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April 30, 2010

Portugese Kale & Linguiça Soup

Not all spring days in Maine are warm. There are still plenty of rainy and cool days in store for enjoying a delicious soup like this one featuring tasty kale and Linguiça.

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April 28, 2010

Thomaston Cafe Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Thomaston Cafe invites you to join them for their 20th Anniversary on Friday, April 30th! They will be celebrating their anniversary by rolling prices back to reflect their very first 1990 menu. Come say hello to owners Herbert and Eleanor Peters, Chef Brian Beckett, and waitresses Kim and Laureh as they share great food, fond memories, and continued friendship.
Thomaston-Cafe

Breakfast (7:30-11 am):

  • A cup of coffee is 45 cents all day!
  • Enjoy the Thomaston Special (2 eggs any style, choice of ham, bacon, or sausage, homefries and toast) for $2.95!
  • Pancakes just $2.50

Lunch (11am-2pm):

  • Thomaston Cafe’s Famous Haddock Chowder is only $1.95/cup or $2.75/bowl
  • Turkey Sandwiches on homemade bread just $4.25
  • Delicious homemade pies are only $1.75/slice

Dinner (5:30-closing):

  • Make your dinner reservations today for Friday evening’s Haddock & Crabmeat Special at $12.95.

Come join the fun!

Thomaston Cafe
154 Main Street
Thomaston, Maine
207.354.8589

April 27, 2010

Healthy Spring Lunch: Spinach Salad with Maple Mustard Vinaigrette

It’s that time of year when we pack away our winter coats, turn off our wood stoves, and begin to daydream about the season of fresh fruit and salad that seems almost within reach. Perhaps your friends down south are already enjoying food from their backyard gardens, but Maine’s growing season has yet to kick into gear. While the rest of the country’s got mesclun greens and asparagus, we’re living on carrots, potatoes, and anticipation.

Fortunately, recent warm weather has allowed farmers with greenhouses to get a jump on the season; for the past month, I’ve been able to find local spinach at my natural foods store. I’m craving raw, crunchy meals with bright flavors, so to this spinach I add fruit, nuts, seeds, and a sweet and sour maple mustard dressing.

This salad bursts with nutrition. Spinach is rich in iron, and the vitamin C in pears and cranberries make it easier to absorb. Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant. Pumpkin seeds and almonds are rich in protein, heart-healthy oils, and minerals like calcium, copper, and magnesium. When I eat this salad I can almost feel my body waking up from its winter malaise and saying, “Thank you!”

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April 26, 2010

Grilled Salmon Steaks with Orange Sauce

Salmon has omega-3 oil, which is a great fat. It helps lubricate your skin, and keep it looking younger. You will notice that there is no need to add fat or oil to this fish. The fish has just the right amount of natural oil to get it thorough the short cooking process. Your heart will jump for you if you eat fish at least twice per week. Eating this way will help to balance your cholesterol, keep your blood vessels healthy, and increase your zest and vitality.

This is a quick recipe that will make you happier and take your dining soul to a higher level. The sauce for this recipe is made with shallots. Shallots are in the onion family but are smaller than onions and have a coppery brown or pinkish skin. They have an onion-garlicky flavor that lends a tasty complexity to sauces.

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April 25, 2010

Spring Appetizer: Pea Pesto Crostini

Either wait for your garden peas, or push the season by using frozen. It tastes just as good and is a gorgeous shade of green!pea pesto crostini

image: mygardenplate.com

Pea Pesto Crostini
Laura Cabot, Laura Cabot Catering, Waldoboro

10 ounces (1 package) thawed frozen peas or a comparable amount of your fresh garden English peas
1 clove garlic
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon fresh pepper
2/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Pulse all ingredients together in a food processor. Place in  bowl and cover. Refrigerate until you’re ready to use. This will keep a couple of days in the fridge.

Toast or grill “one bite” sized bits of bread/baguette to make toasts or crostini.

Moments before serving, top each toast with the pea pesto and serve on a tray garnished with pea tendrils. Watch your friends’ faces light up!

It’s spring in one bite! This recipe serves a party as one of several appetizer choices.

Laura Cabot Launches Summer Cooking Classes

CALLING ALL “LOCAVORES!”

Chef Laura Cabot will begin teaching cooking classes in Waldoboro.

