Photo (Lexi Van de Walle): Preparation of Aluminum Foil Seafood Medley- Blackfish and Scallops with lemon, herbs and wine
Simple is the key ingredient to hosting a locavore dinner party. It’s not hard to do when the ingredients are freshly caught and just picked. And, local produce on Long Island this time of year is ABUNDANT.
Last night we had our friends, Lucy, Jose Pincay, and Debra Pickrel for a delicious, all local meal (except for lemons and wine) that I prepared in the afternoon and which required very little attention from me during our cocktail hour.
- Grilled Long Island Blackfish Fillets and Local Sea Scallops “Medley” in foil with Lemon, Parsley and White Wine
- South Fork Corn on the Cob
- Local Mozzarella cheese, Tomato and Basil Salad
- Baked Chubby Bunny CSA Peaches and Wine Jelly and Vanilla Ice Cream served in parfait glasses
I was very happy with the meal, and our guests had a great time. The dessert was kind of a peach melba for grown ups -- juicy, fun and sophisticated.
ABOUT THE FOOD-- History of Blackfish on Long Island (excerpt A Boys Own Book of Outdoor Sports)
This fish was called the tautog by the Indians. It is caught in the vicinity of Massachusetts and New York Bays, in Long Island Sound, and in nearly all the inlets of Rhode Island. Of late years, black fish have increased in numbers, notwithstanding the numbers caught to supply the Boston and New York markets. The upper end of Long Island is a famous place to catch them. Their feeding ground is generally on rocky bottoms, and reefs, though they are caught in other places. It is a singular fact that those found close in on rocky reefs are shorter or more chubby, and of a darker color, than those that sport in the running tide. The color is a deep bluish black on the back and sides, with light belly. The usual size of the black fish varies from one to three pounds, though larger ones have been caught. Eight and ten pounders are reported to have been taken in Rhode Island. READ MORE
Grilled Long Island Blackfish Fillets and Local Sea Scallops “Medley” in foil with Lemon, Parsley and White Wine**
When cooking delicate seafood such as blackfish and scallops on a grill, aluminum foil provides a protective shield between the hot flames and the fish. Adding liquid such as stock or wine and herbs, lemon and even tomatoes to the seafood and then sealing the foil helps create a "pouch" and cooking environment that steams the foods and also creates a dramatic presentation that is moist, aromatic and flavorful.
1 ½ lbs. Long Island Blackfish fillets
1 lb. local Atlantic sea scallops (medium sized)
5 slices of lemon, seeds removed
¼ cup parsley from the garden, finely chopped
2 tbls. Butter, local if available
1 cup of white wine such sauvignon blanc or fish stock or water
Remove pin bones and cut blackfish crosswise into 10 equal pieces (two for each foil packette). Pat scallops dry with paper towels and remove any tough muscle tissue. Refrigerate seafood until needed. Chop the parsley and slice the lemons just before you are ready to assemble the foil packages.
Assembling the Foil: Tear five sheets of foil approximate 12 x 18 inches each and set them out on a large work surface. Place two pieces of blackfish in the center, and top with 4-6 scallops, a slice of lemon and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Pour approximately 1 ½ ounces of wine or stock over the fish folding up edges of the foil slightly to retain the liquid in the foil. Close the foil into pouches making sure to leave space for the steam to circulate. Beginning at the wider part of foil, fold the two sides together over themselves to form a triangular tent shape. Then, twist both of the ends so that the tent-shaped pouch is sealed tight.
Cook: Preheat grill to 375-400 degrees. Place foil packages directly on the grill. Since cookng time will vary depending on the heat of the grill, the thickness and amount of ingredients, check every 5 minutes to see when the fish is cooked through being careful not to over cook. Ten to twelve minutes is an approximate cooking time.
Serve: Guests can either eat directly out of the foil pouches or serve each portion in shallow soup bowls to preserve the cooking liquid.
** Substitutes: combine two or more firm seafood or shellfish, including clams, mussels, medium shrimp (shelled), cod, halibut, swordfish, salmon.
Baked Peaches and Wine Jelly - A Peach Melba for Grown-ups
4 large ripe peaches
5 tbls. Paumanok Preserves Pinot Meunier Wine Jelly
2 tbls. Local honey
2 tsps. Lemn juice, freshly squeezed
1 tbls. Lemon zest
1/3 cup of water
Remove pits and cut out any bruised spots. Slice each peach into 8-10 pieces. In a bowl, whisk together wine jelly, honey, lemon juice, zest and water. Stir in cut peaches and toss, coating with the mixture. Transfer to a showllow baking dish (9” x 9”) and bake for 30-45 minutes until tender. Check every 15 minutes and baste peaches. Serve over ice cream, with plain yogurt or by itself.
Bees Needs Honey
Community Supported Apiculture for Eastern Long Island
4 Laurel Lane, Sag Harbor 11963
PO Box 632
Center Moriches NY