I cook when I travel. This makes my mother crazy because for her vacation is synonymous with leisurely restaurant dining where someone else does all the work. It’s part of the experience for me though, because even on the road I want to eat well. Thankfully, Fozzy feels the same.
To indulge our hobby, we rent homes with good-sized kitchens where we create wonderful meals with local, organic ingredients. We sip wine, listen to music and get to work adapting indigenous recipes of our current location or the far-flung places we’re soon traveling to.
We’ve made Patatas Bravas in Spain and Colcannon in Ireland. In preparation for Nepal, we made Momos in the Lake District and baked Irish soda bread on a snowy afternoon in Woodstock before our jaunt to the Emerald Isle. Our creativity in the kitchen turns a simple meal into evening entertainment.
Recently, we spent time in Montauk. Although it rained most of the time, we still had a chance to walk the beach dunes and visit the Light House. We even had a fire on the beach where we heated up the Manhattan Clam Chowder we made the day before. Soup always tastes better the next day after the flavors have had time to blend. Enjoying it on a quiet, isolated beach made it all the more special.
Cooking is a great way to connect with the people in your life. Whether a lover, friend or child, spending time in the kitchen catching up while creating a beautiful meal is a bonding experience sealed by the delicious food you get to enjoy at the end.
Next time you’re tempted to go to a restaurant, consider spending quality time with your significant other in the kitchen. Turn up the music, pour a glass of wine and get chopping. I’m sure you’ll find it to be a wonderfully enlivening experience.
Wishing you peace, love and nourishment!
Montauk is a fishing village so naturally, we focused on seafood when deciding what to prepare. In addition to the Manhattan clam chowder, we made outrageous Salmon Scampi that took no time at all and will certainly be part of my culinary repertoire moving forward. Both recipes are below. Enjoy!
Manhattan Clam Chowder
I never use chorizo in my recipes but traditional Manhattan clam chowder calls for bacon or pork fat. I decided to use a small amount of lean organic chorizo to add flavor with less fat.
- 36 cherrystone clams, rinsed
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- 1 small organic chorizo, minced
- 1 large Spanish onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 2 large ribs celery, cleaned and diced
- 1 medium-size green pepper, diced
- 2 medium-size carrots, peeled and diced
- Red-pepper flakes, to taste
- 5 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, cubed
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Large pinch red pepper flakes
- Put the clams in a large pot and cover with cold filtered water. Set on medium heat and cook for about 20 minutes. Clams should open up. Any clams that do not open up after about 20 minutes, throw away. Remove clam shells from stock, remove clams from shell and set aside. Strain clam broth through a sieve lined with cheesecloth or doubled-up paper towels, and set aside.
- Clean the same pot and use it again. Add ghee and bring to medium heat. Add chorizo and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fat has rendered and the chorizo is cooked nearly crisp, approximately 5 minutes.
- Add onions, garlic, celery, green peppers and carrots to the chorizo, and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are soft but not brown, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in potatoes, and continue cooking until they have just started to soften, approximately 5 minutes. Add 4 cups of clam broth. Freeze the rest for another recipe (like the salmon scampi!) Add the thyme and the bay leaf.
- Cover the pot, and simmer gently until potatoes are cooked through, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, chop the clams into pieces.
- When potatoes are tender, stir in tomatoes, and heat them through. Add chopped clams stirring to combine. Add black pepper to taste. Let chowder come to a simmer, and remove from heat.
- Allow the chowder to sit for a while so that the flavors blend well. Reheat before serving.
- Serve over an open fire on the beach whenever possible 🙂
Salmon Scampi with Spinach
- ½ bag of Tinkyada Rice pasta
- 1 tbsp ghee
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 7 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb salmon fillets, skinned, cut into 1-inch pieces
- Large pinch of red pepper flakes (or to preference)
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 6 cups baby spinach leaves
- 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 cup home made clam juice
- Nice handful of pine nuts
- Cook rice pasta according to package instructions.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and ghee. Add garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt. Sauté until garlic is soft. Add salmon chunks, sautéing for a few minutes. Add clam juice and wine, allowing it to come to a simmer.
- When salmon is cooked through, add tomatoes. Cook for about 3 minutes and then add spinach and pine nuts and cook until spinach is wilted.
- Strain pasta when done and add to the salmon scampi. Give it a good mix and serve.