Good Morning, fellow foodies! I hope you are all ready for a new week, and the closing few weeks of summer. We had a fabulous evening yesterday, celebrating John's birthday in true culinary style! When we asked what he wanted, he asked for surf and turf. Well... there's no way you're getting any old boring steak and lobster tail in our kitchen!
Cocktail - Coconut Lemongrass Sake Cocktail
If you've read our posts from the beginning, we once used a Asian Pear Sake from a brand called Moonstone. This is their Coconut Lemongrass Sake! (FYI - Impossible to find... anyone local know where I can pick up more? I found the last 300mL bottle in a small wine shop.) We used the flavored sake, mixed it with some regular sake, shook it good over ice, and then filled martini glasses that had julienned cucumber in it. Simple, easy, soooo delicious! I'll admit, I am not a fan of Sake, but these flavored Sakes are starting to convert me.
Appetizer - Lobster Spring Rolls and Mango Gazpacho
Okay, so we started John's meal with an Asian flair, becuase it's one of his favorite flavor profiles. These spring rolls were superb! The dipping sauce had be redone, however. I'm a big fan of Sriracha sauce, but 3 Tbsp and the sauce we inedible. We ended up boiling a mixture of OJ, pineapple juice, rice wine vinegar, Sake, fresh ginger, sesame oil, and then added a Tbsp of the already made super-spicy sauce. That sauce turned out perfectly. And the gazpacho shooters! Delicious! Not overly sweet, a little spice - the recipe was halved but still made a ton! (We left out the pickled shrimp.)
Appetizer Wine - 2011 Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc Voigner
Wine Advocate - 90/100
We find our new house white! This spectacular California wine opens up with bright scents of peach, pear, and mango with jasmine and tea on the end. On the palate it's full of fruits like nectarine and pineapple, but has a crisp finish with a balanced acidity. Home run, Patrick!
Entree - Cognac Beurre Blanc Shrimp over Filet Mignon Medallions over Lobster Boursin Mashed Potatoes
I'm posting two pictures becuase they are just so pretty! Welcome to our version of kicked-up surf and turf! Let's talk our way through this.
Lobster Boursin Mashed Potatoes - Divine. We saved lobster meat from the appetizer, and then sauteed it up again in the end before folding in with the decadent potatoes. No need for cream, folks, you are reading the recipe correctly! The richness of the Boursin cheese and the stick of butter (no diets on Sundays) blended so well with the lobster chunks. If you're curious, we used russett potatoes. It was what was on hand.
Filet Mignon - Can you ever go wrong? We did filet recently, and we will be shelving it for a while going forward, but is there really any other cut of steak that you could properly use for a Surf and Turf dinner? We grilled a 1.5lb filet roast, and then sliced into medallions after letting it rest for about 5 minutes. We then placed gingerly over those lovely potatoes and topped with the shrimp.
Cognac Shrimp with Beurre Blanc - This will make you sing! We are slowly improving our beurre blanc skills, and this one came out beautifully. (No vinegar, I might add, which threw me off, but it tasted amazing!) The shrimp sauteed in more butter and then with a nice few splashes of Cognac... so sinful! We topped the steak medallions with shrimp and then ladled a little more beurre blanc over the whole dish. No, do not show this meal to your cardioalogist.
Side Dish - Skillet Greens with Crispy Shallots and a Cider Gastrique
Best. Greens. Ever. I don't know how sauteed greens could possibly win out as a favorite dish over filet, beurre blanc, lobster potatoes - but they did! We used a mixture of swiss chard and kale, and it took only about 25 minutes braising time. Round 1 of the shallots did not work - they burnt. Round 2 - you need to dust them in flour and then fry. Watch carefully, remove when you think they're not done... they'll crisp up on the paper towels. We followed the gastrique exactly and drizzled over the final greens once plated. Finger licking good. Save this recipe, you'll be adding it to your Thanksgiving table!
Entree Wine - 2004 Produttori del Barbaresco Ovello Riserva
Wine Advocate - 93/100
Blew us away! When we went to Harry's and told Patrick what we were making, we definitely threw him a curve ball. Steak, seafood, butter sauce? He brought us this full-bodied Italian red that definitely delivered! We decanted it for about 3 hours and were hit with a lovely explosion of spice, licorice, and dark berries on the nose. Tasting resulted in flavors of rich fruits and well-balanced tannins but with a lingering sweetness that avoids that "chalky" aftertaste you get in some Italian reds. A perfect wine to accompany a perfect meal!
Dessert - Rum Mousse with a White Chocolate Hazelnut Crisp
So this is an old family recipe of Jennifer's. John ate it once in a very long time ago, pronounced it his favorite thing ever, and had never had it sense. So Jennifer fished out an old index card that had been well used that still had the recipe written on it. (Once I get the time to type it out, I will... promise.) It's basically a standard egg white mousse recipe but with a lot of rum added. And then this crisp she made! It was an experiment of white chocolate and hazelnuts with some flour to bind. It was delicious! Perfect for dipping into the mousse. Finish it off with some hot toddies, and a fabulous way to end the evening!
Next Week - Spice Rubbed Grilled Fish