Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Subtle Tea on Long Island makes an impression with Craft Brewed and Organic offerings....



Lynn and I stumbled upon a great Long Island product and company called The Subtle Tea Company out of nearby (to us) Centereach, New York. The teas are craft brewed and organic with the best tasting zero calorie tea Lynn and I have ever had. The company seems to be getting good distribution around Long Island (we just spotted it at the Jamesport Brewery).  Lynn and I look forward to seeing this company grow on Long Island and are always glad to have the chance to be supportive to local products.
M& L

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

The Spirit of the 90's is alive at Coffee Labs Roasters in Tarrytown...


 Lynn and I went to Tarrytown this weekend and were charmed by the Downtown there with its interestingly curated stores, interesting restaraunts and for me a couple of Coffee Shops that transported me back to my college days and early post collegiate life where I would spend large segments of my days and nights in the then novel notion of a "Coffee Bar."  I don't spend any real time at Coffee shops anymore being married and busy with work and life of course. 


So, it was fun to get a inky black shot of espresso from Coffee Labs.  We just made a pit stop there but it was fun to soak in that 90's vibe on a crisp April afternoon.
 

Monday, April 8, 2019

Pik Nik in Tarrytown makes a mostly good impression on M & L


Lynn and I went into Tarrytown, NY over the weekend and found Pik Nik a Barbeque-centric restaraunt the food of which we enjoyed immensely.  We ordered tacos and were rewarded with three hefty and flavorful  offerings stuffed with delicious pulled pork. Other diners around us ordered brisket and chicken and the portions were epic. 

The interior was slightly hipster with an eclectic array of found objects, posters, and vinyl. On the minus side, some of the staff were visibly and inexplicably cranky on a beautiful April day. This cut against the cheerful interior and laid back vibe a bit.

 Nonetheless, Pik Nik was a satisfying experience with memorable food on a beautiful Westchester afternoon.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Patchogue Beer Project is a great, new venue for Long Island Beer Lovers...

The Patchogue Beer Project has just opened and it looks to be one of the more sophisticated breweries on Long Island as the operation employs no kegs and the entire brewing process is visible to patrons.  Beyond this, the brewery has great branding with a proud Native American warrior as their symbol.  And the beer had something for every taste from the heft of the Hazlenut Stout to the pop of the "EZ Swezey" IPA.  There are also wine offerings from Bridge Lane Winery as well as Ciders for those who are not into beer but want to experience the brewery.
There are retro video games and a partnership with adjoining Local Burger where you can order food from this popular eatery which delivered to your table.  This is a particularly appealing notion as many of the breweries we visit have inconsistent (or nearly nonexistent) food.
 With many of the major breweries on Long Island located on the North Fork it is great to have an addition so close to our Brookhaven home.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Joe Beef: Surving the Apocalypse is the hippest cookbook of the season....


When Lynn and I went to Montreal almost exactly 10 years ago we were blown away by the restaurant Joe Beef.   Since then, the Restaurant's owners Frederic Morin, David McMillan along with Author Meredith Erickson have released two innovative, even ground breaking cookbooks which in some ways reset the idea for what a cookbook is and can be. With their latest, Joe Beef: Surviving the Apocalypse; Another Cookbook of Sorts (Alfred A. Knopf Publishing)  the Joe Beef team returns with another cookbook with great and exotic French Caniadian centric fare like Crispy Frog Legs, Lobster Sausage and French Smoked Rack of Lam.

