Thursday, March 19, 2009

Grilled Maine Lobster with Asian Dipping Sauce it's days like today that I absolutely LOVE my job. This morning we got a return package from FedEx. Apparently it delivered slightly after the FedEx deadline, and the customer refused the package. So we had the driver send it back to the office here in Chicago because it was closer than the warehouse in Maine, and when it arrived this morning, we found that all 12 Live Lobsters had successfully made the trip from Maine, to the customers home, and then back across the country to Chicago alive and kicking! That only means one thing here in the office...Lunch is on the Boss! I found this fantastic lobster recipe on (awesome site FYI) that I have never tried (shock, faint & fall over) and it looks easy to double. I volunteered to be the office Chef today, so I get to spend my day preparing a rocking lobster lunch for some of my favorite people. Days like this are great. Last night's dinner at my new place was a lot of fun as well. Even amidst the half unpacked boxes that are seemingly everywhere in my house at the moment, my friends and I had a relaxing time cooking, eating and enjoying each others company. I should do that again very soon! Hope you are all having a great day Foodies! Happy eating!

Grilled Lobster Recipe from Lobster Gram

  • Six 1 1/4-pound Live Maine lobsters
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup Asian fish sauce
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Asian chili paste
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves
  • Garnish- lime halves
Recipe Directions
Bring an 8-quart kettle three fourths full with water to a boil for lobsters. Mince garlic and in a bowl stir together with fish sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, water, and chili paste. Dipping sauce may be made up to this point 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Plunge 2 lobsters headfirst into boiling water and cook 3 minutes (lobsters will be only partially cooked). Transfer lobsters with tongs to a colander to drain and cool. Return water to a boil and cook remaining 4 lobsters in same manner. When lobsters are cool enough to handle, twist off tails and break off the claws at body of each lobster, discarding bodies. With stainless steel kitchen shears halve lobster tails (including shells) lengthwise. (Do not remove tail or claw meat from shells.) Lobsters may be prepared up to this point 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. (If making ahead, chill lobster immediately and keep chilled until ready to grill.) Prepare grill. Chop cilantro and mint and stir into dipping sauce. Measure out 1/4 cup dipping sauce to use for basting lobster tails. Grill claws on a rack set 5 to 6 inches over glowing coals, covered, turning them occasionally, until liquid bubbles at open ends, about 5 minutes, and transfer to a serving platter. Arrange tails on grill, cut sides up, and brush with basting sauce. Grill tails, covered, basting occasionally, 6 minutes, or until meat is opaque.Serve lobster with dipping sauce and lime halves.
Source: Grilled Lobsters with Asian Style Dipping Sauce

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Pan Roasted Pork Chops with Cranberries and Red Swiss Chard

I decided that tonight, I'm going to stop unpacking and setting up for one evening (the work will still be there tomorrow) and invite some firends over for dinner. After two nights of delicious shrimp I have decided it's time for some meat!
I'm going to be making pan roasted bone in pork chops with cranberries and red swiss chard. It's a lengthy recipe for a Wednesday, but I have not taken the time to truly enjoy cooking lately and it's getting to me. I have to get better at making time to do the things I love. So I figure the best way to start doing that is to invite people over who's company I enjoy, crack open a few bottles of wine and share and awesome meal together. Take some time out for yourselves today's worth it and so are you and your happiness!

Bone In Pork Chop with Cranberries and Red Swiss Chard Recipe from Lobster Gram
For Swiss chard

