Captain’s Liquored Bananas

Bananas ar forty nine cents a pound at Best Yet market this week! So… let’s make some for dessert. I haven’t made bananas foster in quite some time. So, with a fresh carton of vanilla ice cream and some ‘on sale bananas’ let’s get these two together. Now THAT’S cooking with rum!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp banana liqueur
  • 2 under ripe bananas, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup Captain Morgan spiced rum
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

Melt butter in a heavy skillet over low heat. Add brown sugar, allspice and nutmeg and stir until sugar dissolves. Add banana liqueur and bring sauce to simmer. Add bananas and cook for 1 minute on each side, carefully spooning sauce over bananas as they are cooking. Remove bananas from pan to a serving dish. Bring sauce to a simmer and carefully add the rum. If the sauce is very hot, the alcohol will flame on its own. If not, using stick flame, carefully ignite and continue cooking until flame dies out, approximately 1 to 2 minutes. If sauce is too thin, cook for 1 to 2 minutes until it is syrupy in consistency. Add orange zest and stir to combine. Immediately spoon the sauce over bananas and serve. Serve with ice cream.

bananasfoster04

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Duck Walk Shrimp

Its a nice day for shrimp, and yes, I have no idea what exactly that means, but it popped into my head none the less. I have shrimp on my mind, which is better than the alternative, having wine on my mind which is probably just as likely. So, let’s open a fresh bottle of Duck Walk white and talk about shrimp, and pasta, and vino.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 pound of medium shrimp drained peeled and deveined
  • 1 ½ cups Duck Walk white wine
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • Sea salt and fresh ground peppercorns
  • 1 package of linguini cooked and drained

Melt the butter and toss in the garlic and get that browning. Deglaze with a little wine and add the shrimp and the rest of the wine. Cook until the shrimp are done, nice and firm, about six minutes or so. Then remove the shrimp for the pan and set aside. Add the oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste and reduce this down to a little thicker sauce. Then add the linguine and get tit well coated with the pan sauce, and then add back the shrimp. Warm every thing and serve it up shaved Parmesan cheese and with some garlic toast…. And wine!

shrimp2

Basic Stuffed Stripe Bass

Strippers are running just off shore. And they seem to be plentiful when the boats pull into Babylon, the local fishmonger is running a sale on whole fish. So, one great way to cook these up for a bunch of friends is to keep that bass whole, stuff it, bake it, and bring it to the table.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 two pound whole striped bass
  • 2 cups of cubed bread for stuffing
  • ½ cup of diced tomatoes
  • ½ of a small red onion diced
  • ¼ tsp tarragon
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • Sea salt

Combine the bread crumbs, tomatoes, onions, tarragon, salt and pepper to taste. Use this simple stuffing mix to stuff your cleaned and dressed striped bass. Use toothpicks or those fancy bamboo skewers to close the fish and place it on a baking rack. Brush butter on top of the fish and bake in the oven at 300 degrees for 30 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily.

stripped_bass

Butternut Squash with Red Onion

Butternut squash is one of those things that is practically indestructible in the pantry and seem to be plentiful in the fall. Cherry Valley market had a good price on these the other day so I picked one up with a nice couple of red onions and decided to get these two together on an date so to speak.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 medium butternut squash cut into ½ inch dice
  • 1 small red onion sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic sliced
  • About 10 dates diced
  • ¼ cup Duck Walk white
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • Sea salt

Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over high heat. Add the squash and brown it. Add the onions and garlic, cook till the onions are soft. Add the dates and deglaze with the wine. Cook this down till the liquid evaporates. Mix in the chives and remove from the heat. Serve! Preferable with a stripped sea bass:

BUTTERNUT SQUASH

Summer Citrus Grilled Bluefish

Summer on Long Island and the blues are running wild. It’s a nice way of spending a summer day out fishing, and the bluefish are plentiful. Now many people say they don’t like bluefish as it tends to be oily and has a very ‘fishy’ taste. Well of course it has a fishy taste, it’s a fish, and what did you expect it to taste like… mutton? But, be that as it may, there are many ways to add flavor to this fish while preserving the taste of the fish. One of my favorite ways to do this is be marinating the fish to displace some of its fatty oils. And the taste of summer citrus fruits on the open grill is one of the best things about the season here on Long Island.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4 pounds of fresh bluefish
  • 1 cup of fresh orange juice
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup Duck Walk white wine
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of Chef Bill’s secret citrus spice rub

Place the fish fillets into a large bowl. Pour in the orange juice, lime juice, lemon juice, olive oil and white wine. Stir to blend and coat fish. Leave the squeezed lemon and lime halves in the bowl too. Marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat a grill for high heat. When the grill is hot, oil the grate. Season the fish with salt, pepper and citrus rub.

Place fish fillets on the grill, and discard the marinade. Cook for 4 minutes on each side, or until fish flakes with a fork. Transfer to a serving platter, and remove the dark blue part of the fish before serving and let’s finish that bottle of Duck Walk!

bluefish bikini

Mac and Cheese with Ham and Jalapenos

Ah what to do with the left over ham wen there’s not a lot of ham left over. Everyone has that problem every so often. There’s this left overs that aren’t really enough for a meal in themselves, but there they sit and wait… and wait.. and wait.. and, oh no they’ve turned green! What to do before the ‘turns green’ stage. Well, here’s a quick and easy way to get rid of a little bit of ham, say a half a cup or so…

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 cups or so of leftover macaroni, elbows preferred
  • 1 cup of grated American or Velveeta cheese
  • 1/2 cup of milk, leftover milk is ok
  • 2 table spoons butter
  • 1/2 cup of diced leftover ham
  • 4 medium jalapenos diced

over low heat, melt the butter, blend in the milk, then gradually add the grates cheese whisking to keep everything in motion. This makes your basic, ya very basic cheese sauce. Then, add in the cooked macaroni coating the pasta well. Then stir in the ham and diced jalapenos. Mix this well and pour it into a. oven safe baking dish.

Bake this in the oven at 300 degrees for about twenty minutes.

Remove from the oven, let it cool just a bit. Them spoon it out and enjoy that left over ham with the jalapenos… even if those jalapenos aren’t ‘on a stick’.

jalapeno ona stick