I make several of these stuffed turkey breasts en Croute every year. they are great for smaller families or for those of us a bit more interested in stuffing rather than the turkey itself.
Preparing for Thanksgiving can be stressful for any cook: experienced or otherwise. The turkey, the stuffing and the gravy – the holy trinity as far as I am concerned. I could even live without the turkey if I have really good gravy, stuffing and sides but let’s face it: you have to have a turkey unless you are specifically hosting a vegetarian Thanksgiving.
A three-pound turkey breast will feed up to four with everyone having seconds or you can get a smaller one for two. Just be sure to make enough stuffing, gravy and other sides. If you have a whole turkey, cut out the breasts for this recipe and use the legs and thighs for gravy and a delicious soup, sopa de tortilla, to feed a crowd over the weekend. [Read more →]
I lived in Spain for many years and I continue to be inspired by memories of the delicious snack times al fresco in our garden. I dream about the “merienda” or “the noonish time snack” before the ubiquitous 3pm lunchtime. The clinking of glasses during the “tapas” hour in the early evenings with wine or sherry to help make it through to the late dinners served at 10 and 11pm is fresh on my mind as I think about all those little plates.
That is why I find it funny that although New York offers every culinary adventure, I never see those delicious smoked mussels with tomato, “mejillas ahumados con tomate” on menus so I make them myself at home and for the restaurant at The Greenporter Hotel. I think these are a great option for a holiday or party appetizer during any season or as one of the seafood dishes for your Christmas Eve “Feast of the Seven Fishes”. Recently some lovely customers visited us from Connecticut and asked the the recipe. This is for you!
Smoking the mussels
1 lb. of fresh mussels (I prefer the smaller PEIs but larger Maine mussels are fine for smoking as well). Wash, debeard and dry to prepare for seasoning.
Seasoning: Place mussels in a large bowl, add 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika, 1/4 spoon of sea salt, 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon of onion powder and a pinch of red pepper chili flakes. Toss thoroughly to coat the shells getting them ready to smoke.
Using a box style stove top smoker, add 2 tablespoons of hickory chips under the smoking plate and place seasoned mussels, complete with placing shells on top of the plate, filling the box one inch from the top.
Slide on the top of the lid so that it fits snugly. Turn the flame on low and smoke for 15 minutes.
Uncover, allow to cool and place in fridge to chill. Save the liquid from the mussels for serving. Once chilled. remove from the shell, placing one mussel in half a shell and fill with chopped fresh tomato with herbs and finely minced shallots. Pour the liquid from the mussels over the top and serve. This is the time to use one of those beautiful serving platters you received as a wedding or anniversary gift. Garnish with fresh parsley or cilantro and some lemon wedges.
This dish is delicious with a bit of White Sangria made with some fruit local white or even your favorite sparkling.
With the holidays around the corner, many of us will have overnight guests and will have to provide breakfast and snacks.
Last week I made Apple latkes on our terrace at The Greenporter Hotel. The apple latkes are like potato pancakes but instead of grated potato, I use grated apple. The flour and eggs are just a binder for the apple so that the apple flavor really comes through. I served these latkes with a hot apple butter last week for our Taste North Fork event and here is the recipe that you can use on a regular pancakes, french toast or even ice cream for dessert.
Recipe and ingredients
2 cups of fresh grated or cubed apples (I just used the leftover grated apple from Woodside Orchards from the apple latkes)
1 cup of pure maple syrup
1 stick of salted butter
Add Maple syrup to a saucepan, add the grated apple and heat. Add stick of butter and melt. Pour into a thermos to serve hot. This also makes a great holiday gift when poured into mason jars for canning and tied with ribbons.
Serve this with hot apple cider, hard Apple Cider or Apple Wine from Wolffer Estate Vineyards. Perfect for Chanukah, Thanksgiving or Christmas brunch.
Although our Greenport Farmers’ Market (GFM) is closed for the season, many of our North Fork farm stands are still open and most of our farmers still have plenty of potatoes on storage. Not only are potatoes versatile but they have a considerable shelf life long after you pick them up from the farm stand. One of the many wonderful things about our farmers’ market in Greenport is that they have a kid’s cooking class which involves children of all ages.
Not only do they provide a platform for some of our smaller farms but they are also home to the Southold School Garden that sells their produce to fund their program. During one of the last Saturdays of the Farmers’ Market I hosted a gnocchi-making demo with kids of all ages and have included the recipe and video footage of it below. Thank you to the GFM and to everyone who turned out for it and see you next season!
Cooking demo youtube link Video footage by Kim Rosen
Ingredients and recipe
- 2 lbs (about 4) of baking potatoes like Russets or Yukon from Deep Roots Farm
- 1 ½ cups of all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon of baking powder
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped herbs
- 1 egg white
1) Stir together ingredients and add flour until forming a wet dough
2) Shape dough into logs on well floured surface and cut crosswise into 1 inch pieces and roll, placing on a lightly floured baking sheet (great way to freeze them, then store in baggies)
4) Cook gnocchi in 2 batches (4 mins or till floating), drain and set
5) Cook sautéed seasonal farmers’ market veggies in skillet over medium-low heat, about 5 mins, then toss in the gnocchi and serve. We used Deep roots spicy greens for sauteeing along with mushrooms from Long Island Mushroom Co.
This dish pairs beautifully with a glass of Chardonnay from Coffee Pot Cellars. Pick up a bottle when you visit their new tasting room in Cutchogue.
There is a great variety of apples on the North Fork of Long Island and one of our favorite apple orchards is Woodside Orchards with locations in Aquebogue and Jamesport. Not only do they offer any number of apples from Fuji to Irareds but they also produce a delicious hard cider which they sell at their Jamesport stand as well as traditional cider at both loactions. On Veteran’s Day Sunday at 11 a.m. you can join us for a free cooking demo of apple pancakes using delicious Idared apples from Woodside and savor a free sample. Mimosas, Bloody Marys and hot cider for sale as well.
2 eggs, well beaten
1 1/2 cups of buttermilk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
3 medium apples, peeled and coarsely grated
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
coconut oil, for frying
1. Mix the eggs with the buttermilk in a large bowl
2. In a smaller bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar together
3. Combine the wet and the dry ingredients and stir in the apples and vanilla
4. Heat a thin layer of oil in a skillet over low to medium heat. Drop large spoonful of batter in pan and even out (otherwise, you might have trouble getting them to cook in the center) and cook until golden brown underneath. Flip the pancakes and cook them for an additional two or three minutes.
5. Plate immediately, or keep on a tray in a warmed oven until you are ready to serve them.
6. Serve with choice of garnishes of apple compote, honey butter or maple syrup.
Autumn is a great time on the North Fork for tree fruit. During the early Fall, some farm stands will still have Peaches and apricots or plums and nectarines. Toward the end of the Fall the orchards are heavy with pears and apples of all types. I love the various shades of golden flesh floating in a white sangria and it always seems that when I serve it, a party ensues.
I started making this white sangria many years ago in the restaurant at the request of the mother of our longtime friend and bartender at The Greenporter Hotel, Libby Koch. You can make it with any white wine but I like to make it peach wine from Vineyard 48 in the spirit of the harvest.
Last weekend Libby got married at the charming Orient Yacht club in the middle of the Peconic Bay as would be appropriate for a young captain. She was a radiant maiden in her heirloom gown and her golden tresses peering through the clouds, like a glass of white harvest sangria.
1 bottle of fruity white wine or Vineyard 48 Peach Wine
All fruit pitted and chopped except for grapes
2 apricots or nectarines or plums or all
1 very ripe pear
1 very ripe apple
A handful of white grapes
one whole lemon, sliced in half moons
Equal amount of club soda to wine
1/4 of white rum
1/4 of Patron Citronge
Pour into a glass with plenty of ice and add a dance floor!
Next time you want to start a party, try a batch of Harvest White Sangria and your guests will forever love you. Here’s to you, Greenport’s own, Libby Koch!
New Yorkers pride themselves on being adventurous and progressive. We seek excitement in different parts of the city during the work week and during the weekends we seek peace and quiet at the beach or in the country but in the end we often settle in and stop exploring. Many of us eat at the same neighborhood restaurants, rarely venturing 10 blocks from home and on the weekends, we cook on our grills and spend time with our friends. I am guilty of this myself but am revived every time I go to a new neighborhood or explore the vineyards of the North Fork in my own backyard.
This week my country life and city life converged when I got into a taxi with a group of friends and colleagues and headed to the Red Rooster in Harlem for a wine dinner with Bedell Cellars. Being in Harlem was exciting for many reasons but being able to dine in Marcus Samuelsson’s (Owner/Chef and author of Yes Chef) flagship restaurant in a vibrant neighborhood with North Fork wines was plenty of incentive. This wine dinner with Bedell Cellars was the first in a series of wine dinners that will be held at The Red Rooster so stay tuned.
As we walked into the private dining room we were greeted by Molly Deegan, SVP and Director of Bedell’s wine club and The Red Rooster’s GM, Philip Montante. After a round of Red Rooster cocktails we started off on a journey through four courses beginning with Bedell’s 2012 Sparkling Rose followed by the 2012 Chardonnay, the 2012 Taste White, 2010 Taste Red and my favorite of the night, the 2011 Cabernet Franc. One of Samuelson’s chefs lead us through the dishes and Bedell’s CEO, Trent Preszler co-lead the talk with his eloquent and succinct descriptions of the wines and method of making.
Sitting there with my guests, who all live on the North Fork, we all commented on how we need to spend more time exploring our own vineyards and supporting restaurants who support our region. North Fork wines have come so far and that night’s tasting of delicious wines was proof that there is much to celebrate.
The Red Rooster has a playful menu that straddles American soul food dotted with tributes to Samuelsson’s African heritage and a nod to his Swedish upbringing with Helga’s Meatballs. Downstairs in “Ginnys”, the décor is 1920′s elegant and supper-club-like without being stuffy and the staff is attractive and friendly without being invasive. Upstairs is lively and more casual and reminded me a bit of the feel of DBGB but uptown.
The evening was an inspiration to continue exploring the great vineyards and farms of the North Fork and all the wonderful restaurants that support them. Next time you are in Manhattan, get yourself to Harlem to visit the Red Rooster and next time you are on the North Fork, stop by Bedell Cellars for a glass of wine and a whole lot of sunshine.
Harvest time on the North Fork is replete with a selection of produce from the farm stands and wine from the vineyards. While driving along routes 25 or 48, from Aquebogue to Greenport, you see the fruits of the harvest with the rows of pumpkins and mums adorning farm stands, signaling the beginning of Autumn.
