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October 2, 1998     Cape Gazette
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October 2, 1998

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60 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, October 2 - October 8, 1998" FOOD &amp; DRINK Lewes' Co00t:$t Day stuffed to gills with seafood Oct. 4 Seafood lovers, come on down - to Lewes for the 22nd annual Coast Day marine festi- val. On Sunday, Oct. 4, the University of Delaware Sea Grant Colleg program and the Graduate College of Marine Studies will host the festival, which is packed with activities, including the annual Crab Cake Cook-Off and this year's new Chef's Seafood Chowder Challenge. According to Doris Hicks, Sea Grant Ma- rine Advisory Service seafood technology  specialist, chowders are chunky, hearty soups that are so full of good things they are sometimes more like stews than soups. Many chowders are simply cream soups or soups that are left chunky rather than pur6ed. Like other specialty regional soups, chowders resist being categorized, Hicks said. However, most of them are based on fish or shellfish and vegetables, and most contain potatoes and milk or cream. "This event is a friendly challenge be- tween the First State Chef's Association and the Delmarva Chefs and Cooks Associ- ation to come up with the best seafood chowder recipe as voted upon by visitors to Coast Day," Hicks said. "Clams, which have been donated by Sea Watch Interna- tional, will be the featured seafood for this first-year's challenge." Hicks sMd the public will sample 2-ounce portions of the chowders before casting their votes. After the votes are tallied, she will announce the winner, as well as the fea_tured seafood for next year's Chowder Challenge. A ,traveling trophy is designed for the winner of this event. Beginning at noon, visitors can watch lo- cal chefs work their seafood magic in a se- ries of culinary presentations. Chef Robert Davis, from Phillips by the.Sea in Ocean City, Md., will make seafood tortillas with mango salsa. Davis was voted Chef of the Year by the Delmarva Chefs and Cooks As- sociation. At 1 p.m., Joseph Plane, presi- dent of the First State Chef's Association and executive chef at Plane Caterers in Wilmington, will demonstrate how to gar- nish fruits o the sea. Ed Hennessy, chef in- structor at Delaware Technical & Commu- nity College in Stanton, and board member and past president of the First State Chef's Association, will focus on grilled cedar- planked fish at 2 p.m. The presentations will conclude at 3 p.m., when chef Andy Hollenbach, from the Galaxy Restaurant in Ocean City, Md., shares his calamari cui- sine. The Crab Cake Cook-Off will feature eight finalists, chosen from entries from Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York. Coast Day visitors will be able to watch the contestants prepare their recipes and sample a morsel or two. Judg- ing takes place at noon, with winners an- nounced at 1 p.m. This year's panel of three . judges will include Cherry Barranco, last year's first-place winner. The top prize in- cludes $150, a plaque and the opportunity to be a judge at next year's competition. Plenty of seafood will be available for purchase from local vendors. LeCate's will offer fresh lobsters; Lewes Crab House will be selling crab cakes and other specialties; Wings to Go is preparing buffalo shrimp; and the Road Runner Caf6 will prepare seafood fajitas. The Lamp Post Restaurant, North Bethany Fish and Gourmet Market and Holly's Restaurant will also be selling a variety of seafood. Coast Day takes place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, Oct,-4, at the Hugh R. Sharp Campus of the University of Delaware, 700 Pilottown Road, Lewes. For a complete schedule of activities, consult the program given at arrival at Coast Day. Admission to the event is free; parking is $2. For more information, call the Marine Communications Division at 302-831-8083, or the University of Delaware Sea Grant Marine Advisory Ser- vice at 645 -4346, or visit <> on the Internet. , USDA offers advice for packing safe school lunches School bells are tolling around the country as students begin a new school year. Although mil- lions buy lunch at school cafete- rias, millions more bring their lunches in the familiar paper bag or lunch box. "Now is the time for children to not only learn their ABCs, but al- so food safety basics when bring- ing lunch to school," said Bessie Berry, manager of the U.S. De- partment of Agriculture's nation- wide, toll-free meat and poultry hotline. "Safe bag Iunches.are as important as learning math and science. In fact, food safety is a science." Berry said that by following some"simple food safety rules, students can avoid getting sick from a lunch that was not handled properly. Here are some basic tips for carrying a safe lunch to school: Keep foods