Heringssalat, a salad tray that features marinated herring and pickled beets. (Credit: John Ross)
Julius Caesar is said to have inspired the German tradition of sauerbraten as he sent amphoras filled with beef marinated in wine over the Alps to the newly founded Roman colony of Cologne. However, since Julius Caesar was murdered in 44 B.C. and Cologne wasn’t founded until 50 A.D., this is highly unlikely.
The Thanksgiving turkey, broken down into parts and surrounded by all the fixings. (Credit: John Ross)
Perhaps the crowning glory of Thanksgiving dinner is that moment when you bring the golden roast turkey to the table and set it in front of the host or hostess to carve.
But after that fleeting moment you are left with a messy job of trying to separate the parts of a bird that may be vastly overcooked or, worse, has blood flowing from the joints. One alternative is to break the turkey down the day before cooking into the legs and thighs, the breast and the backbone. Now you can make a rich stock with the bones; you can braise the legs and thighs for complete doneness and lots of flavor; and you can roast the breast to juicy perfection. You can even make a beautiful presentation at the table.
German apple cake with cream cheese frosting. (Credit: John Ross)
Apples appeared in the Kazakhstan mountains before recorded history and migrated from Asia to Europe thousands of years ago. Apple seeds landed in Jamestown with the Pilgrims in 1607. They grew into apple trees that produced a sour apple that was used for cider. Slightly fermented cider was the drink of choice for settlers, as it was safer to drink than contaminated water. The apple spread to all of the United States and is now the second most consumed fruit next to the banana. (more…)
A ‘cave man’ pork chop with poblano pepper sauce, cornbread, broccoli, cauliflower and butternut squash. (Credit: John Ross)
Pork, in all its fresh, processed, preserved and cooked forms, is the leading meat of the world. Before the invention of the railroad and before the invention of refrigeration, preserved meat and fish were the only way to feed much of the population.
The importance of bread in the history of civilization cannot be overestimated. Learning to grow and process grain turned people into farmers rather than hunters and foragers. This led to the further development of agriculture and the eventual development of towns rather than nomadic tribes.
Bread has evolved from prehistoric times, as the elements that go into it have evolved: the grains and how they are milled, the microbes that leaven the dough, the ovens that bake the bread and the people and their cultures who make and eat the bread. (more…)
Oysters roasting on the grill. (Credit: John Ross)
The North Fork had a rich heritage of food long before the English settlers arrived in 1640. The Native American tribes of the Northeast educated the settlers about indigenous foods while the English brought new cooking methods with them from Europe. Turkey, wild rice, corn, lima beans and green beans, peppers and tomatoes — in addition to fish and shellfish — are examples of foods from the Americas. The following modern menu for six features some of these foods: (more…)
Lobster tail broiled with just a little melted butter and paprika. (Credit: John Ross)
Having a lobster dinner as Labor Day approaches is a ritual for many North Fork families, including mine. Lobsters make a festive presentation and are messy to eat, making them perfect for the deck or patio.
Lobsters are best when purchased live and cooked right away. Boiling is the easiest method and the traditional New England one, but Long Island has a long tradition of stuffing lobsters with breadcrumbs and baking them.
My recipe that follows is a combination of the two methods with a little sautéeing thrown in. The claws are boiled, then the knuckle meat is removed and added to the stuffing along with the tomalley and coral. The lobster is stuffed and baked, then reassembled to make an attractive presentation. The result is a delicious lobster dish that utilizes all of its parts, makes an attractive presentation and is easy to eat.(more…)