Chef Kay is a long-time supporter of our organization who recently joined our Board of Directors. She has provided us with this recipe for Cranberry Relish that she adapted from the Doubleday Cookbook. It's been a family favorite ever since!
Kay’s Cranberry Relish
2 bags (12 oz each) fresh cranberries, rinsed and any leaves/stems removed
3 navel oranges
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup chopped candied ginger (optional if you don’t like ginger)
¼ cup port or rum (optional) – substitute 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup Orange Juice
1. Using micro plane zester or fine holes on box grater, grate the oranges to remove the fine layer of peel. Reserve peel and put aside.
2. Remove skins and seeds from oranges and chop the flesh roughly – be careful to reserve any juice.
3. Using scissors or knife chop candied ginger into small ¼" pieces.
4. In medium saucepan put cranberries, chopped orange, orange zest, salt, raisins, candied ginger, port/rum and orange juice. Cook over medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring frequently until most of the cranberries have popped and mixture is thick…. Cranberries will release natural pectin as they cook. Be careful not to scorch mixture if heat is too high.
5. Let mixture cool and then ladle into containers. Relish may be frozen.
By Bert Jackson
This is a very easy dish to make. Don't let its simplicity fool you, the flavors combine for a stew that is extremely satisfying and delicious. It was very popular at my vegetarian restaurant many years ago. We adapted it from a recipe in Frances Moore Lappé's Diet for a Small Planet.
1 1/2 cups green lentils
3/4 cups short or medium grain brown rice
2 large onions, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 cups water
While not necessary, I like to soak my rice and beans overnight with a piece of kombu (a type of sea vegetable). It helps make the beans more digestible for those who are sensitive. Wash then rice and beans, drain, then cover with water. Discard the water the next day.
A large cast iron pot is ideal .
Chop the onions and sauté in the olive oil until cooked. Add the drained rice and lentils. Sauté everything together for about five minutes. Add the water and salt, bring to a boil then simmer for about an hour, until the consistency is smooth and creamy. Be sure to stir occasionally. Once the heat is off, let it stand for another half hour or so, and give it another stir.
M'Jeddrah is traditionally served hot over salad greens with a vinaigrette dressing. Use romaine lettuce or similar, the heartier leaves will stand up better to the heat. The hot/cold, smooth/crunch combinations are delicious!
Bert Jackson currently sits on the board of the Cape Cod Culinary Incubator. He spent seven years as owner of the Sweet Life Café in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands, a ground-breaking vegetarian restaurant.
Q&A by Janice Randall Rohlf
Benjamin Johnson, of Sandwich, is founder and owner of My Fathah’s Salsa. He is a junior at Bryant College, majoring in marketing with a dual minor in communications and entrepreneurship.
Why did you decide to start a salsa business?
For one, I saw a need in the market for a salsa that was made from quality fresh-cut ingredients instead of canned and processed veggies like most of the other salsa companies’ use these days. I wanted to create a brand that values putting quality products into our customers’ hands. I realized that if I could start this company and be successful, I could help bring some life to the Cape Cod job market, which has always been mostly seasonal work. I want the My Fathah’s Brand to bring jobs to the Cape. I discovered during freshman year of college that you just can’t beat being your own boss. Working for myself has been so rewarding and enjoyable. Every day is different and exciting.
What advice would you give someone wanting to follow a similar path?
Starting a business is no easy task. You have to have passion for not only your business, but also your products. If you don’t absolutely love and believe in your product, consumers won’t either. The best advice I can give is never be afraid to ask for help. No business was started alone, and none of the star CEOs you see on Instagram or the news started their businesses alone. They all had help; a network is what we call it today. By building a strong network of people, you can turn to them for help when an issue arises, and this might just be what makes or breaks you. Having a mentor in the industry of your business can also be extremely helpful. I’ve been lucky enough to have a couple conversations with Stacy Madison, former owner of Stacy’s Pita Chips.
