ROCKLAND, Maine — The Maine Seafood Cooking Contest took place Friday, Aug. 5, as part of the 64th Maine Lobster Festival.

Russ James of Plainville, Conn., took first place winning $200 with his Pan Seared Sea Scallop & Lobster Medallions With Lemon Butter Sauce.

Sue Jobes of Davie Fla., came in second place with her Lobster & Crab Galette and received $175.

Third place of $150 was awarded to Carol Bachofner of Rockland for her Maineuh’s Breezy Lobster Curry Mac ‘n’ Cheese with Crispy Crab Topping.

Tyrrell Hunter of Brunswick came in fourth place with her Salmon with Maine Lobster “Moose,” and Michael Sciacchetano of Atlanta, Ga., took fifth place with his Maine Lobster Etouffee.

The contest was judged by Rockland Mayor Brian Harden, Lily Bistro chef and owner Lynette Krajewski, and Cmdr. Kurt Mondlak of the USS Mahan (DDG 72).

Contest sponsors were: VillageSoup/The Herald-Gazette (prize money); Capt’n Eli’s Soda (helped cover the costs of ingredients and other expenses); Kelsey’s Appliance Village (supplied the stoves); and the Samoset Resort (donated tablecloths).

1st place: Pan seared sea scallop & lobster medallions with lemon butter Sauce

Russ James, Plainville, Conn.

Total cooking time: 40 minutes Serves: 4

This fantastic Maine seafood combination is hard to beat. Can be served as an elegant appetizer or as a main entree at a backyard picnic. It’s fun to make and is easy to serve. A great way to introduce inlanders to the classic rich flavor of the New England ocean without the mess of nutcrackers and lobster bibs.

Ingredients:

4 Maine Lobsters, (chix) 1-¼ lbs each.

1-½ lbs of large sea scallops, fresh.

1 bunch of fresh broccolini (small heads of broccoli will due).

Sea salt (in a small cup for pinching) & fresh crushed black pepper in another cup.

1-tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

½ lb of butter

Directions:

Put lobsters in large covered pot. Add 2 inches of water, just enough to steam them. When steam comes out, cook for 20 minutes & remove from heat. Spill lobsters out into sink and spray with cold water, removing white yogurt looking stuff (lobster blood). Set them aside for cooling.

While lobsters are cooking, spread out a 5-sheet length of paper towels. Lay sea scallops atop the towels. Lay another 5-sheet length atop the scallops and lightly press down to dry the scallops, top and bottom. Get them as dry as possible. Dust the tops and bottoms with salt & black pepper.

Pre-heat large saucepan until the edge is too hot to touch with the side of your hand. Add olive oil and one small cube of butter until melted. One by one place scallops into pan. Do not overcrowd pan! It may take several separate pan cooking’s to do them all. Flip them around with tongs as they become brown. When they’re done remove, set aside, and sear the next batch. You may have to add more oil and butter to the pan should it become dry.

Don’t overcook the scallops! Here’s how to tell when done: Make a tight fist with your left hand. Use the index finger on your right hand to poke the soft meaty part of your left hand, just below the thumb. Tap the scallops with the tong. If they feel like that soft part of your hand, they’re done! Remember, they will continue cooking for a short time after being removed from the heat. Set all cooked scallops in a covered bowl to stay warm and moist.

In the meantime, place a small steamer pot on to boil. Cover and steam your broccolini.

Lobsters will now be cool to handle. Remove claws and pull lobsters breastplate out. Pick the meat out of small legs and thoracic shell pockets. Use a spoon to scrape the tomalley (green stuff) and red roe out of lobster. Set the tomalley and roe aside in separate dish. Crack open claw and remove meat, also set this aside.

Twist the tail section from the body. Use kitchen scissors to cut along the length of the underside of tail shell, front to back. Press down on shell edges and it will crack open. Pull chunk of tail meat out and set out on cutting board. Make a shallow slice down the bottom center of tail meat. Remove & discard the dark strand, especially where it thickens at the tip of the tail. Press tail meat flat on cutting board and slice it into crosswise pieces, making thin round medallions, about ¼ of an inch thick.

Use kitchen scissors to cut each of the 4 carapace shells. Trim along the edges to make a wider opening and trim the bottom so that it sits nicely upon the plate!

Plating:

Intermingle scallops & lobster medallions piled high in center of plate. Crumble tomalley atop the pyramids. If you were lucky enough to have found red roe, use this as the crowning glory on each mound of succulent seafood.

Place the carapace, standing, as if to be offering its bounty. Stuff one broccolini stalk into the carapace that delicately flowers out atop seafood, looking like a spray of sea kelp. Lastly, drizzle lemon butter sauce (see separate instructions) over the entire seafood medley, until it makes a golden pool of deliciousness in the plate!

