OR BETTER: THE WORLD IN ONE DISH
THIS IS Мария Гришина
SHE WAS BORN IN KYRGYZSTAN, THE KYRGYS REPUBLIC.
HER KYRKYZ HANDS THIS MORNING MADE THE DISH SHE IS SHOWING IN THE PHOTO.
TUSCANY MEETS MAINE
I see many similarities between Mount Desert, in Maine and the place where I was born in Tuscany. They are both islands and both formed of a one piece of granite rock. My island’s name is Giglio. But, longitude, latitude, glacial eras and time have shaped the two islands in different ways. Every time I come to Mount Desert, I recognize the same familiar smell in the rock. Like on my island, there is a huge mass of tourists in the summer time, while in winter there are only the local dwellers and the island falls into a great silence. Fishing has been one of the most ancient and practiced economic sources: anchovies and sardines in the Mediterranean, lobsters and crabs in this area of the Atlantic Ocean. Pine trees stand tall on my island and huge redwoods here. The landscape is different, but when I go to the marvellous Sand Beach, I feel like I am at Cannelle beach in Giglio, where I use to go in winter, rather than in summer when it is crowded, to translate my emotions into words on a piece of paper.
I am a chef. When I come to Mount Desert I put into my dishes my “Italian islander” style, using the ingredients I find here. My cuisine is always a “fusion”. I like “fusion”, which, to my soul, means combining together all the good that there is in the world, not just in the world of cuisine.
Olive oil, white wine, lobster, blueberries and maple syrup. How to combine without a disaster? Let’s see...we have three typical Maine ingredients and only two from Tuscany. I’ll fix this lack by adding the “peasant” Tuscan style as the third basic ingredient. The rest of the ingredients are widespread all over the world, although with different tones, including passion in the making, mouths watering in the seeing, satisfaction in the eating.
Good side dishes are small baked potatoes and braised zucchini
Astice con salsa di mirtilli
Maine Lobster With Blueberry Sauce
Ingredients, serves 2:
1 lobster, medium size
80 gr (2 ½ oz ) blueberries
40 gr (1 ½ oz) Extra Virgin Olive Oil
50 ml (3tbs ) dry white wine
1 splash of Brandy
1 tbs maple syrup
1 garlic clove
1 bay leaf
salt to taste
Cut the live lobster in half, lengthwise, paying attention to insert the point of the knife between the eyes, to hit the brains, so that the animal will die immediately without suffering.
Save all the juices coming out. Eliminate the black thread.
In a large skillet, brown the crushed garlic clove in the olive oil along with the bay leaf and the hot chilli pepper.
Take out the brown garlic, bay leaf and pepper from the pan. Add the two halves of lobster, cut side down first. Put a lid on the pan. Cook 3 minutes at medium heat then turn the lobster over. Cook 3 minutes.
Take the lobster out of the pan. Remove the pan from the heat.
Take the shell off and keep the pulp warm. The pulp, after the searing, should be white and firm outside, but still juicy and tender inside.
Put the shell and head back into the pan, together with the reserved raw juices. Cook on low heat until the juices thicken and the shell changes completely colour. Take out the shell and head.
Splash the sauce with the brandy and light it.
Pour in the wine and let it evaporate.
Add almost all the berries, leaving some for garnish.
Add the maple syrup. Pour in a little hot water if needed. Cook to reduce. Salt to taste. Blend the mixture with a hand-blender then filter it through a chinois, to obtain a smooth sauce. Put back on the heat if it needs to reduce further.
Cut the lobster tail and serve with the sauce on top and some berries as garnish.