Sunday, June 21, 2009

You Want Chicken Recipes And Pepcid “Friendly” Dinner Suggestions – Do You?

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Greetings Everyone;

Well, I have absolutely no idea why when I originally posted this weeks blog that the June 1st blog was emailed out to all of you!!!  Modern technology is such a wonderful thing, isn’t it?  Anyway, I am reposting this weeks blog in hopes that it will correctly be sent out to my faithful and delightful subscribers – my fingers and toes are all crossed…here goes!!!

And a GREAT BIG Happy Father’s Day goes out to ALL fathers out there…hope you have a wonderful day!

This Weeks Musings:



I’d really like to thank all of you who emailed me and wished me a quick recovery from my cold…I’m feeling much better thank you.

It was shocking to say the least, to hear from so many of you asking if I could include recipes that involve chicken.  I never realized just how many people like to cook chicken on a somewhat regular basis.

I was talking to my sister, Kathy, and even she admitted that she cooks chicken about 3-4 times per week and could really use some new recipes.  After Googling the subject, I was astounded to learn that there are over 100,000 searches per month for “chicken recipes”

So beginning this week, The GYPSY KITCHEN will be featuring at least one, easy to prepare “CHICKEN” recipe for all to enjoy.

I also heard from a dear, life-long friend who asked if I could include some “less spicy” recipes for those whose stomachs are somewhat “spice challenged”.  So I will be including at least one “PEPCID FRIENDLY” recipe each week as well.

You ask…I deliver!!!  How’s that for service?

I should also thank everyone who has helped me simplify my blog writing by joining the new, improved email subscriber format – a Great BIG THANK YOU for that!!!

Oh, and by the way…the Chile Relleno Frittata turned out pretty well.  Yes I could have cut back the jalapeno a bit, but it was still a real treat for me.


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Well, I’m glad to report that I survived the weekend at Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tennessee and I’m also very glad to report that I was not the oldest attendee, not even close. As a matter of fact, most of the performers were older then me. 

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My daughter, Jennifer had an original list of 29 musicians that she wanted to see over this 3 1/2 day music festival…along the trip she had narrowed that down to 19!  We actually took in 11 performers in all which was just about as much as one physically could and still leave time for sleeping and eating (both optional requirements for many attendees)!

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Musical highlights were certainly “Phish”; Jimmy Buffet and the Coral Reefers All-stars with Ilo; Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band; Elvis Costello; Government Mule; and Bela Fleck & Toumani Diabate…each very different but enjoyable all the same.

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I have to say how impressed I was with the level of planning and organization that obviously went into putting this festival together for upwards of 50,000 attendees.




Yesterday found us on the water off Walker’s Point with a stiff breeze at our backs.  It was really nice to be back on the water…how easy it is to forget just how beautiful the coast of Maine truly is.  We brought along some delightful triple cream Brie cheese, some lovely crackers, a crispy Granny Smith apple and a bottle of Murphy-Goode Liar’s Dice Zinfandel (hey, I’ve got to re-acquaint my palette on the pleasures of Murphy-Goode wines - don’t I ?)  This is one of my all-time favorite afternoon treats – simple, but oh so yummy!

It’s also very friendly for the Pepcid A.D. crowd (hint, hint).



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Cindy and I had the pleasure to dine at Mia’s at Pepperell Square in Saco, Maine the other night.  (A quick disclaimer…Steve Rogers, chef/owner was a former employee of mine and is someone I consider a good friend). 

Even so, we had a fantastic dinner!!! For appetizers, we were treated to a bowl of wonderful Maine mussels in a fresh, fragrant broth with just a hint of spice.  We shared the Poached Pear and Gorgonzola Salad, which we absolutely loved.

For dinner, Cindy had to have the Coriander Encrusted Tuna served with fingerling potatoes and a romesco sauce of green olives.  WOW!!!

I was drawn to the Seared Duck Breast which was served with an accompaniment of sautéed vegetables, a rice-onion pancake and a delightful cherry gastrique.  This dish was so lovely, I did not really want to share any of it with Cindy – but of course we shared!

A nice bottle of Poggio al Tufo ‘Rompicollo’ complimented both entrees. 

Steve was so gracious to send over both the Apple Crostada as well as the Kahlua Chocolate Truffle Cake along with our coffees.

Steve and his dad, Rick do all of the cooking and everything is made from scratch on a daily basis.  Mia’s is a small eatery of around 24 seats and can fill up quickly on any given evening so recommendations are always a good idea.


If you haven’t given Mia’s at Pepperell Square a try, or if it’s been awhile, you owe it to yourself to pay a visit sometime soon.

Mia At Pepperell Square rates:


For a lovely night out call 207.284.6427



 Rob Evans


Last month, the James Beard Foundation awarded the title “Best Chef in the Northeast” to Portland’s very own Rob Evans of the infamous Hugo’s Restaurant located on the corner of Middle Street and The Franklin Street Arterial.


Any genuine “foodie” has heard of Rob and/or Hugo’s over the years, Rob has been nominated for this award three times now.  Rob’s food is refined yet approachable; unique and imaginative yet understandable; flavorful yet subtly delicious. 

Rob is an inspiration to all chef’s, both professional as well as home cook variety.  Rob never cuts a corner nor simply rests on his accomplishments – Rob continues to push himself to be great each and every day.

We Mainer’s are so very fortunate to have the kind of talent demonstrated repeatedly in the kitchens of Hugo’s, 555, The Back Bay Grill, Primo’s, Arrows, Solo Bistro Bistro, The White Barn Inn, Blue Sky and others but for me, the real reason Rob is so deserving of this prestigious award is the simple fact that he is so down to earth and easy going.  As he has said before of Hugo’s “we’re just a mom and pop business”.

Congratulations Rob for a job well done.  Your patrons and foodie fans from all over the world are proud of your efforts as well as that of your wife and your staff.  The James Beard Foundation hit the nail-on-the-head with this selection!!!




For those of you who haven’t been following the whole Murphy-Goode competition, here is my “Murphy-Goode Really Goode Job” application video –please take a minute (really, it’s only a 60-second video) and see what the heck I’m rambling about.  Please also feel free to pass it along to others.


Until next time,

Chef John (aka the Gypsy)

John Hughes #4

Please feel free to pass this on to all your friends, family members and/or associates!!!

The "GYPSY KITCHEN" is the traveling culinary adventure of John and Cindy Hughes who are cruising the backroads and forgotten highways of America in a 36–foot motorcoach searching for wonderful, interesting regional foods and delicious culinary treasures…Please come and join us!


BrokenSpoon= Hopeless, Would Definitely Not Return

Spoon1= Needs Work, Most Likely Would Not Return

Spoon2 = Good Basic Find, Things Could Be Improved, Would Probably Try Again

 Spoon3= As Expected, Good Choice, A Few Things Could Be Better, Almost Certainly Visit Again

 Spoon4= Better Than Expected, Great Choice, Would Definitely Revisit

 Spoon5= Totally Blown Away, Every Point Exceeded Expectation, Would Drive Out-Of-Way To Revisit


tplc said...


Have a blast at Bonaroo. You may run into a fellow Kennebunker, my daughter Liz.

Lindsay Copeland

Diana H said...

Good Luck with your essay. I have one suggestion for your cold, chicken and noodles in a nice broth. It clears your sinus in a nice relaxing way - mom does know best.

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