Category Archives: Seafood

Upper West Side: Luke’s Lobster Opens on 81st and Amsterdam

Luke's Lobster, New York.

Luke’s Lobster opened last night at 81st and Amsterdam. How do I know they’ve dropped anchor on the Upper West Side? I just finished downing one of their lobster rolls, packed with succulent chunks of lobster, at the Hester Street Fair. The guy behind the counter informed me of this gustatory bonanza for the neighborhood.

Luke’s lobster roll is the real thing. The meat sits in a plump mound in a toasted square roll, just like the ones you get in Maine. It’s the closest you’ll get to experiencing Maine seafood without leaving the city limits.

Other stores are located in the East Village and the Upper East Side.

Upper West Side: 426 Amsterdam Ave. (80th St.) 212 877 8800

East Village: 93 E. 7th St. (1st Ave.) 212 387 8487

Upper East Side: 242 E. 81st St. (2nd Ave.) 212 249 4241

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New Cookbook with Recipe: Seafood Alla Siciliana Transports and Instructs

Photo: Sardine sandwich, from Seafood Alla Siciliana, courtesy of Toni Lydecker.

Photo: Sardine sandwich, from Seafood Alla Siciliana, courtesy of Toni Lydecker.

When the winds are whipping up off the Hudson and you’re wading across Broadway in ankle deep slush, Seafood Alla Siciliana is the cookbook you’ll want to curl up with and cook from. This glorious volume, chock full of recipes that rely on seafood prepared Sicilian style, will transport you on a sun- and sea-filled excursion to the isle of Sicily. There, author Toni Lydecker, (a disclaimer, Toni is a good friend) investigated the ways Sicilian cooks, whose island is surrounded by three seas, created a rich tradition of seafood cookery.

There are recipes, but there are also stories—lush tales that take you inside the kitchens Lydecker worked in throughout Sicily.

Among the preparations contained in this gorgeous volume are ones for pasta, antipasti, risotto, and soups. There are recipes for white anchovies with parsley and hot pepper, gnocchi with rock shrimp in creamy tomato sauce, and sea bass baked in a salt crust.  Instructions are clear, and there’s a helpful guide to Sicilian wine and seafood pairings.

For the most part, ingredients are straight forward.  They can be purchased at Fairway, Zabar’s, and other grocery and specialty food stores.

Recipe

Mahimahi Stewed with Cherry Tomatoes and Capers
Lampuca alla matalotta
Lampuca â matalotta

Makes 4 servings
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 20 minutes


When I visited the southeastern tip of Sicily in October, everyone was feasting on lampuca alla matalotta, made from a delicious kind of blue-fleshed fish that approaches the coast that time of year; fishermen still lure this shade-loving fish by extending palm branches off the sides of their boats.
I learned later that this fish is also known as capone and that mahimahi is our closest equivalent. I especially like the version served by chef Lina Campisi of La Cialoma, on which this recipe is loosely based; she leaves out the green olives often included by other cooks.

INGREDIENTS
4 fillets (about 1 1/2 pounds) cut from medium-firm fish such as mahimahi, bonito, grouper, sea bream, sea bass, cod, or snapper
Sea salt or kosher salt
1 small onion, chopped
mahimahi11/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup halved or quartered cherry or grape tomatoes
1/3 cup Mediterranean olives, pitted or unpitted (optional)
Leaves from 1 or 2 flat-leaf parsley sprigs, chopped
1 heaping tablespoon salt-preserved capers, soaked in water for several minutes and drained
Hot red pepper flakes

METHOD
1. Sprinkle the fish fillets lightly with salt.
2. Combine the onion, olive oil, and 1/4 cup water in a skillet large enough to hold the fillets in a single layer. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer briskly but not furiously until the onion is tender. Add the tomatoes,  olives (if using), parsley, capers, red pepper flakes to taste, and another 1/4 cup water.
3. Once the cooking liquid returns to a simmer, lay the fillets on top, skin side down. Cover and simmer until the fish is cooked through, about 10 minutes. At this point, the tomatoes will have released their juices and there should be a small ladleful of brothy sauce for each serving; if not, remove the fish to a platter, add a little more water and heat briefly. Taste and stir in a bit more salt and pepper flakes if needed.
4. Ladle the sauce into shallow soup bowls; place a fish fillet in each one.

