Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas is Almost Here!

I feel like I have been gone from writing this blog FOREVER! The Holidays are here and it's been insane here in the office. The days are winding down and time has almost run out to get someone a great gourmet gift. Fortunately, we still have some fantastic options available for delivery Christmas Eve, or Christmas Day!
Forget someone on your list? Send them a Create-A-Gram email certificate! This is the perfect gift every time, for every taste. Let your recipient choose their main course, seafood cake, soup, and dessert...and the certificate includes shipping!
Or...send a gift that is all about their choice with the Your Choice Gift Email Certificates! For each dollar level, your recipient can choose one of 5 packages, and these too include shipping charges at redemption! Does gift giving get any easier than that?
With everything else going on, it will be great to just hang out with my family on Christmas and not have to prepare the meal. My Oma will be making a jumbo batch of her German Potato Salad with lots and lots of bacon, and my Mom will be handling the Ham, and the Sarma (Sauerkraut and ground pork wrapped in cabbage leaves). The only thing I have to make sure I bring, the Shrimp Cocktail, and Gelato

Christmas Day however, will be all up to me. And in classic Lobster Gram style, I will be preparing a Surf & Turf Feast with Maine Lobster Tails, Filet Mignon, King Crab Cakes and Shrimp! I can't wait. Well, I hope you all have a wonderful Holiday. Be safe, Be merry and Happy Eating Foodies!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Jamaican Jerk Shrimp

Good Monday morning Foodies! I hope everyone had an outstanding weekend!
Mine was super busy, but very productive! Sunday afternoon I spent in my kitchen.
It was a cold, rainy gray day here in Chicago, so I decided it would be a perfect day to make something spicy that reminds me of summer. So, I made Jamaican Jerk Shrimp and they turned out fantastic! Of course I would have liked to prepare them on an out door grill, but in Chicago in December...it ain't happening!
So, here is the recipe for pan seared Jamaican Jerk Spiced Shrimp!

1 tbs sugar
1 tbs paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp ground thyme
1/8 tsp ground allspice
1 1/2 lb large cooked shrimp
2 tbs olive oil


Pat shrimp dry and place in Tupperware container and cover with 2 tbs olive oil. Cover and toss to coat. Open container and add all spices. Cover and toss to coat again.
Heat a skillet on medium-high heat and cook shrimp for 5-7 minutes until heated.
Serve immediately.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Test Your Lobster Knowledge!

Lobster Hush Puppies

Add Video
Oil, for frying
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 chopped green onions
Salt & pepper
1 pound cooked Lobster meat

Heat oil to 350. In a large bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt & pepper to taste, and cayenne pepper. Add all wet ingredients except Lobster meat and whisk until combined. Lightly fold in cooked lobster meat and set batter aside for 10 minutes.
Dip spoon into water and then a spoonful of the hush-puppy mixture. This will allow mixture to easily fall off the spoon. Drop by tablespoonfuls into hot oil, and fry until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and serve hot!

Lobster Grilled Cheese

Lobster Grilled Cheese
10-12 oz Cooked Maine Lobster Meat
1/8 cup shredded fresh mozzarella cheese
1/8 cup fresh goat cheese
1/8 cup fresh sharp cheddar cheese
2 tbs mustard,
1 tbs lemon juice
1 chopped green onion
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients except for the cheeses. Butter one side of a piece of bread and lay it down on the hot griddle pan. Spread the lobster mixture on the bread and top with cheeses to your taste. Top the lobster with another piece of buttered bread (butter side out) and cook until both sides are toasted, and the cheeses have melted.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Images from Lobster Grilled Cheese and Lobster Hush-Puppies

Ok..here is how this is going to work.
Images today, recipes tomorrow :)
Sorry folks, short on time today!

