Out East Foodies Top 10 Holiday Gifts From The East to West


Are you inundated with holiday cyber blasts from the usual? If you stroll down Main Street in Riverhead, a holiday market and gift boutique of edibles and handmade gifts from local artisans are sure to please. In Bridgehampton, Almond restaurant is cooking up a special meal to support a charity and the Topping Rose House is hosting a holiday market with over 50 vendors who will be showing off their edibles and crafts. If you simply cannot peel yourself away from the computer visit Salt of the Earth Seed Company for that certain someone who is a seed saver with a green thumb. Or perhaps some edible reads on wine, food and homegrown cooking to whet your appetite. Have you been contemplating a chicken or egg share for your family? Browder's Birds has it. Or maybe even a Christmas Stollen for a friend who has a sweet tooth; both forks are baking up this German specialty. These are just a few of my favorites to put you on your merry way. Let your local love shine, and support those who are the makers, the folks that enrich our souls with love and special care. Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season. Happy shopping!

  1. East End Holiday Markets: Locally handcrafted presents showcasing edibles, jewelry, soaps, pottery, arts and crafts.

    Topping Rose House Holiday Market: On Saturday, December 20th from 11:00 am - 3:00 pm, 50 local vendors will be selling beautiful holiday gifts. Show-off your local holiday spirit by tweeting @ToppingRose and #TRHFarmersMarket. On the 3rd Saturday of each month through May they will be hosting an annual Farmer’s Market.

    Address: 1 Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike, Bridgehampton, NY. Phone: 631.537.0870 

    Happy Holidays Gift Boutique: Tuesday, December 16th from 4:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Local vendors: Southampton Soap Company, All Natural Bath & Body, Designs by the Sea Jewelry, Backyard BrineBizzy Bee DesignsTemptressYarnHamptons Mermaid CompanyMary Jaffee Pottery, Bonac FarmsValentines FarmLorna's Nuts & GoodiesLulu KnitsDanielle Leef photography.
    Door prizes, refreshments and lots of good, old-fashioned holiday spirit. 

    Address: 832 Scuttlehole Road, Water Mill, New York. Phone: 631.613.6041

    Riverhead Farmer's Market: Every Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. and Sunday 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. On February 1st, the indoor market opened its doors at the 8,000-square-foot old Swezey's Department store downtown in Riverhead. Hundreds of eager attendees piled in weekend after weekend elbowing their way to vendors. They quickly outgrew the space and moved a few doors down to an even bigger venue for more vendors and shoppers. 

    Address: 221 Main Street Riverhead, New York.

    East End Arts: Holiday Gift Boutique: East End Arts is a multi-award winning 501(c)3 not-for-profit arts organization serving the five East End towns of Long Island since 1972. East End Arts is committed to building and enriching community through the arts by way of education, support, advocacy and inspiration. At the holiday gift boutique you will find artful gifts made by local artists who are members of EEA. Members receive a 15% discount on all purchases. Hours: Tuesday–Friday, 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Sunday Noon – 4:00 p.m. Closed Monday. Open until December 23, 2014. 

    Address: East End Arts Gallery, 133 East Main Street, Riverhead NY

  2. Almond Christmas Eve: 13th Annual Suckling Pig Roast: Would you prefer eating a suckling pig on Christmas Eve instead of The Feast of the Seven Fishes? For 13 years, Almond restaurant has been getting their hands on a few pigs from some local farmers. Chef Jason Weiner, roasts the pig in a hearth oven, carves them and serves with a couple of winter sides. A portion of the proceeds from the evening goes to the Pajama Program that gives pajamas to less fortunate children. They will also have an à la carte menu available. Call for reservations: 631.537.5665

    Address: One Ocean Road, Bridgehampton New York

  3. Edible Reads: Some of my favorite local folks who know a thing or two about food, wine and cooking homegrown:

    What the Fork are You Eating, by Stefanie Sacks is about what’s hidden in your food, an action plan with 50 time-tested recipes and how small changes in your food choices can make big everyday differences for your health. Stefanie Sacks MS, CNS, CDN is a Culinary Nutritionist, author, radio show host for Stirring the Pot on Hamptons NPR, educator, speaker and consultant. Sacks has been studying food and healing for 25 years, has her Masters of Science in nutrition from Columbia University, is a Certified Nutrition Specialist, Certified Dietitian Nutritionist and is a graduate of Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts. 

