Saturday, May 19, 2012

End of the Week Round-Up

To mark the end of Whaler Week at Pierson High School, the seniors placed a whale on the hill. He looks like he's smiling. I was smiling when I saw the season's first strawberries (very early this year, because of our warm winter) at the Green Thumb. To mark the end of my week, I made a salad with the berries and some baby kale. Here is the recipe:

Kale with Strawberries and Goat Cheese
Serves 4

8 cups baby kale leaves
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups strawberries, stemmed and sliced
3 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled.

1. Place kale in a large bowl. Whisk together oil, honey, salt, and pepper to taste. Drizzle over kale and toss to combine.
2. Divide dressed kale among salad plates. Top each portion with some strawberries and goat cheese and serve immediately.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Variation on a Theme

I so enjoyed my lemony risotto with local scallions a week ago, that I returned to the same well for tonight's dinner. I picked up some asparagus along with the scallions at Betty and Dale's, and combined them with quinoa, Parmesan, pancetta, and plenty of lemon juice and zest. Here's the recipe:

Quinoa with Asparagus and Pancetta
Serves 4

1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut on diagonal into 1-inch pieces
4 ounces pancetta, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 bunch scallions, white and light green parts, chopped
1 1/4  cup quinoa, rinsed
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons low-sodium canned chicken broth
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Ground black pepper

1. Bring several inches of salted water to boil in a large pot. Add asparagus and cook until just tener, 2 to 4 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2. Cook pancetta in a nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat until just crisp. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and discard all but 1 tablespoon fat from pan. Add garlic and scallion to pan and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add quinoa and stir another minute.
3. Add broth and salt to pan and bring to a boil. Cover, turn heat to low, and cook until quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, another 10 minutes.
4. Transfer quinoa to bowl, stir in asparagus, pancetta, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Season with salt an pepper and serve.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Marketing the Hamptons

While it was December in my kitchen yesterday (I have been baking Christmas cookies all week), on Main Street it seemed like summer. To attract shoppers, Flying Point displayed their cool Whalebone Creative souvenir Montauk t-shirts while the Dominican Sisters Thrift Store was pushing some Sag Harbor-labeled goods on the Washington Street sidewalk.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mother's Day Request

In case my children missed the hint in today's Newsday, this is what I'd like for brunch on Sunday. (Thanks to Gordon Grant for the pretty photos.)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Green Thumb Can Help You Out With Your All-Kale Diet

Have you read about the all-kale diet that is sweeping L.A.? The people at The Green Thumb must know that it is only a matter of time before this craze hits the Hamptons. They are stocking at least 6 varieties of local kale this week.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Cinco de Mayo with Lemons

My cousin in California asked me the other day if I had ever made my own preserved lemons. I hadn't, but it just so happened that I had a big bag of lemons in my refrigerator that I had picked up at B.J.'s earlier in the week. So this morning I tried preserving some of them. Will let you know how that goes in a few days. Thanks for the idea, Ron! In other lemon news: Before I realized that it was Cinco de Mayo, I had already shopped for Chinese food for dinner, so, sorry about that, family. But it wasn't too late to bust out the bottle of tequila and squeeze the leftover lemons for some pre-tofu Lemon Margaritas. Here's the recipe:

Lemon Margaritas
Makes 2 drinks

1/4 cup tequila
1/4 cup Triple Sec
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons superfine sugar or more to taste
Kosher salt

Combine tequila, Triple Sec, lemon juice, and sugar in a measuring cup. Dip rims of two martini glasses into a dish of kosher salt. Fill glasses with crushed ice. Pour tequila mixture over ice. Serve immediately.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Dick Johansson and the Highlanders! I don't know who they are, but this photo makes me want to hear them. And of course I am a Jim Turner fan (who in Sag Harbor isn't?). See you at the Whaling Museum tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Tonight's Dinner: Risotto with Green Onions and Lemon

The scallions looked great today at Bette and Dale's, so I picked up a bunch. Then I had to figure out how to make dinner from a bunch of scallions. When I got them home, I chopped them, sauteed them, and built a risotto right on top of them. Then I stirred in some lemon zest and topped each portion with a scallion flower. Pretty, and tasty, too.

Risotto with Green Onions and Lemon
Serves 4 to 6

4 cups low-sodium canned chicken broth
3 cups water
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 bunch scallions, white and light green parts only, chopped, 4 to 6 scallion blossoms reserved
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
 Zest of one lemon

1. Warm the broth and water in a medium saucepan. Keep warm over low heat. Place the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a large saucepan. Add the scallions and cook until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the rice and cook, stirring, for another minute. Add the wine and cook, stirring, until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
2. Add 1/2 cup of the warm broth mixture and cook, stirring frequently, until the rice absorbs the liquid. Continue adding warm liquid in 1-cup increments, always stirring, until the rice is al dente. If you run out of liquid, heat up some water and continue to add it to the pot until the rice is done.
3. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the remaining tablespoon butter, cheese, and lemon zest. Season with salt. Divide among bowls, top each one with a scallion blossom, and serve.