Tag Archives: Drew’s Bayshore Bistro

NJ Super Heroes Edition: Edible Jersey! New Culinary Scholarship! Fighting River Blindness! (includes a recipe)

Edible Jersey Names 2014 Local Heroes & I Profile of One of Them

Among this year’s six winners, chosen by the readers of the magazine, are Caron Wendell & Joe McLaughlin of Lucy’s Kitchen & Market in Princeton. (You may recognize this place under its original, long-time moniker: Lucy’s Ravioli Kitchen.) Read what sets apart Caron, Joe, and all these other Garden State greats in the Spring 2014 edition of Edible Jersey.

Edible Jersey cover spring14

Here’s the full list:

Food artisan: Michael Sirchio, The Arctic Market & Butcher, Point Pleasant Beach
Food shop: Lucy’s Kitchen & Market, Princeton
Beverage artisan: OQ Coffee Co., Highland Park
Farm/farmer: Jess Niederer, Chickadee Creek Farm, Pennington
Nonprofit organization: Franciscan Charities, Inc./St. Ann’s Soup Kitchen, Newark
Chef/restaurant: Aishling Stevens, Americana Diner, East Windsor

Dine Well & Do Good at the Joe Romanowski Culinary Education Foundation (JoCEF) Gala

JoCEF logo

Last year the Shore’s restaurant community was rocked by two back-to-back tragedies: first, the decimation of Superstorm Sandy and then the untimely death of one of its most admired and beloved chef/restaurateurs, Joe Romanowski. With his wife, Maggie, the couple’s restaurants, Bay Avenue Trattoria and before that Joe & Maggie’s, were legendary.

In Joe’s honor, a group of friends – among them Marie Jackson of the Flaky Tart in Atlantic Highlands and Andy Clurfeld, who for many years was restaurant critic for the Asbury Park Press – have founded JoCEF, the central focus of which is culinary scholarships for the Shore’s aspiring chefs. On Monday, March 31st, 30 of the Shore’s most talented chefs (e.g., Drew Araneo of Drew’s Bayshore Bistro) will help raise funds at a gala at the Navesink Country Club in Middletown, starting at 6:30 pm. For the full line-up and for tickets ($75), click here.

African Soiree Raises $16,000 to Fight River Blindness (& How You Can Help)

Photo by Robin Birkel

Photo by Robin Birkel

[Adapted from my In the Kitchen column in the March 14, 2014 edition of the Princeton Packet.]

A feast of authentic African food, the telling of lively African folktales, and a spirited live auction were joyous underpinnings to gala evening I attended earlier this month that raised funds for the United Front Against Riverblindness (UFAR). This Lawrenceville-based nonprofit works to control and eliminate that disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

About UFAR & River Blindness

More than one-third of the DRC’s 60 million people are at risk for river blindness, which is caused by a parasite and transmitted by black flies. A donation of $10 keeps 6 people from going blind for one year. The medicine, which prevents new cases and arrests the progress of existing ones, is provided free by the Merck Corporation, with UFAR arranging the distribution. UFAR treats more than two million people each year. Annual treatment for each person is required for ten years to eliminate the disease.

Christine Shungu, daughter of UFAR founder Dr. Daniel Shungu

Christine Shungu, daughter of UFAR founder Dr. Daniel Shungu

For more about the work of UFAR – including how your $250 tax deductible donation to their Adopt-a-Village program can spare a village of 500 people from river blindness – visit www.riverblindess.org, or phone 609.771.3674.

About the African Soiree

Much of the evening’s food was prepared by volunteer members and friends of the Princeton United Methodist Church and almost everything else was donated – including the space at the Princeton Theological Seminary and fare from two area restaurants: Makeda Ethiopian restaurant in New Brunswick and Palace of Asia in Lawrence.

Goat Stew a la Congolaise, Saltfish with Collards, Fufu

Goat Stew a la Congolaise, Saltfish with Collards, Fufu

Among the 20-plus church and UFAR volunteers who cooked for the event was Isabella Dougan, who made African banana fritters (recipe below).

They can be served plain or with hot sauce or dusted with confectioner’s sugar.

AKARA (Banana Fritters)
Isabella Dougan
Serves 4

3 ripe bananas, peeled
1 cup rice flour, plus more as needed
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup olive oil

  1. Mash the bananas in a bowl into a smooth paste. (Alternatively, use a food processor.)
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt in a bowl. Add the mashed bananas, mixing well. (Add additional flour if the mixture is too soft, or water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if the mixture is too stiff.)
  3. Heat oil in a skillet until medium hot. Scoop round tablespoons of the banana mixture into the oil and flatten slightly. Cook until underside is medium brown and flip over to fry the other side.
  4. Place cooked balls on paper towels to remove excess oil. Serve hot.

MoonShine Review; Shore Eateries Needing Our Help; Burns’ Nights & Haggis in NJ

Is the intriguingly named MoonShine Modern Supper Club in Millburn more moonshine, more modern supper club, or neither? My review is in the January issue of New Jersey Monthly. Check it out here. NJ monthly cover jan13

The Jersey Shore’s Leading Restaurateurs Need Our Help

Marilyn Schlossbach‘s stable of shore favorites are mostly intact months after Sandy. But at least one, Langosta Lounge in Asbury Park, is not – and the big-hearted, community-minded Schlossbach, who has helped so many, now needs our help. Here’s how, via JerseyBites.com.

