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December 31, 2010

Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for 2011


Port Clyde, December 2010.


The Rockland Lobster Trap Tree

Cheese Fondue

Happy New Year! Here is a flavorful traditional recipe to bring you luck.

Cheese Fondue

1 cup dry white wine
1/2 pound shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 pound shredded Gruyere cheese
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 clove garlic
1 (1 pound) loaf French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes

Peel garlic and rub the inside of Fondue pot with garlic clove. Discard clove. Simmer wine in fondue pot. Add Swiss cheese, Gruyere cheese, 1/4 pound at a time. Stir after each addition of cheese until melted. Stir in flour. When all the cheese has melted, stir in salt and nutmeg. Serve with cut-up French bread.

December 30, 2010

Black Eyed Peas and a Mess O’ Greens

According to folklore, collard greens served with black eyed peas and hog jowl (or smoked hocks) on New Year’s Day promises a year of good luck and financial bounty. To ward off evil spirits, hang a fresh collard leaf over your door to ring in the New Year! Headache the day after? Try a fresh leaf on your forehead. Hey, it’s worth a try!

A large quantity of greens is commonly referred to as a “mess o’ greens” in the south. My northern garden affords me many messes of greens well past snow fall and I love them with almost any bean and side meat. In fact, collards and kale are often tastier after a hard frost.

Here we’ll stick to the lucky black eyed peas with a side of greens. The greens are said to represent folded paper money and the peas represent coins.


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Cranberry Party Punch

Here’s a tangy, delicious, and non-alcoholic way to ring in the New Year. This cranberry party punch drink will be a hit at this year’s party.


Cranberry Party Punch

1 quart cranberry juice
2 liters of ginger ale
12 ounces frozen lemonade
Orange slices
1 cup orange juice
7½ cups water

One of the cans of lemonade concentrate may be diluted and frozen to make an ice ring or cubes. Combine jucies and chill. Add ginger ale just before serving. Garnish with orange slices.

Yields 1½ gallons.

December 28, 2010

Maine Tangy Lobster

What a simple and tasty way to showcase Maine lobster at your next get together. This recipe for Maine Tangy Lobster would make the perfect New Year’s Eve appetizer!
chopped Maine lobster meatchopped Maine lobster meat image courtesy of

Maine Tangy Lobster

2 cups Maine lobster meat
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/3 cup butter
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste

Place all ingredients except lobster in top part of double boiler. Melt over hot water; stir to blend well.

Cut lobster in small pieces; add to mixture and cook 6 minutes. Serve on toast with lemon wedges.

Serves 4.

December 27, 2010

Amaretto Stuffed Strawberries

Every once in awhile someone comes up with a recipe that is so delicious, so much fun, so unusual, such a party-pleaser, that I kick myself and say “Why didn’t I think of that?” The recipe below is such.

Concocted by my handsome and talented bonus son Eric Anderson, it is the perfect little bite of something sweet to serve after a special dinner.

Lucky me – I’ll be making these for dessert as we welcome the new year Friday night – in shorts and flipflops on the deck of our house in the Keys. Good bye snow and sleet and hello sunshine and sand!



Large strawberries
Chocolate flavored whipped cream
Shaved semi-sweet chocolate

Wash and hull the berries. Using the tip of a sharp paring knife, scoop out a cavity in each berry. Pour a few ounces of Amaretto into a measuring cup. Fill each berry with Amaretto, top with a squirt of chocolate flavored whipped cream (straight from the can) and a sprinkling of grated semi-sweet chocolate. POP into your mouth all at once!

NOTE: If you have one of the specialty pans for holding Jalapeno Poppers upright for baking, they make a perfect (if rather un-elegant) serving piece for these berries.

December 25, 2010

Chef Michael Salmon and Hartstone Inn

Michael Salmon of Camden’s Hartstone Inn shares a wonderful and delicious Maine crab recipe in the current issue of Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine. He also shares a bit about himself and his beloved Midcoast inn.