Lemon-Butter Sauce

Total cooking time: 15 minutes Serves: 4

This delicate white butter sauce is made from some common things found around the kitchen. It starts with white Riesling wine and shallots, and ends with cream sherry, lemon and butter. Once you try it you’ll find it easy to make, and delicious with any seafood. You’ll be pleasantly surprised with the rich mellow flavor. One word of warning: This delicious topping has a “one time only” shelf life. In other words, this ambrosia cannot be refrigerated. After that, it separates and does not taste the same. While it’s warm, try it on cod, scallops, lobster or other white fish to add the air of eloquence to any party.

Ingredients:

1 cup of white Riesling wine

¼ cup of finely chopped shallots

¼ teaspoon of white pepper

1 teaspoon of white sugar

¼ cup of cream sherry

½ fresh lemon, squeezed & juiced

2 tablespoons of heavy cream

8 oz (2 sticks) of cold butter cut into small ¼ inch cubes

Directions:

Pre-heat large saucepan and add wine, lemon juice, and shallots.

Use medium heat to bring mixture to mildly bubbling simmer. Stir occasionally until mix reduces to about 75 percent of original liquid.

Turn heat to lowest setting available on your stove. After mix reduces, use a whisk to mix the heavy cream into the reduction.

Add 4 or 5 small cubes of butter to the pan and gently “rub” them into mix with whisk. After they’ve slowly melted into the hot reduction, add another 4 or 5 cubes and repeat the process until all the butter is melted. The cold butter is used to flavor and cool the mix.

Turn off the heat and add remaining ingredients: White pepper, sugar, and cream sherry. Gently whisk the mixture until it takes on a pure ivory white color.

Let sit for 2 or 3 minutes, and then ladle the reduction atop any seafood.

2nd Place: Lobster and Crab Galette

Sue Jobes, Davie, Florida

This recipe makes four lunch or dinner servings. This is an easy recipe that takes approximately 1 ½ hours from start to finish, which includes all preparations and plating. This is also good with salmon. Serve with your favorite salad or vegetable.

Ingredients:

8 ounces fresh lobster meat

8 ounces Maine crab meat (if frozen, thaw and drain)

1 box prepared pie dough

2 Eggs (1 egg for the seafood mixture and 1 egg yolk for the dough)

3 Tbsp Mayonnaise

½ Tsp seafood seasoning (such as Old Bay seasoning)

2–3 Dashes of hot sauce (such as Tabasco)

¼ cup finely diced celery

¼ cup finely diced shallot

¼ cup unsalted crackers smashed

¼ cup grated Gruyere cheese

1 large (or 2 small) anchovy filets

2 Tbsp finely chopped parsley

1 Tbsp finely chopped basil

1 large garlic clove, minced

1–2 Tbsp olive oil

1–2 Tbsp Sherry (or chicken stock)

1 Tsp water (for dough)

1 Lemon (for garnish)

Salt and pepper

Topping – Combine the following items and spread a small dollop on top of seafood before placing in oven.

2 Tbsp Mayonnaise

1–2 Tbsp Cream

¼ Tsp Seafood Seasoning

¼ Tsp Paprika

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2. Chop celery and shallot and set aside.

3. Chop garlic and set aside.

4. Chop parsley and basil. Set aside.

5. Heat olive oil in a skillet. Add the celery and anchovy filets and sauté for about two minutes. Add the shallots lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté until translucent. Add the chopped garlic. When you smell the garlic fragrance, pour in the Sherry. Let the sherry reduce until almost dry. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the herbs. Set aside and let the ingredients cool.

6. Chop lobster into ¼-inch to ½-inch pieces.

7. Combine 1 egg and mayonnaise. Wisk until smooth. Add the seafood seasoning, cheese, and cracker crumbs. Stir until combined.

8. Mix seafood (lobster and crab) and egg mixture. Toss gently to combine. Add the cooked vegetables/herb mixture and combine. Set aside.

9. Unroll the pie dough. Roll out the dough to half the thickness. Using a bowl (or round pastry cutter), make four (4) circles of dough 5 to 6 inches in diameter.

10. Place ¼ of the seafood mixture in the in the center of each dough circle. Bring the pie dough up and pleat around the seafood mixture.

