Saturday, September 27, 2008

Asian Night in the Hamptons



There are so many farm stands and purveyors of local food near our house that until today I've never visited the Westhampton Beach Farmers Market  -- I thought it was too far. In fact, it's less than 25 minutes from my house and a thoroughly enjoyable experience. 

At the market, I selected a few goodies, including U-Choy from Sang Lee Farms and a small piece Catapano Dairy Farm Feta Alfresco cheese that I couldn't resist (I'm trying to lose a little weight so want to keep my cheese consumption under control -- 1-2 ounces a day is manageable -- and cheese made from goats milk is lower in fat that say brie or other high fat cheese).

On the way home, I picked up some local bay scallops from Brewster's Seafood. 

Inspired by the U-choy greens, tonight I made a delicious lighthearted locavore dinner -- the Thai-inspired sauce used NO local ingredients over the only local ingredient in the meal -- Peconic Bay scallops! Delicious nonetheless.  

RECIPE
Spicy Thai Sauce for Scallops over Rice
Sauce:
1 can of Coconut milk, preferable Lite or Low-Fat
1 can of chicken broth, low or non-fat
2 Tablespoons Thai Kitchen Brand Roasted Red Chili Paste
Juice of one lemon
1 Tablespoon of grated fresh ginger
2 Tablespoons of minced fresh cilantro
3 Tablespoons of low sodium soy or tamari sauce

Heat all coconut milk, chicken broth and roasted red chili paste on medium-high flame in a sauce pan. Stir with a whisk to incorporate the paste into the sauce – allow to simmer for 10 minutes but do not bring to a full boil. Add lemon, ginger, cilantro and tamari and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes.

Entrée:
1 cup of Jasmine or white rice
2 cups of water
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 pounds of scallops, preferably local bay scallops
Chopped cilantro

Cook rice according to the instructions. Place scallops on a large plate and use a paper towel to blot any excess liquid. Scallops should be dry. In a large sauce pan or frying pan, melt half of the butter over medium to high heat. When the butter is sizzling, add half of the scallops and cook for 2-3 minutes without any stirring so that they will brown easily. Also, do not over crowd the pan or scallops will be steamed. Turn scallops over and cook 1 more minute.

In soup bowls, add rice, cooked scallops and ladle sauce over the rice and scallops. Garnish with cilantro and serve. Serves 4 with sauce leftover.


FARMERS MARKET 
WESTHAMPTON BEACH FARMERS MARKET
85 Mill Road next to Westhampton Beach Historical Society (the market sponsor)
Season: Mid June through Mid November, Saturdays, 9 AM - 1 PM

ABOUT THE FARMS
Catapano Dairy Farm
33705 North Rd (County Rte 48)
Peconic, NY 11958
631-765-8042
Call for hours 

Owned by Michael and Karen Catapano, their products include award winning goat cheese and beautiful skin products. According to their website, they produce about 6,000 pounds of cheese every year, much of it chevre, as well as feta, blue cheese and yogurt. Definitely on my list to visit in the near future. 

ABOUT THE FARM
Sang Lee Farms
25180 County Rd 48
Peconic, NY 11958
T: (631) 734-7001
www.sangleefarms.com

The guys from Sang Lee were really nice and invited me over to the North Fork to visit their certified organic, family owned farm operation. They are well-known for their Asian and other greens, heirloom tomatoes and processed food products.

HEALTH NOTES and ABOUT THE FOOD
U Choy (Yow choy – Chinese flowering cabbage) – Sang Lee means growth and prosperity in Chinese. A relative of bok choy, Chinese flowering cabbage is recognizable by its small yellow flowers and medium green leaves. It has a sweet, mustardy flavor. Nutritionally, one cup is a mere 20 calories and it is rich in calcium and packed with vitamins A and C. While the stems of the cabbage are generally preferred, you can eat the leaves as well. Stored in the vegetable crisper section of the refrigerator, it should last at least a few days. Chinese flowering cabbage makes a nice alternative to broccoli in recipes as it's texture is firm. 

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