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on p e s iti Reci Ed 80+ nd f s co Che Se N e w
MICHAEL S. SANDERS
About the Author
Michael Sanders has beenliving and writing in Maine for 20 years, with previous books about food—From Here, You Can’t See Paris and Families of the Vine—on the farmers, winemakers, and chefs of southwest France. He has written for the New York Times, Saveur, Gourmet, Afar, and Downeast. His recent work, including this book and the creation of Table Arts Media, reflects his realization that “write local” is just as powerful a phrase as “eat local.” Discover Michael’s work at michaelssanders.com.
Introduction Southern Maine: Kittery to Kennebunk
Anneke Jans Joshua’s Restaurant Pier 77
About the Photographer
Russell French is a 22 year creative photography veteran, based in Portland, Maine, who specializes in food photography. His work has appeared in the New York Times, The Art of Eating, Gastronomica, Chef’s Magazine, Bicycling, Downeast, and Yankee Magazine. Working with food producers, creative agencies, and designers, Russell has created images for over 3000 food packages in recent years for local and national clients. Visit Russell at www.russellfrench.com Fresh From Maine has a companion web site at www.tableartsmedia.com Distributed to the trade by Chelsea Green Publishing “The good thing about being left alone and changing slowly is that, in this 21st century, our small corner of the country has come to a startling realization: we have held on to more of our traditions, destroyed less landscape, and wiped out fewer ways of life in the rush to progress than most of our neighbors. Our traditional foods and the ways we cook, these things have not been lost to the ages but here are experiencing a popularity that only grows each year.”
– From the author’s Introduction
Bar Lola Boda Caiola’s Cinque Terre five fifty five Fore Street Vignola
Mid-Maine and Interior: Yarmouth to Camden
Seagrass Bistro Harraseeket Inn El Camino Cantina Trattoria Athena Fishbones American Grill Slates Oxford House Inn
In the 2nd edition of Fresh From Maine, author Michael Sanders takes you deep into the world of 25 Maine chefs, their stories, challenges, secrets, and triumphs. More than 80 recipes, nearly half of them new to this edition and all brought to life by Maine photographer Russell French, capture the true bounty of this land and its waters. Each chef’s cuisine is very much his own, but they share one thing: they all work in the sustainable idiom with local farmers, animal raisers, and fishermen to bring the best, all-natural food, much of it organic, to their tables. Join us in discovering culinary outposts and innovative chefs all over the state, from Fryeburg to Hallowell, from Bangor to Brunswick and coastal Maine from Kittery to Mount Desert.
Northern Maine: Bangor to Mount Desert Island
Fiddlehead Restaurant Red Sky Restaurant Town Hill Bistro Mache Bistro
How This Book Was Created Restaurant Contact and Opening Information Index of Recipes
wouldn’t stop calling, filling their ears with news of a North End jewel box of a space for their restaurant, which the two
had already decided to name after Lisa’s grandmother, Caiola.
Brandade with Oil-cured Olives, Orange, and Crostini
For the brandade: soak salt cod for 48 hours in cold water, changing water morning and night. Put the cod in a pan, cover with cold water. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer, until fish flakes lightly, about 20-25 minutes depending on the thickness. Remove from pan with slotted spoon, pat dry, cover, and reserve. In the same pot and water, cook the potatoes until fork tender, drain, then rice or mash, preferably the former. Using a Cuisinart, pulse the salt cod a few times, keeping some of it in bigger flakes for texture. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in small sauté pan, add leek and cook until soft. Remove leek with slotted spoon and reserve, add ¼ cup olive oil to the same pan, and heat gently. Heat ¼ cup of heavy cream in another small saucepan. In a large mixing bowl gently combine puréed salt cod with mashed potatoes, reserved leek, and minced garlic. Begin adding hot cream and oil a little at a time, and check seasoning of purée, adding black pepper if desired. To serve: preheat oven to 350°F. Cut the baguettes into ¼” slices on the bias, toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Bake on a sheet pan until crisp and golden. Set aside. Place brandade in a baking dish, and pour as much remaining cream on top as you want. Create peaks on top of dish using the tines of a fork. Bake until brown, bubbling, and hot in the center, about 10-15 minutes. Garnish brandade with a little orange zest, oil cured olives, and the crostini on the side. A crisp white wine or dry rosé accompanying the brandade will complement its garlicky richness.
