Cook, Sip, and Sail Away on Penobscot Bay – a Maine Gourmet Feast

Join us on the Schooner J. & E. Riggin for a unique Maine Gourmet Feast! Come savor the best of Maine’s local foodways on this 4-day foodie adventure!

Maine Gourmet Cruise

Meals will feature the best of the best: oysters from Pemaquid Oyster Company, produce from acclaimed Hope’s Edge Farm, award-winning cheese from Appleton Creamery and Hahn’s End. Every night will feature a different specialty cocktail demo (be sure to bring your own vodka, gin, and whiskey!). Come join us and celebrate the outstanding local food MidCoast Maine is famed for and celebrate the release of the newest cookbook Sugar & Salt Book Two – The Orange Book.

This delectable foodie cruise will take place on our Maine Windjammer, the Schooner J. & E. Riggin from August 1st – 4th (2016)  at only $650 per person.

Cooking (and sipping) away on Penobscot Bay

Cook the Book: Cinnamon Roasted Sweet Potato

Cinnamon Roasted Sweet Potato

3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 large sweet potatoes or three small, cut into a total of 6 pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375°. Melt the butter and the cinnamon. Place the potatoes in a baking pan and toss with the melted butter and cinnamon mixture. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast for 1 hour, until the potatoes are tender.

Serves 4 – 6.

Cook the Book – Spinach Gorgonzola Soup

Spinach & Gorgonzola Soup

1/4  cup (1/2 stick) butter
3 large onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons thyme
4 ounces Gorgonzola cheese
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
5 ounces spinach, washed and julienned
2 cups peeled, seeded, and diced tomatoes

Melt the butter in a stockpot over medium-high heat; add the onion, garlic, salt, pepper and thyme and cook until the onions are translucent. Add the Gorgonzola and chicken stock; bring the stock to a simmer then purée it in a blender or food processor. Place the spinach in the stockpot and cook for 1 minute.  Add the tomatoes and puréed stock, simmer, and serve.

Serves 4-6

Cook the Book – Fresh Lime Pie

While we lived in the Caribbean, key limes were abundant and anything having to do with them brings me back to the beaches and the markets of the islands.  While I wouldn’t trade for one second living in Maine for anywhere else, a small hiatus during the muddiest part of the season wouldn’t be amiss!

Key limes are touted for having a very special taste and while they are really wonderful freshly squeezed into drinks (especially the rum variety), on grilled fish or in a salsa, I’m surprised to say that they don’t really make a big difference in this recipe.  I tested using both kinds of limes and the pies were a tie each time.

Key limes are smaller, rounder and have a thinner skin than the Persian or Tahitian limes we more often see in the North.  When you are looking for limes, choose ones that have lighter green skins and are a little softer as opposed to the ones that are deep green and hard.  Key limes will sometimes tend toward yellow and this is fine too.

It’s common in lime pies to have a layer of whipped cream on the top of the pie, but I opted for a lighter version with a much smaller amount of whipped cream.  The pie is creamy and rich enough as it is and the small amount of cream is a nice balance to the tartness of the limes.  This dessert would also be a nice ending to spicy grilled fish or grilled chicken with a mango or pepper salsa.

Fresh Lime Pie

1 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 large eggs, separated
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon sugar

Preheat oven to 325°. Mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter together in a medium bowl. Press the mixture into an 8 or 9-inch pie pan and chill about 15 minutes. Bake until the crust is firm and crisp (about 10 minutes). In a medium bowl, combine the condensed milk, lime juice, egg yolks and vanilla and beat until smooth and thick. In a separate bowl, beat the whites until they hold soft peaks. Add the sugar to the whites and continue beating until stiff.  Fold the whites into the lime mixture and turn into the prepared shell. Bake until the filling is set, about 15 minutes.  Cool and serve.

Makes 6 servings

Photo from Google Images – credit unknown

Cook the Book – Bourbon Street Bread Pudding

Bourbon Street Bread Pudding

This is one of my favorites – and I don’t even like bread pudding!

