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Friday, August 05, 2011

Richard Hake fills in for Leonard Lopate. On today’s show: Rebecca Charles of Pearl Oyster Bar gives us a primer on how to prepare and enjoy summer seafood! Then, we’ll look at the personalities and events that dominated prohibition-era New York. Jane Borden talks about trying to adapt southern hospitality to New York City and her transformation into a “hipster-debutante.” Plus, Please Explain is all about roller coasters!


Richard Hake

Summer Stuff: Seafood

Our Summer Stuff series continues with a look at more fun ways to enjoy summer in the city. This week, Chef Rebecca Charles of Pearl Oyster Bar tells how to pick, prepare, and enjoy summer seafood—from lobster to oysters to clams. She's the author of Lobster Rolls & Blueberry Pie: Three Generations of Recipes and Stories from Summers on the Coast of Maine, written with Deborah Di Clementi.

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New York City in the Roaring Twenties

David Wallace talks about how New York City became the cultural and financial capital of the world during the 1920s, an era of social, economic, and cultural prosperity that forever changed the way people lived. Capital of the World: A Portrait of New York City in the Roaring Twenties paints a portrait of the city in this dizzying time—a period that saw Prohibition, the rise of the Mafia, the birth of radio, the beginnings of gossip as a business, and the flourishing jazz age.

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Jane Borden Totally Meant to Do That

Jane Borden talks about becoming an unusual hybrid: hipster-debutante. Raised in a proper Southern home in Greensboro, North Carolina, she hid her gentile upbringing when she moved to New York City. In her memoir I Totally Meant to Do That, she muses on the intersections of and altercations between Southern hospitality and New York cool.

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Please Explain: Roller Coasters

This week’s Please Explain is all about roller coasters—from the old classics like the Cyclone to the new wild rides like the Green Lantern! We're joined by two roller coaster experts: Jeffrey Rhoads, Associate Professor at Purdue University's School of Mechanical Engineering,  where he co-teaches a course in the physics of roller coasters, and Jacob Miller, PhD candidate at Purdue University's School of Mechanical Engineering (studying vibration), whose personal passion is the Millennium Force at Cedar Point in Ohio for its combination of "speed" and  "airtime."

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How to Shuck an Oyster

On today's show Rebecca Charles, Chef and owner of Pearl Oyster Bar, made a lobster roll on the air and talked about the many ways of preparing seafood this summer. Listen to that interview here.

Last fall, champion oyster shucker John Bil, from Prince Edward Island, demonstrated his skills on the Leonard Lopate Show. He and Chef Ted Grant, an instructor at the Culinary Institute of Canada, explained the ins and outs of oysters and shellfish. Listen to that interview here. Watch the video!


Blueberry Crumble Pie from Pearl Oyster Bar

Blueberry Crumble Pie
(Serves eight to 10)

Note: This recipe is best served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

For the crust
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks cold butter, cut into tiny pieces
1/4 cup ice water

For the crumble
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 sticks sweet butter, cut into little pieces

For the filling
3 pints blueberries, wild Maine if you can get them
1 cup granulated sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped lemon zest
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

To make the crust, combine the flour, salt and cold butter in a food processor by pulsing until the mixture has the consistency of sand. Add the cold water while pulsing until the mixture comes together; don't overwork it. (To mix the dough by hand, combine the flour, salt and butter in a large bowl. Add the cold water and work by hand until the mixture comes together.) Remove the dough from the food processor or bowl and on a lightly floured counter or board, shape it into a disk about 1/2-inch thick. Wrap with plastic film and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before rolling it out.

To make the crumble, mix the flour and brown sugar in a food processor until thoroughly combined. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture forms a crumble (do not overwork the mixture). Refrigerate until you are ready to use it.

To make the fruit filling, in a large bowl, mix all the ingredients well. Crush about 20 percent of the blueberries, so the juice mixes with the cornstarch and thickens the filling.

To make the pie, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Roll out the dough on a floured surface, place in a pie plate, trim and crimp the edges. Use a fork to poke holes around the sides and bottom of the crust. Cover with a piece of parchment paper and fill it with dried beans. Bake for 8 minutes or until the crimped edges are firm. Remove the paper and beans and bake for 3 to 5 more minutes to firm the bottom. Fill the crust with berry mixture and top the pie generously with the crumble. Bake for 1 hour, or until the filling starts to bubble. Cool on a rack.

