Nothing says the beginning of summer like watermelon. Sweet juicy delicious watermelon. A seasonal delight like no other. We all craved it as kids and still do. Here’s a surprisingly delicious and grown-up way to serve this simple cool refreshing salad at your next BBQ or dinner party.
We’re going to add some crumbled feta cheese, a few mint leaves, cucumbers or onions…
Watermelon Summer Salad
1 (5-pound) watermelon
1 Vidalia onion
1 cucumber, sliced (optional)
1/4 cup red wine or balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
6 whole mint sprigs
In a large bowl, combine everything; the watermelon, onion, cukes, feta and mint. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar. Salt and pepper. Toss gently and refrigerate. Simple..
Today we’re going to learn how to make a wicked-good, old fashioned, “Maine Lobster Roll.” Just like the mouth-watering lobster rolls that you buy for $15.00 ea. on the Maine Coast. Honestly, there’s nothing quite like the fresh ocean flavor of sweet, luscious lobster in the whole wide world. If you’re lucky enough to live in Maine, homemade lobster rolls will be easy to make. If you’re from away, we’ll teach you how its done. No problem.
A delicacy like no other. The Maine lobster roll. We’ll be making buttery, crisp seafood deliciousness. AND we will NOT be adding any silly and unnecessary ingredients in our lobster rolls like celery or tarragon. Yes, I like them both. But it just isn’t right. So please, don’t do it!
I know, I sound ridiculously excited here BUT the truth is…. I LOVE lobster and I know what I’m talking about. YUM!
Next post, we’ll be steaming scrumptious lobster and clams. So stay tuned…
Maine Lobster Roll
(Enough for six lucky people!)
6 Maine lobster’s, steamed and picked of meat.
6-8 tablespoons Helman’s mayonnaise
4-5 tablespoons butter, room temperature
6 hot dog buns, New England style (split-top)
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, shredded and diced (optional)
A dash of lemon juice and nothing else. I mean it!
First of all, purchase 6 live Maine lobsters (cooked) or if you’re rich and/or lazy you can buy apx. 24 oz. of clear lobster meat.
*If you’re cooking your own lobsters. Here’s the humane way, courtesy of my friend Larry. Just get a BIG pot with a cover. Fill with about 5″ of water. Add the lobsters and bring to a boil. Steam for 15 minutes. The lobsters will fall painlessly asleep this way. Remove the lobsters with tongs and let cool before cracking them open (with nut crackers). Contact me if you need any help with that. Seriously.
Combine the lobster meat and mayonnaise in a medium bowl. I recommend Helman’s or Best Food mayo, it’s thick and rich.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
A dash of lemon juice (optional)
Butter the sides of your hot dog rolls.
Heat medium skillet over medium high heat.
Place butted rolls in the skillet; cook until golden brown, about 2 min. per side.
Fill bottoms with a little lettuce, then the lobster mixture, serve immediately with french fries, potato chips and a side of cole slaw.
I have to say that I’ve been very, busy this Spring cooking up a storm with a few of my foodie friends. If we’re not throwing lavish (jk!) dinner parties we’re going out to dinner. Now, I’m thinking that it would be fun and informative to share with you, dear readers some of our exploits in around and out of the kitchen. I’ll be adding more content, photos and lots of healthy, innovative, and new recipes daily. We’re even going to add a contributor page, so YOU can share your recipes too.
PS. I’m going to do an occasional restaurant review (with James Fielder.) To give you the real “scoop” on delicious places to eat in Maine. From farmer to table and fisherman to market. We’ve got you covered… (comment below)
So, stay tuned… And look for these exciting new changes in the coming weeks!
Assorted cruditéincluding a delish radish pesto prepared by James Fielder
Lovely little filo cups filled with Parmesan Salsa
A BIG flying fish over the table…
Beef Filet Mignon’s (James says 4 minutes on ea. side for perfect medium)
Michelle and her Mom enjoying filet topped w/avocado butter and roasted asparagus.
Larry and James relaxing with a bottle of Pancake
Scott Bakery– He loves dessert.