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above photo: A cooking student enjoys a summer lunch at Laura’s
.

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April 24, 2010

Fiddlehead Stew

Fiddlehead season has arrived in Maine!  Here is just one of many ways to enjoy them.fiddlehead Continue reading “Fiddlehead Stew” »

April 23, 2010

Mixed Greens with Simple Shallot Vinaigrette

A jar of this basic vinaigrette is always there in my refrigerator, ready to dress greens or all manner of other salads, or even to dribble over steamed vegetables or grilled meats and fish. It can be varied in numerous ways. For lighter salads, for instance, use lemon juice instead of vinegars, and light olive oil only, or for an Asian slant, add a touch of toasted sesame oil.

mixed greens with shallot vinaigrette

image: epicurious.com

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April 22, 2010

Roasted Pepper Pesto

This variation on classic pesto is a rich accompaniment to lamb and veal.roasted-red-pepper-pesto_80d6878713ff4c4438048f973216b2ca-thumb-245x245-26902

Roasted Pepper Pesto
Arrows Restaurant, Ogunquit

4 red bell peppers
2/3 cup plus 1 Tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
2 Tablespoons finely grated Reggiano Parmesan
2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 clove garlic, peeled
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 450°. In a bowl toss the peppers with the 1 Tablespoon oil. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Turn the peppers over and cook for another 10 minutes until completely soft.

Remove the peppers from the oven. Transfer the peppers to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap; set aside for 10 minutes. Remove the peppers from the bowl, and when they are cool enough to handle, remove the stems, seeds, and as much of the the skin as possible.

Combine the roasted peppers in the jar of a blender with 2/3 cup oil, the pine nuts, Parmesan, lemon juice, and garlic and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until needed, for up to 2 days.

Makes about 2 cups.

April 21, 2010

Mediterranean Braised Beef

Isn’t it great that a food you crave can be so good for you too?

Beef is easy to love because it tastes so great, but it’s also a naturally nutrient-rich source of ten essential nutrients. The protein in beef helps strengthen and sustain your body. Evidence shows that protein plays an important role in maintaining healthy weight, building muscle, and fueling physical activity.

And when you’ve got all that going for you, you and your loved ones are one big step closer to a healthier lifestyle and at lower risk for disease. You should know that there are 29 cuts of beef that meet government guidelines for lean.Chef Josh Thomsen of Meritage at the Claremont Hotel - Berkeley,

image: Chef Josh Thomsen, Berkeley Meritage at the Claremont Hotel

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April 20, 2010

Sweet Potato Fans

These sweet spuds are so delicious, you’ll think you’re having dessert.sweetpotato291_20080910-154553

image: readersdigest.ca

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Cool Green Salad

I collect cookbooks and cooking magazines. Because I am totally addicted and can’t bear to throw them out, I have a cluttered house to say the least. A few years ago, I remember an article about a Washington, D.C. dinner party. The menu caught my eye because evidently former Senator Bill Cohen from Maine brought a dish called Cool Green Salad. I love Senator Cohen (who doesn’t?). Perhaps that had something to do with why I made the salad for my next dinner party, and I’ve been making it ever since.

green-salad-herbs-l

image: allyou.com

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April 19, 2010

Cheese Truffles

Remember those big ‘ol cheese balls from your mom’s cocktail party? Well, these are different, more contemporary, and one hundred percent delicious.

Here is a basic recipe, which you can mix and match with different cheeses and coatings to provide endless variety. At Laura Cabot Catering, we like to add a tray or two of these to our stationary display of local cheeses, crackers, and seasonal fruit. They are easy to pop in one bite and are delightfully different.Goat-Cheese-Truffles-with-Maple-Spiced-Pecans
image
: recipegirl.com

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April 18, 2010

Seared Sea Scallops with Spring Pea Cream and Smoked Salmon

Diver scallops in Maine are some of the best you will find anywhere in the world. The term “diver scallops” refers to a scallop that was harvested by an actual person doing the diving to the bottom of the ocean and hand harvesting usually only the larger specimens. This yields a much cleaner and more uniform product than the large and destructive draggers can conjure up. Diver scallops are also sold “dry,” which means they have not been soaked in water or a preservative to extend their shelf life.sea scallops

seared scallops image: about.com

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April 17, 2010

Cliff House Clam Chowder

Clam Chowder has been on the Cliff House menu since 1872. Guests always tell us how exceptional it is. This recipe won a coveted award at the Boston Harbor Fest in July 2003. All of you non-New Englanders will please note there are no tomatoes to be seen anywhere near this soup pot. The Maine legislature once introduced a bill to outlaw forever the adulteration of Maine Clam Chowdah with that dreaded red interloper. This recipe is fun to make, but the missing ingredient just may be eating it while longing for our dining room view of the vast Atlantic.

