Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Hooves @ Hooves and hounds farm

Supporting roughly a ton of muscle and bone, draft horse feet are—literally and figuratively—under a lot of pressure. Conformation, cleanliness, and weight all factor into these structures’ health and function

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Fried Green Tomatoes

Crunchy, well-seasoned green tomatoes layered between creamy slices of fresh mozzarella is a surprising alternative to the popular caprese salad made with ripe red tomatoes. Any green tomato can be used for this dish, as all green tomatoes, regardless of variety, are firm enough to fry.

Caprese Salad with Fried Green Tomatoes


  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup  buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup  cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. sweet paprika
  • 4 medium to large green tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch  slices
  • 3/4 lb.  fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into slices 1/4 to 1/2 inch (6 to 12 mm) thick
  • 1 cup  fresh basil leaves, torn in half if large
  • 1/4 cup  extra-virgin olive oil

1. Pour vegetable oil into a large frying pan to a depth of 1/2 inch (12 mm) and heat over medium-high heat until it registers 375°F on a deep-frying thermometer, or until it sizzles when a few bread crumbs are dropped in. Line a baking sheet with paper towels.

2. Preheat an oven to 275°F .

3. Spread the flour on a plate. In a shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs and buttermilk. In a second shallow bowl, stir together the cornmeal, bread crumbs, 2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. pepper and the paprika. Dredge a tomato slice in the flour, shaking off the excess; then dip into the egg mixture, allowing the excess to drip off; and finally dredge in the cornmeal mixture. Gently slip the tomato into the hot oil. Repeat until the pan is full but not crowded. Fry, turning once, until golden and crisp, about 3 minutes per side. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to the paper towel–lined baking sheet. Keep warm in the oven while frying the remaining tomatoes.

4. Transfer the tomatoes to a platter. Insert the cheese slices and basil between the tomatoes. Drizzle with the olive oil and serve immediately. Serves 4.

The 6 Biggest Cast-Iron Cooking Myths

Myth # 1 Multi Rounds of  Seasoning
Many guides will have you repeat the lengthy process of oiling your pan and seasoning it in the oven three to four times. It's not a bad idea if you're being extra cautious, but simply using your pan on a day-to-day basis will naturally continue to build up a layer of seasoning over time.
I find the best way to keep seasoned is use it to fry chicken or fish in Crisco twice a month.

Myth #2: You Can't Use Soap to Wash Your Pan
No, using soap won't wash away the precious seasoning you've worked so hard to build up. That magical layer isn't just any old oil that will dissolve in a bath of citrus-scented suds, but polymerized fat that's chemically bonded to the surface. So go ahead: Break out the double-sided sponge and clean to your heart's content. Just make sure you dry your pans thoroughly after it's been washed. It also doesn't hurt to rub on a thin film of oil afterward to keep it from rusting.)
I dry mine on the gas range with a hot flame for 60 seconds.
Myth #3: You Shouldn't Cook Acidic Foods in Cast Iron
You shouldn't dump vinegar into an unseasoned skillet that's straight out of the box, but everyday acidic foods, like citrus,red sauce and wine, will rarely cause a strong enough reaction to leave you worried about off-metallic flavors. This thing's a boss, remember?
I make huge batches of red sauce, as my Mom always did.

Myth #4: You Have to Stick with Wooden Utensils
Again, the polymerized oil that makes up your cookware's seasoning is highly resilient stuff. This doesn't mean you should use a knife to scrape off any burnt bits, but when it comes to using a good set of metal tongs don't hold back.

Myth #5: Delicate Foods Will Stick to Cast Iron
As long as it's well oiled and properly preheated, cast iron has no problem letting go of stickier foods. Go ahead: You can fry up flaky fish fillets.
Cast iron makes golden brown toasted rolls for Lobster Salads

Myth #6: Cast Iron Heats Very Evenly
One of the (very) few things these pans aren't good at is heating evenly. You might notice cooler areas mixed in with hot spots while you're cooking. What these dense, heavy tools are excellent at, however, is radiating and holding onto heat, which is why they're our go-to choice for a crispy.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Grilled Pizza with Pesto and Zucchini

Team Mack (in front) and Mike


  • 2 cups lightly packed fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup  toasted pine nuts
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup  extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 batch pizza dough divided into 2 balls
  • 1 zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
  • 2 cups  shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes


To make the pesto, in a small food processor, combine the basil, pine nuts, lemon zest and juice and garlic. (I do all of this in my Ninja) Pulse until the ingredients are uniformly minced, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. With the machine running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil and process until smooth and thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Prepare a hot fire in a gas grill, leaving the center burner on medium-low heat. Lightly brush a nonstick outdoor pizza pan with olive oil.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out 1 pizza dough ball into a 12-inch round and transfer to the prepared pizza pan. Spread half of the pesto evenly on the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch  border uncovered. Top with half of the zucchini, then sprinkle with half each of the cheese and red pepper flakes.

