Food & Drink

In celebration of its 80th anniversary, The Long Island Museum hosted a Mount House Summer Soirée at the Hawkins-Mount House in Stony Brook on June 28. The Americana-themed party featured signature cocktails dinner, live music and tours of artist William Sidney Mount’s childhood home, which had been closed to the public for three decades. 

Photos by Karen Romanelli

Chicken Liver Crostini. Stock photo

By Barbara Beltrami

A recent trip to my beloved Tuscan countryside compels me to share with you some thoughts about its rustic fare that emanates mostly from peasant farm people who for hundreds of years have eked every last bit from those rolling patch-worked hills and the olives trees, grapevines, vegetables and animals they raised on them. Hence, that area is well known and loved for its simple fare of olive oil, wine, tomatoes, beans and cured meats. Not so much actual recipes as frugal combinations of basic staples, Tuscan food is as earthy as its cypress-dotted green and ocher landscape crowned by ancient hilltop towns and tile-roofed stone farmhouses.

Chicken Liver Crostini

YIELD: Makes 12 to 16 servings

INGREDIENTS:

¼ cup olive oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

½ cup chopped fresh mushrooms

½ cup chopped onion

1 pound chicken livers

¼ cup dry red wine

1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and drained

1 tablespoon chopped anchovies

½ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

1 bay leaf

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

12 to 16 slices toasted rustic Italian bread

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

DIRECTIONS:

In a large skillet, heat ¼ cup olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add mushrooms, onions and chicken livers and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are transparent and livers are brown outside and pale pink inside, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add wine, capers, anchovies, parsley and bay leaf. Continue to cook until liquid is mostly evaporated. Remove and discard bay leaf; add salt and pepper. With a fork or back or a cooking spoon, mash livers or, if desired, place in bowl of food processor and pulse a few times. Drizzle bread with extra virgin olive oil and spread chicken liver mixture on top. Serve warm or at room temperature with a chilled young wine.

 Bread and Tomato Soup

YIELD: Makes 6 servings.

INGREDIENTS:

¼ cup olive oil

1 large onion, diced

5 pounds ripe tomatoes, diced with their juice

4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

¼–½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Coarse salt to taste

½ pound stale rustic bread cut into 1-inch cubes

1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

½ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley 

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

DIRECTIONS:

In a large saucepan, heat ¼ cup oil over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until opaque, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add tomatoes with their juice, garlic, crushed red pepper and salt. Cook, partially covered, over medium heat until mixture is somewhat thickened, about 30 minutes. Stir in bread, basil and parsley; let sit until bread is softened, then mash it into mixture. Stir in extra virgin olive oil and serve hot, warm or at room temperature with a crisp dry white wine.

Tuscan Bean Salad 

YIELD: Makes 6 to 8 servings

INGREDIENTS:

Two 14-ounce cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1 celery rib, washed, trimmed and thinly sliced

2/3 cup finely chopped red onion

½ cup chopped oil-cured black olives

½ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Place beans, celery, onion, olives, parsley and rosemary in a large bowl; toss to combine. In a small bowl whisk together oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Add to bean mixture; toss to thoroughly coat. Let sit one hour, toss again and serve at room temperature with arugula and cherry tomato salad, crusty bread and slices of prosciutto and salami.

Farfalle Salad with Salmon, Asparagus and Peas. Stock photo

By Barbara Beltrami

When it’s time for a backyard barbecue or pool party, neighborhood get-together or family celebration, it seems that in the past few years the traditional salads have given up some of their popularity to pasta salads, one of my favorite things to put together. I cook up a nice big pot of some weird-shaped pasta and then put my imagination to work. The last three times I did that I came up with some real doozies that turned out to be big hits. 

The first was farfalle with poached salmon, peas, asparagus, dill, yogurt and mayonnaise. Another one was penne with chick peas, black olives, cherry tomatoes, grilled eggplant and goat cheese, and the most recent one was basically an antipasto salad: fusilli tossed with julienned Genoa salami,, provolone, roasted red peppers, pepperoncini, marinated artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, mozzarella and anchovies in a simple olive oil, wine vinegar and herb dressing. Try one or all of them or boil up a pot of pasta and see what happens next.

