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October 13, 2013

Maine Mussel Chowder with Colorful Vegetables

While many Maine chowders look alike, this gorgeous brew has eye appeal to add to its gustatory delight. Age this one for at least a day for best results!

image by Scott Dorrance

Mussel Chowder with Colorful Vegetables
Brooke Dojny, Dishing Up Maine

2 cups water
1 cup bottled clam juice
4 pounds Maine mussels, scrubbed and debearded
6 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons olive oil
4 cups peeled, diced all-purpose potatoes (about 1½ pounds)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 carrots, peeled and finely diced
2 leeks, cleaned and thinly sliced (white and pale green parts only)
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
1 large shallot, chopped
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
3/4 cup dry white wine
2 cups heavy cream

Bring the water and clam juice to a boil in a large pot. Add the mussels, return to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook, covered, until the shells open, about 4-6 minutes depending on size. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the mussels to a bowl, discarding any that do not open. Set aside 16 mussels in their shells and shuck the rest. Pour the mussel broth into a large glass measure and set aside to allow any sediment to settle.

Heat the butter and oil in a large soup pot. Add the potatoes, salt, and pepper, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the carrots, leeks, bell pepper, and shallot, and cook, covered, over low heat until all the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

Add the wine, raise the heat to high, and cook briskly until reduced by about one-third, about 3 minutes.

Add the reserved mussel broth, leaving any sediment behind, and add the cream and the shucked mussels. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes to blend flavors.

Add the reserved mussels in their shells. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. (The chowder is best when allowed to age for at least 4 hours, or overnight.)

Reheat gently. Ladle into bowls, making sure that each serving contains at least 2 mussels intheir shells, and serve.

Yields about 2 quarts (6 main-course servings).

October 8, 2013

Apple-Maple Salad Dressing

This is a good basic recipe for fruit-based dressings. You may experiment with your own choice of fruits, but this combination of real Maine maple syrup and apples is perfect for fall salads and as a marinade. This dressing will keep for several weeks under refrigeration.


Apple-Maple Salad Dressing
Michael Salmon, Hartstone Inn, Camden

½ cup cider vinegar
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup canola oil
¼ cup chopped vidalia onion
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon dry mustard
1½ Tablespoons real Maine maple syrup
2 small Cortland apples, cored and coarsely chopped

Combine all ingredients listed above and mix in a blender until smooth.

Makes about 1½ cups.

March 29, 2013

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 12, 2013

Pork and Scallion Wonton Soup

If you want to please someone, this soup is sure to bring a smile.


Pork and Scallion Wonton Soup
300 Sensational Soups by Carla Snyder and Meredith Deeds, © 2008

8 ounces regular or lean ground pork
4 green onions, minced, divided
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
24 wonton wrappers, thawed if frozen
1 egg, lightly beaten
8 cups Chinese Chicken Stock (see recipe below)

In a large bowl, combine pork, half the green onions, soy sauce, five-spice powder, and pepper. Mix with your hands until well combined. To taste for seasoning, heat a small skillet over medium heat and fry a spoon-sized patty until no longer pink. Taste and adjust seasoning with soy sauce, five-spice powder and pepper, if necessary.

Place a rounded teaspoon of filling in the center of each wonton wrapper. Brush beaten egg around the edges of the wrapper. Lift two opposite corners together to form a triangle and enclose filling, pressing all edges firmly to eliminate air pockets and seal. Place wontons on prepared baking sheet, making sure they don’t touch.

In a large pot, bring stock to a simmer over medium heat. Add wontons and simmer until wrappers are tender and filling is cooked through, about 8 minutes.

Ladle stock into heated bowls and top each with 4 wontons. Garnish with the remaining greens.

Tip: Five-spice powder is a blend of ground cloves, fennel seeds, cinnamon, star anise and Szechwan peppercorns. Most large grocery stores stock it, but if you can’t find it, just use a mixture of the individual spices. It will still taste delicious.

