Ah, the Maine Black Trumpet mushroom…


After a short 15 minute walk into the woods behind our house I stumbled upon these beauties! I’ve never harvested any mushrooms before but this variety was obvious to me. I knew what I had in front of me, and yes, I did a bit of a happy dance! IMG_1173 IMG_1177 So many things to make with them! A nice sauté with shallots and butter to accompany grilled salmon tomorrow night is on tap. But I would love to do a mushroom bisque with these too. And tempura mushrooms! I’ll report back after my next foraging excursion…where? I cannot tell!

Wild Maine Blueberry Sour Cream White Chocolate Tart!


Since we are in the midst of the wild Maine blueberry season, I thought I’d share this post from a couple years ago (yep, I forgot about it and think I need to make it again!). The filling uses all fresh, wild Maine blueberries but I garnished the top with some out of state (frankly because I forgot to reserve some Maine berries for the top!).

The recipe is on the WCSH Portland website. Enjoy!

blueberry tart

More bacon onion jam, please!


You all know I love my crusty bread. And cheese. And toppings to go with. Particularly with my cocktails. But this is one of THE absolute best toppings I’ve ever made.

I first caramelized some onions in plenty of butter over medium low heat for almost an hour, until they were caramelized and naturally sweetened by the process, not by adding sugar.

In another sauté pan, I cooked thick cut diced bacon until just before the crispy stage. Then I added the bacon to the onion pan, added maybe a couple tablespoons of a fig Balsamic from Fiore, a couple teaspoons of raw sugar and let that simmer together for about 15 minutes. Let this rest for a few minutes before serving over blue cheese topped crostini. The perfect sweet – savory bite!

Heaven. But I warn you, it’s addictive!

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Savory Parmesan and Scallion Cheese Puffs

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IMG_0525What do you get when you combine Kerry Gold’s garlic herb butter, flour, water, eggs, Parmesan and Scallions? Delicious little savory biscuits that would go well with an egg dish, or cheese and wine in the afternoon! They’re almost a cross between a popover and a savory pate au choux. My friend Marcia gave me her recipe for Golden Raisin Buns and this is just my savory adaptation!

Ingredients:

1 stick of Kerry Gold’s garlic and herb butter

1 cup of water

4 eggs

1 cup of flour

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan

About 3 stalks of scallions, sliced.

Put the butter and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat, add the flour and mix with a wooden spoon by hand for 1 minute. Then add to stand mixer and beat, adding one egg at a time, until fully incorporated. The batter should be a bit shiny. Then add the cheese and scallions and drop by spoonfuls onto a lined cookie sheet, bake 30-35 minutes at 350 until golden brown. Serve warm with butter.

Poached Egg Over a Smoked Salmon Quesadilla

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Maine smoked salmon, whipped cream cheese, St. Andre triple cream, fresh dill, diced onion, capers (if I had them!) a squeeze of lemon and black pepper go into a flour tortilla, folded and heated in a dry non-stick pan until golden. Top with a poached egg, lemon and black pepper and you have yourself an amazing breakfast, lunch or light dinner! IMG_9664IMG_9666IMG_9670

My favorite recipes are always “A little of this, a little of that”


Friends and family tell me they love my cooking. But how they can recreate that at home is the hard part. For a non-scientific type like me, it’s “a little of this, a little of that”. To me, it’s common sense, but to others, it’s not at all. Others need exact quantities and instructions on when to do what. And there’s nothing wrong with that type of person, they’re just different than me. Their brain works differently! So this is my attempt at giving approximate quantities of ingredients for my Greek Chicken with Lentil Puree and tomato, yellow pepper, and red onion salad to my friend Lesley Lambert!

Chicken/Marinade

4 chicken thighs, skin on (can be skinless)

the juice from 1 lemon

1 large shallot, finely chopped

2 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped

8 ounces plain Greek yogurt

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Mix all ingredients in a plastic baggie, add chicken, let sit in fridge as little as 2 and as many as 6 hours ahead.

Heat grill and cook chicken thighs until done (20-30 minutes). While chicken is cooking, prepare the lentil puree.

Tomato, Pepper and Onion “Salad”

1/2 of a red onion, thinly sliced

1/2 of a yellow pepper, thinly sliced

a handful of orange cherry tomatoes (or red if you can’t find orange) halved

1 clove of garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon dried parsley (if you have fresh, go for it!)

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

olive oil, about 4 tablespoons

1 tablespoon Sicilian Lemon Balsamic vinegar from Fiore (red wine vinegar if you can’t get your hands on Fiore quickly enough!)

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Mix all ingredients and let sit for at least an hour or up to 6 hours

Lentil Puree

1 cup red (which look orange) or yellow (which look pale brown) lentils

1 cup water

1 cup chicken broth

2 large cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika

a squeeze or two from a lemon half

a couple tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (I use both the garlic and the Leccino, which is just a medium intensity EVOO)

Some really good quality extra virgin olive oil – photo below is my arsenal of Fiore olive oils that I use ALL the time – from left to right: garlic, chipotle, Leccino, Tuscan and Picual.

Put lentils and water in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Add the garlic, lemon, olive oils and seasonings and cook another couple minutes. Then using an immersion blender (if you don’t have one, you should buy one, less than $30 and you’ll be very pleased you did) but if you don’t have one you could put the lentil mixture into a blender and puree until smooth. Then keep on very low heat until ready to serve.

To serve, I’d suggest placing a large spoonful of the lentil puree on the plate, followed by a chicken thigh and top with a generous scoop of the salad. If you have feta, crumble some over the top and enjoy!

The bright acidity of the salad and the creaminess of the puree are the perfect compliment to the garlicky grilled chicken!

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My Favorite Cocktail: a French Gimlet


Those who follow me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter know that I love to post cocktail photos. But for me, it’s all about the creation. About mixing fresh flavors, citrus, herbs and sometimes, colors. And just like with cooking, I get inspired by colors when I think about creating a fun cocktail. But sometimes it’s all about the flavor. Sometimes the most flavor can be found in a cocktail with next to no color. That’s where my French Gimlet comes in. It’s a twist on the classic Gimlet, which is gin or vodka with fresh lime. My favorite French version dresses it up with the addition of the French elixir, St. Germain, an elderflower liqueur.  It’s sweet, floral and VERY aromatic. It works quite well with citrusy cocktails.

Just three ingredients go into this one – vodka or gin (like any Gimlet), St. Germain and fresh lime juice. I prefer gin in this one – the floral notes of the St. Germain offset the herbaceous notes of the gin, creating a beautifully balanced concoction!

If you like a less tart cocktail, use more St. Germain. If you like tart, like grapefruit, follow my recipe:

1 ¾ ounces Hendrick’s or Bombay Sapphire Gin

¾ ounces St. Germain elderflower liqueur

¾ ounces freshly squeezed lime juice

Pour all ingredients into an ice-filled shaker. Shake vigorously for about 30 seconds and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime peel or lime slice.

Sip and savor!

1496112_10201644122718917_273197985_oNote: There are less expensive elderflower liqueurs on the market but what I’ve tasted is inferior, so it’s worth spending the extra $$ for St. Germain.