Photo By Jacqueline Weaver

Fresh, inventive food focus at Salt Box



Photo By Jacqueline Weaver

HANCOCK —One of the many interesting aspects of the Salt Box restaurant — in addition to their inventive cuisine — is how little waste they generate.

Instead of producing a dumpster load of refuse each week, a single green bag sits by the roadside on collection day.

“We’re trying to produce as little waste as we can,” said Mike Poirier, who is partnering with Alice Letcher in the venture.

They buy locally raised food as much as possible to support the local economy and to reduce the distance between the source of the food and its consumption.

And all of their take-out packaging is biodegradable.

Appetizer choices at dinner Fridays and Saturdays might include crab cakes, haddock chowder or goat cheese balls with a ginger plum glaze.

Salads could include a roasted beet or Mediterranean with romaine, sun gold tomatoes, artichoke hearts, Kalamata olives and feta.

Entrees usually include a beef entrée — rib eye or filet mignon — and perhaps lobster fettuccine with a lemon-Asiago cream sauce, seared lamb and, for vegetarians one evening, wild mushroom-gruyere crepes with a Madeira reduction.

Desserts — which are Letcher’s domain — might be a lemon layer cake or dark chocolate pudding with whipped cream and candied ginger.

Salt Box is open for brunch the last Sunday of the month, 9 a.m. to noon.

Salt Box is on Facebook and has a website, www.saltboxmaine.com. The restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch Tuesday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Dinners are Friday and Saturdays, 5:30 to 9 p.m. To make reservations, call 422-9900.

Herbed Goat Cheese with Truffle Honey

4 oz. goat cheese

1 Tbsp. minced ginger

½ Tbsp. finely minced rosemary

Combine in bowl, form balls. Dredge in egg and roll in panko (Japanese bread crumbs). Heat small amount of oil in pan and gently roll balls in hot oil until golden brown. Drain on paper towel. Serve immediately with truffled honey.

To make truffle honey, slice a small amount of black truffle as thin as possible, mince finely, add to warm honey and allow one week for infusion.

Double Chocolate Tart

Crust ingredients:

1 cup all purpose flour

1/3 cup cocoa powder

¼ cup sugar

½ tsp. salt

½ cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 egg yolk

1 to 2 Tbsps. ice water

Whisk together the flour, cocoa and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the butter. In a bowl lightly beat the yolk with ice water. Add to the flour mixture and stir to combine well. Turn out the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Use the wrap to help shape the dough into a flat disk. Wrap tightly. Chill for half an hour.

Lightly grease a 9-inch tart pan with a removable base, or nine mini tart pans. Let the dough soften briefly at room temperature then roll it out and press into pan (s). Prick with a fork. Chill for one hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake blind for 10 minutes, until the pastry is just set. Cool completely in the pan on a rack.

Filling:

1½ cups heavy cream

12 oz. bittersweet chocolate

¼ cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 tsp. vanilla

Heat the cream gently in a medium saucepan, just to the point of boiling. Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate until completely melted. Stir in the butter. Pour into the tart shell, tilting the pan slightly to level the surface.

Chill for 2-3 hours until set. To serve let the tart soften slightly at room temperature before cutting with a sharp knife (for the large tart) or removing from the mini tart pans.

The cake can be served with rosewater whipped cream, although plain sweetened whipped cream is great as well. Whip 1 cup whipping cream, 1 Tbsp. sugar and ¼ tsp. rosewater.

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Jacqueline Weaver

Jacqueline Weaver

Reporter at The Ellsworth American
Jacqueline's beat covers the eastern Hancock County towns of Lamoine through Gouldsboro as well as Steuben in Washington County. She was a reporter for the New York Times, United Press International and Reuters before moving to Maine. She also publicized medical research at Yale School of Medicine and scientific findings at Yale University for nine years.[email protected]
Jacqueline Weaver

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