Lobster Bake in Princeton; Philly Restaurant Recommendation; Old-Fashioned Tomato Soup Recipe

$19.82 Lobster Bake to Celebrate Nassau Street Seafood‘s 1982 Founding

Princeton’s foremost fishmonger is hitting the big three-oh and to mark the occasion owner Jack Morrison and crew are holding an outdoor lobster bake at the Nassau Street store on Saturday, September 8, from noon to 4 pm.

Colin Rooney. Nassau Street Seafood

There’ll be live music by Pi Fight, family activities, and trivia, but the centerpiece will be the lobster bake, which includes a one-and-a-quarter pound lobster, Jersey corn, steamed potatoes, coleslaw, drink and dessert. 1982 was a good year, and $19.82 is a great price. Just show up at the appointed time at 256 Nassau Street.

While we’re on the subject of seafood….

I Had a Terrific Meal at Philly’s The Farm and Fisherman

One of my best meals of the summer was at this very personal 30-seat byob on Pine Street. So many restaurants tout “farm to table” but this one, by the husband and wife team of Josh & Colleen Lawler, is the real deal. Every dish is bright, light yet satisfying, and most of all inventive, with unexpected combinations that work. Some prime examples:

Grilled Sicilian eggplant with blueberries, pistachios, burrata, golden raisins, tomato confit.

Bloody beet steak with yogurt, pan drippings, aged balsamic, amaranth.

Marlin with cherry tomatoes, anise hyssop, red grapes, purslane, cucumber.

Next time I hope to try Chicken Its & Bits: terrine, cockscomb, liver, oyster, concord grape. Yowza! The Lawlers have a pretty impressive pedigree: she was sous chef at Picholine and he chef de cuisine at Blue Hill at Stone Barns.

Local Girl Scout Troop Takes on Sustainability & I Get a Free Cookbook

If you stopped by the West Windsor Farmers Market on some Saturdays in August you would have come across a table of Girl Scouts with a sign offering FREE COOKBOOK. Well, that’s a siren song I never resist, and what I found impressed me. The cookbook – a glassine folder of 25 recipes – was but one result of their journey towards earning the Girl Scout Gold Award.

Under the guidance of Lynn Mahmood and Angie Crichton of Princeton Junction, co-leaders of Troop 70676, seven of the troops, all incoming high school juniors this fall, had tackled the “Sow What?” project. Each of the girls had visited a local farmers market and then together toured Cherry Grove Organic Farm in Lawrenceville. They also calculated the food miles of popular supermarket items and the resulting carbon footprint.

Scout Lauren McTigue took on the task of developing the cookbook. She elected to focus on recipes for apples, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, cranberries, raspberries, and tomatoes, and uncovered a series, new to me, of charming recipe booklets with “Old” or “Old-Fashioned” in their titles. All are by J.S. Collester, a historian at Indiana University. Among the 30 titles Collester produced through Bear Wallow Books are, besides those that focus on each of the above ingredients, those for pumpkin, cheese, candy, bread, bread puddings, and honey-maple syrup-sorghum. Others offer traditional Shaker, pioneer, fishing village, and Native American recipes. All are charming, inexpensive, and available through small distributors like AbeBooks.com and Kauffmansfruitfarm.com.

When I came across the old-timey tomato soup recipe in the Scout’s folder, it made me realize that although I use fresh Jersey tomatoes all the time to make gazpacho and cooked and uncooked tomato sauces, I had never thought to make homemade American-style tomato soup. My family loves Campbell’s so, I thought, why bother?  Well, because this simple recipe is a taste revelation – not to mention lower in sodium and, as Troop 70676 would point out, food miles/carbon footprint.

OLD FARM-STYLE TOMATO SOUP
Slightly adapted from “Old-Fashioned Tomato Recipes” by J.S. Collester (Bear Wallow 2000)

8 to 10 firm ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
Fresh chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)

Combine tomatoes, onion, celery, green pepper, and bay leaf in a soup kettle and cook, stirring frequently, until celery is tender. Push mixture through a sieve or food mill and return to kettle. Make a paste of the flour and butter and stir it into the cooking tomato liquid. Add remaining ingredients and cook over low heat, stirring frequently for 15 to 20 minutes. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley, if desired. Makes 3 cups.

(Reprinted in part from the August 31, 2012 edition of The Princeton Packet)

4 responses to “Lobster Bake in Princeton; Philly Restaurant Recommendation; Old-Fashioned Tomato Soup Recipe

  1. Now we know where to eat next time we hit Center City. BTW — thought you might enjoy this — thanks again for all your great recommendations:
    http://www.northjersey.com/food_dining/167950145_Choice_Cuts__Livin__Large__and_Gettin__Large__in_Center_City.html?page=all

  2. Pat,

    Great mini-review of F&F. I forwarded it on to them. I’m sure they’ll be pleased.

    Best, Patrick

    Sent from my iPad

  3. That eggplant dish sounds especially good, with the sweet touches. I’ve been researching recipes for an Italian dessert that combines eggplant and chocolate, lately. Very old I believe, maybe Venetian. And Batali has a recipe for a caponata with cocoa.

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