HELPING FAMILY FARMS FLOURISH. HELPING FEED THE HUNGRY.
Showing posts with label Seafood. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Seafood. Show all posts

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Lazy Man's Bouillabaisse with Lulu Peyraud's Quick Rouille


Since we live in one of the great ocean fishing areas of the country, the temptation to eat the freshest seafood imaginable is an almost daily event.   The fishing boats go out early from Montauk and their catch is in our fish markets later that morning.   The waters abound in striped and black seabass, flounder, jumbo porgies, fluke, cod, monkfish, swordfish and bluefish.  This past weekend, local monkfish, the white dense fish with a taste vaguely similar to lobster, was to be had for $9.99 lb.  I call that price irresistible.  And it immediately brought to mind a great Bouillabaise I once enjoyed in Provence, north of Marseilles.   Bouillabaisse can be incredibly complicated to make: First of all, you need a great stock as a base for your creation.  No self-respecting cook would dare serve the dish without a “Rouille”, that overwhelmingly garlic-y saffron tinged sauce. essential to the dish.  And then there’s the fish itself.  Any self-respecting Provencale cook could find the requisite fish—rascasse, rouget, congre and lotte. The only one readily available is the lotte which is monkfish in French.  Still I was determined to use the underpinnings of the dish to make a Bouillabaisse. But I wanted one that would not restrict me to the kitchen for the bulk of the day. To the rescue came none other than The French Chef herself: Julia Child.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Budget-Friendly Crabmeat and Two Ways to Serve it.

  

         Not too long ago, my friend Susan wrote and asked me to send her the link to a very nasty article in Bloomberg News about farmed Asian Seafood.  I won’t go into the appetite suppressing details but the news was not good.  It involved shrimp from Vietnam, which is now a major supplier of the shellfish to the US.  Bad enough that our own shrimp has been dodging the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico, but this story gave both Susan and I pause. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Herb-Crusted Cod with Lemon-Dill Beurre Blanc Sauce

       
What’s wonderful about this dish is that its name alone sounds as if you’ve gone to an inordinate amount of trouble making it.  In reality, it’s one of the easiest things on earth to get on the table.  This recipe is as close as I could come to a dish that’s an all-time favorite at Sag Harbor’s “Dockside” restaurant.  Now “Dockside” at 26 Bay Street (Tel: 631-725-7100) is an anomaly. It’s situated in one half of the American Legion Hall. Dockside’s bar is decorated with the crests of the service branches the Legion represents.  Believe it or not, there’s a dearth of places in the Hamptons with water views.  While Dockside is not port side, it is right across the road from the yachts and sailboats moored and docked at the Sag Harbor Yacht Club.  It has an outdoor
terrace that’s a wonderful place for lunch on a sunny day. And for small town Americana, what could beat the Sag Harbor Community Band’s Tuesday night concerts?  These are held directly in front of the Legion every Tuesday in July and August. If you’ve lucky enough to snag a table at Dockside, which does not take reservations, you’ll be serenaded with rousing music in the style of John Phillip Sousa. “Dockside” is a second generation restaurant owned by Stacy Sheehan’s father before Stacy took over and transformed the place from a hamburger joint into a really great place to eat wonderful local food.  Among the offerings is a version of Herb-Crusted Cod with Lemon Beurre Blanc.  Now that Dockside has closed down for the season and won’t reopen until February 13 th, I couldn’t wait to make this at home.  But first, of course, I had to check on the cod.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Ina Garten's Lobster Pot Pie and, just for laughs, one woman's take on it.

        

         This is one of Ina Garten’s most beloved recipes.  It dates all the way back to 1999 when it appeared in Ina’s first cookbook “The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook” (Clarkson Potter 1999).  Since I can’t think of  a better time for luxury foods like lobster than the holidays, I planned a dinner around it.  But whether lobster still counts as a luxury, I am not altogether sure.  The Maine Lobstermen certainly don’t think so as it brings in only $1.60 or less a pound!  (Somehow, by the time it arrives at our fishmonger in New York, it’s $9.99 a lb.  Still a bargain for sure, with divers scallops at 24.99 a lb and Lump Crabmeat at 19.99 a lb.). I decided to turn a Saturday night supper into Lobster Pot Pie and a salad.  But first, I wanted to share what I hope will give you a good laugh. 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Diver Scallops with Monte's Ham Original Glaze and a Special Holiday Offer to You.