    I like Pig, by Jimmy Carbone, the owner of Jimmy’s No. 43 and producer of Pig Island, New York City’s definitive annual pork fest, teamed with James Beard Award winning cookbook author Rachel Wharton to create a cookbook (e-book) full of porcine goodness. Every year dozens of chefs come together and celebrate the agricultural bounty of the tri-state area (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut) at Pig Island. I Like Pig serves up some of the most popular recipes from the first four years of Pig Island.

    Behind the Bottle: The Rise of Wine on Long Islandby Eileen Duffy tells the story of Long Island wine from the people who made the region what it is today.  Long Island’s wine country draws 1.3 million visitors a year for their award winning and highly acclaimed wines. This book profiles owners, winemakers, and personalities from around the country and the world who make Long Island one of the hottest wine regions in the country. Eileen Duffy, Edible East End’s deputy editor, holds a diploma in wine and spirits from the International Wine Center and has been writing about food and wine on the East End since 2003. The book will be co-published with the Edible magazines group which includes Edible East End, Edible Manhattan, and Edible Brooklyn magazines, all of which will promote the book. Pre-order your book now for the release date of April 2015.

    The Hamptons & Long Island Homegrown Cookbook, by Leeann Lavin features local food, local restaurants and local recipes. This book takes the reader on a private tour of outstanding chefs & artisanal growers of the Hamptons & Long Island. Great book for a cookbook collector or lover of the Hamptons and Long Island food scene.

  4. Christmas Stollen: During Christmas time fruitcakes of all shapes and sizes turn up, especially the American version that weighs a ton and is re-gifted more than any edible gift in history; I happen to like this version. The German fruitcake, Christmas Stollen, is made with dried fruits, nuts, spices and covered in lots of butter and sugar. This version I love and pretty sure you will devour it with all your bite.

    On the North Fork
    Junda’s Pastry offers plenty of holiday specialties and is known for their strudels and stollen.

    Address: 1612 Main Road, Jamesport, NY 11947. Phone: 631.722.4657

    On the South Fork 
    Krieg's Bakery 
    has been baking for the South Fork since 1985. Every Sunday my father would buy a bag of donuts; my favorite was the donut dipped in chocolate and filled with vanilla cream. They also make cookies, pies, cakes, danishes, fruit tarts, bread, gingerbread houses and their renowned holiday stollen, that is made with butter, nuts, green and red cherries, sweet pineapple, black and white raisins, almond marzipan and rum. You can get the top dusted with powdered sugar or leave plain.

    Address: 39 West Montauk Highway, Hampton Bays NY. Phone: 631.728.6524

  5. Balsam Farms Gift Baskets: Hundreds of different vegetables are grown in fields between Amagansett and Sagaponack. They offer beautiful baskets filled with their own jarred goods and locally sourced specialty items. Your choice of 6 jars (3 large and 3 small) of Balsam Farms products packaged in a farm basket. You can customize your basket by adding: additional Balsam Farms jarred goods, Balsam Farms Trucker Hat, Balsam Farms T-shirt, Balsam Farms Gift Cards, Amagansett Sea Salts and Bee's Needs Honey Products. Phone: 631.316.8784

  6. Long Island Beer Tours: Long Island's craft beer has award-winning breweries, festivals dedicated to the hops, and an active and impressive homebrewing community. Take in all the sights and flavors with a tour and tasting. There is sure to be a Long Island brewery to suit your tastes. Phone: 631.913.3817.

  7. Salt of the Earth Seed Company: All heirloom seeds are grown on the North Fork of Long Island by farmer Stephanie Gaylor of Invincible Summer Farms. I am a huge supporter of Stephanie. She specializes in growing rare, and endangered heirloom vegetables, herbs, flowers, and has over 350 varieties of tomatoes; she is the tomato whisperer. Anyone who has a green thumb and is dreaming about sunny days ahead will appreciate these open pollinated, NON-GMO seeds.

  8. Browder’s Birds: The Browder’s Chickens are certified organic by NOFA-NY Certified Organic, LLC. Their hens are fed certified organic laying rations and live on a certified organic pasture benefiting greatly from the ability to forage daily. They have a pretty snazzy outdoor pantry of their own brines, pickled eggs, duck eggs, Christmas quiche, mayo, golden honey and dry rubs. Last time I was there they offered farm boots and some wool socks.