Peekytoe Crab Gazpacho, by Chef Michael Salmon. Image © 2010 Jim Bazin.

Michael shares his passion for cooking, teaching, and utilizing local ingredients to their fullest potential. Want to learn how to cook from a master? Michael offers several classes this winter, such favorites as: Mediterranean Cuisine, Maine Seafood, Holiday Artisan Chocolates, and more.

Chef Michael Salmon of Camden’s Hartstone Inn. Image © 2010 Jim Bazin.

Winter Wine

It’s Christmas! Treat yourself and others to a little good cheer with this recipe for Winter Wine.


image: Continue reading “Winter Wine” »

December 23, 2010

Pan-Seared Scallops with Dill Citronette

Large, sweet, meaty sea scallops are a fabulous once-in-a-while treat. Some scallops, however, are soaked in a phosphate-type preservative that adds liquid and an off-flavor, so be sure to try to buy “dry pack” scallops. The trick to pan-searing scallops is to make sure they don’t touch each other in the pan, because if they do, juices are likely to run out and they won’t brown properly. Here, the seared scallops are sauced with a delicious (and ultra-quick) citrusy pan sauce. Such a centerpiece star calls for a good supporting cast that might include a curried rice pilaf, salad, and gingerbread with maple whipped cream to finish.

image: Continue reading “Pan-Seared Scallops with Dill Citronette” »

December 22, 2010

Roast Duck with Paprika, Garlic, and Herbs

By turning a duck during roasting, the breast cooks in its own rendered fat (and a little water), yielding a flavorful bird. Both the process and the taste bear some resemblance to confit—without days of marinating, hours of slow cooking, and extra fat required for genuine confit. This technique comes from Clark’s mother, who learned it from a Hungarian friend. (That explains the paprika!) We have simply added fresh herbs.


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December 21, 2010

Holiday Subscription Offer

It’s not to late to order that last minute gift for the person on your list who has everything. Give them the gift of Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine, a gift that will continue giving all year long with great recipes, local chef profiles, in-depth articles, and stunning photography.

VegWreath-7727(485px)Happy Holidays!

Give the gift of Maine’s only food magazine, and make someone smile this holiday season. We’ll include a gift letter stating this gift is from you, along with the recipient’s copy of the current issue to start them on their way.

Happy Holidays to you, your family, and your friends!

Melanie Hyatt & Jim Bazin

December 20, 2010

Maine Lobster Bisque

What says “special occasion” better than lobster? We all have different food traditions surrounding the Christmas holidays. As a child, it was always Oyster Stew at my Nanie’s house in Portsmouth and then off to midnight mass at St. John’s Church. When I married and had my son Scott, the first tradition I tossed into the trash was the Oyster Stew ritual. Never one of my favorite things as a child (but I did eat it) but as an adult, it was high time for a new tradition before mass (chicken pot pie and I have no idea how we decided upon that). When said son flew the coop after graduating from college and moved to California, he decided the new tradition should be stopping to pick up Chinese food from his favorite restaurant conveniently located near the airport. And 7 years ago when Peter and I got married, we started yet another tradition: lobster bisque and popovers. And nobody’s complaining that it isn’t oyster stew.

Merry Christmas!

lobster_bisque Continue reading “Maine Lobster Bisque” »

December 19, 2010

Cranberry-Apricot Baked Brie with Honey

Straight from your grocer’s freezer, the dough baked around a cranberry, apricot, and almond topped brie rises to the occasion—no flour, food processor, or kneading required.


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December 18, 2010

Snowflake Cocoa

This is an easy and delicious cocoa you can make in your slow cooker. Great for holiday parties!


Snowflake Cocoa

2 cups whipping cream
6 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 12-ounce package white chocolate chips

Whipped cream
Candy canes

Stir together the whipping cream, milk, vanilla, and white chocolate chips in a slow cooker.