        
As you know, I own a ham company that makes an all-natural ham that I am extremely proud of.  And along with the ham comes the glaze that I created years ago when I baked my first ham.  Monte’s Ham Original Glaze is a luscious mixture of real Dijon Mustard, Organic Brown Sugar and Seville Orange Marmalade along with a top-secret spice blend.  For all of those who, no matter what the reason, cannot, will not or do not eat Ham, I’d highly recommend the glaze. And if you stick with me, there’s a special offer at the end of this post that I hope will tempt you to try it.  The glaze is terrific on carrots, great on salmon or ribs and a must-have with my ham.  It also turned out to be a terrific pairing with some large Diver Scallops I saw in the market. And it took so little time to prepare, it qualifies as an ideal under 30 minute weeknight meal. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Fish in Crazy Water and a tribute to the woman who introduced me to it and countless other Italian recipes, Marcella Hazan



Marcella and Victor Hazan, as loving and giving
a couple as one could ever hope to know.
If I’d never been introduced to Marcella Hazan, my cooking would have been so much poorer for it.  Marcella died last week at her home in Naples, Florida where she and her inspirational muse and husband of 58 years, Victor Hazan, had retired some years ago.  It was a loss that countless numbers of us felt deeply.  Her readers, her dear husband and her devoted son, Giuliano, were all stunned because up until the very last she was sharing her infinite wisdom with us via Facebook, of all places.  I know this only too well as I had not only ‘friended’ her but been the recipient of her advice on several occasions.  I’d written about the Italian disdain for cheese coming anywhere near seafood.  She shot right back that she’d changed her mind about that particular taboo.  She also wrote me when I had a question about a strawberry dessert.  She was endlessly generous with her time and I can’t tell you how the food writer in me was overwhelmed that I would hear from this extraordinary authority who surely had better things to do.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Lobster Cobb Salad with Buttermilk Basil Dressing


         
       

My first Cobb Salad was the first of many I ate on the terrace of the Polo Lounge in the Beverly Hills Hotel.  It was irresistible with its mosaic of ingredients that arrived at the table beautifully arranged on the plate.  The tomatoes glistened, there was crisp bacon, diced chicken breast, hard cooked eggs, beautiful Roquefort blue cheese and of course, this being California, a diced avocado.  The lettuce – a mix of iceberg, watercress, endive and romaine – was finely chopped—something I’d never seen before.  The waiter would toss all these ingredients together and dress the salad with a French dressing.  It was so perfectly Californian and almost as sunny.   Devotees of the salad can thank the Hotel for keeping the recipe alive because its birthplace, a Hollywood shrine if there ever was one, closed years ago.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Two Salads adapted from Ina Garten: Roasted Shrimp and Orzo and Beets with Orange Vinaigrette





         Recipes that other cooks invent should be treated with great respect.  I’ve mentioned before that few things put me off more than someone commenting on a dish—very often negatively—that they have ‘doctored’ beyond recognition.   Still, if you do delve into the comments, you can certainly learn something and sometimes there’s a certain universality of opinion that is worth paying attention to.  In the case of today’s offerings, I didn’t make a single change to Ina Garten’s Beets with Orange Vinaigrette.  It’s a winner just as it is.  But when I got to Roasted Shrimp with Orzo, two things made me alter the original and, if I may be so bold, they were spectacular changes.

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! 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Ina Garten's Italian Seafood Salad


        
Ina's Italian Seafood Salad minus the Mussel shells....
and with them served on a bed of lettuce
It’s houseguest season and that means food. Lots of it.  By my count, between Friday and Sunday, there are total of 6 meals to offer: 2 dinners, 2 breakfasts and 2 lunches.  If that all seems overwhelming, don’t kill me for saying it doesn’t have to be.   The more you get done before the guests arrive, the easier your weekend will be.  This dish could not be a better example.  You make the whole thing in all of an hour in the morning, stick it in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours and you’ve got a superb dinner or lunch whenever you want it.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Branzino with Arugula Sauce from Chef Sandro Romano of Armani Ristorante in New York



