June 1, 2011

The Maine Ingredient: Smoked alewives spawn ideas


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The best way to separate smoked alewives' meat from the bone is to steam the fish to soften them to make the bones easier to wriggle from the flesh.

Elizabeth Poisson photo

2 teaspoons butter

1 cup diced celery, about 2 stalks

2 cups diced onions, about 1 onion

4 cups, peeled and diced potatoes, about 3 potatoes

4 ounces salt pork, scored

4 cups alewives court boullion

2 cups whole milk

3 smoked alewives, steamed, flesh and bones removed

In a stock pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat.

Add the salt pork meat side down and then the celery and onions.

Cook the vegetables until they are soft and the onions are translucent, about 7 to 10 minutes.

Add the potatoes and saute for another 5 to 10 minutes.

If the edges begin to brown, reduce heat to medium or medium-low.

Add the strained alewife court boullion and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes.

Add the milk and the alewife meat and bring the heat almost to a simmer, but not quite. The milk tends to break at high temperatures.

Serves 4 to 6


This is inspired by a salad made at Shepherd's Pie in Rockport by Brian Hill. Thank you, Brian, for the creative stimulation.


1 small clove garlic, smashed and coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon minced smoked alewife meat

1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons lemon juice

dash Worcestershire

1/8 teaspoon salt

several grinds of fresh black pepper

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup canola oil

Combine all ingredients except oil in a food processor and pulse until combined. Ever so slowly, while the motor is running, add the oil. After about a minute of dribbling the oil in, you can add it more quickly.

Makes a little less than 1 cup.


1 to 2 romaine leaves per person, cleaned and chopped coarsely

Several pieces of shaved parmesan per person

3 to 4 strips of roasted red pepper per person

Combine all ingredients and dress. Toss with tongs or hands and serve immediately.

Anne Mahle of Rockland is the author of "At Home, At Sea," a recipe book about her experiences cooking aboard the family's windjammer. She can be reached at: chefannie@mainewindjammer.com


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