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August 7, 2013

Buzzy’s Lobster Casserole: LobFest 2013 Finalist

Justin Libby was a finalist in this year’s Maine Lobster Festival Seafood Cooking Contest with his recipe for Buzzy’s Lobster Casserole. He shared the following information with us about his life.

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Justin Libby interviewed by Allison Fishman Task, one of the contest judges and host of Yahoo! Blue Ribbon Hunter.

Captain Justin “Buzz” Libby is a 33 year old, lifelong, 3rd generation groundfisherman/scalloper/shrimper from Port Clyde. His boat, the 50-foot dragger the F/V Capt’n Lee, is based out of Port Clyde and is a bit of a local celebrity. A couple years ago, Kenny Chesney shot a country music video on it. It was also the star of the local movie, “The Fish Belong to the People.”

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Justin is one of the founders and owners of Port Clyde Fresh Catch, a fish processing and retail store that sells sustainably caught seafood and supports local fishermen. Port Clyde Fresh Catch is an outlet for customers to buy “net-to-plate” seafood. Seafood is caught sustainably, and processed and sold locally so you get only the freshest, highest quality product from the Gulf of Maine.

A member of the Port Clyde Groundfish Sector/Midcoast Fishermen’s Association, Justin is also working with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute to bring underutilized fish species that are considered healthy stocks in the Gulf of Maine to the table. His efforts include educating people on the importance of having a healthy fishery in Maine through the “Out of the Blue” campaign.

Buzz says his love of cooking is more of a love of eating. He enjoys shows, and his girlfriend urged him to enter this year’s cooking contest.

The origins for his Buzzy’s Lobster Casserole recipe came from a Christmas dinner he had as a child. His father was always away fishing, so it was usually him, his mom, and his sister at home together much of the time. Buzz would cook this and bring it to family events, and it became his casserole. The lobster meat was his personal touch that he added to the recipe in recent years, but the dish originally contained no seafood. He says his family and friends love this casserole. For the contest, he served it with an unusually delightful kelp salad, which he harvested himself, of course.

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So we had to ask. Where did he get the name “Buzzy?”

“Well, I was always buzzing around with my matchbox cars as a kid. Always active, always on the move.” Looks like he’s keeping the momentum going. There’s no sign of slowing this hardworking Mainer down, unless it’s long enough to stop by the kitchen to make his signature dish.

Buzzy’s Lobster Casserole
Justin Libby, Port Clyde, ME

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4 cups cubed potatoes
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 pint sour cream
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 pound diced lobster meat
1 large onion, diced
1 stick butter
1 Tablespoon salt
Box of corn flakes

Preheat oven to 400º. Prepare potatoes, lobster meat, and onion. Mix all ingredients (leave 1/2 stick of butter and cornflakes out) in a large mixing bowl with 1/2 stick of melted butter. After mixing, put in a large casserole dish.

Crunch up cornflakes and put a decent layer over the top. Melt other 1/2 stick of butter and drizzle over cornflakes. Cover with tin foil.

Bake for 45 minutes. Take tin foil off and bake for another 15 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes and serve.

Yields about 6 servings.

August 2, 2013

Maine Lobster Festival Seafood Cooking Contest 2013

Another delicious time was had by all again this year at the annual Maine Lobster Festival Seafood Cooking Contest. Held Friday morning at the North Entertainment Tent on the Lobster Festival grounds, the event drew a record crowd. Despite the rain, the heat was on as this year’s five finalists entertained festival-goers and impressed judges with their unique seafood recipes.

This event is always a lively, fun time in great part to outstanding emcee Louise MacLellan-Ruf and volunteer Celia Crie Knight. Audience participation is encouraged as lobster lore is discussed and there is an opportunity to ask questions of the panelists as they prepare their dishes.

The five amateur chefs who shared their culinary talents this year were John Ruppert, Brunswick, ME; Adam B. Marcus, Owls Head, ME; Tyrrell Hunter, Brunswick, ME; Justin Libby, Tenants Harbor, ME; and Gerald Huang, Jersey City, New Jersey.

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Contestants and Judges (L to R): Adam B. Marcus, Allison Fishman Task, Lynn Archer, Melanie Beckett Hyatt, Louise MacLellan-Ruf, Gerald Huang, Tyrrell Hunter, John Ruppert, and Justin Libby.

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L to R: Allison Fishman Task, Tyrrell Hunter, Lynn Archer, Melanie Beckett Hyatt, Louise MacLellan-Ruf

This year’s winner (and her second year in a row taking the top prize), was Tyrrell Hunter for her Spectacular Seafood Cannelloni.

