This post is really just to put a bookend on the whole Rhode Island adventure. The trip home was mostly uneventful and I covered all the non-Minnesotan things in the Eastbound post.
The two things that happened of note is that Lindz’s Corolla tried to take me out with a hubcap when I was following her. It was my turn to drive the guys’ car, Matt was playing around on his phone in the passenger seat, and Dave was in back dozing off. They both came quickly to attention when I yelled out “Oh, Crap!” (this may have been edited to keep it around a PG level) and the hubcap bounced in front of us and then rolled on by. There was a bit of confusion when we used the walkie-talkie to ask the girls if they ran over a hubcap. And then more confusion when we said that Lindz lost one. Apparently we didn’t make it clear that we didn’t want to turn around and find it, we just wanted to make sure they weren’t going to blow a tire.
The other thing is that we passed through a beautiful storm front in western Wisconsin.
And finally after another two days and 1400 miles worth of travel, we all were safe and sound back in St. Paul. The end.
While staying at the beach house, we pretty much took it easy and really didn’t wander around too much. But we did get around the neighborhood a little bit. The very first day we were there, three of us went out for a spin around the salt pond. Dave took the kayak, and Matt and I took the canoe.
One morning during the week, Matt made us breakfast sandwiches. They were way better than any I’ve had at a restaurant. Boy’s got some skills.
On our final full day there, it was my last chance to take a walk around the neighborhood. Dave had taken off early that morning to get his car emissions tested for NY and to spend a little time with his family. So Matt, Janessa, Lindz, and I took a walk around. Other than the lilies, I have no idea what most of these flowers are, I just know that they are pretty and I wanted a picture of them.
Oh, I really should show you a picture standing on the beach right by the house.
The one non-seafood meal (other than lunch / snacks) that I planned for the trip was one that had caught my eye about a week before we took off East. I had a hard time believing that I could be led astray with chicken, sage, and prosciutto. Not surprisingly, I found the recipe in my copy of the America’s Test Kitchen cookbook. Yup. Love that cookbook.
- 1/2 C unbleached AP Flour
- Ground Black Pepper
- 8 thin-cut, boneless, skinless chicken cutlets (about 2 lbs), trimmed of ragged edges
- 1 Tbs minced fresh Sage leaves, plus 8 large leaves
- 8 thin slices of Prosciutto, cut into 5″ to 6″ long pieces to match chicken (about 3 oz)
- 4 Tbs Olive Oil
- 1 1/4 C White Wine
- 2 tsp Lemon Juice
- 4 Tbs Unsalted Butter, cut into 4 pieces and chilled
- 1 Tbs minced fresh Parsley Leaves
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat to 200 degrees. Combine flour and 1 teaspoon pepper in a shallow dish.
Pat the cutlets dry with paper towels.
Dredge the chicken in the flour and shake off any excess. Lay the cutlets flat and sprinkle evenly with the minced sage. Place one slice of prosciutto on top of each cutlet, pressing lightly to adhere and set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat until it begins to shimmer. Add the sage leaves to the skillet and cook until the leaves begin to change color and are fragrant, about 15 to 20 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, remove the sage to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside. Add half of the cutlets to the pan, prosciutto-side down, and cook until light golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side until golden brown, about 2 minutes more. Transfer the chicken to a wire rack (set on a rimmed baking sheet) and keep it warm in the oven. Repeat with the two remaining tablespoons of oil and cutlets. Transfer these to the oven as well to keep warm while preparing the sauce.
Pour off the excess fat from the skillet and stir in the white wine, scraping up the fond. Simmer until it reduces to about 1/3 cup, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and turn the heat to low and whisk in the butter, one tablespoon at a time. Off heat, stir in the parsley and season with the salt and pepper. Remove the chicken from the oven and place on a platter. Spoon the sauce over the cutlets before serving.
The one glaring mistake that I made was using too much sage. While in the process of making it, I knew I was using far more than the recipe called for, but I went ahead with it because I bought a package of fresh sage specifically for it. The other option was to throw it away. I should have went with my first instinct and follow the recipe. Other than that, I think it turned out really well. With the cost of ingredients, I’m not going to be making this all the time, but I would like to make it again in the near future. Using the proper amount of sage, of course.
My primary goal for the trip was to eat myself stupid with seafood, and up to this point in the trip, I think I was doing pretty well. My secondary goal was to do a proper New England clambake. Not surprisingly, everyone was on board with this decision.
I originally wanted to do the whole dig a pit, throw in some coals, seaweed, seafood and stuff, cover it with a tarp, wait a bit, and enjoy. But that idea died quickly when we checked the rules for the beach and no form of flame was allowed. So, off to the stove-top! Well, eventually. Gotta get the stuff first.
We stopped by a small place to purchase our seafood. They had a modest, but good quality, selection of bivalves. The lobsters were divided into different clothes baskets according to their weight. We bought two one-pound-and-a-halfers, but they did have one monster of bug. Our best guess is that it weighed in around five pounds and covered half of the bottom of a clothes basket.
The recipe for a clambake is really easy. It sums up as: gather the ingredients, layer them in a huge pot, and cook. The specifics are as follows:
Once everything is layered in the pot, cover, turn the burner to high, and cook for 17 to 20 minutes. Basically, until your potatoes are tender and the lobsters are bright red. Everything else will be done by the time these two are ready.
It was decided that the easiest way to divy up the lobster was first to remove all the meat from the shell. Easier said than done for a couple of novices.
The clambake was a little on the expensive side, but split between five people it was really reasonable. I don’t know about everyone else, but I had a blast cooking it. And guessing by how quickly it was devoured, I think that they enjoyed eating it as much as I did. The lobster did end up slightly overdone, but it still tasted great. The mussels and clams were the hit of the party though. Basically it’s hard to screw up really fresh seafood (as long as you don’t overcook it). The only thing not eaten was some of the sausages and potatoes.
Yup, it was good.
All of us are baseball fans to varying degrees (I’m probably the most fair weather fan of the group), so it was a unanimous decision to catch a minor league game while we were out East. The fact that we got really awesome seats for $10 helped to make the decision even easier. Since we had a bit of time before the game, we stopped by a small eatery to catch supper. The Sea Swirl reminded me of a Mom & Pop version of a Dairy Queen that also served a nice variety of seafood.
The clam strips were quite good. In fact, I used the tarter sauce for the fries because the clams didn’t need any kind of adornment.
After we ate (and were incredibly stuffed), we made the short journey to the Senator Thomas J. Dodd Memorial Stadium where the Connecticut Tigers call home.
I did take some pictures during the game, but I won’t bore you with them. Although, I did get some really cool shots with the continuous shooting mode. I took a series of photos of each pitcher throwing the ball. It comes out as a nice slow-motion montage.
Since it was a Friday game, they had fireworks afterwards. Again, I’m totally in love with my new toy.
Yeah, the new camera is fun.
On our way home from Enn, we took a slight detour to go to a beach on Mackerel Cove. As it turned out, this was the only time that we actually made it to a beach during our vacation. Oh, well. We still had plenty of fun just relaxing at the house and other places.