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Posts Tagged ‘mickey choate’

Chris-Mick-Pop_IMG_8054

 

We have never been a family that celebrates designated, made-up card sending holidays like Mother’s Day or Father’s Day or even Valentine’s Day. We try very hard to celebrate each other every day. However, this year with the loss of our oldest son, Mickey, to lung cancer we have felt a need to celebrate the men in our family. We post this photo of Steve, my husband and loving step-dad, sandwiched between Mickey and his younger brother, Chris in remembrance of Mickey, the father of Alexander and Clara, on Father’s Day.

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MickeyChoate

 

It is with deep sadness that I share with you the loss of our son, Mickey. His joy and enthusiasm in the kitchen filled our lives with great meals, stimulating conversation, and engaging laughter. He was diagnosed with 4th stage lung cancer in June and passed away in February after a valiant struggle that he (and his family) thought he could win. He was a runner, life-time non-smoker, and in perfect health when the cancer struck. For those of you who have read our recent cookbook, An American Family Cooks, I hope that I was able to share his grace in the kitchen and his love of cooking in a way that will keep him alive for generations. He is deeply, deeply missed.

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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

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AFC_cover

Wonderful News!  Coming this fall from Welcome Books is An American Family Cooks, my dream book, featuring recipes and tales from my family of cooks.  My sons, Mickey and Chris, feature prominently with wine suggestions by Chris a special treat.  My grandchildren will also be found among the pages as will paintings from Steve Kolyer.  We will keep you posted on our activities as the October publishing date gets close.

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