Another Day in Poe's Kitchen at The Rattlesnake

Chef Brian Poe shows you the world in the back of the house.

An Eggnog Toast to You and Yours This Christmas!

Poe’s Kitchen will be closed tomorrow—but the bar in our heads is always open. After we put together a kickass Christmas playlist that put us in the mood, Lovewell—our assistant GM went to work with a bottle of Bailey’s Caramel and Absolut Vanilia as I got on a roll with the other ingredients, and we finished our creation, an adaptation of an old New York Times recipe, off with mint. No recipe today—but you get the picture!

Rattlesnake Eggnog
Yields 12 servings

1 qt. milk
1 qt. heavy cream
2 cinnamon sticks
1 vanilla bean, split
5 cloves
10 blades mace
12 egg yolks
1 & 1/2 cups sugar
1 & 1/2 cups Absolut Vanilia
1 & 1/2 cups Bailey’s Caramel
1 qt. half-and-half OR  1 qt. light cream OR 1 c. heavy cream plus 3 c. milk
1 T. vanilla extract
freshly grated nutmeg to taste
fresh mint leaves to garnish

Combine milk and spices, including vanilla bean, in a heavy saucepan and let them infuse over lowest possible heat for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, combine yolks and sugar in a large bowl and whisk until mixed.

Bring milk to a boil and gradually whisk it into the yolk mixture. Return the mixture to the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring steadily with a wooden spoon, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until foam subsides and mixture thickens to consistency of heavy cream. (It should thickly coat the back of a wooden spoon.) Do not boil, or mixture will curdle.

Strain mixture into a large bowl and let cool to room temperature. Stir in vodka, liqueur, half-and-half (or equivalent), vanilla and nutmeg.

Refrigerate eggnog for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight. Just before serving, dust top of eggnog with additional nutmeg.



The Hit Machine: Poe’s Kitchen’s Customer Playlist

The menu at Poe’s Kitchen is constantly evolving thanks to our customers—whose insights, cravings, and even quirks inspire me in the kitchen. So why not get their input on music to set the mood of the Rattlesnake?

From the requests we solicited both in the restaurant and on our Facebook page, we came up with an initial playlist that’s been growing and growing ever since, with great help from all of you. It’s as eclectic as we are, ranging from punk to R&B, classic rock to country, hip-hop to jazz. (Special thanks to Sara Steele Rogers at The Daily Obsession.)

So what do you think? What should we add? How should we organize it? We want to hear from you—so you can hear what you like!

Send Me on My Way / Rusted Root
I Ran (So Far Away) / A Flock of Seagulls
Hips Don’t Lie / Shakira (feat. Wyclef Jean)
Hang Me Up to Dry / Cold War Kids
Dancin’ on My Grave / Ghostland Observatory
Papa Don’t Preach / Glee Cast
Where Is My Mind? / Pixies
Blues Traveler Travelogue / Blues Traveler
Stars Fell on Alabama / Billie Holiday
Who Says / John Mayer
All the Small Things / Blink 182
ABC / Jackson 5
Touch of Grey / Grateful Dead
Ring of Fire / Social Distortion
Smooth / Santana (feat. Rob Thomas)
Crash into Me / Dave Matthews
Don’t Stop Believin’ / Journey
Baby / Brandy
Vultures / John Mayer Trio
Breakdown / Jack Johnson
Say / John Mayer
Everyday / Dave Matthews Band
Ball and Chain / Social Distortion
Toes / Zac Brown Band
Stay (Wasting Time) / Dave Matthews Band
Tempted / Squeeze
Start Me Up / The Rolling Stones
Soul City / Southern Culture On the Skids
Scarlet Begonias / Sublime
Iko Iko / Dixie Cups
Oye Como Va / Santana
I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho) / Pitbull
Here Comes the Hotstepper (Heartical Mix) / Ini Kamoze
Vasoline / Stone Temple Pilots
C.R.E.A.M. / Wu-Tang Clan
(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To / Weezer
Sweet Jane / The Velvet Underground
Fall to Pieces / Velvet Revolver
Wolf Like Me / TV On the Radio
Neighborhood #3 (Power Out) / Arcade Fire
Tessellate / Tokyo Police Club
Killing Me Softly With His Song / Fugees
Sure Shot / Beastie Boys
Going Back to Cali / LL Cool J
Kiss / Prince & The Revolution
Mexican Radio / Wall of Voodoo
Dirty Water / The Standells
That’s Not My Name / The Ting Tings
Sexual Healing / Jules
I’m Alright (Theme from Caddyshack) / Kenny Loggins
And She Was / Talking Heads
The New Pollution / Beck
Soul Meets Body / Death Cab for Cutie
Hey Baby / No Doubt & Bounty Killer
Soma / The Strokes
Party in the U.S.A. / Miley Cyrus
Some Beach / Blake Shelton
Whiskey River (Live) / Willie Nelson
Manhattan / Kings of Leon
Dear Doctor / The Rolling Stones
With a Little Help from My Friends / Bornagen Beatles

