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November 30, 2011

Coconut-Poached Mahi Mahi

To fill out this meal, toss a quick salad of shredded carrots, pineapple chunks, and raisins. Or mop up the flavorful coconut sauce with chunks or slices of baguette or focaccia.

This dish only takes about 20 minutes from start to finish, and is budget-friendly at about $2.56/serving.

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November 29, 2011

Chicken-Citrus Salad

This time of year, fresh fruits are especially important in our diets. We need all that extra C as well as the zip for our taste buds they provide. This chicken-citrus salad is a healthy-tasty combination!

Chicken-Citrus Salad

Chicken-Citrus Salad
National Chicken Council

4 cups arugula
3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
3 cups shredded cooked chicken (such as rotisserie)
1 orange, zested and sectioned
1 grapefruit, sectioned
1 kiwi, peeled and thinly sliced
4 Tablespoons shelled salted pistachio nuts

Place the arugula in a medium sized bowl. Pour olive oil over and toss until all leaves are coated. Sprinkle with lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Toss until well combined.

Place chicken in a small bowl, add orange zest and combine well.

Place 1 cup of arugula on each of four dinner plates. Top with one fourth of the orange sections, one fourth of the grapefruit sections, and one fourth of the kiwi slices. Top with chicken. Sprinkle each salad with 1 Tablespoon pistachio nuts and serve.

Serves 4.

November 28, 2011

Herbed Whole Wheat Peasant Bread

Try this bread cut into thick slices, topped with tomatoes and smoked cheese. Run under the broiler and serve with a favorite homemade soup. Yum…

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November 27, 2011

Flounder Florentine

This recipe for flounder florentine will make the entire family happy at dinner time!


Flounder Florentine

2 pounds chopped fresh spinach (or two 10-ounce packages of frozen spinach), cooked and drained
6 flounder fillets (about 1½ pounds)
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1½ cups milk
Grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 350º.

Spread the cooked spinach on the bottom of a large, broiler-proof baking dish.

Arrange the fillets on top. Melt the butter in the top of a double boiler. Add the flour and stir to blend. Slowly add the milk, stirring to a thin, white sauce consistency.

Add enough Parmesan for a medium-thick consistency, stirring until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the fish.

Bake for 20 minutes. Turn on the broiler and broil for an additional 3-5 minutes to brown lightly.

Makes six 1-fillet servings.

November 26, 2011

Crock Pot Ruby Chicken

This crock pot chicken recipe couldn’t be much easier, or more delicious!


Crock Pot Ruby Chicken

2 pounds chicken pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 6-ounce can orange juice, concentrated
2 teaspoons grated orange peel
1 pound whole cranberries
1 cup sugar

Night before: Chop onions, thaw orange juice and chicken, measure spices.

In the morning: Add ingredients to crockpot. Cook on low 8-10 hours, till done. Serve over hot cooked rice.

Serves 6.

November 25, 2011

Hartstone Inn For the Holidays

If you are looking for a truly magical dining experience for yourself and those you love this coming holiday season, look no further than Camden’s Hartstone Inn. Publisher Jim Bazin, my son, Jacob, and I enjoyed fine dining at its best there for an afternoon seating of Thanksgiving this year.

The menu was heavenly, and every dish was a rare treat of the most perfectly blended flavors.

For starters, our taste buds were awakened by the Shrimp Timbale with Roasted Butternut Squash and a Thyme-Cream. Beautifully presented and mouth-watering.

ShrimpTimbale_7158Shrimp Timbale with Roasted Butternut Squash and Thyme-Cream.

On to the next course, a Sweet Potato, Rutabaga and Green Apple Soup with a Maple-Cream. We heard an exclamation of “mmm” from around the dining room. Another perfect fusion of flavors and another work of art.


Caught in the act: Savoring the Sweet Potato, Rutabaga and Green Apple Soup with a Maple-Cream. My son Jacob said “This is so good it could be dessert.”