    Chicken Share: Their Chicken share runs for 20 weeks for a full share & 10 weeks for a half share and guarantees you a chicken each Saturday during your share time frame. 

    Winter Egg Share: Receive 2-dozen organic eggs twice a month.  

    Gift Certificates: These can be used to purchase organic chickens, organic eggs, and other products in season. If you want to shop from the comfort of your home they are offering free shipping for that special someone. They ship to the lower 48 states only, all others should call Holly and Chris at: 631.599.3394 for shipping information.

    Address: 4050 Soundview Avenue, Mattituck, New York. Hours: Fridays 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., Saturday & Sundays Noon – 5:00 p.m.

  9. Edible Communities Publication: Edible Publications is in 80 distinct culinary regions throughout the United States and Canada. They connect consumers with family farmers, growers, chefs, and food artisans of all kinds. Locally, in the tri-state area we have Edible East End (I contribute to the magazine and write a column for What's in Season), Edible BrooklynEdible Manhattan and Edible Long Island. Check out their 80 Edible Publications to subscribe to a local or favorite edible region near you.

  10. Valley Wine Merchants Wine Club: Out East Foodie went west to Oregon this summer and visited with Andrew Turner, the proprietor of Valley Wine Merchants. He is a renowned chef and connoisseur of the best wines of the Willamette Valley and beyond. I am hoping in the near future East will meet West and Valley Wine Merchants will offer Long Island Wines. In the meantime, if you have a sweet spot for West Coast and International wines like myself, the custom wine club that caters to collectors, novices and wine enthusiasts may be for you. As a member you receive 15% off all retail prices automatically. You can read about Andrew in the Oregon Wine Press and The Oregon Wine Country Travel.

    Address: 112 S College Street, Newberg Oregon. Phone: 503.538.5388




Grilled Pizza: Thinking Outside The Bun

Summertime is all about grilling. And on the East End of Long Island, backyard grills are in full-flame. Farm-to-grill is my thing this time of year. Farmers markets are bustling with just picked heirloom vegetables and juicy fruits. The finest selections of artisanal award-winning cheeses from goats and cows are being sampled by the summering masses and same day organic eggs are being gobbled up by the dozen. Long Island variety mushrooms are showing off their spores and craft beer is being poured into growlers. I get giddy. So much so, that I have been thinking outside the bun.

I am addicted to grilled pizza. It sounds novel but it is truly elementary. Imagine a Neapolitan thin crust style pizza that is perfectly soft and crisp, lightly-charred, with a nice smoky flavor that cooks in a flash right on your grill. The hardest part to making grilled pizza is figuring out what to put on top. Meander through the Hayground, Westhampton, Montauk and the up-and-coming Hampton Bays farmers markets and I am sure you will be inspired too. 

I made my own pizza dough with Montauk Brewing Company’s Driftwood Ale, however, store bought pizza is easy enough, right? When the ingredients are as fresh as they are on the East End anything goes. This is about thinking outside the bun, so give homemade pizza beer dough a chance and get grilling.

This past week, I experimented with different types of toppings: 

Catapano Goat Cheese with Long Island potatoes, leeks and caramelized onions

Browder’ Birds eggs, Long Island asparagus with ricotta, prosciutto, Amagansett Sea Salt East Hampton Blend

Shinnecock clams with Sang Lee Farms garlic scapes that I made into pesto


Shiitake Mushrooms from Long Island Mushroom Company with homemade sausage, caramelized red onions, ricotta, farm eggs and homegrown oregano.

Grilled Pizza with Browder’s Birds Eggs, Sang Lee Farms Asparagus with Ricotta, Prosciutto and Amagansett Sea Salt East Hampton Blend.

Beer Pizza Dough

beer pizza dough


  • 1 can of room temperature Montauk Brewing Company Driftwood Ale Beer (or any favorite brew)
  • 4 cups of King Arthur flour
  • ¼ cup of olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons of honey
  • 1 packet of active dry yeast (or 3 tablespoons of your own sourdough starter)
Montauk Brewing Company


1. Combine the flour, yeast, (or starter) and salt in a stand mixer with the dough hook. Turn the machine on and add the oil.

