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
Vegetarian “wedding soup”
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.
Tags:Italian wedding soup·kosher for Passover·Matzoh·Matzoh ball soup·meatballs·Passover·Soup·vegetarian meatballs
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.
Tags:capers·Cod·cooking with wine·fishing charters·food·meuniere·Montauk·Pinot Grigio·recipe·Scallops·shallots·Shinn Estate Vineyards·Southold Fish Market
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.
Makes 4 servings
2 cups of diced mushrooms, sautéed in 1/4 cup of EVOO
3 cups of garden stock or roast chicken stock
1/4 cup of sautéed shallots
1/4 teaspoon of North Fork sea salt
1/4 teaspoon of fresh ground pepper, coarse
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.
Tags:farm stands·farmstands·food·mushroom soup·mushrooms·North Fork·North Fork Table·recipe·Shitake mushrooms·Soup·soups·Vegan·Vegetarian
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.
Tags:Crescent Duck Farms·duck·food·Fresh Direct·Greenport·Mali B Sweets·North Fork·Peconic Bay Winery·recipe·sesame noodles·sushi rice·The Greenporter Hotel