Tag Archives | Winter 2011-2012 Recipes


New Jersey Pine Barrens Cocktail

courtesy of Tom Richter, a B.A.R. Certified bartender who has worked at
leading watering holes throughout NY and NJ. A 25 year veteran of the
spirits industry, he consults on bar and cocktail designs and is the
creator of Tomr’s Tonic, a handcrafted quinine tonic.

To a shaker add:

1 ounce pine gin
2 ounces apple schnapps
2 ounces fresh Granny Smith apple juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup
(you may need to adjust the amount of simple syrup depending on the
sweetness of the juice)


Shake briefly and strain into a highball filled with ice. Garnish with a couple of fresh cranberries and, of course, a small sprig of pine. ’Tis the season to be merry with Christmas in a glass!

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courtesy of Blue Point Grill restaurant in Princeton

1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons shallots, diced
1 cup shucked oysters with their liquid
3 tablespoons Sambuca or other anise liqueur
3 cups half-and-half
½ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
chopped chives for garnish
salt and pepper

In a soup pot,melt butter and sauté shallots for 3 minutes.Add the anise liqueur, then add the half-and-half and heavy cream. Bring to a simmer. Add cornstarch and water to thicken the stew. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

About 10 minutes before serving, add the oysters and the oyster juice to the creamy mixture in the pot and simmer for another 10 minutes. Garnish with chives and serve. (4 servings.)

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courtesy of Blue Point Grill restaurant in Princeton

1 pound fresh shucked oysters
3 cloves fresh garlic, chopped or minced
1 small onion, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
2 cups of clam juice
3 tablespoons Italian flat parsley, minced
1 eight-ounce package of bread crumbs or stuffing mix
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper

In a large saucepan or pot, sauté garlic, onion and celery in oil until tender, approximately 5–8 minutes.Add the clam juice and bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Add oysters, butter and parsley and cook for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Slowly incorporate breadcrumbs or stuffing mix to the mixture in the pot to thicken to desired texture. (4 servings.)

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courtesy of Blue Point Grill restaurant in Princeton

4 peeled shallots
1 cup red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons fresh dill
salt and pepper

Put shallots and dill into a food processor and mince finely. Slowly add ¾ of the vinegar to loosen the mixture.

Pour shallot mixture into a bowl. Add honey, oil and remainder of the vinegar. Stir to incorporate all ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Chill and serve with fresh, raw oysters on the half shell. (4 servings.)

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courtesy of Sue Sisti of Catalpa Ridge Farm

In a food processor or blender combine: 2 cups of cream cheese and 1 bunch of green garlic (bulb and greens, chopped).Add milk for the consistency you desire for dipping.

Chill until ready to serve.

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courtesy of Sue Sisti of Catalpa Ridge Farm

¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 – 1 ½ tablespoons honey
1 clove garlic, squeezed or chopped
fresh dill, finely chopped fresh dill (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in jar or bowl, then shake or stir.

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persimmon scones

courtesy of Jennifer Wickes, an avid home cook and freelance food writer whose work has been published by Bon Appétit and Kiwi magazine

2 cups self-rising flour
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup cold, unsalted butter
½ cup persimmon pulp
¼ cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place unripened persimmons in a freezer overnight. In the morning, peel, remove the papery leaves and mash the pulp. Set aside. Preheat oven to 425°.

Sift dry ingredients into a bowl, and mix well. Work in the butter and mix until the mixture has small pea-sized bits of butter.

In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, persimmon pulp and vanilla, then pour into the dry ingredients.

Blend until the mixture just comes together. With extra flour, shape the mixture into one large round circle 1-inch thick, then score the dough into 8 even-size triangular wedges.

Place on an ungreased baking sheet at the upper half of the oven and bake 15–18 minutes, until golden brown. (Serves 8.)

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Mixed Green Salad with Persimmons

courtesy of Jennifer Wickes, an avid home cook and freelance food writer whose work has been published by Bon Appétit and Kiwi magazine

4 cups mixed greens
2 persimmons, chopped
½ cup dried cranberries
¾ cups walnuts
1 tablespoon of honey, warmed
3 tablespoons walnut oil
6 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
½ teaspoon quatre épices

In a small bowl, combine the walnut oil, vinegar and quatre épices.

Set aside. Toss the walnuts in honey and bake at 350° for 10 minutes.

Cool. In a large bowl, add the greens, persimmons, cranberries and walnuts and toss with the dressing. (Serves 4 side salads, or 2 main dishes.)

Editor’s note: If necessary, pumpkin can be substituted for the persimmons in the scone recipe and plums can be used in the salad.

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Stir-Fried Lettuce with Shitake Mushrooms

By Grace Young, author of Stir Frying to the Sky’s Edge: The Ultimate Guide to Mastery, with Authentic Recipes and Stories (Simon & Schuster), winner of the 2011 James Beard Best International Cookbook Award.

Usher in the Year of the Dragon on January 23 with an auspicious stir-fry. The word for lettuce in Cantonese, saang choi, is a homonym for “giving birth to wealth” and shiitake mushrooms symbolize prosperity.

When stir-frying a leafy vegetable, it is important to remove water with a salad spinner until the leaves are dry to the touch. Any excess moisture will cool the wok and turn the stir-fry into a braise.

1 tablespoon Shao Hsing rice wine or dry sherry
1 tablespoon chicken broth
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons minced ginger
1 medium head of Romaine, cut crosswise into 1-inch-wide pieces (about 1 pound)
4 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and thinly sliced

In a small bowl combine the rice wine, broth and soy sauce. In a separate small bowl combine the salt, sugar and pepper.

Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl in the oil, add the ginger and stir-fry 10 seconds or until the ginger is fragrant.

Add the lettuce and mushrooms, sprinkle on the salt mixture and stir-fry 1 minute or until the lettuce begins to wilt. Swirl the rice wine mixture into the wok and stir-fry 1 minute or until the lettuce is crisp-tender and the mushrooms are just cooked. (Serves 4 as a vegetable side dish.)

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courtesy of Chef Jim Weaver with “sea scallops from Viking Village, and all the produce acquired through Tri-County Cooperative”

Pignoli Nut Crusted Sea Scallops

Serves 2 as an entrée, 4 as an appetizer

Pignoli nut crusted sea scallops:

1/2 cup pignoli nuts, finely chopped
1/4 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
10 large sea scallops
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
3 beaten eggs
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Honey-lemon beurre blanc:

1 cup white wine
2 tablespoons honey
juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
4 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces and chilled

For the scallops: Combine the pignoli nuts and bread crumbs, and reserve in a work bowl. Season the scallops with salt and pepper and lightly coat with flour. Dip each scallop in the egg; then coat with the nut mixture.

For the honey-lemon beurre blanc: Combine the wine, lemon and honey in a saucepan and reduce over high heat until only 1/8 cup of liquid is left. Remove from heat and whisk in the parsley and butter.

Set aside in a warm (not hot) place until ready to serve.

To finish the dish: Preheat the oven to 350°. On the stovetop, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over a medium flame, and add the scallops. Brown on all sides and remove to a cookie sheet. Bake the scallops in the preheated oven until done, approximately 10 minutes.

Spoon some of the beurre blanc sauce onto each serving plate, and top it with the hot scallops.

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