Lunga Di Napoli Coffee Cake

The best coffee cake I've ever tasted is made by the talented pastry chef Rachel Flatley (Cronemeyer) of Nick & Toni's restaurant in East Hampton. I met with chef Flatley and chef de cuisine Bryan Futerman at the restaurant to discuss how they make their compound butters. Chef Flatley made a compound butter with honey harvested from Nick & Toni's beehives and verbena from the restaurants garden. She then paired it with her breakfast coffee cake that was made with blackberries and raspberries from Oysterponds Farm and flour from Amber Waves Farm. The result was a crunchy, cinnamon-y, moist and buttery sweet cake with bursts of berry flavor. If you want to Compound Butters Without Fear, you can read my article in Edible East End's, Fall 2015 issue

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The filling for the coffee cake can be made with What's in Season. For autumn, my harvest of choice was
apples and an heirloom Lunga di Napoli (Long Pumpkin of Naples), an Italian winter squash that is grown by Stephanie Gaylor of Invincible Summer Farms, who is a voracious seed saver of heirloom and rare varieties of vegetables. She grew the squash after speaking with two European farmers who raved about this orange-red fleshy 20-50lb squash that is musky and sweet, (similar in taste to the familiar butternut squash) and is shaped like a giant bowling pin that at times can have a slight arc and skin color that is grey/green with dabs of yellow. It was also noted that the Lunga di Napoli is at risk of being endangered, just like our Long Island Cheese Pumpkin that is in the Ark of Taste, an international catalogue of endangered heritage foods which is maintained by the global Slow Food movement. The Ark is designed to preserve at-risk foods that are sustainably produced, unique in taste, and part of a distinct ecoregion.

Just like the common zucchini that is sliced and diced in cakes and breads, yellow/orange fleshed squash can be used too. I flash bake the apples and squash for 10 minutes in the oven to wilt before baking in the cake. This helps to break down the sugars. I also substituted the sour cream for whole milk yogurt, the pecans for walnuts and added a pinch of nutmeg and ginger for the filling.

I made a compound butter of cinnamon basil and maple syrup to accompany the coffee cake. This paired well with the squash and apple filling.

Don't be afraid to experiment. If you see a not-so-common vegetable or fruit at a farmstand, or your farmer is growing a new variety, support them in their efforts to help expand our palates. In doing so, we will support biodiversity. 

RECIPE: LunGa Di Napoli Coffee Cake (adapted from Pastry Chef Rachel flatley (Cronemeyer) of Nick & Toni's)

Ingredients

For the batter

  • 4 eggs
  • 8 ounces whole milk yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

Dry ingredients

  • 11.25 ounces all-purpose flour
  • 8.75 ounces sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt

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  • 6 ounces butter, softened
  • 4 ounces whole milk yogurt

For the filling and streusel

  • 3.75 ounces all-purpose flour
  • 5.25 ounces sugar
  • 1.75 ounces dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon of ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg

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  • 1.75 ounces dark brown sugar

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  • 1 ounce butter, cubed and chilled
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 5 cups of yellow squash, chopped
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of canola oil

Directions

  1. Whisk together eggs, 8 ounces whole milk yogurt and vanilla. In a separate bowl mix together dry ingredients.
  2. Add the butter and 4 ounces whole milk yogurt to the dry ingredients and mix on medium speed until it comes together.
  3. Add the egg mixture in 3 parts, scraping down the bowl often. Mix on medium-high speed until light and fluffy (about 1 minute).
  4. Preheat oven to 350°. Chop squash and apples and dress with 1 teaspoon of canola oil. Bake for 10 minutes so the squash and fruit is slightly wilted.
  5. Place the flour, sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon in a food processor and pulse to combine.
  6. Take 1 cup of the mixture and put it in a bowl with the other remaining 1.75 ounces brown sugar—set this aside for the filling.
  7. With the rest of the mixture still in the food processor, add the butter and walnuts and pulse to combine—set aside for the streusel topping.