  • 1/3 cup minced shallots (2 medium)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 lb red Swiss chard, stems and center ribs cut out and chopped together, leaves coarsely chopped separately
For pork chops
  • 4 1 1/4-inch-thick pork chops
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
For sauce
  • 1/3 cup minced shallots (2 medium)
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 cup fresh or thawed frozen cranberries (4 1/2 oz)
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock or broth
  • 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Recipe Directions
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Prepare Swiss chard: Cook shallots and garlic in butter in an ovenproof 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add chard stems and center ribs and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add leaves and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until tender, 6 to 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then transfer chard to a heavy saucepan and wipe out skillet.
Cook pork chops: Pat chops dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown chops, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer skillet to oven and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally 2 inches into meat registers 155°F, 7 to 9 minutes. Transfer chops with tongs to a platter, leaving fat in skillet, and cover chops loosely with foil to keep warm.
Make sauce: Sauté shallots in fat remaining in skillet over moderately high heat, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add wine and deglaze by boiling over high heat, scraping up brown bits, until reduced by half. Add cranberries and stock and simmer, stirring occasionally, until cranberries begin to burst, about 2 minutes. Stir in brown sugar and thyme and simmer, stirring, until berries are collapsed, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter until incorporated, then season with salt and pepper.
Assemble dish: While sauce is cooking, reheat chard over moderate heat, stirring. Divide among 4 plates and top with chops, then spoon sauce over.
Source: Roasted Pork Chops with Cranberries and Red Swiss Chard

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Salt Roasted Shrimp with Simple Scampi Dip

Last night's dinner was fantastic, but I bought waaaayyy more shrimp than I needed for it! I guess my eyes were just bigger than my stomach when I went grocery shopping lol. So's going to be shrimp again (not complaining....I could eat shrimp every day!) But tonight, it's going to be done in an entirely different way, and it won't be nearly as healthy because of all the butter but, whatever. Butter makes things taste great, this recipe is too easy to prepare, and it ensures I won't waste any wonderful shrimp so that's all the reason in the world I need! I love talking myself into things haha.
Thankfully my kitchen is coming together pretty nicely. Unpacking and setting up a new house is fun, but really tiresome after a while. Once I have a majority of the house set up, I'm going to do another video blog post to show off my new kitchen ;). I'm Going to have to come up with a killer menu for that escapade...this is going to be FUN!

Spring Veggie and Shrmp Recipe From Lobster Gram

  • 1 4-pound box rock salt
  • 16 large shrimp
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 stick of chilled unsalted butter, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
Recipe Directions
Spread salt in 13x9x2-inch baking dish. Arrange shrimp in single layer atop salt. Preheat oven to 500°F. Boil wine, lemon juice, and garlic in saucepan over medium-high heat until liquid is reduced to 1 tablespoon, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Add a few pieces of butter; whisk until creamy. Return pan to low heat. Add a few more pieces of butter; whisk until smooth (do not let mixture boil). Continue whisking in butter, a few pieces at a time. Stir in parsley; season with salt and pepper. Let stand while shrimp cook. Roast shrimp on salt until just opaque in center and shells are pink, 6 to 7 minutes. Transfer sauce to bowl; nestle in salt.
Source: Salt Roasted Shrimp with Scampi Sauce

Monday, March 16, 2009

Spring Veggie Risotto with Shrimp

Looks like the spring weather is starting to arrive in Chicago! It's going to be about 60 today, and the rest of the week looks great too! Days like this put me in the mood for light spring time dinners, so tonight it's going to be spring veggie risotto and shrimp. This is the perfect light recipe to put you in a spring like mood! Happy eating foodies!

Spring Veggie and Shrmp Recipe From Lobster Gram

  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 8 ounces asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 cups arborio or carnaroli rice
  • 1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoons fresh parsley or basil leaves, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
Recipe Directions
In 2-quart saucepan, heat broth, water, and wine to boiling on high. When boiling, add asparagus and cook 2 minutes. With slotted spoon, remove asparagus to small bowl; set aside. Meanwhile, in microwave-safe 4-quart bowl or casserole, combine oil, onion, and carrot. Cook, uncovered, in microwave on High 3 minutes or until vegetables begin to soften. Add rice and stir to coat with oil; cook, uncovered, on High 1 minute. Stir hot broth mixture into rice mixture. Cover bowl with vented plastic wrap, and cook in microwave on Medium (50% power) 15 minutes or until most of liquid is absorbed and rice is tender but still firm, stirring halfway through cooking. Add shrimp, frozen peas, and cooked asparagus; cover and cook in microwave on High 3 to 4 minutes longer or just until shrimp lose their pink color throughout. Do not overcook; mixture will look loose and soupy but will thicken to the proper creamy consistency after cooking. Stir in lemon juice, parsley, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground black pepper. Makes about 10 cups.
Source: Spring Veggie Risotto with Shrimp