So. You’d hoped to head to Maine or thereabouts this year, but it’s just not gonna happen, for about a million reasons. It’s OK. Mainers will miss you (eh, maybe) and your tourism dollars (definitely).
You don’t have to be in Maine to live out your lobster roll dreams, though. Buy a few checkered paper plates, melt some butter or break out the tartar sauce (pronounced “TAHTAH” north of New York State) and you’re golden. Besides, lobster prices are at record lows this year. Here are a few ways to eat your heart out like a Mainer. The primary rule? Keep it simple, silly.
Sure, you’ll want a cup of clam chowder (“chowdah”), but that’s not all you’ll crave. In the absence of steamers or whole belly clams, which you should try on your next New England trip, serve steamed clams as an appetizer. They’re as easy as mussels, and decked out with tarragon and fennel, they’re a delightful start to your meal.
If you truly want to conjure the greasy-papered, fresh-breeze, red-and-white-checked experience of a Maine clam shack, there must be lobster rolls. (Don’t also do the whole grilled lobsters below; we’re not sadists!) Serve someone a homemade lobster roll once and she’ll love you forever. We’re partial to this recipe, classic as can be, but with optional modern touches like tarragon and parsley. Don’t forget the clutch of chips alongside.
Yes, you can drop the whole lobster in the pot to steam. Of course you can. And it’ll be so good! Serve with plenty of melted butter and see your guests love you even more. But you could also, stay with us here, briefly boil them, then split them open and grill them for the dramatic presentation seen here. To serve alongside? Bread for tearing, soft butter and lots of grilled corn.
We know, we know, it’s a long ingredient list. And it looks “fancy.” But an homage to the classic Maine clambake may be just the thing to make you feel like you’re treating yourself after a tough summer. And honestly, both that romesco and the lemon aioli come together in heartbeats. The rest is just a quick marinade, high heat, and a stovetop grill pan. Yes, you can.
Can you believe that you can have homemade whoopie pies in-hand in 45 minutes? The official state snack of Maine is a snap to make at home. These incorporate a dreamboat peanut butter filling, but it’s a cinch to swap in a marshmallow creme and be in whoopie pie land even faster.
Repeat after us: There are no blueberries like Maine blueberries. Small, bright and sweet in equal measure, they make unbelievable sauces and jams, scones and muffins. But in pie? Blueberry pie, in Maine, warm, with a melting scoop of ice cream as you look out over the water is as quintessential Maine as it gets. If you don’t like blueberry pie… we just don’t understand. (OK, serve cherry pie.) We’ve got a number of hits, but this one is just gorgeous. Welcome to Maine.