Recipes from a Very Small Island

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The very best New England recipes from America's most beloved fisherman -- and her mother!

A New England cookbook from Linda Greenlaw and her mother.

Linda Greenlaw has already let readers in on the thrilling, often hilarious onboard lives of fishermen. Now she and her mother reveal what happens onshore -- in fishermen's kitchens. Packed with colorful anecdotes about seaside life and brimming with more than seventy-five delicious recipes ...

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Overview

The very best New England recipes from America's most beloved fisherman -- and her mother!

A New England cookbook from Linda Greenlaw and her mother.

Linda Greenlaw has already let readers in on the thrilling, often hilarious onboard lives of fishermen. Now she and her mother reveal what happens onshore -- in fishermen's kitchens. Packed with colorful anecdotes about seaside life and brimming with more than seventy-five delicious recipes ranging from Penobscot Bay Clam Dip and Point Lookout Lobster Salad to Fishermen's Beef with Guinness, Down East Crab Cakes, and Maine Blueberry Pie, this collection showcases the talents and idiosyncratic charms of the Greenlaw family, as well as the delicious cuisine of coastal New England.

Written in Linda's inimitable and witty style, Stuffed to the Gills is a cookbook that you'll want to savor, and you won't be able to resist serving up its delicious New England classics to your hungry crew!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Linda Greenlaw has proven herself to be a talented fisherwoman and author (The Hungry Ocean; The Lobster Chronicles; etc.). And now she shows that she's also a pretty good cook, with this book, co-written with her mother. The two share seafood-heavy recipes tested in the kitchens of their homes on Maine's Isle au Haut, as well as tales-mostly written by Linda-of life on the island (her essay on the improbabilities of pulling off a clambake is a riot). It's a charming collection. As one would expect, there are lots of recipes involving fish, lobster, crabs, blueberries and cranberries. But the Greenlaws present a nice variety of old and new (e.g., classic Island Lobster Rolls appear in the same chapter as unusual Wicked Good Lobster and Black Bean Chili). It's not just summer food, either: there are recipes for hearty dishes meant to help one through a New England winter (Mama's Maple-Flavored Baked Pea Beans; Bibo's Pumpkin Squares) as well as a chapter on meat and poultry. Most recipes are uncomplicated, and all evoke the character of the beautiful, rustic land from which they come. (July) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Greenlaw is the author of several best-selling books about her experiences as a swordfish boat captain and a lobster fisherman (her word), including The Lobster Chronicles: Life on a Very Small Island. Her mother, Martha, is the somewhat formidable matriarch of their extended family and a passionate cook. Most of the recipes here come from Martha, but Linda contributed 20 or so, along with entertaining essays about food and life on Isle au Haut (year-round population: about 45). The Greenlaws' food celebrates the natural bounty of their Maine island, and dishes are mostly organized by main ingredient, with chapter titles like "Fish That Swim in the Sea" and "Blueberries and Cranberries." Some of the mouth-watering recipes are homey, and some are not: Madeira-Saut ed Lobster, Salmon Cakes with Pea and Mint Sauce, Lemon-Glazed Blueberry Cupcakes. There are color photographs throughout of the recipes and island scenes. Strongly recommended. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781401300739
  • Publisher: Hyperion
  • Publication date: 7/6/2005
  • Pages: 240

Meet the Author

Linda  Greenlaw
Linda Greenlaw has been a deep-sea fisherman for 18 years, becoming the first and only female swordfish captain in the Grand Banks Fleet. She was raised in Maine and graduated from Colby College. Greenlaw now lives on Isle au Haut, Maine, where she captains a lobster boat.

Biography

Growing up on coastal Maine, Linda Greenlaw was entranced by the ocean and everything that swam in it. When other kids got their first 10-speed bicycles, she got her first 10-horsepower outboard. Later, Greenlaw literally sailed her way through college, spending her summers as a cook and deck hand on a swordfishing boat. After graduating from Colby College with a double major in English and government, Greenlaw returned to the sailor's life, becoming a ship captain when she was in her 20s and earning a reputation as "one of the best swordboat captains, period, on the East Coast" (in the words of Perfect Storm author Sebastian Junger).