Serves 6.

With the simple additions of lemongrass, star anise, green onions, cinnamon, and ginger, everyday chicken stock becomes an exotically flavored base for wonton soup, egg drop soup, hot-and-sour soup and even Thai soups. But don’t put any limits on your creativity—use this stock whenever you want that little extra something-something.

Chinese Chicken Stock
300 Sensational Soups by Carla Snyder and Meredith Deeds, © 2008

16 cups chicken stock (homemade or store-bought)
2 pounds chicken parts (necks, backs, breast bones, wings, etc.)
6 green onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 stalks lemongrass, bulbs sliced
1 carrot, sliced
1 stalk celery, sliced
6 whole black peppercorns
3 parsley stems
2 whole star anise
1 thumb-sized knot gingerroot, sliced
1 stick cinnamon, about 4 inches long
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

In a large stockpot, combine stock, chicken parts, green onions, garlic, lemongrass, carrot, celery, peppercorns, parsley stems, star anise, ginger, cinnamon, bay leaf and thyme; bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Cook at a very low simmer for 45 minutes.

Strain and degrease stock.

Yields about 14 cups.

January 27, 2013

Italian Sausage Stew

The stew must rest in the fridge overnight. You are not allowed to serve it on the day you make it, hear? I have no idea what will happen if you do, but this is just so darned good, you will not ask questions. A double boiler is a good thing to reheat the stew in, and shallow soup plates are better than deep bowls for serving.


Italian Sausage Stew
Karyl Bannister, Cook & Tell

1 pound sweet Italian sausages (not hot)
1 12-ounce can V8 Juice
3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 celery ribs, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 cups broccoli florets
8 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Cut the sausages in half, squeeze out the meat, cut it into small pieces, and chuck the casings. Cook the sausage in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until browned, about 5-7 minutes; discard the fat, if any. Transfer the sausage to a Dutch oven or other large, heavy-bottomed pot, add the V8, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the carrots and celery and simmer for 10 minutes more.

Add the potatoes, broccoli, mushrooms, and Worcestershire. Simmer until everything is tender, 30-45 minutes. Let stand in the fridge overnight before serving.

Serves 6.

January 3, 2013

Mexican Hot Chocolate

Technically, you can’t call a cup of cocoa “hot chocolate,” because cocoa is made from cocoa powder and hot chocolate from a hunk of chocolate. Fat content figures into it, too. But do we care?

Make this good hot drink with Mexican overtones and see what people call it when they ask for refills.


Mexican Hot Chocolate
Karyl Bannister, Cook & Tell

2 1-ounce squares unsweetened chocolate
3 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Dash of salt
3 cups milk
1 heaping teaspoon grated fresh orange zest
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whipped cream, for garnish

Melt the chocolate with 1 cup water in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently. Meanwhile, combine the sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl. Gradually stir into the melted chocolate. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and stir in the orange zest, almond extract, and vanilla.

Return the pan to low heat and warm gently; do not boil. Using a stick blender or an eggbeater, beat the hot chocolate until frothy. Pour into cups or mugs and garnish with whipped cream.

Serves 4-6.

January 2, 2013

Magical Leek Soup

A friend recently gave me the book French Women Don’t Get Fat. While no longer a new book, it was a perfect read for the beginning of the New Year. In the book, Magical Leek Soup was Dr. Miracle’s cure for quick weight loss in conjunction with a supporting cast of good habits, like eating correctly, moving whenever possible, and not snacking. It is explained in the book that leeks are a mild diuretic and after 48 hours of eating nothing but, this elixir helps to “re-set” the body.

After the marathon feasting of the holidays, this simple soup seems very appealing indeed and a good way to kick start the New Year. The idea is to spend a weekend eating nothing but this soup for best results.