    To Assemble
     
  8. Spray a cookie tray and place parchment on the bottom and then spread ½ of the batter in the pan. Spread the filling, the squash and apple on top of the batter.
  9. Spread the remaining batter over the filling. Top with streusel topping.
  10. Bake at 350° until springy to the touch, golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

recipe: CINNAMON BASIL AND MAPLE SYRUP COMPOUND BUTTER

Ingredients

  • 1 pint of heavy whipping cream
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 cup of chopped cinnamon basil (if this herb is not in season substitute with 1 tablespoon of cinnamon)
  • 1/4 cup of maple syrup

Directions

  1. In a stand mixer place the heavy cream and a pinch of salt. With a whisk attachment blend until the butterfat separates from the milk, approximately 5 minutes.
  2. Take the butter and squeeze out the buttermilk through a fine sieve or cheese clothe. Then take the butter and wash it in a cup of ice cold water. Repeat until water is clear.
  3. Place butter in a bowl or back in a clean stand mixer with a paddle and blend the basil and maple syrup. Once incorporated, Using plastic wrap, roll the butter into a log. Freeze for when you are ready to use them. You will be able to slice into round disks to use on anything.

Top Chefs from Manhattan to the Hamptons Cook for the 9th Annual Great Chefs Dinner

"Jeff believed that the growing, preparation and sharing of food is a primal human experience and the foundation of family and community" — Toni Ross of Nick and Toni's and the wife of the late Jeff Salaway

On Sunday, July 28, there were never too many cooks in the kitchen for the 9th annual Great Chefs Dinner to benefit the Hayground School's Jeff's Kitchen and the Jeff Salaway Scholarship Fund. The cocktail and tasting party was held under a tent on the rural grounds of the Hayground School in Bridgehampton. A symphony of top chefs from Manhattan to the Hamptons rolled up their sleeves and cooked for a cause; signature hors d'oeuvres were made using the local bounty, while brewers, winemakers and specialty drink enthusiasts poured. The generosity from the community went beyond the taste of the tongue: a silent auction featured works by renowned local artists and other food-related prizes such as a Dock-to-Dish family membership package and a set of Wüsthof knives.

The human spirit soared for the love of Jeff Salaway and his vision for the Hayground School's most innovative feature; Jeff's Kitchen, a state-of-the-art professional kitchen and classroom supported by a science lab, two gardens, a slow food Farmtek greenhouse and hen-house. Jeff's legacy has left an impact on the East End community and attracts celebrity guests including; Alec and Hilaria Baldwin and superstar chefs, Tom Colicchio and honoree Eric Ripert; their presence created a moment of pause from the feast.

Honoree Chef Eric Ripert and Fisherman Sean Barrett of Dock-to-Dish

I and some other folks were fortunate enough to congratulate the honoree or even get a fan photo with the master chefs and the Baldwins'. Their time at the cocktail party was brief and they breezed through the tent to meet with their chef friends before heading over to the VIP dinner hosted by Toni Ross, honoring Four-Star chef Eric Ripert

The support of the East End community was outstanding; food frenzied fans were meeting the chefs and cheering on our local and regional food and beverage stewards for their contribution to the Hayground Schools biggest fundraiser. The school's unique culinary arts program focuses on sourcing food that is grown and harvested from its own gardens; it does not get more tactile than that. In the early 70's, the closest I got to an edible school garden were the dandelion weeds growing through the sidewalk cracks; little did my school know that these were edible. 

Eve in the Hayground School Garden. She is the daughter of Chef Arjun Achuthan, one of the founders of the Hayground School and director of the culinary arts program.

Jeff’s Kitchen has been the model for many of the edible schoolyard projects on the East End. This farm-to-table routine is a daily classroom ritual; students from the ages of 5-13 spend mornings and afternoons planning, budgeting and serving lunch to the entire student and teacher body. Such a simple and powerful concept; students learn how to grow, prepare, and cook the bounty of the East End—there is no mystery around—"where did that vegetable come from?" 

The first time I saw Jeff's Kitchen was in 2012 for a Slow Food East End Potluck Dinner; I was in awe and truly enamored with the schools mission:

"Our mission at Hayground is to provide an open, community school where conventional teaching methods are replaced by new ways of teaching and learning. We are committed to a program of innovation in a community of diversity, both economical and cultural."

I daydreamed on what it would have been like to attend a school with this type of out-of-the-box curriculum, especially for someone like me who was taught by conventional teaching methods and fed tater tots for lunch; I struggled. But what is most encouraging are the children who attend this school, they will be shining examples of what it means to live a sustainable and bountiful life. Jeff's Kitchen and culinary arts program takes the mystery out of the meat, and brings children, chefs and the community together over a shared love of food; these children are the next generation who will carry the fork.