Day-old French bread, sliced 1-inch thick, enough to cover the bottom of a 9-inch square pan.
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup sugar
5 eggs
2 cups heavy cream
Dash of cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla
3/4 cup raisins

Bourbon Sauce:
1 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter
Dash of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in ¼ cup water
1/4 cup bourbon

Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease a 9-inch square baking pan. Arrange the sliced bread in one layer in the bottom of the pan.  If there are large gaps cut some pieces to fit. Cream the butter and sugar together in a medium bowl. Add the eggs, cream, cinnamon, vanilla and raisins and mix well. Pour the mixture over the bread and let stand for at least 5 minutes. Turn the bread over and let stand another 10 minutes. Cover the pan with foil and place it in a larger pan filled halfway with warm tap water.  Bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes.  The custard should still be soft when done. Remove the pudding from the oven and the water bath and allow it to cool a few minutes. While the pudding is cooling, combine all the sauce ingredients except for the bourbon in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Continue to boil until the sauce has thickened so it coats the back of a spoon.  Remove the pan from the heat and add the bourbon.  Keep warm. Cut the pudding into squares and serve with the warm sauce.

Makes 9 servings

Cook the Book – Chocolate Mint Bars

Chocolate Mint Bars

This is one that my family would make every Christmas.  My brothers and I could eat a pan of these in no time flat.

2/3 cup shortening
4 squares chocolate
2 cups packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) softened butter
2 tablespoons milk or cream
3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract

2 squares unsweetened chocolate
2 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Melt the shortening and chocolate in a double boiler.  Cool. Beat in the sugar, eggs and vanilla. Sift in the dry ingredients and mix well. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a fork inserted in the bars comes out clean.  Cool in the pan. Beat the frosting ingredients together until light and creamy then frost the bars. Melt the glaze ingredients in a double boiler, cool slightly then pour the glaze over the frosting.  Tilt the pan to spread the glaze. Cut into bars.

Makes 24

Cook the Book – Lentil & Sun-Dried Tomato Salad

Lentil and Sun-Dried Tomato Salad

I like French lentils for this recipe as they are tastier and they don’t get mushy as fast.

2 cups lentils
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano
1 1/2 cups peeled and diced cucumber
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Juice of one lemon
Goat or feta cheese for garnish (optional)

Cook the lentils in salted, boiling water until done, about 25 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Combine the lentils with the remaining ingredients (except the cheese). Garnish with crumbled cheese and serve.

Serves 6-8

From: At Home, At Sea: Recipes from the Maine Windjammer J&E Riggin

Cook the Book – Potatoes Roasted with Red Wine

Potatoes Roasted with Red Wine

These are Jon’s all-time favorite potatoes.  I serve them often with the Roasted Pork Loin found in At Home, At Sea: Recipes from the Maine Windjammer J&E Riggin.

6 to 8 medium sized red potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh black pepper
1 whole head garlic, peeled
2 to 3 cups red wine
1/2 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 375°. Put all the ingredients except the cream into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.  Cover and bake for 1 hour, stirring once or twice. Remove cover, add cream and bake uncovered for another 10 minutes.

Serves 4-6

Cook the Book – Mushroom Barley Soup

Mushroom Barley Soup

3 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
1 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup pearled barley
6 cups chicken stock, vegetable stock, or water
1/3 cup tamari
1/3 cup dry sherry

Melt the butter in a medium sized stockpot over medium heat; add the onions and garlic and cook until the onions are translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook until tender. Add the remaining ingredients.  Bring the soup to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 20 minutes, until the barley is completely cooked. Serve.

Serves 6-8

Cook the Book – Riggin Rib Roast with Horseradish Cream

Riggin Rib Roast with Horseradish Cream

No rib roast would be complete without Yorkshire pudding.

Rib Roast (bone-in), about 4 1/2 to 6 pounds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Three cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

Preheat oven to 425°. Place roast in a roasting pan, fat side up; rub the roast with salt, pepper and paprika. Place the roast into the oven, reduce heat to 325° and cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Rub the roast with the remaining ingredients; return it to the oven and continue to roast to the desired temperature until the internal temperature of the meat reads 120° for rare, 125° for medium-rare, 130° for medium, and 135° for well done. Remove the roast from the oven and let it rest 10 minutes before slicing.  The internal heat of the beef will cause it to continue to cook another 10 degrees.

While the roast is resting, make the Horseradish Cream, below.

Horseradish Cream

The amount of salt you use will vary depending on whether you use bottled or fresh horseradish.

3 tablespoons bottled horseradish or 1 tablespoon grated fresh
Salt as needed
Freshly ground black pepper as needed
Juice of half a lemon
1 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

Mix all the ingredients except the whipped cream together. Gently fold in the whipped cream and serve.

Makes 1 cup

Serves 6-8