Another sign of Fall is the demand for red wine at Cuvee at The Greenporter Hotel to accompany warm dishes on chilly nights so I ventured out last week to find a few new ones for our wine list. I had the pleasure of meeting with Paumanok’s winemaker, Kareem Massoud, last week during a rare spare harvest moment while he was waiting for a load of grapes to come in from the fields. Kareem tasted us through several of his robust reds and even a hearty semi-sweet Rose which should be noted at a definite “buy” this year for Thanksgiving dinner. I also settled on the 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon which is light-bodied with a wonderful balance of fruit and tannins making it a perfect accompaniment for poultry.
Make sure a stop at Paumanok Vineyards is on your list this Fall as you shop for the holidays and congratulate them as they celebrate their 30th anniversary as a North Fork Vineyard.
Recipe recommendations for Paumanok Cabernet Sauvignon: Chestnut bisque, sage-roasted root vegetables, zucchini tart, roasted turkey, chicken or duck
Recipe recommendations for Paumanok Semi Sweet Rose: Oyster stuffing with roasted turkey, turkey-stuffed cabbage rolls, pumpkin pie
Summer is time for outdoor dining. Picnics, clambakes, cookouts, garden parties and poolside knoshing with cocktails.
One of the most versatile summer side dishes is potato salad and it can be particularly delicious when using local potatoes, garden celery and fresh herbs. Adding these aromatics along with a drizzle of olive oil allows you to use less mayo making for a lighter potato salad.
4 medium to large russet potatoes (do not peel). Boiled and cut in large cubes. Allow to cool.
3 stalks of chopped garden celery
2 tablespoons of olive oil mayo
2 tablespoons of EVOO
1 tablespoon of dijon mustard
1/4 cup of apple cider vinager
1/2 teaspoon of celery salt
1 teaspoon of chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon of fresh chopped chives or scallions
1 large hard boiled egg
Scrub potatoes and chop in large cubes so that you may boil till soft but firm (to serve them with the skin on). Allow to cool.
Chop the egg
Toss with condiments until consistency is creamy and add more olive oil or mayo until you reach the desired creaminess. Then serve in large decorative bowl with a generous sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley.
We serve this salad as part of our clam bake, as well as our poolside BBQ. Even people who don’t like potato salad love this one. It is elegant enough to be served along side lobster for a more formal event like a rehearsal dinner or dressed down for a back yard graduation party or picnic. We most recently served it for a romantic lobster bake at Cuvee where the bride, Melissa wore a beautiful purple floor length dress. Here’s to you Melissa and John and we hope the rest of you will try this.
Serves 8 to 10 people Food gifts are great for the hoildays because they will always “fit”; their size and color work for everyone. Christmas gifts like panettone, baskets of fruit and some Christmas dinner ham or Proscuito can be the base for a wonderful brunch for you and your house guests. When you put dinner away tonight, think about what you can use for a brunch. French toast made with Panettone, a fruit salad made with fruit from your gift basket, scrambled eggs, your meat of choice, a morning cocktail like Bellini or Bloody Mary and plenty of coffee. So tonight take inventory as you clean up after Christmas dinner and plan tomorrow’s menu.
Fresh Fruit salad
Panettone French toast with real maple syrup
Meat selection of Italian sausage patties or Baked spiral ham
Fresh herb-Parmesan Scrambled eggs
Bellinis, coffee and tea
Fresh Fruit Salad
Cut or section the following fruit and toss in decorative bowl.
Quinoa is one of my favorite gluten-free grain substitutes which is high in protein, calcium, iron and magnesium. It was the “super food” of the Incas and appreciated in the Andes for centuries and now we have discovered it (just like we discovered America! lol!) It’s nutty flavor makes it satisfying on its own tossed with your favorite vegetables or great as a side dish. We are making it tomorrow night in our cooking class with a catch of the day and tossed with edamame. For details, call 631-477-0066.
For every one cup of dry Quinoa, you will need a 3/4 cup of liquid (vegetable or chicken) in a saucepan. Do not boil your water before putting in the Quinoa — this is not like pasta. You will also need 1 teapsoon of olive oil, a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of fresh herb chiffonade — we recommend a combination of Thai basil and fresh mint. Combine the quinoa and the water along with salt to taste and the olive oil. Simmer on medium flame for 15 minutes, then turn off stove and and toss in herbs and edamame. Leave the pot covered with the lid to continue steaming and for herbs to infuse the quinoa. The grains should be round and firm-so you can fluff with a fork just before serving and you should not have to reheat it. For tips on growing your own edamame/soy beans, visit www.patch.com
Ideas for fall soups continue to dominate my thoughts as I comb My pantry and the farm stands for ideas for cooking without power. If you ride your bicycle from the @The Greenporter Hotel to Southold you’ll run into KK Farmsrun by KK and Ira Haspel located on 59945 Main Road (Route 25). You’ll see KK, a willowy blond cycling back and forth from her roadside farm stand back to her farm stash. A farmhouse farm stand just in front of her home with tables displaying her freshly-harvested leafy greens and fresh cut flowers. It’s always difficult making a decision at her stand but I finally settled on several bouquets of bright green Swiss Chard freshly cut by KK herself. I chose this flavorful leafy green for a Portuguese-inspired soup with white beans and smoked Paprika. [Read more →]
“I never met a latke I didn’t like” but always welcome any changes to the holiday table when I am looking to lighten things up a bit. Especially after Thanksgiving! These Zucchini-Leek latkes are the Meditteranean cousins of potato latkes with less carbs. They’ll leave you satisified, especially when paired with a bit of spice from the horseradish aioli.
It’s been a great summer of local food and wine, and The Greenport Farmers Market has been home to much of it. Two weeks ago I shared an Asian cole slaw recipe made with Mar-Gene Farms cabbage that I served with chicken satay and steamed coconut rice along with a spicy peanut sauce. This week the children from the Southold School Garden will be selling the produce from their school garden including radishes, herbs, beets and more. I want to share that simple but flavorful peanut sauce because we find even the most finicky children enjoy it (and for those with peanut allergies, you can use almond or cashew butter). The radishes would be a perfect addition to the Asian slaw, and radishes along with other crudités are also great dipped in the peanut sauce. Thank you for supporting the Greenport Farmers Market, the Southold School Garden, and all the vendors who work so hard to bring the harvest to us.
Cuvee Spicy Peanut Sauce
1 1/2 cups crunchy peanut butter (ok to sub with alternative nut butter from reputable producer that does not make peanut butter in same facility).
3/4 cup soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons of local honey (I recommend Blossom Meadow available at the Greenport Farmers Market or visit her website and btw, she is the best looking beekeeper I’ve every met!)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon of Siracha or your favorite hot sauce
For the Peanut Sauce place all ingredients in bowl and whisk. You can use a food processor but be careful to not overmix.
As a dip, place in small bowl in center of crudités plate and have plenty nearby to refill. If serving with satay-style skewer, grill your skewers 2-3 minutes per side (or to desired doneness).
Serve skewers on a platter with the dipping sauce in a small bowl in the center. Place on your outdoor table with a platter of Asian Slaw and some jasime rice, pour your favorite white wine and call it a party!
Local Heirloom carrots are tender and sweet. They are the perfect accompaniment to turkey sauteed with dried cranberries and shallots and garnished with chopped pecans. They go perfectly with sweet potatoes or squashes and string beans.
One small bushel of organic baby carrots
Tablespoon of dark Agave syrup
1 tablespoon of butter or 1 tablepsoon of olive oil (or both)
1/8 cup of finely minced shallots
2 tablespoons of rough chopped pecans
A pinch of Paprika, black pepper an a dash of cinnamon
Slice carrot in rounds and blanch for 3 minutes in boiling water.
Then add oil and shallots to the pan and saute for 1 to 2 minutes and add the pecans and spices.
Add the agave syrup (or honey) to the pan and heat just before serving
During these warm days I begin to think about what we will soon find at the farm stands. A vegetable that seems to intimidate a lot of people, even the most avid cooks, is the artichoke. I have few recollections of artichokes during my Midwestern childhood, but recall them always prepared the same way. Stuffed with breadcrumbs and Parmesan or in a dip. It was during my travels that I discovered the versatility of artichokes. Whether atop pizzas on the street in Sicily or in little bundles, fried and wrapped in newspaper at a market or dressed in vinaigrette at tapas bars, they were all delicious.
April is the time of year to celebrate the arrival of this prickly vegetable packed with vitamin C and fiber and low in calories. One of my favorite preparations for artichoke is the easiest — puréed into a simple bisque with stock. Top it off with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and spring onions, along with some crunchy crostini on the side. Please look for this recipe in the Spring 2012 issue of Wine Press Magazine.
What to drink with artichokes? It is very important to select your beverage carefully. Choose a pale Ale or some Bedell CellarsRosé to accompany this meal. Most wine is difficult to pair with artichoke, as it alters the taste, making it sweet.
Every Spring, one of the first things to come up in my garden is the wild fennel. Since I foolishly did not plant it in containers, this evasive but delicious fern is plentiful at The Greenporter. It is great in salads and soups and makes a lovely garnish. I also like it in a tomato-fennel bisque, a great soup for any season. I serve it hot with grilled cheese or chilled with a garnish of paprika-spiced almonds and some cheese sticks.
This recipe calls for fresh tomatoes, fresh fennel and shallots. On the North Fork or, Zone 6, (for you avid gardeners), you’ll know that tomatoes aren’t the best during most times of the year so canned may even be better. However, you will get a great deal on hot house tomatoes or imperfect tomatoes, you won’t know the difference once blended in this soup so buy them if they’re on sale. For the grilled cheese we’ll try some creamy smoked gouda.
Gardening note for your calendar: Decide which tomatoes you want to plant next year so you have plenty of tomatoes to can early or freeze, so you can enjoy the farm to table experience year round like this tomato soup.
Cuvee At The Greenporter Hotel, Seasoned Fork Zucchini Latkes
Zucchini plants are bursting on the vines during Long Island summers and they are a low calorie, high nutrition vegetable perfect for bathing suit season. This recipe is low-carb and gluten-free as it does not contain bread crumbs. These zucchini latkes are great for outdoor events because they are just as delicious at room temperature and can be easily left unattended on a picnic table. You can also make them on a griddle grill-top and maximize your outdoor time. Serve them with Greek yogurt lemon-horseradish dressing for hors d’oeuvres or as a side dish with grilled lamb kabobs and some hummus and grilled pitas.