For young people like myself, be curious and ask questions. Understand that once you start working in the real world at a young age you might think you know it all, but you don’t. Be attentive and learn from the other people in the room. Creating a business and brand will take time. Be patient, stay focused, and most of all have fun. If you’re not having fun, pick a different job. Life is too short to not have fun.
In your business, what has been your proudest moment?
With My Fathah’s Salsa I don’t think I could pick a particular moment. There seems to be one reoccurring moment though that is my favorite. Whether it’s at the beach, a farmer’s market, or in my own kitchen, watching someone take their first bite of My Fathah’s Salsa and seeing their reaction. For a business owner, I don’t think there is a better feeling than seeing people enjoy your product for the first time and giving you that “Wow, this is actually pretty good” look.
How has the CCCI helped you get your business off the ground, or how would you have benefited from a similar organization when you were starting out?
Resources like the CCCI are so great. And I highly recommend people use them. The people are always fantastic and happy to help. In the food industry there is quite a bit of paperwork that comes with starting a business, and going to resources like CCCI can help you figure out what your business needs to do to get off the ground safely and, of course, legally.
What one thing/service in the food industry do you think the Cape is missing?
The Cape has such a great vibe when it comes to the food industry and especially eating out. The food industry booms here in the warm weather. The farmers markets on Cape are a big deal, with many local vendors selling fantastic and fresh products, usually made right in their own home.
What most people don’t understand is that if these businesses want to be commercial, they need to produce their products out of a licensed commercial kitchen facility. Cape Cod doesn’t have a single facility for rent, not one. The Cape needs a facility that offers multiple kitchens for use for all different types of products. This would allow many businesses on Cape to become commercial wholesalers to the area.
How do you juggle college and the salsa business?
I am answering these questions while in the Bryant University library. I just finished up my last class for the day. I can’t lie … this has probably been the hardest part of starting the business for me. I tend to throw myself into my work and that has made finding the balance really hard. Most days in class I’m shooting off work emails and working on the brand while I’m taking notes and listening to lectures. It’s not easy, but it’s a lot of fun. The business keeps me from being involved on campus more heavily but has allowed me to do things like speak at open houses and work with a couple of entrepreneurial groups on campus. I also always make sure to inform my professors about my businesses because a lot of times its applicable to class. Sometimes I can use my school assignments and apply them to the business, so in a way I can do both at once. My social life is pretty funny at school because I’m either Ben or the guy with the salsa company, depending on who I’m talking to.
Describe your perfect day of eating on Cape Cod.
I’ve never been a big breakfast person. I either don’t eat anything and just grab an iced coffee or I’ll have a Chobani Flip yogurt; I love Chobani products because they’re very fresh, healthy, taste great, and are a quick start to the day. If I’m eating breakfast out, which is rare, you will probably find me at one of Marshland’s locations in Sandwich.
For lunch, I’m probably heading to one of my favorite spots, The Sagamore Inn, for a quick bite on the back deck. The place has a great home vibe and the food is always good and fresh. I don’t know many restaurants that can fry seafood like they can.
For dinner, I really like to cook. Lately I’ve been on a big My Fathah’s tacos kick. I’ll season some hamburger meat and cook it up, get some hard shells in the oven, and fill them with all the goods—My Fathah’s Hot, of course, with some sour cream, guac, lettuce, you name it, it’s on there. Tacos in the Johnson household are really nice because it’s a pretty easy clean-up too and we don’t need to argue over who’s doing the dishes.
Written by: Chef Alan Zox, Ph.D
Matt’s Organic Gardens, located in Dennisport Massachusetts, represents a unique approach to gardening. Not only do the owners, Matt and Janet, introduce organic plants that are ready to grow in your own garden, but they offer vegetable selections that are immediately ready to prepare in your kitchen for breakfast, lunch or dinner the very evening you have chosen to prepare them.
Further, Matt’s family provides farm features that include organic fertilizers, soil amendments, bag and bulk compost, along with many varieties of vegetables. For example, Matt and Janet and their staff grow over 65 varieties of small and large tomatoes, along with garlic, eight varieties of kale, 12 different cold crops of lettuces, hot and sweet international peppers, and over a dozen varieties of eggplants.