clean. Keep every- thing clean when packing the lunch. That goes not only for the food, but also for food preparation surfaces, hands and utensils. Use hot, soapy water. Keep family pets away from kitchen counters. "Wash your hands before you pre- pare or eat your food," Berry said. Keep cold foods cold. The best way to keep food cold is with an insulated lunch box. When pack- ing lunches, include either freezer gel packs widely available in stores or cold food items such as fruit; or small frozen juice packs. Nestle perishable meat, poultry or egg sandwiches between these cold items. Sandwiches can also be made ahead of time and kept refrigerated or frozen before being placed in the lunch box. Freezer gel packs will hold cold Continued on page 61 John McDonald is taking a much-needed end-of-the-sea- son .break. His Wine column will reappear on this page next week, A few key seafood recipes as Coast Day looms This Sunday is the 22nd annual Coast Day in Lewes. Gee, that means I was 10 when they started this event. Yeah, yeah, that's the ticket. Coast Day means fish, fish and more fish. When I was in school, Coast Day meant final exams. And you hoped you did not floun- der. So this week, we'll go fish. But first, the Pentagon said today... The White House said today...No, wait. This just in. Bozie's said to- day that we will have fresh corn for a week or two and tomatoes until the first frost. I have my pri- orities. I would rather talk to that building, Bozie's, than Eleanor Roosevelt. This year's Coast Day features a chowder challenge and a crab cake cook-off, so I will give two of my favorite recipes. First the quahogs. By the way, and so I will not get sued, all recipes this week come from "The New Basics Cookbook." Anne Grah Jm NEW ENGLAND CLAM CHOWDER 2 doz. cherrystone clams, well FOCUS ON FOOD scrubbed 2 C water 8 oz. slab bacon, cut into 1/2- inch diced pieces 2 T unsalted butter 2 large onions, peeled and cut into l/4-inch diced pieces, about 4 cups 6 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces, about four cups 1 1/2 t dried thyme freshly ground black pepper to taste 2 C milk 2 C heavy or whipping cream 3 T chopped fresh Italian (fiat leaf) parsley Place the clams in a large soup pot along with 2 cups water. Cov- er and cook over medium heat un- til the clams open. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Discard any that don't open. Remove the clams from their shells and coarsely chop them. Strain; reserve the broth. Cook the bacon in the soup pot over low he,it until fat is rendered and the bacon is wilted and slightly browned on the edges, about 5 minutes. Add the butter and onions, and cook, stirring, until the onions are wilted, 10 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring, another 5min- utes. Add the reserved clam broth, potatoes, thyme and pepper. Sim- mer 5 minutes longer. Add the re- served chopped clams and sim- mer, stirring often, until they are tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Do not overcook, or the clams will be tough. Add the milk and cream and stir well over very low hat'until hot. Do not boil or the soup will cur- die. Adjust the seasonings, stir in the parsley and serve immediate- ly. Makes 10 to 12 portions. You can also make a great din- ner by steaming a bunch of clams in water, white wine and parsley. Once drained, all you need is some unsalted butter and fresh lemon. Add some good rolls or bread for dipping, a salad or sliced fresh tomatoes and you have a complete dinner that takes about 15 minutes to prepare. Here are two quotes from Texas that could apply to us. Texas House Speaker Gib Lewis: "I am filled with humidity." And for our chickens, Texas House Speaker Wayne Clayton, "Let's do this in one foul sweep." Moving right along. CORN CRAB CAKES 1 lb. fresh or frozen lump crab meat, cartilage removed 1 C cooked corn 1/2 C finely diced onion 1/2 C finely diced green bell pepper 1/2 C finely diced celery 1 C mayonnaise 1/2 C dry mustard pinch of cayenne pepper salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 1 egg, lightly beaten 1 1/4 C saltine cracker crumbs 2 T olive oil 2 T unsalted butter Combine the crab meat, corn, onion, bell pepper and celery in a mixing bowl, and toss well. In an- other bowl, combine the mayon- naise with the mustard and cayenne pepper. Stir into the crab meat mixture, add. salt and pepper. Then, using a rubber spatula, gen- tly fold in the egg and 1/4 cup of cracker crumbs. Form the crab mixture into 8 patties. Carefully coat the patties with the remaining 1 cup cracker crumbs and chill, covered, for at least 30 minutes, but no longer than a few hours. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter in a medium-size skillet; Cook the crab cakes over medium heat un- til golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side, adding more oil and butter as necessary. Continued on page 61