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March 31, 2013

Linguini with Sautéed Scallops and Peas

Scallops are always quick to cook and delicious to eat. Gina Homolka’s recipe for Linguini with Sautéed Sea Scallops and Peas is a meal that takes less than 15 minutes to make.

Click on the image below for Gina’s recipe…


Recipe and image by Gina Homolka of

March 30, 2013

Ham with Riesling and Mustard

Slice this ham and serve with soft dinner rolls so guests can make mini sandwiches, then use the bone to make soup. Ask your butcher for a whole cured, smoked bone-in ham from the back leg of the pig. You can also buy a half ham and cut the recipe in half.


Holiday Ham with Riesling and Mustard
image and recipe courtesy of

1 14–16 pound whole cured, smoked bone-in ham
2 cups sweet (Auslese) Riesling, divided
2 Tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
3 sprigs thyme plus 2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup whole grain mustard
1 Tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Small pinch of kosher salt

Arrange rack in lowest level of oven; preheat to 300°. Leaving fat intact, remove outer rind from most of ham, leaving a band around the end of the shank bone. Score fat crosswise (do not cut into meat) on top of ham with parallel cuts spaced 1/2 inch apart. Place ham in a large roasting pan. Boil 1 cup Riesling and 7 cups water in a saucepan for 5 minutes. Pour into bottom of roasting pan. Bake ham, basting with pan juices occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the ham registers 110°, 2 1/2–3 hours.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and thyme sprigs; cook, stirring often, until shallots are very soft, about 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat; stir in the remaining 1 cup Riesling. Return to stove. Increase heat to medium-high, bring to a simmer, and cook until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 8 minutes. Remove the thyme sprigs and transfer mixture to a food processor. Add thyme leaves, mustard, honey, pepper, and salt. Process until well blended.

Remove pan from oven and increase heat to 350°. Using a pastry brush, spread Riesling mixture over ham. Return pan to oven and bake ham, tenting with foil if browning too quickly, until internal temperature registers 135° and crust is golden brown, 15-30 minutes.

Transfer ham to a large platter. Let rest for 30 minutes before carving. Skim fat from pan juices, reheat, and pour juices into a medium pitcher; serve alongside.

Serves 16 (with leftovers).

March 29, 2013

Maple Sugar Time in Maine

Few things are sweeter than a little time spent in a sugar shack. Especially when the sap is running and the boil is on! Add to that a short stack of flapjacks and homemade sausage covered in amber syrup and there you have it…Maine Maple Syrup Season. 2013-03-24_10-07-15_216

It is tradition and it is precious family time as well. Given the sunny day, families were out in droves last Sunday across the state to enjoy the official start of it all during Maine Maple Sunday. They enjoyed breakfast, sometimes al fresco, or even better…in a haze of sweet smoke and steam.

images by Laura Cabot


Whipped Maple Sweet Potatoes

Maple syrup sweetens these velvety mashed sweet potatoes. Pass a pitcher of warm syrup to drizzle over the top.

image from

Whipped Maple Sweet Potatoes
from Bob’s Sugar House Cookbook

3 pounds sweet potatoes or yams
2 Tablespoons Maine maple syrup
2 Tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Additional Maine maple syrup, if desired

Heat oven to 350°. Pierce sweet potatoes with fork.

Place potatoes in 9 x 9 x 2 inch square pan. Cover and bake about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until potatoes can be easily pierced with a knife.

Slip off skins. Beat potatoes with electric mixer on medium speed until no lumps remain.

Add 2 Tablespoons of maple syrup, the butter, salt, and desired amount of cinnamon. Continue beating until the potatoes are light and fluffy. Drizzle with additional syrup.

(Make ahead tip: Can make these up to 24 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate and then reheat in microwave oven or in slow cooker on low heat setting until warm.)

March 28, 2013

Slow-Roasted Andalusian-Style Lamb and Potatoes

Ask for the smallest lamb your butcher has (like those from New Zealand), or buy a 3 1/2-4-pound piece of a leg to make this incredible dish.

image courtesy of

Slow-Roasted Andalusian-Style Lamb and Potatoes

4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 Tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
2 Tablespoons kosher salt plus more
4 fresh bay leaves, divided
3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (6-8), peeled, cut into 1/4 inch slices, divided
7 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
Freshly ground black pepper
1 3 1/2- to 4-pound bone-in leg of lamb
2 pounds tomatoes, cut into 1/4 inch slices
2 medium onions, cut into 1/2 inch slices
2 cups dry white wine

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine garlic, thyme, and 2 Tablespoons salt in a small bowl. Using your fingertips, rub mixture until it resembles wet sand (larger pieces of garlic will remain); set aside. Crush bay leaves.

