Sep 27, 2013

Cape Cod Recipes

Being on vacation means good food. And while most are in full fall mode now, we’re still dreaming of salt air, sandy beaches, and seafood. So I thought today I would share my top 3 favorite recipes from Cape Cod.

The first two you should save for next summer, or use them if you need a taste of sunshine on a chilly fall night. They are both fast, easy and oh so good.

Littleneck clams
1 tbs butter
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bottle of clam juice
½ cup white wine

In a bowl in the sink, submerge clams in cold water for about 10 minutes to release all of the sand and grit. (Unless you don’t mind eating sand or like a gritty clam - then you can skip this step.)

Melt butter in a large saucepan or small stockpot (depending on the number of clams you’re cooking) with a lid. Cook the garlic and shallot in the butter until soft. Add the clam juice and wine to the pot, let it heat through until it starts steaming. Gently transfer clams from the bowl of water to the pot, then cover with a lid.

Let the clams steam for about 5-7 minutes, then start checking the pot and removing the ones that have opened with tongs. Return the lid to the pot, waiting a couple minutes, then checking again for opened ones. Most recipes tell you to just leave the pot unattended for 10-12 minutes, but I found that gives me an unbalanced pot - some are overdone, some are good, some haven’t opened. So I like to check more frequently and pull them out - then they’re all perfect. Once all the clams are done, remove the pot from the heat and transfer the broth to the serving bowls with the clams. I highly recommend serving with a crusty bread for soaking up the juices. Heaven!

Breaded Grilled Flounder
1 lb of flounder
White vinegar
1 egg
Panko breadcrumbs
Freshly grated parmesan, or a quality pre-grated one from the deli section (never kraft!)

Unless you have freshly caught Cape Cod flounder, sometimes delicate white fish that’s traveled far has a slightly fishy taste to it. To bring back the freshness, pour white vinegar into a shallow dish in the sink. Soak the flounder in the vinegar for about 30 seconds, then rinse with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. This works really well!

Beat the egg and add it to a shallow bowl or dish. In another shallow dish, mix together the panko bread crumbs and parmesan. Dredge the fish filets in the egg, then bread with the breadcrumb mixture. Place the filets on a flat grilling tray and grill at a medium high heat, turning once, for about 8-1o minutes on each side (for a total of 15-20 minutes) until done and crispy. An alternative option would be to place on a cookie sheet and broil the fish in the oven for 6-8 minutes until crispy.

Provincetown Kale Soup
This recipe is actually perfect for chilly Fall weather is is served in about every restaurant in Provincetown. My favorite version uses a mild sausage and tons of healthy green Kale.

1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 quarts beef broth
1 1-lb can tomatoes, chopped (include juice)
3 potatoes, halved
1 lb liguica (sausage) or chorico
½ lb kale, washed and chopped

In a large pot, fry onions and garlic in oil until softened and yellow. Add broth, tomatoes, potatoes, and linguica. Prick sausage in several places with a fork. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes. Remove potatoes and sausage. Cut sausage in diagonal slices and return to soup. Mash potatoes, or put them through blender with sufficient soup juice to moisten. They should be quite smooth. Return potatoes to soup. Add kale and simmer until kale is tender, about 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning (the sausage and broth usually provide enough salt). Serve hot in big bowls with a side of crusty bread (or oyster crackers if you're feeling Provincetown authentic - but I find good bread much  more satisfying!).

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