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.
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.
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.