Archives for category: Fish

This morning we packed up the house in Orient, divvied up the remaining food stuffs, and set out for a neighbor’s beautifully restored nineteenth-century horse farm. The couple bought the property in 2000 and spent three years restoring, renovating, and landscaping. Their property extends a little more than 1/2 mile to the Long Island Sound, where we strolled along the pebble beach and counted jellyfish. A 10-minute walk to and from the shore, however, yielded mosquitoes, poison ivy, and an unidentified insect that stung/bit Amy’s foot.

On the way out of town we stopped for lunch at a place called Orient by the Sea, next to the dock for the Orient-New London, CT ferry. We shared mussels, fried clam bellies, fish and chips, Caesar salad, and Arnold Palmers. Then Yuji and I took off for my grandmother’s, stopping at three different stands along the way for: more of those berries plus a cantaloupe at Oysterponds; cukes, tomatoes, and peaches in Southold; and Braun Seafood in Cutchogue.

The plan was to grill at my grandmother’s for dinner, in Levittown, before heading back to Brooklyn, so we picked up local flounder and scallops. Yuji lit the grill while I cleaned and seasoned the fish: salt, pepper, olive oil, and my homemade garam masala from last week’s curry post. I made a salad of halved Sun Gold tomatoes, slices of cucumber, and ricotta salata, dressed with olive oil, fresh lemon juice, salt, and black pepper.

It’s a real pleasure cooking for my grandmother—I don’t know whether she tells the truth or not but she’s typically effusive with praise and tonight was no different. She licked her plate clean, enough evidence for me.

Tennis. Berries. Oysters. Fried Clams. Grilled Clams. Bluefish. Hazelnut Gelato. Beach. Some of my favorite summer indulgences all in a couple of days.

Those berries came from down the road, a little place called Oysterponds Farm, off Route 25. It’s a 5-minute walk from the house where we’re staying and we stopped by yesterday for an assortment of berries for dessert. (We ate them drizzled with honey and served with fresh whipped cream, which had just a hint of vanilla and maple syrup).

The morning started off gray and drizzly and threatened thunderstorms that never came. In fact, by 3 pm the sun was out in full force, melting ice cream and tanning noses across the shore. At 5 pm we took a stroll along the Long Island Sound here in Orient, counting jellyfish, skipping stones, and collecting green sea glass.

Tonight’s dessert is a homemade “bark” — melted chocolate (60% cocoa) with crushed almonds, cayenne, and Maldon salt. It’s chilling in the freezer so I don’t know what it tastes like yet.

And for dinner? Well it was an embarrassment of riches. There were homemade Mexican sopes (a type of thick corn tortilla topped with meat, fish or vegetables), bluefish tacos, guacamole, grilled shrimp, grilled clams, and raw oysters on the half shell.

We can justify it this way: it’s our last night on the North Fork, it’s the end of summer, we’re in a magical seafood mecca…but who needs justification to eat really well with friends?

Last night was a night for whole fish, stuffed with garlic, lemon, basil, and rosemary. And with the temperature still hovering around 90º at dinnertime, a crunchy Caesar seemed like just the accompaniment.

Snapper Stuffed with Garlic and Herbs

Serves 2
1 whole fish (between 1 and 2 pounds)
1/2 lemon, sliced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
handful of herbs, such as basil, rosemary, chives, or thyme

Preheat oven to 400ºF or set oven to broil. (Or grill if possible.) Wash the fish and pat completely dry. Make a slice down the fish lengthwise, for inserting the herbs. Coat the fish inside and out with more salt than seems reasonable – I’d say about 1 tbsp – and fresh ground black pepper. Then stuff the fish with slices of lemon, the garlic, and herbs. Place in a shallow pan in the oven and cook for ten minutes on each side.

Caesar Salad

Serves 2
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 anchovies
1 tbsp Japanese mayonnaise
hot red pepper
4 cups of crunchy greens (like Romain and radicchio)
5 radishes, sliced thinly lengthwise

In a bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, anchovies, mayo, salt, and pepper. Make sure to break up the anchovies so they integrate into the dressing. Before serving, toss with the lettuce and radishes.

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