Since the fundraisers inception, this event has raised over $1,000,000 for Jeff’s Kitchen and the Jeff Salaway Scholarship Fund. If you missed this event, be sure to buy your tickets next year as Jeff's KItchen and culinary arts curriculum is a great example for our community and nation at large. Look at it as an investment for your future and your children's future.

 

Cocktail and Tasting Party Highlights

Foody's, chef Bryan Futerman and Hayground School chef Arjun Achuthan, and the Hayground School Kids. Tuscan Style Whole Roasted Pig and Hayground's Wood Oven Pizza

Chef Bryan Futerman and Kids from the Hayground School

Tuscan Style Whole Roasted Pig

Chef Bryan Futerman: There is so much to say about chef Futerman and his tremendous contribution as the educational coordinator for Slow Food East End; educating on the importance of edible schoolyard gardens. You can read all about him here. Now on to his whole roasted hog that was sourced locally. I tragically missed what the entire pig looked like as a whole, but I absolutely got to smell and taste this 6-hour, wood-fired roasted pig, porchetta-style with fresh lemon and rosemary. The pork sat atop a crostini that was drizzled with olive oil and the Hayground School kids made two sauces that was drizzled on top of the smoked pig: romesco and a kale pesto, all sourced from the schools garden. A sprinkle of rosemary flake salt, truly heightened the flavor of this "take me back to Italia dish", Bravo.

Chef Arjun Achuthan, manning the mobile pizza oven

Hayground Student who was serving the pizza and a man trying to get ahold of his cheesy pizza

Chef Arjun Achuthan: He is the co-founder of the Hayground School and the director of the culinary arts program. I met chef Achuthan at the Slow Food East End potluck dinner back in 2012 and was fascinated with their mobile pizza oven that I dream about having at Sheridan Green. The Hayground School kids helped with the making and plating of the pizza. Ingredients were locally sourced at: Mecox Bay Dairy for their sigit and fresh ricotta cheese that was made by Arthur Ludlow and Open Minded Organics, yellow and blue oyster mushrooms and black trumpet chanterelle mushrooms by David Falkowski. Chef Achuthan was a non-stop human machine, manning the pizza oven. The mushroom pizza and the tomato based pizza with eggplant and or squash were equally phenomenal. I would love to know how many pizzas were made that evening as the slices were flying off the table and the boy who served us was spectacular; his parents must be so proud.

 

Nick and Toni's, chef Joe Realmuto and chef Jessica Craig
Garden Basil Panna Cotta with Heirloom Tomatoes and Crisp Prosciutto

Nick and Toni's: Chef Joe Realmuto and Chef Jessica Craig

What a difference the weather makes as it was a perfect evening for this Savory Panna Cotta. Creamy, crunchy and refreshing all in one bite—well a few bites. I enjoyed the saltiness of the prosciutto that cut the creaminess of the panna cotta. The basil and heirloom tomatoes brought a summer brightness to the overall taste.

Wölffer Estate Vineyard
Classic White 2011, Rose 2012, Sagaponack Red 2011

Wölffer Estate Vineyard encompasses 55 acres and practices sustainable agriculture. Their wines are produced and bottled in Sagaponack, New York under winemaker and technical director Roman Roth. I tasted the Classic White 2011 and it was delightful; juicy, lush, fruity and crisp.

Almond, Chef Jason Weiner
Pikes Farm Corn Vichyssoise with Micro Basil and Marinated Sungold Tomatoes

What is so special about this dish? Feast with your eyes—it is so stunning! Reminds me of a beach summer sunset along the dunes of the South Fork. The depth of flavor unfolds a story of place; the East End of Long Island, fresh and bountiful. The vichyssoise is made from corn, local clam juice and potatoes from Bridgehampton. Then the soup is adorned with roasted lobster roe, basil oil from Pike Farm and micro-basil from Good Water Farms, Sensational.

Stone Creek Inn, chef Christian Mir and chef Robert Carpenter
Smoked Duck Loin with Sungold Tomato Confit and Pickled Watermelon

Chef Robert Carpenter in Action

I love anything duck and this was incredible.  On top of a thin crostini was the smoked duck loin that was perfectly cooked and the tomato and watermelon was placed on top. Great flavors from simple local ingredients; the tomato confit and the pickled watermelon had a unique flavor—would love to know how chef Carpenter prepared these—the tomatoes with the watermelon was a perfect combination; pungent, sweet and savory. The contrast between the smoked duck with the fruit was smart; the balance of ingredients was lovely. 

