has worked vigorously to allow these local businesses grow while providing the public with delicious, healthy, and accessible food.”

 

Since formally launching the food truck industry in summer 2011, the number of food truck business has steadily grown, with many newly permitted operators hitting Boston’s streets every month. In the last year alone, the City has welcomed 16 new food truck businesses and 23 new trucks. With an ever-expanding fleet offering some of the most creative and responsibly-sourced food in the City of Boston, ensuring equal access to some of the City’s most popular food truck sites has become a priority as more vendors are eager to satisfy Boston’s hungry food truck fans.

Following the success of the Mayor’s Healthy Food Truck Challenge, which saw three winning food truck concepts operating on City Hall Plaza, the City passed the Mobile Food Truck Ordinance in April 2011 and with it launched the Mobile Food Truck Pilot. Under this pilot, 15 Public Sites were opened on Boston streets in the downtown area as well as such neighborhoods as Dorchester and Jamaica Plain. The ordinance defined food trucks as distinct from other kinds of mobile vending, such as push carts or canteen trucks, and set rules and regulations for food truck vending including hours of operation, on-truck required equipment such as hand-washing sinks, GPS units, and fire suppression systems

Under the direction of the Mobile Food Truck Committee (comprised of many city departments including the Office of Food Initiatives, Office of Business Development, Inspectional Services Division, and the Boston Fire Department), 15 food truck vendors were welcomed into the pilot and scheduled at Public Sites based on a combination of vendor preference and sensitivity to take-out eateries within 100 feet of any given Public Site. In January of 2012, the Mobile Food Truck Program was launched with nearly all pilot-year vendors returning as well as a fresh batch of new vendors joining the ranks. Since then, the Mobile Food Truck Program has grown to include a total of 18 Public Sites, three of which are Cluster Sites that support groupings of two or three food trucks at a time.

 

Other cities – from Chicago to Ottowa, Canada – have taken notice of Boston’s unique food truck program and have sought guidance on how to launch their own program, including how to craft ordinances like Boston’s Mobile Food Truck Ordinance, or how to retrofit their community’s existing regulations.

 

With a big football game just around the corner, Boston’s new and veteran food truck owner/operators certainly know how to celebrate their industry and know how to do it with a sense of camaraderie and fun. To mark the occasion, and the start of the April 2013 vending season, our food trucks have shared some of their menu items and recipes that make for great game day – or any day – eating.

 

Food Truck Game Day Recipes

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The Cod Squad, Captain Marden’s Seafoods food truck’s Scalibut Cakes

January 23, 2013

Scalibut Cakes

The Captain’s* Original Recipe

Makes about 10

 

3/4 lb fresh halibut fillet

3/4 lb fresh sea scallops

1/2 cup diced green pepper

1/2 cup diced red pepper

1/4 cup diced purple onion

1 tsp. Lawry’s Seasoning

4-5oz. Mayonnaise

1 egg, well beaten

Panko breadcrumbs

 

1. Blanch scallops and halibut, cut into 1/4″ pieces, set aside

2. Combine red/green peppers and onion in a large bowl and add Lawry’s seasoning.

3. Add mayonnaise.

4. Add beaten egg and mix everything together.

5. When everything is well mixed, add in the halibut and scallops and stir.

6. Seperate into 2″x1″ portions

7. Coat the cakes in Panko crumbs and place on a sheet pan

8. Bake the cakes in a preheated 375 degree oven for 6-8 minutes

 

Serve warm with a remoulade sauce, lemon wedge, cole slaw or over a green salad.

 

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The Dining Car’s Lamb and Black Bean Chili

January 23, 2013

Lamb and Black Bean Chili

Our chili has a deep, smokey flavor and mild, warming heat. The lamb adds a satisfying richness that

makes this chili memorable. Actual prep time is about 30 minutes and the recipe scales up well. Serve

with tortilla chips for dipping, or in bowls with shredded fontina or mild cheddar and a dollop of sour

cream. We serve it with Alex’s Ugly Sauce, made here in Boston, for a little extra brightness and heat.