Lobster Grilled Cheese and Lobster Hush-puppies

Good Monday Morning Foodies! How was everyone's weekend? Mine was super busy but fantastic. Saturday, I went down to the new Chicago French Market at 131 N Clinton. It was packed with holiday shoppers, but all the fresh cheese, produce and everything else was just great. I'll be making regular trips down there from now on.
After that, I went up to the Cristkindl Market here in Chicago. It's one of my favorite Christmas activities. I also got my Christmas tree up and the house decorated...and I spend Sunday cooking and baking.
I decided it would be a great weekend for some comfort food, so I decided to make my ultimate comfort food, Lobster Grilled Cheese. I had decided to make Hush-puppies with this recipe, so I thought, what the heck...lets throw some Lobster into the hush-puppies as well.
The result...phenomenal.
So here is the video for that little adventure, and I'll post the recipes with the images next!
Happy eating foodies!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Angus New York Strip Steaks with Red Wine Reduction

Good Monday morning Foodies! I hope everyone had a great long extended weekend! I had a lot planned for this weekend, but as I should know by now, planning stuff usually means that you have made plans that are going to fall through. Murphy's law I guess, but at least I still got to cook on Sunday.
Sunday, I prepared two of our 16 oz Angus Strip Steaks with a VERY simple red wine reduction sauce, and it was fantastic. In my experience, the best meals are the ones that are super simple, and designed to augment the natural flavors and textures. This recipe, is that to a "T".
I was unable to get video of this endeavor (Someone left their flip in the office), but fortunately...I got some tasty pictures of the whole process.
So here is the recipe, and the images.
Happy eating foodies!

For Each 16 oz New York Strip Steak you will need the following:
3/4 Cup Red Wine
Salt & Pepper to taste
2-3 tbs cold unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 large shallot

Heat the skillet before placing steaks in it.
Put steaks into heated skillet, fat side down so it can render into the skillet.
Cook steaks on fat side for 3-4 minutes until steak has released most of the fat.
Flip steak on the flat side and cook another 3-5 minutes, flip to the other side and cook for another 10 for medium rare. If you like your steak more well done, leave it in longer.
After steaks have cooked to your taste, remove them from the skillet and set aside under tin foil to keep warm. Add wine, chopped shallot and butter to skillet with drippings and reduce by half (15-20 minutes),
After sauce has reduced, serve immediately with warm steak.
Bon Appetite!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving & The Best Turkey I have EVER had

It's the Friday after Thanksgiving, and instead of being trampled down in a store, I will be here in the office, patiently awaiting the feast of Thanksgiving left overs that waiting for me at home.
Yesterday, I made my first entire Turkey. I was a little nervous because the last thing anyone wants on Thanksgiving is a dry bird, but I was up for the challenge.
Besides, even if the Turkey wasn't perfect...my Mom and Oma couldn't be that mean about it...could they? (For future reference, yes: the elder generations of a German family can be down right cruel when it comes to judging others cooking skills)
Nerves aside, I decided that since it was a year of firsts, I would also treat the turkey to 24 hours of flavor with an AMAZING Turkey Brine that was sent to me by the Spice Hunter.
It sounded really good. Brown Sugar, Pepper, Sea Salt, Rosemary, Thyme, Sage, Cranberry, Juniper berries, simple and flavorful.
My turkey was tender and juicy, it literally fell off the bones when I tried to place it on the serving platter. Every person at the dinner table raved about how incredible this turkey was, and how we will never prepare a turkey without it again.
Nikki's Cooking -1
Judgmental family-0
The turkey wasn't pretty enough to take pictures of because it had fallen off the bones, but presentation does not matter when it's only close family gathered around the table.
So the moral of this Thanksgiving story is: Go to the Spice Hunter, and get some of that turkey brine!
After the turkey was carved and served and everyone had their fill of stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, cranberries and fresh bread, we served dessert which of course, came from Lobster Gram. After all, it's just not a special occasion around my house without the Lobster Gram food. For dessert, we had one of our new 6lb Apple Pies which is always a HUGE hit;

After that, no one was able to move for a few hours lol. Overall, Thanksgiving was a smashing success, and I'm really looking forward to this weekend when I prepare some Angus New York Strip Steaks with a Red Wine Sauce.
Happy Eating Foodies :)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Pictures from Veal Chops with Pears and Rosemary

Veal Chops with Pears and Rosemary

Good Monday afternoon foodies! I hope everyone had an outstanding weekend. I know that I did!
Over the weekend I prepared my veal chops with pears and rosemary.
This was a new recipe I had never tried before, and it was out of this world!
The fresh pears and rosemary really brought out the freshness of the veal chops. They were tender and juicy and I was very sad when the meal was over. So, as promised, here is the video and the recipe to go along with it! If you get the chance to prepare veal, I highly recommend this recipe!