For over 15 years, this remarkable achievement went generally unremarked-upon. Then came Sebastian Junger's The Perfect Storm, the true story of the fishing boat Andrea Gail, which disappeared in a hurricane at sea in October of 1991. Greenlaw was captain of the Andrea Gail's sister ship, the Hannah Boden, which was also at sea during the fateful storm. Though Greenlaw is only a minor figure in Junger's book, readers were intrigued by the idea of a woman who'd made it to the top in a heavily male-dominated -- and highly dangerous -- profession.

Publishers were intrigued, too, and several of them approached Greenlaw with offers for a book about her experiences. At first she turned them down, saying she could make more money actually fishing for a season than writing about fishing. But at last she decided to give it a try, and her readers are glad she did. Her book The Hungry Ocean is a riveting look at the day-to-day operations of a large commercial fishing boat, complete with storms, sharks and, on one grim occasion, a dead crew member in the fish hold. In the great fisherman tradition, The Hungry Ocean is also a ripping good story, one The New York Times Book Review declared a "triumph."

Greenlaw agreed to write her first book in part because she wanted to lead a settled existence for a while, perhaps get married and start a family. In her second book, The Lobster Chronicles, she describes trading the adventurous life of an offshore swordboat captain for the comparatively quiet business of trapping lobsters in Penobscot Bay. As she reconnects with her roots on the tiny Isle au Haut ("forty-seven full-time residents, half of whom I am related to in one way or another"), she deals with nosy neighbors, a dearth of available men, and recalcitrant crustaceans who refuse to crawl into her traps. She also evokes a life of simplicity and self-sufficiency that her readers might well envy: Her island has no Kmart ("or any other mart"), no Starbucks, no cable TV. "Straightforward storytelling and captivating reading: satisfying as a Maine lobster dinner," wrote Kirkus Reviews.

So far, Greenlaw is shaping up to be as talented a writer as she is a fisherman (she objects strenuously to being called a "fisherwoman"). Possibly the only woman ever to captain a swordfishing boat, she has insisted that being a female captain is an asset: "No self-respecting fisherman wants to be outdone by a woman, even if it kills him." Perhaps her books will inspire other female fishermen to join the fray.

Good To Know

In her years as a swordboat captain, Greenlaw's biggest single swordfish was a 635-pound fish caught in the Carribean, according to a USA Today chat with the author. Her largest total load in one trip was 62,000 pounds.

In a TV interview with Brian Lamb on C-SPAN, Greenlaw said she's "one of the only people probably on the planet who does not own a cell phone. But I have a VHF radio."

In the movie version of The Perfect Storm, Linda Greenlaw was played by Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio.

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    1. Hometown:
      Isle au Haut, Maine
    1. Education:
      B.A., Colby College, 1983

Read an Excerpt

RECIPES FROM A VERY SMALL ISLANDS


By LINDA GREENLAW MARTHA GREENLAW

HYPERION

Copyright © 2005 Linda and Martha Greenlaw
All right reserved.

ISBN: 1-4013-0073-1


Chapter One

BEGINNINGS

DICK'S AMAZING STUFFED CLAMS CRANBERRY-ORANGE JELL-O SHOTS MAINE SHRIMP REMOULADE ROBINSON COVE CRAB SPREAD HOT CRAB AND JALAPENO DIP CRAB MADELEINES MUSSELS AU GRATIN PENOBSCOT BAY CLAM DIP MUSSELS ON THE HALF-SHELL WITH TWO ASIAN SAUCES WHISKEY FRUIT PUNCH WHALER'S TODDY SWEET AND SPICY ROASTED NUTS MUSHROOM TURNOVERS WALNUT SALAD IN ENDIVE WIMPY SUSHI FOR THOSE WITH AN AVERSION TO RAW FISH DARK AND STORMY STEPHANIE'S HOLIDAY CHEESE BALL

