ROCKLAND—The week between the holidays and New Year’s Eve has a lot of folks pondering the waistline and trying to find that perfect balance between healthy and delicious. What to bring to the New Year’s Eve party? Chef Annie Mahle, who owns the schooner J. & E. Riggin with her husband, Captain Jon Finger, has just the ideal recipe.
“I make a poached salmon with tri-pepper salsa,” she said of one her most popular recipes with guests of the schooner. “If I don’t make this for some of our returning guests, they start to clamor for it. It’s really versatile; you can make this into the entrée itself or you can size down the portions and make it into a side dish or appetizer that people will just love. And, after the holidays when everyone is feeling the need to head into the new year with more healthy options, it’s the kind of thing you just make for yourself on a weeknight.”
Mahle has been cooking and writing for nearly 30 years. This recipe is part of her second, revised and updated edition of “At Home, at Sea: Recipes from a Maine Windjammer” (2017, Baggywrinkle Press). The first edition was published in 2004. She also penned “Sugar & Salt: A Year at Home and At Sea (The Blue Book and The Orange Book). “I have really evolved in my cooking since the first book, although I use recipes from it all of the time,” said Mahle. “In this updated version of the book, I’ve got 100 new recipes and variations with all new photos. I like to riff on recipes all of the time; so you’ll see maybe six variations on my classic biscuit recipe or six variations on my bread.”
For the salmon, she sources it from Jess’s Market in Rockland. “I switch back back and forth between buying wild caught and Scottish farm-raised salmon,” she said. “There are pros and cons to both. On the one hand, buying farm-raised means you’re not contributing to overfishing; on the other, you want to make sure if you’re buying from farms that are sustainable and that the water quality is very good with limited use of chemicals and antibiotics.”
As it is nearly January, she buys the peppers from the local supermarkets. “The only time that those peppers would truly be in season to buy locally would be around August, but we are lucky to have such a diversity of food choices in the Midcoast,” she said.
Mahle has made appearances on the the local NBC affiliate station WCSH’s “207” program numerous times, as well as on the Today Show, New England Cable News, the Food Network and multiple appearances on the local NBC affiliate WCSH’s 207 Show.Annie’s cooking has been recognized by Yankee Magazine as a one of the “Top 10 Places to have Dinner with a View” and as the “Best Windjammer Fare” in the Best of New England series.
To find out when Mahle’s next book signing is follow J. & E. Riggin on Facebook.
Kay Stephens can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org