HELPING FAMILY FARMS FLOURISH. HELPING FEED THE HUNGRY.
Showing posts with label Hors d'Oeuvres. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hors d'Oeuvres. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Ceviche of Fluke, Shelter Island style


        
Aerial View of Shelter Island 
Shelter Island, for those of you who don’t know, is a 5 minute ferryboat-only ride away from The Hamptons, or more properly Sag Harbor, or more specifically North Haven. On the other end of the island there’s an 8 minute ferry to Greenport on the North Fork.  Despite its close proximity, a ride over to Shelter Island is seen by many of us as a “vacation” from the hubbub of the Hamptons.  Shelter Island was included in the land grant that King James I conveyed to the original Plymouth Colony in 1620.   Since no one made any use of the island or, for that matter had settled anywhere on Long Island, in 1636, King James’ heir, Charles I gave the island to William Alexander, Earl of Stirling. His agent and attorney, a man named James Farret, was then allowed to choose 12,000 acres for his private use.  He chose Shelter Island and the neighboring Robbins Island as his reward. Farret in turn, sold the island for all of 1600 pounds of sugar.  The recipient of this largesse was a man
Sylvester Manor 
named Nathaniel Sylvester who became its first European settler, the island having long been inhabited by native Americans of the Manhanset tribe.  Using African slave labor and indentured English servants, the vast Sylvester Estate raised food crops and livestock for slaughter.   The Sylvesters were part of the Triangle Trade between the American and West Indies colonies, Africa and England.  His descendants kept slaves into the 19th century.  One of his descendants built a fine mansion, Sylvester Manor, in the center of the island.  

It remains there today. Except for the surrounding 24 acres, all the rest of the original holdings have been sold off.  The Sylvesters gave refuge to Quakers, a group much persecuted in the 1700s.  Much to my surprise, in doing some genealogical study, I found that my 10th Great Grandfather and Mother, Lawrence and Cassandra Southwick, were among those Quakers and are buried at Sylvester Manor.       

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Cocktail Party Fare: Shiitake Mushroom Crostini topped with Parmesan Cheese

        

The Cocktail Party is a perennial fixture of summer in the Hamptons. Let’s face it, it’s a great way to get all your social commitments covered in one big bash.  It generally lasts a finite number of hours, usually three at most, and gives you a chance to put people together without worrying yourself sick over whether they’ll get along at a dinner table.
  Of course, with something as ubiquitous as the
Alec Waugh
Cocktail Party, there’s bound to be some question over who first invented it.  Alec Waugh, an English writer and the elder brother of the better-known Evelyn Waugh, is often given the credit for inventing the Cocktail Party.  In the 1920s in London, he served Rum Swizzles to an astonished group of friends who thought they’d been invited for tea. Early evening drinks parties in London took off from there. But the actual credit for the invention of the Cocktail Party must go to a Mrs. Julius S. Walsh Jr of St. Louis, Missouri.  In May of 1917, Mrs. Walsh invited 50 guests to her house on a Sunday at high noon for a drinks party with a one-hour duration.   The event was written up in the St.
The home of Mrs. Julius Walsh Jr.
now owned, ironically, by the
Diocese of St. Louis
Paul MN. Pioneer Press. Since St. Paul is over 500 miles from St. Louis, Mrs. Walsh’s party must have been wildly newsworthy perhaps because Mrs. Walsh's invitees must have come directly from church services to drink at Mrs. Walsh's.  The newspaper reported “The party scored an instant hit” and noted that within weeks, cocktail parties had become “a St. Louis institution”.  And what about the food?

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Andrew's Gougeres and Chocolate Eclairs from Joanne Chang's "Flour"



        
Mark Bittman
Recently Mark Bittman used his Sunday NY Times Food pages to extoll the virtues and utter simplicity of making Pate a Choux. This dough is the basis for both Gougeres, bite sized cheese puffs that melt in your mouth and Chocolate Eclairs, my absolute favorite French pastry growing up.  Now Gougeres could not be all that hard to make because my Mother, challenged as she sometimes was in the kitchen, made them with some frequency.  But perhaps because the Eclairs of my memory involved a trip across town to a Montreal Patisserie, it was inconceivable to me that these could possibly be made at home.   So after Andrew had stuffed us all with Gougeres at Christmas Dinner, I was taken aback when he told me he was making Eclairs for New Year’s Eve Dinner.  Not only were they better than any éclair I have ever eaten, he pronounced them a cinch to make.  Frankly, I never quite believe him when he says something is easy but I’ll take his word for it.  Especially after it was seconded by Mr. Bittman.  These two pastries are so impressive they will dazzle anyone so if you want to sweeten your Super Bowl party or dazzle your Valentine, you've got it made.   As long as you don’t let on how easy they were to make. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Vietnamese Chicken Meatballs


