New Hampshire, the Granite State, may have been the 7th state to join the newly formed Union, but it is first in so many things throughout its history. The first to grow potatoes, the first to establish an independent government and create its own constitution.
New Hampshire was also the first to see an all-female strike. In 1828, ownership of the Cochero Manufacturing Company in Dover changed hands. The new owners cut the hourly wages of all its female textile workers. The women organized and went on strike. Unfortunately, the strike failed and those women who did return to work had their wages even further reduced.
New Hampshire is known for its abundance of granite with many quarries scattered throughout; its largest quarry in Rattlesnake Mountain. The Library of Congress in Washington D.C. was built from New Hampshire granite.
Let’s not forget, New Hampshire holds its primaries before any other state. The country’s attention is often focused here for “as New Hampshire goes, so goes the Nation.”
From seaside to countryside, New Hampshire is a beautiful tapestry woven of the fabric that makes America great. Apples are the leading fruit crop, and lobsters are ever popular from the sea. With that in mind, I hope you enjoy my New Hampshire inspired menu.
Starter – Cheese Curd Tomato Bisque
Main – Simple Lobster Rolls
Beverage – Warm Hard Cider
Cheese Curd Tomato Bisque
1 medium Onion
1 medium Carrot
1 Celery Rib
2 Garlic Cloves
4 tablespoons Butter, divided
3 tablespoons Flour
4 cups Chicken Stock
3 (14.5 oz) cans diced Fire-Roasted Tomatoes, drained
3 tablespoons Tomato Paste
2 teaspoons Sugar
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
Salt to taste
White Pepper to taste
1 cup Cheese Curds
Peel and finely chop the onion, carrots, celery and garlic. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the chopped vegetables, cover and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir over low heat for 1 minute, or until the flour is fully incorporated.
Drain the roasted tomatoes well. Add the chicken stock, roasted tomatoes, tomato paste and sugar and bring to a boil.
Cover partially and cook the soup over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 15 minutes.
Puree the bisque using an immersion blender or transfer to a blender to puree in batches. Return the puree to the saucepan, add the heavy cream and cook until the soup is just heated through. Season the soup with salt and white pepper and swirl in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter.
Place the cheese curds into the bottom of large mugs or soup bowls. Ladle the soup over the curds and serve.
Lobster Rolls with Chips
1 lb cooked Lobster Meat
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1 teaspoon. fresh Tarragon Leaves
1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
4 Top-Split Sandwich Rolls, toasted
Butter as needed
4 Boston Lettuce Leaves
Favorite Potato Chips for serving
Note: If top-split sandwich rolls are not available, use sandwich rolls that have not been split. Cut down center to within 1/4-inch of bottom. Open, hollow out slightly to create pocket for the lobster filling. Set aside until ready to toast.
Drain lobster meat, cut into chunks and set aside. Snip tarragon leaves, set aside.
In a mixing bowl, blend mayonnaise, tarragon and lemon juice; gently stir in lobster.
Heat broiler. Split open the rolls. Spread inside of rolls with a little butter. Place under the broiler to toast lightly, just a few minutes.
Remove rolls from oven. Arrange lettuce in buns, then fill with lobster mixture. Serve with potato chips in honor of the first potato plants
Warm Hard Cider
4-1/2 cups Apple Cider
1/2 cup Bourbon
1/2 cup Brown sugar
3 cups Orange juice
3 tablespoons Lemon juice
In a large pot over low heat, warm cider, Bourbon, brown sugar, orange juice and lemon juice. Stir until sugar has dissolved.
Keep warm. Serve in coffee cups with cinnamon sticks as a garnish.