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Photo by Eileen Goldfinger. Ocean Grove, NJ. August, 2013

Photo by Eileen Goldfinger. Ocean Grove, NJ. August, 2013

 

By Eileen Goldfinger, Food and Garden Editor  @Blogfinger   Re-post.

2 cups seeded watermelon, 1 inch cubed (I used half red and half yellow watermelon)

1 large beefsteak tomato, 1 inch cubes

1 small red onion cut in half and sliced thinly on an angle from the side

3 ounces of baby arugula

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated sea salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated black pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground garlic (dry not fresh)

2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar

4-5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

Place watermelon, tomatoes, onion and arugula in a large bowl and stir.

Add salt, pepper and garlic to the salad.  Drizzle balsamic vinegar and olive

oil on salad and stir all ingredients together. Sprinkle feta cheese over the salad and serve.

Serves 2

Editors note: This salad was inspired in 2013 by Laurie Price at Laurie’s Farm Market **on Atkins Avenue in Neptune Township.

I purchased the yellow watermelon, tomatoes and arugula from her. All other ingredients were from Wegmans with the exception of the traditional barrel aged Italian balsamic vinegar which was purchased at Carter & Cavero in Sea Girt*.

* Carter and Cavero are at 2100 Rt. 35 in Sea Girt.   They also have a store in Red Bank.

** Lauri’s  Farm Market is no longer in business

 

GERRY MULLIGAN   “Home (When Shadows Fall’)    from his album Dream a Little Dream

 

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Internet photo

Internet photo.

By Eileen Goldfinger, Food Editor @Blogfinger.net

 

July is blueberry time in New Jersey. A favorite way to enjoy them is in pancakes.

You’ll need a nonstick griddle. Heat on medium.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and place two parchment lined cookie trays in the oven.

This will keep the cooked pancakes warm while you  cook the remainder of the batter.

 

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

3 tablespoons sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups buttermilk

2 large eggs, lightly whisked

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted for the batter

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted for the griddle

3 cups fresh blueberries

pure maple syrup

 

Preheat griddle.

 

In a large bowl whisk together the first four ingredients.

In a medium size bowl whisk together the buttermilk, eggs and butter.

Gently mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and then fold in the blueberries.

Do not over mix the batter, leave it lumpy, or the pancakes will become tough.

Brush a thin layer of butter on the griddle. Drop a 1/3 of a cup of batter on the griddle.

Flip the pancakes when little bubbles begin to show on the top and the bottom begins to brown. Allow the second side to brown. Then transfer pancakes to the trays in the oven.

Add more butter to the griddle as needed. Continue making pancakes, keeping the finished ones warm in the oven.

Serve with real maple syrup.

Makes 12 pancakes.

 

Have a cup of Joe with your pancakes, and,  at the diner, be careful how you  say “I’d like a short stack ” to the waitress.

“COFFEE IN A CARDBOARD CUP.”   From the Broadway show  “70, Girls, 70” by Kander and Webb who wrote Cabaret.

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Eileen's Beef Stew. Ocean Grove, NJ. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

Eileen’s Beef Stew. Ocean Grove, NJ. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

By Eileen Goldfinger, Food Editor @Blogfinger

2 1/2 pounds chuck roast, trimmed of fat, cut into 2″ cubes

10 cipollini onions, peeled

4  carrots, peeled (2 diced, 2 cut into 2″ rounds)

2 russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 2″ pieces

2 yellow onions. diced

1/2 pound green beans, trimmed

3 stalks celery, diced

1 cup fresh green peas (frozen can be substituted)

4 cloves garlic, minced

6 large mushrooms, thickly sliced

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon dry thyme

1 cup Guinness stout

1 cup red burgundy wine

1 cup beef stock

1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus 2 tablespoons

2 tablespoons margarine

searing flour, as needed

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons tomato paste

3 plum tomatoes,  seeded and diced

In a 5 quart Dutch oven, heat 1/4 cup of oil on medium.  Remove moisture from meat with a paper towel and  lightly sprinkle cubes with searing flour;  place meat in oil and brown on all sides. Do  this in small batches and set meat aside as they brown.

Add diced carrots, celery and yellow onions to the Dutch oven and cook until they soften and brown, approximately 20 minutes. Add garlic and cook 3 minutes. Add wine, stout, beef broth, thyme, tomato paste, black pepper, salt and bay leaves.  Bring to a boil and stir.

Reduce heat to medium-low, add meat to pot and simmer covered for 1 hour.  Stir occasionally.

While the meat and sauce are simmering, heat margarine and 2 tablespoons of oil on medium in a large nonstick fry pan.  Add the 2″ pieces of carrot, potatoes, cipollini onions, tomatoes, and green beans; and sauté until the vegetables turn a little brown,  approximately 30  minutes.

