Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Pollo Tonnato, a Hamptons Italian Dish straight from Ireland.


There’s a very famous Take-Out store in the Hamptons called “Loaves and Fishes” that turns out superb food for the rich.  I say this because, first, the place is in a village out here with the highest median house price in the entire country: Sagaponack NY comes in at a staggering $8,500,000.   And second, I once saw a woman there pay $108.00 for 8 servings of Pollo Tonnato.  Lord knows what she would have paid for the far more expensive Vitello Tonnato, the Piedmontese dish of cold, sliced veal in a creamy, mayonnaise-y sauce flavored with tuna.  As odd as the combination may be, it’s a wonderful combination of flavors which brings a salty tang to the otherwise bland taste of the veal.   Invented in the late 19th century, Tonnato sauce was created at a time when Piedmonte was closely aligned to Liguria. The tuna was fished for in Liguria, the lemons and capers were grown there too.   Pollo Tonnato is its very worthy and far less expensive cousin. It uses boneless chicken breasts covered with the Tonnato sauce, a rich and flavorful concoction of capers, lemon, anchovies and tuna, preferably the Italian variety in glass jars. The Italian tuna will not only up the price of the dish a bit, it will improve its flavor immeasurably.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Joanne Chang's Balsamic Strawberry Shortcakes from Boston's Flour Bakery

It’s strawberry season in the Hamptons and they’re truly flawless this year.  Nothing could be more welcome after our rainy, cold spring than these beautiful, bountiful berries.   And nothing says June like their arrival.  But time isn’t on our side.  The season is fleeting and the chance to put fresh local strawberries on the table is right now.  Out here, there are any number of road side strawberry fields where you can pick your own, a fun way to spend an afternoon with the children in your life.  We opted to go the lazy man’s route and bought our strawberries at our local farm stand down the road. We brought the brilliant red berries home and out came Joanne Chang’s “Flour” Cookbook, one of Andrew’s go-to sources for truly unbeatable baking recipes.  Use the search function on the left side of this page and you’ll come up with no less than 6 recipes from Ms. Chang, every single one of them a winner in our kitchen and with our friends.  This is no exception.