fter 14 years at Street & Co. where she finished up as Executive Chef, Abby Harmon packed up a van and headed out to travel the country for a year with her partner, Lisa Vaccaro. Except that a persistent friend
Serves 4-5 as an appetizer
1½ pounds salt cod ¼ cup+3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil ½ cup heavy cream 2-3 cloves of garlic, cleaned and minced 1½-2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, washed and peeled 1 leek, white part only, cleaned and sliced fine ¼ pound oil-cured black olives, pitted Zest of ½ orange
“Abby went in,” Lisa recalls, laughing, “and she went right up to this beautiful old cork and wood door, the door to the walk-in. ‘I want this place,’ she said. Didn’t look at the space. Didn’t think how many seats or where does the bar go.” “I knew you could do the structural stuff, the kitchen.” Abby replies with a shrug. “That’s why we’re a good team.” And right there, you have pretty much the essence of what makes Caiola’s so much more than just a comfy, reasonably-priced, neighborhood joint with great fish just one part of an accomplished, unpretentious menu—though it is all of those things, too. Abby, from Cutler, almost as far downeast as you can go, brings a deep and real connection to rural seacoast New England cooking and traditions, amply influenced by European travel and Italian dinners around the table of her partner’s extended family. “I love being in New England,” she says, “because you can take all the fish here but cook it like you were in Sicily or France or Spain, with those flavors, using those techniques and ideas. Like the Sicilian Sardine Pasta I make. I was raised on sardines, my mom packed sardines in a factory downeast, and it’s just been a part of my life. But now add Sicily, where they’ll throw in fennel, currants, pine nuts . . .” She finishes, almost smacking her lips. Lisa, an artist and cabinetmaker, is responsible for the just-so surroundings, all terracotta floors and barn board tables and trim, which together with the comfort food, give Caiola’s a groove more pub than formal restaurant. “Abby gets to be creative in the kitchen,” she says, “but I get to be creative out here.” She gestures at the space, which includes an intimate nook right when you walk in, then an open foyer and bar, to the right and rear two other areas with tables tucked behind half walls because, she continues, “I wanted to make sure every table was next to a wall. It’s more comfortable and private for people, I think, or they can eat at the bar if they want company.” Finnan haddie, cod brandade, beef tongue, and grilled sardines—all of these you’ll find on the menu, for Abby is faithful to the food of her youth. “My uncle had whole sides of butterflied salt cod hanging from his porch,” she remembers, “and finnan haddie you ate with an egg sauce. My mom would make New England boiled dinner, but with salt cod in place of the corned beef and plenty of beets, carrots, potatoes, and cabbage.” Chef Abby Harmon
Chef Harmon at a Glance
Where do you find your inspiration? Through my travels, in books from cooks like Elizabeth David and Julia Child and Richard Olney. Do you have a spice or a flavor that particularly pleases you? Anchovies, as a flavor base slowcooked in their own oil plus olive oil and garlic until they get really nutty and the fish flavor disappears. Do you have any chef heroes? Paul Bertolli is someone whose life I’ve loved watching unfold, particularly after Chez Panisse. Favorite midnight snack? Canned fish. Anything pickled. I love things with vinegar and salt. Is there a book that has influenced you lately? Falling Cloudberries: A World of Family Recipes by Tessa Kiros.
62 Caiola’s | Portland
Brandade with Oil-cured Olives, Orange, and Crostini
place on Portland’s Longfellow Square. “We decided to be bolder,” says Dan, “to change everything.” In short, they decided to throw out all the received wisdom about this particular ethnic dining experience. Start fresh with a highceilinged main room with a hip, quasi-industrial look and subdued lighting that makes everyone look good. Add a roomy bar on one side where small plates and cocktails with an Asian edge rule as the night advances. Drop the take-out to better focus on sit-down customers. Most important, reinvent the food, with an even bolder— but actually more authentic—Thai cuisine taken directly from Dan’s upbringing as the son of a restaurant owner in Nan, Thailand. “When I was a kid,” he says, “I’d wake up and help my mother steam the rice, peel the onions, make the curry paste. She always took me to the market so I learned about the ingredients, too.” “Boda’s food,” says Bob, “is the food we eat every day in Thailand. We were cooking it for staff meal, for the employees.” (Bob and Dan also depart from form in that, while the kitchen is mostly Thai, the front of the house is not.) “They loved it! They would ask, why don’t you just sell this out there, in the restaurant?” What is Thai street food? Usually it is small, uncomplicated items served in a traditional way that you can eat standing up without much fuss or muss. At Boda, you can start with a crispy, soy-and-5-spice marinated, deep fried quail or GaengKua mussels “in a rich curry broth,” says Bob. How about simple, grilled skewers of beef, fresh seafood, and pork belly, or a pomelo salad on green betel leaf, or fresh local oysters with a