Because these vegetables can be picked when you are ready to eat them, they taste better than your average tomatoes or eggplants found at your local supermarket. Moreover, staff will educate you to have an ongoing balanced eco system for growing your vegetables at your home garden. In fact the availability of crops you can eat on demand, and prepare when you wish for your loved ones makes your meals that much more delicious.
Learning from trained garden staff about these many organic vegetables educates the consumer to be better informed about the source of the food produce you can buy on a daily basis. And if you are interested in foods that are better for you such as organic foods, you will be better able to make what you consume and grow for others.
Given the many ways organic vegetables can be eaten, especially among organic tomatoes, here are three delicious recipes that will capture your imagination this season.
Recipe #1 Caprese Salad: with Beefsteak Tomatoes, Mozzarella and Basil
This combination of delights can be prepared in minutes. Merely cut and layer the tomatoes, moz and Basil. ingredients in raw form or pan fry with salt and pepper and Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Recipe #2 Tomato and Watermelon Gazpacho Soup
This is a thirst quenching summer soup from Spain. By adding watermelon to tomato juice with a touch of Sherry wine vinegar, you will create a wonderful new flavor. Combine 2 tbs of sweet summer watermelon with 2 lbs of locally harvested golden or red tomatoes, cored, chopped and pureed. Add 1 tbsp red wine vinegar with sea salt and ground pepper. Add one diced celery stalk and chill for 2 hours.Yum!
Recipe #3 Roasted Red, Plum Tomatoes
These delights are fun to make and and far less expensive to use for cooking when you make them yourself. Begin with 5 lbs. of plum tomatoes. Expect to be able to dry about 24 halves. Heat your oven no more than 180-200 degrees leaving oven slightly ajar with a wine cork for about 2-3 hours. Check them after one hour and every 30 minutes thereafter. Make a pie with them; Snacking is nice, too.
Barnstable, MA - Cape Cod Culinary Incubator (CCCI) announces it has been awarded a Rural Business Development Grant by the US Department of Agriculture. With this funding, CCCI will establish a food service education program for Barnstable residents. The program is designed to develop skills and business education for individuals with an interest in food service professions and ultimately bolster the workforce in the culinary industry on Cape Cod.
In accepting the grant, Harry Henry, CCCI’s Board President indicated “We are excited for this chance to serve our food-based community on Cape Cod. In addition to the challenges faced by restaurants struggling to find enough staff to keep operating at desired hours, we have experienced a surge in individual entrepreneur food makers working to develop their own business. Our goal is to develop resources to help solve both these challenges. This grant helps us further our mission of fostering economic development and future workforce training for the culinary industry”.
Based on the 2014 Farm Bill which created the Rural Business Development Grant Program (RBDG) and the 2019 Farm Bill, this program provides grants for rural projects that finance and facilitate the development of small and emerging rural businesses, help fund distance learning networks, and help fund employment-related adult education programs. To assist with business development, RBDGs may fund a broad array of activities. Barnstable County is considered a rural community by the US Census Bureau definitions. Additional information about the RBDG can be found here: https://www.rd.usda.gov/files/fact-sheet/RD-FactSheet-RBS-RBDG.pdf
The Cape Cod Culinary Incubator (CCCI), was founded in 2013 as a members-based, non-profit corporation dedicated to pursuing a mission of economic development via education, community development, and providing of shared-use commercial kitchen facilities for Cape Cod food industry entrepreneurs. Our vision is to empower culinary entrepreneurship across Cape Cod. Additional information about CCCI can be found on our website: www.ckc3.org
Q&A by Janice Randall Rohlf
Dave Roberts is co-owner and founder of Truro Vineyards of Cape Cod and South Hollow Spirits.
Q&A by Janice Randall Rohlf
J’aime Sparrow and her husband, Christian, own Sunbird Kitchen in Orleans, a neighborhood cafe open year-round, serving seasonally fresh food and craft beverages with creativity and good vibes.
