Lobster cakes are a quintessential Maine appetizer. (KATHY D’AGOSTINO PHOTO)
It’s July. It’s summer in Maine and although the season (in my opinion) is not long enough, it is absolutely glorious. I don’t know about you, but I want to enjoy every moment of it before those patio heaters have to be brought out. Lots of outdoor gatherings and barbecues will take place. Are you, like me, mulling over what to make besides the usual fare? I was searching for a recipe that was delicious yet easy to prepare, one whose taste boasted summer in Maine.
I perused my recipes and came across one from Alison Prince for lobster cakes. Alison is the owner of the Salt Cod Cafe on Orr’s Island. I was speaking to my friend Julie Moulton, who also happens to be Harpswell Aging at Home’s “go-to” person (as she just happens to know a few people in Harpswell), and she said, “If Alison made it, it’s going to be good.” Now I have had Alison’s chowder, as well as her pastries and pies, and they are simply delicious. I believe I just hit pay dirt with this recipe.
Alison has been the owner, baker and cook at Salt Cod Cafe since 2004. Her ancestry connects her to this marvelous gem. In 1845, a general store was established at this very spot by Sylvanus Cushing Prince. Salt Cod Cafe is Harpswell history at its best. Situated at the water’s edge at the tip of Orr’s Island, the location of the general store was ideal to provide goods to island residents and local fishermen. It soon became the place where fresh cod was offloaded, preserved with salt, dried and then traded. Fishing was the main industry on Orr’s Island in those days and cod was plentiful. Who better to get a recipe recommendation from than Mr. Prince’s great-great-granddaughter Alison?
Alison’s lobster cakes were perfect and just what I was searching for. They make for a fabulous appetizer, taste amazing and are quintessential Maine. Her recipe is a slightly modified version of her grandmother Lillian’s recipe.
Make these cakes smaller and serve with your favorite sauce as a starter or form them larger to serve as a meal on a bed of local greens or with a salad. Next time you are hosting or need ideas on what to bring to an outdoor event, try these. They’re a bona fide winner and you’ll be a hit with the crowd. I promise.
2 slices of bread, crust removed
milk (to moisten the bread)
1 pound lobster meat, crabmeat or a combination, cooked
1/4 teaspoon sage
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 egg, beaten
Cut lobster meat into small pieces. Break bread into small pieces in a medium bowl and add milk to moisten.
Add lobster meat and remaining ingredients to the bowl.
Combine and then shape into cakes.
Refrigerate the cakes for at least 1 hour before cooking, as that will help hold them together.
Fry in a pan over medium heat until golden brown on both sides, using canola oil or any other neutral oil.
Serves 4-6 depending on the size you make.
Note: Oat milk can be substituted for the milk. For an egg substitute, combine 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal and 3 tablespoons water. Let sit for about 5 minutes.
Cooking at 43° North, a program of Harpswell Aging at Home, brings Harpswell residents together for cooking programs, in person and online. Watch the Anchor calendar for listings.
HAH always needs cooks for its Meals in a Pinch program, which provides nutritious meals to seniors in need of emergency assistance. For more information, contact Julie Moulton at 207-330-5416 or firstname.lastname@example.org.