Farfalle Salad with Salmon, Asparagus and Peas

YIELD: Makes 8 to 12 servings

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup capers, rinsed and drained

Freshly squeezed juice of one small lemon

2 teaspoons prepared mustard

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 

1 pound farfalle pasta, cooked and at room temperature 

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

1 package frozen peas, thawed

1 pound fresh asparagus, cooked and sliced into 1-inch pieces

3 to 4 scallions, thinly sliced

1 pound fresh salmon, poached and torn into bite-size pieces

1/3 cup chopped fresh dill

DIRECTIONS:

In a medium bowl, using a wire whisk thoroughly combine yogurt, mayonnaise, capers, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper. In a large bowl toss the pasta with the olive oil to coat thoroughly. Add peas, asparagus, scallions  and yogurt mixture; toss again; scatter salmon and dill over top of salad. Serve at room temperature or chilled with cucumber salad.

Penne Salad Provencale

YIELD: Makes 8 to 12 servings

INGREDIENTS:

1 pound cooked penne, at room temperature

¾ cup extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup white or red wine vinegar

2 garlic cloves, bruised

1 tablespoon fresh marjoram or 1 tsp. dried

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves or 1 tsp. dried

Coarse salt and black pepper to taste

Nonstick cooking spray

1 medium eggplant, washed and diced

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

One 14-ounce can chick peas, rinsed/drained

3 medium fresh tomatoes, diced

1 cup oil-packed black olives, pitted and sliced

6 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400 F. In small bowl combine oil, vinegar, garlic, marjoram and thyme. Let sit at room temperature one hour; remove and discard garlic. Coat a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray; spread eggplant evenly and bake, until soft, about 10 minutes. In medium bowl, toss eggplant with ¼ cup olive oil. In large bowl, combine pasta, eggplant, chick peas, tomatoes, olives, goat cheese and oil and vinegar mixture; season with salt and pepper; toss thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate up to one hour; let sit 30 minutes before serving with a green salad, and meat, fowl or fish.

Fusilli Salad with Antipasto

YIELD: Makes 8 to 12 servings

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup red wine vinegar

2 garlic cloves, bruised

¼ cup chopped fresh basil

2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano 

2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 pound cooked fusilli pasta

½ cup pepperoncini, drained

½ pound sliced Genoa salami, julienned

¼ pound sliced provolone cheese, julienned

½ pound mozzarella cheese, diced

¾ cup roasted red peppers, diced

1 cup marinated artichoke hearts, drained and sliced or chopped

½ cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and diced

10 anchovy fillets, minced

1 cup thinly sliced celery

DIRECTIONS:

In small bowl combine oil, vinegar, garlic, basil, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper; whisk vigorously; let sit at room temperature one hour; remove garlic and discard; whisk mixture again. In large bowl, combine remaining ingredients; toss, add oil and vinegar mixture, toss again. 

Refrigerate until ready to serve, let sit 30 minutes at room temperature. Serve with wine, beer, or soft drinks.

Stock photo

By Bob Lipinski

Bob Lipinski

When the subject of wines from Australia is brought up, most people think of “critter” (Yellow Tail) labels, “fruit-bomb” shiraz and over-oaked chardonnay. Australia produces some excellent chardonnay, pinot noir and even sparkling wines.

Australia is a grape-growing country that is slightly smaller than the United States. Australia is divided into six grape-growing states (in descending order of production): South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia, Tasmania and Queensland. Wine is also made (to a lesser degree) in the Northern Territory. Within each state Australian appellations are subdivided into zones, regions, subregions and GIs (geographical indications).

Labeling laws

(Australian wine law, established in 1990)

Vintage Dated: Wines must be made from a minimum of 85 percent of the stated vintage.

Varietal Wine: Wines must be made from a minimum of 85 percent of the stated grape variety.

Blend: A blend must state the dominant grape variety first.

Denomination of Origin: If a place of origin appears on the labels, wines must be made from a minimum of 85 percent from that location.

Chaptalization: Adding sugar to the unfermented grape juice is prohibited.

Growing season

Australia experiences a growing season that is six months ahead of the Northern Hemisphere’s. The vintage listed on an Australian wine is the year in which the grapes were harvested, not the year in which the growing season began.