        
          In my family, the only person who could express any food dislikes was my Father.  He had a couple of them.  But as children, any misgivings we had about what to eat were not paid any attention to. You ate what was put in front of you.   That was particularly true if you chose something from a menu and then claimed not to have understood what you were ordering.  You ate it or you went hungry.   Now, when I see a fussy eater or a child whose diet is seemingly limited to a single item, repeated night after night, plate after plate, I really feel sorry for the kid. I don’t know what makes a picky eater but I think a lot of parents are enablers.  They’ll do anything to avoid mealtime meltdowns even if it means some very questionable eating habits and the poor nutrition that results from them.   But of all the questionable kid’s meals that I’ve seen, aside from those really terrible ‘Lunchables’, the chicken nugget frightens me the most.  Is it really chicken?  Where does it come from?  Breaded and fried, dipped into sugar-y sauces of one flavor or another, how good can it be to eat these things on a regular--let alone daily--basis?  But there ways of weaning children off the nuggets and onto something that will open their budding palates to flavors they might actually enjoy.  And since you control what goes into these fantastically tasty morsels, you can then control what’s goes into your child.  Introducing…Vietnamese Meat Balls!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

My new Molcajete and Diana Kennedy’s recipe for Guacamole con Tomate Verde (adapted)

My new Molcajete and my first Guacamole made in it.


Bridgehampton Tomatillos
         Nothing says summer like Guacamole and although we’re thousands of miles from both Mexico and that capital of Guacamole, the state of California, we’re proud of what we’re able to make right here on Long Island.  Of course, the avocados are hardly local. They’re very often not even domestic.  But thanks to a growing and vibrant Mexican community in our midst, “Tomates Verdes”, or tomatillos, are locally grown along with an increasing number of ‘chiles’ like the serranos that are the backbone of a great Guacamole.   But my excitement over making this spicy, rich party dish was multiplied by the arrival of my very own molcajete.  My friend Carlos carried it with him when he arrived from Mexico City this July.  The weight of the thing is astonishing and it’s hardly a carry-on item.  But my new molcajete is the genuine article.  Made it Oaxaca, it arrived seasoned and ready to go.  And I had to marvel at Carlos’ generosity-- never mind his muscle-- at lugging the thing onto a plane.   But it seems that last year I published a recipe for Guacamole that didn’t please Carlos one little bit.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Rustic French Pate




         I discovered this wonderfully different pate almost by accident as you will read in this story.  But in casting about for our 12 days of Christmas recipes, I realized it's just the kind of dish that has Holiday written all over it.  A pate that you can put on a buffet table at a holiday party and watch disappear.  And wonder of wonders, it's not a pate riddled fat. In fact the only fat in it is from the ground pork and veal. Nothing else.  So go ahead and make this delicious dish one day this season.  I think you'll wish me a Merry Christmas when you do. Now here's the background.

Friday, December 16, 2011

A really easy way to brighten up the Holiday Cocktail Hour


         
       Tonight, our friends David, Carrington and Mitch will hold a Holiday Cocktail Party. As much as I am looking forward to seeing each of them, what I am really hoping we'll find is that David has once again made this wonderful hors d'oeuvre.  David has a terrific New Year’s Day Party. And a year ago while ushering in the New Year, David introduced us to a gorgeous dish I’d never seen before. It’s a combination of a very simple egg salad topped with some beautiful Salmon Roe as you can see for yourself….

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Ina Garten's Roasted Shrimp Cocktail with Spicy Cocktail Sauce

Flowers from the fabulous
Bridgehampton Florist..where else?

These shrimp are the center of attention on our Holiday Open House Buffett.

Ina Garten is a goddess around here. She lives in the next town over and has for years and years. Before becoming the TV star and author, she had a local food shop and catering service which endeared her to hundreds of customers. Now, with seven indispensable cookbooks in print, she’s endeared herself to millions. Much to her chagrin, because she likes to be able to walk around town and in and out of shops without causing a riot, there’s a cottage industry that’s sprung up involving Fans who come to the East End on self-guided “Ina tours” many of which wind up in our dear friends Michael and Jimmy’s shop, the Bridgehampton Florist. As frequent guests on Ina’s TV show, Michael and Jim are celebrities to these visitors. Personally, I get it. Ina is a sensational teacher and advocate of simple, wonderful food. And from her cookbook “Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics” comes her recipe for Roasted Shrimp Cocktail. To me, that alone should put her on a pedestal.