Frigid Out There, Tropical in Here: The Beantown Mai Tai

We figured the obvious thing to do with Absolut Boston would be to highlight the black tea flavors to create a warming wintertime drink. 

So we did the opposite. And look at the fun we’re having!

Beantown Mai Tai

1 oz. Absolut Boston
.5 oz Cointreau
.5 oz Myers’s rum
.5 oz apricot brandy

Combine in a cocktail glass and top with a splash each of sweet & sour and pineapple juice.


You Asked for It: Prosciutto-wrapped, Blackened Tuna with Queso Fresco & Basil over Anaheim Chile–Corn Puree

Specifically, Behind the Burner asked for it, which means you can see me making it once the segment airs in January.

In the meantime, unleash your own cooking urges with the recipe below—or swing by Poe’s Kitchen and I’ll make it just for you!

Prosciutto-wrapped, Blackened Tuna with Queso Fresco & Basil over Anaheim Chile–Corn Puree

Yields 24 holiday hors d’oeuvres, 6 starters or 4 main courses

For the Anaheim chile–corn puree

2 c. fresh corn kernels
2 ears corn, grilled and sliced into coins
Olive oil
2 c. water, plus water for boiling
1 Anaheim chile, chopped with seeds
1/2 jalapeño, chopped & deseeded
1/2 t. shallots
1/2 t. garlic
Heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste

Place fresh corn kernels with a touch of olive oil in hot pan. Add shallots, garlic, and water; reduce by 1/3.

Add kernels, along with cob coins, to a pot of boiling water. Allow to cook 5-10 minutes, then remove from heat.

Add chiles; place mixture in a blender and puree into a fine sauce. Add heavy cream as needed.

Strain the sauce and allow the cream to reduce by 1/3.

For the tuna
Poe-co Loco Dust

2 T. ground cumin
2 T. dark chile powder
2 T. paprika
2 T. garlic powder
2 T. dried oregano
2 T. ground coriander
2 T. white pepper

Combine all ingredients and reserve.

24 paper-thin slices prosciutto
24 basil leaves
24  oz. (about 2 lbs.) tuna filet, cut into 24 squares
24 thin squares of queso fresco (if you cannot locate this cheese, substitute fresh mozzarella)
Olive oil

On a cutting board, lay out sliced prosciutto.

Completely cover the tuna in Poe Co Loco Dust and place the seasoned tuna in the center of each prosciutto slice. Top with a leaf of basil and a piece of cheese. Wrap prosciutto around tuna and secure with a toothpick.

Heat oil in a saute pan and sear tuna for about 30 seconds per side, or until medium rare.

To impress your friends, spoon some corn puree onto a plate, then place the tuna on top and enjoy.

Let the Lime-Zested Chips Fall Where They May!

Some people have chips on their shoulders. Ever since I arrived at the Rattlesnake, I’ve had chips on the brain.

You see, the first thing I did when I walked in the door was look at reports to see what was selling and what was not, what needed fixing and what wasn’t broken. Back then, chips and salsa were the number-1 mover. So Gordon Wilcox and I went through 16 different salsas and countless corn chips on the theory that if we could perfect the simple things, you might trust us with more complex dishes. And our plan seems to be working. My favorite ticket from last night read:

Chips and salsa
Foie gras, hen of the woods, chervil and truffle pizza

In case you’re wondering why the following recipe calls for 3 different types of salt, there are 2 reasons. First, different textures increase the chances that the salt will stick to the surface of the chip. Second, salt crystals of different sizes retain the moisture from the limes better, which means they more easily recrystallize once all of the liquid is absorbed.

Lime Salt
Yields about 2 cups.