2 12 oz Bone in Veal Chops
1 tablespoon butter
3 green onions, whites only
½ cup fresh orange juice 125ml
1 pear, peeled, cored and sliced ¼ inch thick
1½ teaspoons fresh rosemary
½ teaspoon dried rosemary 2.5ml
¼ teaspoon grated orange peel 1ml
Orange slices, rosemary sprigs

Cook Veal Chops in butter in 12 inch (30cm) non stick skillet over medium heat until lightly browned, about 3 minutes per side. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and continue cooking 10 minutes. Transfer chops to platter; keep warm.
Cook white parts of onion in same skillet over medium heat until tender, 2-3 minutes. Stir in orange juice, pears and rosemary. Simmer until sauce thickens and pears are tender-crisp, about 5 minutes. Gently stir in orange peel and remaining onions. Spoon sauce over veal. Garnish with orange slices and rosemary sprigs.

Friday, November 20, 2009

I Love Cooking in the Fall- Veal with Pears and Rosemary this weekend

Good Friday morning Foodies! Another week has flown by, and I feel guilty about not posting more. Things get insane for Lobster Gram around the Holidays, and right now I'm in high gear trying to prepare for it. Fortunately, I will have the time this Sunday to prepare a nice big meal again, and I have decided to go with a great veal recipe I got from a Twitter friend @EclecticGrocer. The recipe sounds great: Veal Chops with Pears and Rosemary and I found a roasted rosemary potato salad recipe I'm going to make with them.
I just love spending chilly weekends at home cooking. The house gets all warm and cozy, and the smells that permeate from the kitchen...tantalizing.
I don't think I have ever prepared Veal with Pears and Rosemary, but I imaging the aromas will be mouthwatering. I love fragrant fresh rosemary in an assortment of dishes, so I'm looking forward to this with great anticipation. This will help you see why...
When you start out with ingredients as fantastic as this, it's really hard to mess things up.
So when I get off work today, I'll hit up the grocery store and stock up, then retreat to my cozy kitchen and start kicking out some lovely flavorful and fragrant dishes.
That is until Sunday. Sunday, I will emerge from my kitchen and head to the movies to see New Moon. Yes, I admit that I am a huge Twilight fan. After seeing the first movie, I read the books, and was hooked. The writing it's self isn't something to write home about, but the story sucks you in, and you have to keep reading.
Not to mention that Robert Pattinson is hot beyond all rationality.
So Sunday afternoon, I will be in the VIP 21 & over theater near my house avoiding the throngs of giggling teen girls and enjoying a Sunday Screwdriver in front of the big screen on a comfy love seat. I'm really anxious to get this rocking weekend rolling!
And with that I will close this post.
Keep a look out for the video and pictures from Veal with Pears and Rosemary early next week!
Have a great weekend and Happy Eating!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Niman Ranch Pork Chops with Savory Apple Stuffing

Good morning friends and foodies! How was everyone's weekend?
Mine was really great. Saturday evening I prepared my Niman Ranch Pork Chops, and they were amazing. Never before had I ever enjoyed such a juicy, flavorful and (literally) fork tender pork chop. There were rave reviews from everyone who gave it a try, so it's official. Niman Ranch Pork Chops rock beyond all belief. Get some. I assure you, there will be no disappointment.
On Sunday, my family and I celebrated my Pappa's birthday. It was an unseasonably warm weekend here in Chicago, so we took full advantage of it and decided to grill outside.
We made some steaks and a beer can chicken, and I prepared a yellow cake with chocolate frosting for him, and even (tried) to decorate it.
I admit, I don't have the steadiest hand when it comes to cake decorating, but oh well, it still tastes awesome all the same.
I even took some pictures so you all can have a nice hearty laugh at my expense :)
And with that, here is the recipe for Pork Chops with a Savory Apple Stuffing, and I hope you enjoy the pictures! Happy eating foodies.

