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.


Mushrooms stuffed with Crab

This makes a nice warm appetizer. A small serving tray of these will disappear in no time at all. Yes, agaricus bisporus, the common white, or button mushroom gets invites to all the parties because he’s a fungi… ok, it’s a notoriously bad pun, but, unlike crab stuffing,  I use it sparingly.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 30 large mushrooms
  • 1 pound lump crab meat
  • 2 lg. green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/8 c. parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/4 c. bread crumbs
  • 1/2 c. grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 1 egg
  • Dash of Tabasco
  • 1/2 stick butter, softened

Combine ingredients (except mushrooms) to make the stuffing mixture.

Remove the stems from the mushrooms, and sauté the stems in butter and add them to the stuffing mixture.

Stuff the caps with the stuffing. Place on a cookie sheet and bake at 350°F for 15 to 20 minutes. Let them cool a bit before getting them on the tray and out to the guests.


Stuffed Whiting wrapped in Bacon

Wrapping fish fillets in bacon is a great way to combine two wonderful flavors into a unified dish. This recipe uses a simple breadcrumb stuffing. You can pack even more flavor into this dish by making changes to the stuffing, like adding diced celery, or minced jalapeño pepper.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4 fillets of whiting (fresh or frozen)
  • 4 rashers thick cut bacon
  • 2 oz butter
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1 cup fine bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp chopped parsley
  • Pinch of thyme
  • Sea salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Melt the butter in a sauce pan, sauté the onion till tender. Add breadcrumbs, parsley, thyme and salt and pepper. This makes up our stuffing. Distribute the stuffing onto the fillets. Roll the fillets and wrap them with a rasher of bacon. You can secure these with a toothpick. Place these in a lightly buttered baking dish, cover it with foil and pop into the oven for about ten minutes. Remover the foil and let these cook uncovered for another five minutes or so. Serve them up with a bottle of Duck Walk white wine.


Blue Point Oyster Stuffing

Oyster stuffing makes a wonderfully flavorful side dish. Oyster stuffing, or in this case, dressing (I don’t cook this in a turkey), has had a long and storied existence here on Long Island. From per-colonial times right through the near recent past it had enjoyed a regional popularity. However, with declined in the shellfish population of the late 1900’s, and declination of domestic culinary skills (personal observation), store-bought off the shelf stuffing surpassed to historic side-dish. But, with sustainable farming of oysters, especially our local blue point variety, its well time to rediscover this culinary accompaniment.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 40 medium oysters, such as bluepoints,  shucked (about 1 lb.), with 1 cup of the liquor reserved
  • 11 cups 1⁄2″ cubed white French bread (about 14 oz.)
  • 6 slices thick cut bacon, cut crosswise into 1⁄4″ strips
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted, plus more for
  • greasing the pan
  • 6 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 4 ribs celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1⁄4 cup Duck Walk red wine
  • 1⁄3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 tbsp. chopped thyme leaves
  • 2 tbsp. chopped sage leaves
  • 1 tbsp. oregano
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

First we need to dry out the bread; heat the oven to 250˚. Arrange bread cubes on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake, stirring occasionally, until dried but not browned, about 10 minutes.

Now, lets build the stuffing; put the bacon into a 12″ skillet; cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until crisp and its fat has rendered, about 10 minutes. Add 4 tbsp. of the butter and heat. Add shallots and celery, reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add oyster liquor, stock, wine, parsley, thyme, sage, oregano, and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Scrape the mixture into a large bowl and stir in the bread cubes and oysters. Set aside to allow the flavors to come together for 10 minutes.

Now bake the final product; raise the oven temperature to 400˚. Put the  mixture into a lightly buttered 2-qt. oval baking dish and cover with foil. I use the oval to avoid the ‘hot spots’ that build up in the corners of rectangular dishes. Bake for 30 minutes, remove foil, drizzle with remaining butter, and continue baking until golden brown and crusty, about 20 minutes more. Serve immediately, with the rest of the Duck Walk wine…

and remember to enjoy sustainable oysters often –Oyster Sustainability – Monterey Aquarium

Anchovy Stuffed Sustainable Sardines

I know, this recipe is so much like yesterday’s it’s amazing. But this tie we’ll be getting twice the sustainable fish, and healthy omega three oils in one tasty main dish. So, without much ado…

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • ⅓ heaping cup golden raisins, plumped in hot water to cover for 10 minutes and drained
  • ⅓ cup pine nuts
  • 6 anchovy fillets, rinsed and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 butterflied fresh sardines

Heat oven to 350º. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.

In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add ¾ cup breadcrumbs and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant and lightly toasted, about 3 minutes; remove from heat. Stir in raisins, pine nuts, anchovy and parsley; season with salt and pepper to taste.


Lay 6 sardines on prepared pan, flesh-side up; spoon breadcrumb mixture over the top. Lay remaining 6 sardines, flesh-side down, over breadcrumb mixture; sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup breadcrumbs and lightly drizzle with oil. Bake until sardines are cooked through and hot, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and serve immediately.

Enjoy this whis a Blue Point Toasted Lager!

Long Island Thanksgiving – Island Oyster Stuffing

So let’s talk stuffing. I’m a big fan of stuffing. I think it’s what really compliments the bird. Now I know that there are a thousand and one mother’s recipes for stuffing, so feel free to share yours in the comments section.

Stuffing… Long Island style… here’s what you’ll need to bring a taste of the coast home to your house.

  • 1 bag of stuffing mix (why go to the hassle of drying your own bread cubes) about 8 or 9 cups
  • ½ pound oysters about 20 or so with their juice (about 1 cup juice)
  • 3 rashers bacon diced
  • 3 ribs celery
  • 1 apple diced
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 cup duck stock (chicken if you don’t have duck)
  • ¼ cup Duck Walk red wine
  • Sage, thyme, bay leaf garni

Start by rendering down the bacon, thick cut of course (you can use a good tbsp or two of duck fat instead of bacon here if you wanted to). Then, sauté the onion and celery until tender.

Deglaze the pan with ¼ cup or so of the Duck Walk red wine, then add in the stock, the oyster juice (clam juice if you don’t have oyster), and the garni. Bring this mixture to a boil.

Discard the garni and transfer from the pot to a large bowl. Stir in the bread-crumb stuffing. Mix this together well, and then get it to the table. Oysters, duck, wine… Long Island…