Place the pizza pan in the center of the grill and cover the grill. Bake until the crust is crisp and well browned and the cheese is melted, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer the pizza to a cutting board, cut into slices and serve immediately. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Makes two 12-inch pizzas.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Summer in Maine
Many of my favorite things to do in Maine , in the summer are FREE or at least very affordable.
We enjoy farm and garden tours, nursery open houses, art and gallery walks and a favorite is concert in the park.
This Sunday we plan to attend a concert at Hamilton House. There is a 10.00 per. person charge but seems like a bargain with the music , gardens and clean rest rooms.
Sunday: Concert at Historic Hamilton House
and Garden Walk

Full Moon Thunder Moon

Monday : Chicken Salad with Green Grapes and Walnuts
Tuesday: Summer Caprese Salad of Sliced Tomatoes and Basil

Wednesday: Concert in The Park Kennebunk : Picnic

Thursday: Fresh Herb Crispy Fried Shrimp Tempora

Friday: Aged Prime New York Sirloin

Saturday: Mussels in White Wine Sauce

This grilled flatbread is the perfect answer to a pizza craving on a hot day when you’d rather not turn on the oven, in the house. With grilled onions, heirloom tomatoes and peppery arugula mounded on top, this pizza is summer on a plate. If you do not have a out door pizza oven , to set up a gas grill for indirect heat, turn on just one burner, leaving the second one off. If using a charcoal grill, prepare the grill with a hot side and a “cool zone” where there are no coals. Allow the coals to ash over before proceeding.

Summer Vegetable Grilled Pizza


  • 1 small garlic cloves, chopped and smashed with the side of a chef’s knife
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 oz. arugula leaves
  • 1/2 cup  fennel, shaved
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • Truffle salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 sweet onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1 lb. purchased or pizza dough, at room temperature
  • 2 heirloom tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/2 lb. fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup  grated Parmesan cheese


1. Set up a grill for indirect-heat cooking over medium heat. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the garlic with 2 Tbs. of the olive oil and set aside. In a large bowl, toss the arugula and fennel with 1 Tbs. of the olive oil, the lemon juice, and a pinch each of truffle salt and pepper; set aside.

2. In another bowl, toss the onion with the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil. Place a perforated grill pan on the hot side of the grill, add the onion, and cook until the onion is softened and lightly charred, 6 minutes. Remove from the grill.

3. Divide the pizza dough into 2 equal pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece into an 11-inch  round. Stack the rounds between sheets of parchment paper and transfer to a baking sheet. Transfer the rounds from the baking sheet directly to the hot side of the grill, discarding the paper. Cover the grill and cook until the bottoms are lightly browned, 3 minutes. Flip and grill until the second side is browned and crisp, 4 minutes.

4. Move the rounds to the cool side of the grill and brush the tops with the garlic oil. Quickly divide the reserved grilled onion, tomato, and cheeses on the pizza rounds. Sprinkle with truffle salt and pepper. Cover and cook until the cheese has melted, 5 to 8 minutes. Slide the pizzas to the hot part of the grill and cook for a few moments to crisp up the bottoms. If you like, cut the pizzas in half and top with the arugula salad. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Monday, June 26, 2017

Menu Week of June 26
Images captured while walking @ Hidden Pond

It is officially summer in Maine.
There are so many things I love about summer.
Especially culinary reasons!!
The pizza oven and grill get uncovered , there is already fresh peas and pesto.

Monday: Grilled Cheddar Burgers and Kale Chips
Tuesday: Lemon Thyme Chicken Asparagus
Wednesday: Picnic In The Park ( Live Free Concert Night)
Thursday: Honey Sesame Salmon In Foil
Friday : Swedish Meat Balls
Saturday: Loaded Greek Chicken Salad
Sunday: Steamers and Corn on the Cob