The Lost Kitchen – Erin French

The Lost Kitchen: Recipes and a Good Life Found in Freedom, Maine by Erin French is packed with comforting seasonal recipes, stunning photographs and a feeling of home.

The self-taught cook read cookbooks to form her culinary education (I love that). French parlayed small catering jobs into a secret supper series in her apartment. The success of those suppers encouraged her to take fork-to-field dinners on the road in her souped-up trailer. Eventually, she returned to her hometown Freedom, Maine and built her dream restaurant, The Lost Kitchen, in a restored 1834 gristmill.

It is hard to put into the words the feeling these pages and recipes convey – it’s a combination of warmth, home, and comfort while remaining true to fresh, seasonal ingredients and sustainability. I am seeing awards in this beautiful book’s future. 

With recipes for Rhubarb Spoon Cake, Pork Burgers with Grilled Peaches, Bacon & Blue Cheese, Slow-Roasted Pork Picnic Shoulder with Cinnamon & Rosemary, and Fried Oysters with Root Cellar Slaw & Horseradish Mayonnaise, it is easy to understand how French’s restaurant is such a hot spot. I did a twist on her Ramp and Fiddlehead Fried Rice a few weeks ago and it was delicious.

Really feeling the love for this book – it makes me want to move to Maine, find myself a gristmill and embrace the “good life”. Special thanks to Clarkson Potter and the author for sharing the Maine Shrimp Roll recipe. Be sure to head over to our contest page to enter our giveaway.

Maine Shrimp Roll 

A shrimp roll-or crispy, golden shrimp piled high on a buttered, griddled, and tartar sauce-slathered bun-is a classic way to enjoy some of our state’s favorite seafood. Serve with lemon wedges, pickles, and chips and call it a day.


3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 hot dog rolls, split
4 tablespoons Tartar Sauce 
4 small handfuls of baby lettuce
Vegetable oil, for frying
1 pound shelled Maine shrimp
1 cup whole milk
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup semolina flour

Butter the cut sides of the rolls and grill, toast, or griddle buttered-side down until golden brown. Slather the inside of each roll with a tablespoon of tartar sauce and line with baby lettuces. Heat oil in a deep fryer to 375°F or, alternatively, heat 2 inches of oil in a heavy-bottomed pan to the same temperature.

Combine the shrimp and the milk in large bowl. Whisk together the all-purpose and semolina flours in a separate bowl. Working in batches, drain the shrimp, dredge in the flour mixture until well coated, and then fry until golden brown, about 20 seconds.

Fill the prepared rolls with the hot shrimp and serve immediately.
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  • hedder14  on  June 1, 2017

    Periwinkle in a skillet with garlic and parsley now doesn't that just sound fab??

  • rchesser  on  June 1, 2017

    The Chowder of sweet clams with shallots and fingerlings sounds amazing.

  • lgroom  on  June 1, 2017

    Well, I grew up on the Mississippi (or depending on the year) in the Mississippi so I have to say catfish.

  • laureljean  on  June 1, 2017

    Summer vegetables…radishes, kohlrabi, Heirloom tomatoes.

  • annieski  on  June 2, 2017

    Our CSA shares start next week, look forward again to farm fresh, organic produce. I'd be happy to try some of these recipes!

  • lhudson  on  June 2, 2017

    Warm mushroon toast with Port, Herbs and Ricotta

  • Siegal  on  June 2, 2017

    Chicken soups reminds me of home

  • sgump  on  June 2, 2017

    What recipe always reminds me of home? Fruit salad–in the summer!

  • lebarron2001  on  June 2, 2017

    My mother's brisket reminds me of home.

  • PennyG  on  June 3, 2017

    Pot Roast and Mashed Potatoes!

  • kelliwinter  on  June 8, 2017

    meatloaf with mashed potato and peas

  • JenJoLa  on  June 8, 2017

    Potato pancakes always remind me of home.

  • mph993  on  June 8, 2017

    Applewood-grilled spring chicken with ramp and fiddlehead fried rice

  • kbennall  on  June 9, 2017

    Breakfast hash made from leftover roast beef, onions, potatoes, and red peppers always reminds me of home – especially if I read The Hobbit while I eat it.

  • t.t  on  June 10, 2017

    I'm from Hawaii, so spam musubi says "home" to me.

  • dbielick  on  June 10, 2017

    Pot roast

  • tarae1204  on  June 15, 2017

    California cuisine is so eclectic, but probably fish tacos. GOOD fish tacos.

  • cocecitycook  on  June 23, 2017

    Taquitos and and a plate of refried beans are home to me. Yum!

  • RSW  on  June 25, 2017

    stuffed cabbage

  • DFed  on  June 26, 2017

    French's story sounds amazing! Can't wait to have a look at the book.

  • Uhmandanicole  on  June 27, 2017

    Steamed chicken with scallion and ginger oil always reminds me of home

  • abihamm  on  June 27, 2017

    Crepes with fresh fruit.

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