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Seasonal food blog of Chef Deborah at Cuvée at The Greenporter Hotel

Garden Refreshers: the Shelter Island Run and summer beverage ideas

June 21st, 2014 · No Comments · Brunch, Cocktail, Cuvee at The Greenporter Hotel, Dietary Restrictions, Drinks & Cocktails, Entertaining, Events, Holiday, Long Island Wine, Low-Calorie, Lunch, North Fork, Summer, Summer Recipes, Wine

Summer is now officially here, and the North Fork is bursting at the seams with visitors enjoying the vineyards, beaches, and other summer activities–like the Shelter Island Run, a 10k marathon that celebrates it’s 35th anniversary this year.

Vitatini mocktail on the Cuvee terrace

It promises to be an exciting event, with guest runners such as Olympian Meb Keflezighi, who won the Boston Marathon. The Shelter Island Run benefits several local charities, including East End Hospice, the Timothy Hill Children’s Ranch, and the Shelter Island Run Community Fund, which benefits scholarship funds, youth programs, and historical and environmental preservation projects on Shelter Island.
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Strawberry Samba Cocktail

June 14th, 2014 · No Comments · Brunch, City Cooking, Cocktail, Cuvee at The Greenporter Hotel, Dinner, Drinks & Cocktails, Entertaining, Events, Gardening, Greenport, Long Island Wine, New York City, North Fork, Preserves, Summer, Summer Recipes, Tips, Vegan, Vegetarian

In Brazil, they have the Caipirinha–their national cocktail made with Cachaca, a rum-like liquor derived from raw sugar cane. It has a fresh green taste, elevated with sugar and fresh lime. The presence of this drink on any table constitutes a party anytime of the year–not just during carnival!

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Lavender shortcake with fresh strawberries

June 11th, 2014 · No Comments · Brunch, Cuvee at The Greenporter Hotel, Dessert, Dinner, Entertaining, Gardening, Greenport, Kosher, Long Island Wine, Lunch, New York City, North Fork, Preserves, Snack, Spring Recipes, Summer, The baking corner, Vegan, Vegetarian, Wine, canning

I love the feel of summer just before the momentum and crowds of July 4th weekend. The warm but not overbearingly hot days, the lush green of the farmland after the rainy days of spring and the Strawberry Festival in Mattituck announce that summer is here.

The Strawberry Festival is more like a country fair which takes place the weekend of Father’s Day on the fair lawn of route 25 in the town of Mattitick, home to Love Lane with all its shops and eateries.

This year I planted strawberries next to my lavender beds, a tip I got from Farmers’ Alamanac. I can’t wait to pick them and enjoy them with these lavender shortcakes along with a little homemade whipped cream. Perfect with iced tea, a great friend and the perfect spot in your garden.

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Easter Bread with Lucy’s Garden Herb Bouquet

April 20th, 2014 · No Comments · Breakfast, Brunch, Dinner, Gardening, Holiday, Spring Recipes, Vegetarian

When I think of Easter, I think about my Italian neighbors from my hometown in the Midwest.  Lucy, my mother’s best friend and a great gardener and cook, baked Easter Bread every year.  In my neighborhood, there were also families with ancestry from Germany, Scandinavia and Europe, and all of them had their own version of this holiday bread.  Some of them braided and added raisins or other dried fruit; some formed it in a ring and decorated with eggs; and others stuffed with savory fillings.

So, dust off your bread machine and give this basic recipe a try or give it your own twist.  I chose to make a bigger ring and fill it with herbs from my garden, but you can choose to make a few smaller ones to give away. 

It is best eaten the same day, so make your dough Saturday evening and let it rise overnight.  The fresh-baked bread will welcome your guests on Easter Sunday.


Preheat oven to 340 degrees


1/4 cup of lukewarm water (110 degrees)
2/3 cup milk (110 degrees)
3/4 of softened butter (not melted)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
         juice of one lemon

2 eggs, beaten
5 cups of unbleached flour
2 1/4 teaspoons of yeast

colored raw egg


Add ingredients in order given above to bread machine.  Process for dough cycle.  Roll and shape into braided rings.  Let rise.  Bake at 340 degrees for apporoximately 20-25 minutes.  This bread can also have colored raw eggs put in the braids before baking.  They will cook to hard boiled egg stage.  After baking, cool and frost with 2 cups powered sugar mixed with apporximately 1/4 cup milk and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, then sprinkle with non-pareils.

