The local clampie turnovers that showed up at Breadzilla just after the New Year are an excellent reminder that winter is the season of seafood. It will be months before we get our first sweet taste of strawberries, but as fishmonger know, the colder the water, the better the fish.
Don’t forget that even as farm fields lay fallow, trawlers still head out to sea and baymen still dig clams. Like milk, meat and eggs, whose supply holds firm in the shorter days, Montauk squid, Shinnecock blackfish, and plenty more offer the winter weary locavore a bounty of choices. In fact, while Edible friends Paul Greenberg and Carl Safina suggested an improved Feast of the Seven Fishes with global reach, the Long Island version could hit the seven species requirement entirely without imports.
Consider the striped bass farmed in Gardiner’s Bay that has bumped bronzino and dorade from their long-time spots as the incumbent, nightly whole fish choice at Nick & Toni’s. Or the tiny, tasty bay scallops dished as restaurants specials and in home kitchens since the season opened in November. Lately, Almond in Bridgehampton has garnished the tiny morsels with edamame. As for Breadzilla, in addition to the clampie turnover (think of clampie filling but inside an empanada), the lunch menu has also included a lemon chipotle fluke fillets, with avocado and lettuce on grilled bread, as well as crispy fried cod po-boy. Clam, cod, oyster, bay scallop, blackfish, squid, fluke. That makes seven. Eat your heart out, Poseidon.