Cooking with New England Living: Camden, ME

Because the owner of the quaint and quirky home featured in our Camden, ME episode is a caterer who owns and operates an iconic downtown Camden food shop, Megunticook Market, we had no need to invite an area chef in to cook dinner.  Lani ably took the helm in own kitchen! Here are the recipes she prepared for the gathering of friends featured in the episode.

Maine Crab Cakes

8 oz fresh handpicked crabmeat

1 tsp Dijon mustard

½ raw egg

½ tsp mayonnaise

½ lemon, juice only

1 TBSP minced chives

1 TBSP minced red pepper, seeded

½ to 1 cup panko bread crumbs

4 TBSP olive oil

Place crabmeat in a medium metal bowl. With a light touch, check for shells or cartilage and remove. Lightly pick up crabmeat, shred through fingers and drop to bottom of bowl, listening for any sound of shell hitting the bowl.

Add mustard, mayo, egg, lemon juice, chives, red pepper and half of panko to crab and mix lightly. Pick up a tablespoon portion and form a small cake. If it sticks and stays in shape then you have the right consistency. If it seems too wet, add more panko.

Form 12 tablespoon-size cakes for an appetizer portion or 2 crab cakes for a salad or dinner portion. Set aside.

In a medium sauté pan, heat oil on medium-high (if the oil begins to smoke, reduce heat). Add crab cakes and sauté until lightly golden brown. Remove to a plate covered with paper towel to drain off extra oil. Serve immediately or chill for later. If reheating later, heat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 8 minutes or until just warmed through.

May be served with remoulade sauce or citrus aioli.

Lobster Lasagna

Lasagna:

3 cups béchamel, see below

1 cup mozzarella cheese

8 oz ricotta

1 egg

2 TBSP fresh chopped parsley

1 ½ pound lobster meat, coarsely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped

½ cup white wine

lasagna noodles

½ cup parmesan

Bechamel:

½ pound butter

1 cup flour

1 TBSP nutmeg

1 gallon of milk

Bechamel: In a large saucepan, melt butter. Then add nutmeg; and stir. Add flour, stir into a paste. Cook the paste over low-medium heat until it becomes golden. Add milk and simmer until it starts to thicken. Remove from heat and set aside.

Lasagna

Ricotta mixture: In a medium bowl, mix ricotta, egg and 2 TBSP fresh chopped parsley. Set aside.

Lobster: In a medium skillet, melt 1 TBSP butter. Add lobster and sauté. Add garlic, thyme and deglaze with white wine. Remove from heat and set aside.

Assembly: In a casserole dish (11×14), layer 1 cup bechamel, 1 layer lasagna noodles, ½ ricotta mixture, ½  cup mozzarella, 3/4 cup lobster meat, repeat layers, then top with 1 cup bechamel, ½  cup mozzarella and parmesan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 30-40 minutes until bubbling and light golden brown. Serve hot.

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