Tuesday, February 20, 2018

BROILED LOBSTER TAILS

It is easier to find frozen lobster tails in your supermarket than live whole lobsters. It also much easier to broil than to boil and clean a whole lobster. This makes a special but quick dinner or first course. We shared a New York strip steak with a lobster tail each. This was our Valentine's Day dinner with a bottle of Prosecco and we shared a slice of double chocolate "to die for" cake.


2 lobster tails, thawed in the refrigerator
6 T unsalted butter
1 clove garlic, pressed
2 t paprika
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Lemon wedges

Preheat broiler.

Using kitchen shears, cut through the top of the shells lengthwise and pull shells open to expose the meat. Turn lobster tails over and cut at the base of each of the little "feet" to release the lobster meat. Gently pull the lobster meat out and on top of shells.
Transfer lobster tails to a baking sheet.
Melt butter in a small saucepan and add the pressed garlic.
Drizzle 1 tablespoons of the melted butter over each lobster tail.
Sprinkle with paprika and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Place under broiler and broil for 8 to 10 minutes, or until meat is opaque and golden brown. Watch carefully so you don’t burn the lobster.

Serve with the rest of the melted butter and lemon wedges.



Friday, February 16, 2018

SOURDOUGH ENGLISH MUFFINS

You will love how delicious these muffins are...much better than store-bought English muffins. If you have your own sourdough in your refrigerator, you can add 3 tablespoons to the dough. I included a quick sourdough recipe for you to make the day before you want to make your muffins. You can leave it out of the recipe for plain muffins. It is absolutely your decision. 
I have seen recipes for English muffins using wide mouth mason jar rings, but they are still too small and a little difficult to remove the rings from the partially cooked muffins. I bought 8 English muffin rings in a kitchen supply store and they were only ($4.99 for 4 rings).


Sour Dough Starter
½ cup all-purpose flour
⅓ cup water
½ t active dry yeast 
½ t honey

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, water, yeast, and honey until well combined.
Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 24 hours. 
The mixture will bubble and expand.
You can skip this process if you already have sourdough starter in your refrigerator or just eliminate it altogether.

Dough

1 cup whole milk
1 T unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 T honey
2 t active dry yeast
3 T sourdough starter (optional) or add 2 T more of milk
1 t sea salt
1 t baking soda
3 cups all-purpose flour
Cooking oil spray
Cornmeal

Warm milk with butter and honey in a small saucepan on the stove or in the microwave.
Do not let the milk get too hot. Stir until honey has dissolved.
Pour into the bowl of a stand mixer and let cool.

Add the yeast. Mix well and set aside for 10 minutes.
Add the starter (if using) and mix in.
Place bowl back onto the mixer fitted with a dough hook.
Add the salt and then the flour and mix until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Cover the bowl with a clean damp tea towel or plastic wrap and set aside in a warm spot for about an hour, until doubled in size.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll it out to a circle and place your 8 muffin rings on top, close together, to make sure you use all of the dough. Sprinkle with flour, if needed. 

Spray the inside of your muffin rings with cooking oil (I spray one area and use my fingers to rub it around the entire ring) and then cut out muffins (leaving rings on) and place on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with oil and dusted with cornmeal.
Cover with a damp tea towel and let rise in a warm spot until they fill the muffin rings to the top. 
Spray tops with cooking oil and sprinkle with cornmeal.

Spray a griddle pan with oil and heat over medium-high heat. 

Lightly brown the muffins, in their rings, on each side for about 2 minutes. 

Do this in 2 batches.


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.


Transfer muffins to the same baking sheet while the oven is preheating.
Bake muffins for 10 minutes.

Let cool completely and then release from rings with a kitchen knife.

To toast, split oven muffins with a fork and toast in your toaster or under a broiler for a minute or so.


Store unused muffins in a plastic storage bag in the refrigerator.


Makes 8 English muffins


Note: You will have leftover dough from around the muffins rings. I make a small loaf of muffin bread with the leftover dough. You can also make 2 additional muffins, if you prefer.




Sunday, February 11, 2018

ASPARAGUS MIMOSA WITH HICKORY SMOKED VIRGINIA SAUSAGES

This can be a side dish for a Sunday brunch or just for a simple breakfast. It was so delicious and we didn't need toast. My sister, Dotti, sent me a Virginia ham, hickory smoked sausages and peppered bacon for Christmas from a company called Edwards of Virginia. The sausages are to die for!


1 to 2 hickory smoked country sausages
1 lb fresh asparagus
1 t sea salt
2 t extra-virgin olive oil
2 t champagne or white wine vinegar
1 t fresh lemon juice and zest
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
A sprinkling of red pepper flakes
2 hard cooked eggs

Start your sausages in a cast-iron skillet first. Cut them into small pieces so they brown all over and fry them in a little avocado oil. Read the instructions on your package for how long to cook them. 


Fill a small saucepan with water and add 2 eggs. Bring to a boil, immediately turn off heat and let eggs sit in hot water, covered with a lit, for 15 to 17 minutes...no longer or you'll have green eggs and ham.


When sausages are cooked. Spoon them out onto a paper town lined plate and keep warm in the oven.


In another saucepan, fill halfway with water and bring to a boil. Add some salt and the trim the tough ends off of the asparagus. Let them boil in the water for about 2 to 3 minutes until al dente (not completely soft). Place in a pretty dish and drizzle with olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, and zest.


Drain the water from the pan and shake the eggs in the pan to crackle the shells (makes it easier to peel). Peel them under cold water and the membrane will come off easily. 

Chop the eggs and place on top of the asparagus. Add the chopped sausage or set them in a small bowl next to the asparagus for vegetarians to enjoy this dish and people who love sausages can sprinkle them on top of theirs.

Season with salt and pepper and a sprinkling of red pepper flakes.


Serves 4 as a side dish




Monday, February 5, 2018

MANGO-ORANGE TEQUILA SUNRISE

This is a perfect drink for Cinco de Mayo or anytime during the spring or summer.  I included a photo of one of our sunrises here on the island. 



8 ounces silver tequila
6 ounces mango juice
6 ounces orange juice
2 ounces fresh lime juice
2 ounces creme de cassis or grenadine

In a large pitcher or glass measuring cup, add the tequila, mango juice, orange juice, and lime juice. Mix to combine.

In 2 or 4 tall cocktail glasses, add about 4 ice cubes to each.
Pour in the tequila mixture and then drizzle in the creme de cassis and do not stir.

Makes 4 drinks