2. Turn the stand mixer on low to medium and add the beer a little at a time. Mix until the mixture forms a ball and is slightly sticky to the touch. If it is still dry, add another tablespoon or two of the beer and process for a few seconds.

note: if the mixture is too sticky, add flour a tablespoon at a time.

3. Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and knead by hand for a few seconds to form a smooth, round dough ball. Put the dough in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap; let rise until the dough doubles in size, 1 to 4 hours.

4. When the dough is ready, divide into 3 pieces. Roll each piece into a ¼-inch pizza shape of your choice.

Note: you can freeze the pizza dough for later use.

Grilling the Pizza


  • 3 eggs
  • ½ pound of asparagus
  • 5 pieces of prosciutto (more or less as you like)
  • 1 cup of ricotta cheese, whipped 
  • 1/2 cup of grated piave or grana padano cheese.
  • Amagansett Sea Salt, East Hampton Blend
  • Olive Oil
  • Cracked Black Pepper


  • Grill
  • Brush for oil
  • Metal spatula
  • Metal tongs 


Note: Make sure you prep all your ingredients before you start grilling as the pizza cooks fast and you want to make sure you have everything on hand and ready to go. The grill should be set to high.

  1. Pre-grill the asparagus in tinfoil with a little bit of olive oil; cook until just tender. Whip the ricotta until smooth in a mini food processor.
  2. Roll out the dough to a ¼ inch thick; an oblong shape.

    note: do not worry if the shape is not perfect, it does not matter, have fun.
  3. Take the stretched piece of dough and place directly on the grill. Cook the first side with the lid shut for one minute. Then open lid and when dough puffs it is time to flip. Lower the temperature on the grill to low.
  4. Flip the dough, and quickly brush the olive oil and then spread the ricotta cheese. Crack the 3 eggs evenly over the pizza.
  5. Then place the asparagus and prosciutto.
  6.  As the second side grills, the cheese melts, and the eggs begin to cook. When the egg whites are set the pizza is done. Sprinkle with Amagansett Sea Salt, East Hampton Blend, cracked black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.

Riverhead Farmers Market Inspires My Lemon Curd Chocolate Tart


Trending topics that have kicked off the month of February on the East End of Long Island are the arctic blasts and the Riverhead Farmers Market—polar opposites: an oppressive freeze and a nourishing thaw. On Groundhog Day opposing predictions from Punxsutawney Phil was for six more weeks of winter and Long Island’s very own Malverne Mel and Holtsville Hal for an early spring. Unfortunately, I think Punxsutawney Phil is right. But one thing is certain (I predicted this one); the Riverhead Farmers Market is a huge success. Hundreds of eager attendees piled in from the front and back entrances of the 8,000-square-foot old Swezey’s Department store downtown. It took me 15 minutes to find a parking spot, and a few moments shy of purchasing some of my favorite edibles. 


The theme of the day? Sold out.

Miss Lady Root Beer was dry of their small batch root beer by noon. I was bummed. I had plans to make poached pears and a marinade for tasty short ribs; next week I need to get there super early. I snatched a growler of Moustache Brewing Company’s Everyman's Porter, as they eventually became tapped. Browder’s Birds ran out of their eggs twice after going back to the farm to replenish; thankfully I grabbed a dozen.

Miss Lady Root Beer
Tend Coffee
Kalypso Greek Yogurt

I made my way to Chef Lia Fallon of The Riverhead Project where I sampled Moroccan egg salad with green mango and a snow pudding, both made with Browder’s Birds eggs. The snow pudding was a meringue with lemon curd and a currant that resembled a cracked egg.

The RIverhead Project Egg Salad
Riverhead project snow pudding.jpg

After indulging, I scurried over to the North Fork Chocolate Company which makes artisanal chocolates and desserts from products of the local farmers. I bought the espresso chip bark crafted using LiV Vodka

North Fork Chocolate Company Bark
North Fork Chocolate Company

Fallon’s snow pudding and the handcrafted bark of the North Fork Chocolate Company inspired my lemon curd chocolate tart. How can the chefs, artisans and farmers of the East End not inspire anyone to create a meal or treat? And what better way to your sweethearts stomach this Valentines Day than with a lemon curd chocolate tart.

