Would you like to try pan-seared venison or how about the whole roasted weakfish? And then there’s always the bay scallop and mango ceviche.
Are you hungry yet?
A new cookbook, “The Shelter Island 36, is a collection of dishes inspired by the Island and its neighboring regions.
“Moving here to the East End, there’s such abundance, it’s really hard not to be inspired to cook out here,” said author and Chef Jason Casey.
Raised in the Bronx, Casey grew up visiting family and friends in Mattituck, before graduating from the Culinary Institute of America. A stint as a chef in Maine solidified his love of New England cuisine and seafood.
“I’ve fallen in love with Shelter Island and there’s a lot of New England inspiration in the book,” Casey said.
Now working as a personal chef on the Island, Casey gets to experiment with many local ingrediants.
“Whether it’s local weakfish or going out on the ocean to catch some bigeye tuna, I always want to work with the freshest and best products and I’ve found those on the East End,” he said.
“The Shelter Island 36” is Casey’s collection of 36 New England-style recipes that he developed while on Shelter Island.
“From a chef’s standpoint the fluke crudo is an essential Shelter Island dish,” Casey said. “The crudo lends itself to be able to taste the fluke and how velvety it is. A lot of my friends here go fishing and we enjoy fluke in a more raw form then cooked. I’ve been a fan of eating more raw fish here on the island. I’ve never had sweeter scallops in a raw state. Diving right off the beach and opening one up, it’s as sweet as candy.”
Most of the book’s recipes are cooked dishes, including several soups, appetizers, meats, pastas and desserts, and of course lots of seafood.
“For the majority of people who live here, I’d lean toward the pan-seared venison,” Casey said. “There’s a lot of people on the Island who eat venison because there are so many deer here. It is the best venison that I have ever tasted. There are lots of acorns here that the deer and turkey eat. It’s a sweet, nutty meat that doesn’t have that gamey flavor people associate with venison.”
Casey also credits Hamptons Bays artist Jackie Maloney with helping him bring the book to life with her illustrations.
“This has been a passion project between Jackie and myself. She has family ties here on Shelter Island and I’m so happy that she wanted to take on this project with me, because without her, this book wouldn’t look as visually beautiful as it does.”
To buy a copy of “The Shelter Island 36” by Jason Casey visit theshelterisland36.com.
Below is Jason Casey’s recipe for Mussels Marinara from “The Shelter Island 36”.
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1 large shallot, diced
3/4 cup white wine
28 ounce can whole plum tomatoes, hand crushed
pinch of salt
pinch of black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 lbs clean mussels
6 slices of baguette
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon basil, sliced
In a large saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat. Saute the garlic and shallot until golden brown. Deglaze the pan with white wine and then add the hand crushed tomatoes. Season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Bring sauce to a boil and add the mussels. Toss until all mussels have opened. Brush the sliced baguette with the olive oil and grill until golden brown. Garnish with basil and enjoy!