Magical Leek Soup

Laura Cabot, Laura Cabot Catering, Waldoboro

2 pounds leeks
Filtered water to cover

The hardest part of this recipe is cleaning the leeks properly. This is most important or you will have a sandy soup. Cut half of the leek greens off and reserve for a stock in another recipe. Split the leeks and clean carefully under running water to get rid of the dirt.

Place the leeks in a heavy pot and cover with water. Bring to a simmer, without a lid, and let it cook for a half hour.

Pour off the liquid and reserve. Place the leeks in a bowl.

The juice is to be drunk, re-heated, every couple of hours, a cup at a time. If you get very hungry, eat some of the leeks too, 1/2 cup at a time.

It is fine to season the soup and leeks sparingly with olive oil, salt and pepper, or a bit of lemon juice.

Serves one for a slimming weekend.

December 19, 2012

Oyster Stew

Every Christmas Eve, we fix a sumptuous soup dinner, starring the elegant oyster. Yes, there’s cream and butter. The road to sumptuosity is paved with cream and butter. Come on! It’s Christmas!

image from

Christmas Eve Oyster Stew
Karyl Bannister, Cook & Tell

4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup thinly sliced celery
1/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
3 Tablespoons finely chopped onion
1 pint shucked fresh oysters, drained (reserve the liquid)
2 cups homemade chicken stock or canned chicken broth
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
2 cups light cream or milk

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat and saute the celery, bell pepper, and onion until the onion is limp and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the oysters, reduce the heat to low, and saute for 3-4 minutes, or until their edges curl.

Stir in the reserved oyster liquid, stock or broth, and salt and white pepper to taste and heat gently. Heat the cream or milk in a separate small saucepan, then add it to the oyster mixture.

Don’t expect the stew to be thick. We’re talking oysters and cream here, and we like it fashionably thin. Serve hot.

Serves 4.

November 26, 2012

Wild Mushroom and Orzo Soup with Italian Meatballs

Wild mushrooms have a big, beefy flavor that partners well with meatballs. This soup’s gutsy Italian flavors are sure to make it one of your favorites.

Tip: Grocery stores sometimes carry uncooked meatballs, packaged in the meat case, that they have made up themselves. We think it makes good sense to take advantage of this step-saving bonus, especially when the meatballs are of good quality. One caveat, though, is that store-bought meatballs are usually on the large side. We cut them in half and then reroll them into a ball. It only takes a minute, and they are a more “attackable” size in your soup bowl.


Wild Mushroom and Orzo Soup with Italian Meatballs
Excerpted from 300 Sensational Soups by Carla Snyder and Meredith Deeds © 2012 Robert Rose Inc. All rights reserved: May not be reprinted without publisher permission.

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1  large onion, minced
1 1⁄2 pounds wild (exotic) mushrooms, sliced
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
6 cups beef or chicken stock
Italian Meatballs
1 cup orzo
1⁄4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1⁄4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
Additional freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

In a large pot, heat butter and oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until starting to soften, about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms, celery, salt, basil and oregano; sauté until vegetables begin to soften and mushrooms have released their liquid, about 5 minutes.

Add stock and bring to a boil. Carefully add meatballs and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until meatballs are cooked through and vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and bring soup to a boil. Stir in orzo and boil until tender, about 8 minutes. Add parsley, lemon juice, cheese and salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle into heated bowls and pass additional cheese at the table.

Serves 6-8.

November 3, 2012

Pork with Arugula, Prosciutto and Tomatoes

This quick and easy pork recipe has zippy flavor! Click on the image below for a great meal idea: Pork with Arugula, Prosciutto, and Tomatoes, from cookbook author Nancy Verde Barr.

image by Tina Rupp, recipe courtesy of

November 1, 2012

Rich Lobster and Roasted Corn Chowder

Decadent is the best word to describe this luxurious chowder. Fresh lobster is paired with sweet roasted corn for a unique and memorable taste sensation.

Tips: You can use either fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels. If you prefer, you can replace the chicken stock and clam juice with 5 cups fish or shellfish stock.


