The Washington Post: Aunt Phil’s Blue Crab Sauce

by Foodie Fatale on September 3, 2015

in My Family

I’m so happy to share the article I wrote about my Great Aunt Phil’s blue crab sauce for the August 19th 2015 edition of the Washington Post Food Section. This story is near and dear to my heart and I hope you enjoy it.  Please click on the image below to read both the recipe and the story.

WashingtonPostAuntPhiCrabSauceRuggiero

 

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SusanWillisBitta-BlueKillingworthCT

I’ve been dazzled week after week this summer by the bounty of an organic CSA share with Susan Willis of Bitta-Blue Farm in Killingworth, Connecticut.

I love  (and sometimes dread!) the insistent demands of a CSA, which force me to experiment and explore new types of produce. Susan makes the whole adventure fun by not only enduring my endless questions each week regarding varieties, but by making preparation suggestions.
MortgageLifter TomatoI was thrilled two weeks ago that her heirloom tomatoes had finally arrived. The first she included in my share is called a “Mortgage Lifter.” I read the origin of its name on the “Territorial Seed Company” website:

95 days. As the story goes, a tomato farmer facing bankruptcy selected a tomato that produced so well, he was able to sell the plants to pay off the mortgage.”

I took this first photo in hot afternoon sun. I love its imperfect shape and natural dents. This is what a tomato should be.

The next day, inside, it was time to delve in. A tomato like this needs no accompaniment at all. I sprinkled some MortageLifterTomatoseller’s salt over it. And inhaled. What an aroma! Pure “tomato!” Next the taste.  What over-used words can I use to describe it? Luscious? Divine? Nothing less than “spectacular.” And it just ruins me for the tomatoes I encounter outside of this season. For now I am going to relish this wonderful variety- and look forward to Susan’s next selection.

 

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Farmer’s Plums

by Foodie Fatale on August 3, 2015

in Connecticut,Farms/Growers

MethleyPlums

Each summer, I eagerly await the “Farmer’s Plums” I buy from “Jake’s Farm Stand” on the Boston Post Road in Madison, Connecticut. Jake opens shop for just a few months on the side of the road, bringing with him the bounty of his family farm in Northern Connecticut. He uses a pencil and paper to figure out up your purchase and always rounds down. My favorite of his treasures are what he calls “Farmer’s Plums,” which are more widley known as “Methley” plumsThese plums grow for 2 to 3 weeks per year on 22 trees that belong to Jake’s father and are the the sweetest I’ve ever tasted–and the fact that I can only taste them for such a short time certainly adds to their sweetness.

MethleyInterior

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Grilled Connecticut Corn

by Foodie Fatale on August 1, 2015

in Connecticut,Farms/Growers

GrilledCTCorn

I have no data to verify this, but it seems like native corn varies from year to year. Some years are better than others. This season, without a doubt, the native Connecticut corn is absolutely spectacular. Several days a week, I stop at Jake’s farm stand in Madison, and buy as much corn as I can eat. Once home, I remove the silk, peel back a few outer leaves and then toss onto the grill. It’s the best way to get that nutty, the caramelized flavor which comes when the kernels get nice and brown. What pleasure to peel back the husk and inhale the aroma! A little butter and salt and I’m ready to enjoy this most perfect summer delight.

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Southern Cooking for Company by Nicki Pendleton Wood

by Foodie Fatale on July 27, 2015

in Recipes

I’m thrilled to have contributed my first recipe to a cookbook: Southern Cooking for Company by Nicki Pendleton Wood is a great collection Southern-Inspired recipes. My French Toast Casserole with Peaches, Bacon and Maple Bourbon Pecans is a tribute to my cousins and a memorable day we shared together…..SouthernCooking

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You May Have Noticed…

by Foodie Fatale on July 21, 2015

in Women In Food

Hello friends. You may have noticed that I haven’t been contributing to this Foodie Fatale blog as often of late- and the good news is– it’s because I’ve been writing so much for so many other outlets like Food & WineRelish and Parade. If you want to keep up with where I’m writing and what I’m eating, please join me on my Facebook page. There is always a lively food-centered conversation going on there- and I’d love you to be a part of it. Thanks for visiting.

LettuceBouquet

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CLASS

I’m incredibly proud of the students in my Food TV class at Vista Vocational & Life Skills Center,  Thanks to Homeworks for generously giving us their space, FoodWorks Natural Market for the food, GCTV and Shannon Gale for filming, and to Meteorologist Matt Scott for capturing the culmination of this collaboration and the students’ hard work. Please watch this story that aired on FOX CT on February 26, 2015 by clicking on the link below:

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Parade

From PARADE Magazine‘s December 28, 2015 Issue: “The Party Starts Here,” My story on how to plan a GREAT New Year’s Eve Bash. With sage advice from Mary Giuliani Catering & EventsLe Cirque,The Improvised LifeMarcy Blum AssociatesLaura in the Kitchen, Dr. Meg Urry, and great products from Whole Foods MarketMartinelli’sCostcoPOM WonderfulPerfectPotluck.com. These ideas work well for Any occasion— Be inspired!