Niman Ranch Pork Chops, Bone-in, 10 oz each and completely delectable!

Gala Apples, celery, onion, and other assorted deliciousness goes into this savory apple stuffing

Completed Pork Chops. Toss on a plate with some stuffing and mashed potatoes, and the perfect comfort feast has been created!

My sorry attempt at decorating a cake. I know...I should leave it to the pros.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Perfect Fall Weekend- Apple Stuffed Pork Chops

Good Friday morning friends and foodies. It's a gorgeous fall day here in Chicago, and I am really looking forward to doing some cooking over the weekend.
After doing 3 fantastic seafood recipes during October (National Seafood Month) so I figured it's about time we get back to some great gourmet meats!
Admittedly, I am your typical Chicago carnivore.
The average Chicagoan consumes 7lb more beef per year than the average American residing in any other city, and everyone knows Americans consume the most beef overall. So I guess you could call Chicago the beef consumption capitol of the world. I honestly don't even want to see the figures on our pork consumption :)
On the topic of pork....it is going to be the feature item for my recipe this weekend. I'm going to be making a fall favorite of mine with a NEW Lobster Gram product I have never tried before, our Niman Ranch all natural 10oz bone in pork chops. I have only become aware of Niman Ranch in the last year or so since we started working with them, and I have to say...I'm a HUGE fan. The Spiral Cut Holiday Ham we carry I prepared in the office for the trial...it served 20 people and everyone had rave reviews. It's easy to be an awesome cook when you start with outstanding ingredients like meats from Niman Ranch.
Anyway...back to the recipe. Apple Stuffed Pork Chops.
I have a great apple stuffing recipe that will be stuffed into the pork chops and baked.
My kitchen is going to smell like fantastic pork and apples.
In short, my kitchen is going to smell like fall, and I can't wait! It's making me hungry just thinking about it!
So...I won't share the recipe until Monday when I post the video and other image, but to give you an idea of what I'm starting with, here are some images from the frozen shipment that arrived today.
Happy Eating Foodies!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

What Kind of Lobster Tail are You?

Every now and then, we here at Lobster Gram are asked a very simple question, that's not at all easy to answer.
"Which Lobster Tail do you prefer"?
Although there really are only 7 choices, the differences between them are vast.

Cold water lobster tails yield a sweeter, denser lobster meat.

Warm water tails provide a more mild flavor with a velvety texture.

Making Campfire Lobster tails? Go with the New Zealand. Steaming the butter and lemon with them brings out their mild deliciousness.
Making Fettuccine Alfredo with lobster in the sauce? Go with the Maine Lobster tails. Their firm texture and sweetness will pair well with the bold flavor of your cream sauce.
So, we started to think. Does the kind of person you are dictate what food flavors you are drawn to? We think so! Hence, the Lobster Quiz was created to pair your personality with the best matching lobster tail option.
Give it a try and see what lobster tail you are!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Images from Dungeness Crab Stuffed Bell Peppers

Ok folks...here are the images from this week's recipe! These are the first food images I have taken with the new Nikon, and I think they are WAY better than the images I used previously that had been clipped from Flip videos.
Take a look, let me know what you think!