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Corn Dinner: Main Course, Corn and Clam Chowder

randy-corn

Now, we’re on to the main course of this all corn dinner–a clam and corn chowder, perfect for a seaside supper.

If you missed them, here are the previous two courses:

Drinks SnackAll Corn Dinner: With Cocktails Try Chewy Corn Nibbles

First Course: Corn Dinner: First Course, Grilled Corn on the Cob

Dessert Course: Coming Friday!

Clam and corn chowder with chives and scallions

Ingredients

2 quarts chicken broth (defatted or store bought low fat)

8 ears of corn, shucked. (If you have the cobs left over from the corn nibbles, you can use some of those.)

2 medium potatoes (waxy is preferred), peeled and cut into ¾ inch dice

1 ½  dozen Little Neck or Topneck clams, cleaned by soaking in water with 1 tablespoon of cornmeal for about 4 hours (in the fridge).

1 medium sweet onion, cut into medium dice

¼ cup olive oil

4 strips bacon, cooked until crisp and diced

1 to 2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper

1 bunch scallions, trimmed of half the green part, and the rest sliced into thin rounds

1 bunch chives, thinly sliced

Method

  1. Scrape off the corn and use the back of a knife to get all the corn “juice” off the cobs. Put aside. Then put all 8 cobs in the pot of chicken stock and simmer for 30 minutes (you can cut up the cobs to make this more manageable). Strain the liquid after 30 minutes and reduce to 1 ½ quarts.

  1. In a large soup pot, sauté the onion in olive oil until translucent. Add bacon, sugar, salt and white pepper.  Mix well.  Add the chicken stock that has been strained, and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes and the clams. Bring to a boil, reduce heat right away and simmer for about 8 minutes—until potatoes are almost done and clams are mostly open. The chowder will be thin, at this point.

  1. Add the corn kernels and the corn “juice.” Simmer over low heat another 3 minutes.

  1. Mix the cornstarch with a little water until it is dissolved, 1 tablespoon at a time.  Then add some hot soup to the cornstarch until you have about 1 cup and mix well.  Return the cornstarch mixture to the soup, and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes, not more.  If it is still too thin, repeat this step.

  1. When you serve the soup, garnish each serving with scallions and chives.

  1. Don’t forget bowls for the clam shells.
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Edgewater, NJ: Tsukiji Market comes to New Jersey

Fresh seafood will be flown in from Tokyo’s Tsukiji Market to Mitsuwa Marketplace in Edgewater, NJ for an event July 11-13.

Here is a partial list of expected seafood (but it will depend on what is fresh at the Tsukiji Market).

Red seabream (farmed)

Amberjack (farmed)

Flounder (farmed)

Striped Jack (farmed)

Yellowtail (farmed)

Banded Rockfish

Flathead

Japanese Seabass

Mitsuwa Marketplace
595 River Road,
Edgewater, NJ
TEL: (201) 941-9113
Open 7 days/week
EVERYDAY 9:30AM – 9:00PM
RESTAURANTS
11:00AM-8:00PM
(Italian Tomato only)
9:30AM-7:00PM

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Southold, LI: Seafood Barge Performs Swimmingly

There aren’t a lot of exceptional places to eat on Long Island’s North Fork. Most people come out to the area to cruise the wineries, but we like it for its low key, laid back, still mostly-rural atmosphere.

The place with the best prepared seafood is the unassuming Seafood Barge in Southold. It harks back to the kinds of family restaurants I remember as a kid. The only thing that’s missing is the relish tray. Tables are spread apart far enough so that you have lots of privacy. The decor is seafood kitsch and a large window looks out at a marina. The only jarring note is the persistent hum of canned music in the background. But that’s made up for in part by the friendly but very efficient wait staff.

We ordered locally caught cod and swordfish that wasn’t reeled in by local fishermen. Both were superb though on Chowhound there have been some dissatisfied customers. Unlike many swordfish preparations, this one was moist, flavorful and fork tender. My cod was delicious and accompanied by nicely prepared green beans and potatoes. For starters, we ordered Manhattan clam chowder that was chock full of clams. It was simply some of the best chowder I’ve ever eaten.

Despite its homey atmosphere, the Seafood Barge isn’t cheap. Main courses run just under $30 so by the time you’re done with wine and dessert, this can be an expensive night out.

Seafood Barge
Main Road
at Port of Egypt
Southold, NY

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