Maine Dish

  • Cream of the crop

    Cream of the crop

    Planning a festive dinner party? Want to wow your guests with the ultimate piece de resistance? Try light, creamy and sinful chocolate pots of cream. We can thank the French for this luscious dessert, which is really just lightly set custard. The French dessert, whose name literally translates “pots of cream,” is served in small

  • An Irish classic from the old country

    An Irish classic from the old country

    “Did you ever eat colcannon, made from lovely pickled cream? With the greens and scallions mingled like a picture in a dream. Oh, wasn’t it the happy days when troubles we had not, and our mothers made colcannon in the little skillet pot.” — traditional Irish song   Have you ever tried colcannon? A delectable

  • Delicata squash delicious in pizza

    Delicata squash delicious in pizza

    The Delicata squash stored in a wooden box under my bed are starting to soften. Harvested last fall, and cured in the greenhouse, these cream-colored fruits with green stripes are a favorite winter squash of ours. The delicate skin or rind can be eaten, so they are a snap to prepare. Scrub the squash well,

  • Lime syrup enlivens food, drinks

    Lime syrup enlivens food, drinks

    My makrut lime “tree” is in full bloom with dozens of white blossoms and tiny, green limes. A bonus of these longer days and brighter light, this unexpected profusion of flowers heralding spring is a welcome burst of citrus for the winter-weary palette. Although the knobby fruit is too hard to squeeze or slice, makrut

  • So much shoveling calls for chili

    So much shoveling calls for chili

    Shoveling, plowing and keeping up with the recent gift of over 4 feet of snow sure works up one’s appetite. What meal can satisfy the hearty desire for hard working snow removers and rekindle their palates? Try chili! Like many of the world’s great dishes of food, chili inspires poetry, disagreement, and dedication. Essentially peasant

  • Fit for a Frenchman

    Fit for a Frenchman

    For several years, I ran a small café and catering company in Bangor. It was about 20 years before the local food movement took hold in northern New England, but my restaurant featured international cuisine prepared with organic Maine ingredients. The 4 a.m. morning shift was my favorite, and I baked dozens of loaves of

  • Short and sweet

    Short and sweet

    Although Valentine’s Day is associated with romance and love, the history behind the “holiday” is tied to both the Catholic Church and folk traditions. Back in 1382, Geoffrey Chaucer wrote “For this was on St. Valentine’s Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate.” The poem was written to honor the first anniversary

  • In praise of braising

    In praise of braising

    Braising, a cooking process where food is first browned in a small amount of fat, and then cooked, tightly covered, in a small amount of liquid is one of my favorite culinary techniques. The long, slow cooking develops flavors and tenderizes the food by gently breaking down the fibers. This preparation is especially delicious for

  • Beet winter with a Mediterranean salad

    Beet winter with a Mediterranean salad

    These days, the vegetables on our plate become fairly routine: carrots, turnips, rutabaga, celeriac and beets. All workhorses of the root cellar, these hearty roots will sustain us until spring. Even as the outside temperatures start to warm, and the cellar creeps up to 40 degrees, my winter vegetables still have many culinary virtues waiting