Combine half of potatoes with 1 Tablespoon oil and 1 crushed bay leaf in a large roasting pan; season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Spread out potatoes in a single layer.

Place lamb on top of potatoes and rub with garlic mixture. Layer tomatoes, onions, remaining 3 crushed bay leaves, and remaining potatoes around and up sides of lamb, seasoning with salt and pepper and drizzling with remaining 6 Tablespoons oil as you go (lamb will be nearly covered). Add wine to pan; cover tightly with foil.

Roast until lamb is very tender, 3-4 hours. Remove foil and increase oven temperature to 425°. Roast, turning lamb halfway through, until lamb is golden, 20-25 minutes longer. Let rest in roasting pan for 15-20 minutes. DO AHEAD: Lamb can be roasted 2 days ahead. Cover and chill. Reheat before continuing.

Pull meat from bones in large chunks; discard bones and fat. Place meat and vegetables on a platter. Skim fat from surface of cooking juices in pan. Spoon some cooking juices over lamb and vegetables and serve remainder alongside.

Serves 6-8.

March 27, 2013

Warm Spring Salad: Chipotle Maple Corn Asparagus

Vegans and non-vegans alike on your Easter list will love this warm salad recipe, bursting with spring flavors!

For a link to the recipe, click on the image below:

recipe and image courtesy of Kathy Patalsky,

March 26, 2013

Easter Apricot-Coconut Cake

This fruity cake from has a layer of apricot preserves and a toasted coconut exterior. Perfect for Easter entertaining!

image by Con Poulos

Apricot-Coconut Cake

1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pans
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups apricot preserves
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sour cream
2 Tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

Heat oven to 350°. Toast the coconut on a baking sheet, tossing occasionally, until golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and granulated sugar until fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla and ¾ cup of the preserves. Alternately add the flour mixture and the milk, mixing just until incorporated.

Divide the batter between the pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the cakes from the pans and let cool completely on racks.

Using an electric mixer, beat the heavy cream, sour cream, and confectioners’ sugar until stiff peaks form. Spread the remaining ½ cup of preserves on top of one of the cakes; sandwich with the other. Frost with the cream mixture and press the coconut onto the sides.

Serves 8.

March 25, 2013

Cheddar Jalapeno Chicken Burgers with Guacamole

Gaby Dalkin of What’s Gaby Cooking says that, “Last week I stepped up my burger game with a juicy chicken burger patty that I stuffed with shredded cheddar cheese, cilantro and jalapeños. And then I decided to get even fancier with a spoonful of guacamole and a dollop of sour cream.” These flavors will likely make this your favorite burger of all time.

Click on Gaby’s image below to get her recipe.

Recipe and image by Gaby Dalkin of What’s Gaby Cooking

March 24, 2013

Mediterranean Spinach Salad Recipe with Garbanzos, Tomatoes, Radishes, and Sumac-Lemon Vinaigrette

A healthy and delicious salad for a Meatless Monday meal, or for any time else. And if you haven’t been introduced to Sumac previously, this salad is a perfect opportunity to discover it. Kalyn Denny says, “If you’re one of those Sumac-deprived people who haven’t tried it, Sumac tastes a lot like lemon, but more fruity and not quite so sour.”

Click on the image below to get this recipe from Kalyn’s Kitchen blog.


Recipe and image by Kalyn Denny of Kalyn’s Kitchen

March 23, 2013

Quick Avocado Sandwich Wraps

“The winter season can seem to drag on, especially when you’re waiting for the warmer weather to hit. Celebrate the fact that spring is near with a picnic-perfect light dinner! Quick avocado sandwich wraps can do the trick.”—

For a link to this recipe, click the image below.

image and recipe courtesy of

March 22, 2013

English-Muffin Egg Pizzas

These mini breakfast pizzas will soon become a family favorite. You can hard-cook eggs in advance and store unpeeled in the refrigerator for a week, which will shave off plenty of prep minutes in the morning.

image: Antonis Achilleos

English-Muffin Egg Pizzas

4 English muffins
Olive oil
Tomato slices
2 hard-cooked eggs, sliced
Grated Mozzarella cheese
Kosher salt

Make hard-cooked eggs.

Toast 8 English-muffin halves and place on a cookie sheet.

Drizzle each with olive oil, then layer on tomato slices, hard-cooked egg slices (1/2 an egg each), and a little grated mozzarella. Sprinkle with oregano and kosher salt.

Broil 5 minutes or until the cheese melts.

Serves 4.

