O.k. I'm trying to remember that I did really have a nice vacation before everything fell apart. I'm too scattered write much that makes sense but I will report on one of my favorite parts of vacation in Maine....cooking.
The first night we had a kitchen was when we were in Lubec. We missed the grocery store in Machias so we just had the little on in Lubec. They actually had some gorgeous little zucchini though and some fresh haddock. I made some weird potato and mushroom things, sauteed the zucchini and sauteed the haddock in a coating of Penzey's sweet curry powder, flour and salt and pepper. I love haddock!
The next night I wanted mussels but they didn't have any. They did have Jonah crab. I'm not a big crab eater...I like crab but it's just not something I've cooked with much. I looked up Jonah crab and it's a crab that used to be caught in other traps and thrown back but it has become more popular...partly because it's sweet and CHEAP! They cost about $1 lb. The man selling them to Ernie and Owen said you could get about a pound of meat out of 7 or 8. We ended up cooking 7 of them. We had to improvise a bit as there wasn't a lid for the big pot but we worked it out. I ended up making a quasi crab bruschetta. I toasted some nice bread I had that was going stale in a pan with olive oil as I didn't have any flat pans for the oven. I mixed the crab meat with just a bit of mayo, some spices (I think cumin and coriander), a dash or two of sriacha and some lime juice. Oh, and some fresh corn. It was delightful, just enough heat and spice to balance the sweetness of the crab and corn!
When I am in Maine cooking for Debbie and Ernie I like to make an appetizer because there's so much good seafood that I won't get a chance to cook everything I want otherwise. This night may have produced our favorite recipe of the vacation. I bought one lobster at Bailey's and we cooked it and let it cool. We took the meat out and made a little salad of simply lobster, mayo, salt and pepper and a bit of tarragon. They I took corn off of a couple of cobs and sauteed it a bit with olive oil and garlic. Once it was done I mixed it with flour and cream and more salt and pepper. I fried little corn fritters and set the lobster salad on top. HEAVENLY! Lobster and tarragon are perfect together and the sweet and salty and crunch of the corn fritter? Absolutely perfect.
I thought the colors would be beautiful. I did it ahead of time and decided to finish the last of the cooking in the microwave and.....burnt them to a crisp. I guess the microwave is much stronger than mine. I was so disappointed because they were stunning. Oh well. The swordfish and sauce, with kind of a failed zucchini dish was o.k. Probably my least favorite night but the appetizer more than made up for it.
For an appetizer the next night I used the perfect little baby cucumbers I got from the farmers market. I made sort of Japanese cucumber salad with some rice wine vinegar (I always bring supplies from home), soy sauce and sugar. On the side were the shrimp just sauteed with lots of salt and pepper. The seasoning on the cucumber salad wasn't quite right but it was still nice.
The dinner following that may have been my favorite dinner. Gorgeous fresh salmon, sauteed according to a Thomas Keller recipe (I love crispy fish skin). To go with it I made a summer succotash kind of thing, with corn, green beans AND some wild blueberries. I wasn't sure if it would work but they were great. We added tomatoes and basil and it was all fresh, summery goodness.
Another frittata the next day with the leftover succotash. I wasn't sure how the blueberries would go but they just melted in and added a tiny bit of sweetness. Of course you gotta have gorgeous Maine wild blueberries!
Another night I did a scallop appetizer. I made a little plum salad (which needed more seasong) and then simply seared the scallops and sprinkled some goat cheese on top. The scallops might as well have been a different species they were so different from what you get at the grocery store. Utterly sweet and creamy with just a bit of sear and crunch on them....
For dinner I marinated halibut in a mixture of garlic, ginger, soy sauce, fish sauce and rice wine vinegar. I cooked it as I had the salmon, going for the crispy skin and served it with rice, roasted carrots and sauteed beet greens. We simmered the leftover marinade and drizzled on top. It was fabulous and Owen devoured the halibut. Nice.
Ernie did his pulled pork for Debbie one night and it may have been his best batch ever. Owen also made his grilled chicken one night. I made a kind of creamed corn one of those nights. I don't usually cook with cream but one vacation I made some dish I don't really recall for Debbie that had cream and now she always asks if I'm getting cream. So I cut some corn off the cob, sauteed it in a bit of butter, maybe garlic...don't remember, and threw in a big sprig of rosemary. I let it go for a bit then added a bit of cream and the last of the goat cheese. I usually turn my nose up at creamed corn recipes because I love corn done simply so much but the bite of the rosemary with the sweet and smooth of corn and cream was delightful.
On the very last night....when poor Debbie was getting sicker by the minute it seemed....I cooked anyway! We got more halibut because it had been so good. I was pretty stressed out by the time we were cooking so ended up skipping the salad (the salad greens from my huge farmers' market purchase were the only things that didn't get used though!). I sauteed onion, garlic and ginger for a bit then added a bunch of curry powder, let it cook for a few minutes till it was nice and fragrant and then added a bit of cream. I didn't have much so I added some milk as well and let it cook till it was a nice sauce like texture. Oh, and I added leftover corn too. I cooked the halibut and poured the sauce over it. I served it with some warmed french bread for dipping into the sauce and some tomatoes. Despite the fact that I was getting increasingly concerned about my sister....I still enjoyed it lol!! Sorry Debbie!
That is pretty much what I cooked....I'll update you on what I ate out later.
See? There really was a vacation somewhere in there!