DICK'S AMAZING STUFFED CLAMS

ONE OF OUR FAVORITE ISLAND SUMMER ACTIVITIES is clam digging. We gather our clam hoes and clam roller (basket), drive over to the east side of the island, and walk out to the flats at Old Rich's Cove. Keeping our fingers crossed that the wind continues to blow the mosquitoes away, we proceed to happily dig ourselves a mess of clams. My good friend Dick Ames shared this recipe with me and love it because it's so full of good clam and sausage flavor. mg

INGREDIENTS

20 QUAHOG CLAMS, AT LEAST 3 INCHES IN DIAMETER, OR 2 CUPS CHOPPED FRESH OR CANNED HARD-SHELL CLAMS, JUICES RESERVED

12 OUNCES ITALIAN SAUSAGE (COMBINATION OF SWEET AND HOT), REMOVED FROM CASINGS AND CRUMBLED

8 OUNCES CHORIZO SAUSAGE, ANY CASINGS REMOVED

8 TABLESPOONS (1 STICK) UNSALTED BUTTER

1 CUP FINELY DICED YELLOW ONION

1/2 CUP FINELY DICED GREEN BELL PEPPER

1/2 CUP FINELY DICED CELERY

3 CUPS LIGHTLY SEASONED CRUSHED BREAD STUFFING MIX, PLUS ADDITIONAL IF NECESSARY (SEE NOTES)

AT LEAST 1/2 CUP RESERVED CLAM BROTH OR DRAINED CLAM JUICES

MAKES 35 TO 40 STUFFED CLAMS

1. If using clams in the shell, rinse them several times until free of any sand and put in a large saucepan. Add cold water to a depth of 2 inches. Cover the pan tightly and steam over high heat for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the clams open. Drain the clams and discard any that do not open. Reserve the steaming liquid.

2. Let the clams cool slightly, then remove the meat from the shells. Reserve the clamshells. 3. Transfer the clam meat to a food processor fitted with the metal blade and pulse until chopped. (If using purchased chopped clams, chop them finer in the food processor.)

4. In a large, preferably nonstick skillet, brown the Italian sausage over medium heat, breaking up with a wooden spoon into small chunks, about 10 minutes. Cut the chorizo into 1/2-inch lengths and pulse in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the chorizo to the skillet and cook, stirring, for another 3 minutes. Scrape the sausage into a bowl, leaving the drippings in the pan.

5. Add the butter to the skillet and melt over medium-high heat. Add the onion, pepper, and celery and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes, or until the vegetables soften. Add the 3 cups of stuffing mix, the chopped clams, the cooked sausage, and 1/2 cup reserved clam broth or juice. Use a large spoon or your hands to mix well, adding more bread crumbs or liquid as necessary to make a mixture that holds together when squeezed.

6. Lightly pack the clamshells with stuffing and place on baking sheets. Any leftover stuffing can be frozen. (Clams can be made a day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

8. Cover the baking sheets with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the stuffing is lightly browned, 10 to 20 more minutes.

Notes

I use Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix for the bread crumbs.

You will need some clamshells for this dish. I have a bunch that I save from year to year just so I'll have them for stuffed clams.

If you're not starting with fresh clams in the shell, you can use a pint of chopped fresh hard-shell clams in juice that are sold in the seafood department of most supermarkets.

