One of the characters in this series owns a diner, so this summer while we were in Maine, I took advantage of research to eat several meals at a favorite diner.
There's some history here. Last Thanksgiving, we rented a house in Ogunquit and headed up to spend the holiday with our daughter (who lives up that way). The plan was to pick her up after work, and then pick up dinner at the diner. My mouth was watering in anticipation of their famed lobster pie.
Problem was, there was this rather unexpectedly strong snowstorm!
|The morning after!|
Driving was so bad, we had to get off the interstate and hope for better luck on the back roads. I'd called ahead to make sure the diner was going to be open, but when we got there, we couldn't even find it. I've never seen such total darkness. We gave up looking and headed to the deli counter at the supermarket. (Where we were just about the only people in the store!)
It turned out, a car had taken out a pole and caused a blackout in the area. That was why we couldn't find the diner. No lobster pie for me.
Fast forward to this summer and I was determined to get my lobster pie.
Except it turned out not to be at all what I was expecting.
I had anticipated something along the lines of of chicken pot pie but with lobster.
After my first bite, I turned to my husband and said, "This tastes like Sam's fish."
Sam was an elderly man who cooked for my husband's even more elderly mother and aunt back when we were first married. They lived on a gorgeous estate on Cape Cod - 2 sisters and Sam and his wife.
My husband LOVED Sam's fish, so with my newlywed enthusiasm, I tried everything I could think of to replicate it. I bought every type of bread crumbs I could find, but the response was always, "Good, but not like Sam's."
Finally, in desperation, I told Sam my sad tale. He laughed and took me into the pantry where he shared his secret crust - Ritz crackers and butter. Yup. That was all. He'd smash the crackers, mix with melted butter, and layer onto the fish. So simple, but SO tasty. My marriage was safe!
So when I took that first bite of lobster pie this summer, and it tasted like lobster with Sam's crust, I was highly suspicious that I knew the special family recipe. In the name of research, I went into the gift shop and bought a cookbook of diner recipes which included the lobster pie. Sure enough - Ritz crackers and butter!
It was very good. Yum.
I haven't made Sam's fish in many years (in the name of low cholesterol and all that jazz), but after we returned home, I decided to give it a try for old times sake (and to post here). So without further ado - the 4 step fish recipe.
1. Smash the Ritz crackers. I do it in a baggie with an ice cream scoop.
2. Melt butter in microwave and mix in the cracker crumbs.
3. Spread on the fish (I used haddock. Sam always used sole.)
4. Bake. You can broil briefly at the end if you feel the need to brown the crumbs, but be careful!
I'm curious. Have any of you ever made this?