Same with Drew Araneo, whose Keyport restaurant, Drew’s Bayshore Bistro, is among my top shore picks. Find out how to dine well while helping him out at this fundraiser, via Table Hopping with Rosie.

Another way to help restore the shore goes down even easier: drinking beer. As you may have heard, Jersey’s own Flying Fish Brewery is debuting their brilliantly named Forever Unloved (F U) Sandy pale ale in February. You can nominate the Jersey relief organization that you’d like the estimated $50,000 it will raise to go to. To make a nomination, send the folks at Flying Fish an email by clicking here.

Celebrating Robert Burns’ Birthday in the Traditional Manner

English: Robert Burns Source: Image:Robert bur...

English: Robert Burns Source: Image:Robert burns.jpg Replacement of existing commons image with higher res version (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That manner being a raucous, ritualistic supper featuring haggis, Scotch, bagpipes, toasts, poetry, dancing, and Auld Lang Syne. Burns Nights are held around the world each year on or around January 25 and if you’ve never been to one (in which case I pity you), I’m here to help.

Click here for a good description of the tradition. Then, below, check out places around the state where you can join in the festivities. If you’d rather celebrate at home, never fear: I provide a resource for buying that all-important haggis (grassfed, no less!). You know you’re dying to try it, with or without neeps and tatties.

Newark Firefighters at St. Patrick's Day Parad...

Newark Firefighters at St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2006 Belmar – Lake Como, NJ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Celebrations in NJ in 2013:
Summit: On Saturday, Jan. 26 at the Grand Summit Hotel, presented by the Clan Currie Society and the Rampant Lion Pipe Band. Click here for details.

Mount Laurel: On Friday, January 25, by the South Jersey Celtic Society. Click here for details.

Milford: On Monday, January 28 at the Ship Inn. Note, however, that the website asks for reservations by January 15 – so perhaps it’s too late. To check it out just in case you can still squeak in, click here.

Where to buy haggis in NJ: Bobolink in Milford
Until it went out of business, Stewarts of Kearny in Brick was the source. But this

Haggis neeps and tatties

Haggis neeps and tatties (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

year, haggis aficionados (that’s me and probably one other person) can actually get grassfed haggis at Jonathan White’s farm, better known for its cheeses and breads. I picked up a half-pound slice from the freezer on a recent visit for my own at-home celebration. Here’s the description that Charles, the helpful guy behind the counter, provided of Bobolink’s somewhat nontraditional take on this specialty:

“It’s a mixture of ground pork organs – heart, liver, kidney – plus beef heart and pork belly. These are mixed with oats, malt whiskey, and herbs and spices and stuffed, not in the traditional sheep stomach, but in a synthetic casing. The haggis is poached in the wood oven [used for bread baking] until cooked through. To serve, you just slice and pan-fry until crisp on both sides.”
I can hardly wait for the 25th to try it.

Italian Bouillabaisse, Beard Nominees (Congrats to Maricel Presilla!) & Twitter

Cacciucco

Cacciucco (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rarely do I fall as hard for a dish as I did for cacciucco – Italy’s bouillabaisse analog.  In my Princeton Packet column of 3/16 I write about how once I discovered it, it kept popping up everywhere I turned. Until finally I had to make it myself – and found a dandy recipe hiding in plain sight on my bookshelf, in Anne Bianchi’s wonderful book, Zuppa! Soups from the Italian Countryside.

And the nominees are..

The 2012 James Beard Awards finalists were announced just minutes before I’m posting this. A big congratulations and best wishes to Maricel Presilla of Cucharamama in Hoboken. Once again, she has made the final cut for Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic. And better luck next year to two other Jersey semi-finalists, Andrew Araneo of Drew’s Bayshore Bistro in Keyport and Michael Krikorian of Copper Canyon in Atlantic Highlands.

Last year, I included Presilla’s takeout shop, Ultramarinos, in this NJ Monthly story about chefs who have turned to retail.

Read my review of Drew’s Bayshore Bistro in NJ Monthly.

Read my review of Copper Canyon in NJ Monthly.

I have dined at the restaurants of three of the other four finalists in the Mid-Atlantic category and heartily recommend them. These include Cathal Armstrong of Restaurant Eve, Alexandria, VA, Johnny Monis of Komi in DC and Vikram Sunderam of Rasika, also in DC. The fifth nominee is also from our capital: Peter Pastan of Obelisk. Guess I’ll have to take a trip down to make it five for five!

In New York City the best chef nominees are Michael Anthony, Gramercy Tavern; April Bloomfield, The Spotted Pig; Wylie Dufresne, wd-50; Mark Ladner, Del Posto and Michael White, Marea.

Philly’s Vetri , long one of my faves, is in the running as the nation’s Outstanding Restaurant, and Tertulia in NYC is a nominee for Best New Restaurant. Here’s the complete list of all nominees in all categories. The winners will be announced on May 7.

I’ve finally joined the Twitter Universe! You can follow me at @DineWithPat. And tweet me so that I can add you to those I follow, or leave your handle here as a comment and I’ll follow up. Thanks!