A simple dessert of berries served over pound cake with whipped cream
One of my favorite summer dinners has to be grilled BBQ chicken, grilled corn and zucchini. I do love all BBQ sauce, but who says BBQ sauce has to red and tomatoey anyway? Let’s change it up with a delightful homemade blueberry BBQ sauce that’s naturally sweet, savory and just a little bit spicy. A healthier (low-sugar!) alternative to bottled sauce. And guaranteed to be the hit at your next dinner party. PS. This easy to make healthier sauce is so scrumptious you’ll want to make extra and serve it over everything!
PS. If you have any grilling tips to share, please leave a comment below, seriously.
Grilled Chicken With Blueberry BBQ Sauce
1 cup fresh blueberries (I used wild Maine Blueberries)
1 cup ketchup
2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
pinch of cayenne pepper
salt & pepper to taste
1 teaspoon ground mustard, or sub. Dijon mustard
For Blueberry BBQ sauce..
In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to simmer. Cook uncovered, whisking frequently, for an hour or so..
Grilled corn and zucchini take about 10 minutes each to cook. The
You all know that I LOVE to cook. But I have to admit that grilling is not my favorite. I just don’t like standing there over the hot grill when I could be running around doing something else. So I always try to find someone else to take “the grill guy” job. I’m just too damn busy and I’ll run-away from the grill. Not a good idea, the un-attended food will burn. I need someone else to blame. Anyway…
1. Here’s the best way to BBQ chicken that I’ve found. First of all, I like a whole chicken, cut-up. This way you get two of everything, 2 breasts, 2 legs, 2 wings, 2 thighs etc. I find that cooking bone-in chicken (and with the protective skin) is so much juicier. Another thing, I find poaching (or boiling) the chicken (for 15-20 minutes) is the answer to the question “is this done yet?” Not only is the chicken moist and perfectly cooked but less apt to dry-out (or burn) on the grill.
*For boneless chicken you absolutely must marinade before cooking, or at the very least cover with lots of canola oil. Try to marinade your chicken (in a niiice Italian dressing) a day before cooking, or as soon as you think of it.
A good rule for perfectly cooked BBQ chicken is to grill on low, and cook it slow….
**Yes, that’s right. Lower and slower is the golden rule with grilled chicken.
2. Spray or oil the chicken pieces liberally before tossing it on the grill. You’ll want to grill at a medium-low temperature for 5-10 minutes (on each side). Don’t try to move the pieces around before they’re cooked, unless it flares-up. In that case, move the chicken off the flame and turn the temp. down. I’ve been known to douse the flames with a little beer. Everyone watching will say: “WOW! That was so cool!” Now, you can see why I’m not the go-to grill-girl.
3. Next, brush the sauce (or marinade) on the cooked side of the chicken after you turn it. Or the sugars in the sauce will flame-up and burn. A a few grill-marks are a good thing, a lot of char is bad. You may want to serve some blueberry BBQ sauce on the side for dipping. I’m hungry, let’s eat!
I have to share with you my new favorite summer salad. A wonderful simple and delicious side-dish with shrimp, lots of fresh herbs and gorgeous garden vegetables. One that is both cool and classy at the same time. A truly magical combination of exquisite flavors that is sure to bring smiles to everyone at your table. Let this shrimp salad rock your next BBQ!
You can see the recipe (below) is super easy. I really do love the addition of Major Grey Chutney. A little spicy and sweet (jut like me!) Oh, I’ve listed several optional ingredients for you. This is your salad now, have fun and make it any way you want…
Shrimp and Orzo Salad
(recipe courtesy James Fielder)
1 16 oz box of orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
1 cucumber, diced into ¼ -inch-thick pieces
8-12 oz. of cooked salad shrimp
1/2 cup Major Grey Chutney
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, and zest
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 oz. of feta cheese, crumbled (optional)
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved (optional)
1 bunch green onions, chopped (optional)
1 pint fresh peas (optional)
*Note: We buy 2-3 (4 oz.) bags of inexpensive frozen (wild-caught) salad shrimp.
Cook orzo in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 10 minutes. Drain. Rinse with cold water to cool; drain well. Transfer to large bowl. Add everything listed above that you like. Toss well and refrigerate.