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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.

In October we usually attend the Chatsworth Cranberry Festival. It’s fun. Read about it at http://www.cranfest.info.

It was cancelled for 2020.

The Festival  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.  Mark your calendar for October 2021 and check the date on-line since that date has not yet been announced.

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 is held.

 

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. Vendors make all sorts of products from this versatile fruit.

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. That’s where we went recently (2020)

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.  Or take a ride to Russo’s.  But remember the Pine Barrens scene in The Sopranos.

 

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.

 

MICHAEL GIACCHINO, COMPOSER OF THE MOVIE SCORE OF RATATOUILLE. From the soundtrack of the Disney/Pixar film.  The selection is “Le Festin” by Camille.

 

 

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pot roast

Eileen’s holiday pot roast. Photograph and recipe by Eileen Goldfinger, Food Editor@Blogfinger.net .  ©  It’s as good as it looks.

 

Eileen’s Holiday Pot Roast:

Prepare 1-2 days before serving
Preheat oven 350 degrees

5-6 pound brisket
freshly ground black pepper
paprika
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 cooking onions, diced
4 carrots, peeled, cut in ¼” rings
4 stalks celery with leaves, ¼” slices
1 package (8-10 oz) fresh cremini or white mushrooms, thinly sliced
5 small cans of whole white potatoes (drained of the liquid)
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 8 oz jars beef gravy
1 cup red wine
1 box low sodium beef or chicken broth
½ cup marinara sauce

Rub paprika and black pepper on both sides of the brisket (approximately 2 tablespoons of paprika & 1 tablespoon black pepper.)
Heat a large oven proof pan (with cover) on the stove. When pan is hot place brisket in pan and sear until meat turns brown. Turn meat over and sear on the other side. Remove brisket from pan and set aside.

Add oil to the pan and heat medium low. Add onions, carrots, and celery. Sauté on medium low heat for 15 minutes. Next add garlic, 1 jar beef gravy, red wine, box of broth, and marinara sauce. Stir the liquids with the vegetables and add the seared brisket to the pan. Place the cover on the pan and put it in the oven for 3 hours. Half way through the cooking time, turn the meat over and continue cooking with lid on pot.

After the 3 hours remove the pan from the oven and allow it to cool. Place meat and gravy in a closed container and store in the refrigerator until the morning of the day you plan to serve the meat. Remove congealed fat and take brisket out of container (scrap gravy off the meat). Slice the brisket in ¼” slices on the diagonal, against the grain of the meat. It is very important that you slice against the grain or the meat will be tough and stringy.

Place the meat in the original pot. Add the gravy, all the potatoes, mushrooms, and 1 jar beef gravy. Place cover on the pot and place in the oven for 2 hours. I serve the brisket right from the pot it was cooked in. Serves 8

—————————————————————————————————————————

A taste of Jewish history:  It’s now 5781 (the new year)  by the Hebrew calendar, and Rosh Hashanah is upon us. The Jewish New Year is a serious religious event, but, like so many of our holidays, food is a big deal, especially traditional recipes. There are a lot of moving parts, but if Eileen leaves out anything she hears about it.

We eat apples dipped in honey for a sweet new year. Pomegranates have a similar purpose. (Although the Chinese like this too.)  We have round  (goodness without end) egg breads (challah)–often with raisins.

Some of our foods are so good that they show up at multiple holidays.  For example there’s chicken soup with matzoh balls and/or noodles. Then there is sweet Kosher wine and, the piéce de résistance—pot roast.  (using a particular cut: brisket.)

Of course Jews were scattered all over the world for thousands of years, so there are variations in the foods.  If you are in the north east, brisket is usually used, but if you head to other parts of the country, the pot roast is made with different cuts of meat.

Many Jews that one might meet in New Jersey and New York are from families that escaped from eastern Europe during waves of immigration during  the late 1800’s to early 1900’s.*   So they brought pot roast with them.  On the other hand the Sephardic Jews in Deal might have couscous, leeks, pumpkin and fish with the head still attached.

My family, like most others, wanted to be Americanized as soon as possible. And that included customs, dress and language. But the foods were never forgotten. They spoke Yiddish at home because of the grand parents, but they always spoke English elsewhere.

*Another wave of Jewish emigration occurred in the 1930’s as Hitler took over Germany. Those who escaped landed anywhere they might avoid the “final solution.” So some wound up in places like China and India, but other safe places included America, Canada, Mexico, England and others.  When I was a kid my parents liked to go to Coney Island in Brooklyn, NY.  There, on the beach,  I noticed many folks with numbers tattooed on their arms.

Here is Mandy Patinkin who made an album of songs sung in Yiddish, and in this song he celebrates America–not the old world, but the new…..