During these winter months a farmers market will surely keep you busy in the kitchen or happily stuffed. It is my way to ward away the winter blues and to be supportive of the East End Community. 

Bring on the next six weeks of winter as I will surely be creating a feast. 

The Riverhead Farmers Market is at 117 East Main Street, Saturdays, February 1 through May 17 from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.


Lemon Curd Chocolate Tart

Lemon Curd Chocolate Tart


Lemon Curd

  • 4 large egg yolks from Browder's Birds eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • Zest and juice of 2 large lemons
  • 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter cut into 6 pieces; room temperature
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Melted Chocolate

  • 1/4 pound of espresso chip bark from the North Fork Chocolate Company, chopped (you can use any good dark chocolate)
  • 2 tablespoons of heavy cream


North Fork Chocolate Company Bark
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons of very cold water
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 1⁄2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1⁄3 cup sugar
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 stick of cold unsalted butter, cut into 1⁄4-inch cubes


Lemon Curd

Lemon Curd
  1. Fill a medium saucepan with 2 inches of water and bring it to a simmer.

  2. Place all of the ingredients except the butter in a large heatproof bowl or sauce pan and set the bowl over the simmering water, but not touching, and whisk constantly until the yolks thicken; about 10 minutes. You do not want the eggs to curdle.

  3. Remove the bowl from the simmering water and whisk in the butter one piece at a time; wait until each piece is completely melted before adding another.

  4. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a medium bowl and strain the curd; discard the solids left in the strainer.

  5. Cover the lemon curd with plastic wrap and cool in the refrigerator completely, about 2 hours. The curd can be stored in the refrigerator for one week.


Tart Dough
  1. Place the flour, salt and sugar in the bowl of a food processor, and process for a few seconds to combine.
  2. Cut up the cold butter into 1/2 inch cubes and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about the size of garbanzo beans. Pulse about 10 seconds.
  3. Mix in a small bowl the egg yolk, water and vanilla extract.  Slowly add this liquid through the feed tube, just until the dough holds together. The dough should be visibly crumbly where you can pinch the dough between your fingers and should hold. You are not looking for a ball state here.
  4. Remove the crumbly mixture from the processor and place on a smooth surface. Work the dough only enough to just bring the dough together.  Do not over-knead or your crust will end up tough.
  5. Flatten each portion into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for one hour before using. This will chill the butter and allow the gluten in the flour to relax. At this point you can also freeze the dough for later use.  
  6. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to fit into (6) 4-inch tart pans or (1) 9-inch tart. To prevent the pastry from sticking to the counter and to ensure uniform thickness, keep lifting up and turning the pastry a quarter turn as you roll. To make sure it is the right size, take your tart pan and place it on the rolled out pastry. The pastry should be about an inch larger than your pan.
  7. Lightly roll pastry around your rolling pin and unroll onto the top of your tart pan. Gently lay in pan and lightly press pastry into bottom and up sides of pan. Roll your rolling pin over top of pan to get rid of excess pastry dough.
  8. With the tines of a fork, prick the bottom of the dough (this will prevent the dough from puffing up as it bakes). Cover and freeze 30 minutes to chill the butter and rest the gluten.
  9. Preheat oven to 375° and place rack in center of oven. 
  10. Bake for approximately 20 – 25 minutes; until golden brown. If the dough puffs up use a spoon to press down lightly and continue cooking. 
  11. Once done let the tarts cool completely.

Melted Chocolate

melted north fork chocolate.jpg
  1. Fill a medium saucepan with 2 inches of water and bring it to a simmer.

  2. Place the chocolate bark and heavy cream in a sauce pan over a simmering pot of water and stir until melted. (you can also microwave the chocolate and heavy cream in a bowl for 30 seconds, stir and repeat again for 30 seconds, until fully melted)


lemon curd chocolate tart

Place a generous dollop of the melted chocolate into the pie tarts. Cover the bottom completely about ¼-inch high. Once all tarts are filled with the chocolate place in the refrigerator to cool completely for 1 hour.

Once tarts with chocolate are cooled completely place 2 generous tablespoons of lemon curd on top of the chocolate. Sprinkle with a zest of lemon and shaved chocolate.

Lemon Curd Chocolate Tart.jpg

Makes: (6) 4-inch tart pans or (1) 9-inch tart.