A Cranberry-Lemon Sorbet came to clear our palates, a small portion but an appropriate tangy taste of the holidays which prepared us for the main course, Rosemary-Roasted Turkey with a Pecan-Apricot Dressing and Shallot Smashed Potatoes. The Turkey was so moist, the dressing, potatoes, squash, and stuffing divine. I knew Chef Michael Salmon was in the kitchen.

And lo and behold, the master appeared at our table to say hello and serve us his signature souffle dessert, this one a Pumpkin Soufflé with a Spiced Crème Anglaise. It was to die for!

I must make note here that the wonderful service put this already amazing meal over the top. Our warm and attentive servers made sure our every need was catered to, and we greatly enjoyed our time talking with Chef Michael’s wife, Innkeeper Mary Jo. We enjoyed their genuine hospitality, warm atmosphere, and superb feast.

The Hartstone is offering special dining all this winter with weekly specials, and check out their amazing Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Menu.

Spend some time at the Hartstone Inn this season and add more wonderful memories to your holiday!

Pumpkin Lasagna

Trying to please a mixed crowd this year for the holidays? With my gatherings, there are often a couple vegetarians, a vegan or two, and several gourmands. This recipe for Pumpkin Lasagna will suit everyone but the lactose intolerant.

We love this dish because it may be made ahead, frozen or not, and packs a bundle of seasonal flavor. I can even imagine it layered with a savory stuffing, and cutting back on the noodles…if carbs didn’t matter. If you grew pumpkin this year use your freshly cooked sugar pumpkin or a dry squash like buttercup. Canned works well, too. Make sure you grab the plain pumpkin purée and not the pie mix! The flavors of this lasagna remind me of a sage butter dressed butternut ravioli and is so much easier!

Perfect on its own, this dish does play well with others and I can use my still flourishing Swiss chard as an ingredient. What’s better than eating out of the garden?!

Pair with a Pouilly Fuisse or another great white.

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November 24, 2011

Leftover Turkey Croque Monsieur Sandwich

Using your favorite leftovers from your turkey day meal, there are many ways to create new dishes for your family to enjoy. Ricky Eisen, President and Owner of Between the Bread, has crafted an original recipe for a Leftover Turkey Croque Monsieur Sandwich.

image by Jonathan Gregson, from

Leftover Turkey Croque Monsieur Sandwich
Ricky Eisen, Between the Bread

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups hot milk
1 teaspoon of salt
1 pinch of ground black pepper
12 ounces of any yellow cheese, grated (5 cups)
16 slices of white sandwich bread, with the crusts removed (optional)
Dijon or spicy mustard
8 ounces of turkey (light or dark), sliced thin
Leftover bread stuffing
Cranberry sauce

Preheat the oven to 400º. Melt the butter over low heat in a small sauce pan and add the flour all at once, stirring with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Slowly pour the hot milk into the butter–flour mixture and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thickened. Off the heat add the salt, pepper, ½ cup grated yellow cheese.

Toast the bread.

Lightly brush half the toasted breads with mustard, add a slice of turkey to each, and sprinkle with half the remaining cheese.

Add a spoonful of stuffing & cranberry sauce to top and spread in layers keeping the top flat. Top with another piece of toasted bread. Slather the tops with the cheese sauce, sprinkle with the remaining cheese, and bake the sandwiches until lightly browned. Serve hot.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Making a getaway for a family holiday celebration (vegetarian).

PrisonBreak_8232image © Jim Bazin

November 23, 2011

Hot Sausage Stuffing

This Thanksgiving, try making Betsy Allport’s Hot Sausage Stuffing!

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Flagstone’s Fruit Compote

Every family has certain dishes that a holiday meal just wouldn’t be complete without, and this very unusual fruit compote fits that description for my family. There would be a major uprising if this side dish was not served with the ham for Easter and the turkey on Thanksgiving.

My late uncle, Paul Hodgdon, was the Executive Chef at Flagstone’s Restaurant in Newington, New Hampshire (a few miles from Portsmouth) when I was a child. I’m not sure whether he developed this recipe himself or if it was an in-house recipe, but the restaurant became famous for this fruit salad. My Mom has passed the recipe down to my sisters and me and we are all carrying on the tradition of serving it during the holidays. Flagstone’s burned down more than 30 years ago but whenever we drive by the location, I have to smile as I remember the wonderful food Uncle Paul prepared, both at the restaurant and in the kitchen with my Nanie, who was also a fabulous cook. (Who says being a foodie isn’t a genetic condition?)

