Friday, June 14, 2013

Captain Ed's Boat Salad

My father is a great dad and almost as good of a sailor.
Water was a constant theme when we were growing up - whether playing in the brook behind our house or trips to the Jersey Shore and Cape Cod. We have all re-located from our home town of Glen Rock but one thing is consistent: we all still live near the water. From Maine down to Virginia and points all over the globe, we play in it, eat from it and in my sister Catherine's case, write about it.
I have a quote hanging in my office written by "Anonymous" that I reference often:
"The point is, to be in the water, by the water, or on a bar stool with the water splashing gently at your feet"
One of my fondest memories is going out on my Dad's sailboat 
 on the Long Island Sound and Buzzard's Bay.
You could never predict how the winds would be on any particular day but you could always count on 3 things: good company, great tunes and my Dad's famous "boat salad".
Inspired by a lunchtime favorite when my Dad worked in Midtown, Manhattan, Boat Salad was always a staple aboard "About Time". My dad said  "Most people who have joined me on the boat will say that they are not sure about the sailing but the "Boat Salad" was great". I disagree.
Passengers were always put to work: steering, tacking, anchoring. But the pleasure of being on the water, the peacefulness and the time spent with family and good friends made it a pleasure. And The Captain made it so. Boat Salad was merely the delicious side dish.
1/2 lb of pasta mini shells or rotini
8 oz frozen peas
8 oz imitation crab, flaked
4 tbsp. mayonnaise
fresh cracked black pepper
Cook the pasta al dente and mix with the remaining ingredients.
Set sail.
And let the wind carry your sails.
(Happy Father's Day!)

Monday, June 3, 2013

Chocolate Ladyfinger Torte

For someone who often claimed to be "not a baker", my Mom has made some great homemade desserts. Sure, you could cheat and make this with instant pudding and cool whip but I promise you, this tastes much better. This is a great warm weather dessert as it is nice and light and requires no baking. I think it would also be great with some strawberries.

The glue to this dessert is the lady fingers (the soft kind). When I was little I always remember giggling a little over that name - "lady fingers" - because they look like anything but. Man fingers, maybe, but not a lady's. Turns out, many countries originally called them "cat's tongues" which is more descriptively accurate to their size. I wonder why that didn't stick ?

A special shout out to my great friend Lisa for her assistance on this one. Turns out, its a lot easier to take pictures when someone else is doing the cooking !

8 oz semi-sweet chocolate
3 tbsp water
4 eggs separated
1/4 lb margarine, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
10 double ladyfingers
Mix 7 oz of the chocolate (save the additional ounce for garnish) with the water in a mixing bowl and melt over a pot of hot water (double boiler).

Remove and beat in egg yolks one at a time. Add vanilla.

Beat egg whites until soft peaks form and gradually add sugar.
Fold meringue into chocolate mixture.
Beat 1 cup of cream until stiff and fold in.
Stand ladyfingers around buttered 8" spring pan.
My Sous Chef, Lisa
Spoon in filling.
Chill overnight. Top with remaining cream (whipped) and grate chocolate over the top.