Friday, August 19, 2011

Maine 2011

lobstah, buttah, what else do you need ?

Some good news, readers...I have FINALLY replaced my laptop !! Hopefully I can get back to blogging a little more regularly's good to be back !! (Thank you Dad for Christmas in August, and Ma for a very generous birthday gift)

I have been asked so many times to "name my favorite meal". For a foodie, that question is nearly impossible to naming a favorite child.  Perfect meals are as much about timing as ingredients...what you're craving at any moment, what is fresh and available and irresistible and OMG MUST HAVE NOW !! I've had caviar and champagne at the perfect moment, and a perfect tuna melt just when I needed it most. Both could easily be my "favorite":

However, when absolutely pinned down to name my all time favorite meal, there's only one answer I can really give : lobsters and clams on the back deck of our family place in Cushing, Maine. My ties to this magical spot run old and deep - much more than I want to get into in this blog, which is really all about the, let's discuss.

clam digging

nice haul !

"Local" is a huge buzzword in food circles right now...well, this seafood is about as local as you can get. The clams were dug on our own very rocky clam hoes for this group; you go with your fingers so you can tell the difference between the clams and the rocks. 70 clams were brought back up to the house, with half being turned into fritters and half being simply steamed...we can never decide which is better, so we always go with both.
fritters a'fritterin'

clam fritter with Cajun Remoulade

the best steamers on earth
As for the lobsters, 30 of the buggers were procured from a local lobsterman...but no sooner did they get to the house then my cousin Tom showed up with 70 or so tails. That is a hell of a lot of lobster, even for me...but hey, we're talking my favorite food here. None of this was going to go to waste !! We cooked every single one of them, turned some of the tail meat into my famous Lobster Mac + Cheese, everyone ate their fill of lobster in the shell, and we still had enough for everyone to take some home and make copious amounts of lobster salad. (Can't really give you a recipe for that...basically cooked lobster, just enough Hellman's to hold it together, and a TINY tiny dash of either Tabasco, cayenne pepper, or [my favorite] chipotle powder - not for heat, just to perk up the mayo) . Lobster lobster everywhere..

raw tails...
and cooked ones

lobster mac + cheese

my lovely sister
and brother-in-law
lobster rolls !

I'll leave you here with pictures of my other cooking in Maine...namely, blueberry donuts. I am in love with my donut really works like a charm : delicious baked donuts in the time it would take you to go stand in line at Dunkin's on a Sunday...and better for you by far ! Recipe follows.I so wish it was time to go back to Maine...

Blueberry Donuts
Makes 12

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup dried blueberries
cinnamon sugar, for sprinkling (mix cinnamon into sugar to taste)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Lightly grease a doughnut pan, or spray with cooking spray.  

In a large bowl mix flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt. Stir in buttermilk and oil. Beat together until well blended, then stir in blueberries.

Fill each doughnut cup approximately 3/4 full. Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until doughnuts spring back when touched. Allow to cool slightly before removing from pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar while warm.

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