CRANBERRY-ORANGE JELL-O SHOTS

OUR EDITOR DEMANDED THAT put this recipe in the book and gave us the following reason: "Years ago, when I visited you for the first time on Isle au Haut and stepped off the mailboat, I wasn't quite sure what I had gotten myself into. I was going to spend four days on an island with an author I didn't yet know well and her entire extended family. And there you all were, on the dock, greeting me with trays of Jell-O shots-and instantly I became part of this great extended family. So Jell-O shots will always symbolize for me Greenlaw hospitality. And that's why, even though they aren't really authentic Maine cuisine, I insist they be in this book." lg

INGREDIENTS

ONE 3-OUNCE PACKAGE CRANBERRY GELATIN

1 CUP ORANGE VODKA OR 1/2 CUP ORANGE VODKA AND 1/2 CUP RUM

MAKES 20

Pour the gelatin into a large bowl. Add 1 cup boiling water and stir until the gelatin dissolves. Stir in the vodka (or vodka and rum) and divide among twenty 1-ounce disposable paper cups. Refrigerate until firm, 2 to 4 hours.

MAINE SHRIMP REMOULADE

WHEN SMALL MAINE SHRIMP are in season in the winter I use them in all kinds of ways. This is a wonderful first course. The sauce is simple, delicious, and can be made ahead, and it makes a very pretty presentation. mg

REMOULADE SAUCE

2 CUPS MAYONNAISE

1 GARLIC CLOVE, MINCED OR PUT THROUGH A PRESS

1 HARD-COOKED EGG, CHOPPED

2 TABLESPOONS DRAINED CAPERS

1 TABLESPOON DIJON MUSTARD

1 TABLESPOON CHOPPED FRESH TARRAGON OR 1 TEASPOON DRIED

1 TABLESPOON CHOPPED FRESH CHERVIL OR 1 TEASPOON DRIED

1 TABLESPOON CHOPPED PARSLEY

SALT AND FRESHLY GROUND BLACK PEPPER

SALAD

2 POUNDS MAINE SHRIMP (SEE NOTE)

SHREDDED ROMAINE OR ICEBERG LETTUCE

PARSLEY OR OTHER HERB SPRIGS

SERVES 6 TO 8 AS A FIRST COURSE

1. Make the sauce. In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, garlic, chopped egg, capers, mustard, tarragon, chervil, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.

2. For the shrimp, bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring once or twice, for about 2 minutes, until the shrimp turn pink. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a large bowl of ice water. Drain, peel off the shells, and remove any black veins. Chill until ready to use, up to 12 hours.

3. When ready to serve, line a large serving platter or individual plates with lettuce. Arrange the shrimp on the lettuce, spoon the sauce over the shrimp, garnish with herb sprigs, and serve.

Note

You can also buy shrimp already shelled, deveined, and/or cooked.

Any other type of shrimp can substitute for small Maine shrimp.

ROBINSON COVE CRAB SPREAD

ROBINSON COVE, named for my husband's family, is on the west side of Isle au Haut. When Jim was a boy he spent all of his summers at the old family homestead in the cove with his parents, sister, and three brothers. Mattie, Jim's mother, often made this simple and utterly delicious crab spread. I like it because it really showcases our sweet local crabmeat. mg

INGREDIENTS

12 OUNCES FRESH CRABMEAT, PICKED OVER

3/4 CUP REGULAR OR REDUCED-FACT MAYONNAISE

1/4 CUP SNIPPED CHIVES (SEE NOTE)

3 TABLESPOONS LEMON JUICE

2 TABLESPOONS PREPARED HORSERADISH

SALT AND FRESHLY GROUND BLACK PEPPER

ASSORTED DELICATE CRACKERS OR SMALL SLICES OF BREAD

SERVES 6 TO 8 AS AN HORS D'OEUVRE

1. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the crabmeat with the mayonnaise, chives, lemon juice, and horseradish. Mix well with a large fork to break up any larger chunks of crabmeat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate for up to 6 hours.

2. Serve in a bowl surrounded by crackers.

Note

If chives are unavailable, substitute finely chopped scallion.