Dungeness Crab Stuffed Bell Peppers

Good Monday morning Foodies, and Happy November! I hope everyone had a great Halloween...I know I did!
It was chilly over the weekend (Shocker, Shocker) so I decided that Sunday would be the day to stay home and cook. This week's recipe: Dungeness Crab Stuffed Bell Peppers.
Honestly folks...this is one of the best crab recipes I have ever enjoyed. The stuffing stayed a bit crisp, the peppers were not overcooked and bursting with flavor and the sweet mild Dungeness crab meat melded so well with the fresh Mozzarella & Parmesan cheeses.
That crab stuffing was to die for. I must find new uses for it, and try it with Lobster. In my experience anything that is awesome with crab, will be even more so with a nice Maine or Tristan Lobster Tail. More on that experiment later!
Also, this weekend was the first time I got to test drive my new Nikon :)
Gone are the days of slightly blurry photography clipped from the Flip camera. My Flip is outstanding when it comes to video, but for still photography, it was time to move on up!
So here are the recipe and video for the Dungeness Crab Stuffed Bell Peppers. Good photography coming soon!

Dungeness Crab Stuffed Bell Peppers
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
The meat of 1 11/2 -2lb Dungeness Crab
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/2 dry minced onion
4 bell peppers
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup shredded fresh mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Sauté vegetables, excluding bell peppers, in clarified butter until tender (about 5 minutes). Mix in the Crab Meat and bread crumbs. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stuff bell peppers and cover tops with cheese. Bake 350°F for 30 minutes covered with tinfoil. Remove tinfoil after 30 minutes and continue to bake for another 10 minutes uncovered until cheese becomes brown on top.
Serve immediately.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Crab Saute Scampi

Good Monday morning Foodies! I hope everyone had a nice relaxing weekend!
I spent Saturday evening preparing another great seafood dish in honor of National Seafood Month! This week's recipe was an easy Crab Saute Scampi with Lobster Gram's Fresh Catch Jonah Crab Meat.
The Fresh Catch Jonah Crab Meat from Lobster Gram is ideal for so many recipes because of how convenient it is! Two lbs of this fresh Jonah Crab Meat already cooked, picked and shelled for you! All you have to do is find your favorite recipe and toss in the crab!
Gourmet does not have to mean complicated! In my experience, the easiest way to create a five star feast is working with quality products and letting that quality shine through.
This recipe is a great example of just that!

How to Make Crab Saute Scampi

12 oz. cooked Jonah Crab meat
1/2 cup butter
3 tablespoons chopped garlic
1/2 cup white wine
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
1/4 cup clam juice or chicken broth
Pinch salt, pepper, garlic powder, and parsley
1 lb. cooked pasta

In a medium sauté pan, melt the 1/4 cup of butter and sauté the garlic until it is golden brown. Add white wine, clam juice or chicken broth and spices and bring to a boil. Let sauce boil away until half is left. Add the crab meat and return to a simmer. Reduce heat, add the remaining butter and simmer until the butter melts and the sauce thickens. Serve at once over your favorite pasta. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Edible...Yes. But I Won't be Cooking Him (Her?)

Here at the office, I have a small fish tank on my desk. Inside this tank is some fish gravel, some fake plastic plants and an electric blue crayfish I have had for about a year.
Crayfish taste good, but I won't allow this guy to get cooked (much to the dismay of a few co-workers)
The other day, he started tearing up his tank. He was climbing the plants as high as he could, and for a while I thought he was trying to escape.
I managed to get some pictures of his aquatic acrobatic routine.
So here is my blue crayfish...acting strange.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Just a Few Images from Vacation!

Ok guys, as promised here are some images from my vacation. I start off with the pictures from the trip home because they are the most recent. The Colors on the way up were just brilliant. Bayfield and Madeline Island are perfect for a secluded get away and seeing the colored trees dusted with fresh snow couldn't have been more picture-perfect. Enjoy!

This is what the trees looked like on the way home. Still colorful and covered in fresh snow!
Snowy Pines on the way Home
"The Shire" That's what I called the boy's attempt to keep snow and wind away from the campsite.

The trees on the drive up were gorgeous!
This is lake superior from behind the La Pointe Indian Cemetery on Madeline Island
Lake Superior from Big Bay Road
Leaving Bayfield Wisconsin on the Boat for Madeline Island
From the Deck: Bayfield