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November 22, 2011

Maple-Painted Baked Winter Squash

All kinds of winter squash grow beautifully in northern climes. They start showing up in farmers’ markets and supermarkets in the fall: scalloped dark green butternuts, oblong orange acorns, striped delicatas, and big chunks of meaty Hubbard. They all take well to this kind of simple glaze of butter, maple syrup, and ginger.

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November 21, 2011

Roast Turkey with Black-Truffle Butter and White-Wine Gravy

“When food editor Shelley Wiseman was asked to develop a recipe for an over-the-top turkey, she began by rubbing truffle butter under its skin. “It’s a cheap shot,” she admitted, “but it’s damn delicious.” We all agreed—it’s the best turkey most of us have ever tasted. The butter, an excellent carrier of that unmistakable truffle flavor, moistens the turkey’s meat and crisps its skin during a high-heat roast. For this splendid centerpiece, a nuanced French shallot-wine sauce is just the thing.” -from Gourmet magazine, November 2008

photo by: John Kernick
Continue reading “Roast Turkey with Black-Truffle Butter and White-Wine Gravy” »

November 20, 2011

Apricot and Tarragon Sables

I was reading my way through a recent Food and Wine magazine and came upon the most devastatingly delicious looking savory cookie, engineered by a certain Dorie Greenspan of Manhattan. She is a published cookbook author, (Around My French Table is a favorite), creator of CookieBar, a .com business headquartered in New York City, and understudy to the French “pastry genius”, Pierre Herme.

Herme put salty olive shortbread cocktail cookies, or “sables”, on the map. Dorie has become noted for her sweet, salty, and savory cocktail “cookie canapes” as featured in the newest Food and Wine. Move over gougieres and cheddar shortbreads…I think we have here perhaps the perfect cocktail cookie.

The article in Food and Wine featured several savory cookie recipes, but I couldn’t get past this one for a sweet and savory, chewy apricot and tarragon cocktail cookie. Preferring a rustic look myself, I produced a refrigerator cookie type roll of dough to chill, slice, and bake. Dorie prefers to stamp her cookies out with a cookie cutter into perfect rounds, her signature look.

Cookie cutter. I guess that was never my style.

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November 19, 2011

Yukon Gold Potato and Wild Mushroom Gratin

Mark & Clark love to utilize the bounty of their surrounding wilderness, and are known to scour the forest floor for wild mushrooms, fiddleheads, thickets of wild blueberries, acorns, and honey. This recipe reflects their love for the forest by incorporating freshly foraged wild mushrooms into a holiday meal. Though many Mainers have access to wild mushrooms in their very own backyards, plenty of Mark & Clark’s favorite varieties are available in the supermarket or at the farmers’ market.

M&C foraging

photo by Ron Manville Continue reading “Yukon Gold Potato and Wild Mushroom Gratin” »

November 18, 2011

Martha Greenlaw’s Turkey Stuffing

Use this to stuff your turkey or do as I do: Bake it in a casserole alongside the turkey as it roasts.

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November 17, 2011

Citrus-Scented Roast Turkey

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and I have fond memories of the big day on the island. When we all gathered, as we did every year, it was a sight to behold. We would have such a wonderful day that no one went home until late in the evening. By that time I had made the turkey soup, so everyone ate again before they left.

Here is one of my favorite turkey recipes for you to enjoy with your family this holiday season.

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November 16, 2011

Warm Caribbean Rice Salad with Chicken and Almonds

A healthy version of comfort food! Delicious and chock full of good for you vitamins and nutrients.