Zucchini Latkes (or keftes) with lemon Horseradish Greek Yogurt
3 lbs of zucchini
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon of kosher or sea salt (salt to taste)
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 tablespoon fresh Majoram or Greek Oregano
3 lbs of young zucchini (not too large)
Scrubbed, not peeled.
Chop off each end
Grate with box grater or use shredding function of food processor
In large bowl, add one teaspoon of kosher salt, toss and allow to sit
for 20 minutes. Salt will extract water from zucchini which you do
not want in your batter. Push through colander to remove excess water
and place in mixing bowl.
Lightly beat two large eggs and add to zucchini.
Finely chop a tablespoon of fresh Majoram or Greek Oregano.
Add the eggs to the grated Zucchini.
You will need about a half cup of oil for frying but do not add all at once. You will add the oil in batches of tablespoons. Heat large flat skillet and drizzle with olive oil and use a teaspoon to drop the latkes in pan. You’ll be tempted to make the latke bigger but resist unless you are serving them as a side dish with dinner. If you are serving them as hors d’oeuvres, our guests will appreciate the bite size portion. I like them at room temperature but if you insist on reheating them, do so in an oven at high temperature (450 degrees) or in a covered pan at the section on your grill that is the least hot for 5 to 7 minutes prior to serving. Do not use microwave.
Spring has arrived and with much talk about Spring cleaning. For many of us the most important room in the house is the kitchen. We spend a lot of time there preparing the meals of the day and eating many of them too.
Maintaining a green kitchen or green home doesn’t need to be as overwhelming as it sounds. You just need to do a little planning and enlist the help of your family. Start with one of these options and grow into the rest with time. Begin by switching to an organic multi purpose cleaning product that you can dilute with water. Try shopping at farmstands or local grocers and recycling. On a rainy day you can take the next step and think about repurposing items like linens, keeping a small countertop composter for vegetable scraps and coffee grounds or planting some herbs. All of these are ways to provide a healthy home, reduce your carbon footprint and save some money.
I hope you’ll try some of these green kitchen tips and be on your way to enjoying your new organic kitchen. [Read more →]
A warm Spring like this one gets everyone excited about the summer. I can’t wait to get back on the water this summer. Some clamming on Hallock’s Bay and later a little fishing for striped bass or fluke, if we are lucky. I was recently inspired by Martin Garrell’s piece in the Suffolk Times about a cod trip he took to Block Island. I have been dreaming about cod fishing ever since I read Cod: The History of the Fish that changed the world by Mark Kurlansky. Until I can someday find a cod excursion, I am happy to “settle” for the delicate white flesh of the striped bass or fluke right in our back yard.
The great thing about the North Fork is that you don’t even need to have a boat to harvest the waters. You can dig for clams at low tide with your feet or with a rake. And there are several beaches where you can see the striped bass jumping out of the water waiting for you to cast your line. Or you can go on an expedition with any number of charters like Libby Koch’s H2O Hospitality. She’ll take you out on her boat, Category One, for a three hour excursion and show you her secret spots that hold the North Fork’s finest mollucks and bivalves. [Read more →]
I always ask my colleagues and customers about the dishes they cook over the holidays. And, whether they are celebrating Easter or Passover or Navratri, their answers seem to transport them to their childhoods and the nostalgic holiday meals.
Last weekend, two of my kitchen colleagues at Cuvée prepared the staff meal and shared some dishes that they eat during lent or “Cuaresma” in their native country of Guatemala made from simple, inexpensive ingredients like lentils, potatoes and bread.
Not only were these dishes delicious and inexpensive, but they were also nutritious and great vegetarian options. [Read more →]
Summer is about outdoor living and serving the freshest items from your garden or the local farmer’s markets. July is national blueberry month and there is no better time to celebrate this national berry than July 4th! Blueberries are delicious on their own, in desserts or in a savory salad served as a starter. Nothing will get your day going like a good dose of blueberries and there are plenty of local farms to buy blueberries. If you are on the North Fork visit Patty’s Berries and Bunches or Wickham’s Fruit Farm, Latham’s Farmstand and many more. For a savory dish for lunch or dinner, try this Blueberry and goat cheese salad with tossed farm greens and blueberry vinaigrette.
Blueberry-goat cheese salad with blueberry vinaigrette.
One pint of blueberries, reserve quarter cup for dressing
1/4 lb of Catapano goat Cheese, crumbled
1/4 lb of mixed salad greens
Salt to taste
Two tablespoons of fresh blueberry preserves or high quality, low sugar brand
In a mixing bowl, add vinager, salt, mustard and puréed blueberry preserves (puree in blender with a splash of water).
Mix while drizzling in oil.
In. Bowl, toss greens with vinaigrette and add blueberries. Crumble goat cheese on top and drizzle with more vinaigrette.
Serve this with a bottle of one of my new favorite Chardonnays perfect for summer yet creamy with slight Oaked finish. Coffee Pot Cellars found every weekend at the @Greenport Farmer’s Market and also at the @Winemaker’s Studio.
Every year I hear stories about friends who have invited guests for a holiday dinner and are asked at the last minute if they can bring a friend, only to learn that that friend is a vegetarian. My advice to hosts is to always have ingredients for a salad on hand, as well as hearty vegetable side dishes like string beans with shallots and almonds or a vegetarian stuffing that also serves as a side dish for the other guests. This weekend I made a vegetarian menu of Mushroom cutlet with fresh herb matzoh stuffing served with a good amount of mushroom velouté. Funny enough, I made this dish as a Passover selection in my restaurant, but most of the people who ended up ordering it were non-meat eating Catholics.
The mushroom cutlet has a meaty texture from the mushrooms with a “milanese-type” crust so even your meat eater will want this. The stuffing is very light and the entire meal can be made without using lactose products. [Read more →]
A friend of mine raises chickens at her Greenport cottage. A small yard and a one car garage house her breed of chickens and they roam and lay eggs happily and healthfully. I am lucky to know her for many reasons, but being the recipient of fresh eggs is sure up there on the list!
My other favorite local spring ingredient is asparagus and a combination of egg and asparagus can be life altering. The bright yellow yolks with an orange hue and the firm whites are a perky salute to the morning – or any meal. The yolk of an egg oozing onto a bundle of grilled asparagus is as risqué as it sounds. Creamy and silky spilling on to the tender green tips.
Recipe and photo by Andrea Kevajian, a native of New Suffolk, Long Island.
During the summer many of us have weekend guests and want to offer something for breakfast that can be eaten at any time with a great cup of French press coffee from Aldo’s of Greenport and a seasonal fruit salad or fresh eggs from the Greenport Farmer’s Market.
This crumb cake has the perfect balance of yellow buttery cake with a not-too-sweet crumbly topping. In the spring and summer, fold fresh berries into the batter. In autumn, fold lightly sautéed, sugar-glazed apple slices into the batter and add to it a teaspoon of cinnamon. In the winter, spread your favorite jam over the top of the batter before sprinkling the crumb topping. Or if you just want that old-fashioned cake, follow the recipe below.
1 tbsp dry, plain bread crumbs
2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup + 2 tbsp (7 7/8 ounces) granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
10 tbsp (1 ¼ sticks) organic unsalted butter, softened but still cool
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¾ cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 large egg, at room temperature*
1 tsp vanilla extract
¾ cup walnuts, or nut of choice, chopped fine
½ cup (3 ½ ouces) dark brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
*if you have access to local farm fresh eggs, use these as the brighter yolk will lend it’s yellow color to the cake.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease the bottom and sides of a 10-inch springform pan. Sprinkle the bottom of the pan with the breadcrumbs, shake them around and tap out the excess.
In the bowl of your electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the flour, sugar and salt. With the mixer running on medium, cut slices of the butter into the dry mix until it resembles coarse crumbs. Remove 1 cup of the mixture into a separate bowl and set aside.
Mix the baking power and baking soda into the original flour mixture. Add the buttermilk, egg, and vanilla. Turn your mixer to medium-high and beat for a minute or so. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
Add the nuts, brown sugar, and cinnamon to the reserved crumbs. Toss with a fork or your hands until blended. Sprinkle the crumbs over the batter, pressing lightly so that they adhere.
Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack, remove the sides of the springform pan, and let cool for about 2 hours.
We see the beginnings of summer sprouting up in the greens around us. You will find a variety of verdant hues of Kale, arugula, mustard greens, bok choy and mizuna at the Greenport Farmer’s Market on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tom Hart grows these greens at his farm, Deep Roots in Orient and they are great in a frittata with farm fresh eggs from Browder’s Birds (also at the market). If you want to learn to make a frittata, join me on Saturday, June 2 at 10:30 a.m. We will discuss sauteeing these greens, making a frittata and we’ll sample some nibbles! See you tomorrow at the Greenport Farmer’s Market rain or shine! And if you miss it, follow this easy recipe below.
Ingredients for frittata
Kale (blanched and chopped)
Assorted Mustard greens including Mizuna or bok choy
Spring Onions, cleaned and chopped (stem and white of bulb)
New potatoes (scrubbed-not peeled, sliced into half moons and par boiled)
5 medium eggs
Dinner plate for flipping
bowl for beating eggs
Cutting board and chef’s knife
Beat eggs in large bowl, add salt and refrigerate
In a non-stick sauté par boiled potatoes until tender, add onions and carmelize
Add blanched chopped Kale to mixture
Add spicy greens last
Add contents back into the egg mixture
Add two to three tablespoons of the EVOO to a clean hot non-stick pan
Pour egg-greens mixture into the pan and allow to set
Pull from the edges to the center and add a bit more olive oil so that the egg does not stick and reduce flame
Wedge a spatula under part of the frittata to loosen on all sides
Place plate over top of pan and flip (wear a glove on hand with handle)
Slide uncooked side back into the pan and cook on that side
Lower heat again and allow to cook through
Place plate on top of pan once frittata is completed using the plate to flip onto
Allow your frittata to rest prior to serving or it will fall apart upon slicing
Serve this frittata with a cold soup like a Vichysoisse or a Gazpacho, add some crusty bread and sprinkle some crumbled goat cheese from Goodale Farms and serve a tomato-onion salad and call it lunch or dinner!
I love the flavors of fresh berries with a tangy cheese and some balsamic reduction on local meslun greens or arugula. Try this summery salad in honor of the North Fork’s Strawberry Festival and celebrate the season and Happy Father’s Day!
