June 20, 2018
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Recipes from the runners-up in the 65th annual Maine Lobster Festival Lobster Cooking Contest

BDN staff reports

Last week we brought you the winner and winning recipe from the 65th annual Maine Lobster Festival Lobster Cooking Contest. This week, we’re dishing up the details on the 2nd and 3rd place winners, complete with how to make their top lobster treats.

Allison Stratis of Scarborough took the second spot with her Maine Lobster and Shrimp Summer Rolls, an appetizer with an Asian flair.

½ pound fresh Maine lobster meat (I like to use whole claw meat)

20 fresh (frozen) Maine shrimp

1 ripe avocado

4 spring roll wrappers (rice pancakes)

1 pack bean thread noodles (comes in three pack, use one section)

12 large basil leaves

1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce

¼ cup sweet chile sauce

Cook noodles according to package. Cool. Chop lobster into bite-size pieces or leave whole if using claws. Cut avocado into slices. Assemble all the ingredients in front of two plates. Take one spring roll wrapper and run under warm water until soft. Lay flat on one plate. At top of wrapper, place line of lobster meat, on top lay 5 shrimp, 3 basil leaves, ¼ cup lettuce, 2-3 slices avocado and ¼ cup noodles. Starting at top of wrapper, roll forward once, then fold up both ends and continue rolling until tight (like rolling a burrito). Place on other plate and repeat process until all 4 rolls are done. Cut rolls in half and place on serving dish with sweet chile sauce and spoon. Eat and enjoy.

Rockland’s poet laureate, Carol Bachofner, who had composed a poem for the occasion, came in third with her Red, White and Blue Lobster Lasagna which featured locally sourced cheeses and produce.

1 box Dreamfields lasagna noodles or regular lasagna noodles

2½ pounds freshly picked lobster meat (you really want the red to show) — reserve the claw meat as edible garnish for the plate

1 cup finely chopped celery

1 large clove crushed garlic

2 small bunches fresh basil, plus one sprig per plate for garnish

1 cup reduced-fat half and half

1 can reduced-fat evaporated milk, optional, for extra-saucy lasagna

½ cup white wine

1 package cream cheese, softened

½ cup blue cheese, crumbled

1½ pounds white cheese, sliced — I prefer Derby from Maine State Cheese, but any local or organic will do

1 cup shredded Gouda or similar smoky cheese

1 cup white Cheddar cheese, shredded

1 large tub of cottage cheese — not reduced fat

1 jumbo egg, beaten

¾ cup melted Cabot butter

Cook noodles until tender but not mushy, about 3 minutes, and set aside. In skillet, place celery, garlic and basil, cook until celery and garlic are tender. Add cream cheese, blue cheese and half and half, stir. Gradually add white Cheddar and Gouda, stir until melted. Add wine and basil. Heat until basil wilts. Remove from heat. Mix cottage cheese and egg. Layer in baking pan in this order: Sauce, noodles, lobster, cottage cheese-egg, Derby cheese slices. Repeat and end with remaining sauce and top with Derby cheese. For extra-saucy lasagna, add evaporated milk to get the desired wetness. Top with ¾ cup melted butter, drizzled. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Contest sponsors were Bangor Daily News, Cabot Cheese, Capt’n Eli’s Soda and Kelsey’s Appliance Village, which furnished stoves for the contest.

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