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

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The Perfect North Fork wedding-year-round: Village of Greenport, Rain or shine

August 13th, 2017 · No Comments · Agrotourism, Brooklyn, Brunch, City Cooking, Cooking Classes, Cuvee at The Greenporter Hotel, Dinner, DIY, Entertaining, Gardening, Greenport, Greenport Wedding, Holiday, Hostess gift, kosher, New York City, North Fork, North Fork wedding, pareve, Queens, Spring Recipes, Summer, Summer Recipes, Tips, Travel, Travels, wedding, Wine, Winter Recipes

The Store Front of Clarke's Garden in the Village of Greenport

The Store Front of Clarke’s Garden in the Village of Greenport

The North Fork of Long Island offers year round, magical backdrops for dream weddings of all sizes, tastes, and budgets. There are so many decisions to be made from the venue to the food, the flowers and music; to the season and the style. Here, we are providing advice from local experts.

A North Fork Summer Bouquet

A North Fork Summer Bouquet

Selecting the right season for this milestone event will have a great impact on your overall budget and ease of planning, as the shoulder seasons can allow for more flexibility when it comes to availability and pricing. On the North Fork, the mid-season months are March through early June (except for Memorial Day) and late October through November. For the absolute value, brides may also consider a late Fall or Winter wedding when hotels and venues offer their best rates.

This article is the first in a series of interviews with local vendors who will share their advice for creating a memorable occasion for brides and grooms, as well as other celebrants year round. We will be speaking with a floral designer, a photographer, a caterer and a wedding venue manager. These professionals all serve the North Fork from their businesses located in and around Greenport Village. For any of you planning your wedding in Greenport or other towns on the North Fork, feel free to ask questions and share your ideas in the comments section. We want to hear from you.

Our first interview is with Peter Clarke, Floral Designer and Co-owner of Clarke’s Garden and Home.

I remember the first time I saw Peter Clarke setting up his floral arrangements for the wedding of two dear friends. He glided into the room with an elegance that is reminiscent of a Southern gentleman; working quietly and skillfully in the background of clinking glasses and frantic waiters setting up for the event. He had clearly studied the bride’s color scheme and style, as these two women prefer all that is understated. The tablecloths were a light hue of lavender, and with the green/grayish colors of the arrangement of succulents designed by Peter, the feel of natural elegance with a bit of glamour complemented the betrothed.

The succulents of Clarke's Garden

The succulents of Clarke’s Garden

Although originally a Southerner from Virginia, Peter has been living in Greenport for almost 20 years after having spent his career in the corporate floral and luxury product business.  He embodies everything that is his background: Luxurious and diverse in nature, his design aesthetic rooted in the garden, his floral business is constantly evolving, as every bride is a muse, inspiring new color palettes with each season.

The Interview:

Tell us about the vision that brought you to Greenport and to founding Clarke’s Garden and Home?

“ I found Greenport quite by accident on a July 4th weekend in 1997.  There was an immediate connection; A small, relatively sleepy, seaside village that seemed untouched by its proximity to NYC. I bought my 1892 cottage in 1998 and became a year-round resident in 2010, the year that we opened Clarke’s Garden and Home. I was inspired by the history and potential of the area, the North Fork, and the people that I met.  My love of plants and flowers coupled with my partner’s Interior Design experience led us to open our store in Spring of 2010.”

summer floral

What do you love about the fours seasons on the North Fork?

“Spring can be an extended season here, typical New England weather, cool nights and warm days.  The coastal waters protect us from excessive heat and the season is typically quite lush. ” Autumn offers rich colors with floral selections from sunflowers to Crepe Myrtle or Japanese Anemones.

What are your favorite seasonal local flowers to work with for bouquets and table arrangements? 

“I love woodland themes for Spring weddings with the bounty of the Spring garden; Tulips, Peonies and Roses accompanied by lush ferns and small ephemeral Spring flowers.” For winter the bright hues of Amaryllis and Mahonias against the backdrop of any variety of evergreen branches and holly provide festive colors for the season.

A North Fork Spring Floral Bouquet

A North Fork Spring Floral Bouquet

What advice do you have for brides looking to have a stress-free wedding day?

