5.31.2010

It's Soft Shell Crab Season!










It's soft shell crab season! We dredged these little crabbies in flour seasoned with salt, pepper and "Slap Ya' Mama" seasoning then sauteed them with a clove of pressed garlic. What a snack!

5.24.2010

Mini Burger Grill Basket

Sliders. Are. Everywhere. Beef, pork, crab, lobster - every menu around our area has some form of sliders so it's only a matter of time before we try them at home. We haven't yet, however, because we want to grill them (it's summer!) and we just saw this product offered from Avon (yes, the makeup people). It's a mini-burger grill basket and we just know it will keep our sliders from sliding into the depths of the grill and becoming forever lost. We'll let you know how it turns out. In the meantime, take a look at what others have to say about grill baskets at Foodbuzz's Daily Special.

5.19.2010

Amy gets a night off

I like fire and I like meat. So when Amy called to say that she needed steak the logical action was to go to Bogners, a local family-owned butcher shop which, quite frankly, I don’t frequent enough. Every time I go I am intoxicated by the array, freshness and price of the meats. The staff is friendly and will take time to explain the different cuts and their uses. It’s easy to leave this place with a few extra steaks and a couple of pounds of slab bacon that you didn’t realize you needed to have. You get the idea. Places like this make me want to celebrate being a carnivore. The scent of the grill, the parallel chars, the warm juices and, of course, the taste. Let’s not forget the taste.
Yeah -- meat is good.
Tonight’s meal was a simple one: A limoncello aperitif. Freshly sliced rib-eyes with Montreal seasoning. Batonnets of purple fingerling potatoes sautéed with a slice of slab bacon. Steamed green beans seasoned with pink Himalayan salt. A bottle of 2003 Clos Du Val Cabernet Sauvignon.

Our day just got a whole lot better.

5.11.2010

Homemade Limoncello

"Meyer lemons, this. Meyer lemons, that." For awhile there, every blog we read was extolling the virtues of the Meyer lemon. Unfortunately for us, here in nasty New England, in cold Connecticut, Meyer lemons are pretty hard to come by. Unless you drive an hour out of state to Trader Joe's and happen to come across of small bag of the beauties. Imagine our glee!

New, albeit related, topic. We have been enjoying limoncello for over a decade, since Amy had her first sip of the real thing on her first of many trips to Italy. We've never been 100% satisfied by anything we've bought from the liquor store. However, now and then, an Italian friend-of-a-friend, or a kind restaurant server or manager somewhere will share some of their homemade stash. We've always wanted to make it ourselves...so, we thought, when life gives us Meyer lemons, make limoncello!

We mixed the Meyer lemons with regular, organic ones because we weren't thinking straight in the store and didn't buy enough of them! Nonetheless, the mix produced a vibrant yet smooth tasting liquor. It was not too sweet, as some brands tend to be, nor too harsh with an alcohol burn, as others are. It was appropriately thick without having a cloying syrupy texture. Basically, it seemed to fall somewhere in between all of these things, and we were delighted with our results. Here's how we made our own homemade limoncello. Enjoy. It's soooo worth the effort.

Ingredients:
8 medium-to-large organic lemons
4 Meyer lemons
750 ml. bottle of grain alcohol (we used Everclear)
5 cups water
3 and 1/4 cups sugar

 
Directions:

Thoroughly wash and dry the lemons. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the skins from the lemons, taking care not to get any of the white pith, which will cause a bitter flavor. Put the peels in an airtight container and add the alcohol. Seal the container and shake well. Store the container in a cool, dark place for seven days. Each day, once a day, shake the container well. You will begin to see the alcohol take on a yellow tint - this is a good thing! On the seventh day, mix the sugar and water in a large saucepan. Heat it over medium heat until the sugar dissolves (no need to boil it) - this is simple syrup. Strain the lemon peels from the alcohol, then mix the alcohol with the simple syrup. You have now created homemade limoncello. Store in an airtight container or bottles as desired. Serve chilled.






5.02.2010

Fried Crab and Avocado Wontons

When we were told about the Adaptable Avocado Recipe Challenge, we put our culinary minds to work. What could we do with an avocado that would be different, unique, off the beaten path? We spent Saturday afternoon chatting with some fellow foodies, knocking about some ideas of what flavors pair well with avocado. At first, our match was chicken, but Sunday morning brought enlightenment - crab was the way to go. We've had some success recently making dumplings and ravioli, and so, after much discussion, planning, testing, and of course, tasting, our newest creation was born. Here we bring you Fried Crab and Avocado Wontons.

We loved how the rich creaminess of the avocado matched with the sweetness of the crab meat. Fresh chives and tarragon from our garden gave the filling an herby balance. Frying the wonton brought crisp texture to the soft filling. We knew that some acidity was necessary to bring out these flavors, so we made a dipping sauce from sour cream, tomato and sweetened lime juice. This recipe made about fifty or so wontons, so there was plenty to share (which we did, with our neighbors across the street). Our experiment seems to have succeeded, for we, and the neighbors, thought these made a deliciously different appetizer.

The adaptable avocado - it's not just for guacamole anymore.

Ingredients:

For the wontons:
1 ripe avocado, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped finely
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped finely
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
8 ounces cooked crab meat
1 package wonton wrappers

For the dipping sauce:
8 ounces sour cream
1 large tomato
1 tablespoon sweetened lime juice
salt to taste

Peanut oil for frying

After dicing the avocado, sprinkle it with lemon juice to avoid browning. In a large bowl, combine the avocado, herbs, salt and white pepper. Fold in the crab meat and mix well. One by one, lay out a wonton wrapper and place a teaspoon of the mixture in the center. Brush the edges of the wrapper with water and fold into desired shape. Cover with a damp dishcloth to avoid drying. To make the dipping sauce, chop the tomato in a food processor. In a bowl, combine the tomato and tomato juices with the sour cream. Add the sweetened lime juice and salt to taste. Set aside in refrigerator to chill. To fry the wontons, fill a deep skillet with peanut oil, enough to cover the wontons when they are put in. Heat the oil over medium-high heat for several minutes. Deep fry in batches of five or six until they become golden brown. Remove with a mesh frying skimmer and set aside on paper towels to soak up excess oil. Serve the hot wontons with the cool dipping sauce.