        
Armani Ristorante hasn’t exactly barged its way into the New York culinary scene.  Some wags have even suggested that Giorgio Armani opened the place solely to be able to enjoy pasta his way. He’d made no effort to conceal his displeasure with the heavily sauced pastas he’d been served in New York.  The restaurant, on the third floor of the flagship Armani store at 717 Fifth Ave. (Tel: 212 207 1902), has a lunch following that drops off the minute the store closes.  It’s then that you use the entrance right around the corner on 56th  Street. But things may well be on the upswing with the arrival of Sandro Romano.
Chef Romano in his kitchen
Chef Romano was at The Modern, the wildly successful Danny Meyer restaurant at the Museum of Modern Art for 8 years.  To salute his arrival, Florence Fabricant of the New York Times approached the chef for a recipe to complement an article on Greek wines.  The Chef came up with a recipe for Branzino with a semi-warm arugula sauce that the roasted fish sits on.  It has the bitterness of arugula combined with enough citrus to give the sauce some acidity which is very complimentary to the floral quality of Greek wines.  And it’s a breeze to make, taking all of 40 minutes from start to finish.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Stir-Fried Chili Scallops with Baby Bok Choy Adapted from Fine Cooking



When I wrote about our culinary adventures in St. Barthelemy, FWI in March, one of our readers, “Mike”, got into a spirited discussion about how the scallops I’d waxed poetic over, were not local.  In fact, he was pretty irate about seafood in general and posted as a comment:  “Why the lack of eating local seafood?  Scallops multiple times mentioned (frozen and cryovaced from America)...so really as a foodie...how good can it be?" Now “Mike” is a Massachusetts native and his knowledge of seafood is impressive.  In a subsequent comment, he explained: “ Scallops do not freeze well…they shrivel and such...and because of that the frozen ones are not "dry" scallops, they are the ones that have that phosphate solution added to them to plump them up and make them hold water and look better after they defrost.” All that being said, I still loved my St. Barth’s scallops.  And when we got home and I came across a recipe for a Stir Fry with scallops, I couldn't wait to get my hands on some fresh scallops.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Vietnamese Shrimp Sliders adapted from Melissa Clark in The New York Times


         

I don't know when sliders took over the world but they're everywhere. And while they may have started out as mini-hamburgers, now you can find them on all kinds of menus, stuffed with everything from Turkey to Texas barbecue.  Let's face it, their size is ideal.  In one or two bites, you get the full-on slider experience.  They're just the right size for children, for whom a full-sized burger is a challenge.  In today's post, they're made with crispy fried shrimp dipped into a salty lime sauce and then tucked into tiny brioche buns that have been slathered with an Asian inflected mayonaise. They're a gift from the inventive Melissa Clark whose Wednesday food column in the New York Times is eagerly awaited in our house. This time, Melissa has gone East for her flavors.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Crystal Shrimp with Ginger, Sweet Peas and Scallions



         No matter how gray a day it’s been, coming home to a dinner of beautifully pink and gold shrimp paired with sweet peas, fresh scallions and ginger medallions is a visual treat.  The simple salting and rinsing of the raw shrimp gives them a firm texture.  This recipe, which first appeared in Bon Appetit five years ago, gives credit for the name of the dish to the crystal-like texture of the shrimp. I would also have to say that there is a crystal look to the shrimp as well.  There’s not a lot of prep time involved in this recipe however it does require a 1 to 3 hour rest period for the shrimp once they’ve been battered with cornstarch and egg white.  While that was going on, I took a look at the history of the Shrimp and another look at where mine come from, that marvel of food shopping, Costco.

Marco Polo 
         In a kind of believe it or not, the shrimp’s name is derived from a Middle English word ‘shrimpe’ which meant ‘pygmy’.  This of course could lead to an entire discussion on the dichotomy of the words “Jumbo Shrimp” and doesn’t really give a satisfying answer to why someone would pick up a shrimp and think “Pygmy!”   Putting that aside, shrimp has been around for a very long time.  The Chinese were eating shrimp in the 7th century.  And when Marco Polo arrived in China in 1280, he commented on their abundance in food markets.  This country, however, has long held the record for shrimp eating.  In the 17th  century, Louisiana’s bayou residents were hauling in shrimp in giant seines that were up to 600 feet in circumference!  And there were no mechanical devices involved at all – just human labor.  It wasn’t until 1917 that mechanized shrimping arrived.  And with it came some unfortunate side effects.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Crab Cakes with Buttermilk- Basil Dressing and Marinated Tomatoes and Corn adapted from Tyler Florence

  
         Crab Cakes are one of those dishes that are just about perfect just about anytime of year.  They’re a snap to make and you can have them cooked and kept warming in the warming drawer until you’re ready to serve your guests.   This wonderful recipe uses a lot of crab and not a lot of bread  which is key to a great crab cake.   This particular take caught our eye because it seemed like just the right thing to serve for one of our  lunches around the pool.   Its pedigree is very reassuring.  There’s not much that Tyler Florence doesn’t do perfectly and this is but one example. It’s from his late, lamented column in House Beautiful, “Tyler’s Kitchen”.  Tyler combines three summer favorites that are at their peak right now.  There’s fresh basil in the dressing.  And there are 3 varieties of tomatoes and sweet corn.   The corn is gorgeous cooked a way I’d never tried before and it was a revelation all by itself.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Cinco de Mayo Enchiladas con Camarón y Carne de cangrejo… (To us Gringos, that’s Shrimp and Crabmeat Enchiladas)