Judges were Lynn Archer, owner and chef at Brass Compass Cafe and Archer’s on the Pier in Rockland; Allison Fishman Task, host of the Yahoo! Original Program, Blue Ribbon Hunter; and Melanie Beckett Hyatt, editor of Maine Food & Lifestyle.

Check our blog in the coming days for complete stories, recipes, and images! As always, we had a great time covering and helping promote this special event!

December 20, 2011

Holiday Subscripton Offer 2011

What’s the perfect gift for… the foodie on your list? The relative or friend who is currently a Mainer in exile, longing for a taste of their home state? The person who has everything? Yourself?

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It’s not too late to order 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.

Give the gift of Maine’s original food magazine, and make someone smile this holiday season. We’ll send the recipient a gift letter stating this gift is from you. Subscribe today for yourself or someone special on your holiday list!

Happy Holidays to you and those you love!

Melanie Hyatt & Jim Bazin

June 22, 2011

Uproot Pie Co.

Last Thursday I made my first visit of the season to the Rockland Farmers’ Market, and I have to say, it just keeps getting better every year. While I was comforted to see all my favorite local farms and businesses represented, I was also delighted by newcomer Jessica Shepard. Her new business, the Uproot Pie Co., offers freshly topped pizza pies and flatbreads from her mobile wood fired oven.

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image by Jim Bazin © 2011

Last Thursday at the Market, Uproot had the following pizza offerings:

Appleton Creamery Mozzarella

Dandelion Spring Farm Spinach, Ricotta, Roasted Garlic, and a wee bit of bacon

Caramelized Sweet Curried Onion with Fresh Dandelion Spring Farm Arugula

4 Cheese (Fontina, Romano, Mozzarella, and Gorgonzola)

Cheese

Guini Ridge Farm Sausage

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image by Jim Bazin © 2011

I had the Caramelized Sweet Curried Onion with Fresh Dandelion Spring Farm Arugula and it was absolutely scrumptious! The publisher tried the Spinach, Ricotta, Roasted Garlic, and Bacon and was equally impressed. We’re looking forward to our next visit!

June 18, 2011

BBQ Pork Kabobs

This recipe comes to us courtesy of Terra Optima Farm in Appleton. Their farm produces pasture raised pork, grass fed beef, chicken, and eggs, and their animals do not receive any unnecessary antibiotics or hormones. With a diet that consists of high quality grain and natural forage, Terra Optima animals move about freely outdoors all year.

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image: joelens.blogspot.com

BBQ Pork Kabobs
Terra Optima Farm, Appleton

1 Tablespoon fennel seeds
1 Tablespoon black peppercorns
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1 Tablespoon chopped onion
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup orange juice
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 pound Terra Optima pork kabobs

Combine all spices, add juice and olive oil. Put meat in marinade in a plastic zip top bag and set aside to marinate for as long as time permits. Thread onto skewers and grill over a hot grill until done.

May 14, 2011

Maine Fiddlehead Salad

This recipe comes to us courtesy of the Damariscotta Farmers’ Market. Fiddleheads, a Maine delicacy, are in season now for a very short window of time. Enjoy them in a variety of ways. Here’s one simple and delicious recipe for you to try.

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Maine Fiddlehead Salad
Damariscotta Farmers’ Market

2 cups fiddleheads, cleaned, cooked, and cooled
½ cup roasted red pepper strips
½ cup julienned Roma tomatoes
5 ounces fresh chevre
½ cup julienned red onion
¼ – ½ cup balsamic vinaigrette

Toss all ingredients together and serve.

Makes 1 large or 2 small side salads.

May 13, 2011

Calzones

Sometimes you get a calzone that is basically a pizza folded in half. I prefer these, with a nice cheesy ricotta and greens for the filling. You can serve it with some warm tomato sauce or store-bought spaghetti sauce on the side for dipping.

Eat Local Cover NBN

Continue reading “Calzones” »

January 3, 2011

Curried Maine Shrimp with Coconut Rice

Does anything taste better than Maine shrimp? Precious little comes to my mind at the moment…I wait patiently (ok, impatiently!) for the season to roll around, and before I blink, it’s over. I glut myself on a few shrimp boils and always vow that next year I’ll get a little more creative, purchase more, and store them in the freezer to tide me over for another year. Though the food purist in me knows these perfect little gems of the sea need little adornment, here is a rather exotic way to showcase this Maine seafood favorite. Call my friends at Port Clyde Fresh Catch to place your order today!!