Ms. Michelle's Urban Gourmet, Michelle Gillette and Christopher Kelly
Organic Gluten Free Desserts

Owners and Bakers: Michelle Gillette and Christopher Kelly

I loved their desserts as much as I admired this couples enthusiasm and spirit for all things: sweet, natural, healthy, organic, locally sourced, 100% gluten and soy free, all the time! And the best part is—you would never know these desserts were gluten free— visit their store in Bayport, NY and give it a try, I promise you will never know. French Macaroons graced the table; the pistachio and lemon flavor was light and lots of punch, delectable. I could not peel myself away from the handmade mini-chocolate containers that held peanut butter whip and a drizzle of raspberry preserve; so elegant and light. Michelle and Christopher are getting married on August 10th and I have a hunch that their wedding cake is a peanut butter and jelly cake. For all of you lucky guests attending their wedding in Cutchogue, New York—forget about the chicken dance—you will be doing the peanut butter and jelly jig instead.

Topping Rose House, chef Tom Colicchio and chef Ty Kotz and Team
Beet Risotto, Catapano Dairy Farm Goat Cheese and Roasted and Raw Beets

Chef Ty Kotz and Staff

It was a celebration at the Topping Rose House table with chef Kotz and staff. There was a genuine camaraderie amongst this team and it was just as bright and fresh as their amazing beet risotto. The beets were picked from the Topping Rose Farm that day; farm-to-table within seconds. This is a beet lovers dream and mine came true. A beat risotto, with roasted beets and shaved raw striped beets and to top it off my favorite local goat cheese from Catapano Dairy Farm; heaven. I am looking forward to visiting with the Topping Rose House and if I am lucky, maybe chef Kotz will show me how he made his beet risotto.

 

Plain-T, Alessandro Teixeira
Artisan Ice Tea: Mango, Pure White, Pure Green and Passion-fruit

This tea is a healthy non-alcoholic alternative to any meal and looks gorgeous in a wine glass. I found the Pure White tea to be light with a fresh and smooth velvety flavor. This tea is low in caffeine and a great antioxidant. 

VerTerra, CEO, Josh Parker
Eco-friendly Dinnerware

Josh Parker, CEO of VerTerra

Finally, a dinnerware that is environmentally friendly. The design is absolutely gorgeous and comes in a variety of shapes. The plates used for the Chefs Cocktail and Tasting party was VerTerra. The dinnerware is modern and allows the food to be the star. I love a product you can compost, however I would have a hard time throwing them out as they are so beautiful. This would be the product I would use for our —not yet announced Sheridan Green party.

Lure Fish Bar, Chef Josh Capon
Blue Point Oysters

I am learning to enjoy oysters; slowly but surely I am getting there and chef Capon's bite may have done it. The oysters were fresh with a firm texture; a sweet aftertaste that sparkled with salinity.The oysters were topped with a jalapeño ponzu sauce and a pineapple relish that added a spicy kick. Keep on the look out for Lure Fish Bar at Miami's Loew's Hotel.

I met Leeann last year at the Harvest East End; it was my first event and blog post for Out East Foodie. She is the author and true ambassador for the chefs and artisanal growers of the Hamptons and Long Island; stories about their connection to the land and sea and the growers who inspire them. Some local chefs that were at this event are featured in her homegrown book: chef Lia Fallon, the Riverhead Project, chef Bryan Futerman, Foody's, chef Jason Weiner, Almond and chef Realmuto, Nick & Toni's. Leeanne sold two cases of books and 10% of the proceeds went to the fundraiser pot for Jeff's Kitchen and the Jeff Salaway Scholarship Fund. Honoree Eric Ripert made a special stop at Leeann's table and stated, "He loves the book". That is a true testament from the Four-Star Chef; a book that you can only love, cherish and cook from. If you want a copy of this fabulous Hamptons & Long Island Homegrown Cookbook you can order it here or you can email Leeann Lavin at foodanddrinkny@gmail.com to get an autographed copy.

 

I did not attend the VIP dinner, but you can see some of the images here. 

 

Slow Food East End Feasting on the Future

We all have heard of the word Fast Food and surely can name a dozen or so of these chains that participate on this fast track; however, Slow Food is a newer concept that started in Italy in 1986 by Carlo Petrini who founded the organization in 1989.

