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

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Roasted Shrimp Salad with Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes and Avocado


        Last Sunday, we gave a pool party for our god-daughter.  It’s an annual event to celebrate her birthday for the four of us who are called “The Uncles”.  Andrew and I and Terry and Shawn have watched Olivia grow up and we’ve been there for every birthday.  It’s the perfect time to break out the Rosé and the pool toys—this year a gigantic swan Olivia named “Gloria Swanson”.  It’s also the perfect occasion for this salad.   I was drawn to a recipe from Ann Burrell, the Food Network’s wild-haired woman who, it turns out, is a summer visitor to the Hamptons.  In her original recipe which appeared in Hamptons magazine, Ann used our perfectly ripe heirloom tomatoes as the basis for a shrimp salad.  I took off from there.  First, I have to thank Ina Garten, who, as almost everybody knows, lives in the next town over full time.  From Ina, I learned that roasting shrimp is the best way to capture all their flavor.  Far superior to boiling shrimp, roasting them seems to bake all the flavor into the shrimp.  The tomatoes were a no-brainer. 

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.

Wednesday, July 30, 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, who also owned property in Barbados,  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 them built a fine mansion, Sylvester Manor in 1730, in the center of the island.  It remains there today, now apart of the Sylvester Manor Educational Farm, a group founded in 2011 to "share, preserve and cultivate the land and the history for and with the community' according to its Director, Maura Doyle who took the time to email me after this post first appear. Until this year, the estate had been whittled down to 243 acres. Just last month, the heir to the property gifted an additional 225 acres to the foundation. For a complete list of the Farm's offerings, go to www.sylvestermanor.org.

 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.       

Monday, August 19, 2013

Thomas Keller's Ratatouille

         Thomas Keller, arguably the most influential chef in the country, recently wrote about Ratatouille in the Los Angeles Times.  He wasn’t talking about the 2008 movie of the same name, a fanciful food fable that won the Oscar that year for best Animated Feature.  He was referring to that summer classic that incorporates so many fresh vegetables your kitchen looks like you’ve robbed a farm stand.  What Chef Keller pointed out was how adaptable the dish is.  It starts out as a vegetable stew that’s an incomparable side dish or a vegetarian meal all by itself.
It is quite labor intensive so there’s no point in making a tiny batch of the stuff. Instead Chef Keller encourages making a recipe that yields 16 1 cup portions.  This, he points out, gives you the basis for any number of pasta sauces, a perfect soup base-- even a sandwich spread.  The one thing the dish requires, besides a cornucopia of fresh produce, is time.  The start to finish on the dish is 4 hours.  I’d say that actually errs on the short side. But a lot of that time is spent while the ratatouille sits in the oven reducing the liquid away until you’re left with beautifully tender vegetables in a thick, silken sauce.  So you can sit back and stir occasionally.  All that time is a perfect opportunity to re-view “Ratatouille”, the movie.  If you’re uninitiated to its charms, it’s the story of an ambitious young chef and, yes, a Rat who cook away in a Parisian restaurant.  And what foodie doesn’t want to revisit Paris?

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.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

A summer starter and a side: My Chilled Cucumber Soup and Marinated Summer Vegetables adapted from Bon Appetit



         A bowl of chilled soup can really start a summer meal off right.
Make enough of it, and anytime you want, there’s a bowl of cool comfort waiting in the fridge.   As to today’s side, it’s a terrific way to have vegetables on hand and at the ready.  You do a simple roast of the farm stand’s best, then while warm douse them with a marinade with just enough garlic and fresh oregano to give them some lift.  I wish I could say the Cucumber soup was farm stand material. The recipe calls for something from fairly far away. All the way from a greenhouse in California.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Blackberry and Lime Italian Meringue Pie from Bon Appetit



Yoart Grec avec Mures
         Two winters ago, Andrew and I fell in love with a Blackberry Yogurt we bought in St. Barth.  The yogurt or, more correctly Yaourt Grec avecs Mures, even made it onto our “15 Things You Must Eat in St. Barth” post and our friends Mary and John made a beeline for it when they went down to the island right after we did.  Now, I had pegged the calorie count at 80, which had it been correct, would have been the best tasting 80 calories I ever consumed.  Most unfortunately, Mary read the label correctly and the calorie count zoomed up to 280.
Still not bad but 200 calories I hadn’t counted on.  And I hadn’t counted on how much we loved the blackberries in the rich, creamy thick yogurt.  It’s blackberry season so when Andrew dug through his recipe files, he was delighted to discover a Bon Appetit with a glorious Cover Girl.  More properly, Blackberries sitting atop a lemon curd filling and topped with Italian Meringue.  Calories be damned, he decided to make this glorious confection.  Even if it took all day.

