Tag Archives: Cancun Mexico

Surf & Turf and Asparagus Risotto

My daughters last dinner at home before heading back to Japan was simple, delicious, expensive but worth every penny!  She wanted lobster since she cannot get a Maine lobster in Japan and since we are true New Englander’s that is the only kind of lobster we like. Trust me I have tried lobster in the Caribbean on several occasions from Cancun to Anegada and several places in between.  The only reason we keep trying it, is people rave about it at this location or this restaurant on this island etc.  So when we mention that we are from New England and we really only like Maine Lobsters they try very hard to build up what they experienced and that we just HAVE to try it.  So on a few occasions we bend and order it; YUP there is still nothing like cold water New England Maine lobster.

Cancun Surf & Turf 2013

Cancun Surf & Turf 2013

 

Anegada Lobster 2012

Anegada Lobster 2012

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Steak is also something my daughter doesn’t really have a chance to enjoy being in so far from home.  So for this meal we bought our most favorite cut of meat Delmonico Ribeye.  Added a little Adobo, fresh cracked black pepper and a little kosher salt and that is all you need; oh and cook it to medium rare and then it just melts in your mouth.  My mouth is watering right now!

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Lobster is very easy to make, generally one per person is fine.  Fill your largest pot with salted water cover and once it comes to a rolling boil add a lobster or two at the most, cover, set a timer for 12 minutes.  Remove from the pot and place on a platter or baking sheet with side, they are messy so if you have as a nice a husband as mine he will get all the meat out of the shells for you.  The mess stays on the tray and you can just toss; take the trash out of the house immediately or better yet make and eat this alfresco.

 

Risotto though time consuming is worth the extra effort.  I added asparagus to this one because we all love it except for my son but he doesn’t mind it as much in this form.

Risotto 

1 ½ Cup Arborio Rice

1 Quart Chicken Stock

½ Cup White Wine

1 medium shallot or small onion chopped finely

3 Tbs unsalted butter

1 Tbs Olive Oil

¼ Cup grated Parmesan Reggiano

1 Tbs chopped Parsley

Kosher Salt to taste

Bunch of Asparagus trimmed and cut into bite size pieces – boil in a little water just till tender but still crisp; remove to ice bath to stop the cooking process.

Heat the stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan, then lower the heat so that the stock just stays hot.

In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the oil and 1 Tbsp of the butter over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the chopped shallot or onion. Sauté for 2-3 minutes or until it is slightly translucent.

Add the rice and stir briskly with a wooden spoon so that the grains are coated with the oil and melted butter. Sauté for another minute or so; until there is a slightly nutty aroma. Don’t let the rice turn brown.

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Add the wine and cooking while stirring, until the liquid is fully absorbed. Add a ladle of hot chicken stock to the rice and stir until the liquid is fully absorbed. When the rice appears almost dry, add another ladle of stock and repeat the process.

Note: It’s important to stir constantly, especially while the hot stock gets absorbed, to prevent scorching, and add the next ladle as soon as the rice is almost dry.

The rice will take on a creamy consistency as it begins to release its natural starches. Continue adding stock, a ladle at a time, for 20-30 minutes or until the grains are tender but still firm to the bite, without being crunchy. If you run out of stock and the risotto still isn’t done, you can finish the cooking using hot water. Just add the water as you did with the stock, a ladle at a time, stirring while it’s absorbed.

Stir in the remaining 2 Tbs butter, the parmesan cheese and the parsley, and season to taste with kosher salt.

Risotto turns glutinous if held for too long; you should serve it right away. A properly cooked risotto should form a soft, creamy mound on a dinner plate.

Sometimes the best food comes from unexpected places

Spent a long weekend in Millinocket ME, had a wonderful time and some great food.  I was unable to blog yesterday as there was no WiFi.  Thought it was pretty comical I had no problem blogging from Cancun Mexico but Northern Maine not going to happen.  I was told the next time I go up there will be. I am sure if I tried a lot harder I could have figured out a way to get it done, but we were so busy with playing and eating. We logged over 120 miles on snowmobiles; which is saying a lot since I have not been on a sled in 10+ years.  It is just like riding a bike – well at least I picked it up again pretty quickly.  Did you know that new sleds have heated hand, feet and butt warmers – Brilliant!!!!

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Millinocket 2-14-14 090

 

 

Mt. Katahdin this morning – view from my friends camp

The sled I borrowed for the weekend

 

 

Sunday we had plans to meet my girlfriends’ nephew and friends for lunch out of the trails then later back at her place for Sunday dinner; there were 9 of us in total.  We brought the turkey from home as they could not get one locally. There was a very lengthy discussion as to when to put the bird in the oven, at what temp, and when we HAD to be back to take it out.  There was a lot of doubt that we would be eating a moist bird.  Our back of plan was lots of gravy and plenty of wine. Well our precise planning worked; dinner was excellent, the bird was juciy and everyone was thrilled. Dessert were very yummy soft peanut butter cookies. Try them if you can.

1 Cup peanut butter

¾ Cup butter

¾ Cup Sugar

¾ Cup Brown Sugar

1 tsp Vanilla

2 Eggs

2 Cups Flour

1 Tsp Soda

Add a handful or two of Chocolate Chips if you want – we did

Cream butters & sugars, stir in vanilla and eggs; add flour and soda till combined.  Either use a cookie scoop or just place about a golf ball size of the dough about 3 inches apart on an ungreased pan or sheet. Cook at 375’ for 10 minutes till slightly brown, do not overcook.  Leave on the ungreased pan for a minute or two till set.  Makes approx. 36 cookies

There are times when no planning garners some pretty amazing results.  On the way home we wanted to stop for a bite to eat.  We ended up down in the Old Port area of Portland.  We saw a place parked and started walking got to the one we saw originally and it just didn’t look right.  My husband said he saw a café a few storefronts back that looked pretty good, at least there were people sitting, eating and smiling; that was his deciding criteria.

olive cafe pizza

What a delightful gem Olive Café turned out to be.  It’s a cozy little Mediterranean Restaurant, great atmosphere and wonderful food.  We each had a salad which were both wonderful and split a pizza.  I was slightly afraid of the ingredients on the pizza but just had to try it.

Chicken Shawarma Pizza – Marinated Grilled Chicken, Garlic Sauce, Chopped Tomatoes, Chopped Parsley, Chopped Pickles, Mozzarella & Feta Cheeses and Sumac garnished with Tahini sauce on a thin crispy crust that was cracker like.  First time ever having pickles on a pizza have no idea was sumac is and don’t recall ever having tahini sauce – it was excellent we ate the whole thing!