Locally Sourcing Thanksgiving Ingredients

November is here and the Thanksgiving articles are starting to hit the presses. First out of the gate is a piece by C.Z. Cramer entitled Amore Locavore in this month’s Portland Magazine.

We live in the best of times here for the renaissance of a traditional, locally raised and grown, genuine Thanksgiving. We can recreate the gourmet version of the Pilgrim experience, as if those wilderness decades of green bean casseroles with canned cream of mushroom soup, marshmallow-capped yams, and frozen Midwestern birds never happened.

Immigrant Kitchens: Nicaraguan Pineapple Pork

In the latest entry from Immigrant Kitchens, Lindsay Sterling learns how to make Nicaraguan Pineapple Pork from Jenny Sanchez (read the story, get the recipe and see the photos).

First, to the butcher. Ten minutes of bilingual banter and confusing hand gestures finally resulted in the desired meat cut: a rack of St. Louis style pork ribs that the butcher had run through the saw lengthwise twice, which cut the ribs perpendicularly into thirds. At home Jenny and I cut between the ribs so we ended up with a pile of bite-sized bone-in ribs. This struck me as a brilliant idea. If gnawing on bite-sized bones is what people love about chicken wings, they’re going to get a kick out of this.

Harbor Fish Market Cookbook

harborbookDown East magazine has published an excerpt from the new Harbor Fish Market cookbook. The excerpt includes details on the market’s history, advice on buying and storing fish and a set of recipes.

Nine Custom House Wharf in Portland has been the site of a fish market since sometime in the late 1800s. It became the Harbor Fish Market when the Alfiero family purchased it in 1966, a joint venture between Ben Alfiero Sr., and his older brother John Alfiero. John handed over the reins to Ben in 1975, and through the next few years, Ben’s three sons, Nick, Ben Jr., and Mike, joined in. They worked as a team of three brothers and father until Ben Sr. retired in 2000.


Mainers Feeding Mainers & Recreating Little Lad’s

The Food & Dining section in today’s Press Herald includes an article by Joe Yonan about his addiction to and attempts to deconstruct the formula for Little Lad’s herbal popcorn,

Then we slowed down and concentrated as we tasted, thinking instead of shoveling. Okay, dill is definitely among the herbs. And the nutty, kinda cheesy flavor had to be that staple of vegans everywhere: nutritional yeast. A closer look at the contents of the transparent bag and the telltale golden flakes inside confirmed it. But is that really all that goes into it?

and an article about Mainers Feeding Mainers, a program run by the Good Shepherd Food Bank that hires Maine farmers to raise produce for them at wholesale prices.

It’s an innovative initiative that aims to provide fresh, locally-grown fruits and vegetables to Mainers grappling with hunger. What makes the program stand out is rather than just seeking donations from farms, the program works with farmers to pay them a fair price for their crops.

Immigrant Kitchens: Pho

In the latest entry from Immigrant Kitchens, Lindsay Sterling learns how to make Pho from Hieu Nguyen (read the story, get the recipe and see the photos).

My friend’s husband, Hieu Nguyen, grew up in Dalat, Vietnam, until he was five. He remembers Vietnam’s gorgeous rolling hills, beaches, rainforests, and lakes as a cross between Vermont and Costa Rica. He hasn’t been back since he left in 1975, the day before Saigon fell. He hopes one day to visit with his wife and kids. In the mean time, he lights incense and cooks a Vietnamese chicken noodle soup, called pho, combining his grandmother and mother’s methods with his own, discovered after years of cooking it every Sunday for his family.

Immigrant Kitchens: Chicken Biryani

In the latest entry from Immigrant Kitchens, Lindsay Sterling learns how to make Chicken Biryani from Sudha Chalicham and Venu Chaganti (read the recipe and see the photos).

Then they added another quarter cup of whole dried spices: bay leaves, black cardamom pods, black cumin, cinnamon bark pieces, green cardamom pods, star anise, cloves and mace. Mace is the dried casing of the nutmeg nut. Each piece looks like a thumb-sized dried jellyfish.

Immigrant Kitchens: Somali Beef and Flatbread

In the latest entry from Immigrant Kitchens, Lindsay Sterling learns how to make Beef and Flatbread from a Somali immigrant (read the recipe and see the photos).

She taught me how to make chapati, an everyday Somali dish of beef, root vegetables, and flatbread in her outer Portland condo, while nine of her kids were at school, the oldest was upstairs, and the three-year-old was bowling with potatoes on the kitchen floor.

Phoenix Does Pork

This week’s Portland Phoenix has published a pair of articles about pork, both by Laura McCandlish:

The nomination process for the Phoenix Readership Survey is still ongoing. Go to make your recommendations for the top restaurants, bakeries, bartenders, food blogs, etc.