Sunday, November 7, 2010


Another post for me--if I slap it down here, I won't lose it....

This is a reminder that November can be a marvelous time of year, despite the waning light.

A few of us wandered over to a mudflat to dig up some clams. The new moon did its job, rewarding us with a spectacularly low tide. Despite a couple of minor setbacks (broken rake, and an abandoned beer), we came home with 30 quahogs, about a half dozen for each blister.

The sky would have made El Greco blush. A flock of brants kept us company, their blue gray bodies competing with the light show above.

The water still holds summer's heat. The clams have not yet sunk deep for the winter. It was a good day to be on the water.

Back home we had tomatoes grown a couple of miles away, and squash from our garden. We had a batch of pesto made from our basil, which is still hanging on. We planned on having squash soup, tomato salad, and two pasta dishes, one with pesto, one with clams.

And then we got the call--fresh striper, caught less than a tide ago, already cleaned. Do we want any?

And here's the whole point of the post--to remind me what we did with the striper, so we can do it again. We lifted a recipe from Chef Emeril--here's our version:

Grab several sprigs of rosemary from the bush outside--scrape off the leaves, and chop fine enough to slurry, mix with wine, sliced garlic, a few chopped basil leaves, and a little lemon juice and salt.

Paint most the slurry on the bottom of a grill pan lined with foil, then throw a few slices of onion over the slurry so the fish is not swimming in it. Lay the fish on top of the onions, drizzle the fillets with what's left of the rosemary slurry, toss on a few slices of fresh tomato, and garnish with a few sprigs of rosemary.

Throw the whole shebang uncovered on the grill, off direct flame. I have no idea what temperature, I still use charcoal, but I tossed it on while the the charcoal was still spitting fire.
The bass was an unexpected gift, so time was an issue.... I left the grill cover on most of the time, occasionally pulling it off a bit to let some of the juices thicken a bit.

It was done when it was done (forget the rules, you just got to pay attention), and it was delicious.
Local waters, direct to the plate: quahogs and a striped bass
Our garden: basil, rosemary, squash, and tomatoes
Local farm, less than a couple of miles away: more tomatoes.

Can't much more local than that....good food and great company make the coming dark days tolerable.

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