Thursday, September 2, 2010

A visit to LT Burger and a recipe for Creole Crab Burgers

        The summer of the Burger is fast coming to an end.  Out here on the
East end of Long Island, the burger buzz has centered around a new entry onto the local dining scene, LT Burger, on Main Street in Sag Harbor.   The LT in question is Laurent Tourondel whose BLT restaurants in the city are consistently near the top of everyone’s favorite places lists.  There’s BLT Steak, BLT Prime, BLT Fish, BLT Market and, of course, BLT Burger.  As popular as his restaurants are, the Burger place on 6th Avenue never achieved the rarefied status of his other places.   But with his East End partner Michael Cinque, the pair have a real winner at LT Burger.  (The “B” got lost in a local trademark issue.)  They have managed to make it a locavore enterprise.  They’ve got a Long Island-only wine list and there’s a cheeseburger using our esteemed cheesemaker, Arthur Ludlow’s wonderful cheese.  And they offer Farmer’s market favorite Horman’s pickles-- in this case, battered and fried and served with a cajun spicy dipping sauce.  There’s a Turkey burger and a Falafel offered on a wonderful whole grain bun. The one thing they don’t have is a seafood inspired burger.  So to fill in that gap, I want to share a really wonderful crab burger that I found in an old Gourmet (RIP). 
        Now a crab burger is basically a crab cake that’s then made into a sandwich.  With a thin layer of a good tartar sauce and some shredded iceberg lettuce, it’s as good as any burger we’ve eaten all summer.  And I’d suggest you keep these on the menu long into the fall.  They come together very easily. Start to finish, they only take 30 minutes to get on the table.
We get our crab at Costco.  It has an amazingly long refrigerator life so you can stock up weeks in advance of its expiration date.   Here’s the recipe:
Recipe for Creole Crab Burgers

1 pound lump crabmeat, picked over

1/4 cup mayonnaise

3 scallions, thinly sliced

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

3/4 teaspoon dry mustard

1/2 teaspoon cayenne

1 3/4 cups fine dry bread crumbs, divided

3/4 cup vegetable oil

4 kaiser rolls or hamburger buns, split and toasted

Accompaniments: tartar sauce; iceberg lettuce

Stir together crabmeat, mayonnaise, scallions, egg, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, cayenne, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 cup bread crumbs in a bowl until just combined. Form into 4 (1-inch-thick) patties (3 1/2 inches in diameter; patties will be soft but will firm up when fried). Spread remaining cup bread crumbs on a plate, then dredge patties in crumbs, knocking off excess, and transfer to a platter.

Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers, then fry patties, turning over once, until golden, 5 to 6 minutes total. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Assemble burgers with buns and accompaniments.

Cooks' note: Patties can be formed, without bread-crumb coating, 12 hours ahead and chilled, covered. Dredge in bread crumbs just before frying.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Grilled Swordfish with Lemon Aioli and Fennel

        Our friends Beth and Peter are with us from California for a few days and we’re anxious to share some of Long Island’s best with them. This will include the spectacular weather we’re experiencing, our glorious beaches—less crowded now that a lot of our summer population is already off to college—and, of course, the incredible bounty of great things to eat that we’re blessed with at this moment.