Tag Archives: Maine Gourmet Foods

Celebrate National Biscuit Month!

September always seems to be a month of transition.  Kids head back to school.  Football teams gear up as fans hope for a winning season (particularly weary Dallas Cowboy fans).  The weather begins signaling a change in season, and everyone in Texas breathes a sigh of relief that most of the high temperatures should be in our rear-view mirror.  I’m not sure who was given the authority to deem September as National Biscuit Month, but it seems like a fitting time for a celebration as we move into fall.    For your celebratory pleasure, we are recapping our favorite biscuits and the artisans who make them.

Callie’s Charleston Biscuits

Callie White was a renowned Charleston caterer perhaps best known for her buttery country ham biscuits.  Her daughter, DSC00496Carrie Morey, took over the helm of the family business when Callie was ready to retire and redirected it to a nationally-recognized artisan biscuit bakery.  Their cocktail-sized varieties include buttermilk, black pepper bacon, cheese and chive, country ham, cocktail ham, shortcake and cinnamon.  The cheese and chive biscuits we tried were nothing short of awesome.  You may find a retailer near you, or you can order directly from the company’s website.  Anyone want to join the Biscuit of the Month Club and celebrate buttery biscuit perfection all year?

In 2014, Carrie launched a new downtown Charleston bakery, Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit.  In addition to their regular biscuit flavors, the bakery offers a “biscuit of the day”, often featuring foods from local restaurants and artisans.  It would be a required stop for us in Charleston!

Robinhood Meetinghouse Layered Cream Cheese Biscuits 

DSC01109Chef Michael Gagné created “the love child born of a biscuit and a croissant” by laminating layers of cream cheese biscuit dough in same method used for making croissants.  When the biscuits became a patron favorite at his Maine restaurant, Robinhood Meetinghouse, his young daughters began selling the biscuits out of the back porch of the restaurant.  As the Gagné girls grew, so did Chef Michael’s biscuit business.  Today, they offer the original cream cheese biscuits, along with sweet potato, triple ginger, blueberry, herb parmesan, and cheddar chive biscuits.  The biscuits are widely available at retailers or through the company’s website.

The original layered cream cheese biscuits just made our breakfast, and they would be equally delicious as the foundation for strawberry shortcake.  One of Chef Michael’s daughters, who blogs as “The Biscuit Girl”, was married earlier this year and had a biscuit bar at her reception.  The featured selections would be fantastic at any gathering:

  • Sweet Potato Biscuits with Ham and Peach Chutney
  • Cream Cheese Biscuits with Carmelized Onions and Goat Cheese
  • Herb Parmesan Biscuits with Filet of Beef and Horseradish Sauce
  • Blueberry Biscuits, Triple Ginger Biscuits, and Cheddar Chive Biscuits served with local honeys and jams

YUM to all the above!

Create Your Own Celebration

Want a fool-proof recipe for your own kitchen?  Try these easy Duke Dining Hall Biscuits made with King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour.  It is as good a basic biscuit recipe as I have ever tried.


 Duke Dining Hall Biscuits

Servings – About 5

  • 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All Purpose Flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking power
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 450°.

Mix dry ingredients, and cut in shortening.  (A food processor works great, but you can use a pastry blender, or 2 table knives.)  Add the milk all at once, and stir only slightly.  Place dough on slightly floured surface and knead very gently for only a few seconds.  Roll into 1/2″ thickness.  Cut with a biscuit cutter, cookie cutter or small glass, dipping the cutter into flour before each cut.  (Note:  press the cutter straight down; do not twist it back and forth.)  Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly golden brown.  Makes 8 – 12 biscuits, depending on size of the cutter.









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S&F Lemon Dill Sauce

Given a choice between salmon and almost any other fish, I will almost always choose any other fish.  It isn’t that I don’t like salmon; there are just so many other fish I like more.  Salmon demands spices with backbone.  Mild seasonings will be no match for the robust flavor  of salmon.  The person who first combined lemon and dill must have shouted, “Eureka”!   These flavors complement each other so well, and what they can do for seafood, particularly salmon, is pretty amazing.  S&F Lemon Dill Sauce makes it easy to create a classic salmon entrée.

S&F Lemon Dill Oven Roasted Salmonlemon dill salmon

  • 4 6-oz salmon filets
  • 4 tablespoons S&F Lemon Dill Sauce
  • 4 teaspoons panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry parsley flakes
  • Melted butter, just to moisten

Pat the salmon filets dry and lightly score an X-pattern in each filet.  Brush the Lemon Dill Sauce over each filet and refrigerate for one hour in a greased baking dish.  Preheat the oven to 400°.  Mix panko and butter in a small skillet and toast until slightly brown.  Add the parsley flakes to the toasted bread crumbs and spread evenly over the filets.  Bake filets for 8-12 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Gourmet food producers are usually a great source for recipes.  After all, they are going to choose recipes that best showcase their products!  This salmon recipe from the Schlotterbeck & Foss website is an example.  The lemon dill sauce was tangy and tasty, while the toasted bread crumbs added a really nice crunch to the fish.  Although salmon isn’t my favorite fish, this recipe was very enjoyable!

