I had not been to the North Fork of Long Island in about 15 years. I used to go with my family to visit friends in Southold, where we would go clamming, eat lobster and fish for striped bass (stripers, as they are called).
Now, it’s a different ball game. I have this new TV show and as you’ll see in episode 3, this is exactly what I had hoped to accomplish from this beautiful place. Don’t forget now, the purpose of this show is to showcase beautiful New York and all it has to offer in and around the wine it makes. David, John and I packed this episode (as David says, “these shows have to move!”) and we had a lot of fun with it. I hope you will, too.
First, where to stay. I lucked out in choosing the Greenporter Hotel, right in the village of Greenport. This little town is fantastic if you like fast access to restaurants, bars, shops as well as to the water and local vineyards. The Greenporter is right in town; it’s an older site but it’s been completely updated and they did a great job in doing so. The location is worth the price of admission but they have 2 things that are crucial as far as I’m concerned: nice, soft towels and a comfortable bed.
We work hard on these shoots (David and John are animals!) and we then reward ourselves with a few libations and a nice dinner after a day’s work. We generally meet up at 8am, have breakfast and talk about the day ahead. A good spot for breakfast is a place called Erik’s, in Southold. They have good coffee and I dig their breakfast burritos. There is another spot that wasn’t open yet for the season, more on that shortly.
We stayed 3 nights to shoot 2 shows, so we had dinner at a few good spots. Scott, from the North Fork Sea Salt Company and Bruce and Son recommended a buddy of his’ place called Brix and Rye. A little unassuming place with good pizza and a very knowledgeable bartender! He took good care of us; his picture is on the homepage.
Johnny found a spot that we liked the next night called Lucharitos. It is a funky little taqueria with margaritas that are on my top 5 best list.
Oh, and by the way, we did work. A lot. On to Episode 3!
Here’s the deal: when you watch an episode of Wine About the Weather, know that we have many hours of video and shots that never make the final cut. Sometimes it’s stuff that just doesn’t “work”, other times it’s just a matter of limited time. That’s where this comes in.
I would love to spend more time on some of the finer points of the show, but we only have 30 minutes. Think of this as an extension of the show, where you will learn more about the food you see, including recipes. You’ll also learn more about wines and how to pair them with your favorite foods. If there is anything else I’d like to expand on for you, I will do so here…and don’t forget, please shoot me an email anytime if you have any questions or suggestions!
Show Notes (in order of appearance):
Food and wine:
Cooking segment, striped bass with asparagus and a pea-arugula puree:
Chef Scott was all set up for us to cook our fish. He and I were talking cooking philosophy and he gave me a great motto to food pairings: things that grow together go together. Seasonal fish, veggies and even wine styles all qualify here.
A pea-arugula puree is a nice base for this stacking of yumminess. It is a simple puree of peas, a little oil and salt along with fresh arugula. The arugula gives it a nice bright green color as well as to add a peppery taste.
Cooking the fish is an easy thing to do. First off, fish cooks differently than other meats in that it cooks strictly from the outside in. As always, you want your pan to be hot (not too hot, but certainly not cold). Heat a little oil in the pan right before you put your fish in.
You’ll notice after Scott coated the skin with the cornstarch, salt and pepper, he put it in the pan and held his fingers on it. You should hold/lightly press the fish for 30 seconds or so (you can use a spatula if you don’t want to use your fingers) so that the skin cooks/crisps evenly and doesn’t curl up. We cooked this fish for about 3 minutes on a side; it all depends on the thickness as to how long you leave it on the flame.
As Scott shaved the radish and asparagus, he did so into a cold water bath. This keeps them nice and crisp and firm. It’s all about the presentation!
The chickweed and sea beans were so cool! You’ll notice he says, “foraged items”. He literally picked them for us on the show and it matches his motto of ‘growing and going’. The chickweed reminded me of arugula with its peppery taste and the sea beans were salty…makes sense since they grow on the banks of the salt creeks.
You’ll notice Scott put the mustard oil around the middle of the bowl before he did anything. This will help to evenly coat anything you want to toss so you don’t end up with soggy stuff in a pool of oil at the bottom of the bowl. Of course, you can use any type of oil you want. There are some great olive oil shops around for you to pick your favorites.
For the asparagus, you want to just chop off the tops (they are sweet!) and roast/sauté them in a hot pan with just a touch of oil, salt and pepper. Don’t cook them long, just roast until they start to turn color. They should still have a little snap to them.
The mustard seed caviar was different. Scott makes his own Worcestershire sauce and the base of this “caviar” is the by-product of it with some mustard seed added. It goes perfectly with this dish.
The wine pairing with Adam taught us a few things. As Laura says, have fun paring wine with food, it’s not supposed to be stressful. So here’s a quick question for you: what wine should you pair with certain foods? The answer: whatever you like. There are no rules, only some guidelines. Note what Adam says about reds and fish…of course it can be done, just don’t overdo it.
If you want a quick little tutorial on wines and food, this is a great place to do so. I hope you had as much fun with this episode as we did.
Wine About the Weather…then drink it!