HOT CRAB AND JALAPENO DIP

I CAN'T EVEN SAY THE WORD jalapeno without my eyes watering. But my son-in-law Ben adores spicy food-the hotter the better-so I made this hot crab and jalapeno dip one night with him in mind. So what does he do when I put it out on the table but head for the refrigerator to get some Tabasco sauce! By the time he polished off most of the dip I think we saw steam coming out of his ears. Personally, it's plenty hot enough for me (and probably for most) just the way it is. mg

INGREDIENTS

1/3 CUP SLICED ALMONDS

2 TABLESPOONS VEGETABLE OIL

1 LARGE BELL PEPPER, CHOPPED MEDIUM-FINE

1 1/2 TO 2 CUPS MAYONNAISE

1 CUP GRATED PARMESAN CHEESE

TWO 6-OUNCE JARS MARINATED ARTICHOKES, DRAINED AND CHOPPED FINE

1/2 CUP THINLY SLICED SCALLIONS

3 FRESH OR PICKLED JALAPENO PEPPERS, SEEDED AND MINCED (SEE NOTE)

4 TEASPOONS WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE

2 TEASPOONS LEMON JUICE

1 TEASPOON CELERY SALT

1 POUND FRESH CRABMEAT, PICKED OVER

ASSORTED CRACKERS

SERVES ABOUT 10 AS AN HORS D'OEUVRE 1. In a medium skillet, toast the almonds over medium heat, stirring frequently, until one shade darker, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove and set aside.

2. In the same skillet, heat the oil. Add the red pepper and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until it begins to soften. Scrape into a large bowl.

3. Add 1 1/2 cups of the mayonnaise, the cheese, chopped artichokes, scallions, jalapenos, Worcestershire, lemon juice, and celery salt. Stir well to combine. Add the crabmeat and stir gently so as not to break up the crab chunks too much. If the mixture is too dry, stir in the additional 1/2 cup mayonnaise.

4. Butter an attractive ovenproof dish, transfer the crab mixture to it, and sprinkle with the toasted almonds. (The dish can be made up to 12 hours ahead and refrigerated. Return to room temperature before baking.)

5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

6. Bake the crab dip, uncovered, until the mixture is hot and bubbly, 20 to 30 minutes. Spread on crackers to serve.

Note

Chopping jalapeno peppers can be seriously irritating to the eyes. Wash your hands thoroughly afterwards or wear rubber gloves when working with them. If you want a spicier dip, mince the jalapeno seeds and add to the mixture.

CRAB MADELEINES

THESE ARE A TRULY WONDERFUL AND very impressive hors d'oeuvre, but you do need French madeleine tins in order to make them. The molds, which you can find at specialty gourmet shops, are similar to muffin tins, but the pockets are in the shape of pretty scallop shells. mg

INGREDIENTS

2 TABLESPOONS CLARIFIED BUTTER (SEE NOTE)

1/2 CUP CAKE FLOUR

1/4 TEASPOON SALT

1/8 TEASPOON WHITE PEPPER

1/8 TEASPOON CAYENNE PEPPER

2 LARGE EGGS

6 TABLESPOON GRATED PARMESAN CHEESE

6 OUNCES FRESH CRABMEAT (1 CUP), PICKED OVER AND FLAKED FINE

3 TABLESPOONS BUTTER, MELTED

2 TEASPOONS LEMON JUICE

CITRUS TARTAR SAUCE (PAGE 90).

REMOULADE SAUCE (PAGE 23), OR SALSA

SERVES 5 TO 8 (ABOUT 20 MADELEINES

1. Brush the pockets of the madeleine tins thoroughly with the clarified butter. Refrigerate while making the batter. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, white pepper, and cayenne and set aside.

3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs on high speed until they are thick and pale yellow, about 2 minutes. Add the cheese and beat for 1 minute. Beat in the crabmeat.

4. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the egg mixture and whisk in gently but thoroughly, alternating with the melted butter. Stir in the lemon juice.