1. Why did you choose to open a restaurant? We started our business with a food truck, which was a way for my husband and me to collaborate and pool our individual talents and interests, mine in food and service, and his in design and marketing. We both worked in our respective fields for over 10 years in San Francisco. Once we successfully tested our concept with the food truck, the cafe was a logical next step. I was familiar with the rewards and challenges of the business and excited to put all that I had learned into practice. And Christian was able to use the opportunity to flesh out the overall Sunbird brand experience in a more permanent space.
2. What advice would you give someone wanting to follow a similar path? The restaurant business is extremely challenging. In our case, success came with diligence, patience, incredible amounts of hard work and a like-minded, dedicated team/flock. Be ready to rarely have a day off, take a vacation, or make ‘lots of money.’ You really have to love what you are doing--customer service, food preparation, management/teaching, marketing, bookkeeping, etc. You have to be present in your business everyday in order to maintain consistency and vision. You also have to be prepared to wear any and all hats to get your business off the ground. Finally, you have to be very patient. Growing a strong and viable business takes time. For most, it does not happen overnight. Be patient.
3. In your business, what has been your proudest moment? I can’t honestly say that there is a single moment. What I am most proud of is the overall brand experience we continue to create for our flock--our guests, our staff, our community, our families and ourselves. Our business has always been a collaboration. First between Christian and myself, then, as time went on and layers were added, between us and our partners, Karen Densmore and Garrett Smythe, and finally a collaboration with our community--guests and staff. We always wanted ‘Sunbird’ to be about Sunbird, not an individual person. It is a singular experience that cannot be imitated, an experience that relies on the vision, dedication and creativity of more than just one person. That said, our ability to provide a great Sunbird experience relies heavily on our staff. We maintain very high expectations for execution and take a hands-on approach, leading by example every day. Whether you are taking an order, making a coffee, cooking/prepping food, or washing dishes, we make every effort to inspire and guide our staff so that they can effectively deliver a thoughtful and authentic guest experience with lots of layers. Our guests have come to expect to enjoy great food, an inspiring space and kind service from Sunbird. I’m so proud that our whole team believes in consistently providing that.
4. How has the CCCI helped you get your business off the ground (if they have), or how would you have benefited from a similar organization when you were starting out? I was not assisted directly by the CCCI. Getting a fledgling food business off the ground is a difficult task. The support this organization provides would certainly have been welcome had it been available to us 10 years ago, and we're so glad to see it assisting others just getting started.
5. What one thing/service in the food industry do you think the Cape is missing? When we moved home to the Cape nine years ago, after 10 years in San Francisco, we missed a lot that was readily available on the West Coast. The Bay Area is a mecca for the local food movement. Access to local food and growers, robust farmers markets, an interest in serving farm to table as ‘fast’ slow food was just beginning to emerge here on the Cape. Today it’s a whole different story. There are many fantastic local businesses that have embraced and helped bring this movement to the Cape. Local farmers and farmers markets, groceries, restaurants, cafes, food trucks, publications, etc. have all made the Cape an even better place than it already was. There is little I think we are missing these days. More importantly, though, I think we are getting better at bringing the best of who we are and what we all do here as a community, to market. It makes us very proud to be a part of it all, and is motivation to continue to do our part.
6. What keeps you busy outside work? I’m a pretty boring person. Sunbird is always a work in progress and most of my ‘free’ time is spent working to improve and grow our business. Christian and I try to sneak away for hike dates or city sprints whenever we can. Otherwise, I get outside early each morning for a bike ride or run, and I read at night.
7. Describe your perfect day of eating on Cape Cod? That’s a hard question. I am surrounded by food every day of the week for hours on end. It’s hard sometimes to separate work from pleasure. I truly love basic ingredients. The simpler, the better. I’m not one for ‘fancied up’ food. I think in general it should be fresh, delicious and as approachable as possible. We source tons of produce from Chatham Bars Inn farm in the summer. Fresh raw peas, garden greens, radishes, beets ... they need little embellishment and provide me, personally, with the greatest eating pleasure.