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Italian Cookie

by Foodie Fatale on January 15, 2015

in Connecticut,My Family

FoodieFataleCookieMaking

If you’ve read the About section of my blog, you’ll know that my first word was “cookie,” rhythmically chanted as both a celebration and a request when I was 9 months old. Somehow though, baking my own cookies  hasn’t been a part of my December ritual. When I was little, spending my holidays with my extended family, it was my great Aunt Mary who made the cookies. And there were always an assortment of cookies given as gifts to my great Aunt Phil.

But this year, I craved not only the tastes of those Christmas cookies, but that connection to my past. To these tastes. And so, armed with a bottle of prosecco, a seemingly endless supply of butter and a 30 year old community cookbook from New Haven’s Wooster Square (the epicenter of Italian American culture in the city), I set about making cookies that embodied the tastes and smells of my childhood.
ChocolateCrinkle

The recipes sometimes took deciphering (“Knead for a while”). But the deciphering was part of the great pleasure of making them. Without my grandmother, or my great Aunt Phil, or great Aunt Mary to help me learn, I worked with the women of St. Michael’s Church in New Haven- Ann Confrancesco, Margaret Ruotolo, Carmel Consiglio and Theresa Argento who, in the early 1980′s took the time to write down recipes that were second nature to them- infused with the ordinary traditions of Christmas and the tastes of family.

ChocolateClove

FinishedCookies

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BlueLobsterRoll

I inaugurated my Foodie Fatale blog back in 2010 with a post entitled Lobster Lust: Top 5 Lobster Rolls on the Connecticut Shoreline Little did I know at the time that this would remain my most popular (and controversial!)
Foodie Fatale entry. Over the years,  Lobster Lust was shared, discussed and questioned by thousands. And I received many comments and emails about the locales readers believed I wrongly missed in my list.

By this past summer of 2014, I felt it was time to revisit the Connecticut Lobster Roll, but in the face of the dwindling summer days, and the expense of tasting so many rolls, I decided to take a different approach, and open up the forum to Foodie Fatale readers. And so I hosted a Foodie Fatale Readers’ Choice poll: Who Makes the BEST Lobster Roll in Connecticut?. I included all the restaurants people wrote to me about over the years, as well as my favorites– and left an option for voters to write in a restaurant that wasn’t included. Once I had 10 write-ins for a particular locale, I added it to the poll. Voters were allowed one vote a week.

BlueLobsterAfter a month of wild voting, record-breaking website visits and unprecedented (sometimes heated) comments, a winner emerged: The Blue Lobster in Berlin, CT with 46% of the vote.

The Blue Lobster’s  winning status prompted my first visit.  Past big box stores and the motels that line the Berlin Turnpike, Blue Lobster is tucked away in its own small building, with a brightly colored sign, and tables set outside for warm days. Blue Lobster Seaford sells fresh fish and live lobsters and has a homey little restaurant where a crowd of regulars regularly gather to eat. It’s my favorite type of business: Family owned. Owner Sal Gineo has run the restaurant since 1990 and today runs with it with his grandson Greg Goodrich. BlueLobsterLobsters

Greg first started working at Blue Lobster as a dishwasher when he was 11 years old, at BlueLobsterOwnerstheir former location down the road. He always loved working alongside, and learning from his grandfather and one summer as a youngster even gave up an opportunity to go away for the summer so that he could stay with his grandfather at Blue Lobster to work and learn. After Greg finished college, he decided to join his grandfather, and eventually became a partner in the business. He works every day and his enthusiasm and passion for his work are apparent every time he speaks.Greg’s wife Tracy was my server and is the best possible ambassador the restaurant could have, cheerful and proud of the business they have all built.
BlueLobster2The night I visited, diners were mostly regulars, joking around with Tracy and Greg. One gentleman even brought his own tartar sauce, much to the amusement of his fellow diners. I ate a variety of chowders- including an excellent Rhode Island style (my fav) as well tasty Clam and Corn fritters. BlueLobsterFritters
BlueLobsterFrequentThe lobster roll was Connecticut style: fresh lobster meat, drenched in butter and served piping hot on a hot dog roll. Best of all, after 10 Lobster Rolls, you get one free. Blue Lobster has a coupon on their site that will give you 10% off your total dining purchase Sunday Thursday, just click HERE to print.

I recommend a visit to this charming little family business for simple and tasty fresh fish and a warm atmosphere.

 

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