Tangy Strawberry Feta Salad on mixed greens
1 pint Strawberries, sliced
1 cup Crumbled Feta cheese from Catapano Dairy Farm Mesclun Mix from Sang Lee Farms 1/4 cup of Canola Oil
1/8 cup of raspberry vinager
1/2 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
Salt to taste
Balsamic Reduction for garnish
In a small bowl add vinager, mustard and drizzle in the oil while whisking. Once emulsified, add salt to taste and set aside.
In large bowl toss greens with dressing and place on a platter. Add strawberries and crumbled cheese on top and drizzle with balsamic reduction or pomegranate syrup and serve immediately. Could be a great accompaniment to pork tenderloin and a bottle of chilled Sparkling Rose by Bedell Cellars. Pick up a bottle!
Fresh Fruit Tart
by Andrea Kavajian, Patissier
A Native of New Suffolk, NY
One of my favorite things to make is a fresh fruit tart when so many berries and stone fruit are at their peak. A summer fruit tart is one of those things that jumps out at you from the window of your local bakery, yet you feel it’s too difficult to make at home. I am sharing this shortbread cookie crust and a custard filling because it’s less work than you think. Topped with a bouquet of your favorite farm stand fruit, your guests will be impressed with the masterpiece that is this tart.
This fresh fruit tart encourages us to use whatever fruit is in season. The idea is to make the tart look like a basket of fruit straight from the farmer’s market. Use a combination of fruit that appeals to your eyes as well as your palate. Fruit selections can include but are not limited to: Raspberries, Blueberries, Strawberries (cut in half, stems attached), Grapes, Peaches, Pears, Kiwi, Mangoes, Papayas, Fresh figs, Fresh apricots, Bananas, Plums, Limes, and Lemons.
For the tart crust:
¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup sugar
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the butter and sugar together until they are just combined. Add the vanilla. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt, then add it slowly to the butter-and-sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Dump the dough right into a 10-inch-round, a 9-inch-square, or divide up between several mini false-bottom tart pans. Press the dough evenly and up the sides of the pan(s) with your fingers. Take a rolling pin to the top of the tart pan to ensure that the finished edge is flat. Chill until firm.
Butter one side of a sheet of aluminum foil to fit inside the tart shell and place it, buttered side down, on the pastry. Fill with beans, rice, or ceramic pie weights and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil with the weights and prick the pastry all over with the tines of a fork, and bake again for 20 to 25 minutes more, or until lightly browned. Allow to cool to room temperature.
For the pastry cream:
6 large egg yolks, room temperature
¾ cup sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
2 cups whole milk
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp heavy cream
1 tsp cognac or brandy (optional)
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the egg yolks and sugar on medium-high speed for about 3 minutes, until the mixture is light yellow and falls back into the bowl in a ribbon. On low speed, beat in the cornstarch. Bring the milk to a simmer in a large saucepan and, with the mixer on low, slowly pour it into the egg mixture. Then pour the mixture back into the saucepan.
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk, until the mixture is thick, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add in the butter, vanilla, cream, and cognac. Strain the custard into a bowl to ensure there are no lumps. Place plastic wrap directly over the custard and refrigerate until cold.
Assembling the tart:
After your pastry cream has cooled completely, remove the plastic wrap and whisk vigorously to loosen the custard. Pour it directly into the cooled tart shell and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Arrange the fruit you have selected in clusters around the tart. Place the larger fruits in piles and spill the berries around to fill in the spaces (see picture). Don’t worry too much about the placement of the fruit. The tart should look casually arranged.
Once your fruit is in place, warm a tablespoon or two of apricot or peach preserves in a small saucepan over low heat. Using a pastry brush, paint the tops of the fruit with the glaze for that signature shine.
Serve with a bottle of sparkling sweet Moscato made by the brilliant Juan Sepulveda at Laurel Lake Vineyards. Pick one up on your next trip to the North Fork!
Many years ago I was invited to Baranquilla, Colombia with some friends for Carnival. I was fortunate to have the experience of staying with the parents of my dear friend Jaime Cabrera Gonzalez, a talented writer, poet and professor of literature in Colombia and Israel (and not a bad dancer either-sandunguero).
During those two weeks in the magical town of Barranquilla, I became very close to Jaime’s parents and their pet tortoises, Pablita and Ricardito (the size of bowling balls). Every evening, we would all sit on the veranda and drink “Cubitas” with Coca Cola along Havana Club 7 anos rum. While sipping on these Cuba Libres we would discuss politics, love affairs — old and new, and laugh for hours. Later in the night Jaime and I and our crew would slip out from the watch of his parents and spend the night dancing and roaming the tropical streetsof Barranquilla. We crashed parties and comparsas (organized carnival clubs) and enjoyed the music, the costumes and the people of Barranquilla.
This morning I learned my friend lost his father, Jaime Cabrera Paz, 85 years old leaving behind his bride Beatrice Gonzalez of 56 years and in my mourning, I am overcome with my bittersweet memories of him sipping his favorite cocktail with his family and friends, listening to his LPs and laughing out loud. Tonight, I am thinking about him and the way he lived his life as I mix a little rum and coke outdoors and remember to live and love every day.
Here’s to you amigo, padre, marido, ejemplo. Te brindamos.
Recipe for Rum and Coke
Fill a high ball glass with ice
1 1/2 ounces of dark rum (no Havana Club if you are in the U.S. a little annoying detail about a trade embargo). Try the boutique-produced rum from Puerto Rico, El Barrilito.
3 Ounces of Coca Cola
A wedge of lime
Serve with some salty tropical white cheese, crackers, olives, laughter and some 80s music from Fania All Stars and dance.
Nothing captures the end of summer and the beginning of harvest season like clams. On the half shell, clam chowder, baked clams and linguine and clam sauce but the best clams come from the North Fork’s Peconic Bay. If you stay at The Greenporter Hotel, you can walk to the public docks to embark Category 1, Captain Libby’s boat.
This summer I had the opportunity to venture out on the Peconic Bay with Captain Libby Koch of H2Ospitality. She charters her boat which specializes in leisure experiences liking clamming and harbor tours. Captain Libby, a North Fork native remembers her first experiences on the water with her grandparents and parents where they would collect shell fish, and deliver the bounty to her Italian mother to prepare their weekly Sunday feast at their East Marion summer cottage.
Captain Koch received her Captain’s license in 2009 after a lifetime of adventures on the water.
In addition to being a sailor, she is also a tri-athlete and holds a degree in Health Fitness Management from Marymount University. This together with her six year stint at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk Country in the Marine Program educating youth about the local marine environment including bivalves, mollusks, crustaceans and local aquatic life, makes her quite the catch. Who better than Captain Libby to help you find the best clams on Long Island and show you around?
Book her “Three Hour Tour” with a stop for clam digging
Times based on tide schedule anywhere from 8:30 am to 2pm. Excersion includes three hours on the Peconic Bay, clam rake, digging time, clam knife and homemade condiments if you want to enjoy your catch aboard. You will be able to take home your clams so bring your own cooler with ice.
Recipe for baked clams
Fresh Peconic clams of any size
Shucked and hand chopped
Save and clean all shells and liquid for the stuffing
Chop fresh garden parsley, oragano and thyme
Chop two cloves garlic and saute with herbs
Add herbs and garlic to bowl of chopped clams and toss. Add pepper to taste.
Use a large baking sheet to lay out clam
Add spoonfull of clam mixture into each clam shell and top with bread or cracker crumbs and more herbs
Top with a drizzle of EVOO and bake at 375 for 30 minutes
Once they are bubbling and golden brown, remove from oven and server straight to the picnic table
A large green salad, corn on the cobb and crusty bread
Last year, on a sunny summer day, we served buckwheat blinis in the restaurant with house cured gravlax for a fundraiser for the Greenport Farmer’s Market. A guest wrote me to ask for the recipe and I finally found the time to write it out.
I hope you will enjoy this combination as much as I do. I love the taste of buttery, thinly sliced gravlax with blinis. The nuttiness of the buckwheat flour lends the perfect backdrop to the briny, buttery flavor of the cured salmon. I also like to add fresh chopped chives from the garden to the batter for another layer of flavor.
Served with thinly sliced gravlax or smoked salmon and garden herbs, these are an elegant addition to brunch, lunch, or as a first course for a dinner party.
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 30 minutes Ingredients: 2/3 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 cup buckwheat flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast 1 cup warm milk 2 tablespoons butter, melted 1 egg, separated 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
Preparation: In a large bowl mix flours, salt, sugar, and instant yeast. Make a well in the center and drizzle in milk, mixing until creamy. Cover for an hour until it rises, creating bubbles and almost double in size. Stir cooled melted butter and egg yolk into batter. In a separate bowl, whisk egg white until stiff but not dry. Fold into batter. Cover and allow this mixture to rest for 20 minutes. Use a flat nonstick skillet and heat to medium heat. Use a small ladle to drop silver dollar dollops of batter into pan without crowding. Cook for about 1 minute or until bubbles form and break. Turn and cook for about 30 seconds. Cover blini and keep warm to avoid reheating. These are perfectly delicious served at room temperature. Top with thinly slice gravlax (we cure our own in the restaurant) or smoked salmon. Chop fresh herbs like wild fennel or dill to sprinkle on top of the salmon just before serving. Serve with creme fraiche or Drizzle Swedish-style Dijon vinaigrette or creme fraiche and fresh green salad.
Serve this with a bottle of Chenin Blanc from Paumanok Vineyards in Aquebogue. This is one of the founding vineyards of the North Fork in one of the first towns you’ll hit when coming from New York City. The saltiness of the gravlax is dazzled by the citrus and minerality of this wine. Get it while you can because it always sells out!
I wish that the tomato season was year-round because I spend most of the year longing for them. I usually plant around Mother’s day and just start to see the trickle of fruit around mid to late July with grape tomatoes and the rest of the varieties in August when you feel like you are getting too many! On the North Fork we are blessed with many farms and this week we have tomatoes from Invincible Summer Farms in Southold. You can find them on Saturdays at the Greenport Farmers Market.
I was thinking about how much I always loved tomatillo sauce in Mexico and what a great soup it might make. I don’t grow tomatillos but alway have plenty of green tomatoes to pick in July long before they ripen and weigh down my vines and my schedule (what to do with them: can/freeze/make sauce/all very time-consuming).
This green tomato bisque with fried green tomato garnish (if these delicious crispy wedges make it to the garnish), is an ode to my two years living in Mexico City, D.F. in the neighborhood of Polanco with it’s famous restaurants. I also add a touch of Americana with the fried green tomatoes. I hope you try it. Recipe 1lb of green, unripened tomatoes, freshly picked
1/2 cup of vidalia onions
2 to 3 cups of garden stock 1/4 cup of EVOO
Small container of crema fresca or creme fraiche
1 fire roasted jalapeño or Serrano chile, peeled and de-veined
pinch of Salt
Blend in food processor and set aside.