Augustus Schlotterbeck and Charles Foss began their Portland, Maine apothecary shop in 1866.  They branched out to patented medicines, then flavoring extracts.  Today, S&F produces more than thirty sauces, condiments, dressings and dessert toppings.  The company prides itself on successfully blending new with old.  Their production facility is in a historic building, but it is filled with modern equipment and stainless steel.  Although much of the production process is controlled by computers, S&F’s sauces are made in small batches to insure handcrafted flavor.  Their sauces and condiments contain only natural ingredients, and organic ones where possible.  S&F Chef Sauces can help turn your everyday dishes into gourmet meals!

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Stonewall Kitchen Chocolate Peanut Butter Sauce

My husband is not always as excited as I am about trying new foods, but several years ago he mentioned more than once that he thought our menu selections had really gotten into a rut.  I had to admit he was absolutely right, and took that as my cue to really start experimenting in the kitchen.  For one complete year, I did not prepare the same entrée twice.  I kept a calendar, searched recipe books, and had a great time cooking up new dishes.  Of course, we had leftovers at times, and we still ate out (probably too much), so it wasn’t as if I made 365 different entrées, but there were a lot of new foods.  Allen is now a pretty good sport about seeing new foods almost constantly, but I know he sometimes misses a regular rotation of his favorite comfort foods.  When he picked up a jar of Stonewall Kitchen Chocolate Peanut Butter Sauce on our last visit to Central Market, his face lit up like a Christmas tree.  If he has a single comfort food, it would have to be peanut butter, and the chocolate and peanut butter combo is one of his favorites.  So into the cart went the Chocolate Peanut Butter Sauce.

Chocolate Peanut Butter SauceAllen generously offered to taste the sauce first – straight from the jar.  It was obvious from his facial expression that we had a winner.  The sauce is decadently thick and creamy, and warms to a smooth, rich consistency in under a minute in the microwave.  Of course, we served it with Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream.  It was a real treat, with a nice blend of chocolate and peanut butter flavors.  I have a feeling this delicious sauce has already earned a permanent place in our refrigerator.

Stonewall Kitchen is one of the most prolific gourmet food producers around.  Their products range from jams and jellies to baking mixes with a wide variety in between.  The company began in 1991 with Jonathan King and Jim Stott selling homemade jams at farmers’ markets in Maine.  It was only a short time before their fruit stand sales model morphed into a thriving wholesale business.  As the company grew and the product line expanded, the pair’s mission remained constant:  to produce the highest quality foods, pleasing to the eye and palate.  Their website has a real general store feel with specialty foods, kitchen tools and electronics, tableware, home decor and gifts.  Stonewall Kitchen products are also widely available in upscale markets and specialty stores.

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Robinhood Meetinghouse Layered Cream Cheese Biscuits

Restaurant menus have been the launching pad for a number of gourmet or artisan food products on the market and such is the case with RobinhoodDSC01109 Meetinghouse Layered Cream Cheese Biscuits.  Chef Michael Gagné was working in Virginia when he decided to challenge the much-loved, traditional southern biscuit.  By implementing the “laminating” process that layers butter and pastry dough in croissants and puff pastry, he created an elegant, flaky biscuit.  Chef Gagné returned to his home in Maine to raise his young daughters and opened Robinhood Meetinghouse, a fine dining restaurant.  Guests were treated to baskets of his piping hot, layered cream cheese biscuits.  Soon, Chef Gagné’s daughters were selling biscuits to-go from the restaurant’s back porch, and a delivery business followed.

I often peruse frozen food cases at gourmet markets looking for something new to try, and on a recent visit to Central Market, I found these layered cream cheese biscuits.  Cream cheese pastry is the best in my book.  The biscuits are frozen unbaked, and in 25 minutes, we had hot, flaky biscuits on the breakfast table.  They rose to amazing heights while baking, and they retained a traditional biscuit crumb while being extra light and flaky.  The taste was phenomenal with the delicious tang of cream cheese and a decadent buttery flavor.  The package describes these luscious biscuits as “the love child born of a biscuit and a croissant”.  Yes, they are that good! They would be delicious in a strawberry shortcake and the family’s website has innovative ideas for one-bite appetizers that would be perfect for any gathering.

Cream Cheese Biscuits

Chef Gagné’s daughters are now grown, and they have joined him in his restaurant business.  The biscuits that became the signature food item for the Robinhood Meetinghouse have now become the anchor product in a growing bakery business.  Triple ginger biscuits, double chocolate biscuits, sweet potato biscuits, and pecan sticky buns are just a few of their bakery items.  If they are only half as delicious as the layered cream cheese biscuits, they would be a delight.  Order some today to have on hand for holiday house guests or to simply wow your family!

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