From Lobster Rolls & Blueberry Pie: Three Generations of Recipes and Stories from Summers on the Coast of Maine by Rebecca Charles with Deborah Di Clementi


Pearl Oyster Bar Crabcakes, Sweet Corn Ragout and Grilled Fish Steaks

Pearl Oyster Bar Crabcakes, Sweet Corn Ragout

Crab cakes:
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon dry mustard
2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons finely chopped seeded plum tomato
1 pound lump crabmeat, drained and shell pieces removed
7 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons butter

1/4 cup water
2 3/4 cups fresh corn kernels (about 4 ears)
1/4 cup frozen green peas
1 1/2 cups finely chopped seeded plum tomato (about 1 pound)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
To prepare crab cakes, combine first 9 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add 2 tablespoons tomato and crabmeat, tossing gently to coat. Stir in 5 tablespoons breadcrumbs. Cover and chill 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 450°.
Fill a 1/4-cup measuring cup with crab mixture to form 1 patty. Remove from measuring cup; repeat procedure with remaining crab mixture to form 8 patties. Lightly dredge patties in 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs.
Melt 1 1/2 teaspoons butter in large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add patties; cook 4 minutes. Turn patties; wrap handle of pan with foil. Place pan in oven; bake at 450° for 5 minutes or until patties are golden brown and thoroughly heated.
To prepare ragout, bring 1/4 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add corn and peas; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in 1 1/2 cups tomato and remaining ingredients. Serve ragout with crab cakes.

Grilled Fish Steaks

4 1- to 1 1/4-inch-thick halibut steaks, skin on (or any fish steaks; see note below)
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus extra for drizzling over the cooked fish
2 bunches fresh marjoram plus extra for garnishing
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Canola oil for the grill
Lemon wedges

Put the fish in a bowl or shallow dish and cover with olive oil. Press 2 to 3 sprigs of fresh marjoram into each steak, cover with plastic wrap, and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Light a charcoal or gas grill. Remove the herbs from the fish, and season each steak with salt and pepper.
Set a well-cleaned grill rack about 4 inches above the fire. When the coals are very hot (to test, hold your hand directly over the rack; it's hot enough when you can't keep it there for more than 2 seconds), rub the grill with paper towels that have been dipped in canola oil, and place the fish on the grill. Do not move the steaks until it's time to flip them, or they may stick. Cook the fish 3 to 4 minutes, turn just once, and cook another 3 to 4 minutes. The fish should feel firm to the touch but not hard.
Drizzle a little extra-virgin olive oil over the fish, and serve with plenty of lemon wedges and a little fresh marjoram.
The above instructions can be used for other fish-and-herb combinations: swordfish with dill, salmon with rosemary, and tuna with basil.

Roasted Red Pepper Relish

3 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, quartered
1/2 pint yellow cherry or pear tomatoes
1 cup of fresh basil leaves, chopped
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Toss the roasted peppers with the sun-dried tomatoes. Slice the fresh tomatoes, some in half and some in quarters, and add to bowl. Add Sugar Snap Peas with Lemon and Almonds

Sugar Snap Peas, Lemon, Toasted Almonds

3/4 pound sugar snap peas
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Zest of 1/2 lemon, finely chopped
2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring 3/4 cup salted water to a boil in a saucepan, drop in sugar snaps, and cook for about 1 minute. Pour off all but 1 teaspoon of water. Add butter and zest, swirling to mix. Remove from heat as soon as the butter has melted and is bubbling. Toss in the almonds, and season with salt and pepper.

From Lobster Rolls & Blueberry Pie: Three Generations of Recipes and Stories from Summers on the Coast of Maine by Rebecca Charles with Deborah Di Clementi

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Lobster Recipes from Pearl Oyster Bar

Pearl Oyster Bar Lobster Roll
(Serves two)

2 pounds cooked lobster meat, chopped roughly into 1/2 and 3/4-inch pieces
1/2 celery rib, finely chopped
1/4 cup Hellman's mayonnaise
Squeeze of lemon
Pinch of kosher salt and freshy ground black pepper
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
2 Pepperidge Farm top-loading hot dog buns
Chopped chives for garnish

To make the lobster salad, in a large bowl, combine the lobster meat, celery, mayonaiise, lemon and salt and pepper and mix thoroughly. Cover the mixture and store it in the refrigerator until ready to serve. It will last for up to two days.

To prepare the bun, in a small sauté pan over low to medium heat, melt the butter. Place the hot dog buns on their sides in the butter. Flip the buns a couple of times so that both sides soak up an equal amount of butter and brown evenly. Remove the buns from the pan and place them on a large plate.

Fill the toasted buns with lobster salad. Sprinkle with chives and serve with a salad, slaw or shoestring fries.