There are many good to excellent chardonnay and pinot noir wines made in Australia. Here are six wines I recently tasted.

2015 Leeuwin Estate “Art Series” Chardonnay (Margaret River, Western Australia). Light yellow color with a bouquet of melon, tropical fruit and butter with citrus and green apple flavors.

2017 Bindi “Kostas Rind” Chardonnay (Macedon Ranges, Victoria). Bouquet and flavor of ripe pineapple, melon, toasted bread and hints of oak.

2016 By Farr Farrside Vineyard Pinot Noir (Geelong, Victoria). Ruby color with a full bouquet of cranberry, plums, raisins, spices and hints of coffee with a tart-berry aftertaste.

2016 Timo Mayer “Close Planted” Pinot Noir (Yarra Valley, Victoria). Cherry color with a bouquet brimming with berries, sour cherry, cola and spices.

2015 Moorooduc Estate, Pinot Noir (Mornington Peninsula, Victoria). Bouquet and flavors of blackberry, blueberry and eucalyptus. Medium-bodied with a delicious tart-berry aftertaste.

2016 Eden Road Pinot Noir (Tumbarumba, New South Wales). Full bouquet of raspberries, strawberries and candied fruit. Soft in the mouth with hints of earth and mint.

Recommended cheeses for chardonnay:

Camembert, cheddar, Edam, Emmentaler, manchego, Port Salut

Recommended cheeses for pinot noir: 

Brie, Comté, Époisses de Bourgogne, Gouda, Gruyere, Monterey Jack

Bob Lipinski is the author of 10 books, including “101: Everything You Need to Know About Whiskey” and “Italian Wine & Cheese Made Simple” (available on Amazon.com). He conducts training seminars on wine, spirits and food and is available for speaking engagements. He can be reached at www.boblipinski.com OR bkjm@hotmail.com.

Cheesecake With Cherry Glaze. Stock photo

By Barbara Beltrami

Cheesecake has to be one of the most popular desserts around. I mean, who doesn’t like cheesecake? I have two versions that have been in my recipe file for as long as I can remember. 

One, a rich and creamy decadent version is called Cousin Edith’s Cheesecake. I have no cousin named Edith, nor do I know whose cousin she is; I just know that ages ago I found it in one of those ancient spiral bound ladies auxiliary fundraiser cookbooks languishing at a yard sale. My eye was drawn to it because of all the recipes there, it was the only one on a stained and dog-eared page, always a sign of a cook’s or baker’s favorite. 

Another recipe for Italian Ricotta Cheesecake, much lighter but equally delicious, was found in my mother-in-law’s scrawl tucked into an old address book many years ago and has undergone a slight updating for modern kitchen appliances. They both are real company pleasers and travel well when it’s my turn to bring dessert. 

Cousin Edith’s Cheesecake With Cherry Glaze

Cheesecake With Cherry Glaze. Stock photo

YIELD: Makes 8 servings

INGREDIENTS:

Nonstick cooking spray

11/3 cup graham cracker crumbs

¼ cup melted unsalted butter

¼ cup sugar

Two 8-ounce bricks cream cheese, at room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup flour

2 eggs

1 cup light cream

½ tablespoon vanilla extract

½ cup cherry juice

2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons cornstarch

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 325 F. Spray bottom and sides of 9-inch springform pan. In medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, butter and quarter-cup of sugar; press into bottom and partially up sides of pan. Bake for 10 minutes; let cool slightly. While it is cooling, in large mixer bowl beat cream cheese until soft and fluffy, about one minute; add sugar and flour. Mix well. Blend in eggs, one at a time; then stir in cream and vanilla. Pour mixture into crumb-lined pan. Bake for 35 minutes or until set in middle. Turn off oven; let sit in oven another 30 minutes. Cool before removing rim. 

Meanwhile, in small saucepan combine cherry juice, two tablespoons sugar and cornstarch. Stirring constantly, cook over medium heat until mixture thickens, about 5 minutes.  Let cool slightly, place cake on serving plate and pour cherry glaze on top. Serve with coffee, tea or dessert wine.

