Monday, November 21, 2011

The Food Network's FN Dish Names Top Recipes for Virtual Thanksgiving

I couldn’t be more Thankful!

It is thrilling to get the email that two of the recipes from my soon to be released book, Hamptons and Long Island Homegrown Cookbook were selected by the Food Network for their first-ever virtual Thanksgiving Communal Table! 
Below is the list and links to the full list of food blogger recipes.

Food is love and sharing.
And I am honored and grateful that my talented chefs shared their talent and passion for local, homegrown ingredients and recipes for the book.
Imagine the double header of getting the book layout and the news that
not one, but two recipes were chosen by the Food Network! (noted below with asterisks.  Recipes are provided via links and in previous post.)

That’s a lot to give Thanks for!

In the Cocktails, Soups and Salads category, Chef Jonathan Parker, The American Hotel’s earned a top spot for his Peconic Clam Chowder. 
It’s local, and delicious!

Almond Restaurant's Master Chef, Jason Weiner
Chosen as one of two Mains, is Almond restaurant’s executive chef and owner, Jason Weiner’s recipe, for an amazing Grilled Quail with a warm beet, frisee and pistachio salad. Elegant, easy and sublime taste. 

Chef Jason Weiner and Jennifer Pike, Pike Farms, his inspiring, local farmer

I am gobsmacked to have been invited to participate in this premiere Food Network event.
I was eager to share the delicious, homegrown dishes from my locavore chefs featured in the Hamptons and Long Island Homegrown Cookbook.

I can’t wait to cook up a storm using all the Communal Table Food Network’s curated recipes. 
“pull up a chair.”
The food community is keen to share their love of food.
I know I am.

Announced by the Food Network:

Last week, FN Dish invited food bloggers from around the country to “pull up a chair” to our virtual Communal Table. Needless to say, we received link after link of incredible Thanksgiving dishes, tips and photos.
See what our new friends are bringing to the table and tell us what you would bring to the table on Twitter by using the hashtag: #pullupachair.

Cocktails, Appetizers, Soups and Salads:

* Celebrity Chefs and Their Gardens: The American Hotel Peconic Clam Chowder

Good Food Good Friends: Mushroom Soup


She Wears Many Hats: Mayonnaise Roasted Turkey

Sides:Living Mostly Meatless: Vegan-Friendly Corn Casserole
Healthy Green Kitchen: Red Kuri Squash Pie
The Naptime Chef: Crispy Rosemary Fingerling Potatoes (pictured
Gluten-Free Blondie: Apple and Cranberry Studded Stuffing
Eat Drink Man Woman Dogs Cat: Blue Cheese and Rosemary Celebration Potatoes
The Amused Bouche Blog: Braised Kale

The Macaron Queen: Macaron Tower
Poet In The Pantry: Amaretto Apple Crisp
Farm Girl Gourmet: Pumpkin Coconut Panna Cotta
That’s Forking Good: Cinnamon Chip Pumpkin Blondies
Cake Baker 35: Orange Spiced Pumpkin Pie
Food For My Family: Buttermilk Custard Pear Pie
A Cooks Nook: Swedish Apple Pie
Yakima Herald: Pretzel Jell-O Salad
Dollhouse Bake Shoppe: Thanksgiving Candy Bar Name Plates
Sweet Fry: Pumpkin Latte
An Uneducated Palate: Puff Pastry Apple Tart
Frugal Front Porch: Mini Cheaty Cheesecakes

Even more:Kitchen Courses: Thanksgiving for Six People Under $60
A Curious Palate: The Communal Table

Here is the link to the Food Network news:

Be sure to tell Food Network you'll be bringing Peconic Clam Chowder from The American Hotel's Chef Jonathan Parker and Grilled Quail from Almond Restaurant's Chef Jason Weiner to the Communal Table.


Cheers, darlings, and Happy Thanksgiving!  

It's THE best holiday.

Come hungry. Leave Happy.

Celebrate the honor of our harvest with good, real food, family, friends – and love.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Food Network to host first-ever virtual Thanksgiving

While every day is a food holiday for food lovers, Thanksgiving reigns supreme as the mother of all things culinary. 
In honor of Thanksgiving, every foodie’s favorite holiday, the Food Network organized a Virtual Thanksgiving: The Communal Table, scheduled for Wednesday, November 16 at noon EST. 

Food writers have been invited to post an article about the dish they are “bringing” to The Communal Table.  The Food Network curates and aggregates the recipes so that readers and viewers can discover what food experts are bringing to the Table. 

