Island Cooking: Buffet Sparks Ideas for Home



I love going to the slots and playing the slot machines – this is something else that I probably shouldn’t admit about myself because pretty soon everyone will know all of my vices.

I suppose people should keep a few secrets about themselves but I always seem to blab mine. But it’s not just all about going to play the slots – the other big reason I go is, you guessed it, for the buffet and I have to admit that it’s a big part of it. I like sampling the different foods – breakfast, lunch or dinner – and I love to get ideas for some easy things to make at home for meals. But I do have some questions about some items on the buffet and why people eat them. I love crab but I never have gotten the appeal of the giant king crab legs that the buffets piles up on a mound of ice and everyone seems to flock to those and load up their plates a mile high and after you sit down you have to start cracking and breaking them just to get at the meat inside of them and this is where my problem lies with king crab. I just don’t want to spend half of my time working for my food. I find it just as easy to buy one or two pounds of fresh Maine crabmeat already picked with nice claw meat so you have one to open and eat for the ride home and then there is one left to walk into the house with so you can make some nice lobster rolls or crab a gratin and no one even knows you just scarfed down a half pound or pound of crabmeat except the cat who only comes to me if I have seafood; I know if she could talk she’d rat me out.

 

The other thing that bothers me about the buffet is: Don’t put a prime rib in front of me and give me a slice the size of my fist which, yes, I do know is the perfect portion size one must eat in order to maintain a healthy weight, but it just looks so pitifully small. And I don’t want to ask for a larger piece because that’s embarrassing, so I came up with a great solution – I just hand them an extra plate and ask for a piece for my mother. They don’t know she’s in Florida and I don’t have to feel embarrassed, which I should. Now that I’ve said that out loud I think I’ll stick to one piece or just go back for seconds.

But anyway, I did get a couple of ideas and recipes for some fun easy meals which I’ll share this week. But as always after a big meal and a fun day of arm exercises (pulling that handle on the slot machine) I’m quite ready to relax with a refreshing beverage when I get home and since I’m feeling springlike, I think you’ll enjoy this drink.

 

The Honeybee

  • 1 1/2 ounces light rum
  • 1/3 ounce lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • Ice

Put all ingredients into a shaker. Shake well, then pour into your favourite glass, garnish with a lemon wedge.

 

Turkey Sliders

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1/3 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage (or any or all of your favorite spices)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Four (or what you need) 1-ounce slices of cheddar cheese, quartered
  • Dijon mustard
  • 8 small dinner rolls

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the turkey with the bread crumbs, egg, sage and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and any spices you choose. Divide the mixture into small balls and form into 1/2-inch-thick patties.

Heat oven to 350 degrees and bake burgers 10 to 15 minutes or until done. Place squares of cheese on burgers and enjoy!

Oven Baked Fries

  • 1 to 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 2 large baking potatoes, cut into thin strips (skin on or off, your choice)
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil wrap and spray with non-stick spray.

In a large bowl mix the cheese, pepper, paprika, salt and garlic powder. Add the potatoes and toss until well coated. Drizzle the olive oil over the potatoes and toss until coated. Spread the potatoes in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes and turn the fries over. Bake an extra 10 to 15 minutes or until done the way you like.

Send me your recipes at [email protected].

For more arts & entertainment news, pick up a copy of the Mount Desert Islander.

 

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