By Chef Alan
Cod Fish is a delicious white fish popular on the Atlantic Coast of the United States. It’s easy to eat because it has layers of flesh next to one another with very few bones getting in your way. In fact, all parts of the Cod are eaten including the head and cheeks and internal organs such as the liver. The smooth meat of the Codfish is beautiful to look at and so very tasty to eat.
Cod can be broiled, baked, fried or braised. It can also be eaten in other ways. For example, as early as 985 the Vikings learned to eat codfish by hanging it in the frosty winter air on their boats. This created a hard wood-like plank which could be eaten like hardtack. In contrast to the Vikings, the Basques located in the Northern reaches of Spain had salt which enabled them to dry and salt cod and survive longer voyages. Further, the Basques had the advantage of a brighter sun in the Mediterranean waters where they fished thus being able to dry up their sea salt more easily in order to create sea salt which was used to dry foods and avoid food spoilage. (See Mark Kurlansky’s Cod:A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World)
Will Cod fish remain as accessible as it has been historically? Scientists and fishermen differ on this but the fish has become increasingly rare due to a number of modern day technical changes including the aggressive bottom fishing of trawlers where Atlantic Cod spend the majority of their time. And the physiological nature of Cod which leaves them less able to escape the nets which catch them. Finally, the nature of Cod is not an aggressive one. Unlike Blue Fish or Striped Bass, Cod does not fight for its’ food. It lives on the bottom of the sea and feeds itself by eating anything and everything its’ wide-open mouth consumes. It could sadly be the end of an era if the Cod population disappears. We can only hope it’s not too late. Here’s a simple recipe you can make which is easy to assemble in less than 25 minutes,
Roasted Cod Fish with Onions
1- Heat the oven to 425F. Using a metal sheet tray, place a large piece of aluminum foil into the tray; pour all the oil into the pan on the foil. Place onion slices on the oiled tray.
2-Place tray in oven and roast until onion slices are brown – about 7-10 minutes.
3- Cut piece of cod into three equal portions. Place each of the 3 slices of cod on top of the 3 slices of onion.
4- Sprinkle the paprika, tarragon and garlic over all the fish. Add one tablespoon of butter on top of each piece of cod. Sprinkle the parsley over the fish and place one thin slice of lemon on top of each piece of fish. Cook for 15 minutes leaving the temperature at 425 F. Your knife should easily slip into the side of the fish and come out without any moisture showing.
1- Wash the chard thoroughly and dry in salad spinner. Remove largest 3 outer leaves and remove the center vein in each of the 3 leaves. Cut across the 3 leaves to form ribbons of chard.
2- Pour the olive oil into a large frying pan over medium heat. Put the cut leaves into the frying pan and add the minced garlic and shallot. Sauté over medium heat for a few minutes using tongs to toss the strips of chard 2-3 times.
3- Shake the soy and the mirin into the frying pan. Toss all ingredients over medium high heat. Using tongs, place strips of chard on each plate and top with piece of cod.
By Chef Alan Zox
Seafood Reubens are becoming more and more popular on Cape Cod. Not to be confused with Corned Beef Reubens, the seafood version has a delicious range of options. But all of these seafood dishes have a common thread which involves the briny scent of the sea which means they are still fresh. If they smell too much like fish they are not fresh. When fish is fresh or frozen shortly after they are purchased or caught, they are delicious eaten roasted, grilled, fried or sautéed. Try these sandwiches with cod, tuna, soft shell crab or halibut. They are all wonderful.
Cooking a Seafood Reuben is easy if you simply coat your fish with crushed Ritz crackers, and then place 2 tablespoons of butter on top. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees for 20 minutes and remove. I used panko in the recipe below because it’s made of rice and is gluten-free, unlike Ritz crackers. I also enjoy using sauerkraut with seafood Reubens, but it may not work for you. Coleslaw seems to work better for many people. Just follow the instructions below and you may discover a new way to savor Father’s Days. Enjoy!
