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June 19, 2009

Midya Dolma (Pilaf with Mussels)

This Armenian dish of delectable mussels with rice and cabbage was one of author Nancy Mehagian's favorites made by her mother. She shares this recipe and many others in her book, Siren's Feast An Edible Odyssey.

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June 18, 2009

Classic Down East Haddock Chowder

The virtue of Maine-style fish chowder is its simplicity. It's a milky, brothy chowder, unembellished with wine or heavy cream, tasting mostly of the good, fresh, locally caught haddock from which it is made. This recipe is classic, with the main concession to modernity being the addition of fresh thyme, which you can omit or reduce if you so prefer. The secret to chowder's depth of flavor lies in the aging process during which all the chowder's elements have a chance to meld and blend, resulting in a most successful and happy marriage.

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June 17, 2009

Veggie Burgers Worth Showing Off

With barbecue season upon us, it's time to rethink the soggy gray veggie burger. As any vegetarian knows, those frozen patties' attempts to imitate meat elicit only mockery and scorn at neighborhood cookouts.

Instead of trying and failing to taste like beef, my favorite veggie burgers highlight the flavors and textures of chopped vegetables, grains, beans, and nuts. Creative seasoning can turn these simple ingredients into mouthwatering burgers that appeal even to skeptics.

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Rockland’s Renaissance, indeed!

With a decisive stamp of culinary approval, the Portland Press Herald devotes two full pages to Rockland in today’s food section. Finally putting to rest the reputation for which Rockland has suffered for too long (smelly, low-brow, depressed), food editor Meredith Goad declares Rock City a go-to destination for good eating and good art.

From our offices on Rockland’s Main Street, we have first-hand access to today’s vibrant scene of bistros, galleries, and boutiques that keep the sidewalks thrumming with visitors. Early this morning, the coffee shops were packed and already running low on muffins. A 3-story crane was installing a jazzy, new free-form awning on the entrance to the Farnsworth Museum, and people were still gawking at the Robert Indiana “EAT” sculpture that had been mounted on the museum’s roof only yesterday. The aroma of roasting coffee beans was in the air, and it didn’t hurt that bright sunshine was making everything sparkle like new.

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Taste of the Nation Portland


Save the Date! Thursday, June 18, 2009

What a wonderful event for such worthy organizations in Maine. No cause is more important than our children. If you are in Portland tomorrow, June 18, or if you'd like to make a trip there to support one worthy cause this year, make it Taste of the Nation, Portland. Dine at some of Maine's best restaurants, and help stamp out hunger.

100% of ticket sales help ensure no kid in America grows up hungry.

At Taste of the Nation, Maine’s celebrated chefs are paired with amazing wines, spirits, and beers.

Dine on delicacies from more than a dozen Maine kitchens, including
Five Fifty-Five, Fore Street, Back Bay Grill, Cinque Terre, Hugo’s and
many others. Sip wines throughout the evening from an array of
different vineyards. But don’t neglect the cocktails; mixologist Adrian
Stratton of Back Bay Grill is overseeing that department. Preble
, East End Kids, Cultivating Communities and Maine Equal Justice
are the beneficiaries of the delicious fun at Taste of the Nation.

Every ticket sold fights childhood hunger in Maine.
All ticket revenue stays here in Maine and helps us with the mission—
ending childhood hunger. The money raised supports some very
important organizations.


From the staff at Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine.

June 16, 2009

Pop the Cork 2: A Toast to the Arts

We encourage our blog readers to get out to Rockport Harbor this Thursday, June 18, for a spectacular local event. Pop the Cork 2- A Toast to the Arts is happening from 5:30-9:30pm, hosted by our friends at Cellardoor Winery. A benefit event, all proceeds will go to The Center for Maine Contemporary Art.

With so much to enjoy in such a rich area of Maine, start off the summer with food, wine, art, and music. There will be Zydeco, steel drums, a swing band, and of course fabulous wine and hors d'oeuvres. What a great time to take in a local cultural event. Make it the start of a yearly tradition! To learn more call 236.2654 Tickets may also be purchased online

From the staff at Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine.

June 15, 2009

Martha Greenlaw’s Quick and Easy Black Bean Soup

Although I love all the old-fashioned New England dishes, sometimes I get a craving for those spicy Tex-Mex flavors. That's when I make this amazingly easy black bean soup for a quick lunch or supper.

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June 14, 2009

Halibut Recipe: Siren’s Feast, An Edible Odyssey

A fascinating book filled with food and adventure; this one is a must read!  Your appetite will be satisfied on both a gustatory and an intellectual/spiritual level. Check out the book jacket excerpt and try Ms. Mehagian's savory sample recipe below. You'll feel a renewed need to cook and read!