Serves 6 as a meal, 8-10 as a dip

1 dried ancho chile, toasted and soaked

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 large onions, chopped

2 lbs ground lamb

1 or 2 chipotle chiles in adobo, minced

1 tablespoon ground cumin

8 cloves fresh garlic, chopped finely

1 cup dark beer such as Guiness Stout

1 can (14.5 ounce) crushed tomatoes

2 cups chicken stock or water

1 can (15 oz) black beans

Directions:

1. Place a medium sized stockpot over medium heat. Place dried ancho chile in hot, dry pan.

Toast on each side for about 30 seconds, being careful not to burn. Place pepper in 1 cup of

hot water to soak for about 10 minutes.

2. Add the olive oil in the same stockpot over high heat and add the chopped onions. Cook until

onions are translucent and are just beginning to color.

3. While onions are cooking, remove one chile (or two, if you like it spicier) from canned chipotles

in adobo. Chop finely and reserve.

4. When onions are ready, add the lamb and cook over medium high heat, breaking up the larger

pieces, until browned.

5. Remove ancho pepper from water. Remove seeds and finely chop the pepper. Reserve liquid.

6. Add chipotle, ancho chile, cumin, and fresh garlic to lamb and onions. Stir to incorporate.

7. Add the crushed tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes.

8. Add the beer, reserved chile soaking water, and chicken stock (or water), and simmer over

medium low heat, partially covered, for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally, making sure not to burn

the bottom of the pot.

9. Add the beans and continue cooking for 15 minutes, or until the chili is desired consistency.

10. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

 

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Area Four Food Truck’s Game Day Muffuletta

January 23, 2013

Game Day Muffuletta

For the Piadina

2 C All Purpose Flour

½ C Cake Flour

2 ¼ t Baking Powder

1 ½ t Sugar

2 t Salt

3 T Olive Oil

2 T Vegetable / Canola Oil

⅔ C Water

Combine flours, baking powder, sugar and salt in bowl of mixer fitted with dough hook. Mix on

low 1 minute. With motor running on low, add olive oil, canola oil and water into flour mixture until

it comes together, 1-2 minutes. Increase speed to medium and mix for 5 minutes until smooth

dough forms. Remove from bowl, shape roughly into a brick shape, cover tightly in plastic and

refrigerate 30 minutes. Heat griddle to 350F. Cut dough into 4 equal pieces and round with your

hands until smooth. Rest dough 5 minutes. Roll into ⅛” thick circles about 10-11” in diameter,

dusting with flour. Toast each side of piadina for 20-30 seconds until lightly golden speckled. Set

aside, stacked between sheets of paper towel.

For the Olive spread

1 C Green olives, pitted, drained

1 C Kalamata olives, pitted, drained

1 stalk Celery, diced small

¼ C Red onion, diced finely

2 each Garlic cloves, diced finely

3 T Olive Oil

2 T Red Wine vinegar

2 T Fresh parsley, diced

Zest of One (1) Lemon

Salt & Pepper

Pulse green olives 5-7 times for 1 second each in food processor. Remove to a mixing bowl and

wipe out food processor bowl. Pulse kalamata olives 5-7 times for 1 second each in food

processor. Remove to mixing bowl. Stir in celery, red onion, garlic cloves,olive oil, red wine

vinegar and lemon zest. Fold in parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

For the Muffuletta

8 pieces Capicola hot, thinly sliced

8 pieces Mortadella, thinly sliced

8 pieces Salami, thinly sliced

8 pieces Pepperoni, thinly sliced

8 pieces Ham, thinly sliced (Virginia preferred)

8 pieces Swiss cheese

8 pieces Sharp provolone

Preheat griddle to 350F / medium. Place toasted piadina on griddle 15-20 seconds and flip. Onto

piadina, arrange provolone and swiss and heat until cheese starts to melt slightly, 45-60

seconds. Add 2 slices of each capicola, mortadella, salami, pepperoni and ham onto cheeses.

