Island Cooking: How to beat the heat
By LYNNE FOSTER
are here. Vacationers are here. Traffic is here. And
the heat is on. But not in this kitchen -- not every day anyway.
I love to cook, but sometimes, especially when the heat and humidity
seem oppressive, there is no pleasure quite as guilty as ordering
take-out. And that is also possible here.
I have been indulging in scrumptious prepared seafood dishes from the
shop just down the road. Vicki Harrison, with the help of her
entire family, is cooking up a storm these days in Harbor House Seafood
on Highway 12 in Hatteras village.
In addition to high quality fresh seafood, most of which is caught on
family boats, she sells what is fashionably termed in the industry
“value-added product” that she prepares in the large immaculate kitchen
just behind the service area.
Vicki saw an opportunity when the family built Harbor House and
enlisted the aid of seafood professionals to design a multi-use space
that fulfilled all regulations concerning seafood handling and
preparation. She is making good use of it.
One evening we enjoyed shrimp and crab enchiladas and chimichangas in
one meal. Yes, it was indulgent and, yes, one or the other would
have been adequate. But, it is good to splurge now and
then! It gave two people a generous taste of two rich dishes.
They come frozen and ready to defrost, cook, and serve.
Accompanying the meal is a delicate cream sauce and cheese for
topping. Daughter Alana Harrison suggested frying the chimichanga
and heating the enchilada in the oven. Both were good done those ways
and plump with seafood.
I added some commercial salsa since the garden can’t quite supply
enough to make my own yet. But I was able to mix a garden salad
of herbs and arugula with the first few grape tomatoes of the
season. The salsa and salad were good foils for the cream and
Next up was one of Harbor House’s variations of seafood linguine.
We chose the scallops done scampi-style with white wine, lemon juice,
butter and parsley, some of my favorite cooking elements all tossed
together. It was every bit as flavorful as it appeared.
Served with rosemary focaccia, all it needed was a scattering of fresh,
raw parsley and a simple green salad to complete the meal.
The Harrisons make other styles of linguine using your choice of fish,
clams, or shrimp and done in a French manner with dried tomatoes,
parsley, broccoli, butter, cream, white wine and Parmesan cheese and a
Mediterranean way with dried tomatoes, fresh herbs, black olives, feta,
lemon and olive oil.
Harbor House can also provide Shrimp Macaroni Salad that I like to serve in small portions as a starter to a seafood dinner.
Of course, the fish is fresh and you can always get something to
prepare yourself and, really, fish doesn’t take that long to
cook. Because most of their fish comes from the family boats you
can get varieties that are not always found in other markets, so don’t
expect to see the same products each time you shop there. Do be
ready to experiment with something new and let them guide you in its
There are other places here on the islands that do take-outs, so I will
be trying others soon. If any of you have recommendations for
seafood-to-go, I would love to hear from you as would our readers.
Finally, I would like to share a recipe for a lovely summer refresher
that my sister, Kate, sent. She describes it as “cooling, mild in
flavor, refreshing and it quenches thirst in this heat.”
It truly is all of the above.
I am reminded of an Ottoman Empire tradition. Visitors were
always welcomed to one’s home with a light hand wash of rose water,
sprinkled from a beautiful silver dispenser, and offered a linen towel
that had been exquisitely hand-embroidered. So, I styled the
photo with ottoman antiques from my collection.
I probably won’t bathe your hands if you come to my house, but I will be happy to serve this summer drink.
KATE’S SUMMER REFRESHER
2 cups cold water (I keep filtered water in the fridge and do not use ice.)
1 teaspoon rose water
1/8 of a lemon
1/2 teaspoon raw sugar
Stir gently and enjoy!
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Harbor House is located on Highway 12 in Hatteras village, almost
directly across from Hatteras Harbor Marina. You can call the Harrisons
at 252-986-2039. Click here to see the current menu and prices.
Foster lives in Hatteras village with her husband, Ernie. Together they
operate The Albatross Fleet of charter boats. They actively support the
sustainable practices of the island’s commercial fishermen and the
preservation of Hatteras Island’s working waterfront. Both love
to cook seafood and entertain friends, and Lynne loves to experiment
with recipes for locally caught seafood.)