Introduce this Creamy Curried Maine Shrimp With Coconut Rice to your yearning taste buds, and they’ll never ask for anything else for a long time to come. This recipe can be prepared in about 5 minutes. Use the freshest coconut available.

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photograph by Jim Bazin

Continue reading “Curried Maine Shrimp with Coconut Rice” »

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

November 11, 2010

Portland’s Evangeline Hosts Last Basket Dinner

Evangeline, named by USA Today as one of the 10 greatest places in the country to master the art of French eating, is hosting its first annual Last Basket Dinner on Wednesday, November 17 from 6 to 9PM. The dinner will feature a menu of dishes showcasing vegetables, fruits, and proteins commonly available in the fall’s final harvest. Beth Schiller of Dandelion Spring Farm in Washington, Maine, will join Chef Erik Desjarlais in giving guests a short presentation on how to bring the farm-to-table eating experience into their homes. Reservations for this first-time event can be made by calling 207-791-2800.

Evangelinephoto courtesy of Evangeline

Continue reading “Portland’s Evangeline Hosts Last Basket Dinner” »

October 11, 2010

Farmer Kev

How many 19 year olds do you know who run their own farms and sell their own CSA shares? We showcase one, Farmer Kev of Winthrop, in this issue.

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A growing trend in Maine shows more younger farmers like Kev. Learn how his garden grows and what economic weeds stand in his path in this back to the land article by Laurie Meunier Graves, in the latest issue of Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine.

October 5, 2010

Maine Food & Lifestyle’s New Issue: Number 12!

What’s cooking in Maine? Find out in the new issue of Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine, at a retailer near you this week! Area chefs in restaurants from Ogunquit to Stonington express their versions of “The Essence of Maine” with stories to share and recipes you’ll want to try at home.

Cover_12_485_BlogImage © Jim Bazin, 2010.

A strong focus on the Midcoast with chefs in Thomaston, Rockland, Camden, and Lincolnville who share interesting personal stories and great recipes, this issue is chock full of great taste!

Lots of fantastic features including Café Miranda, Thomaston Café, Curtis Custom Meats, Pig Kahuna, Farmer Kev, Provisions, Cliff House Resort, Bluefish, New Food Business, regular columnists, and more.

On the cover we proudly feature the seasonal colors of Maine Crab Soup by Melody Wolfertz of Rockland’s In Good Company.

For a delectable time, subscribe now!

September 28, 2010

Carding Brook Farm Scalloped Tomatoes with Garlic Crumbs

Carding Brook Farm in Brooklin, Maine, brings all kinds of wonderful things to local farmers’ markets, including its famous mesclun, herbs, baby potatoes—and most recently, tomatoes. Like many farmers, Jon Ellsworth and Jen Schroth have been doing more and more experimenting with tomato varieties that do well in Maine, and they’ve come up with some winners, with names like Ida Gold, Aunt Ruby’s German Green, and Black Prince. Mostly we simply turn these beauties into fabulous tomato salads, but this delicious “scallop” is a lovely way to serve the tomatoes in a lightly cooked state.scallopedtomatoes4

image: smellslikehome.com Continue reading “Carding Brook Farm Scalloped Tomatoes with Garlic Crumbs” »

August 16, 2010

Drowning in Zucchini? Try This Simple Sauté

Every week I head into town to pick up my CSA share, and every week I’m shocked to find an even bigger bag of zucchini than I found the week before. Will this bonanza ever taper off? How will I eat, freeze, and dry it all before it spoils?

I’ve been looking for new and interesting ways to prepare zucchini. Recently I threw together this simple Italian-inspired meal. It’s simple and easy, like summer cooking should be, but using freshly-picked, perfectly-ripe produce provides a burst of flavor and color.

summer vegetable saute

Continue reading “Drowning in Zucchini? Try This Simple Sauté” »

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.”)

April 9, 2010

Reminder: Know WHERE your food comes from!

Kathleen Merrigan, Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, acknowledged in a candid interview with the Washington Post that USDA regulators responsible for assuring that organic food is really organic, have done a “horrendous job of monitoring organic food.” They apparently had no way of determining whether as many as 1,500 foreign producers of “organic foods” were actually in compliance with the standards established for defining “organic.” And they haven’t been testing the foods for pesticide residues either.

Solution? Buy local. Join your local CSA and CSF. Get to know your food producers.