Add the browned vegetables to the meat and sauce after the meat has cooked for 1 hour.

* For the best flavor prepare the stew to this point a day or two prior to serving.

Reheat the stew on medium-low until the sauce begins to simmer.  Add the green peas and mushrooms.  Stir and cook for 1 hour.   Taste to adjust for flavoring.

Serves 4

FATS WALLER:  “The Rump Steak Serenade”

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Eileen’s veal stew.  1/13/18. Blogfinger photo ©

By Eileen Goldfinger, Food editor @Blogfinger

1 pound veal cubes, cut into 1 inch pieces

1/4 cup searing flour

1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 2 inch strips

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 medium carrots, peeled, cut into small cubes

1 stalk celery, cut into small 1/4 inch pieces

5 ounces crimini or white button mushrooms,  cut mushrooms in half

1 cup frozen peas

2 russet potatoes

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

salt to taste

14 ounces canned plum or cherry tomatoes with puree

1 medium onion, cut into small cubes

2/3 cup unsalted chicken broth

1/2 cup red wine

6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

Combine flour with black pepper and lightly coat veal with flour. Heat oil in a 5 quart Dutch oven over medium heat until hot. Brown the veal in small batches. Remove from pot and set aside on a plate.

Add celery, carrots, onion and garlic to Dutch oven, lower the heat and cook until the vegetables wilt, approximately 10 minutes.

Stir tomatoes, wine, and broth in Dutch oven and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, add veal and peppers to the pot. Simmer uncovered for 1 hour. Stir occasionally.

At this point in the recipe, peel, dice into one inch cubes, and boil two russet potatoes in a separate pot until they are fork tender. Next pour off the water, take the pot off the heat, and leave the potatoes in the covered pot until ready to serve with the finished stew.

Cover the stew pot and cook for 3/4 hour.  Continue to stir occasionally. Taste sauce and adjust seasoning (more pepper and salt if necessary.)  Add mushrooms and peas, and cook another 15 minutes with the top back on  or until the veal is fork tender.

Add some additional chicken broth during the cooking process if the liquid begins to evaporate.

Serves 2-3 people

PUCCINI.  “O Mio Babbino Caro.”

*Editor’s notes:

Red wine is a must.  We had an Acrobat Pinot Noir  (2016)  from Eugene, Oregon—-Wegmans selection.  The bread is a Bastone, a crunchy-crusted Italian loaf from Mario’s in Fort Myers, Florida—by way of Sicily.

Substitute meats:  Skinless boneless chicken thighs cut into one inch pieces, or beef.

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If you don’t like cooking live lobsters, the Weg Man will do the deed for you.  Click on word “Blogfinger” below.

Blogfinger

Eileen's Lobster Salad. Photo by Eileen Goldfinger © Eileen’s lobster salad. Photo by Eileen Goldfinger ©

By Eileen Goldfinger,  Food Editor @Blogfinger

Cooking the lobsters:

2 lobsters , approx 1 1/2 pounds each, steamed for 15 minutes and then cooled in an ice bath and set aside.

Ingredients:

Lobster Salad:

1 1/2 cups cooked lobster meat cut in 1/2″ pieces

3 scallions, minced

1/3 cup celery, minced

1/2 cup mayonnaise

4 drops Tabasco (hot sauce)

1/4 tsp. freshly grated black pepper

1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

pinch of salt

Green Salad:

5 ounces mixed baby greens

2 small bell peppers, thinly sliced

2 radishes, thinly sliced

2 inches of a seedless cucumber, thinly sliced

2 Campari tomatoes, quartered

1 avocado, peeled and quartered

6 endive leaves

1/2 small lemon, juiced

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Lobster salad preparation:

Mix lobster, celery and scallion together in a bowl.

In another bowl mix mayonnaise, lemon…

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October 2015. Design by Eileen Goldfinger. Blogfinger.net photo.

Ocean Grove. October 2015.  Design  by Eileen Goldfinger. Paul Goldfinger photo.  Fresh cranberries harvested  at Chatsworth, NJ.  Leaves from the Garden State Parkway.  Eileen’s homemade cranberry sauce is  in the center.  Click to enlarge.  © Blogfinger.net

 

Cranberry bog. nchip.uga.edu

Harvest time.  Cranberry bog. nchip.uga.edu

By Eileen Goldfinger, food editor @Blogfinger and Paul Goldfinger, official taster and photographer  @Blogfinger.

On Oct. 20 and 21, 2018,  (next weekend) is the 35th Chatsworth Cranberry Festival. It’s fun. Read about it at http://www.cranfest.info.

This is a very crowded event in the Pine Barrens, about an hour from here.  The best bet is to go on Sunday morning early and park along the side of the road.

