Culinary inspiration comes in curious forms and can be used to justify many a beautiful ceramic acquisition.Read More
We are so happy to share our latest story with you we produced for Martha Stewart Living in their April 2017 issue. They asked us how we do Easter (a bit of hunting and gathering) and our daughters joined in on the fun. Stay tuned for our natural egg dying tips!
Pasta with Clams, Ramps and Fava Beans
A simple purée of ramps and olive oil (similar to a pesto but without the pine nuts, cheese or basil) gives this dish its vibrant green color, kick and flavor
- 1 bunch ramps, about 8 stalks) root end trimmed
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- scant teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning and pasta
- 1 pound pasta of choice
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 dozen clams, as small and tender as possible, shells scrubbed
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup shelled and peeled fave beans
- black pepper
Combine all but the purple/white end of one ramp and olive oil in the jar of a blender. Whiz until smooth, a few specks of green will most likely remain. Season with salt and whiz just to mix. Transfer purée to a jar with a lid.
Cook pasta in a large pot of salted water according to package instructions. Reserve 1 cup cooking liquid. Drain pasta and set aside. Return pasta pot to a low heat. Add butter. Finely chop reserved ramp and sweat in melted butter until just soft. Stir in 4 tablespoons of ramp purée and cook just a minute or two. Add clams, white wine and reserved cooking liquid. Increase heat, cover and cook until clams open, about 8 minutes. Add fava beans and cook 2 minutes more. Return pasta to pot, toss and cook just until piping hot - a minute or so. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Add a tad more purée and drizzle olive oil while serving.
Even in a world where so little makes sense - good food always does.
Buckwheat Crêpes with Smoked Trout, Sour Cream and Dill
Basic Buckwheat Crêpe
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 cup cup water
- 1/4 cup hard apple or pear cider
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cup buckwheat flour
- 4 tablespoons melted butter or ghee, plus more for griddle
Combine eggs, milk, water and hard cider in the jar of a bar blender. Process until smooth. Add salt and flour and blend. Add butter and blend just until batter is smooth and the consistency of a nice pourable cream. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight. Let stand at least 30 minutes before using.
Heat griddle over a medium low flame. Brush with melted butter - just so shiny. There should not be a butter puddle. Same as pancakes - first crêpe is usually a dud - so be prepared. Pour a scant 1/4 of batter onto griddle. Lift griddle and gentle tip and turn so that batter spreads naturally into a nice even thin circle - you are looking for something with about 1/16 inch thickness.
There are various schools of thought when it comes to crêpes. Some believe that they should be flipped and others say no - JAMAIS JAMAIS JAMAIS! In the end it all depends on your mood and/or expertise.
- 1 recipe Basic Buckwheat Crêpes
- 1 pound smoked trout, skin and bones discarded
- 1 cup sour cream
- Small bunch fresh dill
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
Prepare crêpes as above. While still warm fill with desired amount and combination of above ingredients.
Simple pleasures to start the new year. In my house there are FOUR birthdays in January so its like the holidays every weekend for the next month. Easy meals from here on out!
Steamed Mussels and Oven Fries
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 1 clove garlic, minced to paste
- 4 large shallots, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 5 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded
- Sea salt
- Ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup finely chopped mixed soft herbs such as chervil, tarragon and parsley
Melt butter in a large soup pot over medium low heat. Add garlic and shallots and cook just until very fragrant - a minute or two. Add wine and let come to a simmer. Add mussels, season well with salt and pepper, cover and steam until mussels open, about 7 minutes. Stir in herbs and serve with oven fries (recipe below).
- 6 Russet baking potatoes, scrubbed
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Sea salt - Maldon best
- Ground black pepper
- Several sprigs fresh rosemary, stems discarded and needles coarsely chopped
Heat oven to 425. Set a large baking sheet in oven to warm while potatoes soak. Slice potatoes to resemble traditional french fries. Soak in a bowl of cold salty water for about 1 hour, making sure all of the potatoes are completely submerged. Lift potatoes out of water, rinse well and pat dry. Transfer to a large bowl and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season well with sea salt, black pepper and chopped rosemary. Pour remaining tablespoon olive oil on hot baking sheet and tilt from side to side to spread evenly. Transfer potatoes to baking sheet - they should sizzle on contact. Place in oven and roast, without turning potatoes, until deep golden and crisp, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven, loosen from tray with a spatula and serve immediately.
In midst of holiday gluttony it nice to take dinner down a notch. Fish and chips without the fuss and hot oil splatter.Read More
If you cannot travel - cook!Read More
Served this to my girls last night for dinner. Sophie said it was the best thing she ever tasted and requested that we have it for her birthday dinner. Always planning. Virgo through and through that girl.
