Archives for category: North Fork

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You may have heard the northeastern U.S. got hit with a snowstorm Thursday night and New York City was no exception. It wasn’t massive or anything, maybe 8 inches, but it was enough to quiet the city the way that snow does here—by night, almost no cars on the road save for some yellow cabs and black livery cars, and by day, parents with children and sleds in tow headed for the parks.

As luck would have it I had to work my monthly shift at the Park Slope Food Coop yesterday, and while there, packaging cheddars and enjoying the rare luxury of an empty coop (no lines!), I got inspired to make two favorite cold-weather foods: cheese fondue and gingerbread. A shift-mate told me she was planning to make a gingerbread cake with Guinness and I thought, that’s just the thing. A gingerbread made with stout and molasses.

I found this recipe via the Smitten Kitchen blog, Claudia Fleming’s gingerbread from her days at Gramercy Tavern (but more recently of North Fork Table & Inn—I stayed there once, the breakfast was memorable). It produces a dark and stormy kind of gingerbread, with bite, not a timid cake. It’s intense and moody and spicy and just the way I like it. The original recipe called for 2 cups of sugar on top of the 1 cup of molasses, so of course I reduced this, leaving out 1 cup of sugar and I think it’s just right this way. I also don’t own a bundt pan so cooked this in a glass 9 x 9 inch dish which worked out just fine. The cooking time was 45 minutes. (Only thing is this recipe produces more batter than I could fit in that sized dish so I’m left with a little excess batter which I plan to make into gingerbread muffins later today.)

Oh and I finally joined twitter. Much to my surprise, having a blast. Follow me @laduelala. Tweeting and retweeting on all manner of #food #art #architecture #yoga.

Molasses Stout Gingerbread
Adapted from Claudia Fleming

1 cup oatmeal stout or Guinness Stout
1 cup dark molasses (not blackstrap)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of ground cardamom
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar (either packed dark brown sugar or 1/2 brown sugar 1/2 maple syrup)
3/4 cup vegetable oil
Confectioners sugar for dusting

Accompaniment: Unsweetened whipped cream

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a bundt pan (or other baking dish) generously and dust with flour, knocking out excess.

Bring stout and molasses to a boil in a large saucepan and remove from heat. Whisk in baking soda, then cool to room temperature. Note: make sure saucepan is large because when the baking soda is added the mixture puffs up like a soufflé.

Sift together flour, baking powder, and spices in a large bowl. Whisk together eggs and sugars. Whisk in oil, then molasses mixture. Add to flour mixture and whisk until just combined.

Pour batter into your pan and rap pan sharply on counter to eliminate air bubbles. Bake in middle of oven until a tester comes out with just a few moist crumbs adhering, about 50 minutes in a bunt, 45 minutes in a 9 x 9 square dish. Cool cake in pan on a rack 5 minutes. Turn out onto rack and cool completely.

Serve cake, dusted with confectioners sugar, with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. It’s also nice served with a cup of black tea.

Some say this gingerbread is better if made a day ahead.

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Photo below of the Christopher Wool exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum. It’s up til the 22nd of January.

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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?

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