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!
Tags:Captain Libby·Libby Koch·White Sangria
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.
Tags:Bedell Cellars·Harlem·Marcus Samuelsson·Molly Deegan·North Fork·Red Rooster·Trent Preszler·Wine dinner·wine tasting·Yes Chef
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
Tags:holiday wines·Kareem Massoud·Paumanok Vineyards·Thanksgiving Dinner
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.
Tags:Cuvee bistro·dinner·food·herb garden·pool party·potato salad·Potatoes·Salad·Vegetarian
I was in the city today and went by my last neighborhood bodega to pick up a pound of my favorite egg salad only to see that they were closing for good. I said goodbye to the owner, Donna, who has been there for 30 years and we both tried not to cry. Her store is part of a disappearing New York that was once dotted with tiny convenient stores that sold anything from cold cuts to packs of vitamins and cut flowers. I miss the New York that I came to 25 years ago with bodegas and grit. I will miss this family owned store along with the smiling faces of those owners embracing the American Dream.
So this summer when I am out on the Island and craving Donna’s egg salad for tea sandwiches, I will think of her as I will attempt to do it justice with with this recipe. This is for you Donna. Thank you for all your hard work and for making New York what it is.
Egg Salad for tea sandwiches Serves 4
4 hard boiled eggs, cooled and peeled (boil for 5 minutes and leave covered for 10 more minutes for a perfect yellow yolk) You can buy great eggs at the Greenport Farmers’ Market from Browder’s Birds
1/2 cup of real Mayo (you may need a bit more depending on the size of eggs)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/8 tablespoon of mustard
2 teaspoons of finely minced celery
1 teaspoon of finely minced white onion
Tea Sandwiches: egg salad and more
Rough chop the eggs and stir with mayo, mustard and olive oil
add the minced celery and onion
Add salt , celery salt and pepper to taste
By the best pan de mie or white or wheat Pepperidge Farm sandwich bread
Add a scoop of egg salad on to a slice and cover with another slice, push down
Trim the crusts and cut in triangles or into fingers or serve open faced.
Place on your favorite tray alongside other finger sandwiches, a basket with fresh berries and a plate of cookies or scones. Add some small bouquets of herbs in tea cups and serve tea, iced tea with Cuvee lavender syrup or some mojitos and call it a garden party.
Tags:bread·Browder's Birds·Eggs·Herbs·Lavender·Lavender by the Bay·lavender syrup·mayo·mustard·North Fork·Summer Recipes·tea·tea sandwiches
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.
Tags:Cocktails·East Marion·herbal remedies·herbal teas·Holiday cocktails·Lavender·Lavender by the Bay·lavender syrup·Lavender tea·lemonade·North Fork·Orient Lavender Farm·simple syrup·The Greenporter Hotel
Spring rain and sunshine leads us into summer and here on the North Fork, our summer begins with the annual Strawberry Festival in Mattituck from Thursday, June 13th through Sunday, the 16th.
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.
Afterwards join us in for dinner at The Greenporter Hotel for our Father’s Day prix fixe “Beef and Beer” dinner which includes three courses plus three different craft beers from the Greenport Harbor Brewing Company to accompany your dinner for $40 per person. For the vegetarians in the group there are garden-inspired options like the Strawberry-Arugula Salad with fresh basil and lemon dressing and a signature cocktail in honor of the Strawberry Festival, the strawberry-jalapeno margarita.
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.
Tags:beef·Beer·Father's Day·food·Fruit Salad·Greenport Harbor Brewing Company·kids·margarita·Mattituck Strawberry Festival·recipe·Salad·strawberries·Strawberry Butter
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!
Tags:Bicycle rentals·biking on North Fork·Coffee House·cooking classes·Cuvee·dan's bikes·Garden Fusion·Greenport·growing your own herbs·Herbs·Lia Fallon·Orient·Orient Lavender Farm·recipes·Sep's·Summer Recipes
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!
Tags:Appetizers·blini·food·Greenport·Greenport Farmers Market·North Fork·North Fork weddings·recipe·Salmon·Summer appetizers·Swedish
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.”
Tags:dairy free·food·gluten-free·Luxury dozen wines·making rice·Paumanok Vineyards·perfect rice·recipe·Rice·Wall Street Journal