Sunday, July 29, 2012

Seafood Dinner, 4 Minutes 'til Done.

I love to cook (surprise!).  I even love preparing food I don't personally care for.  It is not difficult to appreciate how flavors, textures, and colors will work together without ever taking a bite.  This weekend I made a seafood meal for friends who came to visit and enjoyed every moment of it.  I don't have a lot of photos because I was too busy enjoying the company.

Seafood cooks very quickly, so it is important to have everything prepped and measured and ready to go before you begin.  I needed to broil a lobster tail, saute shrimp, fry crab cakes, and steam mussels all at once, so I readied my pans and had the extra  lemon, garlic, flour, oil, and broth at the ready.

It was such a circus keeping everything going to be ready on time there are no process photos (should have given Ed my camera to shoot some).  All I have is the before and after of the lobster tail I made.  I used my shears to clip the shell, and my fingers to loosen the meat.  The meat is then laid on top for broiling.

In fact, there are not many after photos either, but here is what I do have.  You can see Breck had already settled in to his spot and was ready to eat so I didn't have a lot of extra time.

The broiled lobster turned out great (4 minutes, add more butter, 4 more minutes, done).  The steamed mussels (4 minutes steamed in a covered pot with butter, white wine, and garlic, done) all opened and were beautiful as well.

The crab cakes were so easy to make in advance, so all I had to do was fry them (4 minutes per side) and serve them up with a remoulade (I used mustard with horseradish in it for this.  Yum.).  I should have sprinkled with parsley and swirled some lemon peel on these, but honestly I was focused on getting it all on the table while it was hot and flavorful.

I coated the crab cakes with a mix of flour and blackening spice before frying for extra flavor
Then there was the sauteed shrimp.  Yes, 4 minutes, turn, 4 minutes more.  Are you seeing a pattern here?

Shrimp was coated in flour and cooked in butter, oil, and garlic and broth was added in the end for a sauce.
Of course we had some veggies as well.  Roasted Brussel sprouts and red potatoes.  Great combination.

45 minutes for potatoes seasoned with ancho chili powder and 35 for Brussel sprouts with oil and salt.
A meal like this begs for completion.  We had a creamy Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee  that was wonderful, though I am a bit biased since creme brulee is one of my two favorite desserts ever.  Sorry, no photo, but here is the screen shot from and Emeril Lagasse where I got the recipe.

Now I mentioned at the beginning I enjoy cooking food I know others will enjoy even if I don't care for it.  Case in point, I don't eat lobster (Diane does!), mussels, or shrimp.  It has only been recently that I will eat crab, and only in a crab cake.  Funny.  Will you cook food you won't eat?

Great weekend.  We always enjoy having the company, and we had not seen Ed and Diane in awhile.  Can't wait until they come back again.  Maybe in the fall?  I better start planning the menu.