Rough chop the tomatoes and onions
Sauté tomatoes and onion in the oil
Set aside to cool until ready to puree
You will need a blender, a laddle and a large bowl to deposit the blended soup. Do not blend all together. Must be done in batches or it won’t be smooth.
Set the blended soup aside until ready to serve.
Next, make the fried green tomatoes. I always intend this to be a garnish for the soup but often they are so delicious that they often don’t make it to the soup.
Dredge the sliced tomatoes (slice in halves) in egg (or soy milk), then dredge in cornmeal (much better than breadcrumbs) with a pinch of salt and your favorite seasoning like Old Bay.
Heat a large pan with 2 tablespoons of Canola oil and fry on both sides until golden brown.
Set on cooling tray or cookie sheet with paper towels. This should be done the day you plan to serve them as they don’t reheat very well.
When ready to serve, heat soup (jor serve chilled) and add a bit of cream or of half and half (unsweetened soy milk is fine as well)
Laddle the soup into the bowls
Add a dollop of Rancho dressing to the middle of the soup bowl
Drop two slices of the fried green tomatoes on top of the dollop
Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve
This would be a great opener to one of your favorite Mexican entree recipes for a dinner party or a special Sunday dinner). Tee up some Margaritas and make it a fiesta no matter what part of the world you find yourself in.
For any of you who have seen the movie Ratatouille, the story revolves around a mouse who becomes an unwitting chef after he makes a dish of seemingly lowly vegetables into a gourmet meal that catches the attention of a cynical, reknowned food critic dining at the restaurant. The title of this movie captures the difficulty of cooking something extradordinary with everyday vegetables and is worth seeing–with or without children.
One of my mother’s and grandmother’s favorite vegetables were eggplants along with tomatoes, peppers and zucchini; all the ingredients for Ratatouille. As a result, it was something that often appeared (in one form or another) on the dinner table during the late summer. Ratatouille as a side dish with whatever we were grilling that night. Ratatouille with yellow rice and salt cod fricasee, Ratatouille on toasted bread as a snack along with cheese, olives, and canned, smoked mussels (these days I smoke my own but that’s another post).
This past weekend I was the lucky recipient of a delivery of heirloom tomatoes and eggplant from a family friend visiting for a few days. She and her family keep a garden and grow beautiful tomatoes, peppers and greens. In addition to that I ran into Maryann Krupski from Mar-GeneFarms at the Greenport Farmers Market. They grow organic vegetables on their farm in Southold also have beautiful tomatoes, onions and zucchini. Then I realized I needed to use all these tomatoes at their peak so it was a day of making Manhattan clam chowder, tomato sauce and last but not least, Ratatouille. I hope you’ll try this recipe or share your version with me.
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons of your favorite chopped herbs (mine are Greek Oregano, parsley, basil and thyme)
2 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
2 large yellow onions, quartered
1 bay leaf
2 medium zucchini (about 1 1/2 lbs.),
cut into 2″ pieces
1 medium eggplant (about 16 oz.),
cut into 2″ pieces
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded,
1 Hungarian wax pepper, stemmed, seeded,
10 fresh whole tomatoes (canned and drained organic ok if not in season)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Heat oven to 400˚. Heat oil in a 6-qt. Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions, garlic and bay leaf; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and fragrant, about 10 minutes.
2. Increase heat to high; stir in the zucchini, eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Uncover pot, transfer to the oven, and bake, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender and carmelized, about 1 1/2 hours.
3. Add fresh herbs, serve ratatouille in a colorful large platter and garnish with sprigs of fresh herbs.
Serve with a glass of Rose of Merlot from Raphael Vineyards and really capture the rest of summer!
Every day in Long Island wine country I am excited by a new ingredient from my neighborhood to add to my recipes. Whether it’s wine from the numerous surrounding vineyards, oysters from Southold, bushels of corn, potatoes or potato chips or hand harvested sea salt, I can basically walk down the street and pick it up because someone here grows it or makes it.
So just to put our North Fork region over the top, we have a new addition to the neighborhood, Mushrooms. Long Island Mushroom Co. is owned by John Quigley and Jane Maguire who are growing Shitake Mushrooms and will soon be growing oyster mushrooms. I was so excited to get my 3 lb. box of super fresh Shitake mushrooms that I couldn’t wait to make a velvety mushroom bisque with this North Fork funghi. And if you don’t feel like cooking, you can try it this week at Cuvée.
Blend 1/2 cups of sliced sautéed mushrooms (reserve some in case too thin or use for garnish) with the shallots and 2 cups of stock (save some stock) until completely smooth. If too thick, add more stock, if too thin, add more sautéed mushroom.
Once smooth, add salt and pepper and taste. Heat when ready to serve with 4 tablespoons of cream or half and half (optional).
Serve with crusty bread and a salad for a light dinner and pair with an earthy, fruit forward Cabernet Franc by Lieb Cellars, currently being poured at Cuvée.
Roasted Red Pepper Harissa
Bringing your summer garden to the winter table, A Series.
I love all North African flavors and Harissa is one of my favorite Condiment/sauces I discovered in Morocco but I found that it tended to be a bit too spicy for some of my friends and customers. After spending some time tinkering with the recipe to make it a bit milder I found that adding roasted red pepper did the trick. It just so happens that during the Fall season, many of us with gardens find ourselves with access to a lot of red peppers and adding them to a Harissa recipe to softens the bite without compromising the flavor. This recipe is also a great way to make sure the peppers don’t go to waste and preserve the last of the peppers from your garden, farmers’ market or CSA well into early winter. I specifically call this sauce “roasted red pepper Harissa” because it’s not a traditional Harissa. However you’ll enjoy this Harissa on anything from grilled meat and vegetables to pasta with seafood or on crostini. It is versatile and delicious!
Working on the North Fork of Long Island has many benefits as I find myself fishing, gardening and cooking in one of the most beautiful places in the world. In addition to the acres of vineyards and farmland, there are stretches of scintillating pebble beaches framing some of the most sustainable waters for fishing.
It is off one of these beaches that my friend Tim launched his row boat in quest of porgies on a windy Saturday morning.
As a consumer I can never understand why we don’t see more fish like porgy and bluefish on local menus. But as the chef/owner of Cuvee at The Greenporter Hotel, I know it is because we have not worked hard enough at introducing these delicious and plentiful fish in our North Fork restaurants. This is why we find Porgy listed on city menus by their French name ”Daurade” and appreciated for their firm texture, thin crispy skin and delicate flavor. Porgies might be scarce in other parts of the country but on the North Fork of Long Island, you can’t have your line in for more than five minutes without getting a nibble.
I remember contemplating cabbage in our neighbor’s garden when I was a child. I remember thinking how those large green heads glistening in the morning dew would soon meet our dinner plates in many forms. There was stuffed cabbage, sautéed cabbage and sauerkraut but cole slaw was the favorite choice of my step father Frank and he loved making his own. He always made it a bit different and it taught me early on how versatile it can be.
I like making this Asian-style cole slaw because it it full of flavor and relatively low in calories. It is also a great side dish for a party as it can be served at room temperature (if without mayo) with any number of grilled items. It goes perfectly with simply grilled bluefish or chicken or marinated beef skewers aka Satay. If you are making Satay, try our spicy peanut sauce. It appeals to children of all ages!
Cuvee at Greenport Farmers Market!
On Saturday, September 14 at 12 noon, I will be giving a cooking class at the Greenport Farmer’s Market which will include an Asian slaw accompanied by chicken satay and steamed coconut rice. I hope you’ll join us. The Greenport Farmers Market is one of the few green markets in the country that accepts government vouchers making it possible to feed all members of the community.
Asian Slaw Serves up to 6
Half a cabbage, thinly chopped (green or red cabbage or a combination of both)
3 grated carrots (or save yourself a lot of work and pick up a package of pre-chopped organic cabbage and carrots ready for slaw from Maryann from Mar-Gene Farms). Visit her stand and the many other vendors at the market.
1/2 cup of chopped scallions
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
2 tablespoons of sesame oil
2 tablespoons of Canola oil
1 teaspoon of your favorite chopped herbs like cilantro or dill
4 tablspoons of white vinager or Mirin (Japanese sweet vinager)
1 teaspoon of Siracha or your favorite hot sauce
the juice of a half a lime
Mayo or no Mayo? I find that adding one tablespoon of light mayo at end of this recipe pulls all the flavors together but it is optional.
1/4 of crushed peanuts for garnish
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except for the peanuts. I like to use those to sprinkle on top of the cole slaw once it is prepared.
Serve with your favorite grill items and some steamed jasmine rice and call it dinner.
Although I am not a vegetarian, I was for many years when I was a student. We have a great vegetarian following at Cuvee at The Greenporter Hotel and also try to make vegetable dishes light yet satisfying. This salad is perfect for a dinner party or holiday gathering with it’s bright colors. It could be served with grilled meat (lamb especially) or also with empanadas or a side dish of cous cous. Serve with fruit-filled Sangria with your favorite table wine.
Serves up to 10
1 lb of mesclun greens
2 cored and thinly sliced granny smith apples
3 large roasted, peeled and sliced red beets
5 small roated, peeled and sliced golden beets
1/4 cup of toasted pine nuts aka pignoli nuts or pumpkin seeds to garnish top of salad
The seeds of 1/4 cup of pomegranate seeds for garnish on top
The Honey-Pomegranate vinaigrette
1/2 cup of sherry vinager
1 tablespoon of pomegranate syrup (available at specialty shops like Kalustyans in Manhattan or International Foods in Roslyn Heights)
3/4 cup of EVOO
2 tablespoons of pomegranate syrup
1 tablespoon of honey
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
Whisk all ingredients except for the olive oil in a bowl. Then drizzle in the olive oil little by little until it appears creamy (emulsified). Add salt and pepper to taste. Note* do not dress your salad until serving time as the vinager will wilt your fresh greens.
For more holiday recipes, check out Patch.com and select the North Fork edition.
While visiting the North Fork of Long Island during the Fall season, you pass the many vineyards and now, the acres of pumpkins. The varieties of squashes like spaghetti squash, cheese pumpkin, butternut and acorn squash and all shapes and colors of gourds welcome us to a new season. This is when you begin to think about the holidays to come and the Fall season is all about squashes. One of my favorite squashes are butternut squash for it’s silky texture and I often substitute it for pumpkin in pies, quickbreads, muffins and savory golden turnovers like empanadas aka bourekas.