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, July 8, 2013

Farmers' Market Salad with Buttermilk-Chive Dressing from "flour, too" by Joanne Chang


Our Farmers' Markets are brimming with more and more produce every week.  The carrots and beans, tomatoes and radishes are in and the Red Bliss potatoes are still baby-sized and beautiful.  So you can imagine my delight at opening Joanne Chang’s latest cookbook, “flour,too” (Chronicle Books 2013) and discovering the perfect recipe to put them all together.  Joanne Chang’s recipes are a regular feature on Chewing the Fat.  Pastry Chef Chang’s takes on classic American desserts from homemade Oreos http://www.chewingthefat.us.com/2012/03/joanne-changs-recipe-for-homemade-oreo.html to the most recent post featuring Strawberry shortcakes http://www.chewingthefat.us.com/2013/06/joanne-changs-balsamic-strawberry.html are extremely popular, not just with Andrew but with all our readers.  Now, in “flour, too” her recipe files have been expanded to include savories from her Flour Bakeries and Cafes in Boston.  This is huge boon to savory cooks like me.  But fear not.  Chef Chang's new cookbook includes enough sweetness to satisfy both the baker and the cook in our house. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The perfect sandwich for summer: Patricia Wells' Pan Bagnat


        
“When my husband and I acquired our farmhouse in Provence…, our visits were generally limited to weekend getaways from Paris. For the train ride back to the city, a snack was essential, and pan bagnat, or "bathed bread," the Provençal sandwich found at every bakery and market in the region, became our standby. It's inexpensive, travels well, and includes many of our favorite Provençal ingredients: tomatoes, local bell peppers, black niçoise olives, anchovies and tuna, salt, and pepper—a salade niçoise, effectively, between slices of crusty bread. I'd prepare the sandwiches on Saturday, scooping out some of the crumb of the bread, then letting the pan bagnat marinate, tightly wrapped and weighted down in the refrigerator, until departure time the next day, which always made for moist and satisfying sandwiches.” You have no idea how I wish I didn’t have to add the quotation marks around these words from Patricia Wells,  in her most recent book —“Salad as a Meal” (William Morrow, 2011).  Because if there was ever anywhere on earth I’d love to live it would be in France.  And memories of a long ago visit to Provence come sweeping back at the mere mention of Pan Bagnat.

Monday, June 24, 2013

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.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Anna Pump's Grilled Fresh Tuna Steaks with Lemon Sauce


        The Hamptons are rich in culinary talent. And Anna Pump is at the top of that list.  Her influence on local cooking and eating reaches back to her arrival here in the late 1970s.  Born in the town of Tarp, Germany, Anna and her late husband, Detlef, came to the United States with their two children in the 1960s. The family first settled in New Jersey where Detlef had a brother.  Offered a house in Southampton for two weeks one summer, the two fell instantly in love with the area, which reminded them of Tarp.  Even the potato fields felt familiar.  Tucked up next to the Danish border, the town has the Baltic on one side, the North Sea on the other.  The couples’ two children, son Harm and daughter Sybille were off to college so their parents went home to New Jersey and came right back out looking for a house.  The one they found and lovingly saved from ruin is the same house Anna lives in to this day. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend! Time to bring out the Orange and Soy-Glazed Ribs and Coleslaw with Apple and Yogurt Dressing to go with them!


         

        The Un-Official start of summer officially starts this Friday. Out our way, that generally means a lot of premature wearing of summer clothes because we’ll still have a couple of weeks before it gets warm. The cool nights won’t stop the grill fanatics. They’ll haul out their Webers or open up their monster gas grills even if the temperature dips into the 50s.  I love their dedication just as much their wives love their participation in feeding their families.  But I’d prefer have to wait for the warm-up to enjoy grilling. Especially when I can make something as summer-y as Orange and Soy-Glazed St. Louis Cut Pork Ribs and a Coleslaw with the tang of an Apple and Yogurt dressing in the comfort of the kitchen. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

St. Barth's Easiest Recipe Ever....Salade des Haricots Verts avec Echalotes





       I posted this recipe last week and the response was terrific, particularly on www.sbhonline.com which is website completely given over to our favorite island.  When I did so, one of the most prolific contributors to the blog, AndyNap added something terrific to the recipe.  While I talked about using bottled Creamy Dijon Vinaigrette, AndyNap went to the trouble of giving us his recipe for the real thing: A perfect home made version.  Now I am a firm believer that home made trumps bottled in every way, so I thought I'd re-post and add AndyNap's  recipe.  It's further down the page, with the rest of the recipe. Bon Appetit!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Daniel Boulud's Corn and Heirloom Tomato Tart



The Decor of Maison Boulud gets high marks too!

