How to get that Cape Cod-style cuisine in your own kitchen
A few weeks ago, I noticed the heavy traffic on I- Interstate 95 north, especially on Friday afternoons. My assumption is that many are headed to “The Cape.” Now that summer has arrived, generations of families who have vacationed at the seashore towns that comprise Cape Cod are making their way back.
It is known for its hundreds of miles of beaches, lighthouses, scenic views of the Atlantic Ocean, spectacular sunsets, waterfowl and seabirds, and rustic architecture. When it comes to food, it is there too; from the freshest seafood to fine dining with an ocean view, to clam shacks serving up some of the best fried clams. How about a tour of a cranberry bog, visiting a winery, sampling locally grown foods at a farmers’ market, or a tour of the Cape Cod Potato Chip factory? At “The Cape” You are bound to find culinary experiences to savor at the Cape.
The food scene reflects the spirit of the people who live there, and their many cultures and cuisines. Culinary traditions exist, however, from what I read in “Great Food Finds: Cape Cod” by John F. Carafoli (2018, Globe Pequot, $24.95) there is a dynamic food and dining evolution taking place; from the finest white tablecloth restaurants to homey mom and pop cafes, and chic new eateries. This is the book to bring with you to guide you to new places to eat and bring back home so you can recreate the recipes from the region’s most celebrated eateries. You will find not only recipes, but stories about the restaurants, information about local food entrepreneurs, kitchen and gourmet food stores, clambakes, fishermen, and farms. Check out these recipes from a couple of the restaurants in the book. For the recipes for The Glass Onion’s (37 North Main St., Falmouth, Mass.,A 508-540-3730 www.theglassoniondining.com ) Lobster Strudel and Hangar B Eatery’s (240 George Ryder Road at the Chatham airport, Chatham, Mass., 508-593-3655 www.hangarbcapecod.com ) Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, please visit https://bit.ly/2lCLiQS
Lobster Trap Crab Cake
The headnote says, “The Lobster Trap (290 Shore Road, Bourne, Mass., 508-759-7600 www.lobstertrap.net) was founded in 1969 as a fish market in Bourne. Dave Delaney started working as a chef in 1998 for the previous owners when the owner decided to expand and open a restaurant. Dave bought the establishment in 2003, enlarged the restaurant, started a catering business, and formed a distribution company thatwhich serves restaurants and markets worldwide. “We are committed to providing guests with the best possible products we can source, prepared with care and served with pride. After all, this isn’t just a job for us, it’s a way of life,” he said. “adds Dave.”
The Lobster Shack is a true Cape Cod experience. One can take the view of Buzzards Bay, the Back River, and surrounding saltwater marshes, while having a cold brew or margarita at the bar or lunch or dinner in the large dining room.
1 pound jumbo lump crab meat
½ red pepper, diced small
½ green pepper, diced small
¼ red onion, diced small
5 ounces crushed Ritz crackers
3 ounces panko bread crumbs
½ bunch cilantro, chopped fine
½ bunch scallions, chopped fine
2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
½ cup mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste
Fold all ingredients together and make cakes. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake in a preheated 350ºF oven for
10 minutes. Serves 4
Place each crab cake on a plate, drizzle with avocado cream, and top with the mango salsa.
For Avocado Cream:
2 ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
1⁄4 cup sour cream
Juice of 1 lime
Salt and pepper to taste
Place ingredients into food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
For Mango Salsa:
1⁄2 ripe mango, skin removed, diced small
1⁄2 red pepper, diced small
1⁄2 green pepper, diced small
1⁄4 red onion, diced small
1⁄2 bunch cilantro
1⁄2 bunch scallions
Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl.
Chatham Littleneck Clams in Portuguese Kale Stew
The headnote says, “Sue Connors and Ann Feeley have created a charming restaurant (Pisces, 2653 Main St., Route 28, 508-432-4600, www.piscesofchatham.com ) with a cozy five-seat bar Ihe seaside town of Chatham. Wainscoting on the wall is topped with original artworks by local artists. With dishes like pan-roasted Chatham littleneck clams and lobster ravioli, it’s clear that they have taken the restaurant’s motto, “All good things come to the coast,” to heart.
