May 16, 2015
Real Maine Food Cookbook launch!

Ben Conniff and Luke Holden’s new cookbook, Real Maine Food, taps into the magic that draws visitors to the state year after year, offering simple, authentic recipes from the best restaurants, food artisans, bakeries, and farmers across Maine, plus the Schooner American Eagle’s galley! Chef Andy Jackson shared some of his favorite recipes, including Root Cellar Corned Beef and Cabbage and Portuguese Fish Stew (see below).


Captain John Foss and Ben Conniff at the recent cookbook launching in NYC. Years ago, Ben got his first taste of windjamming aboard the American Eagle while on assignment for Saveur Magazine.

Because Luke’s Lobster is famous for their lobster rolls, we included their signature recipe, too.

Root Cellar Corned Beef and Cabbage
Serves 6
Recipe from Andy Jackson, Schooner American Eagle
Reprinted from Real Maine Food by Ben Conniff and Luke Holden of Luke’s Lobster

1 (2-1/2 pound) corned beef brisket
1 medium onion, chopped
2 pounds new potatoes
1 pound carrots, cut into ½-inch chunks
1 pound parsnips, cut into ½-inch chunks
1 pound red beets, cut into ½-inch chunks
1 head cabbage, chopped

Place the brisket and onion in a large stockpot and add enough water to cover. Bring water to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pot, and maintain a simmer for 6 hours.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Remove the meat, reserving the cooking water, and place it in a deep roasting pan, fatty-side up. Bake the meat for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, add the potatoes, carrots, parsnips, beets and cabbage to the pot of water in which you cooked the beef and bring to a boil. Boil the vegetables until the potatoes are tender almost all the way through. This will take roughly 20 minutes, but time may differ slightly between the vegetables, so we suggest testing with a fork frequently after 15 minutes, removing each vegetable when it is ready, and setting it aside. Strain all remaining vegetables out once they are finished, discarding the water. After the meat has cooked for the first 30 minutes, add the vegetables to the roasting pan around the perimeter of the meat. Bake for 30 minutes more, or until the top of the brisket is golden brown.

Remove the brisket form the oven. Trim off most of the fat from the top of the brisket and save it (you’ll need it to make hash with the leftovers in the morning). Slice the brisket very thinly across the grain of the meat and serve with the vegetables.

If you can’t find Andy Jackson in the American Eagle’s galley, try looking on deck! He’s the one wearing the apron.

Portuguese Fish Stew
Serves 8
Recipe from Andy Jackson, Schooner American Eagle
Reprinted from Real Maine Food by Ben Conniff and Luke Holden of Luke’s Lobster

2 pounds linguica sausage (or sweet Italian sausage if linguica is unavailable), cut into 1-inch chunks
2 medium onions, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 blub fennel, trimmed and sliced
2 (4- to 5-ounce) tubes tomato paste
2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
2 cups canned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed, or 1 cup dried (soaked overnight in water)
3 pounds Pollock or other flaky white fish fillet, such as cod, hake or whiting (skin removed)
4 quarts fish or chicken stock
2 bunches spinach, kale or callaloo greens, stemmed and chopped

In large stockpot or Dutch oven, fry the sausage over medium heat until the outsides are seared. Removed the sausage and set aside, reserving the fat in the pot. Add the onions, garlic and fennel and sauté them in the rendered fat until soft and dark gold in color.

Add the tomato paste, tomatoes ad beans, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes if using canned beans, or for about 1 hour if using dried beans—until the beans are just tender.

Add the fish and the stock, cover and simmer for 20 minutes more, until the fish is cooked through and easily flaked with a fork. Add the greens and simmer for about 5 minutes more, just until the greens are softened and bright green. Serve immediately.


Luke’s Lobster Roll
Reprinted from Real Maine Food by Ben Conniff and Luke Holden of Luke’s Lobster
Serves 4

4 T (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
4 new England-style split-top hot dog buns
4 tsp. mayonnaise
1 pound fresh cooked Maine lobster meat, chilled (you can buy it cooked, or use meat from a lobster you steamed yourself)
1 T fresh lemon juice
¼ tsp. dried oregano
¼ tsp. dried thyme
¼ tsp. celery salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Brush half the butter onto the outer sides of your buns. Heat a 10- to 12-inch cast-iron pan over medium heat for 2 minutes, then toast the buns in the pan until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove the buns from the pan and gently pry open the tops.

Spread about 1 tsp. of the mayonnaise on the inside of each bun. Arrange a quarter of the lobster meat inside each bun. Reheat the remaining melted butter, if necessary, and stir in the lemon juice. Drizzle the mixture evenly over the lobster in each sandwich. In a small bowl stir together the oregano, thyme, celery salt and pepper, then sprinkle a pinch of the seasoning mixture over each sandwich.

For more information about recipes from the galleys of the Maine Windjammer Association click here.

Published by Maine Windjammer Association
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