       Daniel Boulud is no stranger to these pages.  His recipes are as reliable as his restaurants, the latest of which just opened in Montreal’s newly renovated Ritz Carlton Hotel ( 1228 Sherbrooke St. Ouest, Montreal QC H3g 1H6 Tel: 514-842-4212 ) The place only opened at the end of May and there are currently 166 reviews of it on Open Table alone!  Almost all of them assign “Maison Boulud” 5 stars.  Since my parents spent years and years going to that same Ritz at every opportunity, I have great affection for the hotel.  It came as no real surprise that Chef Boulud has made magic there.  I just wish I could whip up and sample what is taking the town by storm.  However, I will have to content myself with his recipe made with food from closer to home.  In fact, the two mainstays of this dish came straight from the farm that’s right over the hill from our house.  And what a dish it is!  The burst of tomato flavor, the sweetness of the corn and the fluffiest of pastry crusts are a wonderful salute to the end of summer.  We’d give this one 5 stars and name the recipe one of our best finds this summer.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Tian of Summer Vegetables served two ways

One night it's a glorious side dish...
The next day it's a delicious lunch!  

            With our local farm stands brimming with the most beautiful vegetables, it’s a fun challenge to find ways to eat them every chance we get.  Last week I turned to a tian to make use of some glorious summer squash, zucchini and field tomatoes.  The word “Tian” is French and originally referred to the clay cooking casserole used to prepare this Provencal-style mix of vegetables roasted to perfection au gratin -- covered with a layer of cheese.  Interestingly, the French use the word ‘tian’ to describe not just the vegetable version of the dish but anything layered—even a dessert. And in a wonderful coincidence, “Tian” is also the Chinese word for “Heaven”.  And I have to concur: this is heaven especially when I discovered the leftover Tian created a second meal the next day.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Portobello Mushroom Burgers with Pesto, Mozzarella and Red Peppers and a great recipe for Walnut Spinach Pesto from Daniel Holzman





         Our friend Stephen, the vegetarian, came to stay for a couple of days recently.  I always use Stephen’s visits as a chance to work on vegetarian recipes.  This particular stay, I had one triumph and one miserable fail.  I won’t go into the fail because it did produce a pesto that’s a great addition to any collection of recipes for that summer favorite.   And the triumph?  A Portobello Burger that even the most carnivorous among us can call his own.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Not My Mother's Vichyssoise


         Cold Soup is ideal to have on hand in summer heat.  You can make this soup up, store it in the fridge and then take it out and finish it off for any occasion.  When houseguests first arrive, they’re inevitably exhausted from their trip and a bit peck-ish.  It’s nice to greet them with a glass this rich, creamy soup and perhaps a tomato sandwich made with farm stand tomatoes on thin-sliced white bread.  This simple welcome will bide them over until dinner.  You can make up a glorious gazpacho, truly fresh tomato soup or you can put a little French accent on the proceedings with this recipe for Vichyssoise, a completely American invention.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Watermelon Salsa served 2 ways: In Fish Tacos and a Blackened Swordfish Salad



         For the last few summers, one of our salads of choice has been the Watermelon and Tomato rendition first published here in July 2010: http://www.chewingthefat.us.com/2010/07/watermelon-and-tomato-salad.html.  Nothing says 'cool off' like watermelon and this salad combines the sweetness of the fruit with the tang of ripe tomatoes, a jolt of red onion and a splash of red wine vinegar.  It’s a perfect accompaniment to almost anything grilled, truly a dish that has summer written all over it.  So when I spotted a recipe for Fish Tacos with Watermelon Salsa, I couldn’t wait to try it.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Neal Hartman’s Baked Butter Beans



Neal Hartman. Summer 2010
         Neal Hartman was an exceptional man.  He was truly and dearly loved and when he was taken from us a year and a half ago, his loss was felt all over his community of Sag Harbor.  Neal was a pillar of Christ Episcopal Church, a stalwart of the Historical Society, the Sag Harbor Tree Fund, The Bay Street Theater and his bridge club.  On top of that, he grew the sweetest tomatoes, made the most extraordinary Strawberry jam, cooked and baked and pickled.  On the morning that he died of an aortic aneurysm, he was scheduled for an all-day canning session with his and our dear friend Michael.  We were all bereft at his loss, aged just 64, and our heartbreak for his partner of 40 years, David, was unimaginable.  Neal left us a legacy of community service, deep friendship and incredible sorrow that he is no longer here.  And he also left behind something that alone would keep him in our hearts forever, his amazing recipe for Baked Butter Beans.