11. Wisk one egg yolk with 1 teaspoon water. Using a pastry brush, brush dough with egg.

12. Spread a dollop of the topping on top of seafood.

13. Bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 to 15 minutes.

3rd place: Maineuh’s Breezy Lobster Curry Mac ‘n’ Cheese with Crispy Crab Topping

Carol W. Bachofner, Rockland, Maine

Serves 6 — can be exactly doubled to serve 12

Preheat oven to 375 degrees (raise to 400 degrees for final 10 minutes of cooking time)

Ingredients:

2 16 oz pkgs of Dreamfield’s Rotini, cooked al dente, drained

½ lb each: sharp white cheddar, Jarlsberg, jack cheeses sliced

2 1 ¼ lb lobsters, steamed, picked

2 T butter

1T dry sherry

1 teasp curry powder

1 teasp dry mustard

12 oz evaporated milk

Directions:

1. Prepare pasta to al dente texture

2. Butter a 2-QT glass or ceramic baking dish (optional: cast iron/enamel baking dish)

3. In large glass mixing bowl, combine cooked pasta with chunks of steamed, cooled lobster meat

4. Beginning with macaroni, layer baking dish with macaroni and each cheese IN TURN:

jarlsberg first, followed by white cheddar, ending with jack.

5. In glass mixing bowl, combine evaporated milk with sherry, curry, butter, and dry mustard.

6. Pour this mixture evenly over the top of the mac/cheese layers, cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees

for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

7. Remove from oven and top with pre-made crispy crab topping (made while casserole is in its first

cooking time to preserve freshness):

Ingredients:

8 oz fresh crabmeat, crumbled

1 cup coarse bread crumbs

½ cup grated parmesan cheese

2 Tbsp. butter, melted

Directions:

8. Combine all the dry ingredients first, then toss with melted butter and spread over the casserole.

9. Return uncovered casserole to oven and bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees (or until topping crisps).

10. SERVING: Pair with *Berry Wonderful Salad tossed with **Purple Basil Balsamic Vinegar and olive oil dressing and a glass of chilled Maine blueberry wine. Enjoy this breezy simple Maineuh treat; OR bring to a potluck for oohs and aahs!

*Berry Wonderful Salad: mixed greens, dried cranberries, dried blueberries, walnut pieces

**Any homemade or purchased balsamic vinaigrette will do.

Total Prep Time: 20 minutes (excluding the cooking and picking of the lobsters which should be done the night before so meat is cooled)

Total Cooking Time: 40 minutes (excluding the cooking and picking of the lobsters as stated above)

4th place: Salmon with Maine Lobster “Moose”

Tyrrell Hunter, Brunswick, Maine

Ingredients (serves 6):

3 Tbl. Unsalted Butter

2 Tbl. Shallots, minced

2 tsp. Garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp. Lemon Zest, grated (plus some sliced lemon for garnish)

2 tsp. Fresh Tarragon, chopped (plus some fresh tarragon for garnish)

1 1/4 lb. Lobster Meat, cooked and roughly chopped

1/4 tsp. Tabasco Sauce

3/4 cup Mild Cheddar Cheese – Cabots!

1 ½ cup Mayonnaise

3/4 cup Maine Corn on the Cob, cooked and cut off the cob

Salt & Pepper

6 each Salmon Fillets (from Maine if available), about 6 oz. each, skinned

Directions:

In a frying pan on medium/low heat, sauté shallots in melted butter until translucent (2-4 minutes); add garlic, lemon zest, tarragon and sauté another minute. Add 1 lb. of the cooked lobster meat, preferably the tails, and the Tabasco Sauce, sauté another minute to blend flavors. Let the “moose” mixture cool for 10 minutes.

In a food processor, add the mayo, the lobster mixture and the cheese and blend until smooth. Chop the remaining ¼ lb. lobster meat into smaller pieces (pea sized) and stir it into the blended mixture, stir in the corn, add salt & pepper to taste.

Use aluminum foil on a broiler and broil the Salmon fillets 2-4 minutes on both sides (depending on the fillet thickness). Spread “moose” mixture over each fillet and broil for another 1-2 minutes, until lightly golden. Garnish with lemon slice and chopped tarragon and serve immediately.

5th Place: Lobster Etouffee

Michael Sciacchetano, Atlanta, Georgia

Ingredients:

3 1 ½ lb. Lobster cut into small bite size pieces

Cajun Trinity (Onion-Red Bell Pepper-Celery)

2 tsp mixed spices (typically these spices are made in bulk for the year)

1 can stewed tomatoes (optional)

2 tbl Minced garlic

½ cup light brown roux (or use equal parts melted butter/flour)

2 cups chicken stock

½ teaspoon dried basil

1tsp red chili pepper

1 tsp celery salt

Directions:

Finely chop the vegetables.

Boil lobsters 7-9 minutes or until bright red.

Melt 1 stick butter and 2 cups flour until roux is light brown…usually about 15 minutes, constant stir or will burn.

Cook vegetables in 3 tbls butter for 5 minutes. Add Cajun spices, celery salt, basil and chili pepper. Cook 2-3 minutes more.

Add vegetables and chicken stock to the roux. Cook for 20 minutes low heat stir occasionally.

Add lobster and finely chopped green onions; cook for 3-4 minutes.

Serve over steamed rice.