“Keep it simple, elegant and beautiful. Plan everything in advance and delegate all decisions and troubleshooting on the day of the wedding to a trusted Wedding Planner or close friend/relative. If you don’t have a full budget for flowers, work with a florist and order potted plants from him/her they can deliver and group them on tables as an alternative to centerpieces. Here at Clarke’s Garden, we work with North Fork Flower Farm in Orient Point, Pierpont Blossom Farm, Salt Air Farm and Patty’s Berries and Bunches.”

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Vegan (formerly English) Trifle: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Perfect for any Holiday!

July 4th, 2017 · 2 Comments · Agrotourism, Allergies, Christmas, Cooking Classes, Cuvee at The Greenporter Hotel, Dessert, Dietary Restrictions, Dinner, Easter, Entertaining, Events, Fall Recipes, Gardening, Gluten-free, Greenport, Greenport Wedding, Hanukkah, Holiday, Kosher, Kosher non-dairy dessert, Long Island Wine, Low-Calorie, Lunch, Meatless Mondays, New Year's, New York City, North Fork, Nut allergy, pareve, Preserves, Queens, Summer, Summer Recipes, Thanksgiving, The baking corner, the baking corner, Tips, Travel, Travels, Vegan, Vegetarian, Wine, Winter Recipes

Nothing says holiday party like a colorful bowl of berry trifle. A palette of glistening sponge cake floating in a cloud of creamy custard and whipped cream, dotted with the bright hues of berries, will have your guests humming everything from Merry Christmas to the Star Spangled banner!

dairyandglutenfreetrifle2
Not only is this dessert impressive and festive, but it is also versatile. Depending on the season or the holiday, you can use any type of cake in your trifle; from pound or genoise cake to gingerbread, and any type of fruit, from berries to poached pears or apples, along with any custard or cream topping.

As a chef in a discerning culinary community, I am accustomed to working around dietary restrictions from vegan and kosher diets to gluten and dairy allergies, and a dessert should accommodate every guest so I tinkered with the ingredients to accommodate those not eating dairy as well as vegans.

I originally posted this dessert for Christmas but my reader, Kit, (thanks Kit!) suggested it for July 4th or any summer party, so you might want to add some blueberries and a few flags to celebrate this non-dairy/gluten-free version of this dessert borrowed from the motherland. God Bless America!

 

english trifle with pomegranate cosmo_doug young (3)
If you don’t have a large trifle bowl, try serving your trifle in individual pudding cups or martini glasses–very chic!
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Strawberry and tangy feta cheese on Meslun greens with balsamic reduction

June 19th, 2017 · No Comments · Agrotourism, Allergies, Brunch, Cheese, City Cooking, Cooking Classes, Cuvee at The Greenporter Hotel, Dietary Restrictions, Dinner, Entertaining, Events, Gardening, Gluten-free, Greenport, Grilling, Kosher, Long Island Wine, Low-Calorie, Lunch, Meatless Mondays, New York City, North Fork, Nut allergy, nut-free, pareve, Side Dishes, Summer, Summer Recipes, Travel, Travels, Vegan, Vegetarian, Wine

strawberry salad with feta cheeseIf you made it to the Strawberry Festival in Mattituck on the North Fork this weekend (or not), you may have a quart or two of gorgeous strawberries that you will want to eat at their peak this summer. I think about salad a lot during summer heat waves and a treat of  with some tangy feta cheese and a drizzle of balsamic reduction on a bed of local meslun greens or arugula can be the perfect dinner.  Whether you have it on it’s own or as a side dish with your favorite grill items, you will find it refreshing and satisfying.

Tangy Strawberry Feta Salad and balsamic reduction on mixed greens

1 pint Strawberries, sliced
1 cup Crumbled Feta cheese from Catapano Dairy Farm (or dairy-free)
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
Your favorite nuts to sprinkle (or not)

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!

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Pita Pockets, with Lentils, feta and Tahini Sauce

June 12th, 2017 · No Comments · Agrotourism, Allergies, Brooklyn, City Cooking, Cooking Classes, Cuvee at The Greenporter Hotel, Dietary Restrictions, Dinner, Entertaining, Gardening, Gluten-free, Greenport, Kosher, leftovers, Low-Calorie, Lunch, Meatless Mondays, New York City, North Fork, Nut allergy, nut-free, pareve, Queens, salad, Side Dishes, Tips, Travel, Travels, Vegan, Vegetarian, Wine, Winter Recipes

lentils in pita pockets Greek style

For centuries, lentils have been the sustenance of working populations around the world. Like any legume, they are a good source of fiber and protein and also contain high amounts of calcium and vitamins A and B.  They come in a variety of shapes and colors, have the second-highest ratio of protein per calorie of any legume after soybeans; and as a result, are a great substitute for meat.

