Great food is a big part of Labor Day Weekend in the Hamptons. To start feeding that hunger, here’a a three-course selection of foodie book fare including seafood, New York City sandwiches and Anthony Bourdain.
Scallops, A New England Coastal Cookbook (Pelican: 2011) by mother and daughter Elaine Tammi and Karin A. Tammi is all about those tantalizing tidbits from the sea—how to buy, prepare and cook them, as well as their scientific particulars. Being from Buffalo, I appreciate that the recipes don’t assume that I’m a seafood-cooking expert. They are clear and instructive, aka idiot proof. Even people who claim that they don’t like fish love scallops. Who knew there are this many delightful ways to prepare them—from starters to entrees? Some of the best of America’s favorite mollusks grow right off the shores of the East End. Dive in!
Lucky Peach—lucky readership! Technically this tome is a magazine, not a book, and this is the best foodie news of the year! The first issue of Lucky Peach (McSweeney’s: 2011) was released earlier this summer, the second is due out in November with others to come in 2012 and beyond!
This first issue is dedicated to…ramen. Page after page of history, insight, recipes, discussion—love it! Then one section veers off into all-about-eggs. This is not like any magazine you’ve ever read. There is no advertising, but if there were I’d still gladly pay $10 an issue for it. Heck yes, I’m gushing —the contributors are foodie royalty—David “Dave” Chang, Ruth Reichl, Anthony Bourdain—they totally get it, chew it over, dish it up. Nutty graphics, lots of pseudo flowcharts—this thing is a hoot.
Lastly, The Big New York Sandwich Book, 99 Delicious Creations from the City’s Greatest Restaurants and Chefs by Sara Reistad-Long and Jean Tang (Running Press: 2011). This book didn’t grab me because it’s kind of a restaurant guide disguised as a cookbook and not all of the recipes include photos. But it fueled my locavore imagination because it got me thinking about recipes for “Big East End Sandwiches.”
When this book arrived on my desk last spring it was pretty slim pickin’s on the East End. I took a look around the Sag Harbor Indoor Farmers Market at that time and envisioned perhaps the only local sandwich possible—Art Ludlow’s Shawondasse cheese on sour dough bread, slathered with Harbor Small Batch mint jelly. Not bad, but not knock-your-socks off either. Maybe it would be called an “Over Winter One-Fister.” Of course now just about anything is possible East End sandwichwise, there’s Ludlow’s beef, Taste of the North Fork condiments, seafood, Iacono BBQ sauce, Catapano cheeses, Serene Green jams, lettuces, tomatoes, you-name-it, plus all manner of wines to wash it all down with. The Big New York Sandwich Book does offer some great recipes for mixing up sandwich condiments and some solid serving ideas—so you could use this book to aid you in eating your way across New York or the East End.