If we can cook it, you can cook it!

Two Recipes that have Summer in the Hamptons written all over them! Lobster and Corn Chowder and Peach Blueberry Crisp

Two Recipes that have Summer in the Hamptons written all over them! Lobster and Corn Chowder and Peach Blueberry Crisp
         “As the days dwindle to a precious few”….I have to wonder why it is that from August 1st on, everyone out East starts talking about the end of summer!  There are another 7 weeks left but inevitably these get whittled down.  Freshmen are leaving for college the 19th.  New York private school kids sports programs gear up the same week.  Egads! They may be right!  This spectacular summer, with weather that’s kept the air conditioning off almost continuously and with Camelot-like rain that nevers falls till after sundown, is winding down. So it’s time to celebrate with food that has summer written all over it.


The Birthday Girl turned 15!

This past weekend we celebrated another milestone as our god daughter Olivia turned 15!  So the first night of her visit, we prepared these two dishes.  The first Andrew called “Summer in a Bowl”.  It’s a recipe from Saveur and a chef named Cary Wheaton who was inspired to make it on a vacation to the tiny town of Westport, Massachusetts.  It features Lobster and the fresh corn we cannot get enough of this time of year.  Then it’s topped with diced slab bacon for any extra kick of salty flavor.   While I worked on the creamy sweet chowder, Andrew and the Birthday Girl herself made an exceptional Peach Blueberry Crisp filled with local, ripe, sweet peaches, pop-in-your-mouth tart blueberries and a crisp topping that’s a reason to eat the dish all by itself.  This recipe came to us all the way from Seattle.  “The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook” (William Morrow 2012).and its author, Tom Douglas, waxed poetic over the Red Haven Washington State peaches he used. Ours were endorsed by Olivia’s mother, Jayne, as the best peaches anywhere in the Hamptons. They came from Hardscrabble Farm, whose stand is at the corner of Stephen Hand’s Path and Rte. 114, if you want to duplicate this recipe exactly.  Served with a scoop (or two) of vanilla bean ice cream, it’s a salute to an old-fashioned summer bringing up memories of sitting on a porch watching the fireflies.        

The Seafood Shop sign should read
4 for $52.00.  Still a bargain!

Lobster, that luxury seafood in much of the country, is one of the most inexpensive seafoods you can buy here.  Pity the poor lobster fisherman, 4 lobsters of about a lb. each can be had for $52.00.  Sadly, Long Island Sound is no longer a viable lobster fishing ground.  As the water temperature rises, the lobsters simply cannot survive.  Yet another lesson in global warming and its consequences!  Our lobster likely hailed from Maine.  Now this dish is labor intensive, there’s no denying it.  At the same time Andrew and I were buying our lobster at the Seafood Shop in Wainscott, we saw that 1 lb. of Lobster Salad was priced at $65.00.    Outrageous?  This is actually the low end of the lobster salad scale here where quite notoriously one purveyor of gourmet goodies prices theirs at $100.00 a lb.  But after I’d dismembered the four lobsters involved in cooking the Chowder, and badly gashed my thumb on a piece of lobster shell, $65.00 seemed entirely reasonable to me.  If you want, you can certainly pony up for cooked lobster for this recipe. But you are going to have to ask for the shells to make the broth.

         Once the lobster is out of the shell, the rest is relatively simple,  but time is needed to get the broth made and reduced.  While that is happening you can get everything else prepped and ready to go.  It’s well worthwhile!  This is a treat with the full of the flavor of the sea, the season’s best corn and new red potatoes.  Served with crusty bread, it made a really satisfying supper.  And for dessert there was Andrew and Olivia’s Crisp.  Here are the recipes:

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