If a food was ever the pinnacle of sustainability, it would be these tiny spheres, as they are self-pollinating, have a long shelf life (once in their dried form), and are easy to rehydrate and cook.  In today’s Meatless Monday post we are taking lentils back to their Greek origins, as a filling for pita pockets along with locally grown tomatoes, lettuce and  chopped Greek oregano from my garden; topped with feta cheese from Catapano Farms and myriad of Mediterranean condiments. Once you try this recipe, you will agree that lentils are not just the food of the people, but the food of the Gods.

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Celebrating the Strawberry Festival: Fluke Crudo with Cucumber, jalapeno and basil with Strawberry-Citrus Vinaigrette

June 5th, 2017 · No Comments · Agrotourism, Brooklyn, Brunch, Cocktail, Cuvee at The Greenporter Hotel, Dietary Restrictions, Dinner, DIY, Drinks & Cocktails, Entertaining, Events, Gardening, Gluten-free, Greenport Wedding, Holiday, Hostess gift, leftovers, Long Island Wine, Lunch, Meatless Mondays, Nut allergy, nut-free, pescatarian, salad, Seafood, Side Dishes, Snack, Spring Recipes, Summer, Summer Recipes, Tips, Travel, Travels, Wine

fluke-crudo1Strawberries are the first berries of the summer season and with the Mattituck Strawberry Festival around the corner, it is obvious why their presence is cause for celebration.

Over the years we have celebrated the Mattituck Strawberry Festival featuring strawberry recipes from strawberry sangria to a strawberry salad with goat or feta cheese drizzled with balsamic reduction.

For Meatless Monday, we are making a Fluke crudo with jalapenos and cucumbers along with strawberry vinaigrette because other than strawberries, Fluke season is my other favorite part of the late Spring/early Summer on the North Fork.  There is nothing like the firm white meat of a fresh Fluke that you can catch yourself if you are lucky enough to snag a spot on the Orient Star; and take a vacation day or two to fish during the week because most weekends are sold out far in advance.  Try this with your favorite local white or with a strawberry sangria.

 

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Celebrating the Strawberry Festival: Fluke Crudo with Cucumber, jalapeno and basil with Strawberry-Citrus Vinaigrette

June 5th, 2017 · No Comments · Agrotourism, Brooklyn, Brunch, Cocktail, Cooking Classes, Cuvee at The Greenporter Hotel, Dietary Restrictions, Dinner, DIY, Drinks & Cocktails, Entertaining, Events, Gardening, Gluten-free, Greenport Wedding, Holiday, Hostess gift, leftovers, Long Island Wine, Lunch, Meatless Mondays, Nut allergy, nut-free, pescatarian, salad, Seafood, Side Dishes, Snack, Spring Recipes, Summer, Summer Recipes, Tips, Travel, Travels, Wine

fluke-crudo1Strawberries are the first berries of the summer season and with the Mattituck Strawberry Festival around the corner, it is obvious why their presence is cause for celebration.

Over the years we have celebrated the Mattituck Strawberry Festival featuring strawberry recipes from strawberry sangria to a strawberry salad with goat or feta cheese drizzled with balsamic reduction.

For Meatless Monday, we are making a Fluke crudo with jalapenos and cucumbers along with strawberry vinaigrette because other than strawberries, Fluke season is my other favorite part of the late Spring/early Summer on the North Fork.  There is nothing like the firm white meat of a fresh Fluke that you can catch yourself if you are lucky enough to snag a spot on the Orient Star; and take a vacation day or two to fish during the week because most weekends are sold out far in advance.  Try this with your favorite local white or with a strawberry sangria.