New Jersey is one of the most important cranberry growing regions in the world with over 3,500 acres devoted to the crop.  In the US, we are second in size to Wisconsin and Massachusetts.  Cranberries are grown in bogs where the soil and water requirements are quite complicated. The harvest is usually complete by the end of October.

In New Jersey, most of the growing occurs in Burlington County, around Chatsworth, where the annual Cranberry Festival will be held this month.

 

Annual Cranberry Festival. Chatsworth, NJ. Oct. 19, 2013. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

Annual Cranberry Festival. Chatsworth, NJ. Oct. 19, 2013. Paul Goldfinger photo ©  Click left

We go to the Festival  to enjoy this unique cultural event—-Appalachia in Jersey.  Hear bluegrass music and  buy fresh picked cranberries.  Eileen purchases her usual 7 pound box.

In 2015 we were away for the Festival, so we drove to Tabernacle, NJ  ( BF search Tabernacle))  down the road from Chatsworth, one week later,  and visited Russo’s Farm Market where Eileen purchased her supply of cranberries.

She makes fresh cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving and freezes the rest of the berries in small Ziploc portions to use throughout the year.  Fresh cranberries can be purchased at Wegmans and Delicious Orchards.

Fresh cranberries from New Jersey. Photo design by Eileen Goldfinger. Background is a 1950's dish cloth. PG photo ©

2013  photo design by Eileen Goldfinger. Background is a 1950’s dish cloth. PG photo ©. Left click to enlarge.

Below is Eileen’s recipe for homemade cranberry sauce.   It’s a treat for your company on Thanksgiving, so don’t get bogged down with that gelatinous canned stuff.

EILEEN’S CRANBERRY SAUCE:

1 cup of water

1 cup sugar

2 cups fresh cranberries

1 orange, peeled and diced

1 tablespoon orange zest

1/8 cup Grand Marnier (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

Mix sugar and water in a medium sauce pan.

Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve sugar.

Add cranberries and bring to a boil; then reduce the heat and gently boil for ten minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat.

Cool to room temperature.

Add diced orange and zest and Grand Marnier.

Refrigerate.

Makes approx. 2 cups of cranberry sauce. In general, if used as a condiment, it will serve about 4 people.

BETTE MIDLER   You can’t hurry cranberry sauce or love.

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Eileen’s chicken stew. Blogfinger photo ©.

 

By Eileen Goldfinger, Food editor @Blogfinger

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs cut into one inch pieces

1/4 cup searing flour

1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 2 inch strips

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 medium carrots, peeled, cut into small cubes

1 stalk celery, cut into small 1/4 inch pieces

5 ounces crimini or white button mushrooms, 5 ounces, cut mushrooms in half

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

salt to taste

14 ounces canned plum or cherry tomatoes

1 medium onion, cut into small cubes

2/3 cup unsalted chicken broth

1/2 cup red wine

6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

16 ounce package of frozen peas

5 small red or butter potatoes cubed

 

Using a medium size sauce pan, fill three quarters with water and bring to a boil.  Add the potatoes and cook until they are fork tender. Then pour off water and place the potatoes aside.

Combine flour with black pepper and lightly coat chicken pieces with flour. Heat oil in a 5 quart Dutch oven over medium heat until hot. Brown the chicken in small batches. Remove from pot and set aside on a plate.

Add celery, carrots, onion and garlic to Dutch oven, lower the heat and cook until the vegetables wilt, approximately 10 minutes.

Stir tomatoes, wine, and broth in Dutch oven and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, add chicken and peppers to the pot. Simmer covered for 1 hour. Stir occasionally.

After the one hour make sure the chicken is fork-tender. If not, cook until its is fork tender.

Taste sauce and adjust seasoning ( more pepper and salt if necessary.)  Add mushrooms, peas, and potatoes.  Cook another 15 minutes.

Add some additional chicken broth during the cooking process if the liquid begins to evaporate.

 

PUCCINI.  “O Mio Babbino Caro.”

Red wine is a must.  We had a Foris Pinot Noir  (2014)  from the Rogue Valley in Oregon—-Wegmans selection.  The bread is a Bastone, a crunchy-crusted Italian loaf from Mario’s in Fort Myers, Florida—by way of Sicily.

Serves 2-3 people

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Recipe by Eileen Goldfinger, Food Editor @ Blogfinger.net Photo by Eileen ©

 

Eileen’s Baltimore Crab Cakes

 

Ingredients

1 pound jumbo lump crab meat

20 Saltine crackers, crushed

1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped

2 rounded tablespoons Hellman’s mayonnaise

1 large egg

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons canola oil (may need more for cooking)

1 tablespoon butter

1 ½ – 2 teaspoons Old Bay Seafood Seasoning

 

Prepare crab cakes

Place crab meat in a large bowl. Gently pick through the meat and remove any shells. Add the cracker crumbs ( I place the crackers in a zip lock bag and pound them with a wooden mallet or rolling pin to make the crumbs), Old Bay and chives.