There will be a cornucopia of recipes to peruse, try out and serve for an exciting, Thanksgiving menu of unmatched variety.

This reporter is bringing a seasonal recipe from her soon to be released cookbook:  Hamptons and Long Island Homegrown Cookbook. While there are nearly a hundred delicious mouthwatering dishes to be found in the book, all created by local, farm to table and fin to fork master chefs from which to choose to from, here are three to jump start the Thanksgiving holiday:

The American Hotel Peconic Clam Chowder
Serves 8

1 c. smoked bacon, finely diced
1/2 lb. sweet butter
2 medium onions, chopped to 1/4-inch dice
4 c. leeks, whites only, washed and chopped to 1/4-inch dice
1 bouquet garni (2 fresh bay leaves, 3 sprigs fresh thyme, and 6 fresh parsley stalks tied together)
1 c. dry white wine
2 c. Wondra flour
2 qt. clam juice, heated and strained
1 qt. milk, hot
1 qt. cream, hot
3 c. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced small
1/2 gal. chowder clams, chopped and juice reserved
1 qt. surf clams, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
3 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

In a stockpot, render down the bacon until it is light golden brown. Add and melt the butter. Add the onions, leeks, and bouquet garni. Sweat, covered, for 10 minutes (cook gently with a lid on low-medium to low heat). Deglaze with the white wine, and on a low flame, reduce until dry. Add the flour and cook, stirring for 5 minutes, to form a blonde roux.
Gradually add in the hot clam juice, milk, and cream, and any strained juices from the clams. Stir. Add the potatoes, and cook until they are cooked but still a little firm (about 15 minutes). Next, add both chowder clams and surf clams. Simmer for 10 minutes. Stir well, and skim off any impurities. Add salt and pepper to taste and chopped parsley. Serve immediately with crusty bread.

Almond Restaurant Grilled Quail with a Warm Beet, Frisée, and Pistachio Salad
Serves 4

4 semiboneless quail (quail with all bones removed except the leg and wing bones)
3 tbsp. honey
2 tbsp. sherry vinegar
2 tbsp. grapeseed oil (canola would also be fine)
3 sprigs fresh sage
1 tsp. cracked black peppercorns
kosher salt, to taste
1 1/2 c. roasted baby beets, mixed colors, chopped to large dice
1 head frisée, cleaned (core and dark green leaves discarded)
3 tbsp. pistachios, roasted and shelled
5 chives, cut to matchstick size

About 5 hours before you plan on eating, lay the quail in 1 layer in a small casserole dish or Tupperware container. They should fit snugly. In a mixing bowl, combine the honey, vinegar, oil, sage, and peppercorns. Whisk vigorously for a moment. Pour the mixture over the quail. Cover with plastic wrap, and chill for about 5 hours.
Heat the grill. Remove the quail from the marinade (reserve the marinade), and season with salt. Put the quail on the hottest part of the grill. You want to crisp the skin before the quail gets overcooked in the middle. Quail is best when pink. If the grill is nice and hot, the bird shouldn’t need to be on the grill for more than 2 1/2 to 3 minutes (2 minutes on one side, 30 to 60 seconds on the other).
While the quail is cooking, put the reserved marinade in a nonreactive saucepot and heat it on high heat. As soon as the marinade comes to a simmer, take it off the heat and pour it through a strainer to remove the sage and black pepper.
Put the beets, frisée, and nuts in a mixing bowl. Season with salt, and toss. Add the warm marinade. (You may not need it all.) Toss again. Divide the salad between four warm salad plates.
When you take the quail off the grill, let them rest for a moment, then cut each in half. Crisscross the halves on top of the salads. Garnish with the chives, and serve.

Vine Street Café – Shelter Island- Sticky Toffee Pudding with Toasted Almond Brittle
Pastry Chef Lisa Harwood
Serves 8-10 people

Sticky Toffee Pudding:
3/4 c. dates, chopped and pitted
1 c. boiling water
1/4 c. brewed coffee (French roast or full bodied)
1 tsp. baking soda
4 tbsp. unsalted butter (room temperature)
3/4 c. sugar
1 large egg (room temperature)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. plus 1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
pinch salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 c. walnuts, chopped and lightly toasted
1/4 c. bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
3/4 c. pitted dates, chopped

Preheat a convection oven to 325°F or a conventional oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9x5-inch ceramic loaf pan. Measure all the ingredients. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl, then add the chopped chocolate and walnuts. In a separate bowl, place the chopped dates and coffee, baking soda, and boiling water. Set aside.
In an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat until blended. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the batter and mix until just combined. Pour the dates and coffee into the batter, and mix until just combined. Scrape down sides of the bowl with a spatula, and stir to make sure the batter is evenly mixed. Pour batter into the loaf pan (previously greased). Bake until “pudding” is set and a cake tester (toothpick) comes out clean. It will look like a cake when it is finished.