1/2 lb. kosher salt
1/2 lb. sea salt
1/4 lb. iodized salt
20 limes

Using a microplane or a small-holed grater, zest the limes, then split and reserve.

Combine the salts.

Mix in the zest and toss in the lime halves. Allow the mixture to sit for several days in a covered container before using—it’s also good on popcorn, seafood, and chicken!

Chip Seasoning
Yields about 1 cup

1 c. lime salt
1 t. ground coriander
1 t. powdered ginger
1/2 t. powdered onion
1/2 t. powdered garlic
1/2 t. powdered cumin
1/4 t. black pepper

Toss to taste on plain tortilla chips.

When Life Gives You Leftover Cranberries, Make Scallops!

With Thanksgiving over and Christmas on the way, I’ve got cranberries on the brain. But the beauty of New England is that there’s always something coming into season, and the window of opportunity I’ve got right now opens on another of my favorites—Nantucket scallops. Nantucket scallop season lasts from November through April. Only 10 bushels of scallops are allowed per boat, per day; it takes the scallopers about four hours to shuck their catch, and then it’s on a plane to me. Thanks to them, every bite of this dish smacks of winter on the Cape.

Nantucket Scallops with Basil Cream and Cranberry Salsa
For the Cream
1 c. sour cream
1/2 c. heavy cream
1/2 c. toasted pecans
9 basil leaves
1 pinch chopped fresh garlic
1 pinch chopped fresh shallot
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a blender; add a touch more heavy cream if too thick for your liking.

For the Salsa
2 t. dried cranberries
1 t. chopped celery
1 t. chopped fennel
3 leaves basil, chiffonaded
1 t. chopped pecans
splash of white wine
juice of 1/2 lime

Mix together and reserve.

For the Scallops
1 lb. Nantucket bay scallops
ca. 1 T butter
salt and pepper to taste
splash of white wine
upland cress (hydroponic watercress) for garnish

In a hot saute pan, melt butter, then add scallops. Allow to caramelize, season with salt and pepper, and deglaze pan with wine.

In the center of the plate, spoon a bit of the basil cream, top with the scallops, then add dollops of cranberry salsa. Garnish with cress and enjoy.

To Market, to Market

We’ve been having loads of fun the past few weeks. We whooped it up at the Hoedown. We did a little cooking for the girls of to benefit Yelp Boston’s donation to ProjectSmile. This weekend, Chef Tony Ambrose, Richard Blatterman of J. Lohr Vineyards, and I will be doing an in-home dinner to benefit the kids and kind folks of AccesSportAmerica. And back at the Rattlesnake, we’re getting fresh.

You see, Poe’s Kitchen is surrounded by daily markets. And my Unleashed menu abounds with daily specials. And that’s no coincidence. We send one of our guys up to the market (mostly Copley Plaza, then the Pru—and sometimes I’ll swing by South Station Market on my way in) to pick out the most fun, freshest ingredients of the moment. We set them out in the kitchen and brainstorm for about 10 minutes—and then we start cooking.

Instantly, when we saw those beautiful brussel sprouts, still on the stalk, we pictured braised pork shoulder with sprout-and-pancetta salsa. Then we really turned our toques into thinking caps! We took a bite of those beautiful crabapples and candied apples came immediately to mind (perhaps because I had just seen Jessie from the how2heroes crowd make them in Groton at the Herb Lyceum?). So we carved out their centers (to be used later for whipped apple cream), baked off some ginger custard, dipped the shells into a cognac caramel and we had these awesome little treats! 


Meanwhile, for my new Market Tacos, I had ordered some goat. We braised it in a jalapeño broth while steaming some Peruvian potatoes, which we folded into fresh, homemade corn tortillas. The remainder of the potatoes we creamed and added pureed cilantro and purple cauliflower. There were some beet greens, so we chiffonaded these and sauteed them. Finally, we whipped up our purple cabbage-and-chile pepper slaw and voilà! We now have Braised Goat Tacos with Spicy Red Cabbage Slaw, Sauteed Beet Greens, Peruvian Potato Cream, and Peppered Topsfield, MA, Goat Cheese in Purple Potato-Corn Tortillas.


I like this taco so much that I’m going to keep it on the menu for a bit—but don’t worry! For the restless of palate, there will still be a new Market Taco available each day. I’ll see you at Poe’s Market—I mean kitchen!