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June 13, 2009

Grilled Salmon Niçoise

Enjoying them in season, wild vegetables are wonderful. Fiddleheads are the top part of immature fronds from the ostrich fern. They are found in spring in the wet lowlands of Maine particularly near shaded rivers and creeks. Their flavor is similar to that of asparagus and they are cooked in a similar manner. Asparagus, fiddleheads, or haricot verts make nice green substitutions in this recipe, depending on the season.

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June 12, 2009

Pan-Seared Scallops with Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce

This dish is wonderful served over a combination of basmati, jasmine, and wild rice with crisp-tender lemon butter green beans.

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New Kid on the Rockland Block: Home Kitchen Cafe really rocks!

Long time foodie, great cook and chef/owner James Hatch followed his instincts when he opened the Home Kitchen Café, and I am reporting in that they are excellent. This place offers everything I look for in a breakfast joint except perhaps home squeezed OJ…even the option to default to lunch a bit early. The hours are 6 am to 3 pm, with Sunday brunch closing at 2pm.

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June 11, 2009

Special Occasion Lobster Salad

Lobster salad for The Classic Maine Lobster Roll must be utterly pristine and simple. This composed version of lobster salad, however, is flavored a bit more assertively and is decorated brightly with snow peas and radishes. Add a basket of Maine Johnnycake or Grange Supper Baking Powder Biscuits for an absolutely splendid lunch or supper.

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June 10, 2009

Arrows Restaurant’s Creamy Goat Cheese Toasts

These toasts go well with salads, as part of an antipasto platter, or just on their own as a canapé. If you like, add a Tablespoon of chopped flat-leaf parsley or a teaspoon of chopped thyme leaves.

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Maine Farm Gets the Nod from Martha Stewart

Here in Maine we're aware that our local restaurants, antique shops, crafts, and farmers' markets are cherished by urban renegades who flock here to enjoy "life the way it should be." Among our more high-profile part-time residents is none other than Martha Stewart who runs a media empire and escapes to Bar Harbor whenever she can.

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June 9, 2009

Linda Greenlaw’s Grilled Marinated Scallops with Ginger and Sesame

A friend who drags scallops showed up at my door one evening bearing the gift of 2 gallons of freshly shucked scallops. (This may be due to the fact that he had overimbibed at a party on a previous night, passed out in the middle of my kitchen floor, and had to be carried home. The gift was appreciated, and he was forgiven.) The scallops were gorgeous! Although scallops do freeze well, nothing compares to those straight out of the shell. I tried to consume as many scallops as I could while they were fresh. Luckily, I also love them marinated and grilled. The only way to hurt them is to dry them out by overcooking. Like most seafood, to err on the side of undercooking is divine!

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June 8, 2009

Anadama Bread

( A famous artist, a mean old wife, and the Bureau of Motor Vehicles )

I was given this recipe by my husband, who baked bread fairly often when he was younger and had more time. He made this in a sort of bucket apparatus with a crank handle…a non-electric “bread machine,” as it were. There are lots of recipes for Anadama bread; the only common required elements are the corn meal and molasses…you can substitute milk for some of the water, or you might add in some whole wheat flour–vary it as you like.

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“Logger” family to dish up eats in Millinocket

The Pelletier family, nationally known for their Friday night show “American Loggers" on the Discovery Channel (except to me, who had no idea that this show existed before today, but will now surely become obsessed with it), has purchased two shuttered, adjacent businesses in Millinocket and started to merge the spaces into a "large eatery." With logging work slow, the family and a contracting team have thrown themselves into extensive remodeling work in hopes of opening the restaurant later this year.

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June 7, 2009

Isle au Haut Getaway: Off the Beaten Path

Every person that steps on Isle au Haut – be they hiker, camper,
sightseer, worker, repairman, photographer, news reporter, house guest
or whatever – becomes a member of this small community the instant their toes touch the town dock. When you visit an island as small as ours,
you don’t really have the luxury of being a casual observer. If there
is a fire, we may ask you to haul buckets. If someone goes missing, we
may sign you onto a search party. If there is a parade, we may invite
you to construct a float, or bang a drum, or honk a horn. We will
encourage you to participate in our annual talent show, or make a
cameo in the island contra dance band, or bring a dish to one of our potlucks in the town hall. 

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Bok Choy, from Farmers’ Market to Picnic Table

This week at the Orono Farmers’ Market, the hot item was neither rhubarb nor asparagus. Bok Choy, the leafy, versatile Chinese cabbage, made its first appearance of the summer and was eagerly snatched up. 

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June 6, 2009

Recipe Hunt – Chicken, Grilled Pizza, Rhubarb, Asparagus, Martini

You probably shouldn't go clicking around the food sites when you're hungry. It's no different than food shopping on an empty stomach. While most things tend to look really good under both circumstances, here are a few recipes that I've added to my "I gotta make this" list.

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