August 1, 2012

Soup to Nuts: Bounteous blueberries

Growers report an abundance of blueberries this year, so here are some ideas for how to put them to delicious use.

By Meredith Goad mgoad@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 2)

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Pastry chef Emily DeLois created this Wild Maine Blueberry and Lemon Mascarpone Cheesecake, one of the recipes for this summer’s healthy crop of Maine blueberries that local chefs share here.

John Patriquin/Staff Photographer

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Spice-rubbed pan-seared duck breast with organic farmed vegetables, quinoa and blueberry-red wine sauce is offered by Mitchell Kaldrovich, chef at the Sea Glass Restaurant at Inn by the Sea in Cape Elizabeth.

Courtesy photo

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IN CHEFS' HANDS

HERE'S a taste of what Maine restaurants are doing with blueberries this year:

Damariscotta River Grill, 155 Main St., Damariscotta: Blueberry cobbler with ginger scone

50 Local, 50 Main St., Kennebunk: Fermented blueberry mignonette with oysters.

Five Fifty-Five, 555 Congress St., Portland: Blueberry salad made with Maine highbush and wild blueberries, bibb lettuce, garnished with a ginger granola, aerated vanilla lemon yogurt, Maine honeycomb, local lavender and herb de provence vinaigrette. (Look on the menu for "blueberries for sal ad")

Earth at Hidden Pond, 354 Goose Rocks Road, Kennebunkport: Cheesecake mousse with blueberry compote, Sicilian pistacio and white chocolate

Seagrass Bistro, 305 U.S. Route 1, Yarmouth: Yogurt panna cotta with house-made blueberry lavender honey glaze. The yogurt is from Winter Hill Farm in Maine and the blueberries are from one of the islands out in Casco Bay.

On the Marsh Bistro, 46 Western Ave., Kennebunk: Blueberry kuchen

Black Point Inn, 510 Black Point Rd., Scarborough: Blueberry ganache served with Maine-made ice cream

East Ender, 47 Middle St., Portland: North Star Farm lamb with caramelized potatoes and blueberry gastrique

Sea Glass at Inn by the Sea, 40 Bowery Beach Road, Cape Elizabeth: Blueberry shortcake and a Maine blueberry martini.

– Meredith Goad, staff writer

FERMENTED BERRIES

LOOKING for something a little different? David Ross, chef at 50 Local in Kennebunk, shares his technique for fermenting blueberries at

pressherald.com/blogs/mainealacarte

SPICE-RUBBED PAN-SEARED DUCK BREAST WITH ORGANIC FARMED VEGETABLES, QUINOA AND BLUEBERRY-RED WINE SAUCE

Serves 4

DUCK BREAST:

4 duck breasts

Extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon thyme

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt

Trim duck breasts and core skin with a sharp knife. Spread spice mix and salt over both sides of the breasts. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat a large cast iron pot. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and place the duck, skin side down, letting the fat render for 10 minutes at slow heat. The skin should be light golden brown. Right before serving, flip the duck for another 2 minutes or longer depending on how you like the duck cooked. Let rest for another minute and serve with the blueberry sauce.

BLUEBERRY-RED WINE SAUCE:

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 cup orange juice

1 cinnamon stick

1 star anise

3 cups red wine

1 1/2 cups fresh highbush blueberries

1/2 cup veal or chicken stock

Combine all ingredients in a double-bottom sauce pan, except the blueberries. Slow simmer until reduced to a syrupy consistency. Add blueberries and season with salt and pepper. Discard the star anise. Reserve.

FARMED VEGETABLES:

2 medium carrots, peeled and diced

1 medium zucchini, diced (center with seeds discarded)

1/2 cup fresh English peas

1 cup hon shimeji mushrooms, cleaned

2 cups cooked organic golden quinoa

Fresh chopped garden herbs such as chives, parsley and oregano

Extra virgin olive oil

In a high heat saute pan with a drizzle of olive oil, add the carrots and cook for three minutes. When they begin to caramelize, add the mushrooms and cook for another two minutes, then add the zucchini and peas. Season with salt and pepper, then add the cooked quinoa and fresh herbs.

 

EMILY DeLOIS, pastry chef at Vignola Cinque Terre in Portland, has created a light Wild Maine Blueberry and Lemon Mascarpone Cheesecake that is a perfect summer dessert. DeLois says the wild Maine blueberry compote is extremely versatile. If you're not a cheesecake fan, try the compote on a blueberry crisp or on pound cake. If you use it in a savory dish, such as pork or duck, she advises reducing the amount of sugar.

WILD MAINE BLUEBERRY AND LEMON MASCARPONE CHEESECAKE WITH GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST AND FRESH WILD MAINE BLUEBERRY COMPOTE

Serves 16 to 20

GRAHAM CRUST:

1/2 pound butter

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon honey

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup graham flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

Using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer, cream the butter, the sugars and the honey until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Sift the flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon and gradually add to the butter mixture. Scraping down the sides of the bowl frequently, mix until thoroughly combined and the dough comes together. Press the dough into the bottom of a 10-inch spring form pan, creating about a 1/4-inch thick crust. Bake at 350 degrees about 20 minutes, or until it starts to brown. Let the pan cool slightly, and wrap the outside with two to three layers of foil.

CHEESECAKE:

1 1/2 pounds Philadelphia cream cheese

1 pound Bel Gioisoso mascarpone

2 cups sugar

11/4 cups sour cream

4 whole eggs

4 egg yolks

Zest of 2 lemons

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 cup fresh wild Maine blueberries

Using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer, whip the cream cheese, sugar and mascarpone until combined. Add the sour cream and mix one minute, scraping the edges of the bowl as necessary. Add the eggs, then the lemon zest and vanilla extract. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth, about 30 seconds.

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