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recipes

Dark Chocolate Aged Balsamic + Blood Orange EVOO? WOW!

My favorite product in Bar Harbor – Fiore Olive Oils and Vinegars. It’s a tasting room. It’s culinary inspiration. It’s art. It’s delicious! Every time I go in they have new products to taste. So I spent a short while thinking about how to use the Chocolate Aged Balsamic. And one of the wonderful staff members said that she’d been wanting to try it with the Blood Orange olive oil. And she was spot on, the combination was perfect! So I went home to make a dressing for a Baby Spinach Salad.

I started out wanting to use fresh cherries but my husband had just finished them! So I opted to soak some cranberries in a little of the Balsamic and the Vinegar for a couple hours. I toasted some walnuts, crumbled some goat cheese and tossed them into a bowl of baby spinach. I put the marinated cranberries in the salad, tossed on the oil and vinegar they’d been soaking in and added some coarsely ground fresh black pepper and a new salad was born!

Fiore just opened a store in Rockland that I understand has been doing very well, naturally. For many years I’ve been very particular about my olive oils, and I must admit, I’m completely hooked on Fiore’s and won’t buy any others!

While I was there, I purchased a nice gift box of a four pack variety for an upcoming closing gift – keeping it local!


What to do with leftover Maine lobster? make #foodporn!

Ok typically there isn’t such a thing as leftover lobster. But when you buy 6 of them for 2 people, there is leftover lobster. But it’s intentional. Grilled lobster for dinner, lobster rolls the next day for lunch and then lobster dip with crusty bread and wine in the late afternoon.This was about  8 oz of fresh lobster meat (ours was grilled), 3 oz of softened cream cheese, 1/2 cup of mayonnaise, 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan,1 very small garlic clove finely chopped and a dash of Tobasco. Mix well and bake until bubbly and browned on top about 15 minutes on 375. Serve with warmed bread.

THAT is what you do with leftover lobster!

Posted via email from Maine as Dana Moos sees it…


The Ultimate #Chocolate Fudge Brownie – dark, chewy, perfect…#foodporn

Melt 2 sticks of butter in a saucepan, add 2 1/4 cups sugar until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add 1 teaspoon espresso powder, 1 1/4 cup cocoa powder, mix well. Add 4 eggs, one at a time and whisk vigorously until batter is smooth and shiny. Add 1 tablespoon vanilla, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 1/2 cups flour and mix well (batter becomes very thick). Fold in 1 overflowing cup of chocolate chips and spread into greased 9×13 baking dish. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Let cool before cutting. Tip: score the top when warm to prevent the top crusty layer from cracking when you cut them once they're cool. This originated from King Arthur Flour online where I buy my dark cocoa. Bon Appetit!


Fresh Pineapple Salsa Recipe from The Foodmadam #foodporn #foodies

This salsa is a great topping for fresh fish, particularly grilled swordfish. It's simple and created with just 6 ingredients (plus salt and pepper)

Chop 1/2 fresh pineapple, reserve juice; chop: 1/4 red onion, 1 small seeded jalapeno, small handful of flat leaf parsley. Add the juice of 1/2 of a lime (I didn't have lime today so I used a lemon) and a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, kosher salt and coarse cracked pepper and mix all ingredients. Refrigerate for a couple hours to let the flavors meld. Also great with tortilla chips 🙂


My favorite Cream Scone recipe

Ingredients:
1 stick softened butter
1 egg
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups flour

Cream all but the last two ingredients until smooth. Add the baking powder and flour and mix until just incorporated. On floured surface, shape into large ball and flatten to about 1 1/4 inch. Cut disc into 6 wedges and place on parchment or silicone lined baking sheet. Mix 1 egg with 1 tablespoon of cream and brush the tops of the scones, then dust with coarse sugar. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes  until edges are just lightly browned.

I don't attempt to make preserves when Stonewall Kitchen makes the best (particularly their red raspberry). However, I did make a pineapple rhubarb jam one time that I concocted myself and didn't write it down and should have. Basically I cooked equal parts chopped rhubarb and pineapple with sugar and a little water, let it reduce and cook for 30 minutes or so, then pureed with a stick blender. Let it cool and it was delicious! The combination of the sweet pineapple with the tart rhubarb was just a great match. That was worth making again…

Quick tip: make ahead, bake later – cut the scone dough and freeze to bake off later. They freeze beautifully (before baking)!