Warm Caribbean Rice Salad with Chicken and Almonds
recipe courtesy of the

1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 1/2 teaspoons extra light olive oil, divided
2 6-ounce chicken breasts, boneless, skin on
4 cups spinach, washed and stems removed
1 cup orange segments
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1/2 cup finely chopped sweet onions
1 Caribbean or jalapeño chili, seeds removed and finely chopped
1 teaspoon jerk seasoning
1 1/4 cups orange juice (divided into 1 cup and ¼ cup)
1 teaspoon arrowroot
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
Yellow Rice with Cilantro (recipe below)

Heat a large skillet on medium-high. Add almonds and cook, stirring, until they turn gold. Tip into a bowl and set aside. Heat half of the oil in a skillet and cook the chicken breasts, turning several times, until almost cooked through, about 15 minutes. Remove to a hot plate and cover to finish cooking. While the chicken is cooking, make the yellow rice (instructions below) and dressing.

To make the dressing: Heat the remaining oil in a saucepan. Add the onions, chile, and jerk seasoning and cook, stirring, until wilted and translucent but not brown, 5 minutes. Pour in 1 cup of the orange juice and boil to reduce about 5 minutes. Combine the arrowroot and remaining orange juice and stir into the sauce to thicken. Add the salt and orange zest. Remove the skin from the chicken breasts and cut chicken into bite-size pieces. Toss the chicken, orange segments, half of the toasted almonds, cilantro, and spinach together. Add the hot rice and dressing, and toss again to mix thoroughly. Serve topped with the remaining toasted almonds.

Yellow Rice with Cilantro
2/3 cup long grain white rice
1 1/3 cups water
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads or a pinch of powdered saffron
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Combine the rice, water, saffron, and salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to very low and cook 10 minutes or until the rice is tender and the liquid is gone. Set aside with the lid on for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and stir in the cilantro.

Tips: Roasted whole or slivered almonds give a whole different kind of crunch to green salads. They combine perfectly with broccoli salad, salads with pears, and any kind of spinach salad.

Salsa idea: Combine 1 cup orange segments, 1/4 cup roasted, slivered almonds and 1/4 cup chopped cilantro. Scatter over broiled white fish, pork chops, or chicken breasts. If you’re serving the yellow rice separately – it’s terrific served with grilled chicken, fish, and pork – just add 1/4 cup of roasted, slivered almonds for flavor, texture, and extra vitamin E.

November 15, 2011

Cocoa and Coffee Rubbed Pork Roast

Here is a recipe for keeping it real…really warm and smelling great in the house with the aromas of many of our favorite Autumn things: cumin, coffee, and cocoa as well as the winning way roasting pork has on our outlook, especially on a blustery day.

I like to use a bone-in cut with this easy, do-ahead rub and add a pile of sautéed onions around the slow roasting meat to sweeten the deal. A bone-in pork shoulder butt would work just fine. Pair this pork with a Syrah or Sangiovese for a flavorful meal that’s easy on the wallet.

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November 14, 2011

Cranberry-Raisin Pie

“Ferdie Plante ran a seasonal art gallery over in the Harbor for years and would occasionally lure me in to talk cooking. One August, I left the “e” off his last name when I printed one of his recipes in the newsletter. By the end of the season, he’d gotten over it and began telling me about his favorite pie, but he agreed to hand over the recipe only if I would promise to spell his name correctly.”—Karyl Bannister


Cranberry-Raisin Pie
Karyl Bannister, Cook & Tell

¾ cup sugar, plus more to sprinkle on the crust
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
¾ cup light corn syrup
2 Tablespoons grated fresh orange zest
3 cups fresh cranberries
½ cup golden raisins
½ cup finely chopped walnuts
2 Tablespoons (¼ stick) butter
Pastry for a double-crust
9-inch pie
Milk for brushing the crust

Combine the ¾ cup sugar and cornstarch in a large saucepan and mix well. Stir in the corn syrup, ½ cup water, and the orange zest and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir in the cranberries, raisins, and walnuts. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the cranberries pop, 3-5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the butter, but do not stir. Cool.

Preheat the oven to 425°.

Roll out one crust and line a pie plate. Trim, leaving a ½-inch over-hang. Fill with the cranberry mixture. Roll out the top crust, cut vents, and fit it on the pie. Seal and crimp the edges. Brush the top with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and juice bubbles out of the pastry vents. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 6-8.