A new book cooks up the culinary legacy of Fire Island.
So your chums with the fabulous timeshare in Cherry Grove on Fire Island didn’t invite you to fly up and join them this year? You can relive past summers on America’s gayest island by whipping up a meal from the new Into the Pines Kitchen: Fire Island Pines Art Project Cookbook. Published by the Fire Island Pines Arts Project, the book includes 200 recipes—some featuring whimsical personal commentary—by 100 Fire Island denizens, including Houston’s own gift to Broadway, Tommy Tune. Proceeds from sales of the 150-page cookbook ($20, available at www.fipap.org) benefit programs of the Fire Island Pines Arts Project and its support of Whyte Hall, the recently upgraded community center on the island.
Ron Blum’s Iteration of Tommy Tune’s Baked Beans
10 cups canned black beans, drained
1 cup Southern Comfort
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup cooked and chopped bacon
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
Drain the beans and put in 4-quart covered cooking pan. Add the Southern Comfort and brown sugar and heat slowly over low heat. Cook the bacon until crisp and drain, retaining the drippings. Chop bacon coarsely. Add bacon to the beans.
Sautée the celery and onion in bacon drippings until they are translucent. Add to the other ingredients, mix and heat through. Transfer to an ovenproof casserole and bake at 375 degrees until the beans firm up (3 to 4 hours depending on island humidity). Be sure to leave adequate room for expansion as the mixture will overflow the container and make a mess if too full. A foil underlay is advised. Serve hot.
Fire Island Fish Stew
From Barbara Sahlman
1/3 cup olive oil
2 onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bunch Italian parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon crushed thread saffron
1 32-ounce can chopped tomatoes
1 small can tomato puree
3 bottles clam juice
1 1/2 teaspoons dried mint
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
Cayenne pepper, to taste
1 pound sea scallops
16 raw shrimp, shelled
2 pounds cod, cut into 2-inch pieces
16 littleneck clams
1 1/2 pounds mussels, cleaned
2 tablespoons Pernod
Heat oil in large, heavy kettle. Add onions, garlic, and parsley. Cook briefly, without browning. Add the remainder of the ingredients, except cod, scallops, shrimp, clams, mussels, and Pernod. Simmer 20 minutes. Add clams,
cooking for 5 minutes. Add the cod and remaining shellfish. Simmer 15 minutes. Sprinkle with Pernod and serve with toasted French bread. Serves 8.
Teal Blue Booty
From Larry Willoughby
3 jiggers premium vodka
1 jigger Cointreau
1 jigger white cranberry juice
1/2 oz. Blue Curacao
Juice of 1/4 lime
Fill a cocktail shaker half full of ice. Combine in the shaker vodka, Cointreau, white cranberry juice, Blue Curacao, and lime juice. Cap shaker and face away from guests. Shake drink (as well as your booty) for guests. Pour drink into chilled martini glasses. Top each with 1/2 teaspoon of grenadine. Serve with panache.
Drink was originated 4th of July week, 2005, during construction of a gatehouse. With construction crew and refrigerator both nearly exhausted, houseguest Larry Willoughby improvised this tasty treat from available resources. Head carpenter Chris aptly named the teal-colored drink, as it was served by Larry in his matching swimsuit. (Drink becomes a Purple Peter if accidentally stirred after addition of grenadine.)
Recipes adapted from Into the Pines Kitchen: Fire Island Pines Art Project Cookbook. © Fire Island Pines Arts Project.