Vacation, like the rest of my life, largely revolves around food. I'm a pretty straight-forward cook to begin with, but on vacation especially, I'm all about simple food. After lazy days reading in the shade and swimming, I want good food without much fuss. I also want bright sunny summer food. I'm guessing that my hankering for the latter is unusually keen due to the long rainy season we've had here in New York. I'd love a gin and tonic. Extra lime, please.
The Acme in Cape May Courthouse leaves much to be desired in the meat department, but we did rustle up some decent bison. And the farm stands on the way into Stone Harbor offer little in the way of local produce. Oh me, so spoiled by all the amazing farmers with an arm in NYC. Not to worry, we made do... We celebrated the 4th with lobster and early-season sweet corn with drawn butter followed by my mom's yummy star-spangled chocolate cupcakes with classic vanilla buttercream.
Fully invested in our lethargy by Sunday, we had bison burgers with cheddar on rye, steamed asparagus and a green salad. We finished supper with ice cream from Springers, the ice cream shop I waited in line for on many a summer night during my childhood. It's worth the wait. But if you're like me and grew up real smaat, you'll pick some up in the afternoon before the crowds arrive. (The hard part is then waiting to eat it.) I chose black raspberry to top with plump blackberries. My beau opted for chocolate peanut butter. With a side of sugar cones, of course! It's the creamiest ice cream. Seriously. The creamiest. And wait 'til they get fresh peaches... It makes my father, an ice cream lover extraordinaire, a very happy man.
Bison burgers with cheddar on rye
1 lb ground bison or buffalo
salt and pepper
4 1/8 inch slices cheddar cheese
4 slices rye bread
- Divide meat into four even parts. Work each piece briefly in hands, tossing semi firmly back and forth and form into a patty. Salt and pepper one side of each.
- Heat grill or saute pan (add 1 T oil, adding more as necessary) to medium high. Add patty to heat seasoned side down. Cook 2 to 3 minutes (depending on how well-done you like your burger). Flip burger, season and add cheese. Cover with a lid (on both the grill or pan) and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.
- Meanwhile, toast bread and slice each piece in half. Spread with mustard.
- Sandwich burgers between sliced bread and add whatever you like. I like mine straight up.
- Dig in and enjoy!
If you find yourself in Stone Harbor, New Jersey, check out these places for good eats...
Third Avenue between 97th and 98th
Donna's Place Seafood and Restaurant
Third Avenue @ 107th Street
96th Street between 2nd and 3rd
Your nose won't let you pass by this bakery. Well done shnoz, well done. Make sure to try the sticky buns. They're light and yeasty, sticky for sure, but not too sweet. You can choose from walnut, raisin or plain. The minimum order is six, which seems like a lot, but two of us had no problem polishing them off during the course of a weekend. When I was a little girl I usually chose one of the doughnuts my grandfather "Pa" brought back to the house, but now I know better.
The number one reason to stop by the crowded Cupboard though, in my grease loving opinion, is the pepperoni bread. I'm beginning to drool just thinking about it... I have to restrain myself when there's a loaf of this soft and salty goodness on the counter. But, not so much so that we won't stop on our way out of town to pickup another loaf for the ride home. It makes the end of a relaxing weekend at the beach somewhat more palatable.
Stone Harbor makes for big smiles!