 

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Persian-inspired omelet for a luscious spring meal

May 1st, 2017 · No Comments · Agrotourism, Allergies, Breakfast, Brunch, Cheese, City Cooking, Cooking Classes, Cuvee at The Greenporter Hotel, Dietary Restrictions, Dinner, Easter, Entertaining, Events, Fall Recipes, Gardening, Gluten-free, Greenport, Hanukkah, Holiday, Kosher, leftovers, Low-Calorie, Meatless Mondays, New Year's, New York City, North Fork, Nut allergy, nut-free, pareve, Passover, Queens, Rosh Hashanah, salad, Side Dishes, Summer, Summer Recipes, Tips, Travel, Travels, Vegetarian, Wine, Winter Recipes

Spring Herb frittata

Even though my husband is not a fan of Meatless Monday, he is always excited by any meal made with eggs. Tonight I made a frittata inspried by the Persian dish called  Kuku sabzi, an omelet made with fresh spring herbs and spring onions or ramps and any other green ingredient and is often served for the Persian New Year. I learned this recipe from an old classmate who was from Iran and I have made it ever since. It will remind you of Spanish omelet or “tortilla”; consisting of mostly filling because in this dish, the egg is not the star ingredient like in a French omelet, but rather used only as a binder.

Do not fret to find the exact ingredients since you can really use any green vegetable and green herb available. Just be careful to not use too much of stronger herbs like rosemary or sage as they will overpower the other ingredients. During our North Fork spring you can use ramps or spring onions or leeks, asparagus, spinach, cilantro and parsley and any other herb you enjoy.

Ingredients

8 SERVINGS

  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup of rough-chopped ramps including green leaves
  • 1 medium leek, white and pale-green parts only, finely chopped
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 cup of chopped, blanched asparagus or fresh peas
  • 1 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup finely chopped basil
  • 1 cup finely chopped parsley

Preparation

Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a 10″ skillet over medium. Cook ramps and leek, stirring occasionally, until very soft but not brown, 10–12 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool. Wipe out skillet; set aside.

Whisk eggs, salt, baking powder, pepper, and turmeric in a large bowl. Add the vegetables and herbs to the onion mixture. (Egg mixture should look thick and very green.)

Heat broiler. Heat remaining 3 Tbsp. oil in reserved skillet over medium. Pour in egg mixture; spread evenly across pan with spatula. Cover and cook frittata until bottom is just set, 8–10 minutes. Uncover and broil, watching carefully, until top is set, about 1 minute. Let cool slightly, then slide out onto a platter and garnish with fresh herbs. Serve with rice or flat bread and sliced tomatoes

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Celebrate Earth Day everyday for a healthier, wealthier you!

April 22nd, 2017 · No Comments · Agrotourism, Allergies, Breakfast, Brooklyn, Brunch, canning, Cheese, City Cooking, Cooking Classes, Cuvee at The Greenporter Hotel, Dessert, Dietary Restrictions, Dinner, DIY, Entertaining, Events, Fall Recipes, Gardening, Gluten-free, Greenport, Grilling, Italian, Kosher, leftovers, Long Island Wine, Low-Calorie, Lunch, Meatless Mondays, New York City, North Fork, Nut allergy, nut-free, pareve, Pasta, Preserves, Queens, salad, Side Dishes, Snack, Soups & Bisques, Spring Recipes, Summer, Summer Recipes, the baking corner, Tips, Travel, Travels, Vegan, Vegetarian, Wine, Winter Recipes

 Celebrate Earth Day at home by stamping out food wasteSustainability is a big word being thrown around these days, but if we want to think about what it means for us on a personal level, we should start at home. Earth day is the practice of caring for and reaping the benefits of nature for our health and pleasure while making it possible for the next generation to do the same.

Celebrating Earth day makes me think about all the discussions around future food shortages and current food waste. Earth Day is the perfect day to make a personal contribution to solving the problem by starting in our own fridges and pantries.

Apples past their prime? Core and dice them into a morning serving of oatmeal. Strawberries looking a bit bruised? Add a few tablespoons of local honey or maple syrup and cook into a jam to spread on toast. Just add a little lemon rind and a pinch of salt to preserve naturally for up to 10 days.

Find some carrots and celery from last week’s shopping trip? Peel and chop them and add to the leftover rotisserie chicken, add a few cups of seasoned fork garden stock (also made from discarded peels and parsley stems) and transform into a hearty chicken soup with the addition of brown rice or whole wheat noodles.  Also, add those fresh or dried herbs that might not make it much longer if not used today. Leftover rice and beans? Add some protein and roll into a tortilla for a homemade burrito and top with homemade salsa made from tomatoes and peppers that have reached their peek!