March 21, 2013

Tilapia Fish Tacos with Cabbage Slaw

Quick-cooking, flaky, versatile tilapia is an excellent filling for fish tacos. The mild heat of chili powder is tempered by the slaw, which gets fresh flavor from tomato, cilantro, and lime. For an easy flavor and fiber boost, heat canned black beans with a little cumin and black pepper and serve on the side or as an extra topping for the tacos.

Photo: Lee Harrelson; Styling: Jan Gautro, Laura Zapalowski

Fish Tacos with Cabbage Slaw

4 cups very thinly presliced green cabbage
1 cup chopped plum tomatoes
1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
5 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 pound tilapia fillets
1 teaspoon chili powder
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas

Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Add juice, 1 Tablespoon oil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; toss well to combine.

Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle fish evenly with chili powder and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add fish to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Remove from heat, and cut fish into bite-sized pieces.

Warm tortillas according to package directions. Spoon about 1/4 cup cabbage mixture down the center of each tortilla. Divide fish evenly among tortillas; fold in half. Serve tacos with remaining cabbage mixture.

Yields 4 servings.

March 20, 2013

Ginger, Chicken, and Broccoli with Bulgur

Wok this way for a healthy stir-fry recipe!

image by Linda Pugliese

Ginger, Chicken, and Broccoli with Bulgur

3/4 cup bulgur
1 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 Tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons minced ginger
2 cups small broccoli florets, halved
cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 Tablespoons water
2 cups diced rotisserie chicken
2 Tablespoons diced rotisserie chicken

Cook bulgur according to package directions, substituting broth for water.

Meanwhile, heat a large wok or skillet over high heat.

Add oil and ginger; stir-fry 10 seconds or until fragrant. Add broccoli, corn, salt and pepper; stir-fry 1 minute or until broccoli is bright green. Swirl in water; stir-fry broccoli 1 minute more or until crisp-tender.

Remove from heat and stir in chicken, bulgur and mint.

Serves 4.

March 19, 2013

Chili-Spiced Chicken Soup with Stoplight Peppers and Avocado Relish

If you’re a big fan of Mexican food, you’ll love this savory soup layered with many wonderful flavors!

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Chili-Spiced Chicken Soup with Stoplight Peppers and Avocado Relish
from Jamie Miller, Maple Grove, Minnesota, Cooking Light MARCH 2010

Spice blend:
2 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper

1 Tablespoon canola oil, divided
1 1/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
2 cups chopped sweet onion
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh corn kernels
1 (32-ounce) carton fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 (28-ounce) can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes, undrained
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1 teaspoon grated lime rind
3 ounces queso fresco, crumbled
1 diced peeled avocado
Cilantro sprigs (optional)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

To prepare spice blend, combine first 6 ingredients in a small bowl.

To prepare soup, heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat. Add chicken; sprinkle 1 1/2 Tablespoons spice blend over chicken. Sauté 8 minutes or until done; cool. Chop chicken; set aside.

Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in pan over medium-high heat; add onion, bell peppers, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sprinkle vegetable mixture with remaining spice blend; sauté 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in chicken, corn, broth, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 15 minutes. Add lime juice.

To prepare relish, combine chopped cilantro and next 4 ingredients (through avocado).

Ladle 1 1/4 cups soup into bowls; top with 1/4 cup relish. Garnish with cilantro sprigs, if desired.

Yields 8 servings.

March 18, 2013

Parmesan Pita Crisps

These crispy homemade pita chips are perfect for dipping, but they are also flavorful enough to hold their own on the snack table.

image by
James Baigrie

Parmesan Pita Crisps

3 Tablespoons olive oil
teaspoon ground cumin
teaspoon ground red pepper
5 whole (5 to 6 inch) whole wheat or white pitas with pockets
1/2 cup coarsely grated Parmesan cheese
Salt, (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°. In cup, with fork, mix oil, cumin, and ground red pepper.

With knife or kitchen shears, carefully split each pita in half. Brush 1 side of pita halves with oil mixture. Cut each half into 8 wedges. Arrange wedges, oiled-side up, in 2 ungreased 15 1/2 inch by 10 1/2 inch jelly-roll pans. Sprinkle with Parmesan, and salt if you like.

Place pans on 2 oven racks and bake crisps 12 to 15 minutes or until golden, rotating pans from upper to lower racks halfway through baking for even browning. Cool crisps in pans on wire racks. Store crisps in tightly covered container or large self-sealing plastic bag up to 1 week.

Yields 80 crisps.

March 17, 2013

Breakfast Reuben Special

Looking for something to do with all that leftover corned beef? Why not use it in this awesome recipe for a breakfast reuben?! Click on the image below for a link to the recipe from Kevin Lynch at Closet Cooking.

