Thursday, August 8, 2013

Whole Roasted Striped Bass with Lemon and Mint Chimichurri. An Adventure in Fish Cookery!

Long Island is surrounded by water and the East End, where we live, is particularly blessed.  Not two miles from our house is Peconic Bay, which feeds into the Long Island Sound separating New York from Connecticut.  Four miles in the other direction brings you to the Atlantic Ocean.  In our town, this is pure beach front territory. But travel 30 miles East and you’ll come to Montauk.  Until very recently, this town was all about fish.  Some people earnestly wish it would return to its roots.  In the last couple of years, it’s become a party place for city hipsters.  There are any number of names for these new arrivals, most of them unpleasant as in “Citiots”.   But Montauk will always mean fish to those of us less recently arrived.  So when we were planning a recent dinner party, I couldn’t think of a better thing to serve than a fresh-caught Whole Striped Bass caught from a boat off Montauk in the morning, delivered to our fresh fish emporium within hours, gutted, de-gilled and handed over to us the same afternoon.  Talk about fresh! 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Individual Pavlovas with Mixed Berries and Whipped Cream adapted from Martha Stewart and Ina Garten

Anna Pavlova 
The Pavlova is a luscious concoction of whipped cream and meringue topped with any number of combinations of fruits—passion fruit, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries or kiwis. The kiwi gives some hint to the origin of this over-the-top dessert.  When the ballerina Anna Pavlova toured Australia and New Zealand in 1926, the Pavlova was created in her honor. When you look at a finished Pavlova, you can see the resemblance: the meringue looks like a tutu.  Both Australia and New Zealand lay claim to its invention and the dispute over which country is truly the mother of the Pavlova rages on.  I prefer not to rage over dessert—especially not one this rich and satisfying. When Andrew decided to make these for a recent dinner party, he went to two authorities—Martha Stewart and Ina Garten.  Martha provided the method of creating single serving pavlovas while Andrew followed Ina’s handling of the berries.  One large pavlova is spectacular when presented at the table.  But once sliced, it loses a lot of its looks.  The meringue cracks apart and the whole thing looks like one big mess on a plate.  Making them individually gives you a perfect presentation.