Toffee Sauce:
8 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 c. heavy cream
1 c. packed dark brown sugar
pinch salt

Place all of the ingredients in stainless steel saucepan. Slowly bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Boil gently over medium to low heat until the sauce has thickened (about 10 minutes). Be careful not to over cook the sauce; it should have the consistency of a warm caramel sauce.

Toasted Almond Brittle:
1 1/3 c. water
4 c. sugar
3/4 c. corn syrup
2 sticks (16 tbsp.) sweet organic or unsalted butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
4 c. toasted sliced almonds

To make the caramel, combine the water, sugar, corn syrup, butter, and salt in a stainless steel pot. Cook without stirring until mixture becomes a light-colored caramel. Turn the stove off, and quickly yet carefully stir in the baking soda. Add nuts. Turn the mixture out onto a silpat/silicone mat or baking sheet, and spread evenly with the back of a wooden spoon. Move quickly and carefully. Caramel cools quickly making it difficult to spread while remaining seriously hot to the touch.
            To serve: Remove the Toffee Pudding from the baking pan, and place on a small sheet pan. Pour half the sauce over the cake, and place under the broiler until the sauce starts to bubble. Take the cake out of the oven, and place on a serving dish. Pour the remaining half of the sauce over the cake. Rough chop the almond brittle and sprinkle it over the cake. The Sticky Toffee Pudding can be served with your favorite ice cream or fresh whipped cream.

Bon Appetit! 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Hamptons & Long Island Homegrown Cookbook layout has arrived!

I have worked on the book for what has long seemed like “forever.”
And then, just like that, the book’s pages land in my inbox.
My amazing editor Melinda dished up the review copy just before she left town for a well-deserved holiday.

I cannot tell you how exciting it is to see the book. 
For too long it was a dream. 
It existed in my head – and in my heart. 
I think I was even afraid to write about the making of the book here in the blog. 
I am too superstitious I know, but it was no coincidence that it seemed every time I did start to chart the amazing, intriguing, funny, against-all-odds story about the process of going from an idea to the bound book, something would change – the goal posts got moved. 
Jinxed.  (More summary on that later)

But now I’m feeling that it is not just a dream.
The book is indeed, at long last, a reality. 

I love telling (and listening to) stories: family stories (I did lots of genealogy research for my own family), funny stories (life!), love stories, and fairy tales and the bedtime stories my father told about the birds and squirrels.
But I especially love telling stories about art and accomplishment and the talented among us who make a difference – those thought leaders and over-achievers who are passionate about making others happy with what they produce. 

The Hamptons & Long Island Cookbook is full of those special art gurus.
In the book, I am so lucky to have been able to profile the stories about the master locavore chefs and the growers who inspire their culinary creations.

The Voyageur Press world-class graphic team has done a heroic job with the design of the book!  I understand the CEO weighs in with his experienced eye and opinion, too. Wow.
All this thoughtful compilation and curating has resulted in a manuscript that visually, is both delicious looking and gorgeously sensual.  The writing is pretty cracker-jack, top notch too, I will say. J  But then again, look who I got to showcase.
The list of master Long Island chefs from my news post for Long Island Restaurant Week:

The process of writing a book like this is that it is a very intimate experience.
The interviews I conducted with the chefs explored their life: their motivations, their loves, their families, their challenges and ultimately the intrinsic, intangible thing that made them challenge the status quo and reach beyond their safe, expected successful world, to create recipes and restaurants that weren’t like the others. 

Sure it was more work. Sure they had to develop food sources that perhaps didn’t exist.
And if they did, they had to be persuaded to work with a chef.  At a time and place that growers eyed chefs and those business margins with less than happy scrutiny. 
The mutual success they now enjoy, built on an abiding, mutual respect is at the core of the book. The book explores the connection to grower and the chef and to the land and sea.
It is an uncompromised, unconditional love.

The growers – from honey farmers to oyster farmers to duck growers and vintners, as well as the mushroom growers and traditional small family vegetable and fruit growers – work harder than anyone but the chefs and their families can know, in order to produce a quality product that is so full of nutrition and flavor and good things – and oh, by the way, it is sustainable and happy -- it is no wonder these sprites of nature bridge the world of growing food and inspire our master chefs.

The stories have just begun.  
Stay tuned.