Ricotta Cheesecake

YIELD: Makes 12 to 16 servings

INGREDIENTS:

8 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon grated orange or lemon zest

1½ cups sugar

½ cup flour

3 pounds whole milk ricotta cheese

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter and flour a 9-inch springform pan, place pan on a 12-inch square of aluminum foil and mold it tightly around bottom and sides of pan. In a large bowl beat eggs, vanilla and zest just until blended. Beat in sugar and flour. In a food processor or blender, puree ricotta until very smooth; then add to the egg mixture and stir well. Pour batter into prepared pan and place pan in a roasting pan filled with 1 inch of hot water on middle rack of oven. 

Bake for 1½ hours or until a knife inserted 2 inches from center of cake comes out clean. Turn off oven. Prop oven door open with a wooden spoon and let cake cool there for half an hour. Remove from oven; remove foil and cool completely on wire rack. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve chilled or at room temperature with amaretto, hazelnut liqueur or espresso.

A trade card advertising a New York confectionery depicts Victorian children playing tug of war with a wrapped hard candy.

By Nomi Dayan

As you reach for a sweet treat this June in honor of National Candy Month, consider how the abundance of candy today is a rather exceptional thing.

For much of human history, sugar was an expensive indulgence reserved for celebratory desserts. Sugary treats were a luxury for the rich. People also used sugar for therapeutic functions, with early candy serving as a form of medicine, including lozenges for coughs or digestive troubles. 

Sugar was also used as a preservative; similar to salt, sugar dried fruits and vegetables, preventing spoilage. But all in all, sugar was carefully conserved. In George Washington’s time, the average American consumed only 6 pounds of sugar a year (far less than the 130 or so pounds consumed annually per person today).

The use of sugar swelled dramatically in the 1800s. Suddenly, sugar was everywhere, and with it came new technological advances in candy production. Sugar shipped from slave-powered plantations in the West Indies became more affordable and available with new, steam-powered industrial processes. 

Candy-making, 1888 by Rosina Sherwood. Photo courtesy Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

These changes were part of the Industrial Revolution, made possible by prized whale oil and its valuable lubricating properties. In 1830, Louisiana had the largest sugar refinery in the world. The invention of the Mason jar in 1858 drove demand for sugar for canning, and in 1876, the Hawaiian Reciprocity Treaty made sugar even more available. People couldn’t get enough of sweetness.

The availability of sugar brought a slew of new inventions to the culinary scene: candy! Confectioneries sprang up everywhere. The shops’ best customers were children, who spent their earnings on penny candy. Hard candies became very popular. 

As Yankee whaling reached its peak, Victorian-era sweets boomed with a succession of creations: the first chocolate bar was made in 1847; chewing gum followed in 1848; marshmallows were invented in 1850 and, in 1880, fudge. People’s breaths were taken away when sweets with soft cream centers were tasted at the Great Exhibition in London in 1851.

Some candies, especially hard ones, were sold as being “wholesome” and even healthy. Unfortunately, candy was anything but nourishing. Sugar was sometimes adulterated with cheaper plaster of paris or chalk. Other candies were far more toxic.

In 1831, Dr. William O’Shaughnessy toured different confectionery shops in London and had a range of dyed candy chemically analyzed; he found a startling number of sweets colored with lead, mercury, arsenic and copper.

But as ubiquitous as candy was on land, a sweet treat was quite rare at sea, especially on a whaleship. Sugar on board was still a luxury reserved for the captain and officers. The crew had to settle for molasses, which was often infested; one whaler wrote it tasted like “tar.” Candy only makes brief glimpses in whaling logbooks, or daily records. 

On May 22, 1859, William Abbe journaled on the ship Atkins Adams: “Cook & Thompson Steward making molasses candy in galley.” (Earlier on the voyage, he described molasses kegs as “the haunts of the cockroach.”)

Laura Jernegan, a young daughter who sailed with her father and family on a three-year whaling voyage, wrote in her diary on board the Roman, “Feb 16, 1871. It is quite pleasant today. The hens have laid 50 eggs …” Then, an exciting thing happened – she passed another whaleship at sea, the Emily Morgan. There was a whaling wife aboard, too! Laura wrote: “Mrs. Dexter [the wife of Captain Benjamin Dexter] sent Prescott [her brother] and I some candy.”

