Why not be patriotic this holiday — with a red, white, and blue pie that’s bursting with berries?
Start by making a graham cracker crust. You can crush the graham crackers with a rolling pin inside a sturdy plastic bag, or whiz them in a food processor. If you will be making a lot of pies this summer with this crust, you can also buy graham crackers in crumb form. Or swap out your favorite not-too-sweet cookie for the crumbs.
Hibiscus flowers are the pretty little dried purple flowers that contribute the striking color in the popular Mexican beverage agua de Jamaica (aka hibiscus tea). When steeped in water, hibiscus flowers lend a cranberry-like tartness that's often tempered with a bit of sugar for a refreshingly sweet (but not too sweet) summer drink. I combined the deep purple hibiscus tea with lemonade for a tangy twist.
Chef Bill Nurse of Strip-T's in Watertown, was kind enough to share his recipe for this vegetarian-but-not-lacking-anything take on the banh mi sandwich. While it has a few distinct components, each is easy to accomplish and they come together in one stellar sandwich. It's great eaten immeditaely, but also perfect for picnicking because wrapping and transporting the sandwich gives the layers and flavors time to meld a little.
This make-ahead recipe comes from a book of such recipes from the editors at America's Test Kitchen. From meals you can make and freeze to "one grocery bag makes three dinners" — this book not only contains recipes, but strategies for getting dinner on the table on your schedule.
It’s only been five or six years that I've been obsessed with lobster rolls, but in that time, I've tried them all over New England. Lobster rolls differ from state to state, and a lot of people ask which version is the best. To me, there isn't really a clear winner. If you follow two main guidelines, your lobster rolls will be great!
1. Use really great lobster
2. Don’t mess with it too much
“Boston Style” lobster rolls are probably not recognized by many people as a regional variant of the lobster roll, but I'm using this term to encompass lobster rolls that have been elevated with different flavors or “cheffed up” at fancy restaurants. Sometimes chefs can go too far and actually take away from the lobster itself, but if they play a light hand, the results can be amazing. My version here uses butter and mayo as a base, and just some finely minced celery and chives to accentuate the natural lobster flavor.
Now we've reached the part where rule #2 starts getting interpreted differently by different people. The Rhode Island lobster roll, often known as the New England lobster roll, is the style most people are familiar with. Cold lobster is tossed with slices of celery, and then the whole thing is served on the traditional griddled buttered roll, but often a piece of lettuce is placed in between the lobster and the bun in an effort to prevent the bun from getting soggy.
On the other side of the region, but equally as simplistic, you have the Connecticut lobster roll. This is the only state where a lobster roll is usually warm, and not served in the traditional split top roll. A cavern is dug out of a torpedo roll and the lobster is tossed in butter only and stuffed inside. The sandwich is then cooked almost like a grilled cheese, pressed on each side to toast up and warm through.
The baseline roll is in Maine, a state where putting celery in a lobster roll is a crime punishable by law. I have been stopped at the border of Maine and had my celery confiscated by customs. The lobster is very lightly dressed with mayo and served cold on a griddled buttered roll — split top, New England style, of course! This style of lobster roll is often seen on Cape Cod and the Islands, or pretty much any major fishing town in New England.