Surviving the Apocolypse would be one of the most interesting culinary offerings of the year with only its recipes.  What takes it to another level is it's DIY spirit celebrating skills that maximize self sufficiency with recipes and instructions to make (among other things)  beef jerky, dry herbs, make syrups and smoked apple cider vinegar so if/when the apocolypse hits you are all set...M&L

(As a treat to M&L followers here are a couple of recipes from Joe Beef STA)



Smoked meat croquettes

Makes 30 croquettes

You will need:
Food processor
Digital scale (optional)
Deep fryer or heavy pot
Deep-frying thermometer
For the filling
¼ pound (113 g) cheese curds
¼ pound (113 g) smoked Cheddar, cubed
½ pound (225 g) Montreal smoked meat (lean), shredded
½ cup (30 g) sauerkraut, drained and finely chopped
1 tablespoon Montreal steak spice
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
½ cup (120 ml) Béchamel Rapide (recipe follows)
2 quarts (2 l) canola oil for deep-frying

For the breading
1 cup (75 g) flour
4 large eggs, beaten
1 cup (130 g) rye bread crumbs or plain bread crumbs mixed with 1 teaspoon ground caraway seeds
Salt
Water
Yellow mustard (optional)
Thousand Island dressing (optional)
1 kosher pickle, thinly sliced

1.     Add the cheese curds and smoked Cheddar to the bowl of a food processer and pulse until evenly crumbled. Transfer to a large bowl.
2.      Now pulse the smoked meat in the food processer until it looks like hamburger meat. Transfer to the cheese bowl.
3.     Add the sauerkraut, steak spice, mustard and béchamel, and using a spatula or gloves, mix well.
4.     Use your hands to shape 30 cylinders into the size and shape of a wine cork. Transfer to a parchment-lined sheet pan as you work. Refrigerate the croquettes for 30 minutes to help them retain their shape.
5.     To bread the croquettes: Set up three bowls, one with flour, one with the eggs, and one with the rye bread crumbs. Dip each croquette into the flour, then the egg, then the bread crumbs. Set aside on a small tray.
6.     Pour the canola oil into a deep fryer or heavy pot. The oil should be 350 F (180 C)
7.     Fry the croquettes in batches of 5 or 6 for 21/2 minutes until golden brown. Keep an eye on the thermometer and adjust your heat up or down accordingly so that the croquettes don’t brown too quickly: you want them to be hot in the center. Use a skimmer or slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel lined plate.
8.     Serve with your choice of yellow mustard or Thousand Island dressing and slices of kosher pickle.

Note: To make your own rye bread crumbs, process several slices of rye bread in your food processor. Spread the fresh crumbs out on a sheet pan to stale completely. Process again until fine, pass through a sieve, and keep in an airtight container until ready to use.


Bechamel rapide

Makes 2 cups (500 ml) sauce

You will need:
Handheld immersion blender

2 cups (500 ml) whole milk, cold
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ cup (65 g) all-purpose flour
¼ cup (60 g) cold unsalted butter, diced

1.      In a tall jar or container, combine the cold milk, nutmeg, and flour with an immersion blender.
2.      Transfer to a small saucepan, and bring to slow boil over medium heat.
3.      Whisk in the butter: Whisk, whisk, whisk until well incorporated and the sauce visibly thickens—about 4 minutes. Cook to lukewarm, then stir into the croquettes filling (opposite).



QC Spring Seafood Pie
Serves 6-ish
(feeds a family with leftovers for the following day)
You will need:
Ricer
Piping bag with the largest pastry tip
Large Pyrex or Le Creuset baking dish, similar to what you use for shepherd’s pie

For the pommes duchesse
4 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled
3 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons heavy cream
(35 percent butterfat)
Salt and white pepper

For the velouté
¼ cup (57 g) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ cup (60 g) all-purpose flour
3 cups (720 ml) whole milk
1 cup (240 ml) fish stock or clam juice
¼ cup (60 ml) heavy cream
(35 percent butterfat)
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Salt and white pepper

For the filling
4 ounces (120 g) cooked lobster meat (from one 1-pound lobster)
4 ounces (120 g) whelk meat, finely sliced (typically comes in a jar)
4 ounces (120 g) fresh or frozen Nordic shrimp (aka Maine shrimp)
4 ounces (120 g) bay scallops
4 ounces (120 g) steamed and shelled mussels (from one pound of mussels)
½ pound (225 g) turbot fillet
1 Yukon Gold potato, cut into cubes the size of playing dice
7 ounces (200 g) lardons (bacon slices cut into ½-inch-/1-cm-thick bâtons)
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
1 tablespoon minced fresh chervil
1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