In other cultures, whales still facilitated the treat scene – no sugar needed. Frozen whale blubber was (and is) a traditional treat for the Inuit and Chukchi people. Called muktuk, cubes are cut from whale skin and blubber and conventionally are served raw.

While whaling in our country is a thing of the past, the years of unrestricted whaling reflect how, in essence, people treated the ocean “like a kid in a candy store,” as noted by author Robert Sullivan. In the 20th century, so many whales were caught so quickly and efficiently that soon even whalers themselves were worried about saving the whales. 

Today, as we continue to gather resources from the sea, we must ensure the ocean can replenish itself faster than we can sweep its candy off the shelves.

Nomi Dayan is the executive director at The Whaling Museum & Education Center.

Steamed Soft-Shell Clams and Mussels in Garlic and White Wine. Stock photo

By Barbara Beltrami

We are so lucky. It’s summer and we live on Long Island and if there’s one thing we’re known for it’s our miles and miles of beaches skirting the Atlantic Ocean, the Long Island Sound and several bays in between. To spend a day “by the sea, by the beautiful sea,” to play in the sand and surf, and then to dine on its bounty is the essence of summer for us.

When we’re exhilarated and exhausted by the salt air and sunshine, nothing makes a more perfect ending to the day than tucking into a seafood dinner. Of course, it must start off with freshly shucked, ice cold clams and oysters, and if a good sea breeze is kicking up, a bowl of chunky chowder keeps everyone happy until the steamers and mussels have relinquished themselves to their garlic and wine bath.

But all these briny appetizers are just a tease leading to the main attraction: lobsters grilled to charred succulence accompanied by Long Island spuds, a bowlful of husk-wrapped corn, another bowl of tender young greens from the garden — all chased down, of course, with a Long Island chardonnay or sauvignon blanc.

Then finally, there is the moment when, content with the conviviality of the gathering, sated with the taste of the sea, we sit back, contemplate the sunset, sip a mug of good strong coffee and find room somehow, somewhere, for fresh Long Island strawberry cobbler crowned by dollops of vanilla ice cream.

Steamed Soft-Shell Clams and Mussels in Garlic and White Wine

Steamed Soft-Shell Clams and Mussels in Garlic and White Wine. Stock photo

YIELD: Makes 8 to 10 servings

INGREDIENTS:

8 dozen soft-shell clams, scrubbed

4 dozen mussels, scrubbed

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

1 bay leaf

6 bruised garlic cloves

1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

4 sprigs fresh thyme

1 cup dry white wine

½ pound unsalted butter, melted

DIRECTIONS:

Rinse clams and mussels under cold running water; place in large pot with two cups of water, oil, herbs and wine; steam until shells open, 6 to 8 minutes. Discard any whose shells don’t open.  With slotted spoon remove clams and mussels from broth and divide evenly among individual soup bowls; discard herbs. Strain broth through a sieve or cheesecloth and pour into individual bowls or cups. Serve clams, mussels and broth immediately with melted butter for dipping.

Clam and Garden Vegetable Chowder

YIELD: Makes 10 to 12 servings

INGREDIENTS:

2 quarts freshly shucked clams in liquor

½ pound diced bacon

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 large onions, diced

1 medium green bell pepper, diced

1 medium zucchini, diced

1 large celery rib, cleaned and diced

1 fennel bulb, cleaned and diced

4 carrots, peeled and diced

5 medium potatoes, scrubbed and diced

One 28-ounce can diced Italian plum tomatoes with their juice

1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

2 tablespoons fresh oregano

2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves

Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Drain and reserve liquor from clams; rinse clams in cold water, chop and set aside. Strain liquor through fine sieve or cheesecloth; set aside.

In a large pot, cook bacon pieces until crisp; remove and drain on paper towels; add olive oil to bacon fat, then onions, pepper, zucchini, celery, fennel, carrots and potatoes; stir to coat thoroughly and cook, stirring frequently until fat and oil are absorbed and vegetables have started to change color and consistency, about 5 to 8 minutes.

