Summer’s Cool Option
Light, refreshing ceviche beats the heat of standing over a stove
From the July 2018 issue
By 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.
Short but Oh So Sweet
Although brief, the local strawberry season is long on flavor
From the May 2014 issue
Thirty-four years ago, Patty Parsons married into a family with Sussex County roots. Not only did the Wilmington native need to get better acquainted with her downstate in-laws, but she was also introduced to an unfamiliar dish that appeared at most family get-togethers: strawberry-pretzel salad.
Although there are variations, the dish usually includes gelatin, whipped cream and cream cheese. “I thought it was dessert, and they thought it was a side dish,” recalls Parsons, who now lives in Millsboro. As a compromise, she puts it on a buffet so diners can choose when to spoon it on their plate. (At The Georgia House, which has locations in Selbyville, Millsboro and Milford, the dish is listed as a side and not a salad. “It’s very popular,” says general manager Kristal Hastings.)
Many recipes call for frozen strawberries, but when the season is ripe — from about the middle of May to mid-June — many opt for fresh. And no wonder. Nothing says summer like a fat strawberry, oozing juice and colored red all the way through.
Sussex County Sensation
In coastal Delaware, chicken is a signature dish
Sussex County native Juan Hernandez knows a thing or two about poultry, one of the state’s most lucrative industries. His father has long worked in a chicken plant, and his mother worked at Georgia House in Millsboro, a down-home restaurant that serves buttermilk-fried chicken and chicken basted with barbecue sauce.
Hernandez grew up in the Long Neck area, and on Sundays the family often gathered for backyard barbecues. While the adults preferred grilled seafood, young Juan gravitated toward chicken and steak. “It’s one of the best memories that I have,” he says of those get-togethers. He couldn’t wait to grow up and be in charge of cooking the meat.
He’s achieved that goal many times over. Hernandez, who was 14 when he started washing dishes at Georgia House, has worked at the Summer House, Bethany Blues and The Pickled Pig Pub.
Currently, he’s the executive chef at Salt Air Restaurant & Bar in Rehoboth Beach. “We have a beach picnic theme,” he says. “It’s farm to table.”
Roast chicken, which you can eat hot or cold, has been a Salt Air staple since Jonathan Spivak opened the restaurant in 2009. That remained true after the Big Fish Restaurant Group purchased the business in 2012.
Hernandez brines the bird for 24 hours, a technique that makes the meat tender.
Salt Air serves this dish with grits. Follow the grits recipe of your choice, or serve the chicken with potatoes or fresh corn on the cob.