So what does Slow Food mean exactly? Well, it is quite simply the opposite of what Fast Food means and this is their philosophy:

Slow Food stands at the crossroads of ecology and gastronomy, ethics and pleasure. It opposes the standardization of taste and culture, and the unrestrained power of the food industry multinationals and industrial agriculture. We believe that everyone has a fundamental right to the pleasure of good food and consequently the responsibility to protect the heritage of food, tradition and culture that make this pleasure possible. Our association believes in the concept of neo-gastronomy - recognition of the strong connections between plate, planet, people and culture.

This concept counters the rise of fast food, the disappearance of local artisanal traditions and the disconnect of where the food comes from, how it tastes and how the choices we make affect our own local communities and the environment worldwide.

Slow Food is a global, grassroots organization with supporters in 150 countries, 1,300 local chapters, 2,000 food communities who practice small-scale sustainable production of quality foods and 100,000 members worldwide.

Slow Food East End

Slow Food East End is feasting on the pleasures of good food with a commitment to their community and the environment. I experienced this recently at their Potluck and Annual Meeting which was held at the Hayground School in Bridgehampton, NY in Jeff's Kitchen, which is a professional grade kitchen and classroom with classes in nutrition, food science and cooking for both children and adults. I found it fitting to have such a gathering at a school which promotes health and nutrition through gardening and culinary arts for children.

How amazing is it that these kids can plan their menu and lunch for the day? They go to their school garden, pick out their vegetables, and visit with the chicken coop to get their eggs and then partake in the making of it! When I was a child lunch was a mystery. Vegetables were not of the primary color, spaghetti floated in a neon maroon oil substance and Sloopy Joe's was just that slop on a cardboard bun.

I met with passionate Slow Foodies of the East End Community and together we did a tour of the Hayground Facility and grounds given by Arjun Achuthan who is one of the Founder's and Director of the Hayground Culinary Arts Program.

Arjun Achuthan who is one of the Founder's and Director of the Hayground Culinary Arts Program with Pizza Oven.

Slow Food East End first School Greenhouse at the Hayground School, Bridgehampton NY

After our tour we were able to feast our eyes and palates on local delights prepared by the members of Slow Food East End and friends. Mingling amongst like minded folks we shared stories of our own heritage and discussed the bounty of the East End Community. 

Transient

Mary Morgan, president of Slow Food East End kicked off the Annual Meeting. We were introduced to three New School Garden Coordinators which were given by Slow Food East End and funded by the generosity of the Josh Levine Memorial Foundation.

Jeff Negron and Peter Priolo spoke about their experience, unfortunately, KK Haspel had a prior engagement, however I am very much looking forward to meeting her in the near future. The common link amongst these three individuals is undeniably obvious. They are environmental stewards within their local communities, influencing the next generation, our children on what it means to nurture a local garden and the positive impact it has within its community. You can read about each Garden Coordinator here.

Top: Mary Morgan, President of Slow Food East End Bottom Left: Jeff Negron Bottom Right: Peter Prioli

Top: Mary Morgan, President of Slow Food East End
Bottom Left: Jeff Negron Bottom Right: Peter Prioli

School Grants were announced by Bryan Futerman the chef and owner of Foody’s in Water Mill, NY and Slow Food East End educational coordinator. It has been Slow Food East End's mission since their founding in 2004 to help local schools start and develop school gardens. Grants of $500 each went to eight area schools: Bridgehampton School, East Hampton High School, Greenport School, Hampton Bays Middle School, Sag Harbor School, Southold School, Springs School, and Tuckahoe School. You can read about Bryan Futerman here.  

Bryan Futerman the chef of Foody's in Water Mill, NY and the Slow Food East End educational coordinator.

Bryan Futerman the chef of Foody's in Water Mill, NY and the Slow Food East End educational coordinator.

New leaders were elected at the annual meeting. They are Jeannie Calderale, Sheryl Stair, Ivo Tomasini and Joan Turturro. You can read about these leaders here.

After the Slow Food East End Annual Meeting I realized how fortunate I was to be living amongst passionate and like minded individuals with a commitment to community, the environment and the future of our children. I am proud to say that I am now an official member of Slow Food East End. I made new friends, tasted some fabulous fare and met passionate individuals who are doing incredible work within our local communities. 

Transient

If you would like to become a member of a Slow Food Community here is where you can start: Slow Food International, Slow Food USA and Slow Food East End.