Rich Lobster and Roasted Corn Chowder
Excerpted from 300 Sensational Soups by Carla Snyder and Meredith Deeds © 2012 Robert Rose Inc. All rights reserved: May not be reprinted without publisher permission.

Preheat oven to 425°.

Large rimmed baking sheet
3 cups corn kernels
1 1⁄2 Tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
4 slices bacon, chopped
2 cups chopped onions
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 pound boiling potatoes, peeled and diced
2 cups clam juice
1⁄2 cup whipping (35%) cream
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cooked lobster tails (each about 10 ounces), meat removed and cut into bite-sized chunks
3 Tablespoons chopped fresh chives

On baking sheet, combine corn, oil, 1⁄2 teaspoon of the salt, and 1⁄4 teaspoon of the black pepper; toss to coat evenly and spread in a single layer. Roast in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Stir and redistribute into an even layer. Roast until corn is lightly but evenly browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

In a large pot, sauté bacon over medium heat until browned and crispy, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels. Set aside.

Pour off all but 2 Tablespoons of the fat in the pot. Add onions and sauté until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add cayenne and sauté for 1 minute. Add potatoes, stock, clam juice, and the remaining salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in roasted corn and cream; return to a simmer, stirring often. Simmer, stirring often, until potatoes are tender, about 5 minutes. Do not let boil.

In a large, heavy skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add lobster meat and sauté until heated through, about 1 minute.

Ladle chowder into heated bowls and top with lobster. Garnish with reserved bacon and chives.

Serves 6.

October 22, 2012

Scalloped Salmon

From Cook & Tell’s portfolio of comfy, friendly standard family recipes comes this perfect weeknight supper dish. Glazed carrots, scallions and peas make nice accompaniments.


Scalloped Salmon
Karyl Bannister, Cook & Tell

1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup homemade chicken stock or canned chicken broth
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or 2 Tablespoons dried
2 Tablespoons chopped onion
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
15 ounces salmon, cooked and flaked or 1 15-ounce can red salmon
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
2 cups herb-seasoned croutons or stuffing mix
1 tomato, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon snipped fresh chives
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 350°. Butter a 9-inch pie plate.

Combine the milk, stock or broth, eggs, celery, parsley, onion, and mustard in a large bowl. Add the salmon, cheese, and croutons or stuffing and stir to blend. Transfer the pie plate and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown. For the last 5 minutes of baking, arrange the tomato slices in a ring on top of the scalloped salmon. Sprinkle with the chives and parsley and serve hot in wedges.

Serves 6.

October 21, 2012

Julia Child’s Apple Cream Tart

Over her long and illustrious lifetime, Julia Child forged a couple of strong ties to Maine. She and her husband, Paul, spent many summer vacations at his family home on Mount Desert Island, and then, in her later years, she often visited good friends on Deer Isle. In fact, one of the several 85th birthday parties that were given for her all across the country happened on Deer Isle. Like countless other late-twentieth century cooks, I was inspired by Julia’s wonderful television show and her cookbooks. I like to think that she would approve this slight adaptation of her delectable Apple Cream Tart from Mastering the Art of French Cooking (Knopf, 1966). I also think she’d approve the use of local cooking apples, such as Macouns or Jonathans.

image courtesy of

Julia’s Apple Cream Tart
Brooke Dojny,  Dishing Up Maine

Sweet Short Crust
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 Tablespoons cold butter, cut into 5 pieces
3 Tablespoons cold vegetable shortening, cut into 3 chunks
4 Tablespoons ice water

Apple Cream Filling
3 cups peeled and sliced medium-sweet apples, such as Macouns or Jonathans (about 1 pound)
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 egg
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup light cream
1 Tablespoon rum or cognac
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Powdered sugar

To make the crust, combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse to blend. Add the butter and shortening and pulse until the shortening is about the size of small peas. Drizzle the water through the feed tube and pulse until the pastry begins to clump together. Turn out onto a sheet of plastic wrap, flatten into a disk, wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. (To make by hand, whisk the dry ingredients together in a bowl, work in the cold butter and shortening with your fingertips, add the water, and stir with a large fork to make a soft dough.)

Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface, working from the center in all directions until you have an 11-inch round. Fold the dough in half and ease it into a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom with the fold in the center. Unfold the dough, press it against the sides of the pan, and trim the edges. Freeze for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375°.

Press a sheet of foil into the bottom of the tart shell. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake for 5-8 minutes, until pale golden. If the pastry starts to puff up, press the bottom gently with a large spatula or oven-mitted hand to flatten. Fill immediately or cool on a rack. If proceeding immediately, leave the oven temperature at 375°.

In a large bowl, toss the apples with 1/3 cup of the sugar and the cinnamon and spread into the bottom of the tart shell. Bake until the apples begin to color and are almost tender, 20-25 minutes.

Reduce oven to 350°.

Whisk together the egg and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a medium-sized bowl until well-blended. Whisk in the flour, then the cream, rum, and vanilla. Pour the mixture over the apple mixture.

Bake until the top is pale golden and a knife inserted part way to the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

Serve warm or at room temperature. Sprinkle with the powdered sugar before serving.

Serves 6-8.

October 20, 2012

Chicken, Apple and Smoked Gouda Panini

The roasted chicken pairs nicely with the sweetness of the apple and smokiness of the Gouda cheese.

Tip: I use one deli-style rotisserie chicken. It yields the perfect amount.

ChickenAppleSmokedGouda 2

Chicken, Apple and Smoked Gouda Panini
Image and recipe excerpted from 150 Best Grilled Cheese Sandwiches by Alison Lewis © 2012 Robert Rose Inc. All rights reserved: May not be reprinted without publisher permission.

Panini grill or large skillet
(Preheat panini grill to medium, if using)

8 slices Italian or multigrain bread (1⁄2-inch thick slices)
1⁄4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1⁄4 cup mayonnaise
2 cups thinly sliced roasted or grilled chicken (see Tip)
1 cup baby spinach leaves
2 Gala apples, thinly sliced
4 ounces smoked Gouda cheese, cut into thin slices

Brush one side of each bread slice with butter. Place on a work surface, buttered side down. Spread 4 bread slices equally with mayonnaise. Top equally with chicken, spinach, apples and cheese. Cover with remaining bread slices, buttered side up, and press together gently.

Place sandwiches on preheated panini grill or in a large skillet over medium heat and cook, turning once if using a skillet, for 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown and cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

October 18, 2012

Beer-Braised Chili

If you’re tired of beef-based chilies with red beans, try this equally delicious but lighter version. It makes a great potluck dish or the centerpiece for a casual evening with friends. For a special occasion, serve with hot cornbread.


Beer-Braised Chili
Excerpted from 250 Best Beans, Lentils & Tofu Recipes by The Editors of Robert Rose Inc. © 2012 Robert Rose Inc. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

Large (minimum 5 quart) slow cooker
4 cups cooked black-eyed peas
2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 ounces chunk bacon, diced
2 pounds trimmed pork shoulder or blade (butt), cut into 1-inch cubes and patted dry
2 onions, finely chopped
4 stalks celery, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves, crumbled
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns
1 piece (2 inches) cinnamon stick
1 cup flat beer
1 can (14 ounces) crushed tomatoes
1 each red and green bell peppers, seeded and diced
1 to 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
Sour cream
Finely chopped red onion
Shredded Monterey Jack cheese

In a skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook, stirring, until browned and crisp, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to slow cooker stoneware. Add pork, in batches, and cook, stirring, until browned, about 4 minutes per batch. Transfer to stoneware as completed.