March 22, 2010

Seafood Curry

Seafood curryimage: worldisround.com

This recipe comes to us from Port Clyde Fresh Catch, our local CSF. It makes a gorgeous presentation, is full of delicious flavors, and highlights Maine shrimp. Continue reading “Seafood Curry” »

February 25, 2010

Quick Caribbean Fish & Shrimp Stew

Port Clyde Fresh Catch asks you to consider the importance of the following questions when purchasing your seafood. Does it matter to you…

  • That it’s wild-caught in an environmentally sustainable way?
  • That it’s of exceptional quality and handled with great care?
  • That you can trace the short, speedy path it follows from the moment it’s harvested until it reaches your plate?
  • That you’re helping sustain one of the last traditional fishing villages in Maine?
  • If you answered yes to any or all, give Port Clyde Fresh Catch a Call!

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Continue reading “Quick Caribbean Fish & Shrimp Stew” »

January 18, 2010

Shrimp lovers rejoice — Maine’s season is in full swing

There was a time when the Maine shrimp industry was in big trouble. Officials limited the wintry fishing season to matters of weeks versus months when fisheries officials sounded the depleted-stocks alarm in the 1980s, but since the mid-aught-decade shrimp have been thriving in the Gulf of Maine. Last October, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Northern Shrimp Section (because there is such a thing) elected to allow for a second consecutive six-month fishing season for Pandalus borealis, allowing shrimpers to fish and trap the crustaceans from Dec. 1, 2009, through May 29, 2010. Projections of robust stock prompted officials to decide there was plenty to go around.

In Maine during the winter you can find the tiny, pink, head-on hermaphrodites being sold (cheaply) by the pound out of the back of pickup trucks and at roadside stands with hand-scrawled signs. But if you’re not accustomed to driving around with a cooler in your back seat just in case, there are other ways of getting in on the short-lived bounty. Port Clyde Fresh Catch offers 12-week subscriptions via their Maine shrimp CSF. Pick-up is available at a number of winter farmers’ markets across the state and at pick-up points in Rhode Island and New York.

Maine shrimp are so delicate that people often eat them raw, but you can also saute or steam them ever so quickly for an easy scampi, pasta salad or chowder. After spending about an hour peeling five to 10 pounds of crustaceans, that is. Trust me, it’s worth it.

October 27, 2009

The Art of Local Food

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pastry lobster

On October 29, more than 40 local farms, restaurants, and culinary partners are teaming up to dish out the best treats, ever. Participating restaurants include Primo, Francine Bistro, Lily Bistro, and many more. Ingredients will include fish from the Port Clyde Fisherman’s Co-op, cheeses from Appleton Creamery, mushrooms from Oyster Creek Mushrooms, and fresh vegetables from Peacemeal Farm among others.

For $25, all of which supports NRCM’s work to protect Maine’s environment (and $10 of which is tax-deductible), you can savor an autumn evening with neighbors who love Maine’s environment and enjoy live music, Maine art, yummy local foods, and a cash bar featuring Maine wines, beers, gin, rum, and vodka. What better way to celebrate Maine’s bounty?

If you have questions, please contact Joyce Gracie at (207) 430-0128.

Participating farms and restaurants include:

After the Fall Farm Montville Jess’s Market Rockland
Angelina’s Bakery Knox Lily Bistro Rockland
Appleton Creamery Appleton Maine-ly Poultry Warren
Atlantic Baking Company Rockland Market Basket Rockport
Belfast Co-op Belfast Meadowsweet Farm Swansville
Brae Maple Farm Union Monroe Cheese Studio Monroe
Brevetto/Sage Market Camden Mystique Chevre Waldoboro
Broken Acres Farm Jefferson Oyster Creek Mushroom Farm Damariscotta
Cellardoor Winery Lincolnville Paolina’s Way Camden
Cold River Vodka Freeport Peacemeal Farm Dixmont
Dandelion Spring Farm Washington Port Clyde Fisherman’s Co-op Rockland
Darby’s Restaurant Belfast Primo Rockland
Ephemere Camden Ravenswood Farm Union
Francine Bistro Camden Rolling Acres Farm Monroe
Good Tern Co-op Rockland Smith’s Log Smokehouse Monroe
Gratitude Food Waldo Spear Farm & Greenhouse Warren
Guini Ridge Farm Union Sweet Henry’s Belfast
Home Kitchen Café Rockland Sweets and Meats Rockland
Hubbard Brook Farm Unity Terra Optima Appleton
In Good Company Rockland Three Tides Belfast
Whitefoot Farm Jefferson