Finishing my #Chocolate experiment for you #Foodies



Recipes from our Danforth Gourmet Brunch Tweetup

By request, we’ve decided to post our recipes from our recent social media brunch. Here are my contributions:

Papaya, Mango and Strawberries with Lemon and Basil (an inspiration from a trip to Manzanillo, Mexico)

Allow 1 Caribbean papaya and 3 mangoes to fully ripen; cut into small chunks, toss with the juice of 2 lemons and the zest of the lemon. Toss fruit with about a cup of the syrup. Cut a pint of strawberries and set aside in a separate container. Add the strawberries to the mixture only a couple hours  before serving (the strawberries tend to soften too much if left in syrup too long).

Basil Syrup:

2 Cups white sugar, 1 1/2 cups water, 3 tablespoons corn syrup – bring slowly to a boil over medium heat. Add a large bunch of finely chopped basil and reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

Steamed, Chilled Asparagus with Curry Aioli

Steam asparagus until tender crisp. Drop in ice bath to stop the cooking, dry and set aside. For the aioli, mix 1 cup mayonnaise with 1 tablespoon of Rose’s sweetened lime juice and 2 tablespoons yellow curry powder, a dash of salt and pepper and mix well. Refrigerate both several hours. The aioli is best when made a couple days before serving.

Grapefruit Brûlé with Vanilla Bean Creme

This fruit course was one we served at our inn. It’s really a simple combination of delicious flavors.

Remove a thin slice off each end of the grapefruit (preferably Ruby Red) and stand on end. Cut the rind off right down to the fruit, leaving no pith. Cut into thick slices and place on a heat/flame proof dish (if you skip the FLAMEPROOF dish, I’ll save that for another post; do as I say, not as I do!). Top with a good tablespoon of vanilla creme, light brown sugar and torch until dark brown and bubbly. The sugar will harden almost immediately. You know you have done it correctly if you tap on the sugar and it sounds like you’re tapping on thin glass.

Vanilla Bean Creme:

1 pint sour cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (available at several gourmet purveyors), 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/2 cup white sugar, dash of half and half to thin slightly.

Egg Roulade filled with Leeks and Parmesan topped with Lobster in Sherry Butter

This is a recipe that I just cannot bring myself to put out there for the world to see. It was supposed to be featured in Gourmet Magazine before the magazine sadly published its final fabulous issue. Of course had that taken place, I would have gotten used to it being out there…but now you’ll just have to DM or email me. Or just come to our brunch tweetups to enjoy the dish 🙂


What’s for Breakfast? Eggs En Croute…

Try this simple and elegant dish


Authentic, homemade New England Clam Chowder

A friend of ours dug these beauties up for us the other day and we decided to make traditional, simple clam chowder. We first steamed the clams, removed them from the shells, gave them a rough chop and set them aside. We strained the cooking liquid through a coffee filter sitting in a chinois (fine mesh strainer) to remove any sand. We then chopped up a few potatoes, onions and celery and sauteed until soft; add the reserved cooking liquid, some milk (we used half and half and 1% milk but you could just use whole milk) and cook on medium heat for about an hour. This isn’t a thick, roux based soup, it’s a natural milk base, the real New England way. Toss in the clams and simmer for 10 more minutes, add freshly cracked black pepper and serve. I’ll try and hold out eating the leftovers we froze until the first snowfall!

 


Port Wine Poached Spice Pears

Poached Pears
Ingredients:

Pears:
6 firm Bosc pears (not too ripe)
1 bottle Port wine
2 cups cranberry juice
1 cup light brown sugar
3 sticks of cinnamon
6 Star Anise pods
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 very small drop cinnamon oil (if you don’t have this, use 1 teaspoon cinnamon extract)
6 julienned basil leaves (we prefer purple basil)Sauce:
1 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon maple extract
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
Mix in blender and chill

Directions:

Peel and cut pears in half. Scoop out seeds with melon-baller. Bring Port wine and all other ingredients to boil in 2-3 quart saucepan. Once boiling, drop pear halves in, cover, lower heat to medium-high and cook approximately 15 minutes or until pears are just tender. Remove from liquid and put into a large container to cool. Cool cooking liquid in separate container and when cool, pour over pears and refrigerate overnight. Serve pear halves chilled, drizzled with the sauce. At the inn we serve ours with a Purple Basil Pear Sorbet (photo above, that recipe in another post)


Papaya, Mango and Strawberries with Basil Simple Syrup and Fresh Lemon

A Simple and Elegant Fruit Dish – an inspiration from a visit to Manzanillo, Mexico. Papaya, Mango and Strawberries with Basil Simple Syrup and Fresh Lemon:  allow the papaya and mango to fully ripen; cut into small chunks, toss with the juice of 2 lemons and the zest of the lemons. Add in a handful of sliced strawberries. Gently mix.