Breakfast Reuben Sandwich 500 5566

March 16, 2013

Beef and Guinness Pie

Irish stouts produce a thick head when poured, so chill the can or bottle well before measuring to reduce the foam.

image by Romulo Yanes

Beef and Guinness Pie

2 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
3 Tablespoons water
1 1/2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup beef broth
1 cup Guinness or other Irish stout
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons drained brined green peppercorns, coarsely chopped
2 fresh thyme sprigs
Rough puff pastry dough1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 Tablespoon water
4 (14-ounce) deep bowls or ramekins (4 to 5 inches wide) or similar-capacity ovenproof dishes

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°.Pat beef dry. Stir together flour, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish. Add beef, turning to coat, then shake off excess and transfer to a plate. Heat oil in a wide 5- to 6-quart ovenproof heavy pot over moderately high heat until just smoking, then brown meat in 3 batches, turning occasionally, about 5 minutes per batch, transferring to a bowl.

Add onion, garlic, and water to pot and cook, scraping up any brown bits from bottom of pot and stirring frequently, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in beef with any juices accumulated in bowl, broth, beer, Worcestershire sauce, peppercorns, and thyme and bring to a simmer, then cover and transfer to oven. Braise until beef is very tender and sauce is thickened, about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. Discard thyme and cool stew completely, uncovered, about 30 minutes. (If stew is warm while assembling pies, it will melt uncooked pastry top.)

Put a shallow baking pan on middle rack of oven and increase oven temperature to 425°.

Divide cooled stew among bowls (they won’t be completely full). Roll out pastry dough on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 13-inch square, about 1/8 inch thick. Trim edges and cut dough into quarters. Stir together egg and water and brush a 1-inch border of egg wash around each square. Invert 1 square over each bowl and drape, pressing sides lightly to help adhere. Brush pastry tops with some of remaining egg wash and freeze 15 minutes to thoroughly chill dough.

Bake pies in preheated shallow baking pan until pastry is puffed and golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 400° and bake 5 minutes more to fully cook dough.

Yields 4 servings.

March 15, 2013

Glazed Corned Beef Dinner

A delicious St. Patrick’s Day corned beef recipe. The glaze is the kicker!


Glazed Corned Beef Dinner
image and recipe from

8 medium red potatoes, quartered
2 medium carrots, sliced

1 medium onion, sliced

1 corned beef brisket with spice packet (3 pounds)

1-1/2 cups
4 orange peel strips (3 inches)

3 Tablespoons
orange juice concentrate
3 Tablespoons
1 Tablespoon
Dijon mustard

Place the potatoes, carrots and onion in a 5-qt. slow cooker. Cut brisket in half; place over vegetables. Add the water, orange peel and contents of spice packet.

Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours or until meat and vegetables are tender.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer corned beef and vegetables to a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Discard orange peel.

Combine the orange juice concentrate, honey and mustard; pour over meat. Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 15-20 minutes, basting occasionally.

Yields 8 servings.

March 14, 2013


It’s almost St. Patrick’s Day. Most of us no longer feel the need to drink green beer…or stick to a completely traditional menu for our celebration meals. In that vein, here is a recipe that is a traditional Irish side dish, but more sophisticated to accompany that brisket or corned beef when it takes center stage. So creamy and delicious, you may even dance a jig!

recipe and image from Laura Cabot, Laura Cabot Catering, Waldoboro

4 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 stick quality Irish butter
4 cups of stemmed and chopped cabbage or a chiffonade of kale, stemmed
One bunch of green onions, trimmed and chopped
1 cup of half and half or cream
Salt and pepper

Boil the potatoes in salted water. Drain.

Place another pot back on the burner and melt the butter, adding the greens and salt. Saute until wilted but bright and tender.

Add the potatoes and cream, salt and pepper to taste.

Mash all together, checking for seasonings. Keep hot until service.

More butter is always an option…..Magically Delicious!!

March 13, 2013

Turkey Burgers

Craving a burger, but want to cut out some of the fat and calories associated with a beef burger? Instead, opt for turkey burgers with this great recipe from

image by Christopher Baker

Turkey Burgers

1 1/4 pounds ground turkey (dark meat or 93 percent lean or less)
3/4 cup grated Gruyère or Swiss cheese (3 ounces)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Kosher salt and black pepper

Heat grill to medium-high. Oil the grill grate. In a medium bowl, combine the turkey, Gruyère, and garlic (do not overwork the meat). Form the mixture into four ¾-inch-thick patties and make a shallow well in the top of each. Season the patties with the chili powder, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.

Grill the patties, turning once (do not press or flatten), until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 160°, 6 to 8 minutes per side. Serve on rolls with the desired toppings.

Serves 4.