For the garnish
Egg wash (1 large egg beaten with
3 tablespoons whole milk)
2 sets snow crab legs, thawed, and cracked lengthwise (using kitchen shears)
1 tablespoon of Old Bay Seasoning

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C)
  2. For the pommes duchesse: Place the potatoes in a large saucepan with enough cold water to cover them. Bring to boil and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Pass the potatoes through a ricer.
  3. In a bowl, stir the potatoes with the egg yolks, butter, cream, and salt and white pepper. Reserve in a piping bag with the biggest piping tip, such as the classic plain #24 (11/16)
  4. For the veloute: Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the mustard and flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the milk, fish stock, cream, cayenne, and lemon juice, and slowly bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and white pepper to taste.
  5. Add all the filling ingredients to your veloute.
  6. Butter the inside of a Pyrex/Le Creuset/copper pot. Transfer the filling mixture to your vessel. Inside the dish, pipe the pommes duchesse in a way to make it look like fish scales. If that OTT (over the top), simply pipe in a spiral to follow the shape of the dish.
  7. Brush with the egg wash. Just before putting the dish in the oven, place the crab legs sticking out the dish as if it were crawling.
  8. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the pie is hot inside and golden brown outside. Finish with a dusting of Old bay to garnish.





Monday, November 12, 2018

Greenpoint Fish and Lobster dazzles with great seafood and alluring atmosphere...

Lynn and I got to Greenpoint Fish and Lobster Company in Brooklyn and were dazzled by the great seafood and warm ambiance.  We enjoyed the Baja Fish Tacos which were particularly unique thanks to the citrus cabbage slaw.   Besides being a restaurant, GPF&L is also a first class fish market with the usual offerings of Flounder and Striped Bass but also has exotica such as Rabbitfish, Dogfish and Sea Robins. They also carry in house smoked fish, gravlax and caviar. GPF&L puts an emphasis on locally sourced and sustainable seafood being mindful of where the finfiish and shellfish originate.   
Having said this, Greenpoint Fish and Lobster has a sexy vibe with attractive high top seating, an attractive and freindly staff and a nice wine and beer menu to pair with their menu.  No doubt Greenpoint F&L will be a destination spot for us for years to come...M&L

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Moustache Brewery in Riverhead dazzles with a chic tasting room and creative brews...


We visited Moustache Brewing in Riverhead, NY recently and were dazzled by the architectural quality of the interiors of the place (recently moved into by MB). Lynn and I were talking about how more and more breweries interiors on Long Island are becoming increasingly sleek and aesthetically pleasing.  With its attractive tabletops, flattering lighting and pleasant acoustics Moustache could easily pass for a high end restaurant. 


Lynn and I had a sampler of Moustache's brews and were particularly fond of the citrus laden "Sailor Mouth." and American IPA hopped twice.  We also enjoyed another American IPA "DJ Night." On the other end of the spectrum Lynn particularly enjoyed "Salto Mortale" (a risky step or undertaking in Italian) which had an ABV of over 12% which is brewed in Bourbon barrels with molosses, maple syrup and blackberry; perfect to warm up with on a cold winter day.
There were several other brews we did not have a chance to try including the Nine Pin Cedar Works made from apples from Samascott Orchards in Upstate New York.  We certainly look forward to visiting this jewel in Riverhead to see how their brewery evolves....M&L

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I (Mark) have written for The Christian Science Monitor, Clear Magazine, Picture Magazine, Film Score Monthly, Dan's Papers, Rue Morgue, In Flight USA and a lot more publications that I can't remember.... My wife Lynn was a model with the Ford Agency and her photography has been featured in most of the publications I have written for...

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