By Andrea Kavajian
A native of New Suffolk, New York
Note from the Chef Deborah: Andrea worked with me in the kitchen and on numerous private events at The Greenporter Hotel including weddings, rehearsal dinners and the Hampton Classic Horse Show. We miss you Anny!
Recipe and story by Andrea Kavajian
While peach season may be coming to an end, one of my favorite ways to savor the sweet taste of summer is in this recipe for a peach cobbler. While traditional in the South, cobblers are one of the easiest and most delicious ways to use up any fruit you may have an abundance of. Whether it’s cherries, blueberries, peaches, nectarines, or a combination, cobblers taste just as good no matter what part of the country you’re in.
Great North Fork peaches at Wickhams Fruit Farm
For this peach cobbler, you can use any variety of peaches you like best. Whether you choose white or yellow peaches, make sure they are local. The best way to pick a peach is not to squeeze it, which does nothing but leave a bruise, but to smell it. If a peach smells ripe, it is. The quickest way to peel a peach (this also works for any stone-fruit and also tomatoes) is to score the skin on the bottom of the peach in an “X” using a pairing knife. Dunk the peaches in boiling water for about 1 minute and then immediately into a bowl of cool water. When the peaches are cool enough to handle, the skin will slip right off. Though autumn may be quickly approaching, you can still enjoy the last taste of summer with this simple recipe for peach cobbler.
½ cup unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups sugar, divided* 1 cup for batter, ½ cup for filling
1 tbsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 cup milk
4-5 cups local peaches, sliced
1 tbsp lemon juice
Melt butter in a cast iron skillet (preferred) or a 13×9-inch baking dish.
Whisk flour, 1 cup of sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Add milk and stir until just combined. Pour batter over the melted butter. Do not stir.
Bring peaches, ½ cup of sugar, and lemon juice to a boil over high heat in a saucepan, stirring constantly. Pour the peaches over the batter. Do not stir.
Bake at 375 for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream or try buttermilk whipped cream for a tangy twist (just add a drizzle of buttermilk to your heavy cream before whipping). Looking for more recipe ideas for you peaches? Search the archives at SeasonedFork!
I asked a local farmer why store-bought peaches weren’t as firm and flavorful during the peach season. He explained that the bigger farms need to pick the peaches earlier in order to transport them in cold storage so that they arrive and remain in better condition.
So if you are lucky to have local peaches and want to preserve them into the fall, try this peach marmelade recipe. It also works well for those mealy peaches that you bought on sale at the supermarket.
North Fork Farm Peach preserves
Makes 1 1/2 cups
5, peeled, halved, pitted, and cut into chunks
1 1/2 cups of sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon of peach snaps or peach liquor (Mathilde is my favorite)
dash of kosher salt (1/8 teaspoon)
Pulse peaches in a food processor until chunky. Transfer to a small saucepan, and add sugar, lemon juice, salt. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Boil, continuing to stir, until bubbles are bigger and the fruit starts to float. You will know you are done with the jam sticks to the back of a wooden spoon. Should take about 10 minutes on med-high flame. Allow to cool before dividing into small to-go or tupperware containers and label with the date. You won’t need to go through the trouble of canning these since this won’t be around long.
I love this on a thick slice of whole grain sunflower rye bread from Blue Duck Bakery or add a tablespoon to a glass of champagne for a North Fork Bellini!
With the threat of frost, I am planning on eating whatever corn left on the stands or in my cold storage. It can be annoying during the winter when corn is some crazy price like two ears for $5 and not even that fresh! So I try to remind myself to eat as much of it as possible during the warmer months and to preserve it at the end of the season. Corn salsa, corn bisque, creamed corn, corn and black bean salad, corn and tomato salad, corn and green chili soup, corn hot cakes with blueberry syrup and so much more.
So blanche it and freeze or can it and you’ll be enjoying it well into the new year.
Four to six ears should measure out to approximately 3 to 4 cups of kernels.
Husk the corn, blanch it, cool it, remove kernels, and freeze in vaccum bags (Food Savers) and label with date and farm stand. When you need to use, pop in the microwave for about 3 to 4 minutes.
Quick creamed corn: defrost one bag of frozen corn in microwave. Pulse in food processor with 1/4 cup of half and half, one teaspoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of freshly grated parmesan cheese until creamy but still chunky. Heat when ready to serve with a piece of grlled fish or salmon and some sauteed autumn leeks, kale or brussel sprouts from your local farm stand or Farmers’ Market!
New Yorkers have a reputation for reasons that are not always untrue. I have been living in New York for over 25 years which is significantly longer than anywhere I have ever resided.
As New Yorkers, we feel like we have the best of everything because everything is here! Broadway, Wall Street, the Met and MoMa, the opera, Carnegie Hall, the Village, Central Park, Rockefeller Center and let’s not forget the restaurants. We have Thomas Keller, Mario Batali, Michael White, Morimoto and Lidia along with their proteges, not to mention all the great food in boroughs from Queens to Brooklyn — just ask Edible Magazines: Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. So we think we have seen everything and tasted everything there is to eat right?
Wrong! One night in June my husband and I went to a dinner at the James Beard house where I am a proud chef-member. In addition to the fact that I am obsessed with regional cooking, that evening we attended specifically to see Ashley Christensen, chef/restaurateur of Raleigh, North Carolina because she is the daughter and sister of friends-customers of Cuvée. Many of you will recognize her as a contestant on the foodnetwork show, Iron Chef. That night at the James Beard House in the West Village, we Yankees got a good smack-down of Southern charm, cooking and enthusiasm from a team of professionals proud and thrilled to be in the service business. It was like being in an electric storm between the chef radiating (inside and out), her assistant, her sommelier and her followers who flew in from all over to support her. We sat at the chef table next to a chef who was once her sous chef in addition to a pizzaiolo from North Carolina who happens to be an international foodie and avid reader. In additional to telling us about sushi restaurants we had never heard of in New York, he gave us a five minute, on the money review of Joe Bastianach’s new book, Restaurant Man while diligently offering up how it differed and mimicked comparable books. He was on fire, excited about Ashley, excited about his pizzeria and excited about his life.
After a cocktail hour with great bourbon cocktails and the craziest deviled eggs in the world followed by an amazing five-course southern extravaganza showcasing local foods from shrimp to cheese and honey, we were satiated and infected with this Southern passion.
So if you think you know a lot about food and have seen everything, book a seat at the James Beard House on any night and see what your missing on menus across America.
It will leave a lasting impression and remind you to be excited about your food and your life.
And if you’re in North Carolina, check out Ashley’s restaurants! Ashley Christensen, AC-Restaurants
Poole’s Downtown Diner. Beasley’s Chicken+Honey, Chuck’s, Fox Liquor Bar
Raleigh, North Carolina
At the beginning of Fall, it’s like someone turns on a duck switch in the minds of foodies and the requests starts to come in for recipes for our feathered friend. So many things come to mind from duck breast with a sweet glaze to duck confit to ragouts and pates. But if you are tight on time and want to keep things simple, this duck breast sashimi with North Fork Red Wine Jelly for your glaze makes for a delicious and romantic meal. You can find this sweet and tangy conserve and many more delicious prepared condiments at A Taste of the North Fork in Southold.
For the duck you can buy Long Island Crescent Farms at any number of retail stores including Fresh Direct who will deliver it right to your house! I like to buy a whole duck and quarter and debone it to use in different dishes and meals but you can buy just the breast for this dish if you like. After slicing the rendered duck breast and then broiling or grilling to medium rare, you brush the duck with the reduced jelly and some duck drippings and serve immediately with steamed japanese sushi rice or sesame noodles.
A starter of Miso soup made with organic miso paste which you can find in specialty grocery stores like The Market in Greenport. Slice some fresh scallions which are currently plentiful on farm stands along with silky tofu or sliced Shitake mushrooms. Serve with a bottle of chilled sparking Rose from Peconic Bay Winery that will complement the sweetness of the glaze and the Asian flavors of the accompaniments and will carry you through to dessert.
Don’t want to make dessert? Who needs to. Order a special cake or homemade truffles from Michel Bacher at Mali B Sweets in Greenport. It will be the icing on your weekend in Greenport.
Thanksgiving is a holiday that brings everyone to the table. It brings together families and friends and unites us as a nation reaching across race, religions, circumstances.
But for those of us who don’t have large families or are far away from family and friends, I have been working on Thanksgiving menus for small gatherings that can be enjoyed with your spouse or partner and a friend or two. A lot of the stress of Thanksgiving comes from the perceived obligation to cook a whole turkey but you can still enjoy turkey without cooking the whole bird. Baking a turkey breast in puff pastry or braising or roasting some turkey legs or thighs with a variety of side dishes can make Thanksgiving dinner very accesible. And if you buy locally you can buy smaller quantities of vegetables at farmer’s markets and local farm stands. On the North Fork I use Miloski’s Poultry Farm for turkey but there are many options. You can even get Empire kosher turkey breast at BJs for that matter! A turkey breast en croute or some barbequed turkey legs with corn bread stuffing along with a half pound of string beans, cauliflower puree made with one small cauliflower, two or three baked yams and a lot of gravy make a wonderful dinner and not too much. Make the gravy a week in advance and freeze it. Make the stuffing and mashed the night before. Enlist help and get your table ready the night before as well.
The shopping list for food and wine
Select your wines weeks in advance and make a trip of it. Visit a local farmers’ market or go for a ride and visit the North Fork. In addition to farmstands replete with all the produce you’ll need, The North Fork has over 60 vineyards. Here you will find a great variety of wines that will complement your Thanksgiving dinner and buy a few different bottles to have something for everyone. For a light bodied red, try the Tavola from Raphael Vineyards and for a full-bodied herbaceous red, try the Cabernet Franc from Lieb Cellars. For white, have an oaky Chardonnay from Jason’s Vineyards. For some of your guests who want something lighter and fruitier, serve a stainless steel white blend like the First Crush white from Bedell. I have been serving this for years with turkey and everyone loves it. Think about what you want your Thanksgiving table to look like and start planning.
Stage your setting
Think about that fact that you want to relax and enjoy your guests so set up a self service bar or area in your living room where people can serve themselves. Place it where they can access it from several angles (think about circulation) and decorate it with small pumpkins and a mason jar filled with mini sunflowers (not too much fuss). Arrange some high ball glasses for mixed drinks or water, wine glasses and plenty of ice. Have one tray of simple stationaary hors d’oeuvres that also double as a first course. Select items that do not require maintenance like olives, marcona almonds, hummus, goat cheese or feta from Catapano Dairy Farm, crostini and bread sticks set up right next to the self serve bar. When the snacks are finished — don’t put out more because you don’t want to ruin your appetite and people appreciate eating a large meal a bit earlier. Move right on to the main course and serve it all at once so that you don’t have to get up and change plates and silverware.