2 tablespoons canola or olive oil
1/3 cup diced onions
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
3⁄4 cup sliced Portuguese chorizo
3⁄4 cup peeled, diced carrots
3⁄4 cup diced red potatoes, skin on
1 (24-ounce) bottle clam juice or lobster stock
1 bunch kale, washed, dried, stemmed, and leaves
1⁄2 cup canned cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1⁄3 cup diced fresh tomatoes
32 littleneck clams, shells scrubbed in cold water to remove sand
Focaccia or other rustic Italian bread, sliced thick
Softened Garlic Butter or olive oil
Heat the oil in an 8-quart, straight-sided sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, just until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and bay leaf; cook 1 minute more. Add the chorizo and cook until it begins to release some of its oil, then add the carrots and potatoes and continue cooking until vegetables begin to soften. Add the clam juice or lobster stock, raise the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Stir in the kale, beans, and tomatoes and when mixture returns to a boil, lower the heat so the stew simmers until the kale turns dark green and is very tender, 5 to 8 minutes.
Arrange the clams in a single layer over the stew and cover tightly with a lid or foil. Let the clams steam until they open, 5 to 10 minutes. (Discard any clams that do not open.) Taste the broth and adjust seasoning, adding a little more water if it’s too salty.
To assemble the dish: Use tongs to divide the clams among warm shallow pasta bowls and ladle the stew over them. Serve with bread for dipping, brushed with garlic butter or oil and toasted or grilled if desired. Serves 4 as an appetizer or 2 as a main course.
Alice Lei of New Haven wrote, “I regularly read your column in the New Haven Register. Would you kindly answer the following questions?
How does one soften white granulated sugar that has hardened like a rock?
Church members, years ago had a recipe for cranberry sauce that includes walnuts and maybe orange zest. It was delicious.
Chilis in East Haven has a very good salad dressing. Is it possible for you to get the recipe?”
Alice, thanks for your requests. Let’s see if any readers can help out. Perhaps they have a hint to for you sugar question and a recipe for the cranberry sauce. I will try to track down the salad dressing recipe; perhaps someone out there has this the salad dressing recipe.
What chef would you like me to interview? Which restaurant recipes or other recipes would you like to have? Which food products are you having difficulty finding? Do you have cooking questions? Send them to me: Stephen Fries, professor and coordinator of the Hospitality Management Programs at Gateway Community College, at firstname.lastname@example.org or Dept. FC, Gateway Community College, 20 Church St., New Haven, 06510. Include your full name, address and phone number. (Due to volume, I might not be able to publish every request. For more, go to stephenfries.com.)
Summer BBQ with views of the Middletown fireworks. July 7 (rain date July 8), reservations begin at 5:30 pm; fireworks at 9 :00 pm. $65 per person. Mattabesett Canoe Club, 80 Harbor Drive, Middletown. Seafood appetizer station, carving station, barbecue pork ribs, chicken and all the fixings, build your own strawberry shortcake. More info and reservations 860-347-9999 www.canoeclubmiddletown.com
Kids Cooking Camp-Ciao Italia: July 9 through 13, 10 a.m. to noon, Chef’s Emporium, 449 Boston Post Road, Orange, $200. Reservations 203-799-2665. During this 5-day camp experience, your young chef (ages 5-11) will participate in hands-on classes under guidance of expert chef instructors. Campers will be creating and eating recipes each day that focus on Italian foods. Same class is offered for teens from 1 to 3 p.m. For menu and other kids cooking camps visit https://bit.ly/2kwz1hm.
“Food Network’s Chopped,” features Consiglio’s Chef Danny Brelsford. Tune in and watch Danny compete on Food Network on July 17 at 9 :00 p.m. On July 18, at 6:30 p.m., at Consiglio’s, 165 Wooster St., New Haven, a special demonstration cooking class and 4-course dinner will be held, using some of the secret ingredients Chef Danny was presented on the show. $75 (beverages, tax and gratuity not included)
Flights of Fancy, July 19, 4:30 pm to 8 :00 p.m. $20, includes commemorative wine glass. An evening of shopping, wine and food tastings, in-store discounts, free parking York Street Garage, exciting raffle prizes, and special gifts for attendees. A welcome party at The Study Hotel, 1157 Chapel St., New Haven. Tickets and more details at https://bit.ly/2JwaFSF
Worth Tasting Culinary Walking Tour: 10:45 a.m. July 21, four-hour culinary walking tour of downtown New Haven. 8-9 stops at some of New Haven’s favorites. You won’t be hungry after this tour. Reservations required, tickets at https://bit.ly/2FjiwMP 203-415-3519, 203-777-8550, $64.
Consiglio’s Cooking Demonstration and Dinner: July 26, 6:30 p.m., Consiglio’s Restaurant, 165 Wooster St., New Haven, 203-865-4489 (reservations required), $75 (beverages, tax and gratuity not included). Learn how to make tuna and white bean bruschetta, tomato, watermelon, creamy burrata salad, boneless beef short ribs, balsamic barbecue, profiteroles.