Spring is a glorious time of the year, bringing forth new life after a long winter slumber. Now that the snow has "mostly" melted away, crocuses have shown themselves, providing a vibrant purple color not seen in many months.
As I continue to grow and evolve as a chef, I want to get out in the field and see how some of the food I purchase and serve myself, family and clients is produced. So, I started reaching out to different companies around the state and connected with Matt Moretti, owner of Bangs Island Mussels.
We eat a lot of eggs here. From chickens to fish, any way we can get more eggs into our diet the better. Several times a year I stock up on flounder roe, available locally, freshly frozen, and for a fair price too. There are many preparations I adore, but non as much as pan fried, which gives the outside a nice crunch to complement the soft textured interior.
I've never been a big fan of Indian food, but I will add, I've never really eaten good Indian food. My memories of a popular spot in my hometown comes with greasy sauces, precut frozen vegetables, and less then excellent parboiled rice that often accompanied most dishes. Since those meals many years ago, I've simply stayed away from the cuisine. But thankfully, things have changed.
This morning I woke before sunrise to open windows and a cool breeze passing through the room. I am loving these cooler mornings, which are still not cold enough to justify making a fire. 44 North French Press lead to family time and a quick egg breakfast with the most amazing loaf of spelt bread baked in a wood fired oven by Tinder Hearth Bakery in Brooksville, Maine.
With the onset of autumn, winter squashes are back and will become a staple ingredient over the next few months. Kefir is one of my favorite fermented beverages and the most fitting way for me to consume dairy.
I am certainly not a great baker and was easily confused when I saw Slump, Grunt, Buckle, and Cobbler all being referenced in the same recipe. As I continued to research, I realized that slumps are simply cooked on the stove top then finished in the oven with a sticky biscuit dough on top.
Asparagus, eggs, and hollandaise are a classic combination and can be seen on menus across the country, especially during the spring, when asparagus first emerges from the soil. The rich, creamy emulsion (hollandaise), nicely compliments the slightly bitter asparagus, zest radish, and egg that is soft an gooey in the center.
You can learn a lot about someone's cooking habits by the way they prepare onions. Onions are of the most essential ingredients in cuisines around the globe and can impart such great flavor into an array of recipes. Onions require determination as well as patience to maximize their true potential.
I don't do a lot of baking, but when I do, I usually pull The Olives Dessert Table from the book shelf and look for inspiration. I've used this book so much, that the pages have begun to fall out. Scribbled notes throughout the book keep track of my doubling or even quadrupling of some recipes.
Eggs are a staple food for my family. Nearly everyday, we fry up several eggs in a spoonful of rendered lard, cooking just until the whites are set and the yolks are warm throughout. Our cast iron pans feel like a permanent fixture on our stove top, staying readily available to fry up an egg at any given notice.
Aube of Kitchen Vignettes is such a great kitchen inspiration for me! We were lucky enough to meet her last summer as she lives not too far away from us in Maine. Her partner also happens to grow most of the local grain that we consume (Grange Corner Farm). She is a true artist in the kitchen with everything that she creates, and also happens to be the main recipe contributor to the PBS Food blog.