A day in the Hamptons

Acting on a recommendation from a very trusted source, the Long Island Foodies woke up kinda early on Saturday morning and started heading out east to the other fork; the South Fork.

The purpose of our trip was an apple pie.  Now I know it’s a little odd to be eating apple pie in August on Long Island (they won’t be in season for another month at least), but this recommendation was super bold, so we had to act on it immediately.  “I could eat one of these apple pies everyday,” he said.

Olish Farms Country Market was busy when we got there.  Cars were pulling up as soon as others left.  The produce looked really great, albeit over priced but I didn’t expect any differently.  We weren’t here for great prices on local produce (we’d be at the Westbrook Farmers Market if that were the case), we were here for fresh baked apple pie.  The kind with a whole lotta butter in the crust, chock full of apple slices and a great cinnamon, syrupy sauce throughout.  Another positive was that the person who baked the pie knew what they were doing; they rested the apples after cutting them.  This way the apples shrink down in size before the crust is put on (ever had apply pie where there’s this huge void between the crust and the apples, this is why).

I can honestly say that this is probably the best apple pie I’ve ever had.  There is no doubt that given the opportunity, I could eat one every single day and never get tired of it.  In fact, it seems we’re heading out to Center Moriches this Saturday as well, and I definitely think that a pie from Olish’s is on the menu.

After leaving Eastport, we headed on down the road to Westhampton Beach to their weekly Farmers Market.  I’ll admit I was a little jealous when I saw that they had practically 30 vendors including fish and cheese.  But, what do you expect, it is the Hamtons (whatever that means).

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We picked up some organic mushroom barley soup, some seven grain bread and some really great yellow tomato salsa.  Sun was shining, beautiful day.

We were a little hungry and hadn’t had any real breakfast yet, so we stopped in a little luncheonette on our way out of town.

Olish Farms Country Market
Eastport Manor Rd
Eastport, NY 11941
(631) 325-0539

Eckart’s Luncheonette
162 Mill Road
Westhampton Beach, NY 11978
(631) 288-9491

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What a weekend

This weekend was chock full of activities, some on Long Island, others in the near vicinity.  I never realized CT was so close, but I guess it’s just across the Sound, and the family trip to the Milford Oyster Festival was a real treat.  We got to enjoy a really great Stamford landmark, the Lakeside Diner as well as got to try some really amazing local soda, Foxon Park.

For now, here’s some photos of our weekend, along with a shot of this year’s Elwoodstock in Elwood Park, Huntington.

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Blueberry cobbler

I had picked up two pints of blueberries at the Huntington Farmers Market last Sunday, in a failed effort to make some blueberry freezer jam.  Something frugal and domestic about fresh local jam made on a rainy day was appealing to me, and this is the year that we’ve resolved to not only making jam, but can tomatoes and pickle cucumbers.  So I figured I would start with the jam as tomato season is still another week or two away and I’m just not ready yet for pickling.

Funny how things don’t always work out as planned.  The weekend got busy and then so did the first few days of the week, and next thing you know, it’s Thursday, which was also the first night of the week that Stefani and I would get to eat dinner together.  So the blueberries sat in the fridge, hidden away from prying berry fingers.  But I wanted to do something with some of them and last night was the best night to play around since we were both home and had the time.  What was needed was a simple, fast and easy blueberry recipe (preferably for dessert) that was satisfying and didn’t mess up a lot of dishes.

Blueberry Cobbler

1 cup King Arthur Organic Flour
1 cup organic sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 farm fresh egg
1 pint blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter up a small baking dish that can hold a quart of blueberries yet still has a little room on top for the crust.

Wash, clean and destem the blueberries.  Dry them and put them in the baking dish.

Combine the flour, sugar, butter and egg into a dough.  Form small patties (about 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch thick) out of the dough and put on top of the blueberries.  By overlapping the patties we create sections of crust that brown well, while leaving open portions of the blueberry to steam and ooze up.

Pop it into the oven until the crust is golden brown and the blueberries have started to ooze up through the cracks.

The genesis of this recipe came from The Kitchn and specifically their article on Easy, Foolproof Cobbler (for Any Fruit).  As you can see, this cobbler didn’t stand a chance.

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Congratulations Catapano

A quick congratulations goes out to Long Island’s own Catapano Dairy Farm.  At the American Cheese Society’s 2008 Cheese Competition in Chicago, Catapano won 1st place with their new blue cheese, Peconic Mist.

