Thursday, September 6, 2012

Recipe Testing: Fresh from Maine: Recipes and Stories from the State's Best Chefs

A couple of months ago- in the midst of my summer craziness- I was sent two cookbooks.  Lets rephrase- I was sent two cookbooks from MAINE, designed by MAINE chefs, using MAINE ingredients- since I'm basically in love with Maine- I was unbelievably eager to get moving on cooking from these bad boys.  I'll rephrase again- eating and drinking from them- that's right- one is a Maine based cocktail book- even better.

I spent weeks flipping through these books- the first- Fresh From Maine- Recipes and Stories from the State's Best Chefs, written by Michael S. Sanders made me happy with every flip of the page.  Treasures from Maine, from their shores, their lands, and their imaginations, were captured in every recipe, and each show cased a different side of the Maine lifestyle.  I think that's the real beauty of Maine- the state is full of fishermen and farmers, but doesn't leave their artists behind either.  The books shows all of the personalities with hearty classics, and refined creations.

I was immediately drawn to the Crab Salad with Fried Tomato and Avocado which was supplied by Chef Henry Ares from his restaurant Anneke Jans found in Kittery.  Layering thick slices of crisp tomato, creamy crab salad, spicy micro greens and decadent avocado splashed with tart sherry vinegar- it all sounded too good to be true.

This was a simple to prepare recipe, with full flavors of the summer season.  I devoured every bite.

Crab Salad with Fried Tomato and Avocado

Crab Salad:
2 lbs fresh Maine crab meat, Peaky- Toe or Jonah
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1/2 stalk celery
1 small red Holland pepper
Salt and Pepper to taste

Fried Tomatoes:
2 firm heirloom tomatoes, like Brandywine or Cherokee Purple, in 1/2" slices
2 cups all purpose flour for dredging
2 cups milk
2 eggs
3 cups Panko crumbs
2 cups Canola Oil
1 cup Micro Greens
3 ripe avocados
Sherry Vinegar
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

For the crab salad:
Roast the pepper in a 450 degree (F) oven 10 to 15 minutes until skin turns black.  Remove and, under running water, peel off the skin and pat dry before dicing finely.  Run the crab meat through your fingers lightly to check for shell and cartilage.  Mix the mayo, celery, crab meat, and pepper in a bowl and then salt and pepper to taste.

For the fried tomatoes:  in a bowl whisk eggs, and milk together until blended.  Put the flour and the Panko crumbs n two shallow dishes.  Dredge the sliced tomatoes first in the flour until well coated on both sides.  Then dip the tomato slices in the egg mixture, shake off excess then coat in Panko crumbs.  Put the 2 cups of canola oil n a deep sided saute pan on high heat.  When very hot, about 375 degrees (F), place the tomato slices in the oil and cook 3 to 4 minutes each side, watching carefully until golden brown and crispy.

To serve: peel and pit avocados and slice lengthwise into 1/4" slices.  Fan the avocado slices in the center of each plate, and put the fried tomato on the avocado slices.  Place a late spoonful of the crab mixture atop of the tomato. Top the crab with a small bunch of micro greens and drizzle the whole with sherry vinegar and oil, season with salt and fresh ground black pepper.



In and Around Town said...

Those sound like they would have some wonderful recipes - Maine really does have so many great things all its own!

Anonymous said...

That looks so good! I love crab salad. I am going to have to give this a go.

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