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  6/1/2017 at 4:20 PM

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

  • rchesser  on  6/1/2017 at 4:34 PM

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

  • lgroom  on  6/1/2017 at 6:26 PM

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

  • laureljean  on  6/1/2017 at 6:48 PM

    Summer vegetables...radishes, kohlrabi, Heirloom tomatoes.

  • annieski  on  6/2/2017 at 5:42 AM

    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  6/2/2017 at 7:38 AM

    Warm mushroon toast with Port, Herbs and Ricotta

  • Siegal  on  6/2/2017 at 9:03 AM

    Chicken soups reminds me of home

  • sgump  on  6/2/2017 at 10:12 AM

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

  • lebarron2001  on  6/2/2017 at 4:21 PM

    My mother's brisket reminds me of home.

  • PennyG  on  6/3/2017 at 10:23 AM

    Pot Roast and Mashed Potatoes!

  • kelliwinter  on  6/8/2017 at 5:10 AM

    meatloaf with mashed potato and peas

  • JenJoLa  on  6/8/2017 at 9:58 AM

    Potato pancakes always remind me of home.

  • mph993  on  6/8/2017 at 10:57 AM

    Applewood-grilled spring chicken with ramp and fiddlehead fried rice

  • kbennall  on  6/9/2017 at 11:12 PM

    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  6/10/2017 at 12:07 AM

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

  • dbielick  on  6/10/2017 at 5:43 AM

    Pot roast

  • tarae1204  on  6/15/2017 at 2:19 PM

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

  • cocecitycook  on  6/23/2017 at 6:53 AM

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

  • RSW  on  6/25/2017 at 11:02 AM

    stuffed cabbage

  • DFed  on  6/26/2017 at 3:07 PM

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

  • Uhmandanicole  on  6/27/2017 at 12:43 AM

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

  • abihamm  on  6/27/2017 at 4:46 PM

    Crepes with fresh fruit.

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