Basil Syrup:

2 Cups white sugar, 1 1/2 cups water, 3 tablespoons corn syrup – bring slowly to a boil over medium heat. Add a large bunch of finely chopped basil and reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. Toss with the fruit and allow to meld in the refrigerator at least a few hours before serving. It looks like a sunrise served in a tall glass.

papaya


Maine Clams with Linguine

linguine with clam sauce

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A friend of mine brought me some freshly dug clams from his property today. I used about 3 dozen Cherrystone (which aren’t a native clam but apparently they can be found if you know where to look).

I sauteed 1 onion, 4 garlic cloves (I use a zester to grate the garlic, extracting the oils), sweated until soft, added 1 cup of Sauvignon Blanc and then added the clams and covered for about 10 minutes. I took the clams out of the pan, removed the clams from the shells and rough chopped them. I added about 1 cup of heavy cream to the cooking liquid and let it reduce by about half. I added the chopped clams back in with a couple tablespoons of fresh chopped parsley and a dash of saffron and let it cook for a couple minutes. I added al dente linguine and tossed with some fresh grated Parmesan, freshly grated black pepper and served over some baby spinach. Bon Appetit!


Maine Blueberry Oatmeal White Chip Cookies

The inspiration for my cookies….fresh Maine blueberries…

Maine blueberries

the ingredients…

1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)

3/4 cup sour cream

1/3 cup white sugar 3/4 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 t vanilla

1/2 t baking powder and 1/2 t baking soda

ingredients

Cream ingredients. Add in 1 cup thick cut oats (not instant), then 2 cups flour and mix well. Add 1 cup white chocolate chips. GENTLY FOLD in blueberries to avoid breaking them and turning the dough purple.

fold in blueberries

Place small scoopfuls (I use a small ice cream scoop) on a heavy duty cookie sheet lined with a silicone mat and bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes until the very edges get slightly light brown. Let cool. Keep in airtight container to keep the cookies soft.

cookie sheet

The texture is soft, moist and a cross between a cookie and muffin.

closeup cookie


A blog post inspired by a few of my favorite foods: mushrooms, shallots and cheese…

This is a savory cheesecake. It’s more of a cheese dip, but holds together like a cheesecake. Talk about the perfect appetizer for cocktail hour? I needed to bring an appetizer to a dinner party – and decided to make this Mushroom and Caramelized Shallot Cheesecake with 4 cheeses and a touch of fresh baby spinach. It is out of this world! It can be a side dish, an appetizer, or a light meal with a salad and glass of wine.

So here’s the recipe:
In a mixing bowl, combine 3 twelve oz. packages of room temperature cream cheese, 2 tablespoons dijon mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, 1/2 teaspoon paprika and 1/4 cup heavy cream. Mix until creamy. Add 4 eggs, incorporating one at a time until combined.

Saute 4 large shallots until slightly browned. Add 16 oz. of sliced mushrooms – I used Cremini, but any will do. Add 1 teaspoon Worcestershire and a dash of salt and freshly ground pepper. Saute until they’re all fragrant and caramelized. Remove a third of the mixture and set aside. Add 1 cello-package of fresh baby spinach to the pan and cover. Cook for a couple minutes and then remove from heat. Let cool a couple minutes.

Chop or shred 2 cups total of the following cheeses: white cheddar, Parmesan, Gruyere or Swiss, and Manchego (the Gruyere or Swiss and Parmesan are a must). Add to egg/cheese mixture.

Fold in spinach and 1/3 of the mushroom and shallots and mix well.

Spray an 8 or 9 inch springform pan with cooking spray and coat lightly with breadcrumbs.

Pour cheesecake mixture in and bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Then add remaining shallot and mushroom mixture to the top, toss another handful of shredded Parmesan and freshly ground pepper on top and bake an additional 15 minutes. Let cool for 1o minutes before slicing.

Note: the mushrooms and shallots are not necessary – they were my adaptation of this recipe. The original as it was given to me used 1 package of frozen and thawed/drained spinach and none of the shallots or mushrooms and was absolutely delicious as well. Feel free to put your own twist on it!

Serve with crusty bread or crackers and enjoy!