Cover and cook on low for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally, until mixture is hot and chocolate chips are melted. Stir again before serving. Garnish with whipped cream and candy canes, as desired.

Yields 10 servings.

December 17, 2010

Mixed Salad Greens with Pear and Pomegranate

“Start a festive dinner with this palate-awakening salad. It features a mix of light and refreshing tastes–tender greens, pears, orange juice, pomegranate seeds–that will stimulate your taste buds but won’t fill you up, a good thing when there is more delicious food to come.”—Eric Akis



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December 16, 2010

Peppermint Crunch Chocolate Cookies

What’s better than chocolate? Not much in my view, but these Christmas cookies make a good thing better. Deep, delicious, chewy chocolate with a peppermint crunch on top. If you want to go to the top for your topping, think Portland’s own Haven’s Candies, home of wonderful home crafted, hand pulled candy canes. Almost too beautiful to crush up, I decided it was worth it in the end. The result is decadent and delicious. A final chocolate drizzle is optional, then another dusting of peppermint crunch.

choc candy cane cookies

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December 15, 2010

Portabella Mushroom Soup with a Sherry Cream

Hands down, I have received more requests for this recipe than any other.

Sherry, long relegated to an ingredient, is first and foremost a wine. Good sherry shows a range of flavors from apricots and stone fruit to roasted nuts and caramel. In this case, a Vox Oloroso sherry, which is slightly off-dry, will blend beautifully with the earthy quality of the mushrooms and creaminess of the soup. Ivison and Emilio Lustau produce high quality, reasonably priced sherry.



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December 14, 2010

Classic Plum Pudding with Whipped Hard Sauce

Betty Govan began making this great Christmas pudding in 1941, when raisins were 29 cents a pound and dates 19 cents, as she noted when she sent the recipe to me. She found the recipe in a dairy’s leaflet. It’s a love of pudding, evoking scenes of snow swirling down narrow London streets and Bob Cratchit serving the Christmas goose. The hard sauce, softened with cream and egg white, is pure inspiration.



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December 13, 2010

Baked Ham with Apricot Glaze

Baked ham is often the centerpiece of a traditional Christmas meal. Here is a special holiday rendition.


Baked Ham with Apricot Glaze
J.M. Joachim, A Taste of It All: Celebrating the Mood of Food

1 (7-9 pound) shank-end smoked, pre-cooked ham
1 large yellow onion, cut into thick rings

Apricot Glaze
¾ cup apricot jelly
½ cup orange juice
½ cup honey
4 Tablespoons yellow mustard
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
Pinch ground cloves
3 Tablespoons cider vinegar
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 Tablespoons molasses

Preheat oven to 325°. Remove some of the outer fat from the ham. Score the ham 1″ deep in a cross-hatch pattern. Arrange all but 2-3 onion slices in center of a roasting pan and set the ham on top of onion slices. Pierce the ham on all sides with the whole cloves. Place remaining onion slices on top and sides of the ham, hanging them on the whole cloves to hold them in place. Cover and bake for one hour.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, whisk together the glaze ingredients and cook just until heated through and jelly has dissolved.

After ham has baked one hour, brush with the glaze mixture every 15 minutes for another 45 minutes until all but 2 Tablespoons of glaze remains. Transfer the ham to a platter and brush with remaining glaze and cover loosely with aluminum foil until ready to serve.

Serves 6-8.

December 12, 2010

Spirited Eggnog Recipe

Due to the expensive ingredients (and the expense of keeping milk and cream fresh), alcoholic eggnog was once a drink consumed only by the English aristocracy, but eventually made its way to America sometime in the 18th century. Because of the high tax on English brandy, rum became a popular liquor to infuse one’s eggnog with alcohol up through the end of the Revolutionary War when domestic whiskey–especially bourbon–became the preferred liquor. Whiskey-infused alcoholic eggnog has since become a holiday tradition for families the nation over.

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