Not like us to use a ingredient so blatantly out of season as corn but in the depths of winter - one needs to dream.Read More
Fish stew makes sense. And not just because liquid is the creatures’ natural habitat—swimming arguably what they do best, in death as in life. But also because fish and shellfish are so easily ruined by too much heat. Gently simmering stock coaxes the lovely, succulent flesh towards doneness, just kind of persuading it to become cooked without forcing the matter.
For Matthew Hranek, there is an even deeper logic to fish stew. It’s a culmination of several threads spun through the life of this photographer, blogger (thewilliambrownproject.com), TV host on Esquire Network’s “Alternate Route”, and style editor at Conde Nast Traveler. Because long before he was any of those things, he was a boy in upstate New York, hunting and fishing with his dad, and cooking and eating whatever he caught. After moving to New York City, he fell in with a band of photographer-fishermen, and learned the secrets of salt-water casting. “None of us has regular jobs,” he says, leaving them just the kind of big, empty time that fishing requires.
For Matt, making stock is a necessary offshoot of this pastime. “The guys I fish with just want the fillets; there are all these heads and tails left over.” Matt happily commandeers them. “Part of my DNA is to not waste—I know the scraps have culinary value.” No kidding. Homemade fish stock is one of the glories of the kitchen. Left in the refrigerator for a day or two, “it gets so amazing,” says Matt, “like fish jello.” It also adds incredible depth to any seafood dishes, not just soup.
Still, the outlines of this recipe are quite forgiving: The fennel/tomato/pastis notes harmonize with almost any seafood; and once you’ve tried it, you can whip up a quick-and-easy version using either water or vegetable stock in less than half an hour. The only essential, unbreakable rule is that the fish and shellfish be utterly fresh.
Not a problem when you’ve just pulled the flapping creatures from the water yourself. For Matt, transforming his catch into a meal for his wife, Yolanda, and daughter, Clara, is the culmination of a day spent fishing. “This meal links the people at home with the experience I just had.” And the stew tells the story.
Words by Celia Barbour.
Matt Hranek's Fish Stew
- 2 large fish heads - striped bass or other meaty fish best, gills removed
- Several sprigs fresh thyme
- Several sprigs fresh parsley
- 2 leeks, trimmed and rinsed free of grit
- Several cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 onions, peeled
- 1 shallot, peeled
- 1 carrot
- Several bay leaves
- 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for serving
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 28 ounce tin whole plum tomatoes, chopped
- 1 pound stripped bass, skin removed, cut into 2 inch chunks
- 1 pound calamari, both bodies and tentacles,
- 3 small bulbs fennel, quartered
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 small dried pepperocini or other hot dried chili
- 2 dozen little neck clams, scrubbed free of grit
- 1 pound bay scallops
- 1 pound large head on shrimp
- 1/3 cup Pastis or Ouzo
- 1 Boule, for serving
Rinse fish heads and place in a large stock pot. Bundle together thyme, parsley and one leek, tie with kitchen string and add to pot. Add a few cloves garlic, one whole onion, shallot and carrot to the pot. Fill pot with about 12 cups cold water. It should cover stock ingredients by several inches. Add bay leaves. Set over high heat, bring liquid to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer about 11/2 hours. Remove stock from heat and strain liquid, discarding solids. but not without rescuing cheeks from fish heads for future use (Matt makes fish cakes when there is enough meat). Reserved liquid should measure about 8 cups.
Heat 1/4 olive oil in another large stock pot or heavy bottomed dutch oven. Finely chop remaining leek and onion and add to pot. Sweat until tender and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Do not let brown. Add white wine and simmer a few minutes to burn off alcohol. Add tomatoes and reserved fish stock. Bring liquid to a boil and then reduce heat. Begin layering in fish - bass first and then calamari (bodies cut into thick rings). Season well with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. You can be quite generous now and go more slowly in the end. Crumble in dried pepperocini. Add clams, scallops and shrimp. Cover and poach in just barely simmering water about 20 minutes. Add Pastis or Ouzo and adjust seasoning with sea salt and pepper as needed. Slice bread, brush with olive oil and grill until golden brown. Rub slices with garlic. Serve soup in big bowls to encourage generous portions. Provide olive oil for drizzling.
Blue Stripe Napkin from Ochre, Platter Joan Platt
Barigoule is a traditional Provencal dish of artichokes braised in a rich warm garlicky white wine broth. It is often served as a side dish and is delicious - as you can imagine - along side of most things. We added clams and fish to make an easy summery meal and channel the seaside. Use what looks fresh and lovely - calamari, mussels, and snapper would be divine. Artichoke prep is not for the faint of heart. Be prepared for a bit of paring and trimming. Storm away - it is Bastille day.Read More