Add tomatoes with their juice and enough water to cover veggies; cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until veggies are tender, about one hour. Add bacon, clams and their liquid, herbs and seasoning; cook until just heated through, about 3 minutes. Serve immediately with oyster crackers.

By Barbara Beltrami

For Mother’s Day I wrote about moms loving salads. And it’s true. For Father’s Day I’m writing about dads loving hefty stick-to-your-ribs breakfasts because, chauvinistic as it sounds, it’s also true. Hopefully you don’t get picked up by the cholesterol police for the Father’s Day breakfast I’m about to share with you, but I know Dad will love the Steak and Eggs with Bloody Mary Sauce and Garlic Bread, the Drunken Melon Balls and the ‘Cappuccino’ Smoothie, so much that it will be worth it for one beautiful June morning.

Steak and Eggs with Bloody Mary Sauce

Steak and Eggs with Bloody Mary Sauce

YIELD: Makes 6 servings

INGREDIENTS:

One 1½–2 pound flank steak

¼ cup olive oil

½ cup chopped fresh parsley, thyme and rosemary

Coarse salt and black pepper to taste

One crusty baguette

One stick unsalted butter, softened

3 large garlic cloves, minced

One 14-ounce can tomato sauce

¼ cup prepared horseradish, well-drained

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Freshly squeezed juice of half a lemon

4 ounces unsalted butter

6 extra large eggs

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat grill to high setting. Brush steak on both sides with olive oil, then sprinkle with herbs, salt and pepper. Slice baguette in half lengthwise; spread each half with butter, then sprinkle with garlic, salt and pepper. Cut into 6 pieces with tops and bottoms together, reassemble and wrap tightly in aluminum foil. Grill steak 8 to 10 minutes, turning once, for medium rare, more or less for other desired doneness. Remove from grill, let sit for 10 minutes, then slice and set aside to keep warm.

Place garlic bread on upper rack or off to side of main grill rack; turn once or twice; remove when heated through and crust feels slightly hard to the touch, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile in a small saucepan, over medium heat, mix and cook the tomato sauce, horseradish, oil, and lemon juice, stirring occasionally, until bubbly and thick. On iron griddle, melt the 4 ounces of butter, then fry eggs to desired doneness. On a large platter assemble sliced steak, eggs and garlic bread. Pour Bloody Mary Sauce over steak. Serve immediately with a “Cappuccino” Smoothie and Drunken Melon Balls.

Drunken Melon Balls

Drunken Melon Balls

 

YIELD: Makes 6 to 8 servings

INGREDIENTS:

1 baby watermelon

½ cantaloupe, seeds removed

¼ honeydew, seeds removed

½ cup vodka or white rum

Fresh mint sprigs for garnish

1 lime, sliced

DIRECTIONS:

With a melon baller, scoop balls from melons and place them in a large bowl. Toss with vodka or rum, cover and refrigerate at least one hour, tossing them several times in between. Transfer to chilled glasses, garnish with mint and a lime slice and serve with “Cappuccino” Smoothie, Steak and Eggs or Danish pastries.

‘Cappuccino’ Smoothie

YIELD: Makes 4 servings

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups coffee yogurt

1 cup whole or 2% milk

2 teaspoons instant coffee powder

½ cup sugar or to taste

1 cup ice cubes

¼ cup coffee liqueur

Ground cinnamon

Shaved chocolate

DIRECTIONS:

Place all ingredients except cinnamon and shaved chocolate in jar of electric blender, pulse a few times, then process until thick and foamy. Sprinkle with cinnamon and shaved chocolate. Serve immediately with steak and eggs, Drunken Melon Balls, muffins or croissants.

Gerard Fioravanti, creator of the Flagel, with a proclamation.

A Frenagel, a French croissant bagel, has become a new sensation in Huntington and across the nation. It’s the culinary brainchild of chefs at Fiorello Dolce, a bakery on Wall Street in Huntington. 

“It tastes like a bagel but so much lighter,” said Gerard Fioravanti, who created the dough. “The layers are light, airy and flaky, while the outside is baked to perfection with a crisp texture.”

In April, Fioravanti competed and won a baking competition with the Frenagel on the television series Bake You Rich, a Food Network program. 