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The Vegetarian at Easter or Passover: Guess who’s coming to dinner?

April 19th, 2014 · No Comments · Dinner, Easter, Entertaining, Events, Greenport, Holiday, Kosher, Low-Calorie, Passover, Side Dishes, Spring Recipes, Tips, Vegetarian, Wine

During the holidays all of us need to be prepared for the vegetarian guests. 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 nuts or a vegetarian stuffing that also serves as a side dish for the other guests. This weekend we serve a vegetarian Mushroom cutlet with fresh herb matzoh stuffing with mushroom velouté. Funny enough, I made this dish as a Passover selection in my restaurant, but most of the people who have been ordering it are non-meat eating Gentiles.

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 →]

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The Luck of the Irish with this creamy bisque of Spring Onion and Celery

March 17th, 2014 · No Comments · Allergies, Brunch, City Cooking, Cooking Classes, Cuvee at The Greenporter Hotel, Dinner, Entertaining, Fall Recipes, Gardening, Greenport, Kosher, Long Island Wine, Low-Calorie, Lunch, New York City, North Fork, Preserves, Side Dishes, Snack, Soups & Bisques, Spring Recipes, Summer, Summer Recipes, Tips, Travels, Vegan, Vegetarian, Wine, Winter Recipes, canning

This is my go-to soup when my husband says there is “nothing to eat in the fridge” and for those who garden, you can grow celery almost year round — even indoors in the winter. If you come by my chef’s garden in the summer, you will see the mountain of it just by the kitchen door.

All you need to make this soup is a a head of celery, a hand full of fresh Spring onions and a hint of cream make an early Springtime bisque as a first course for your St. Patrick’s dinner or any other night. I made this soup along with my students in last weekend cooking class on Meatless Meals and we really enjoyed its freshness and flavor.

(Makes about 1 Liter)
½ Head of celery
1 ½ Small bunch of spring onions (scallions) or medium leeks
1 Pint of vegetable stock
½ Good teaspoon of mixed herbs
Salt and pepper
Juice of ½ lemon
Dash of Nutmeg
1/2 cup of heavy cream or half and half

Wash the celery and scallions or leeks and cut into chunks.

Peel and roughly chop the onion.

Place the celery, scallions or leeks, and onion into a large pan together with the stock, mixed herbs, and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then simmer for about 30 minutes until the celery is fork tender.

Turn off the heat and transfer half of the mixture into a blender, add the lemon juice and blend to a puree. Set up your pureeing station with a large bowl for the garden stock along with a ladle, the blender and the sautéed vegetables. Place the vegetables into the blender not filling more than one quarter and add a ladle of garden stock and puree until smooth. If too thick, add a bit more stock and if too thin, add more vegetables. Taste again for salt and pepper and add a dash of nutmeg.

To freeze, I use 1 liter screw top plastic jars.

When ready to serve, ladle the bisque into a sauce pan and add one teaspoon of heavy cream (or omit if vegan or dairy restricted) per serving or one tablespoon of half-and-half. Serve piping hot with bread or crostini.

To read about the many health benefits of celery, click here.

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Crispy Crostini to make your cheese tray very special

March 16th, 2014 · No Comments · Brunch, Christmas, Cooking Classes, Cuvee at The Greenporter Hotel, Dinner, Easter, Entertaining, Fall Recipes, Gardening, Greenport, Hanukkah, Holiday, Italian, Kosher, Long Island Wine, Lunch, New Year's, New York City, North Fork, Passover, Preserves, Side Dishes, Snack, Soups & Bisques, The baking corner, Tips, Vegetarian, Wine, Winter Recipes, the baking corner

For any of you who bake bread, you know how much time goes into it. This is why leftover baguettes or sourdough from last night’s dinner should never be thrown away. This leftover bread can be made into the most delicious additions to your next meal in the form of golden croutons or crostini for the enjoyment of your family or guests.

These are a perfect topping to a Caesar salad or adornment for a cheese plate and bowls of soup and in the event they are not devoured that night, you can plop them in the food processor on the pulse function for homemade bread crumbs for meatballs.

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Cauliflower & Purple Potato Winter Casserole

March 16th, 2014 · No Comments · Allergies, City Cooking, Cooking Classes, Cuvee at The Greenporter Hotel, Dietary Restrictions, Dinner, Entertaining, Events, Fall Recipes, Gardening, Greenport, Kosher, Long Island Wine, Low-Calorie, Lunch, New York City, Side Dishes, Tips, Travels, Vegetarian, Wine, Winter Recipes

Winter should not put a damper on your farm to table selections for meatless Monday dinners.