Remove from heat and add ½ C of olive spread across all of the meats. Fold in three parts,

letter-style, pressing down slightly. Repeat with other piadini. Enjoy

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The Fugu Truck’s Spicy Honey Soy Glazed Wings

Serves 4

2 pounds chicken wings

2 quarts simple brine

1 tablespoon thinly sliced scallions

1 tablespoon minced jalapeño pepper

1/2 cup orange juice

3 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons light soy sauce

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Vegetable oil

1. Brine the chicken wings covered overnight in a refrigerator.

2. When ready to cook, dry all the wings with paper towel. In a hot pan, sear the wings with a little bit of vegetable oil. When the wings are browned on all sides, transfer them to a 350 degrees Fahrenheit oven to finish cooking, about 5 minutes.

3. Sauté the thinly sliced scallions and minced jalapeños in a small amount of vegetable oil, just until slightly colored. Deglaze the pan with orange juice. Add honey, light soy sauce, and red pepper flakes. Reduce gently until the mixture is almost a syrup consistency.

4. Remove the cooked wings from the oven and drain off excess oil.

5. Coat the cooked wings in the spicy glaze and serve immediately.

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Mei Mei Street Kitchen’s Kung Pao Chicken Dip

makes enough for 4 as a starter, 8 as a snack

We love Buffalo chicken dip – spicy, creamy, thick and deliciously chicken-y. This is our Chinese-American spin on it, made with our other favorite spicy chicken dish – the famous Kung Pao. We think all Chinese food is better with cheese, and this dip is chock full of dried chilies, aromatic ginger and scallions, and lots of other good stuff. It debuted at our pop-up with Staff Meal at The Gallows, and though it’s not a staple of our truck menu, we’re still pretty fond of it. This recipe is an approximation – we cook by feel and encourage you to do the same. And if you happen to just mix your leftover takeout kungpao with some cream cheese and sharp cheddar, don’t worry; we won’t tell.

for the chicken:

1 pound chicken, preferably dark meat, sliced into domino sized pieces

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons Chinese cooking wine or dry sherry

2 teaspoons corn starch

Neutral oil (peanut, canola, grapeseed, etc) for the pan

10 dried red Chinese chilies

3 scallion stalks, sliced across the grain

6 cloves garlic, minced

1.5 tablespoons grated ginger

for the sauce – feel free to make a giant batch and keep it in the fridge to use as marinade, or for future stir-fries:

1 tablespoon Chinese black vinegar or good-quality balsamic

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon hoisin sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon ground Sichuan peppercorns

 

for the dip:

12 oz cream cheese

12 oz grated sharp cheddar

1 cup crushed peanuts (optional)

 

1. Whisk together the soy sauce, cooking wine, and corn starch. Mix with chicken. Let marinate for 15 minutes while you prep your other ingredients.

2. Heat a wok or cast iron pan on high until it seems really ripping hot. Add a few tablespoons of your cooking oil, and then the chilies. Stir for a minute, until your kitchen smells really good and you’re maybe crying a little bit and the chilies are just starting to smoke.

3. Add the ginger, garlic, and scallions. Stir-fry for another minute – your kitchen should be smelling really good.

4. Add the chicken and fry for another three minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.

 

5. Pour in the sauce. Cook for another minute and then kill the heat. Taste it. Needs more salt? More sugar? More chilies? Add it now!

6. Fold in the cream cheese and cheddar. Feel your inner Paula Deen grow strong.

7. If you haven’t already started eating it with a spoon, you can transfer it to a set of ramekins or a baking dish and then, before serving, bake for 20 minutes at 375. Top it with a little more grated cheese, and some crushed peanuts, scallions, or whatever else seems delicious to you.

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