Cliff House Clam Chowder

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April 16, 2010

BLT Salad

Who says a BLT has to be a sandwich? This pretty salad is a great lunch or light dinner. Serve with cornbread and a tall glass of iced tea.

BLT Salad Continue reading “BLT Salad” »

April 15, 2010

Sorrel Linguine with Spring Peas, Green Garlic, and Fresh Ricotta

Sorrel Linguine with Spring Peas, Green Garlic, and Fresh Ricotta from Chef Melissa Kelly of Primo, Rockland, is sure to inspire Maine spring on your taste buds and in your heart. This dish also takes well to the addition of fresh Maine crabmeat, lobster, or shrimp.

Melissa Kelly and sorrel
Melissa Kelly image above: Matt Kalinowski

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April 14, 2010

Sad Farewell to Maine Sardine Industry

This morning we are forced to say goodbye to one of the longest running fish industries in Maine and this country. Due to stringent fishing regulations and a decline in consumer tastes, the last operating sardine factory in Maine and the U.S., Stinson Seafood Company in Prospect Harbor, shuts its doors today and becomes just another bit of Maine history. I, for one, am sad.sardines

image: oldfilm.org

Hard and honorable work is becoming harder to come by in this state. During my parents’ generation, everyone knew someone who worked at a local cannery. My grandmother, my Dad’s mom, did some brief stints at the job, and I remember her telling me as a little girl how sliced up her fingers got, and about all the bandages, the fast pace, the backbreaking work, the heat, and the hairnets. She told me to go to school and get an education.

But with a twinkle in her eye, the part of the job that she recalled appealing to her most was the cameraderie between the women (yes, this was women’s work, because women were thought to have greater dexterity and stronger backs than men.) And I can only imagine the stories those women told each other, the therapy and support they provided each other on a daily basis as they toiled the hours away. Hard work and loyal bonding of friendship are a Maine way of life.

I hope this industry’s end is not a foreshadowing of our fishing industry in general. I can picture down the road people going to a Maine lobster or fish museum much like we go to a dinosaur museum now, to catch a faint glimpse of the past. And I worry for all those in the lobstering and fishing industry. All around us, every day, we are losing a little bit of our way of life here in Maine. Not all change is progress, people.

Take a moment to read the following article on the closing from the Associated Press. I hope it causes you to pause, reflect, and renew your commitment to support all things local as much as possible.

Me, I’m off to buy some canned sardines while they’re still around and see if I can lay my hands on a copy of “58 Ways to Serve Sardines”, the definitive Maine cookbook. I guess if my grandchildren ever ask me about sardines, they’ll have to try them at a white-table-laden-upscale-fancy-fresh-restaurant. But that’s just not how Maine sardines are eaten.

They’ll never have them as I had them as a snack growing up, by peeling back the key of a can’s lid and unlocking a tiny and tasty little Maine secret. I’ll just have to take them to see the artifacts at the Maine Coast Sardine History Museum in Jonesport. That is, if it’s still around.

(For a different slice of sardine history, check out Maine food historian Sandy Oliver’s blog post “Sardines Secret History.”)

Fiddlehead Dip

Maine Fiddlehead Season is coming! This recipe for fiddlehead dip was adapted from a recipe by Karen Porter, an avid outdoors woman and fiddleheader from Winterport, Maine. You may prepare the mix for the dip, spoon it into the crocks, and store in the refrigerator for as long as two days before baking. The unbaked mix also freezes well.

fiddlehead

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April 13, 2010

Lobster Creole

A great recipe to add a little flair to your Maine lobster, courtesy of Graffam Bros. Seafood in Rockport.

Lobsters

image: blog.americanfeast.com

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