Stanley Cup Meals, Round 2: Adversity and Diversity

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Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs has begun! The Boston Bruins are facing their perennial rivals, the Montreal Canadiens, in their continuing quest for one of  the most coveted trophies in sports. It won’t be easy; the Canadiens are a tough, persistent team with an outstanding goalie. But that description applies to the Bruins too, so the series is well-matched.The Bruins have to step up their game to win the series, so I’m stepping up mine with some new Cup Meals and Cup Cakes.

Thursday night’s game dinner featured perfectly grilled pork chops (thanks to The Husband), steamed baby kale, and Boston Baked Beans in a Corn and Wild Blueberry Muffin Cup. Time constraints prevented me from making the baked beans myself, so they are a well-known canned national brand, but still delicious and not too sweet. The muffins are an American Test Kitchen recipe that helped me produce possibly the best muffins I have ever made. Really. What’s more remarkable is these muffins are in the Healthy Family Cookbook, so they are low in fat. Amazing.

Of course, there’s always an adventure brewing in my kitchen, and these muffins were no exception. Due to my penchant for coming up with wild ideas, and then looking for recipes to match them, I chose this muffin recipe with no time to wander out for any missing ingredients. I figured I had to have everything on hand to make a corn muffin, but I was wrong. I needed plain yogurt, but the only yogurt in the house was fruit-on-the-bottom, in various fruit flavors. There was a muffin variation using blueberries, so I went with the blueberry yogurt. When I tasted the batter, the blueberry flavor was prominent, so I folded in a cup of wild blueberries, dished the batter into the muffin pan, and popped them in the oven. I wasn’t sure how the beans and the muffins would do next to each other, until I plated them and took a bite.

The resulting combination of Boston baked beans, cornbread, and blueberries was a marvelous blending of traditional New England flavors. The beans had that smoky, lightly bitter flavor that only comes from molasses, and the blueberries brought a fruity touch to the sweet, crispy outside-tender inside corn muffin. You want to try this.

Even the best team cannot win every game, and the Bruins lasted until the second overtime period, when Canadiens forward P.K. Subban scored the winning goal on a 130-mile-per-hour shot through a screen in front of Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask. For his effort, skill, and persistence, Subban was rewarded with racist tweets from some Boston fans. Subban is a Black Canadian. These tweets were quickly denounced by thousands of people on Twitter, and the Boston Bruins organization. The irony here is that Boston is such a diverse city, with a mix of people from all over the world, to single out this highly skilled hockey player for the color of his skin is basically absurd.

Of course, that diversity is reflected in the food neighborhoods in Boston. Saturday afternoon’s game food was inspired by Chinatown.

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I sprayed the underside of my muffin tin with canola spray, and formed egg roll wrappers around alternating cups. With moistened fingers, I folded up the edges of the wrappers onto themselves, and sprayed them again with canola spray. They baked in a 400 deg. F. oven for about 10 minutes, maybe a bit less.

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Look at those. I know you want one. But they need some filling first.

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This is a really easy shrimp vegetable stirfry, with bagged broccoli slaw, bean sprouts, mushrooms, garlic, ginger, and shrimp. I always have hoisin sauce in the fridge, as well as sesame oil and soy sauce, so a stirfry sauce is right at hand.

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There you have it, a fun, flavorful Stanley Cup lunch, representing some of the diversity Boston is famous for, and still keeping things light and easy. The Bruins overcame a 2-goal deficit in the third period and went on to win 5-3. They will be heading to Montreal for the next two games, and be back home on Tuesday night for Game 5.

And I have a Boston Cream Cupcake to decorate.

See you soon, here on the Road. Go Bruins!!

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