15 Ways to Taste a New England Summer Without Leaving Home
If you're looking to eat your way through New England this summer, but travel's not an option yet, we've got the solution. Here you'll find 15 essential recipes that bring you some of the best of New England cooking, from buttery lobster rolls to true New England-style clam chowder, plus more ways to immerse yourself in the region's maritime food culture. You'll also find homey corn fritters dipped in maple syrup, and recipes that celebrate blueberries, blueberries, blueberries. So, whether the ocean is to your west or east — or even if there isn’t one in sight — you're still in for a delicious New England summer.
Shirley's Maine Clam Chowder
You might be surprised the first time you dip your spoon into a bowl of creamy clam chowder prepared the way the locals really make it. First you'll notice the texture: It's not thick and pasty the way you might been eating it all these years. Instead, this chowder has a thinner broth enriched with cream and slightly thickened by the potatoes. Next, you'll taste the difference: The fresh flavor of the clams and the salty, smoky bites of bacon (or salt pork) come to the forefront without being masked by a thick, heavy soup. Tip: For best results, use fresh clams if they're available, and make sure your bacon is not maple-flavored.
Classic Fish and Chips
Recipe submitter Dan says this is a "simple recipe for New England's favorite dish fish and chips. Serve with malt vinegar, lemon, or tartar sauce." Reviewers suggest putting finished pieces in the oven at 200 degrees F to keep them crisp while you continue frying.
Awesome Baked Sea Scallops
"Large sea scallops are combined with garlic, shallots, butter, and bread crumbs then baked to perfection," says recipe submitter Christine Laliberte. "Being from Maine, we love our seafood, and this is one of the greats!"
New England Crab Cakes
"This recipe comes from Maine and is EXCELLENT!" says recipe creator Jenna T. You can adjust the amount of Old Bay Seasoning to suit your taste, and add a few splashes of lemon juice to brighten up the overall flavor.
When blueberry season hits in New England, you'll find a million delicious ways to indulge. A classic blueberry pie is just one of them. "There's a reason New Englanders eat pie for breakfast," says reviewer julieschild. She adds, "We found that this is a tart-sweet pie with the juices gelled just enough not to run out of the pie IF you use a lattice crust and very small fresh blueberries. If you are making a solid top crust, or using cultivated 'high bush berries,' increase the cornstarch by 1 tablespoon."
Auntie Anita's Lobster Stew
Recipe submitter Delight says the key to this classic Maine dish is to "partially cool the stew before adding the milk, a trickle at a time; stir constantly for a rich salmon color; and let the soup sit, refrigerated, 5 to 6 hours (or overnight) for the best flavor."
Wicked Good Mussels
"The best New England-style mussels you will ever taste,' says recipe submitte, I Sea Food and Eat It. "Cooked in a wine broth and topped with garlic butter. Serve with thinly sliced garlic French bread toast."
"I grew up in Nova Scotia where seafood was cheap," says recipe submitter Starr. "And even though Cape Cod lobster is a bit pricier, this is a wonderful summer treat and makes a fancy luncheon to impress your friends."
"My take on a traditional New England summer dinner with potatoes, lobster, clams, and fresh corn," says recipe creator SandyG.
Reviewer Kerry Lynn Dickson adds, "I was initially concerned with the amount of liquid in the pot as the lobsters weren't fully submerged, but it worked out great. We also did this on a pot on the grill, and worked perfect for a summer BBQ."
Maine Wild Blueberry Salsa
With the blueberry being Maine's official state fruit, they find lots of creative ways to put them to use. "A definite repeat," says ccramsey. "I used native Maine blueberries and one cup of Wyman berries. It was THE best!"
"A Rhode Island exclusive," says recipe creator PUKEANOPOLIS. "Kind of like a Sloppy Joe but far superior. Spicy enough to earn its name, it's best washed down with a good beer. For you non Rhodey people, torpedo rolls are just the long sandwich rolls."
Reviewer PAMSTAN30 adds, "I am from little Rhody. And this is a recipe that brings me back to my childhood. I remember [at] carnivals they always had the dynamite stands. They go quick and now it is a family favorite. You can make them as mild or as spicy as you like according to your taste buds."
Air Fryer Lobster Tails with Lemon-Garlic Butter
We say, don't wait for your next Maine vacation to indulge in lobster tails! You can enjoy meaty lobster tails at home — cooked in your air fryer — with a lemon-garlic butter sauce.
Reviewer Marthis adds, "It was delicious, and very easy to make! The hardest thing is cutting the shell. It was my very first time making lobster. I forgot to take a picture, but hearing my husband say 'Oh my God' as he tasted it was priceless."
Chef John's Boston Cream Pie
Pastry cream is sandwiched between layers of yellow cake and topped with rich chocolate ganache to create a vintage cake made famous by Boston's Parker House Hotel
Menny's Blueberry Barbecue Sauce
"This sauce is a sweet, tangy addition to any barbecue," says recipe submitter Genoise. "Blueberries are a true flavor of Maine. Enjoy!" Some reviewers even added another flavor of the region: a touch of maple syrup! Like any sugary BBQ sauce, the high heat of the grill could cause it to burn, so brush it on towards the end of your grill session and place the meats over indirect heat to finish.
Corn Fritters with Maple Syrup
Crispy fried corn fritters dipped in real Vermont maple syrup might sound strange, but don't knock 'em until you've tried 'em. Reviewer CakeLady224 says, "This was one of my favorite treats as a child, especially dipped in maple syrup. I haven't had them in years, but after finding this recipe I made them for my 2 little picky eaters and they gobbled them up. Thank you for posting!"