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Posts Tagged ‘lobster salad’

Chanterelle_4546

 

Nobody loves mushrooms more than my son, Mickey.  He would eat them daily and the more obscure and expensive they are the more he likes them.  His usually are part of a rich sauce to accompany venison, or lamb, or lobster and he would never think of “wasting” them in pasta.  I, however, think they make a perfect mating with cheese and noodles so this is one of the ways I find to use beautiful chanterelles.  I find that they absorb the fattiness of the butter and cheese which only enhances their delicate, nutty flavor.

1 pound dried malfalda pasta or other noodles with a rippled or ridged edge
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 shallot, peeled and minced
½ pound chanterelle mushrooms, cleaned and cut in half, lengthwise, if very large
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
Salt and pepper
1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
¼ cup chopped parsley
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Cracked black pepper for garnish

Place the pasta in a large pot of heavily-salted boiling water set over high heat.  
Return the water to the boil and boil according to package directions until al dente.  Remove from the heat and drain well, reserving about ½ cup of the cooking water.
While the pasta is cooking, combine the butter and olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the shallot and cook, stirring frequently, for about 2 minutes or just until softened.  Add the chanterelles and thyme and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes or just until the mushrooms are tender.  Remove from the heat.
When the pasta has cooked, add the drained pasta to the mushroom mixture, tossing to blend well.  Add the ricotta and parsley and again toss to coat.  Add a bit of the reserved pasta cooking water if necessary to “loosen” the sauce.  Taste and, if necessary, add salt and pepper.
Pour the pasta into a large pasta serving bowl.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and a bit of cracked black pepper and serve.

 

Chanterelle_4513

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20130519_Kol+Mick_Mick's_Quail_DSC_0548

About every 3 months or so, Mickey, my son, and his best pal and our on-blog painter, Steve Kolyer (aka Uncle Kol) get together to cook a magnificent feast.  This past weekend we got the benefit of one such feast.
It began with pizza on the grill for all of us to snack on while the guys cooked.  We had a couple of different kinds – the usual margarita, a goat cheese and mushroom, and a fig mix that was delicious.
Then – just to help out, I threw some soft shell crabs on the grill, made some lemon butter, and this gave us another quick snack while more cooking was going on.  Not that we actually needed it!
The star of the day was Uncle Kol’s Lobster Salad with Gazpacho Aspic.  Here is what Kol did to WOW us.
•     Made the aspic ahead of time as follows:
•    To make the juices for the aspics:
•     Cucumber – shredded and mixed with salt and hung in a cheesecloth bag overnite allowing the juices to drain into a clean container.
•    Tomato – cut in half, crosswise, and roasted in the oven until soft; salted and hung in a cheesecloth bag overnite allowing the juices to drain into a clean container.
•    Bell peppers – whole, roasted in the oven until soft, chopped in a food processor and hung in a cheesecloth bag overnite allowing the juices to drain into a clean container.
•    Wine/herb Sauvignon Blanc with mint, basil, thyme, savory, celery leaves, lemon, orange zest, peppercorns.  Placed the herbs in the wine and heated until just hot.  Set aside to cool.  Reserved some of the herb-infused wine for the vinaigrette.  Salted and added a packet of unflavored gelatin to the remainder.  Placed in a cup and chilled.
•    After hanging, all of the vegetable waters were squeezed out of their cheesecloth bags.  Tasted for salt and, if necessary, sugar.  Warmed and individually added unflavored gelatin (1 cup liquid to 1 packet gelatin).  Placed in cups and chilled until set and well-set.
•    When ready to serve, cut the aspic into cubes, keeping each flavor separate.  Kept them well-chilled just until the last minute.
•     Poach the lobster and remove from the shell.  Cut the body, crosswise, into medallions.
•    Make a salad of baby watercress and arugula with sorrel, chives, oregano, basil, and edible flowers and dress with a lemon vinaigrette (extra virgin olive oil, lemon oil, Dijon mustard, herb-infused wine, salt and pepper).  Garnish the salad with heirloom cherry tomatoes and finely diced shallots.
•    To plate:  Place the sliced lobster and a claw on each plate.  Dress with a touch of the vinaigrette and garnish with chopped chives.  Place a little mound of salad to the side along with the tomatoes and a sprinkle of shallots.  Toss the cubes of aspic together and pile an equal portion on each plate.  Decorate each plate with dots of thickened sherry vinegar.
NOW HOW DO YOU LIKE THAT FOR A SATURDAY AFTERNOON SALAD????  AND AREN’T WE LUCKY?????
Then Mickey followed up with Grilled Whole Boneless Quail Stuffed with a Whole Fig (that had been wrapped in prosciutto).  This was quite an adventure as I tried to help him bone whole quail without tearing through to the flesh or skin.  We kinda succeeded, but if you really want to know how to do it properly I think you will find a tutorial by Jacques Pepin on YouTube.  Grilled, they were absolutely delicious, if not chef-perfect.  We are determined to practice and get it perfect next time.
And, finally, Mickey made a wonderful Grilled Tuna with White Beans, Olives and Tomatoes with a few sprigs of baby arugula for a touch of color.  Light, but wonderfully reminiscent of the south of France.  I would eat this every day if I could.
Do you think we are spoiled?  I do.

KolandMickey

20130519_Kol+Mick_Mick's_Tuna_DSC_0559

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