         Cinco de Mayo is upon us.  It’s a once-a-year opportunity to salute Mexico with a purely American excuse to consume copious pitchers of Margaritas, mountains of tortilla chips and oceans of salsa.  Last year, I posted a recipe for Enchiladas Suizas, a wonderful gooey, cheese-y dish full of chicken in a cream sauce and then topped still more cheese and salsa verde.  It went on to become the single most popular post in the history of Chewing the Fat.  Today it stands at a whopping 2565 hits!  If you want a look at what so many people have been looking at, here’s the link: http://www.chewingthefat.us.com/2011/05/enchiladas-suizas-with-mexican-cole.html

Monday, April 16, 2012

Crispy Flounder with Pears, Endive and Meyer Lemon



         My friend, Eric Lemonides, owns Almond Restaurant in Brideghampton and a second Almond on 22nd Street in the City.  Last Monday, when I went to his Bridgehampton address for dinner, he told me that one of the great off-season successes he's had is his  "Meatless Mondays" menu.  His chef, Jason Weiner, and Jason's gifted sous chef have devised all kinds of meatless menus.  So today, in their honor, I send you a meal so that you too can celebrate Meatless Mondays.
But even if it's not Monday, if you are looking for a quick fish dinner, look no further than this recipe, from the appropriately named “Make it Tonight--Just 30 minutes to dinner, start to finish” in Fine Cooking magazine.  It combines pears and endive along with either sole, if you’re feeling posh, or flounder if you aren’t.  Either fish will do but the ingredients you really must have are the Meyer Lemons. You'll end up with a plate of sunshine in the middle of a early Spring night.  

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Buttery Crab Bread Pudding from The River Cottage Fish Book



A far nicer photograph from Food and Wine
@Kate Mathis
         When I came across this recipe in February’s Food and Wine, I tried to resist it.  With its glorious crabmeat peeking out from layers and layers of French bread and creamy egg-y custard, I though it would be far too rich, far too full of carbohydrates and just far too all the way around.  But then when I pointed it out to Andrew, he too had glommed onto the irresistibility of the dish.  So I made it.  And I am so glad I did!  It is not heavy at all. Its richness comes from the crab and not the custard.  Lemon juice lightens the whole dish and I confess to cutting back on the butter and using a delicious whole wheat baguette to cushion the carb count.  It was simply delicious served with a green  salad.  There were leftovers, which I brought to a friend and disappointed Andrew who was looking forward to another delicious go at it.  And where did this delicious concoction come from?

Monday, January 30, 2012

White Bean and Roasted Shrimp Salad with Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette



         If ever a cookbook cover said it all, it’s this: Brilliant Simple Food to Make Anytime.  That’s what Tyler Florence’s “Tyler’s Ultimate” (Clarkson Potter 2006) says and it couldn’t be more true.  Take for instance this deliciously satisfying dinner salad.  It would be appropriate to serve in the dead of summer but it was a wonderful treat in January.  It could be the centerpiece of a ladies lunch but we used it as dinner for the two of us men.  And as far as ‘simple’ goes, it calls for just two baking sheets and is on the table in a half hour.  Now that’s brilliant.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Nantucket Bay Scallops in Tabasco Butter with Parmesan Cheese and Croutons


  
The American Hotel.
A must stop in Sag Harbor whether for
Bay Scallops or not
         I can’t tell you how proud I am of this recipe.  It is really one time when I can genuinely claim authorship of a dish. I’d tried a recipe for something similar several weeks ago.  It was a way of using the absolutely delectable tiny scallops that are native to the waters around the Hamptons on Long Island and even more renowned when they hail from Nantucket.  These wonderfully sweet morsels are in season and we look forward to every delicious bite.   But what a disappointed the recipe was!  The topping was made with those breadcrumbs that likely live in most pantries for years.   The scallops were drowning in them and bland as all get out. Disappointing is an understatement.  Especially after having had the most tender, deliciously flavored Peconic Bay Scallops at a holiday dinner at Sag Harbor’s wonderful American Hotel.  I vowed to make them again and started working on ways to create this dish.