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

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Stuffed Flounder With Shrimp

Eileen Goldfinger, Food and Garden Editor  @Blogfinger

Fish:

2 flounder fillets

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1 tablespoon Smart Balance  margarine

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1/2 lemon

Stuffing:

6 medium shrimp, diced and peeled

1 scallion, diced

1 shallot, minced

1 small celery stalk, diced

1/2 teaspoon ground garlic

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

pinch of salt

4 tablespoons Eggbeaters

1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs

Prepare the stuffing:

Put the margarine and the oil in a 10 inch non-stick pan and heat on medium.

Add shrimp, scallion, shallot, celery, garlic, black pepper and salt.

Sauté until scallions soften, and shrimp turn pink, approximately  5 minutes.

Remove from pan and place in a bowl to cool.  Turn off heat under pan.

When the stuffing is cool, add Eggbeaters and Panko bread crumbs to the mix.

Prepare the fish:

Re-heat the pan on medium and add a little more oil if  necessary.

Rub the chili powder on both sides of the fillets. Lay the fillets, skin side down on the counter (the skins are removed), place half of the stuffing in each fillet. Pull the two ends of the fillet together, over the stuffing, and secure with a wooden toothpick.

Cook the fillets in the pan until they turn brown and then turn them over and brown the other side. While they are cooking, squeeze the juice from the lemon over them.

serves 2

Cookin’ Music:   Clifford Curry with “Mamma’s Home Cookin'”

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Eileen's Sautéed Flounder. Photo by Paul Goldfinger ©

Eileen’s Sautéed Flounder. Photo by Paul Goldfinger ©. Re-post from 2013.


By Eileen Goldfinger, Food and Garden Editor @Blogfinger

1/2 pound flounder

1 tablespoon of Wegmans pan searing flour *

4 tablespoons canola oil

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground garlic

4 tablespoons Wegmans shallot-thyme finishing butter **

1 tablespoon margarine

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 scallions, diced

1/2 lemon, juiced

Preheat 10 inch non-stick fry pan on medium low heat.

Fish: 

Dry flounder fillets with a paper towel.  (If the fish is wet, it will steam and not brown).  Sprinkle both sides of fillets with searing flour, paprika and ground garlic.  Place one  tablespoon of canola oil on each side of the fillets and rub the spices into the  fish.

Sauce:

Add remaining 2 tablespoons of canola oil, 1 tablespoon shallot-thyme butter and 1 tablespoon of margarine into the fry pan.  As the oils heat up, brush them over the bottom of the pan. When the oil starts to sizzle, place the fillets into the pan. The heat should still be at medium low. When the filets start to brown, approximately 7 minutes, turn them over. Add the remaining ingredients to the pan and cook for 5 minutes.

Serves 2

* You can substitute all purpose flour that has been sifted.

**You can make the finishing butter or margarine yourself:  Let the butter come to room temperature and stir in 1 teaspoon of minced fresh thyme leaves or 1/4 teaspoon of dried thyme leaves and 1/2 minced shallot.

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Wegmans  Ocean seafood department sold more fish than any other of the 81 Wegmans branches in the entire country on July 4.  Currently they are featuring whole red snapper. Here is a link to Eileen’s recipe for whole baked red snapper.     —PG

Eileen’s whole baked red snapper

LOUIS PRIMA:   “Che La Luna.”  (Italians like ribald lyrics, like the Jews from the Yiddish theater.)

There’s the moon in the middle of the sea
Mother, I must get married
My daughter, to whom will I give you
Mother, I’ll leave it up to you
If I’ll give you to the fisherman
He’ll come and go
He’ll always have a fish in his hands
If he’ll get any ideas
He’ll fish you oh my daughter
La la la, fried fish and baccala
We don’t want any calamari”

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

Photo by Eileen Goldfinger. Ocean Grove, NJ.

 

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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PG photo

 

Clam Chowder with Red Potatoes  by Eileen Goldfinger, Food Editor @Blogfinger

8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced

1 medium onion, diced

8 small red potatoes, quartered and parboiled

4 cloves garlic, minced

½ ancho pepper, seeded and minced

9 San Marzano canned whole plum tomatoes, diced

¼ cup marinara sauce

2 medium carrots, peeled and diced

1 celery stalk, thinly sliced

2  6 ½ ounce cans chopped clams, drained

2 dozen littleneck clams in their shell

2½  cups chicken broth

¼ cup white wine

1 cup clam broth

½ cup water

freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Broth:

In a 5 quart stock pot, heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery and ¼ cup of chicken broth; sauté until the vegetables begin to soften, approximately 15 minutes.  Lower the heat to low-medium, add garlic and ancho pepper, and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and marinara sauce; stir and cook for 10 minutes. Add 2 cups of chicken broth. Then add clam broth, water, wine, potatoes, black pepper, canned clams, and parsley to the broth. Stir contents of the pot. Place cover, slightly ajar on the pot.  Simmer liquid for 30 minutes, stir occasionally.