This is Catapano’s first attempt at a blue.  Peconic Mist is a blue-veined cheese, made from goat’s milk and is available at the dairy itself,  or at The Village Cheese Shop and Lucy’s Whey in East Hampton.  A whole 9.6-ounce wheel is $15; half wheels are $8.

Catapano Dairy Farm
33705 North Rd.
Peconic, NY 11958
(631) 765-8042

Open from 10:00am-5:00pm during the Summer
Call for Spring and Fall hours

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Mushrooms anyone?

I wish I could say that our mushroom foraging trip with the Long Island Mycological Club proved fruitful, but with these drought conditions (yes I know it rained a ton yesterday, but that didn’t help us on Saturday morning) we’ve been experiencing, the microbes weren’t making themselves known.

Oh well, no matter.  There are still other outings to be had, and when the weather gets a little cooler and a little moister, I’m sure that oyster mushrooms, black trumpets, chanterelles and hen of the woods will be at our fingertips.

We did find a section of wild blackberries that look a few weeks away from being in season, so check back to see how that foraging expedition goes.

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Cheese Tasting

It’s not everyday that 30 or so foodies get together to taste French cheeses and drink fabulous wine, but this past Wednesday was a special night.  We were invited by Long Island’s best cheesemonger, Steven Damiani, to attend Uncle Giusepee’s first ever cheese tasting which focused on the Cheeses and Wines of France.  We were joined by a heck-of-a-lot of foodies who all piled into the Smithtown Uncle Giuseppe’s Wednesday night for a few hours.

I’ll try to get you a rundown this weekend as to the stuff we liked (I was the only one in my little section that liked the Reblochon, but I’m a stinky/funky cheese kinda guy) and what we bought (we had to buy the Reblochon and Stefani and I both loved the Tomme Crayeuse and that bottle of cava that’s sitting in the fridge would do well with a Manchego, even though that wasn’t being tasted this evening).

Also, I hope to get a few wise words from Thomas Barresi of Uncle Giuseppe’s for this page.  Quick note, being that we were all tasting wine all night, Tom offered to pay for a cab ride home for anyone that needed one, which was not only very generous and responsible but just goes to show you how Uncle Giuseppe’s is more than just a supermarket.  We don’t shop here on the regular (weekly), but do try to make it once a month or so, because they’re just a better market, stocking better products with a better selection and better prices.  If it wasn’t 13 miles away, we’d probably be there every week.  For now, it’s mostly to stock up on interesting pantry items, great cheese and that random piece of amazing produce that jumps out at us (like the Georgia peaches did to us last month; the smell just jumped up and grabbed us, so we new that they were going to be great peaches).

The event was hosted by Steven Damiani, and Jake Young whose wife told me, “he’s going to be everywhere, you’ll see.”  Great stuff Jake!

The Cheese and Wines of France

Uncle Giuseppe’s
95 Route 111
Smithtown, NY 11787
(631) 863-0900

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Local Produce

With the growing season full upon us, it is far easier to get access to fresh, local produce than anything else, but some people still don’t know how to make slight changes to their procedure in order to take advantage of this.  We’re a little spoiled (just a little?) around here at Long Island Foodie; we’re members of the Hamlet Organic Garden for a few years which means that local, organic produce fills our kitchen every Friday.  But, even still, we like to supplement our CSA share with other local, farm fresh ingredients.

So, if we run out of something or don’t get something in our share that we are looking for, we have a few options:

White Post Farms has a lot of fresh, local produce.  Just yesterday I picked up Long Island corn and hand picked string beans.

J. Kings Local Farmer’s Market is a little bit of a hike out to Holtsville, but having access to all sorts of local farm goods (some that don’t sell retail) at farmer’s market prices can’t be beat.

Huntington Farmer’s Market is where we are every Sunday at 8:00am.  Can’t beat the farm fresh eggs ($2/dozen) from the Orchards at Conklin, plus their white nectarines are amazing.  Every week I pick up a dozen eggs, a half gallon of apple cider, some honey sticks, some feta cheese, some bread (now that the Bread Guy is back) and whatever fresh produce looks good.  I definitely recommend supporting the local farmer’s market; prices are cheaper than the supermarket, you’re supporting local farmers and the food is fresher and tastier.

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