Reduce heat to medium. Add remaining Tablespoon of oil to pan. Add onions and celery and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, coriander, oregano, salt, peppercorns, and cinnamon and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add beer, bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute, scraping up brown bits. Stir in tomatoes.

Transfer to stoneware. Stir in peas. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 3 hours. Stir in bell peppers and chipotles. Cover and cook on high for about 20 minutes, until peppers are tender. Garnish with any combination of sour cream, onion, and/or cheese.

Serves 8.

October 7, 2012

Pumpkin-Walnut Bread

Sister Frances Carr of Maine’s Sabbathday Lake Shaker Community published Shaker Your Plate in 1985. It’s a cookbook filled with recipes for simple goodness, which is the Shakers’ motto. This autumnal pumpkin bread—moist and flavorful—is based on a similar recipe by Sister Carr. It’s the slight amount of cornmeal in the batter that gives the bread its delightful, ever-so-slightly-gritty crunch.4079419551_4a0cc59cd5


Shaker Pumpkin-Walnut Bread
Brooke Dojny, Dishing Up Maine

1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin purée (not sweetened pumpkin pie filling)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup packed brown sugar, preferably dark brown

Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with butter.

Spread the walnuts out into a dry skillet and toast over medium heat, stirring frequently, until one shade darker, about 4 minutes.

Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg in a medium-sized bowl.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer or whisk, beat together the eggs, pumpkin purée, sugar, oil, water, and brown sugar. Add the flour mixture and whisk or beat on medium speed until well-blended. Stir in the toasted walnuts. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake until the bread shrinks from the side of the pan and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes; then invert onto a rack and cool completely. (The bread can be wrapped and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to 1 month.) Cut into slices to serve.

Yields 1 loaf (about 20 slices).

October 6, 2012

Atlantic Smoked Salmon Frittata

“The frittatas I serve at the Inn are basically thick open-faced omelets. Toppings used are only limited by your imagination. Some of my favorite combinations include broccoli, bacon and Swiss cheese or bell peppers, prosciutto and Boursin cheese or cooked lobster, asparagus and Spanish Manchego cheese.”—Michael Salmon, Hartstone Inn, Camden


Atlantic Smoked Salmon Frittata
Michael Salmon, Hartstone Inn: Signature Recipes From an Elegant Maine Inn

6 large whole eggs
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 ounces Atlantic smoked salmon
1/4 cup grated sharp Vermont cheddar
2 Tablespoons finely chopped red onion
2 Tablespoons capers
Freshly ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons chopped chives
2 Tablespoons sour cream
Fruit for garnish

These are individual open-faced frittatas. Crack the eggs in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk well. Add milk and salt, and mix.

In a 7-inch nonstick sauté pan, melt 1 Tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Add half of the egg mixture and stir gently (as you would for scrambled eggs) until the eggs are about 3/4 firm. Stop stirring and let the eggs set up. Flip over and firm up the other side. Remove to a baking sheet and cook the other half of the egg mixture in the same way.

Spread one ounce of the smoked salmon over each frittata. Evenly sprinkle the cheese, red onion, and capers and crack some black pepper on each frittata. Place the baking sheet under a salamander or broiler to melt the cheese and lightly brown the top of the frittatas. Sprinkle with the chives.

Serve with a spoonful of sour cream and a fruit garnish on the side.

Serves 2.

October 5, 2012

Hot Apple Sundaes

Susan Delaney-Mech, consulting food chemist to Cook & Tell (well, she’s a chemist, she likes to cook, and she’s a subscriber), dreamed up this topping for glorious autumn sundaes. Ladies and gentlemen, it may sound like just apples and maple syrup, but let me tell you, something wonderful happens in the oven. Call it chemistry. Use only McIntosh apples; they turn properly slurpy in the designated time.


Hot Apple Sundaes
Karyl Bannister, Cook & Tell

5 McIntosh apples, peeled, cored, and diced
3 Tablespoons pure Maine maple syrup
1 quart vanilla ice cream

Preheat oven to 350°.

