Combining grilled fish with autumnal ingredients creates a ‘shoulder’ season of taste

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From the October 2018 issue

october-2018-recipe

By October, many chefs are overhauling their menus to feature seasonal ingredients such as butternut squash, pumpkin, kale and chard. Entrees are hearty, and sauces get richer.

But Chef James “Jamie” Parsons, who grew up in Lewes, isn’t ready to give up on grilled fish, a summer staple. He marries swordfish with such fall flavors as maple syrup, apples and Brussels sprouts.

Given Parsons’ background, it’s not surprising that he would create such a novel dish. He’s worked for the British-born Jonathan Cartwright, a Five-Diamond awardee from AAA, at the White Barn Inn in Kennebunk, Maine, and celebrity chef and TV personality Todd English, who’s owned multiple restaurants in Boston.

“I’ve cooked my whole life, even when I was a little kid,” he says. In part, he enjoyed bringing recipes from magazines to life. But he also wanted to help his working parents. His father was in the shipping and receiving department of Barcroft Chemical, now SPI Pharma, and his mother sold manufactured homes for Colonial East.

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 Life - Results from #6Patsy 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.