Foodie Blog

Best Of Nantucket 2011

By Cathy Huyghe   |   Thursday, June 2, 2011
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We've said it before and we'll say it again. The Nantucket Wine Festival is THE place to kick off the summer season of wine. Now that it's come and gone, we can put on our hindsight-is-20-20 sunglasses and review the Festival's best highlights. Last weekend's highlights, fortunately, will be there all summer long. Consider this your hit list for the island.

meatloaf sandwich
The meatloaf sandwich pictured here can be had at American Seasons on Nantucket

KIDS MENU AT AMERICAN SEASONS. This secret is so hidden that it literally doesn't exist. American Seasons restaurant, with arguably the best chef on an island of very, very good chefs, does not have a kids' menu. But take some kids in there, and they will not be "cooked down to." No chicken fingers with French fries here. The kitchen will prepare anything from their menu in a plain-ish, kid-friendly style — Wild King salmon, say, but cooked all the way through and minimally seasoned — that wind up being so pure that they may just make the adults at the table jealous.

Website:
http://www.americanseasons.com/

FRANZ HILL VINEYARD WINE AT CURRENTVINTAGE. Price inflation is the immediate effect for most wines that receive a 90+ rating from uber-critic Robert Parker. Except if your wine is Zinfandel from Franz Hill Vineyard in Napa— despite a stellar score of 93 from Parker for their 2005 vintage, this Zin stays at a very earth-bound price of $30 a bottle. Production is extremely, extremely limited but currentVintage on Easy Street has a direct line to the producer. Find it there. Show it off. Whether you tell your guests what a bargain it is is completely up to you.

Websites:
http://www.currentvintage.com/
http://www.franzhillvineyard.com/index.html

BEST NANTUCKET STORY. The tagline for Donelan wines is "Wine is a Journey Not a Destination." For founder Joe Donelan, that journey's gone from college at Holy Cross in Worcester to supplying paper for LL Bean catalogs in Maine to trailing one of Nantucket's greatest sommeliers around the world. Donelan is old-school (he hand-writes some 3000 thank you notes every year) which, in addition to some incredible winemaking, add up to a super-high ratio of customer loyalty. Today Donelan splits his time between his vineyards in California and a kitted-out (for wine lovers, that is) home close to his roots on Nantucket. Look for his wines in shops and restaurants on the island and all over Massachusetts.

Website:
http://www.donelanwines.com/index2.html

BEST BOOKSTORE. There are two, actually— Nantucket Bookworks and Mitchell's Book Corner. Both are excellent because both are oozing with personality. These are not corporations. These are people. They have literally read the books and will gladly share their opinions. But even if you don't actually engage in conversation with anyone working in the shops, you'll feel invited to browse until you find Just The Right Book for your Nantucket getaway.

Websites:
http://www.mitchellsbookcorner.com
http://www.nantucketbookworks.com/

BEST GUEST SERVICE. It's the high season now and Nantucket's service in dustry has officially shifted into gear. The standard-bearer for guest service is, hands down, the White Elephant hotel and residences. Sure there are the things they offer every guest, like van service to the ferries or into town or to a partner restaurant. But come to them with a particular request or problem and they kick it into overdrive. They take it personal. Call it Humane Hospitality. Or just call it whatever it takes to get you one heck of a restful night's sleep.

Website:
http://www.whiteelephanthotel.com/

MUST-DO ACTIVITIES. Rent a bike, or bring your own. Take a Pilates workshop. Visit the Whaling Museum. Take a walking tour with the Nantucket Preservation Trust. Try ice cream flavors you've never had before. Cake batter, anyone?

Websites:
http://www.nantucketpreservation.org/index.html
http://www.easyridersbikerentals.com/
http://www.nha.org/sites/
http://nantucketicecream.com/

Marmalade Tart By Annie Copps

Friday, August 6, 2010
1 Comments   1 comments.

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I confess that I am not such a good baker but I am trying! My good friend, food writer, and cookbook author Molly Stevens is a great cook and she shared a super easy recipe that works anytime of the year. So Molly’s marmalade tart has a tender and crunchy pastry that has extra texture flavor from just a few tablespoons of cornmeal. In a food processor you simply pulse together flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, and butter—plus an egg yolk. That’s your pastry.

