Here are six solid summer pasta recipes, including one for cavatelli with lobster, tomato, pea tendrils and lovage, via WSJ.

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By far the best meal of the summer was our crab boil during our week in Ocracoke.  And like many “best” meals, it was unplanned, a surprise, a gift we were smart enough to take advantage of.  Donna has pals from her native Port Washington, NY, who have houses here, one of whom owns a popular restaurant on this lovely barrier island off the coast of North Carolina (a ferry-ride away from Cape Hatteras). So she found us a swank house on the water where we and friends and Donna’s sister and nieces could frolic. In the grass beside the house was an old crab pot. In the house was my sun-averse pal Lester. In the fridge, was a beef heart. As the sun set, Lester lowered the trap, stuffed with beef heart trim, into the Read On »

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One of the conundrum of grilling meat is that the process of cooking doesn’t start a sauce for you, as a roast chicken does, as pan roasting a pork loin does, as all braises do. What then to sauce the meat with?  An emulsified butter sauce is the perfect answer.  And there is no better emulsified butter sauce than the Béarnaise.  This French classic was a childhood staple, a symbol for me of plenty, and also of the security my mom and dad gave me.  I wrote about it for Parade Magazine many years ago. My mom made it the old fashioned way: a reduction of shallot, tarragon, tarragon vinegar, and egg yolks in a double boiler.  She used the recipe from James Beard’s Menus For Entertaining.  (It’s also in his superb American Cookery, one Read On »

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Corn is in and with the hot weather, there’s no better way to cook corn than to grill it. People have asked me what’s the best way to do it? There are two basic ways, depending on what you’re after. Corn today is so sweet and tender, it only needs to be heated through, so your decision is really one about types of heat to use, high direct heat, which will brown the corn giving it a grilled flavor, or low temperature, steamed within its wet husk. I like both and the above corn which we ate after a day at the beach (sigh), used a little of both. I love the appearance because it tells you how it was cooked.  If I want a really smoke roasted caramelized flavor, I’d shuck the corn and Read On »

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Taking a breather and have have been eating load upon load of NC clams. So good and so delicious.   The Perfect Way To Cook Clams Use the little guys, little necks or cherrystones. Saute some garlic in a big pot in some butter or oil. Add a cup of white wine and a cup of water (all depends on your pot, you want plenty of steam). Throw in some fresh thyme, dump in your clams, cover and cook on medium high or high. Melt some butter. When the clams open they’re done. If you have a lot, take out the open ones so they don’t over cook. Eat them standing up, dipping clams in butter. If you want, strain the pot liquor through a coffee filter and use to make a clam chowder or Read On »

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