Turkey Breast en Croute
Corn bread stuffing
String beans with sauteed shallots
Pureed cauliflower from Latham Farms with toasted spices
Whole baked yams drizzled with local honey
Gravy, gravy, gravy
Selections of pies (if you are cooking you might want to buy your pies and ask guests to bring one), some ice cream or fresh whipped cream.
Sitting down for dinner
At dinner time, make an show of placing the serving dishes at the table and ask everyone to sit down. If people don’t move to the table, ask them to “join you” at the table and bring a tray with you to assist in moving wines glasses and other beverages to the table (guests will follow their drinks). If your table should is set the night before complete with silverware, napkins and a serving utensil for every dish, all you’ll need to do is enjoy the meal and your beautiful table. This is the time of year you want to use all that beautiful china you are saving. Use it, enjoy it, let others enjoy it.
Many of my restaurant customers are on low-carb diets and as we make our way into Thanksgiving, this become challenging. Since I view mashes potatoes at Thanksgiving merely conductor of gravy, substituting cauliflower for potatoes is a great calorie and carb saver if you need to sacrifice one carb source. Because according to my husband, you cannot have Thanksgiving without an abundance of stuffing or gravy, I happily sacrifice the potatoes. The hint of cumin absorbs the smell of cauilflower without overpowering the flavor.
Fresh farm stand Cauliflower – a medium head makes about a pound of florets
One tablespoon of butter
One tablespoon of EVOO with a pinch of cumin seeds (toasted in the oil)
One to two tablespoons of whole milk Greek yogurt
salt and pepper to taste
Rough chop the cauliflower and steam it until very tender. I usually prefer my cauliflower firm but for this dish, it must be softer or it won’t blend.
Once tender, place the cauliflower in a bowl while it’s still hot and add the butter, olive oil with cumin seeds and the yogurt. Start with a hand masher, then use a stick blender to blend until smooth or you can put it all in a regular blender or food processor. And if you don’t like mashed cauliflower, it is delicious just roasted in the oven with a layer of Greek Yogurt, a sprinkle of cumin seeds and kosher salt plus a drizzle of EVOO. Bake for 40 minutes or until fork tender. You can make either of these dishes a day or two in advance.
Crostatas or galettes are rustic, informal pies that are wonderful and can be made into any size without the use of a pie pan.
There aren’t a lot of local berries available in the Northeast during the winter months but take a ride across the Long Island Sound via The Cross Sound Ferry to New England, the birthplace of the great American Cranberry. A pear and mixed berry pie with homemade cranberry sauce, your favorite berries and local pears makes for a beautiful and delicious combination during the holidays.
1 and 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
2 tablespoons of sugar
10 tablespoons of salted butter
2 ½ tbsp of vegetable shortening, frozen
3 tbsp of ice water
The Filling (mix in a bowl)
1 cup of leftover cranberry sauce plus one cup of fresh berries of choice
1 medium cored and peeled pear
1/2 cup brown sugar
Making the Crust
Place flour, sugar, butter and shortening into food processor and pulse until forming pellets.
Add 1 tbsp of ice water and pulse until dough starts to come together.
Form dough into a ball, flatten, wrap and chill for at least one hour.
Preheat oven to 425
Use cookie sheet and line with parchment paper. Divide ball of dough in two, or four to make smaller pies. On large floured surface, roll out dough into rough rounds and transfer to baking sheet, cover and chill again. Fill pie crusts with the berry filling like spreading pizza sauce, leaving a 2 inch border. Folder over edges and pinch. Brush crust edges with half and half and sprinkle with demerara sugar and your favorite chopped nuts. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until berries are bubbling with golden brown edges. Remove from oven and allow to cool on baking sheet. Once cooled, lift with spatula and serve with fresh whipped cream.
This dessert pairs beautifully with a glass of Blueberry Port style wine from Duckwalk Vineyards. The sleek bottle makes for an elegant gift.
Granola is a breakfast favorite but if you are buying it, it may not be at its freshest and it may have more sugar and fat than you realize. Several years ago I started making granola to accompany the yogurt parfaits that are part of our continental breakfast buffet at The Greenporter Hotel. I decided to make my own after reading the ingredients and realizing the high caloric content of what I was buying.
I hope you’ll adapt this recipe to include your nuts or seeds of choice and if you do not have a large family, I suggest making it in small quantities because the oils in the nuts and seeds may go rancid. I don’t like refrigerating granola because it affects the crispy texture. So make less of it often and you’ll always have this handy as a breakfast cereal or as a topping for yogurt, frozen yogurt or fruit.
2 cups of Old Fashion Oats (large-not the processed kind)
1/4 cup of oat bran
2 tbsps of flax seed (whole or ground)
1 tbsp of sesame seeds
1/4 cup of dark brown sugar
pinch of salt
2 tbsps of molasses
2 tbsps of local honey
1/4 cup of coconut oil (canola oil may be subsituted)
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of almond extract
1/4 cup of raw pumpkin seed
2 tbsps of raw almond slivers
Butter a cookie sheet and preheat oven to 475
Toss dry ingredients in large bowl
then add wet ingredients quickly
taste the mixture and adjust (add more extract or sugar to taste)
Do not allow to stand or the oats will absorb all the oil and you’ll have to add more (it should have a glisten to it-if not, drizzle a bit more oil)
empty contents into cookie sheet and press into corners
Lower heat of oven to 425 and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown on top
allow to cool in the sheet at room temperature (do not remove from the sheet or refrigerate or it will not crisp)
Once cooled, toss in a half cup of dried cranberries (or raisins) along with chopped dried apricot
Store in baggies at rooms temperature in a cool pantry for up to a month. This also makes a great hostess gift displayed in a large Mason jar tied with a ribbon and accompanied by a nice bottle of maple syrup or honey.
Greenport Shellabration, the brain child of John J. Kramer and Scott Bollman, is a two-day pub crawl taking place in the walking Village of Greenport this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, December 8th and 9th from 12 noon to 5 p.m. John Kramer, owner of East End Insurance Company, is a native of Southold who grew up on the water fishing and clamming. He refers to his North Fork home situated 100 feet from his dock as “Clamalot”, where he was able to realize his love of shellfish as an avocational oyster farmer. Scott Bollman is a CIA-trained chef and owner of Bruce’s Cheese Emporium and Cafe in Greenport where he serves breakfast and lunch to many-a-crowd. Kramer and Bollman came up with the concept of Shellabration as a way to bring locals and visitors together to celebrate the shellfish bounty on the North Fork of Long Island and raise funds to continue the SPAT program. Participants will purchase a wristband for $10 (donation) which will give them the opportunity to purchase $5 appetizer plates and $3 wine pours at the partner restaurants.
Kramer attributes his start in the oyster farming business to Kim Tetrault, the founder of SPAT who he met 15 years ago. SPAT is the Southold Project for Aquaculture Training which is a program that Mr. Tetrault began as a grass roots movement to put residents of the Peconic Bay area back in control of their environment. For many years the population of scallops and oysters were diminishing but SPAT raised awareness and provided tools and training to locals and help bring the shellfish back. John also credits Gregg Rivara of Cornell University Cooperative Extension for helping him get the off-bottom culture permit from the DEC which was a challenging process.
Kramer and Bollman are expecting over 500 attendees this weekend for Shellabration despite the damage that Sandy may have caused in other coastal communities. Most North Fork Hotels and B&Bs were not affected by Sandy and there are plenty of guestrooms for those who don’t want to drink and drive. This “restaurant crawl” will include almost one dozen Greenport Restaurants as well as many of the local vendors.
“Despite Sandy, the good news is that the scallop harvest is thriving on the North Fork, along with oysters and clams”. Kramer refers to this as a huge victory which took 15 years for the state legislature to allow shellfish cultivators to grow and sell young (1 year old) scallops for consumption. For any raw bar lover or aficionado of sushi, there is nothing like a fresh bay scallop eaten right out of its shell. It is briny, sweet and creamy and nothing in the world compares to it.
So if you want to take a little “staycation” after the Thanksgiving break to unwind or do a little wine tasting to get you in the mood for the holidays, join us in the Village of Greenport for Greenport Shellabration this weekend.
I enjoy staying in contact with the many students who have worked at The Greenporter Hotel and our restaurant over the years. I watch them graduate from high school and move on to college or travels. I watch them navigate the bumps in the road of adulthood once they graduate and enter the workforce and remember exactly was that was like. The holidays are so wonderful because these great “kids” call and write and some come visit. It is wonderful to see that when they cook for Christmas or the New Year, they are nostalgic for the foods that represent the North Fork in their memories.
Pumpkin and spice cake, apple cider and snowy nights were on the mind of my contributing editor of SeasonedFork’s “baking corner”, as she dreams of her childhood home in New Suffolk from her current home on the sunny beaches of California during this holiday.
Recipe by Andrea Kevajian
These cupcakes are the perfect end to a cold winter night when served with a cup of hot spiced cider. They’re also wonderful as a breakfast treat when served with coffee (just call them muffins instead of cupcakes to ease the guilt). [Read more →]
Food, culture and love are things that shape us and this never changes from generation to generation. We may lead modern lives and may not live near our families but there are always close friends nearby and they become our families too. I try to cook dinner as often as I can with friends and their children and I find we all learn something cooking and eating together.
It is the beginning of the year and I have many of the same resolutions as others — lose weight, reduce stress and see more of my loved ones. I have been thinking about fun family meals to make with children so that you can get more fun time with them and also get them involved in their own nutrition. Last night I had “build your own” taco night with my best friend’s children. I find that interactive cooking is exciting for children because they can make their own decisions and be creative. Austin wanted cheese and carrots in his taco, Aly wanted tomatoes and Kelly wanted rice. Since a lot of the prep (and time) is in chopping and all these kids are under eight years old we used butter knives so that they could help. Austin cut cheddar cheese into tiny bits (in lieu of grater which I do not recommend for children-ever) and wanted to add a bag of mini carrots he had left over from lunch which he cut up himself. Aly cut the tomatoes and other veggies and Kelly stirred the tumeric and olive oil and salt in the rice. With supervision, it should be ok for children to learn to use a knife without hurting themselves. With clear guidelines they will follow safety instructions or risk not participating. If they don’t follow instructions I don’t let them cook and they want to cook!