Preparation Time: 25 minutes
Start to Finish Time: 2 hours
Yield: one 8-inch tart

Grating a bit of the pastry onto the top of the tart before baking will add a nice crunch. Award-winning cookbook author Molly Stevens shared this recipe with Yankee Magazine.

Dough ingredients
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting surfaces
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal, preferably stone-ground
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
1 large egg yolk
2 to 3 tablespoons cold milk, cream, or water

Dough directions
In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, sugar, cornmeal, and salt. Pulse to combine. Add butter, tossing with a wooden spoon to coat the butter cubes in flour, then pulse several times until the mixture resembles coarse oatmeal. Add egg yolk and 2 tablespoons milk, cream, or water, then pulse until the dough begins to come together in a ball. Add the additional tablespoon of liquid if it’s needed to bring the dough together. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead it briefly, then shape it into a disk about 5 inches across. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.

Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a shape about 1/2 inch wider than the tart pan you are using. Transfer the dough to the pan (loosely fold the dough in half so it doesn’t sag) and line the pan with it, being careful not to stretch the dough. Trim any excess dough from the rim of the pan, leaving a blunt, neat edge. Gather the trimmings into a ball (it should be about the size of a table tennis ball). Wrap the tart and the small ball of dough in plastic and refrigerate 1 hour or up to 2 days.

Filling ingredients
1 heaping cup of your favorite marmalade or jam
1/3 cup sliced almonds
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Filling directions
Preheat the oven to 375°. Remove the tart pan from the refrigerator and spread marmalade evenly over the crust. Grate the chilled ball of pastry onto the marmalade, then sprinkle almonds over the top. Bake on a rack in the center of the oven until the pastry is golden, the filling is bubbly, and the almonds are toasted, about 40 to 50 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. When the tart is completely cool, dust with confectioners’ sugar. Serve at room temperature.

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annie coppsAnnie B. Copps is a senior editor at Yankee Magazine. Annie oversees the magazine's food coverage, both as an editor and as a contributor of feature stories and columns.

Spicy Wok Clams and Leeks By Ming Tsai

Friday, August 6, 2010
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When I come across a flavor I really love, I like to spread it around, and the best way to spread the great flavor of Indonesia’s spicy sambal is with crème fraiche, the French multitasker that also mellows sambal’s heat — which you will see in todays’ recipe: Spicy Wok Clams and Leeks, an all-in-one seafood dish with a nuance of bacon and garlic.

Serves 4

Ingredients
2 slices of bacon, finely diced
4 cloves of garlic, sliced
2 large leeks, white parts only, julienned, washed, rinsed, spun dry
1 tablespoon sambal
2 pounds small clams or cockles, purged in corn meal/water solution
1 cup white wine
1/4 cup crème fraiche
Canola oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Crusty multi grain or whole wheat bread

Directions
In a wok over medium-high heat very lightly coated with oil, render the bacon. Pour off almost all the bacon fat and add garlic and leeks, saute until softened and season with salt and pepper. Add sambal and clams and deglaze with wine and cover. Cook until clams open, about 6-8 minutes. Add crème fraiche and stir into liquid. Serve with crusty bread in large bowls.

Drink Pairing
Hopler Gewurztraminer 2003
Creamy on the palate with a long finish, this is a particularly great pairing with spicy Asian foods and seafood.
__________________________________________________________
Chef Ming Tsai is the host and executive producer of public television series Simply Ming. Each week, Simply Ming brings mouthwatering recipes inspired by the combination of East and West into homes across the nation.

Anadama Bread By Annie Copps

Tuesday, August 3, 2010
1 Comments   1 comments.

