I’ve been going to Delaware’s Rehoboth Beach annually for over a decade at this point, but like many families in the coronavirus pandemic, we have put travel on hold for 2020. I don’t mind missing out on the overstuffed car, the crowds or even the sand. Other than quality work-free time with loved ones, there’s one thing I know I will miss the most: the food.
Boardwalk and beach fare are a mood unto themselves. They convey sunshine, happy times and relaxation — to the point that you’re okay eating things you may not even touch the rest of the year. If you’re looking to capture those feelings, here are some dishes from our archives to bring that beach magic home.
S’mores Ice Cream, above. Ice cream and the shore go hand in hand. I’m one of the many people who absolutely must stand in line at the Ice Cream Store in Rehoboth, which boasts more flavors than you can probably imagine. This s’mores-inspired recipe I developed features butter-toasted graham cracker crumbs and pockets of Marshmallow Fluff.
Spicy Caramel Popcorn. All right, so maybe you’re not getting Fisher’s this summer (or whatever shop is at your favorite beach), but Cathy Barrow has you covered. This flavor-packed recipe features bacon and gochujang paste. If you want something more traditional, try Dorie Greenspan’s Caramel-Honey Popcorn.
Spicy Shrimp Roll. Seafood by the seashore? Maybe not, but this riff on a lobster roll from recipes editor Ann Maloney will surely get you in the spirit. For a mix, see these Lobster and Shrimp Rolls.
Salted Marshmallow Walnut Fudge. I love bringing home giant slabs of fudge for my co-workers after a long beach trip (all right, I keep some of it). Barring that, you can’t do much better than this recipe, which is also pretty easy to customize with your own add-ins.
Citrus-Marinated Fish Tacos. Perhaps you’re more into a West Coast or even Mexico beach vibe, in which case check out these bright and simple tacos. For a beer-battered option, we also have Baja Fish Tacos.
Cinnamon Baked Doughnuts. My beach week is not complete without a trip to the Fractured Prune, which specializes in cake doughnuts with all kinds of toppings. You could easily leave the spices out of this dough to make a plain flavor that you can then dress up with a glaze, sprinkles, shredded coconut and anything your heart desires. Baked Buttermilk Nutella Ganache Doughnuts are another possibility.
Soft Pretzels. Just like a day at the ballpark, a day at the beach might be a perfect time for a soft pretzel. If you’re looking for a baking project to improve your bread skills, here’s one that’s not too taxing.
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