Sunday, July 31, 2011

Last Night's Dinner: Cumin Roasted Potatoes

This week's low-starch red potatoes were perfect for roasting. After forty minutes in a 400 degree oven, they were moist inside and their skins had a nice snap when I bit into them. Yum. I tossed them with a little olive oil and ground cumin before baking, and then added minced garlic and oregano during the last five minutes so the garlic wouldn't burn. And then I served them with grilled striped bass, corn, and a spicy Baja-style cabbage slaw (so good, I'm making it again tomorrow, recipe to come). Here's the potato recipe:

Cumin Roasted Potatoes
Serves 4

1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with heavy duty foil. Toss potatoes with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, and cumin on baking sehet. Roast until potatoes are soft when pierced with the tip of a parking knife, 35 to 40 minutes.
2. Combing remaining tablespoon oil, garlic, and oregano in a small bowl. Toss with potatoes and continue to roast for another 5 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I guess it's the warm, sunny weather we've been enjoying: The local eggplant crop is ready for harvest and more beautiful than ever. Last night I sliced and grilled some globe eggplants and tossed them with a spicy sriracha sauce. I served it with some teriyaki grilled chicken breasts and a big bowl of fluffy white rice (important for tempering the heat of the eggplant). Here is the recipe:

Grilled Sriracha Eggplant
Serves 4 to 6

2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sriracha
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons lime juice
3 pounds egg plant (2 large or 4 to 5 small)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint
2 scallions, white and light green parts, finely chopped

1. Whisk together soy sauce, sriracha, mustard, sugar, and lime juice in a small bowl.
2. Preheat grill to medium-high. Trim stems from eggplants and slice into 3/4-inch rounds. Brush with vegetable oil and sprinkle with salt.
3. Clean and oil grill grids and grill eggplants, turning once, until soft with nice grill marks, 6 to 8 minutes total. Place hot eggplant slices in a large bowl and gently toss with sriracha sauce. Sprinkle with mint and scallions and serve.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Tonight's Dinner: Purple Potato Salad

II decided to make some potato salad early this morning, so I wouldn't have to heat up the kitchen when it gets really hot later today. I used some low-starch purple potatoes, roasting them to give them some crispy edges. Then I bathed them in a dressing of mayonnaise, lemon juice, garlic, and smoked paprika. The salad is chilling in the refrigerator right now. I'll eat it (along with some grilled sausages and maybe some raw zucchini) when the sun goes down. Here's the recipe:

Purple Potato Salad
Serves 8

3 pounds small purple potatoes, halved (you can keep the really tiny ones whole
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
2 garlic cloves, put through a garlic press
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with heavy-duty foil. Place the potaotes on the baking sheet, toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, and sprinkle with salt. Roast, shaking the pan once or twice, until tender, about 40 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet.
2. Whisk together the remaining tablespoon olive oil, mayonnaise, garlic, lemon juice, cilantro, and smoked paprika. Place the potatoes in a large bowl, toss with the dressing, and season with salt. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 day until ready to eat.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Pretending to be a Tourist

If I were a tourist, I would buy one of these t-shirts at Pailletts (78 Main Street) and wear it to the beach.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Last Night's Dinner: Cold Zucchini Salad

I finally made it to Sagg Main yesterday. The water was clear and cool, and when I got home I wanted a dinner that was just as refreshing. To go with some leftover hummus and a fresh loaf of bread that I picked up at Pike's on my way home, I mixed together a raw zucchini salad with four very fresh little zucchini I picked on Saturday. The key was chilling the zucchini before chopping it, and to eat it right away when the salad was still cold. Here is the recipe:

Raw Zucchini Salad with Lemon and Basil
Serves 4 as a side dish

1 pound small zucchini, chilled
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Fine sea salt

Trim the ends of the zucchini and cut in quarters lengthwise. Combine in a large bowl with the oil, basil, juice, zest, and sea salt to taste. Serve immediately.
Sea salt

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Time for Blueberry Buckle

It was definitely time to make a Blueberry Buckle. So I did, and brought it to a friend's house last night. Here is the recipe (adapted from Cake Keeper Cakes):

Here is the recipe:

Blueberry Buckle
Serves 8 to 10

For the topping:
1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled

For the cake:
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups blueberries, washed and picked over
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk

1. Make the topping:Combine the flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and mix with your fingers, pinching the butter pieces, until the mixture looks like coarse meal with some larger crumbs. Refrigerate while making the cake batter.
2. Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. In another bowl, toss the blueberries with 1/4 cup of the flour mixture.
3. Cream together the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice as necessary. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture until incorporated. Add 1/2 of the milk. Repeat, alternating flour and milk and ending with flour. Gently stir the berries into the batter.
4. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth into an even layer with a small metal spatula. Squeeze the crumb mixture through your fingertips and onto the top of the cake, forming small and large crumbs in an even layer. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Run a sharp paring knife around the sides of the pan to loosen the cake before releasing the sides. Slice and serve.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Party in Bridgehampton

I had heard that there was a wood-burning pizza oven at the Bridgehampton Farmer's Market, and today I went over to check it out. What a festive place! Maybe because the market is open on Friday afternoons between 3 and 6:30, it has a unique party atmosphere. Wolffer wine is being poured, pizza is being eaten. Almost as soon as I got out of my car, a nice young man offered me some freshly grilled yellow squash as an appetizer.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Flowers at Pike's

If you know me, you won't be surprised that I haven't been to the beach yet this summer. But can you believe I hadn't been to the Pike Farms stand until yesterday? I bought some corn for cold corn soup (you'll have to wait for that recipe until it appears in Newsday in a week or two), and after I admired the field of blooming snapdragons behind the stand, I couldn't resist taking home a bunch.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Day in the Life of a Sag Harbor Traffic Officer

In addition to her usual duties, one Sag Harbor TCO was in charge of making sure that this fashion model didn't get flattened as she crossed the street a hundred times during a photo shoot this morning.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Last Night's Dinner: Green Beans and Chard

I did get around to making my Nigel Slater-inspired green beans last night. In Tender, he has a recipe for a chicken salad with green beans and chard, where he cooks the two vegetables in the same pot before dressing them and some chicken with a vinaigrette. I borrowed this simple and brilliant cooking method, skipping the chicken and adding some mustard to my dressing. Here is the recipe:

Green Beans and Chard
Serves 4

My chard leaves were so young and tender that there was no need to remove their ribs. If your leaves are larger, you'll have to take that step.

8 ounces green beans trimmed
One small bunch Swiss chard (about 4 ounces) tough stems and ribs removed if necessary, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 small shallot, finely chopped
Ground black pepper

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the beans and boil until just barely tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in the card and boil an additional minute. Drain well and set aside to cool slightly.
2. Whisk together the oil, lemon juice, mustard, shallot, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and ground black pepepr to taste. Pour over the vegetables, stir to coat, adjust seasonings and serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 6 hours before serving.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Tonight's Movie

I was away for a few days, in Portland, Maine, where I visited my favorite cookbook store and picked up a copy of Nigel Slater's newest book, with the pretty fava beans on the cover. When I got off of the ferry in Orient, I stopped at Latham Farms, where there were bushels of freshly picked green beans, so I decided to buy some, consult my new book, and make them tonight. But it will be a late dinner, because I just read in the Sag Harbor Express that the Parrish is screening Toast, the film based on Slater's earlier memoir, tonight at 5:30, and I'm not going to miss that!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Last Night's Dinner: Kale and White Bean Bruschetta

Quail Hill always seems to have an abundance of kale, a vegetable I've come to rely on for quick dinners. Last night, after a week of cooking with other vegetables from the farm, I had one lonely bag of kale left. I made a quick bruschetta topping by combining it with some white beans. It was so good, I'm not sure why I waited. I guess I was saving the best for last. Here's the recipe:

Bruschetta with Kale and White Beans
Serves 2 as a main course, 4 as an appetizer

2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for drizzling
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
3/4 cup low-sodium canned chicken broth
1 bunch kale, tough stems removed, chopped
One 14-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
8 slices country bread

1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in kale and 1/4 cup chicken broth, cover, and cook until kale is tender, stirring once or twice, 3 to 5 minutes.
2. Add beans and remainig broth to pan, stir, and mash beans with a potato masher. Cook, stirring often, until most of the broth has evaporated. Season with salt if necessary.
3. Grill or toast the bread slices, pile with the kale mixture, drizzle with olive oil, and serve

Monday, July 4, 2011

Celebrating with Cookies

Wishing everyone a happy Fourth of July. I celebrated with homemade chocolate sandwich cookies.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

IGA Item of the Week

The IGA had plenty of brioche hot dog buns from Tomcat (to go with those natural casing hot dogs from Tim's Prime Meats!) this morning, but who knows how long they'll last.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Secrets Revealed

My story on my favorite places to grab a bite in the Hamptons in the summer is up on Zester.