The Town of Huntington recognized his achievement at its May board meeting and awarded him an inscribed plaque. 

“We used to make baked doughnuts at first, until chef Kristy Chiarelli wanted a bagel one morning, but didn’t want to go to the bagel store,” Fioravanti said. “So, I told her to get a raw doughnut from the freezer and let it proof to make it like a bagel.”

An hour later chef Kristy seasoned it with sesame, black sesame, poppy seeds and fleur de sel. She filled it with scallion cream cheese and the Frenagel was born. 

The Frenagel is available at Fiorello Dolce Patisserie in Huntington and online at Carlosbakery.com and goldbelly.com as well as in most Carlos bakery locations. 

Annabelle’s Key Lime Cheesecake

By Barbara Beltrami

People who live in hot climates know about limes. They use them lavishly in savory and sweet dishes as well as drinks and know just how refreshing their taste can be, particularly if they’re key limes, which have an extra intense flavor and tartness. I think a lime dessert on a balmy evening under the stars or as a pick-me-up with just a glass of iced tea or coffee on a steamy afternoon is the supreme finale and palate pleaser when something sweet is in order. Here are three winners to take your taste buds to some really cool places.

Tea Lime Cookies

YIELD: Makes about 2 dozen cookies

INGREDIENTS:

2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice

1/3 cup milk

1 stick unsalted butter, softened

¾ cup granulated sugar

1 egg

2 teaspoons freshly grated lime zest

1¾ cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

¼ cup sifted confectioners’ sugar

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a small bowl combine the two teaspoons lime juice and milk; let sit about 5 minutes. In a large bowl use electric mixer to cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy; beat in egg with lime zest; then stir in lime juice-milk mixture. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda; blend into butter mixture; drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes, until edges are pale brown. Let cool slightly on baking sheet before transferring to wire rack to cool completely. In a small bowl, thoroughly combine remaining 2 tablespoons lime juice and confectioners’ sugar. Brush onto cooled cookies. Serve with iced tea or iced coffee.

Annabelle’s Key Lime Cheesecake

Annabelle’s Key Lime Cheesecake

YIELD: Makes 6 to 8 servings

INGREDIENTS:

1½ cups graham cracker crumbs

2 tablespoons sugar

½ stick unsalted butter, melted

2½ eight-ounce bricks cream cheese, softened

¾ cup sugar

3 eggs

1 cup sour cream

3 tablespoons flour

¾ cup Key lime juice

Dash vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375 F. In a medium bowl combine graham cracker crumbs, two tablespoons sugar and melted butter. Press onto bottom and partly up sides of a greased 10-inch spring form pan. Bake 5 to 10 minutes; cool on wire rack.

In a large bowl using a mixer on medium-high speed beat cream cheese and three-quarters cup of sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time; then beat in remaining ingredients until mixture is smooth; pour into cooled crust. Bake in 375 F oven for 15 minutes; reduce heat to 250 F and bake another 45 to 55 minutes, until mixture is just set.

Remove from oven, cool on wire rack, cover and refrigerate 6 to 8 hours. Remove from pan, top with whipped cream if desired, and serve chilled with coffee, tea or honeydew liqueur.

Alice’s Key Lime Pie

YIELD: Makes 6 to 8 servings

INGREDIENTS:

1½ cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs

1/3 cup granulated sugar

6 tablespoons melted unsalted butter

4 egg yolks

1 tablespoon freshly grated lime zest

One 14-ounce cans sweetened condensed milk

2/3 cup Key lime juice

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a medium bowl, thoroughly combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Press mixture onto bottom and sides of 8- or 9-inch pie plate. Bake about 10 minutes; cool in plate on wire rack. While crust is cooling, using wire whisk attachment to mixer, beat egg yolks with lime zest until very fluffy, about 5 minutes. Gradually add sweetened condensed milk and continue to beat until thickened, about 3 to 5 minutes longer. With mixer speed on low, add lime juice and beat just until blended, no longer. Pour into crust and bake about 10 minutes, until filling is barely set (a knife inserted in center should come out clean). Cool to room temperature, refrigerate, then freeze for half an hour before serving. Serve with sweetened whipped cream.

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