The theme of this weekend’s cooking class was healthful meatless cooking with winter farm stand vegetables and our guests included a collection of lovely 20-somethings. They were celebrating a birthday and also getting some recipe and menu ideas for a shower they are planning for one of their friends.

Our menu consisted of: Spring Onion and Celery bisque, Cauliflower & Purple potato casserole and homemade crunchy crostini with a garden cheese plate complete with herb bouquets. We paired this spread with a crisp, aromatic Pinot Blanc from Lieb Cellars. The casserole combines the purple potatoes and cauliflower with fresh herbs and olive oil and gets a layer of creamy Greek yogurt on top along with turmeric and sea salt which forms a cheesy crust and is surprisingly filling.

Ingredients and Nutritional information
Between the cauliflower and purple potatoes, the menu is vitamin and fiber-packed. Cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamin C, and a very good source of magnesium, cauliflower provides us with core conventional antioxidants.

The featured Purple potato, botanical name Solanum andigenumis, is the star of the casserole, as its health properties extend far beyond the conventional white potato.
Unlike white potatoes, Purple potatoes are rich in the antioxidant (cancer preventing) called anthocyanin. Anthocyanin is found in blue, red and purple produce such as berries and pomegranates with immune system boosting properties.
See more about this potato here.

An anti oxidant and inflammatory medicinal root related to the ginger family that is often used in cooking as a substitute for saffron. For more information visit The American Cancer Society.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

1 lb of purple potatoes
1/2 head of cauliflower
2 or 3 shallots
1/2 of olive oil
1 cup of Greek yogurt
Sea salt
Fresh herbs of choice
Nuts for topping
Flavored oil for topping

Trim and cut cauliflower head in half

Section florets and blanch

Set aside

Rinse and dry purple potatoes, do not peel

Section in quarters and boil in salt water until tender and strain. Set aside.

Mince two large shallots in two separate pans and sauté in EVOO with the potatoes in one and cauliflower in the other along with a teaspoons of fresh herbs.

Use casserole dish and line the bottom with the potatoes and the top with the cauliflower. Spread a layer of Greek yogurt on top and sprinkle with turmeric and a drizzle of flavored oil. A dash of sea salt or nuts is optional.

Bake in the oven for 40 minutes and allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving.

If having a meatless meal, serve with a cheese plate with crostini or otherwise as a side dish with rotisserie chicken.

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Fresh Garden Stock anytime of year!

January 22nd, 2014 · 1 Comment · Allergies, Christmas, City Cooking, Dietary Restrictions, Dinner, Entertaining, Gardening, Greenport, Kosher, Long Island Wine, Low-Calorie, Lunch, New York City, North Fork, Preserves, Side Dishes, Soups & Bisques, Spring Recipes, Summer, Summer Recipes, Thanksgiving, Tips, Vegan, Vegetarian, Wine, Winter Recipes, canning

There are few things as important as fresh stock yet is is so rarely made made in the U.S. that when someone mentions the word “bouillon” we think about a cube in a package when bouillon is the French word for stock.

Culinary great, Alain Ducasse says “Le bouillon est la base de la cuisine” when discussing the importance of stock in cuisine in an interview with Vogue Magazine. During the summers I pick fresh herbs at my restaurant and take cuttings of celery, corn cobs and and other vegetables for court bouillons. During the winter, I like richer stocks and use leftover vegetable peels and cuttings from seasonal vegetables like leeks and mushrooms along with some bay leaves along with peppercorns and parsley (a friend of mine in Greenport has parsley peaking out through the snow) for a longer boil. You can makes these stocks during the weekend to use it in soups, braises and risottos during the week.

1/2 cup of carrot peels and trimmings
1/2 cup of celery trimmings including leaves
One whole small onion
Parsley stems
One tomato or pieces of assorted tomatoes (whatever is leftover)
A few peppercorns
2 to 3 bay leaves
One teaspoon of olive oil
One quart of water

Add teaspoon of olive oil into stock pot and heat.  Quickly add all peels and trimmings and stir.  This releases the aromas and will make a richer stock.  You can add other herbs but be careful because stronger herbs like rosemary, basil or sage can take over the stock and make it less versatile.

Once the trimmings and peels begin to sauté, add your water and boil for 20 minutes.

Remove stock from heat and set aside.  Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes.  Strain through colander into a pitcher.  This will make it easy to pour into ice cube tray or other containers.

