From Our Table To Yours
Islandport Press staff favorites from volume two of the Maine Community Cookbook.
Maine Community Cookbook: 200 More Recipes, recently won first place for "Community Cookbook" in the Readable Feast Awards, an annual New England culinary book awards program designed to support the community's talented pool of food writers. To celebrate, the Islandport Press staff compiled some favorite recipes from the book to share with all of you. From potato doughnuts to homemade pickles, these are just a few of the mouth-watering recipes found between the pages of the cookbook.
"I have always found apple pie to be a staple dessert that can be used year-round, but apple season really brings out the best in it! The extra varieties of fresh Maine apples can help elevate an already excellent pie recipe."
"I grew up in the County where potatoes are incorporated into just about everything–so when I hear chocolate, potato, and doughnut in the same sentence? Say no more! This is the combination of some of life’s best things! You know these are legit doughnuts too because the recipe calls for frying in lard. My grandmother made the best doughnuts ever and her secret was lard, so I know first hand that this is the only way to do it. "
"Shepherd's Pie has been one of my favorite, go-to dishes since I was a little girl, and still remains in heavy rotation in my house. This version presents us with the thrifty American twist, using a creamy layer of Aroostook-grown potatoes to cap a succulent beef stew (if you don't have the veggies listed here, experiment. It is hard to go wrong), and foregoing the more traditional and expensive lamb. A hearty dish for colder months that only gets better for lunch the next day."
To make: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Wash, cube and boil the potatoes in enough water to cover in a covered sauce pan, until tender. Set aside to cooPotatoes can also be steamed in a pressure cooker or Instant Pot.In a large Dutch oven or deep frypan, cook the diced onion and carrot in a little oil or lard until start-ing to tender. Add the celery and crumbled hamburger and fry until just browned. Leftover diced pork, beef, poultry, or venison can be used instead of burger and added after the vegetables are cooked. Season with love, and salt and pepper, sage, and thyme to taste.At this point add a little stock from last week’s roast, or what have you, about a cup or two. You can thicken this with a little flour mixed in the cold stock before adding to the Dutch oven. Whisk in. Then add any other leftover cooked vegetables you think will brighten the mix: peppers, shell beans, etc. Drain and mash the potatoes with a masher or ricer. Remove the skins if you like, or leave them in. Blend the mash with cream, sour cream, Greek yogurt, or milk. Or it is fine just as is. Season mashed potatoes with ½ teaspoon salt and generous amount of pepper. Spread the mash over the top of stew mixture. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until bubbly and just browning on top a bit. Serve to damp-haired, wool sock–wearing chilly-but-warm-hearted family at the end of a day outdoors.
"The story behind this recipe hits close to home for me, as the women in my family all grew up making an almost identical version of these pumpkin chocolate cookies! The recipe signifies a sweet transition into autumn, as that is when I can always expect a batch (or two) from my grandma. And similar to the Hawkes family, they are always made with love and laughter, and if I'm lucky, extra chocolate chips!
"Two recipes I will be trying this summer are in response to my sister and son-in-law’s visit in July. Drew, who gave us a cast iron oyster pan for Christmas one year, has “visions of Maine blueberry pie and fresh oysters.” So, not to disappoint, thank you Jim Birkett and Sarah Dillinger for some must try recipes."