So give taco night a try, cooking together, eating together, loving together. Yum. [Read more →]
My Bostonian sister-in law-gave me a recipe for Italian wedding soup just after my wedding almost 14 years ago and I often make it for my husband. Mini meatballs suspended in soup with spinach or kale or any leafy green steeping in a savory broth. I have made it many different times using any number of meatball variations from beef to lamb to chicken and turkey. One of my best friends is a vegetarian and I was thinking about how to make this for her and low and behold I thought about using matzoh balls. Everyone loves Matzoh balls and children go crazy from them.
Whole-Wheat Matzo Balls
3 large eggs, separated
½ cup North Fork garden stock 2 Tablespoons EVOO
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Salt for boiling and for matzo balls
3 or more Tablespoons of fresh minced parsley and minced green onion
1 cup whole-wheat matzo meal
2 to 3 quarts garden stock.
1. In a medium bowl, combine egg yolks, stock, oil, pepper and 2 teaspoons salt; mix well. Gradually add herbs and 1 cup of matzo meal, stirring with a fork.
2. Wisk egg whites until stiff, but not dry. Gently fold into matzo batter. Cover and refrigerate until better is well chilled, at least 1 hour.
3. Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a gentle boil. Wet hands with cold water and shape some of the batter into walnut-size balls. Drop it into pot. If it starts to fall apart, add a little more matzo meal to remaining batter. If it holds its shape, roll remaining batter into balls and add to pot.
4. Simmer matzoh balls, covered, for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the soup until simmering. When matzoh balls are ready, use a slotted spoon to transfer them from water to soup. Serve hot.
Yield: about 12 matzo balls
Make one quart of North Fork garden stock and add a tablespoon of more fresh hberbs along with two cups of baby spinach. The spinach will cooks immediately in the hot stock. When using kale, cook the kale for about 5 minutes or until tender. I like it best with baby kale.
Cod and scallops are two things I always want to eat year round but there is nothing like fresh Cod from Montauk or Block Island and briny bay scallops from our North Fork waters during the winter months. I am sharing a recipe for Cod and scallops Meuniere that I often make during the winter in the restaurant. The tanginess of this caper, white wine and butter sauce is a bright accompaniment to Cod and scallops. This recipe serves four healthy portions and takes only 20 minutes to prepare.
If you read Martin Garell’s piece in the Suffolk Times this week on fishing for Cod during the winter months you might be inspired to go. I have always wanted to go Cod fishing and knew it was tough but he confirmed it! So even if I don’t make it on that Cod fishing charter this winter, I will still enjoy that plump white flesh from my local fish monger. Pick up a bottle of Coalescence from Shinn Estate Vineyards and call it dinner for a captain — whether you are a fisherman or not.
Ingredients: One pound of fresh cod
1/2 pound of Peconic Bay Scallops
1 teaspoon of capers
1 teaspoon of minced shallot
half a lemon thinly sliced
1/4 cup of white wine like a Pinot Grigio
2 tablespoons of butter
salt and pepper to taste
Fresh chopped parsley
In a large saute pan add a tablespoon of EVOO and add salted filets to hot pan. Cook for 3 minutes on one side and flip. Then add the shallots and scallops until slightly browned and add the capers and lemon, and lastly the white wine. When the wine begins to bubble, add the butter and parsley and stir briskly until it turns a cloudy white color. At that point it is ready to serve. It is best accompanied with your favorite rice pilaf dish or steamed quinoa.
With wedding season upon us, we are seeing the runway of bridesmaids visiting the restaurant celebrating bachelorette weekends. Bachelorette celebrations range from lascivious gatherings with all the “accessories” to the more sedate bride-to-be-North Fork getaways with lunch or dinner. Last weekend we had a group of young bridesmaids who wanted to give their bride a culinary send-off. They spent Saturday at the vineyards and came in on Sunday for a cooking class and lunch.
One of the dishes the bride wanted to learn to make was rice so I included a recipe for perfect rice in a rice cooker. A rice cooker is a wonderful gift (wedding or otherwise) for anyone who enjoys cooking – experienced or not. It takes away the stress of watching the rice pot and the risk of burning it, overcooking or undercooking it. I use it often and also find I can make rice with very little oil or none at all.
Steamed Jasmine-Coconut rice
Makes up to eight cups of cooked rice (which serve 4 people in my household)
3 cups of organic Jasmine rice
1 tablespoon of Canola oil
6 cups of water or garden stock
1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt
1/4 cup of coconut milk (not sweetened coconut cream which is for desserts and Piña Coladas)
1 tablespoon of sugar or honey
Mix all ingredients in rice cooker and press the “on” button and go about the other items on your to-do list. The light will turn on in about 30 minutes signaling that the rice is ready.
This recipe makes a perfect sticky rice that is a great accompaniment to chicken skewers with peanut or sesame sauce, grilled, sashimi-style tuna or sautéed vegetables. It’s also delicious in a stir-fried rice the next day. Another tip is that children seem to love this rice — whether they like coconut or not.
I love the floral notes in Riesling with most Asian-influenced dishes and you can’t go wrong with the 2010 Semi-dry Riesling from Paumanok Vineyards which the Wall Street Journal named one of the nation’s top 12 “luxury dozen.”
The North Fork is home to many vineyards, farms and nurseries. Farm stands are replete with flowers and vegetables and you’ll rarely be at a loss for a seasonal addition to dinner. A side dish of asparagus or mushrooms or some flowers for your table like Forsythia, Irises or fresh mint for your Mojito are abound.
You can observe many gardens on your bike route but one of my favorites is heading east on route 48, past Sep’s, The Coffey House, Garden Fusion as you cross the causeway with the bay on one side and the sound on the other, then past the lavender gardens of Lavender by the Bay and into the village of Orient where you can also buy wild flowers from a community garden.
While visiting these gardens and farmstands you never know who you will run into, whether fellow cyclers or gardeners as well as any of the talented chefs of the North Fork like the lovely Chef Lia Fallon of Jedadiah Hawkins who I ran into on this trip.
I was on a special visit because Chris Giapa of the Garden Fusion family was kind enough to donate a medley of herbs for a dish. We served herb-cured Gravlax on buckwheat blini for the Greenport Farmers’ Market cocktail fundraiser. At Garden Fusion, they have an amazing selection of exotic organic herbs from Pineapple sage to cinnamon thyme and spicy oregano. This place is a chef’s dream and will inspire any home cook or gardener. Even if you don’t cook, a mixture of these herbs in a salad with some fresh dressing is all you’ll need to accompany what ever you’re grilling tonight!
The Strawberry festival is for “kids” of all ages whether you enjoy the amusement rides and strawberry shortcake with the family or a few margaritas and people watching with friends. There is a great selection for those who just want to pass through and pick up a few pints of strawberry for a fruit salad or to make strawberry butter. However you enjoy the Strawberry Festival, you will experience a slice of Americana on the North Fork.
1/2 cup of fresh North Fork strawberries
2 sticks of softened butter
1 teaspoon of local honey
Pulse soften butter in the food processor with ripe strawberries and honey. Taste for sweetness and add more honey if you desire. Spread on whole grain toast, pancakes or waffles. Wrap and keep chilled for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
I have been gardening most of my life but am the most fond of my herbs and tomatoes as well as the many orchids I have kept over the years. If you don’t have a lot of time for gardening or if you don’t have the best soil, an herb plant that will thrive despite less than perfect conditions and cold weather is lavandula officinalis or lavender. Or if you don’t garden, you can buy some at Lavender by the Bay in the town of East Marion. They have the most extensive and beautiful lavender gardens west of Bordeaux.
I prize the penetrating scent and taste of this herb and love it so much that I planted a bed of it at the entrance of the hotel. On dewey evenings, it’s seductive scent lingers in the air and on your skin and finds its way to many uses for at the hotel. Lavender is said to help reduce anxiety and to enhance the quality of sleep and is also a great bug repellent and antiseptic.
We harvest lavender buds for a relaxing tea and for our own blend of herbs de Provence as well as lemonade. The biggest harvest goes into our simple syrup that we use in cocktails and for mocktails and desserts.
This syrup is very versitile and is a favorite of many of our regulars. Recently one of our customers requested the recipe for lavender syrup after she came in with her mother and ordered one of our alcohol-free “Aromatherapy Spritzer” made with lavender syrup. This is for you Penny!
1 cup honey
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 Tbsp lavender flowers
Bring water and lavender to a boil in a saucepan.
Add sugar and honey and stir constantly until sugar is completely dissolved.
Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove from heat, allow to cool, strain and bottle.
Note: Unless you are having an event, this should be made in small batches as it does not retain its flavor or properties for more than a week.
I will always remain in awe of culinary pioneers who in the 70s taught Americans to value locally grown food during an era when the word “imported” was synonymous with quality. Chefs like Alice Waters and Judy Rodgers threw cold water on the posh menus of the day laden with boasts of foreign provenance. Their menu selections looked within our own local farmers’ market showcasing the farm stand brocoli from down the street and simple roasted chicken seasoned with herbs grown in pots in the window of their own restaurants. On Monday, December 1st, we lost a great chef and culinary writer, Judy Rodgers, of San Franciscan Cafe Zuni. Many of her recipes have been famous for many decades and were published in her cookbook but the one of the best known is the roasted chicken to which she dedicates three pages in her Cafe Zuni Cookbook.
I started this blog in an effort to inspire the consumption of local food and local wine on the North Fork of Long Island. And even if you are reading this from your computer in another state or another country, I am hoping to motivate you to think about and cook with the food that grows around you. This blog can be for the occasional cook who is looking for sensational yet simple recipes or the gourmand who wishes to push their culinary limits by using new seasonal ingredients in their kitchens. And for foodies who want the inside scoop on the North Fork food scene, stay tuned to Seasoned Fork and stay hungry!
I have been cooking in my kitchen at The Greenporter Hotel for almost eight years now.
I was always a cook at heart even though my education and career took me in other directions. I began building this kitchen in March of 2001 and worked on every corner of it's design.
Having a kitchen on the North Fork of Long Island is every chef's dream. Here you have local products sprouting in farms all around you. Whether it is local oysters, duck, mushrooms or Striped Bass, it's all fresh and even more heavenly accompanied by a glass of local wine.
We cook using these local ingredients year-round. In the winter you'll find us here on the weekends and from Memorial Day to Labor Day you'll find us seven days a week.
Let us know next time you stop at a farmstand and pick up some really beautiful locally grown or harvested goodies and SEND ME A LINE! I'll be happy to post some recipes for just for you.