This will reduce and give you about a half quart of vegetable stock which will keep between 2 to 4 days or up to a month if frozen in ice trays, then removed in cubes and stored in zip lock bags.

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Standing rib roast au jus: The gift that keeps on giving

January 17th, 2014 · No Comments · Breakfast, Brunch, Chocolate, Christmas, Cuvee at The Greenporter Hotel, Dinner, Gardening, Greenport, Grilling, Holiday, Long Island Wine, New York City, North Fork, Tips, Wine, Winter Recipes

Whether the holidays are ahead of us or behind us, we should always have a reason to celebrate, regardless of the time of year. When I think about a special meal, I think about a gorgeous standing rib roast or “entrecote de boeuf” along with a spread of side dishes and freshly baked Yorkshire puddings. Whether it is dressed up for Sunday dinner or dressed down over candlelight for a romantic evening, it will ensure that you are forever loved. Check out the photo below of prime rib for two that my friend Ron DiGennaro and his gourmand accomplice, Joe Frevola presented to their dates over the holidays.

The first thing is to buy the right amount of meat from a good butcher. When securing the portion you need, make sure your butcher trims and ties it for you. If you want a more formal presentation, you can ask him to “French” the ribs but some might object (such as husbands or canines).

Portions will depend on how much your guests eat in general, how many side dishes you are serving and whether or not you are serving an appetizer.
• two to four (4) people – three lb. rib roast (do not buy less than a 3lb. roast — otherwise just make Ribeye steaks on the grill)
•six (6) people – four lb. rib roast
• eight (8) people – five lb. rib roast
•ten (10) people – six lb. rib roast
•twelve (12) people – eight lb. rib roast
Do not wash the meat EVER and make sure that you pat the meat dry before seasoning in the event of condensation from keeping overnight in the refrigerator.
You will find a litany of discourse on the internet about salting vs. not salting a rib roast prior to roasting. I find that salting prior to roasting works best for my taste. In my opinion, it is a good thing that the salt draws moisture from the roast which elevates the flavor in the same manner as dry aging. I advise to salt to taste using about 1/4 teaspoon per 1.5 lbs. The initial sear on high heat will make for a juicy roast. When I make this at the restaurant, I sear it on the grill before roasting the oven.
In a small bowl, combine salt, coarse pepper, dry mustard (1/4 per 1.5 lbs), 1/4 cup of olive oil or melted butter, small amount of minced, smashed garlic (do not overdo the garlic), a schmear of horseradish and a dash of Thyme leaves and brush mixture over the meat. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
Remove the roast from the refrigerator at least hours before you plan to cook it in order to bring it up to room temperature before cooking it. Heat oven or grill to 500 degrees. I like to sear the outside of the roast on a grill or very large pan before roasting roasting in the oven at 375 degrees. Otherise set the roast, rib-side down (the rib acts as a rack), in a heavy, shallow roasting pan. Roast for 15 minutes at this high heat to form a crust, then reduce heat to 375 degrees. You will cook this about 15 minutes per lb (while basting it every 15 minutes) or until it reaches 120 to 125 degrees at the widest point of the roast with an instant read thermometer. Remove roast to a cutting board rack down and let rest for at least 15 minutes before carving. You will be tempted to leave the roast in the oven longer but don’t do it. The roast keeps cooking long after you remove it and it is easy to end up with an overcooked and potentially dry roast.
Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the roasting pan. Set pan on stove over medium heat. Add on cup of red wine and simmer for about 10 minutes until juices begin to darken and add additional seasoning to taste. Add sauteed mushrooms from the Long Island Mushroom Co. and shallots to the jus and pour into a gravy boat. Serve with brussel sprouts, string beans, asparagus or carrots if going lighter for a romantic meal and add your favorite Yorkshire pudding recipe if serving for a family meal.

Dessert for a meal like this should be kept simple like an assortment of your favorite chocolates and some Port of more red wine.

Currently we are pairing some of our steak dishes at Cuvee with a Merlot from Coffee Pot Cellars. The dark fruit in this Merlot stands up to the flavor of beef without challenging it. The soft tannins and earthiness is a great accompaniment to our steak frites and the Steak du Campagne sandwich with our mushroom and fresh herb “French dip” sauce. And it also tastes great with chocolate!

This meat will exhibit all of its beefy flavor the next day with mustard and rye bread for sandwiches or with eggs and home fries for brunch.

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