Recipe: Seafood Reuben with cod or soft-shell crab
Mayonnaise Recipe Yields 1 ½ cups ¾ cup canola oil
Q&A by Janice Randall Rohlf
MacGregor “Mac” Hay is the owner of the Wellfleet Harbor Seafood Company and Mac’s Seafood, which owns and operates fish markets in Eastham, Wellfleet and Provincetown. In addition to Mac's on the Pier, the company's signature seafood restaurant located at the municipal pier on Wellfleet Harbor, it also operates Mac's Shack and Mac's Fish House in Provincetown, as well as a catering business. In the last year, Mac’s Seafood purchased Chatham Fish & Lobster, adding a seafood restaurant, wholesale seafood company and two more retail seafood markets to its company.
Why did you choose this career?
I have always had a passion for food and loved the sound of a buzzing restaurant, plates clinking in the background. When I had the opportunity to open my own seafood market and restaurant, I felt confident because I grew up fishing with my grandfather. I knew how to filet fish, shuck clams and oysters, and the basics of seafood cooking. I had worked a number of summer restaurant jobs so I also had an idea of what it took to run a seasonal business. At least I thought I knew.
I don’t think it was a conscious choice to choose the restaurant business. I think it was more of a drive to do something that I truly enjoyed that didn’t feel like work.
What advice would you give someone wanting to follow a similar path?
Don’t. Just kidding. This business requires that you be “all in.” There are very few breaks and little time off, as it is all-consuming. There is so much advice I feel like I could share that it’s hard to narrow it down. I think having a five-year plan or goal is important. I often ask myself how I want things to be in five years and then make decisions based on those goals every day. Someone once said to me, “If you aren’t directing the ship where you want to go, don’t complain when you land in a port you don’t like.”
Other advice: Surround yourself with talented and driven people. Reinvest most of the profits from the business for a number of years if you want the business to grow. Don’t look at money as the “goal” but rather a tool to run a successful business. Don’t be afraid to borrow money.
The key to the restaurant business, and probably most businesses, is hospitality. If you want to go into this line of work, know what hospitality means and extend hospitality to co-workers, customers and the vendors you work with.
In your business, what has been your proudest moment?
It took me about 10 years, but I remember a moment when everything I had been working so hard to attain came together. It was a moment when everywhere I looked everyone and everything was actually working exactly as I had hoped. It was as though the perfect moment had been achieved. It was short-lived, but I felt a real sense of accomplishment.
How has the CCCI helped you get your business off the ground, or how would you have benefitted from a similar organization when you were starting out?
I haven’t tapped into the resources of CCCI but am happy to now make a connection!
What one thing/service in the food industry do you think the Cape is missing?
I think the Cape isn’t recognized enough on a national level for the quality of its food Cape- wide.
What keeps you busy outside work?
I love spending time with my family, fishing, doing some gardening and playing music.
Describe your perfect day of eating on Cape Cod?
I have chickens, and I start my day with fresh eggs, either poached or fried on toast. If it’s my day off, I’ll head out on my boat and hopefully catch a few fish, either bluefish or striped bass. (And if I don’t catch anything, I’ll stop by one of our markets and pick up some fish!)
For lunch I’ll stop by the restaurant and have some sushi, oysters and clams, then get ready to cook dinner. I like using the grill for everything. I’ll do a number of different sauces and marinades for the fish, but I like to keep it simple for the most part and let the freshness and flavor of the fish shine through. I’ll grill potatoes, onions, peppers, corn and anything else in season. While things are on the grill, I’ll shuck some oysters and clams and serve them with lemon and cocktail sauce or a mignonette. I also like doing lobster on the grill with some tarragon butter. A nice meal with some potato salad, fresh grilled fish and veggies, a salad made from garden greens and finished off with a homemade strawberry pie is a fantastic end to a perfect day of eating on Cape Cod.
And if I don’t want to cook, I’ll head to one of the restaurants and order off the menu!