chili-lime mignonette. More substantial entrées include fried rice with Jonah crab claws and Maine crabmeat, pork hocks braised with star anise, basil-lime beef curry or lamb in coconut cream with crunchy peanuts over Jasmine rice. The menu is much more than a nod to local, though the spices may be more exotic. In the spring you’ll find a bowl of steamed fiddleheads and glass noodles with chili and fish sauce on offer, in the winter a refreshing simple Maine shrimp and apple salad in a dressing of palm sugar, lime, coconut, and spices. “They’ve adapted where they had to for certain ingredients,” says Katie Boone, their long-time GM, “like with the shrimp and apple salad. This is a traditional dish usually made with a special kind of tart, under-ripe mango unavailable here.” Who came up with the idea of using crisp, fall Cortlands and Braeburns instead? “My mother.” Says Dan with a laugh. “When she says something is good, you know it’s good.” After ten p.m., Boda morphs from sit-down into another scene altogether. “We serve until 1 a.m.,” Katie points out. “Portland doesn’t have many restaurants 48 Boda | Portland Chefs Bob Wongsaichua and Dan Sriprasert
Ginger-Garlic Fried Rice with Jonah Crab Claws
Do ahead: combine the fish sauce and chopped bird’s eye chilis in a bowl to make the dipping sauce and set aside. Four chilis will make a VERY hot sauce. For the rice and crab: heat a well-seasoned wok over low-medium heat and add vegetable oil, then stir in the garlic and fry until it turns golden brown. Crack in the eggs and allow them to slightly cook before stirring and scrambling, trying to keep them in large, soft curds, about 2 minutes. Be careful not to overcook. Add the rice, turn down the heat to low and mix and toss with the eggs, frying the mixture gently and making sure that all the grains are lightly coated with egg and oil. Add ginger, season with the fish sauce, sugar, and pepper and continue to fry until the fish sauce is absorbed. Taste the rice: it should be gently seasoned, but not overly salty. Add a little more fish sauce if necessary. Rinse the crab claws in cold water and steam them in the top of a steamer over boiling water for 3 minutes, just to reheat them. Now stir into the rice all of the crabmeat and scallion, adding the crab claws last. To serve: divide the rice in 4 plates and sprinkle with cilantro, a few slices of cucumber and a wedge or two of lime, with the bowl of the chili in fish sauce for all to share.
fter building one successful pan-Asian restaurant from the ground up – from recipes to design, décor, and staff—chefs Bob Wongsaichua and Dan Sriprasert turned to their other restaurant, which was an uncomplicated Thai
Ingredients Crab and Rice
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped ¼ cup vegetable oil 4 eggs 4 cups cooked Jasmine rice (about 1½ cups dry) 4-6 tablespoons Asian fish sauce 1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and finely chopped 1 tablespoon white sugar Pinch of ground white pepper ½ cup cooked crabmeat 16 cooked Jonah crab claws* 6 scallions, outer green ends trimmed and finely chopped
Garnish and Sauce
Ginger-Garlic Fried Rice with Jonah Crab Claws
Cilantro, de-stemmed and chopped, about ¼ cup 2 limes cut into fat wedges 8-12 1/8” cucumber slices ¼ cup Asian fish sauce 1-4 fresh, unseeded bird’s eye chilis, finely sliced *Peeky-toe, brown, or other crab claws work just as well
Chefs Bob and Dan at a Glance
Where do you find inspiration? D: My mom, she is the best cook in the world. Do you have a country that you like to travel to? B: In Hawaii, they have markets just like in Thailand, and I feel at home. Do you have a favorite cheese? D: I don’t really like cheese as it’s just not part of the Thai diet. What do you like to do when you’re not in the kitchen? B: Catch up on new technology to run the restaurant better. Is there a book that has inspired you recently? D: David Thompson's Thai Street Food. He probably knows more about this than most Thai people. Do you have a favorite late night snack? B: A bowl of simple Thai noodle soup, when you’re tired. D: A Thai omelette with freshly cooked jasmine rice and spicy sriracha sauce."
on p e s iti Reci Ed 80+ nd f s co Che Se N e w
Recipes and Stories from the State’s Best Chefs
By Michael S. Sanders Photography by Russell French ISBN: 978-0-9844775-2-4 Pub Date: June, 2012 Price: $32.50 US/ $37.95 CAN Hardcover
25 destination chefs (Sam Hayward, Steve Correy, Lee Skawinski, and many more) and restaurants from Kittery to Mount Desert Island, 80+ recipes, 140+ full color photographs of chefs and their food.
Fresh From Maine appeals to 5 distinct audiences:
• visitors to Maine looking for an impressive souvenir • people who love reading about chefs’ lives • people who like to cook or love images of food • people looking for a gift for a Maine-lover • people into the Slow Food and local eating movements Fresh From Maine is backed by regional and national publicity, which includes the services of a New England-based publicist. Look for fall articles in regional publications and national food publications and web sites. Cross promotion through the restaurants as well as local signing opportunities in many communities who know and love their chefs.
To set up an account: Distributed to the trade by Chelsea Green Publishing To place an order, contact your Chelsea Green Representative, or call 802-295-6300.