5. Spoon the batter into the madeleine tins, filling about three-quarters full. Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown and springy to the touch, 18 to 20 minutes. Unmold onto a rack to cool, loosening with the point of a small knife if necessary. Cool the molds, wipe clean, rebutter them, and repeat with the remaining batter. (These can be made a day ahead and stored, well wrapped, in the refrigerator. Arrange on a baking sheet and reheat in a 375-degree oven for about 5 minutes before serving.)

6. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

Note

To clarify butter, melt the butter and pour the clear yellow liquid off the top into a small bowl, leaving the milky residue behind. Using the clear liquid to butter the molds helps prevent the madeleines from sticking.

MUSSELS AU GRATIN

AT LOW TIDE WE CAN PICK MUSSELS off the rocks and ledges in front of our house. Although these wild mussels are free, they do require a bit of work. You must first soak them in several changes of cold water, pull off their wiry beards, and scrub the shells. Our friend Dave Hiltz has been cultivating mussels that hang on ropes on his float in the harbor, and since these farmed mussels have never touched the sandy/muddy bottom they require little cleaning or scrubbing. This is a great way to serve them. mg

INGREDIENTS

3 POUNDS MUSSELS, SCRUBBED AND DEBEARDED (SEE HEADNOTE)

1 CUP WHITE WINE

1/2 CUP (1 STICK) UNSALTED BUTTER, MELTED

1/2 CUP BREADED CRUMBS

1/2 CUP GRATED PARMESAN CHEESE

3 TABLESPOONS CHOPPED PARSLEY

1 GARLIC CLOVE, CRUSHED IN A PRESS OR MINCED

1/2 TEASPOON FRESHLY GROUND BLACK PEPPER

SERVES 6 AS AN HORS D'OEUVRE

1. Place the mussels in a large pot add the wine, and bring to a boil. Cover. reduce the heat to medium, and cool just until the mussels open, 5 to 10 minutes, depending on size. Lift the mussels out of the cooking liquid with a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl, and reserve the cooking liquid. Discard the top shell of each of the mussels. If the mussels are small, place two in each remaining half shell; otherwise leave one per shell. Arrange on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with the melted butter.

2. In a small bowl, combine the crumbs, Parmesan, parsley, garlic, and pepper and sprinkle the mixture over the mussels. Drizzle with a little of the reserved cooking liquid. (The mussels can be prepared ahead to this point and refrigerated or held at cool room temperature for a couple of hours.

3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

4. Place the baking sheet in the oven and cook until the mussels are hot and bubbly, about 10 minutes. Turn the setting to broil and cook, about 5 inches from the heating element, until nicely browned on top, 1 to 2 minutes.

PENOBSCOT BAY CLAM DIP

WE BUILT OUR RETIREMENT HOME on the island sixteen years ago, and when the last nail was pounded in we put up a notice in the town post office inviting all to an open house on the following Saturday. Everyone on the island loves a party, and eighty neighbors showed up, including kids and dogs! We ate, drank, and talked the afternoon away. One of the items on the buffet was this clam dip and I wrapped the loaf of bread in a red bandanna, which made it look very festive. Our friend and fellow lobsterman Greg Runge stood right next to that clam dip for most of the afternoon! mg

INGREDIENTS

1 LARGE ROUND LOAF CRUSTY FRESH BREAD (ABOUT 24 OUNCES)

TWO 8-OUNCE PACKAGES CREAM CHEESE, SOFTENED

1 1/2 CUP MINCED CLAMS, 1/4 CUP JUICE RESERVED

2 TABLESPOONS GRATED ONION

2 TABLESPOONS BEER (OPTIONAL)

2 TEASPOONS WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE

2 TEASPOON LEMON JUICE

1 TEASPOON HOT PEPPER SAUCE, OR TO TASTE

1/2 TEASPOON SALT

1 TABLESPOON CHOPPED PARSLEY

RAW VEGETABLES FOR DIPPING, SUCH AS BABY CARROTS, GRAPE TOMATOES, PEPPERS STRIPS, CELERY STICKS

SERVES 12 OR MORE AS AN HORS D'OEUVRE

1. With a sharp knife, slice the top off the bread and set aside. Hollow out the loaf, leaving about a 1-inch-thick shell.

2. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with the clams, onion, optional beer, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, hot pepper sauce, salt, and reserved clam juice.

3. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Cut two long sheets of aluminum foil and crisscross them on a baking sheet. Center the hollowed loaf on the foil, fill with the clam mixture, and place the top on the bread. Wrap in foil.

4. Bake for 3 hours to blend the flavors and until the dip is piping hot. Remove the top, sprinkle the dip with parsley, and place on a large platter. Surround with raw vegetables for dipping.

Notes

You can use finely chopped fresh clams, or three 6 1/2-ounce cans of minced clams.

The beer is a nice addition, but I only use it if the rest of the bottle is not going to go to waste!

If you like, cut the removed bread into cubes, toast for about 20 minutes in the slow oven, and serve along with the vegetables for dipping.

MUSSELS ON THE HALF-SHELL WITH TWO ASIAN SAUCES

ALTHOUGH DAD INSISTS that he taught Mom how to fry an egg, his culinary activity, to the best of my knowledge, has been somewhat sketchy. I do, however, have fond memories of Dad in the kitchen preparing mussels. In those days, eating mussels was not fashionable, and I questioned my parents as to why we were not eating clams like normal people. Dad explained that he had been eating the island mussels since he was a boy and he happened to like them at least as much as clams. lg

THAI CURRY SAUCE

1/2 CUP CANNED UNSWEETENED COCONUT MILK

1 TEASPOON THAT RED CURRY PASTE (SEE NOTE), OR MORE TO TASTE

3 TABLESPOONS FINELY DICED RED BELL PEPPER

SOY BUTTER

4 TABLESPOONS (1/2 STICK) UNSALTED BUTTER

2 TABLESPOONS SOY SAUCE

3 TABLESPOONS FINELY MINCED SCALLIONS

2 POUNDS MUSSELS, SCRUBBED AND DEBEARDED

SERVES 4 AS AN HORS D'OEUVRE

1. For the Thai Curry Sauce, combine the coconut milk and curry paste in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, whisking, and simmer, uncovered, over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until slightly reduced and thickened.

2. For the Soy Butter, combine the butter and soy sauce in a small saucepan. Simmer for about 2 minutes over medium heat until blended.

3. Place the mussels in a large pot. Add about 1/4 cup of water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to medium, and cook just until the shells open, 5 to 10 minutes, depending on size. Discard the top shell of each of the mussels and place a cooked mussel in each of the remaining shells. Arrange on two baking sheets. Spoon about a teaspoon of the Thai Curry Sauce over half the mussels; spoon the Soy Butter over the remaining half. (The mussels can be prepared ahead to this point and refrigerated or held at cool room temperature for a couple of hours.)

4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

5. Place the baking sheets in the oven and cook until the mussels are hot and the sauce is bubbly, about 10 minutes.

6. Sprinkle the Thai curry mussels with the minced red pepper, sprinkle the soy mussels with the chopped scallions, and serve.

Note

You'll find Thai curry paste in jars or sealed pouches in the Asian section of most supermarkets. It varies in intensity, so use according to your own taste.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from RECIPES FROM A VERY SMALL ISLANDS by LINDA GREENLAW MARTHA GREENLAW Copyright © 2005 by Linda and Martha Greenlaw.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2011

    Classic Maine meets Greenlaw Wit

    This is a wonderful collection of classic, and classically-inspired, Maine recipes peppered throughout with anecdotes from mother and daughter. It is charmingly sorted by type of ingredient [blueberries and cranberries, shellfish, etc.]. Every recipe that I have tried has been easy to prepare and tasty! I'm eager to see what they have to share in their next venture, The Main Summers Cookbook.

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