To elevate this fall favorite, add fennel

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From the September 2018 issue

recipe-appletart-sept2018Maggie Cellitto’s culinary career has been a little bit sweet and a little bit savory. The Indian River High School graduate is one of the rare chefs who is adept at making desserts, including pastries and pies, as well as entrees, including pork chops and crab cakes.

Along the Culinary Coast, Cellitto has worked on both sides of the kitchen. She previously oversaw the Big Fish Restaurant Group’s in-house bakery. Earlier this year, she became the executive chef at Matt’s Fish Camp in Bethany Beach.

Cellitto’s background gives her the ability to look at local ingredients from many angles. Consider fall squashes. “I love them,” she says. “There are so many different ones, and they all have such different flavors. You can use them in desserts. You can grill them, saute them and make soups out of them.”

Apples are another versatile autumnal favorite. An ordinary apple pie, however, won’t do for Cellitto. She incorporates fennel. Also known as sweet anise, fennel is typically tossed into soups, stews and salads — not desserts. But in Cellitto’s pie, it adds a licorice-like flavor that is a pleasing counterpoint to the fruit’s tartness. “You caramelize it down with the apple, and it comes out really nice,” she says.

Cheddar cheese and pesto add kick to fried green tomatoes

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From the August 2018 issue

friedgreentomatoes-AUG2018 Coastal Cuisine - Delaware Beach LifePatsy Rankin knows her vegetables, and not just because she is the chef and owner of Patsy’s Restaurant in Bethany Beach. For 20 years, Rankin was a vegetarian.

“I do eat meat and seafood now, but on many days, I’m all vegetarian,” says the Ocean View resident, whose restaurant opened its doors in 2000.

Rankin is in the right place then. At this time of year, tables at area farmers markets are laden with purple and white eggplants, cartons of green beans, sweet peppers and, of course, tomatoes.

With the popularity of heirloom varieties, tomatoes now come in an array of colors, from royal purple to fire engine red. At Patsy’s, however, it’s the unripe tomatoes that get the diners’ attention. The fried green tomato starter is a menu mainstay.

Light, refreshing ceviche beats the heat of standing over a stove

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From the July 2018 issue

July2018-recipe Coastal Cuisine - Delaware Beach LifeBy July, many home chefs dread standing over a hot stove, and the appeal of outdoor grilling has melted with the heat. Enter ceviche, seafood that “cooks” in citrus juice and is served cold. The dish is a favorite at Egg, a restaurant on the circle in Rehoboth Beach.
Owned by Missi Moore Postles, Egg bucks the norm when it comes to the expected breakfast and brunch offerings. The ceviche there — served with avocado toast — is one example. Another is The McQuay, which honors the building’s former owner, the late Butch McQuay, who ran the iconic McQuay’s Market there for many years.
The dish features barley sauteed with fresh spinach, roasted beets, carrots and panko-crusted goat cheese — all topped with a sunny-side-up egg and served on toast. Pair it with a breakfast margarita made with orange marmalade or a bloody mary garnished with sriracha-candied bacon.