Littleneck clams:

After  the soup broth has simmered for 15 minutes, in a large fry pan, add the remaining olive oil, chicken broth and wine, and heat on medium.  When the liquid starts to simmer, add the little-neck clams to the pan and cook until all the clams have opened.  As the clams open, remove them from the pan and set them aside. Discard any clams that do not open after 15 minutes.

Set out two large soup bowls and place a dozen clams in each one. Ladle broth over the clams.

Serves 2

 

prevention-does-work

Editor’s Note:  This recipe is adapted from Eileen’s “Seafood Chowder with Red Potatoes” found in “Prevention Does Work: A Guide to a Healthy Heart.” by Paul Goldfinger MD and Eileen Goldfinger, BA.

Our book is still relevant for those who want to learn some heart-healthy recipes—originals by Eileen, with an emphasis on seafood.    It is still available as a paper back from Amazon.  Just type in Paul Goldfinger MD. It is $12.95 in paperback.

We also have posted Eileen’s other clam chowder recipe called Eileen’s Greatest NJ Clam Chowder.

 

Eileen’s Greatest New Jersey Clam Chowder 2018

 

PEETIE WHEATSTRAW:   “I Want Some Seafood, Mama.”

 

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scallops

 

By Eileen Goldfinger, Food and Garden Editor  @Blogfinger

Preheat 10″ non-stick fry pan on medium-low heat.

Fish:

10 sea scallops

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon of freshly grated black pepper

Rinse scallops and remove connector muscles.

Dry scallops with paper towel.

Season both sides of scallops with the paprika and black pepper, and set aside.

Sauce: 

8″ non-stick fry pan

2 tablespoons Wegmans thyme shallot finishing butter*

1 tablespoon margarine

2 Campari tomatoes, seeded and diced

10 sweet cherry tomatoes, halved

1 scallion, diced

1 clove of garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup of dry white wine, such as Cavit Pinot grigio

Place all of these sauce ingredients in the 8″ pan. Heat the pan to medium-low heat. Stir ingredients and let them simmer while you cook the scallops.

Cooking the fish: 

1 tablespoon Wegmans thyme shallot finishing butter*

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon margarine

Place the above ingredients in the preheated 10″ fry pan. When the oil begins to sizzle, place the scallops in the pan. Cook the scallops on one side for 5 minutes. Turn over and cook the other side for 2 minutes.

Plating: 

Place some of the scallion-tomato sauce on the perimeter of the serving plate. Place the scallops in the center of the plate and drizzle the remaining sauce over the scallops.

Serves 2

* Make your own thyme-shallot finishing butter. Mix 2 tablespoons of butter or margarine with 1/4 teaspoon of fresh minced thyme leaves (or 1/8 teaspoon of dry thyme) and 1/2 – whole shallot minced.  You can use different herbs if you don’t like thyme, such as parsley, basil, chives or garlic.

Chefs note: I served them with fresh steamed spinach and mashed roasted potatoes.

BEN E. KING  is feeling amorous after eating Eileen’s scallops:

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Photographed in Eileen’s kitchen. February 1, 2020. Blogfinger photo.

 

By Eileen Goldfinger, Food Editor @Blogfinger.net

 

1 pound large shrimp, peeled & deveined

3 tbs extra virgin olive oil

¼ tsp red pepper flakes

6 garlic cloves, 4 grated and 2 thinly sliced

½ tsp salt

½ cup white wine

1 tbs fresh lemon juice

zest of 1 lemon

½ stick unsalted butter

3 tbs fresh parsley, chopped

¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 pound tagliatelle

 

In a medium bowl, whisk grated garlic, salt, black pepper and 1 tbs  of oil together. Add shrimp and mix. Place uncovered in refrigerator for 30-60 minutes.

 

Add shrimp mixture to skillet and sauté until shrimp turns pink, but is NOT fully cooked, approximately 1 minute.  Make sure not to brown the garlic. Transfer mixture to a plate using a slotted spoon  and leaving as much oil in the pan as possible.

 

Prepare 1 pound of tagliatelle now,  following package instructions.  This will take about 5 minutes after the water for the pasta has come to a boil.

 

On low-medium heat add the remaining 2 tbs of oil to the skillet along with the sliced garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute.  Add wine, lemon juice, lemon zest and stir for 3 minutes until the liquid thickens .  Add the butter, stir and cook until the butter melts, approximately 5 minutes.  Add shrimp to the sauce and toss to coat and sauté  until shrimp are completely cooked, approximately 2-3 minutes. Serve over tagliatelle and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

 

Serves 4 people

 

DIANA KRALL    Music from the film “De-Lovely.”

 

 

 

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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.  But, in the OG area, “A Taste of Italy” on Asbury Avenue has excellent Italian bread.

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

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