Thursday, April 15, 2010


We went to Cape Cod for a long weekend and ended up celebrating not only three 30th birthdays (including mine... late) but lots of other good news as well, including an engagement that occurred while we were there!  We had a celebratory dinner of classic broiled steak, lobster salad, and french potato salad.  It was a blustery, cold spring night on the cape, but we used the summer fare and some champagne to toast to the future.

Lobster Salad
(recipe adapted from Sunday Supper at Lucques)
serves 6

5 live Maine lobsters, 2 pounds each
10 ounce slab applewood smoked bacon
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
1-1/2 cup fresh corn (or frozen if fresh is out of season)
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
2 tablespoons finely diced shallots
3 tablespoons lemon juice
pinch of cayenne pepper
3 ripe avocados
3/4 pint cherry tomatoes
2 large heads butter lettuce, leaves separated, cleaned and dried
2 tablespoons sliced basil
kosher salt
fresh ground pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.  Insert the tip of a large chef knife just below the eyes of each lobster-- this will kill them instantly.  Add the lobsters to the pot of water and completely submerge them.  Cook for 10 minutes and then remove immediately to a bowl of ice water.  When the lobsters have cooled, remove the meat from the shells and set aside.  You can use the shells to make a great lobster stock to freeze for future use.

Slice the bacon into 3/8" cubes and cook for about 5 minutes in a hot pan on high heat.  Remove to a plate with paper towels and drain the fat from the pan.  Return the pan to a medium heat, add the corn, thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pinch of black pepper.  Saute for 3-4 minutes until the corn is cooked.  If you are using frozen corn just cook until heated through.  Remove from heat and let cool.  For the vinaigrette, place the shallots, lemon juice and 1/4 tablespoon salt in a small bowl.  Let sit for 5 minutes, then whisk in the olive oil and a pinch of cayenne.  Season to taste.  Cut the avocados into cubes and and cut the cherry tomatoes in half.  Toss the lobster, avocados, tomatoes, corn, bacon and vinaigrette in a large bowl and arrange over lettuce.  Scatter basil on top and serve.

Some beautiful red meat, ready to be seared in a pan on the stove, then broiled to medium rare perfection.

French Potato Salad
(recipe adapted from Barefoot Contessa)
serves 6

3 pounds mixed fingerling potatoes
4 tablespoons good dry white wine
4 tablespoons chicken stock
4 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup minced scallions
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons chiffonade of fresh basil leaves
kosher salt
fresh ground pepper
10 tablespoons good olive oil

Boil the potatoes in salted water for 20-30 minutes until they are cooked through.  Drain and let cool, then cut in half.  Place in a medium bowl and toss gently with wine and chicken stock and let sit to soak up the liquid.  Combine the vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper and whisk with olive oil.  Add the vinaigrette and vegetables/ herbs and toss.  Serve at room temperature.

The finished beef.

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