Gently mix these ingredients together, use your hands, and break apart some of the larger pieces of crab.

In a separate bowl whisk the mayonnaise, egg, and mustard together. Stir this into the crab mixture using your hands. Be careful not to break the pieces of crabmeat.

Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. This will help form the crab cakes and prevent them from falling apart.

Scoop approximately ½ cup amount of crab mixture in your hands and carefully form cakes about 1” thick. This should make 6 crab cakes. Place them on a tray until all cakes are formed.

 

Cooking crab cakes

Heat a 12” non-stick fry pan or cast iron pan (my preference) over medium heat.

Add the oil and when it begins to simmer add the cakes to the pan. Cook cakes for 4 minutes or until they turn golden. Lower the heat to medium low, add the butter to the pan and turn the cakes over.

Cook them for 4 minutes or until they turn golden.

 

Serves 3

 

STUART MATTHEWMAN   from the movie Twin Falls Idaho.  “Amapola”

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Eileen's Fish Stew. Photo by Paul Goldfinger @Blogfinger.net. 2015. ©

Eileen’s Fish Stew. Photo byEileen  Goldfinger @Blogfinger.net. 2015. ©

By Eileen Goldfinger, food editor @Blogfinger

3/4 pound of cod fillets, cut in four inch pieces, or any other white mild fish

6 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 medium carrot, peeled, small diced

1 celery stalk, small diced

1 shallot, small diced

parsley, fresh, several sprigs

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup dry white wine

1/2 cup unsalted chicken broth

2 tablespoons of margarine (or butter)

14 ounces canned plum or cherry tomatoes with puree

Preheat broiler.

In a 10 inch cast iron pan heat margarine and add carrots, celery, shallot, garlic, parsley and salt and pepper. Cook on medium heat until the vegetables begin to soften, approximately 10 minutes. Stir ingredients in the pan, and if they seem to be sticking to the pan add a little of the chicken broth.

Next add the tomatoes with the puree, the chicken broth, and white wine. Stir and break up the tomatoes into bite size pieces. Cook until the sauce begins to thicken. Add fish fillets and shrimp. Cook them in the sauce for 3 minutes. 

Turn the fish over and place the pan on a rack 8 inches from the broiler element. Cook for 5 minutes. Serve with a crispy French or Italian bread.

Serves 2

FIVE GUYS NAMED MOE:   “The Saturday Night Fish Fry” from the original Broadway cast recording of the show Five Guys Named Moe.

Eileen

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Eileen Goldfinger’s chicken pot pie. Blogfinger.net. Eileen photo©

Ingredients:

3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

2 skinless, boneless chicken thighs

3-5 tablespoons olive oil

salt to taste

freshly ground black pepper to taste

4 tablespoons of butter or margerine

2 medium sized onions cubed

3/4 cup flour

1/4 cup fat free half and half

4 carrots peeled and diced

1  10 ounce package frozen peas

1 small package of small whole onions

2 packages of frozen puff pastry

32 ounce box unsalted chicken stock

1/2 cup minced fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Chicken:

Place chicken on baking sheet. Sprinkle them on both sides with saltand black pepper and rub them with olive oil.  Bake them for 35 minutes or until they are baked through.  Half way through turn chicken parts over and finish baking. Remove from oven and set aside. When chicken is cool cut it in bit sized pieces.

Filling:

In a large Dutch oven melt butter and saute onions and carrots for 15 minutes.  Add flour and cook over low heat , stirring constantly for 2 minutes.  Slowly add the chicken stock to the pot.  Simmer over low heat until stirring until sauce becomes thick.  Add 1.2 teaspoon of salt , 1.2 teaspoon black pepper and fat free half and half.  Add the chicken, peas, whole onions and parsley.   Mix well.

Assembling:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

You will need two 9-inch pie plates.

Roll out a sheet of pastry on a floured surface , one for each pie plate. Place in plate and press pastry into plate. Trim off excess pastry.  Prick the pastry thoroughly with a fork. P lace aluminum foil onto the surface of the pastry.  Bake for 25 minutes.  Remove from oven and remove foil.

Divide filling in half and place in each pastry  lined plate. Roll out two more pastry sheets on floured surface. Place one on top of each filled pie plate.  Pinch the edges of the dough to  make it stick and seal all around the plate.  To make a lattice top, cut  top pastry into long strips and weave in and out on top of the filled pie plate .  In either case brush the top pastry with an egg wash (one egg whisked in a small bowl) and sprinkle with sea salt.

Place pies on baking sheets in a 375 degree oven for 1 hour or until the top crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.

Note:   Don’t bother the cook while she is timing the  pie:

PALAST ORCHESTER and MAX RAABE:   “As Time Goes By.”

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