Put the diced apples in an 8-inch square baking dish. Stir in the maple syrup. Cover and bake for 1 hour, or until the apples are soft.

At serving time, dole out the ice cream into six bowls or sundae dishes. Ladle the hot topping over the ice cream and serve immediately.

Serves 6.

October 3, 2012

Turkey Lasagne

Looking for some healthy recipes to shape up your diet? Check out the cookbook Fresh and Healthy DASH Diet Cooking: 101 Delicious Recipes for Lowering Blood Pressure, Losing Weight and Feeling Great by Andrea Lynn. It’s filled with great meal ideas for staying healthy (like the lasagne recipe featured here) without sacrificing flavor.

Garfield isn’t the only one who loves lasagne. This turkey-based version of the popular Italian staple is great for a big crowd or to give yourself a couple days of leftovers.

Turkey Lasagne
image and recipe from Fresh and Healthy DASH Diet Cooking: 101 Delicious Recipes for Lowering Blood Pressure, Losing Weight and Feeling Great by Andrea Lynn

Turkey Lasanga

2 teaspoons canola oil
1 pound extra-lean ground turkey breast
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (25-ounce) jar tomato sauce
1 (15-ounce) container low-fat ricotta cheese
1 large egg
½ cup shredded zucchini
½ cup shredded carrot
1 (16-ounce) box no-boil whole wheat lasagna noodles (12 noodles will be needed)
1 (12-ounce) package part-skim mozzarella

Preheat the oven to 375°. Heat the canola oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the ground turkey, salt, and pepper and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the turkey is fully cooked, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in three-fourths of the pasta sauce. In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, egg, zucchini, carrot, and remaining pasta sauce.

Add 1 to 2 Tablespoons ricotta sauce to a 9 x 13-inch glass baking dish. Top with 4 noodles and all but 1 cup of the turkey sauce. Sprinkle 1 cup mozzarella cheese on top of the sauce. Layer with 4 more noodles. Add all but 1 cup of the ricotta sauce and top with 4 noodles. Combine the remaining ricotta sauce and turkey sauce and spread over the noodles. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella on top. Cover the dish with foil and bake until the noodles are easily pierced with a knife, about 45 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for 15 minutes longer, until the cheese is golden. Cut the lasagne into serving pieces.

Do the DASH

When making pasta based dishes such as lasagne, make sure to sneak in as many vegetables as possible such as the carrots and zucchini in this recipe. In a recent Pennsylvania State University study, adults who consumed meals that incorporated additional vegetables took in up to 357 fewer calories a day and almost doubled their intake of veggies.

Serves 8.

October 1, 2012

Southwestern Shepherd’s Pie

Traditional shepherd’s pie is great, but shepherd’s pie with a little kick of the Southwest? Terrific!

SouthwesternShepherdsPieBLT 2

Southwestern Shepherd’s Pie
Excerpted from 250 Best Beans, Lentils & Tofu Recipes by The Editors of Robert Rose Inc. © 2012 Robert Rose Inc. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

11- by 7-inch glass baking dish
1 1⁄2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
1⁄2 cup milk
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 pound lean ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
1⁄2 cup chopped onion
1 can (14 to 19 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes
1 1⁄2 cups corn kernels (thawed if frozen)
1⁄2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350°.

Place potatoes in a large saucepan and add enough water to cover. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes or until potatoes are just tender. Drain, return to the pot and add milk, butter, cilantro, half the salt and half the pepper; mash until smooth.

Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, over medium-high heat, cook beef, garlic and onion, breaking beef up with the back of a spoon, for 8 to 10 minutes or until beef is no longer pink. Drain off fat.

Stir in beans, tomatoes and the remaining salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, for 5 to 7 minutes or until heated through.

Spread beef mixture in baking dish. Spread corn evenly over meat. Spread mashed potatoes over corn. Sprinkle with cheese.

Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until top is golden.

Serves 6.