Tag Archives: Caribbean

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.

Viking Stove – Bedazzled

Image

Before

During

During – My adorable husband

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After

Everything needs a little freshening up after a decade of hard work; we have been in our home that we built for 10 years now.  Thankfully it was built by a very detail oriented hardworking perfectionist; my husband; so the quality of material and attention to details that we put into our home has stood the test of time.  I lovingly say that the home was built with his sweat, our blood (I helped where I could) and my tears!  We personally freshen up by vacationing in the Caribbean if not every year definitely every other year.

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Over time homes need a new coat of paint, maybe some re-arranging or updating.  A few rooms recently received a fresh coat of paint; I am in the process of re-designing my daughter’s room from what she picked out when she was 12 to an adult bedroom. Here is a small glimpse of what I have done so far a long way to go but it’s a start.

My Viking stove which I can safely say with good authority has done probably the most work in our home without a lot of attention; other than regualr cleaning I did just have to replace the igniter’s in both ovens; but so far that is it.  I first fell in love with my stove when I saw it in a magazine over 20 years ago. I ripped it out of the magazine and started a file folder of must haves.  Another idea I saw in a magazine 10 years while we were designing/building. Unfortunately I didnt rip it out which I kick myself for; it took me 10 years to get it built but it was totally worth the wait.  If you look at the above photo of my daughters room the bookcase is actually a doorway to a fairly large storage area.  I LOVE it my husband did an awesome job.

When we decided to build; it was actually always the plan when we bought our first home; it just took a lot longer than, at least I anticipated.  I had 2 stipulations to building.  We build a kitchen around my stove and we don’t end up in divorce court. My words verbatim “if I can’t have my stove, I don’t want the house” I fought long and hard and I can honestly share with you; it could have gone either way on both counts!

For those of you who have built their own homes and had a “budget” I use that term loosely; I have yet to meet ANYONE who has come in on or below their “budget” When it comes time to purchase appliances; there is not a lot of money left.  My husband begged me to not buy the Viking, he tried everything in his power to back out of this stipulation, offering to buy me two stoves and put then next to each other; leaving space for it to come later.  I being so damn stubborn put my foot down; needless to say he will concede today that it was a great decision.

While sitting here writing about my Viking it reminds me of the character that was in love with his typewriter played by Greg Kinnear in You’ve Got Mail LOL – I have issues.

Most people when they come over LOVE my kitchen area and of course my Viking; I have had a few people ask if I actually cook like that; trust me I do!  Just this weekend our good friends who spent the weekend with us asked if I used all 6 burners. Yes I do!  A lot of people want to cook on my stove; come on over – since starting my cooking class; many people have now cooked on my Viking.

Probably my most often cooked and family favorite meal is a Roaster Chicken with mashed potatoes, steamed carrots, frozen peas, butternut squash and pan gravy!  My mouth is watering right now!  Here is how I prepare most all of my birds for the oven.

I use kosher salt, fresh cracked black pepper and Adobo inside and out – liberally!  I never stuff any of my birds; Turkey or Chicken with dressing.  I always use onions and apples sliced up and placed inside the carcass.  It makes for awesome tasting gravy.  I also take the water from the veggies I cooked and add it to the pan drippings to help make the gravy – I swear by it!