Saturday June 09, 2012 | 08:08 PM

At long last, we were treated to an absolutely beautiful late-spring/early summer day, the kind that conjures visions of sharing lots of fresh lobster with hungry summer visitors.

If you're looking for something different to do with Maine's favorite shellfish, look no further than "Lobster! 55 Fresh & Simple Recipes for Everyday Eating" by the Portland Press Herald's own food columnist Brooke Dojny. The author spent Saturday afternoon at her book launch party at Gritty's in the Old Port, where passersby were welcome to try out some of her creations and get a book signed. Anyone who bought a book got free beer.

 

This little book is filled with ideas that go way beyond chowders and lobster rolls (although there are plenty of recipes for those, too).  Brooke has shared her recipes for, among other mouthwatering delights, lobster soft tacos and quesadillas, lobster pizza. lobster pot pie, and (I can't wait to try this one) lobster and smoked ham on cheese grits.

 

I wandered down to the Old Port to check out the party and found Brooke sitting at a table outside chatting with a couple from Oklahoma. Her sister was also there to support her. Brooke told me the books had been selling extremely well. No surprise with this killer combination - who can resist lobster AND free beer? As folks wandered by, they stopped to speak with Brooke and grabbed a bite of food from the table. I missed the Mini Lobster Rolls (page 28), but she still had plenty of Lobster Melts (page 95), which the Gritty's chef had dressed up a little with some cilantro and green apple:

The Lobster and Melon Skewers (page 27) were made with lobster meat that had been marinated in olive oil, lime zest, lime juice, garlic salt, cayenne and cilantro. The marinated lobster, thinly sliced lime, and chunks of honeydew melon were skewered on a sprig of rosemary. They were both pretty and delicious. They're an elegant app that I'm definitely considering serving now when my family comes to visit for the Fourth.

 

If you'd like to see some sample recipes, check out Brooke's recent column on her new book here, which contains recipes for Lobster and Sweet Corn Chowder and Strawberry Shortcake with Rich Egg Biscuit.

                 

About the Author

Meredith Goad has harvested oysters on the Chesapeake Bay, eaten reindeer in Finland and sipped hot chai in the Himalayas. She writes the weekly Soup to Nuts column and enjoys a good cocktail.

Meredith can be contacted at 791-6332 or mgoad@pressherald.com
On Twitter: @meredithgoad


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