I hope you had a beautiful holiday and a joyous New Year!
I forgot my camera card reader, thus no posts while I was away. But it was, in the end, a blessing. I truly unplugged which is so hard for me to do. The time we spend on Cape Hatteras is always restorative and inspirational. The salty sea air helps clear my mind and see things anew - I find it especially powerful to spend the New Year there - and this year, like last - we greeted the year at the water's edge under a black diamond sky.
I know one of reasons I'm so drawn to that place is that I lived there as a child. My father was stationed at a small base a stones throw from the lighthouse's original location. Though I have little memory of this time, I've grown up with images of my mother and I fishing on these beaches and the lighthouse has become one of the symbols of my early adolescences. The fact that we've started to spend time there, that I am creating new traditions and images of my own daughters and that magical beacon - well, it makes my heart kind of swell.
One of our favorite traditions is to visit Cafe 12 in Avon for the Hatteras Flats. The Flats are said to have been invented here and are basically flatbread pizzas - but here's the kicker - instead of a traditional crust - the base is baked cheese. Yes, seriously. You can top them with everything; I played with it a bit and came up with a combination of flavors we love - I used a mix of Gouda and Mozzarella as the base - if you're looking for a crispier crust, try Parmesan or Asiago.
2 c. gouda (shredded)
3/4 c. mozzarella (shredded)
1 dz. large shrimp (peeled, devined, tails on)
1 garlic clove (minced)
1/4 c. chopped chives
5 baby bello mushrooms (sliced)
red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
handful of roughly chopped cilantro
Preheat oven to 425F.
On a baking sheet with parchment paper, create a flat circle about 10-12 inches across with 1c. gouda and the mozzarella - it's okay if there are holes as when the cheese melts it will spread. Bake for 5 minutes - then remove from the oven. Turn oven down to 350F.
Sauté the shrimp in the olive oil and garlic with a bit of salt, pepper and red pepper flakes (to your taste) - sauté the mushrooms in another small pan with olive oil, salt and pepper. When the shrimp is almost thoroughly cooked, place them on the baked cheese, top with about 1/4c. of gouda, mushrooms and chives, then top with remaining cheese. Bake 5 minutes, let cool slightly - sprinkle with chopped cilantro and slice like a pizza and enjoy.
And to drink... a new discovery on the islands this year at lunch on Ocracoke of ghost wings and fried oyster po'boys - was Duck-Rabbit beer - I'm now obsessed - find it if you can!
Heading out to Singapore on Wednesday to photograph a wedding - I have a little bit of time to myself in the city and I look forward to exploring the hawker's markets... and of course sharing them with you upon my return! See you soon...
Mo Ghile Mear : The Chieftains w/ Sting
Little Black Submarines : The Black Keys
Softship : Seabear
Piratess : Okkervil River
Knight of Wands : Au Revoir Simone
Swim Until You Can't See Land : Frightened Rabbit
The Foggy Dew : The Chieftains
River, Sea, Ocean : Badly Drawn Boy
I Follow Rivers : Lykke Li
Surfin' Bird : The Cramps
Under The Cover of Darkness : The Strokes
Winter Dies : Midlake
Tide : Junip