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anadama breadThis is definitely a New England recipe. Anadama bread is one of the most popular breads here, and for good reason—it's absolutely delicious. Try smearing a mixture of butter and local honey on it and, you'll be hooked. This is my friend and mentor chef Jasper White's recipe, Jasper uses a bit more corn meal and less molasses than most recipes, so it serves dual roles as a breakfast bread or alongside hearty chowders.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Start to Finish Time: 1.5 hours
Yield: 2 loaves

Ingredients
1 package active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1-1/4 cups (approx.) warm water (105-115 degrees), divided
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, cooled to room temperature
2 tablespoons dark molasses
2 teaspoons salt
3-1/2 cups bread flour, plus extra for work surface
1 cup yellow cornmeal
Vegetable oil or butter
1 large egg, beaten with 2 tablespoons water (egg wash)

Directions
In a medium-size bowl (or the bowl of a standing mixer with hook attachment), combine yeast, sugar, and 1/4 cup warm water; mix well. Add melted butter, molasses, salt, flour, and cornmeal. Slowly add up to 1 cup more warm water; mix to form a soft, but not sticky, dough. Add more water if necessary. Knead by machine about 10 minutes, or by hand about 15 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic.

Oil (or butter) a large bowl lightly. Shape dough into a ball and place in the bowl; turn it once so it's lightly greased all over. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp cloth and place in a warm, draft-free spot. Let dough rise until volume doubles, about 1 hour.

Grease two 9-1/2x5-inch loaf pans. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Cut in half and shape each half into a loaf. Place each loaf in a pan, return to a warm spot, and let rise until volume doubles, about 20 to 30 minutes.

Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Brush the tops of the loaves with egg wash and bake 1 hour, or until deep golden brown. To test for doneness, remove one hot loaf from its pan and tap the bottom of the bread; you'll hear a hollow sound if it's done. If it's not done, return it to the oven for 5 to 10 minutes. When loaves are done, turn them out of their pans and cool on a rack for at least 20 minutes.

(Adapted from 50 Chowders: One-Pot Meals—Clam, Corn & Beyond by Jasper White)

Easy Breadsticks
By Annie Copps

Friday, August 6, 2010
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I love throwing dinner parties. I am always trying to think of fun and tasty snacks to have as appetizers: not too fancy or fussy, things you can pick up with your hands, and something I can make myself. I was recently at a cocktail party where breadsticks were served — store-bought — and they were okay, but I figured they can’t be too hard to make and I can add any flavors I like.

Ingredients
Pizza dough (homemade or store bought)

Any toppings you prefer. (we suggest black and white sesame seeds, fennel and coriander seeds, poppy seeds, chile powder, finely grated Parmesan cheese, za’atar spice mix, or freshly ground black pepper)

About 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Coarse salt

Directions
Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Line 1 or 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll out your favorite pizza dough (store-bought or homemade) to about 1/3 inch thick.

Using a large knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough into 3/4-inch-wide strips.

Brush lightly with water and sprinkle with any mix of seeds, spices, and cheese. One by one lift the ends of the strip and twist. Arranged the twisted strips onto baking sheets.

Bake until nicely browned and crisp, about 15 minutes. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt.

Let cool, then serve or store up to 1 day in an airtight container.

annie copps with appleAnnie B. Copps is a senior editor at Yankee Magazine. Annie oversees the magazine's food coverage, both as an editor and as a contributor of feature stories and columns.

Maple-Pecan Squares
By Annie Copps

Monday, August 9, 2010
0 Comments   0 comments.

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I can’t imagine anything more New England-y than maple syrup. We tend to think of maple syrup as a cold weather ingredient or just the thing to top french toast and pancakes, but maple sugaring just wrapped up and the new batches of New England maple syrup are on the shelves. Here’s one of my favorite uses for maple syrup.

Yield: 2 dozen

Ingredients
Crust
1-1/2 cups all-purpose white flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature

Filling
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup maple syrup
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons all-purpose white flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch by 13-inch baking pan.

Make the crust by combining the 1-1/2 cups flour, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and butter. Blend with a fork until the mixture has the consistency of cornmeal. Pat into the baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the filling by combining the 2/3 cups brown sugar and the maple syrup in a saucepan and simmering for 5 minutes. Pour this over the beaten eggs, stirring constantly. Stir in the 2 tablespoons flour, salt, and vanilla. Pour over the partially baked crust. Sprinkle with the nuts.

Return the pan to the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes more. Cool completely before cutting into squares.

___________________________________________________________
annie coppsAnnie B. Copps is a senior editor at Yankee Magazine. Annie oversees the magazine's food coverage, both as an editor and as a contributor of feature stories and columns.

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