(Variation: For a shrimp roll, substitute 2 pounds of shrimp, cooked, peeled and sliced in half lengthwise.)

Split-Grilled Lobsters with Herb Butter

1 pound unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh chives
Kosher salt to taste
4 (1 1/2-pound) live lobsters
1 tablespoon olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 large lemons, cut into wedges

1. Melt butter over medium-low heat; skim solids off top, and discard. Pour remaining butter into a bowl, leaving any solids in pan; discard solids. Stir in tarragon, parsley, and chives; season with kosher salt. Set aside.
2. Carefully position a knife on top of each lobster's head between the eyes, and draw it sharply through the head to kill it instantly. Place lobsters, belly up, on a cutting board, and cut each lobster in half. (Lobsters may also be parboiled and then split before grilling.)
3. Preheat grill to medium-high heat (350° to 400°). Drizzle lobster halves with olive oil, and season with kosher salt and pepper. Grill lobster halves, shell sides down, basting with 1/4 cup herb butter several times, 7 minutes or until done.

From Lobster Rolls & Blueberry Pie: Three Generations of Recipes and Stories from Summers on the Coast of Maine by Rebecca Charles with Deborah Di Clementi


Oyster Recipes from Pearl Oyster Bar

Fried Oysters
(Serves two)

6 to 8 medium oysters
Vegetable, peanut or canola oil
1/2 cup cracker meal
1 1/2 cups flour
Kosher salt
Pearl Oyster Bar Tartar Sauce (recipe follows)
Greens and chives for garnish

Shuck the oysters and clean and save the shells. Place the oysters in a bowl in their liquor and refrigerate them until ready to fry. In a deep saucepan or pot, heat the oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix the cracker meal and flour in a large pie plate to make the dredge. Drain the oysters in a strainer and drop them into the dredge one by one, keeping them separated. Coat each oyster well, then shake off the excess dredge. Drop each oyster gently into the hot oil and fry until they are golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. It's important not to overfry them. Drain them on paper towels and sprinkle with kosher salt.

To serve, arrange the shells in a circle with the narrow ends of the shells in the center. Put a spoonful of tartar sauce in the center of each shell. Top it with a fried oyster. Garnish the plate with a bouquet of greens in the middle. (Charles likes to use a mixture of baby lettuces). Sprinkle it all with chives.

Pearl Oyster Bar Tartar Sauce

1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup roughly chopped capers
1/4 cup chopped cornichons, plus 2 tablespoons of the juice
3 cups Hellmann's mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a large bowl, mix the ingredients thoroughly. Refrigerate.

Oyster Pan Roast with Horseradish Toast

30 fresh oysters
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups finely diced celery root
1 1/2 cups finely diced parsnips
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup dry sherry
3 cups whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Horseradish Toast

Shuck oysters, reserving oyster liquor. Serve with Horseradish Toast.
Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add celery root, parsnips, and 1/8 teaspoon salt; sauté 9 minutes or until soft. Add sherry, and increase heat to medium-high. Cook 8 minutes or until sherry is syrupy. Add cream, reduce heat to medium, and cook 23 minutes or until thickened. Add oysters and liquor, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper; cook 2 minutes or until edges of oysters begin to curl

Horseradish Toast

1/4 cup finely grated fresh horseradish
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 (12-ounce) French bread baguette

Preheat oven to 450°.
Combine first 4 ingredients in a small bowl. Chill.
Cut baguette into 1/4-inch slices. Place slices on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake 2 minutes; remove from oven. Turn slices, and spread evenly with horseradish mixture. Bake 1 minute or until butter is melted. Serve immediately.

Grilled oysters with Lemon-Chive Beurre Blanc

6 medium to large sized oysters per person, I like Malpeques
Lemon-Chive Beurre Blanc
1/3 cup white wine
1/3 cup red-wine vinegar
3 shallots, finely chopped
3 sticks butter
1 tablespoon plus one teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon plus one teaspoon chopped chives.

In a stainless-steel saucepan over medium heat, combine wine, vinegar and shallots. Bring to a simmer, and reduce until there are 2 tablespoons of liquid. Reduce heat and add butter, one tablespoon at a time, whisking until each piece melts. Whisk in zest and chives. Turn off heat, transfer to ramekins and keep in a warm place.
Yield: 3/4 cup, enough for drizzling on 32 oysters and meat of four lobsters. From

From Lobster Rolls & Blueberry Pie: Three Generations of Recipes and Stories from Summers on the Coast of Maine.

Comments [1]

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