Stale bread should never be thrown away as it is perfect for homemade bread crumbs, stuffing from scratch, French toast or just use to feed the birds-but never, never in the trash. Can’t eat it all? Bring a tray to the neighbor, save some for lunch tomorrow, freeze for the following week but never throw it away.

On Earth Day we honor Mother Nature and the abundance she bestows upon us and if we follow some of these basic principles, not only will we cut down on food waste, but we will be less likely to order expensive, fattening take-out for lack of a game plan for dinner in a pinch. Following these tips can help all of us provide better nutrition for ourselves and our families, and help us keep more of our hard-earned money for a rainy day!

Food sustainability Tips

1. Keep a chalk or white board near the fridge and write down what is in fridge or pantry that needs to be used this week.

2. Make a meal list from the items on the board for the coming week. This way you only buy exactly the amount of food you need to make those meals.

3. Never buy fresh veggies in bulk unless you are feeding a very large family. Buy what is in season and if you buy a veg or fruit on sale, use immediately.

4. Store things for best shelf life: like they are stored in the market. Don’t store onions, squashes, garlic, potatoes, tomatoes, or avocados in the fridge. Keep in a cool, dry, dark place and plan around those items (after listing on your board). Remember that out of sight, out of mind.

 

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Meatless Monday: Cream of Celery soup with Spring Scallion Greens

April 17th, 2017 · No Comments · Agrotourism, Allergies, Brooklyn, City Cooking, Cooking Classes, Cuvee at The Greenporter Hotel, Dietary Restrictions, Dinner, Easter, Entertaining, Events, Gardening, Gluten-free, Greenport, Hanukkah, Holiday, Kosher, leftovers, Long Island Wine, Low-Calorie, Lunch, Meatless Mondays, New York City, North Fork, Nut allergy, nut-free, pareve, salad, Side Dishes, Snack, Soups & Bisques, Spring Recipes, Summer, Summer Recipes, Tips, Travel, Travels, Trimmer Tuesday, Trimmer Tuesdays, Vegan, Vegetarian

celery soup

Spring is a time for new beginnings and today I begin all over again! During this season of indulging across holidays and cultures, I am thinking about lighter meals.

Out here on the North Fork, buds are breaking on the vines and my garden is showing signs of life with chives and oregano peeking through the soil along with cilantro and celery. With a desire to eat lighter and shelves at the local farm stands looking a little more colorful, what better color for the table than a bright green soup of celery, spring onions and a bit of spinach?  This creamy, savory, soup is the perfect transition from winter to spring. It’s fresh and vibrant, but still warms the soul, as that chill still lingers in the evening.

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Meatless Monday: Vegan Black Bean and Vegetable Burgers

April 3rd, 2017 · No Comments · Agrotourism, Allergies, Brooklyn, City Cooking, Cooking Classes, Cuvee at The Greenporter Hotel, Dietary Restrictions, Dinner, DIY, Entertaining, Events, Fall Recipes, Gardening, Gluten-free, Greenport, Grilling, Kosher, leftovers, Low-Calorie, Lunch, Meatless Mondays, New York City, North Fork, Nut allergy, nut-free, pareve, Queens, salad, Side Dishes, Spring Recipes, Summer, Summer Recipes, Tips, Travel, Travels, Trimmer Tuesday, Trimmer Tuesdays, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winter Recipes

vegan burger

Vegan burger with beans and vegetable pulp: Photo by Andrea Kavajian

A few years ago I started juicing vegetables for my husband and got hooked myself! One of the things that bothered me about juicing was the pulp left in the juicer; which seemed like such a waste. The fiber and residual nutritional value seemed too valuable to use as compost so I started cooking and baking with it.

Two weeks ago, I made gnocchi from the pulp of veggies that turned out to be heavenly little pillows of nutrition and fiber. This week, I mixed black beans, fresh onion and herbs in the food processor along with oats. I sauteed the veggie pulp a bit with EVOO to release the flavors and added salt and pepper. Then, I mixed the veggie pulp into the black bean mixture and formed them into patties. I coated mine with polenta but some ground oats would have worked just as well. Once these were pan-seared and on a bun, these hearty vegan burgers, full of protein and nutrients, were devoured by my pickiest of meat and potato eaters.

Serve with some North Fork chips or organic tortilla chips and a side salad and everyone will be happy.

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