• Saturday, September 26, 2020

Memorial Day Food

Eating Well in the East End
By , Cooling Your Jets Contributor
May 23, 2012

There’s nothing like heading east for Memorial Day, opening the house for summer, enjoying parties, and reveling in the promise of the entire season ahead. We welcome this celebratory rite of summer—when outdoor dining and music is a must—and find nostalgia in all of the firsts of the year: the initial stop at a roadside farm stand, the first bite of dinner at Nick & Toni's, and even the beginning seconds of stop-and-go traffic along the Sunrise Highway. We’ve created an entertaining, Hamptons-style meal that will taste even better buzzed by an entire day spent in the sunshine and salt water.

Lobster Roll


1 1/2 lb cooked lobster meat

1/2 cup mayonnaise

3 ribs celery, finely diced

1 lemon, juiced

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons butter, melted

6  split hotdog buns


It’s hard to narrow down one dish that represents the many facets of the food market scene in New York City. But being close to the chilly Atlantic, lobster meat is in abundance, making this roll a staple in many markets.

Serves 4-6

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Break up the lobster meat into bite-size chunks. Add to a large mixing bowl with mayonnaise, celery, lemon juice, and cayenne. Mix well and season to taste with salt and pepper. Heat a griddle pan to medium. Brush hotdog buns with melted butter and toast until golden on the griddle. Fill each bun with lobster mixture and top with an additional pinch of cayenne if desired. 

Grilled Oysters with Tarragon and Shallots


1/4 cup champagne vinegar

2 tablespoons shallots, minced

2 tablespoons tarragon, minced

12 East Coast oysters, such as South Hampton Select, Moonstone, or Blue Point, scrubbed


Oysters are a taste of the sea, but unless you are a pro, shucking can be a pain. Grilling them whole is a great cheat that allows you to skip this time-consuming step. Save the effort in the kitchen and spend the extra time with your guests.

Yield: 4 servings

Add vinegar, shallots, and tarragon to a small bowl and mix well.

Preheat grill to high. Place oysters on cooking grid and cook until shells have opened, about 5 minutes. Remove top shell from oysters and add 1/2-1 teaspoon of sauce to remaining half.

Fluke Crudo


2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon orange juice

1 (8 oz.) skinless filet of fluke, sliced very thin

1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced

1 teaspoon chives, minced

Maldon smoked sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste


This elegant appetizer is full of flavor but also easy on the waistline. If fluke isn’t available, substitute scallops, tuna, or striped bass.

Yield: 4 servings

Place 4 serving plates in refrigerator until they are cold.

Add lemon and orange juice to a small bowl and whisk.

Evenly divide fluke among 4 chilled plates. Drizzle juice over fluke, then oil. Sprinkle jalapeño and chives over fish. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.

Grilled Peaches with Mascarpone and Basil Crostini


2 peaches, peeled, seeded, and cut in half

1 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar

6 (1/2-inch thick) slices sourdough baguette

6 tablespoons mascarpone

3 large basil leaves, sliced thin

extra virgin olive oil, for brushing baguette and grill

Kosher salt and coarse ground pepper, to taste


In the hottest days of summer, when appetites diminish, this dish is a nice first course before a cup of gazpacho or light salad with herbs. Don’t use peaches that are overripe or they won’t stand up to the heat of the grill.

Yield: 2 servings

Preheat grill to medium-high and brush with oil. Place peaches pit-side down on grill and cook until warm, about 5 minutes. Remove from grill and brush with vinegar. Slice halves into quarters.

Brush both sides of baguette with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill bread about 1 minute per side until slightly charred. Spread mascarpone on bread while it is still warm. Top with basil and serve with peaches. 

Blue Cheese and Bacon Macaroni Salad


1 lb. elbow macaroni

1/3 cup heavy cream

1/3 cup mascarpone

4 plum tomatoes, diced

6 slices bacon, cooked until crisp and diced

1 tablespoon parsley, minced

1 tablespoon chives, minced

1/4 cup Fourme d’Ambert or other blue cheese, crumbled

Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste


Macaroni salad is a barbecue staple, but we’ve jazzed up the classic dish with bacon—which makes almost anything better—and a blend of cheeses. Mascarpone is a secret trick for adding richness to warm pasta.

Yield:  6 servings

Bring 6 quarts of water to boil and season with salt. Cook until pasta is al dente, about 5 minutes. Strain and add to a bowl with heavy cream and mascarpone. Mix until cheese has melted. Add tomatoes, bacon, parsley, and chives, and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Add blue cheese, toss gently, and serve. 

Grilled Corn, Cilantro, and Avocado Salad


4 ears corn, shucked

1 tablespoon cilantro

1 avocado

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 tablespoon lemon juice

3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing grill

Kosher salt and coarse ground pepper, to taste


Corn from Hamptons’ farms is to die for—raw, boiled, grilled, and even in ice cream. Adding a bit of avocado gives this dish some creaminess, while the cilantro and citrus provide a nice bite.

Yield: 4 servings

Preheat grill to medium-high and brush with oil. Grill corn about 10 minutes, turning occasionally until slightly charred. Allow to cool slightly. Slice kernels off cob into a bowl. Add cilantro and mix.

Slice avocado in half and remove pit. Scoop out meat and dice. Add to a small bowl and toss with lime and lemon juice. Add avocado and juices to bowl with corn. Add olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and mix. 

Berry Tart


For crust:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon lemon zest

8 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, diced (extra for curd)

1/4 cup ice water

For filling:

1 1/4 cup whole milk

4 egg yolks

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon lemon zest

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup strawberries, hulled

1 cup blueberries

1 pint raspberries

2 tablespoons apricot jam


In season, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries from the farm are purely divine. We take their perfection, add a bit of pastry cream, and tie it all together with a light pie crust. If you don’t have time or are hesitant about making your own dough,  substitute it with the store-bought, refrigerated crust.

Yield: 6 to 7 servings

Add flour, salt, sugar, and lemon zest to bowl of food processor. Pulse to mix. Add butter and mix until it looks like coarse meal. Add water and mix just until dough comes together, about 5 seconds. Remove dough from processor and form into a disk. Wrap with Saran and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Dust a rolling pin and work surface with flour. Unwrap and roll out dough, lifting and turning 90 degrees occasionally until it is 1/8-inch thick. Place in a 9-inch glass pie shell. Prick bottom of crust with a fork several times. Cover with parchment and fill with dried beans. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove beans and parchment and bake until light golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Bring milk to a boil in a nonstick saucepan. Add yolks and sugar to bowl of a stand mixer, and beat about 5 minutes until thick and light yellow. Add vanilla and lemon and mix for 30 seconds. Add a small amount of milk to eggs to temper. Mix well and slowly add remaining milk. Transfer mixture back to pan and add flour. Turn heat to medium-low and whisk until thickened, about 12 minutes. Add cream to pie shell. Place raspberries along crust in 1 large circle. Repeat until there are 3 circles. Place blueberries in 3 circles. Add strawberries to center.

Warm jam in a small saucepan with 1 teaspoon of water. Brush fruit with glaze, wrap, and refrigerate.

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