Food (32)

Classic fall rituals abound, including Pumpkinhead

As an early adopter of fall in North America, Maine has been busy with longstanding change-of-season rituals as varied as digging out stored ski gear, going to that same apple-picking orchard or closing camps and cottages; saying goodbyes to the Florida-bound neighbors without noting that 20-below keeps the riffraff out, and we shift not only fashion but food (bring on the root veggies!) and drink – those summer suds must finally give way to the…

Fall window for a favorite Mexican dish

On a recent Thursday I was delighted to find gorgeous poblano peppers at Andrew’s Farm stand at the Yarmouth Farmers’ Market. Shining with earthly energy, they reminded me something that a Mexican chef once taught me: September through November is the best time of year to cook chiles en nogada. It’s a Mexican classic: deep fried poblano chili peppers stuffed with pork, thyme, apple, and plantains, and topped with walnut cream sauce, fresh parsley, and…

Sampling pastel de choclo: Grinning ear to ear

Three Chileans taught me how to make their favorite dish from Santiago, Chile, called pastel de choclo.   Benjamin Sepulveda, a Chilean high school student on exchange at Casco Bay High School, admitted that this was the first time he was cooking the dish by himself. “I have watched my mother and grandmother do this a million times. It’s not something we cook alone, only with family.” Javiera Alvarez, a student on exchange at Freeport…

Freedom chicken

Parivash Rohani heard about Immigrant Kitchens from a friend and reached out to see if she could be involved. In her Portland home, she taught me how to make her favorite Iranian dish, called fesenjoon, which is chicken breast in a sweet and sour sauce. It’s like Persian bar-b-q sauce without the tomato base. Ground walnuts give the sauce body, richness, and a touch of bitterness. Pomegranate molasses adds dark red color and pungency. Fesenjoon…

The future looks like olden days at Tempo Dulu

After President Trump’s inauguration it is going to get tougher to find an authentic “ethnic” meal – especially Mexican, obviously, but cuisine from Muslim nations might also be hard to come by. Perhaps that is the price to pay for national greatness. If you love burritos so much, why don’t you marry one? Then it can be a citizen, like Melania. If we don’t love Indonesian food quite so much, that’s because we rarely try…

Easter eats: Ways to dine, hunt eggs and remember the season

For Easter, usher in spring with a meal at one of Portland’s many stellar restaurants, or con your niece/nephew/friend’s kid/random child into going to an egg hunt. They won’t notice if a few pieces go missing, right? And, as usual, the Catholic Diocese provides moments of reflection for this season of renewal. Restaurant Specials: Liquid Riot Bottling Company, 250 Commercial St. — Beer is, of course, on the Easter menu at Liquid Riot. The resto-bar…

Rosemont Market and community: Special dinners nourish the soul

When we think about food, so many things come to mind; where our food comes from, when we should eat it, where we should eat it, and with whom we should eat it. Leave it to Rosemont Market to answer all of these questions for us. John  Naylor, one of the two co-owners of Rosemont, makes it his business to think about the Maine community and how we eat. His commitment to the local farmer…

Slow-food aficionados: Vignola Cinque Terre taps traditions of Italy

At Vignola Cinque Terre, the delightful, ivy-covered restaurant at 10 Dana St., diners get the best of two great places: Maine and Italy. While it might seem a strange combination, the restaurant’s commitment to farm-to-table cooking and its goal of producing authentic Italian cuisine mesh extremely well. It’s Italian food made with fresh Maine ingredients. The restaurant’s owners, Dan and Michelle Kary, live on and operate Grand View Farm in Greene. The farm’s gardens and…

The purpose of consumption: Roustabout needs no reason to be good

  _by Brian Duff   The greatest American novel was about the original roustabouts – young men prowling the docks of New England, looking for work in a gig economy. Today Ishmael and Queequeg would fit right in, with their tattoos, multiculturalism and bi-curiosity. I think Queequeg had a man-bun. Melville’s roustabouts sought work as oarsmen or harpooners. Today’s version seek gigs as prep cooks, or perhaps mixing drinks. Of course, the whaler sought sperm-oil…

After 200 years, a famous recipe revealed: Grandma Gregory’s Lobster Stew takes Great Chili Chowder Award

Just after the James Beard Foundation winners were announced last week, a different kind of food contest was underway, Altrusa’s Great Chili Chowder contest. The big chowder winner this year was Free Range Fish & Lobster whose entry “Grandma Gregory’s Lobster Stew” took home both Judges’ and the People’s Choice awards for the first time. “We took it all,” said Joe Ray, president of the fish wholesaler, who along with his partner, Bill Denley, worked…
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