Food Musings

A Winnipeg blog about the joy of preparing food for loved ones and the shared joy that travel & dining brings to life.

Crab Rolls

June18

D and I once drove from Quebec City to Provincetown, Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  Our first night was in Rockport Maine.  We were very excited about our first feed of seafood and chose a restaurant way out on the end of a pier.  The restaurant was an octagon shape like a gazebo and everyone including us, had a view of the sunset. When it was time to order, we were intrigued by what the menu highlighted as their house specialty –crab rolls.  When we inquired with our server what these were, here’s how she described them; “Oh, it’s like a crab salad on a hotdog bun. I don’t know what the big deal is”.  Needless to say, we made another selection.  I don’t remember if we stopped again for seafood along the way, but it wouldn’t have mattered because we were just not tempted to try a crab salad on a hotdog bun.

 

On one of last days on the Cape, we went whale watching.  It was about noon and we decided to order something for lunch on board.  The selection was poor (a can of tomato soup), so we dashed off the boat, as it was still loading and went to a little stand near the pier.  No-all they have are crab rolls!  We begrudgingly ordered one each.

OH MY GOODNESS!  They were one of the tastiest seafood meals we had on our two week trip.  The crab was so fresh it felt like it would dance in your mouth and the bun was just baked and soft and sweet, but the outside was crusty and chewy.  We thought we had died and gone to sandwich heaven.

Later that afternoon, when we got off the whale watching boat, we went back to the stand and ordered two more for our dinner.  I think we came back the next day for lunch too.  If you work in the hospitality industry…take note.  It may be a boring, old sandwich to you but to a tourist or new customer, it may be their little taste of heaven.

Kath’s quote: “There was an Old Person of Hyde,
Who walked by the shore with his bride,
Till a Crab who came near,
     fill’d their bosoms with fear,
And they said, ‘Would we’d never left Hyde!'”-
Edward Lear  (1812-1888)

.

Lobster Dumplings with Chile & Cilantro Accents

June17

 My friend Laura brought this recipe unassembled to my place for a  summer lunch and we showed the rest of our co-workers how to form and steam the dumplings.  This dish is expensive to make and very time consuming and it is worth the investment of both.

Friends & fellow foodies-Allan and Laura

1 ½ lb. live lobster

6 c loosely packed spinach leaves (about 8 oz.)

1/3 c chopped jicama

2 whole green onions, minced

½ lb ground chicken

1 T finely mined fresh ginger

2 T thin soy sauce

1 T dry sherry

¼ t freshly ground white pepper

40 won ton skins, preferably round

Cornstarch for dusting

Sauce:

2 c whipping cream

½ c white wine

2 t dark sesame oil

½ t salt

Large pinch saffron

1 T very finely minced fresh ginger

Garnish

¼ c Thai chilli sauce

½ c chopped fresh cilantro

Over highest heat, bring 4 inches of water to a vigorous boil in a large pot.  Add the lobster, head first, then cover the pot and steam until the lobster turns bright red, about 6 minutes.  Remove the lobster from the water and cool to room temperature,  cut the lobster in half lengthwise with a heavy knife or poultry scissors.  Remove all the meat.  Cut the lobster meat into pieces small enough to fit inside the dumpling.

Thoroughly wash the spinach leaves.  Ina 2 ½ qt. saucepan, bring 1 inch of water to a vigorous boil,  Add the spinach and turn it in the boiling water until it wilts, about 20 seconds.  Transfer the spinach to a colander to drain, then rinse with cold water and drain again.  Using your hands, press all of the water from the spinach, then mince.  In a large bowl, combine the lobster, spinach, jicama, green onions, chicken, ginger, soy sauce, sherry and white pepper.  Mix with your fingers until thoroughly combined.

Within 5 hours of cooking, fold the dumplings: if the won tons are square, trim into circles.  Add 2 t filling the centre of each won ton skin.  Moisten the edges with water and fold the won ton in half over the filling., then pinch the edges together firmly.  Moisten each end of the dumpling , then touch the ends together so that the dumplings look like caps.  Place the dumplings in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with non-stick cooking (parchment) paper and dusted with cornstarch.  Refrigerate uncovered.

Make the sauce: in a small bowl, combine the cream, wine, sesame oil, salt and saffron, then refrigerate.  Separately set aside the ginger and garnishes. 

Last minute cooking: Bring 6 litres of water to a vigorous boil,  add the dumplings and give them a gentle stir.  When the dumplings float to the surface, after about 3 minutes gently tip them into a colander to drain.

While the dumpling water is coming to a boil and the dumplings are cooking, place the sauce in a 12 inch sauté pan.  Bring to a rigour boil over high heat and cook until the sauce thickens enough to lightly coat a spoon, about 2 minutes.  Stir in the mined ginger.  Taste & adjust seasonings, especially for salt & pepper.  Transfer the dumplings to a bowl, add the sauce, and toss gently.

Place the dumplings and sauce on a heated platter.  Garnish the edge of the sauce with dots of chile sauce.  Sprinkle on the cilantro and serve at once.

Kath’s quote: “A truly destitute person is not one without riches, but the poor wretch who has never partaken of lobster.”-anonymous

La Lomita

June16

This photo was taken on Hidalgo, no where near the restaurant.  But I like the shot because for me it kind of depicts the uniqueness of Isla Mujeres (check out the Sesame Street fabric on the dog).

One of my favourite restaurants on Isla is unique as well, to say the least.  A kind of haphazard decor, irregular service and one of the most basic kitchens I have snuck a peak at -BUT THE FOOD!

Chicken soup sounds pretty basic-it was divine.  The broth was bursting with flavour and the pulled chicken so fresh tasting.

This is empty lot next to the restaurant.  The first time I ate there in 2005 there were chickens living here-now that’s fresh!

Freshness continues to their papas fritas-upon ordering they peel and slice the potato and drop it into a shallow fryer.  The piece de resistance is the wedge of lime that comes with every order.  You’ll never want to eat your fries any way else.

Ophelia’s Chilies Relleno-nuff said.

On this day, my companion and I shared this lunch as we were trying to fit many food destinations into our final days.  I can’t specifically recall the price but I think we each put in the equivalent of $7. and we were stuffed.  We had to walk along the sea wall to wear it off.  Ahh Isla…..

Kath’s quote:

“Tropical the island breeze
All of nature wild and free
This is where I long to be l
a isla bonita”- Madonna


Guest Blogger: Sis #3 & Spring Pt 2

June15

Continued from Part 1:

Honeydew With Smoked Salmon Recipe
Serves 8 – I only made ½ recipe but should have made the whole one!
    1 honeydew
    1 T fresh lime juice
    16 slices smoked salmon (lox)
    fresh ground pepper, to taste    1 T snipped fresh dill (to garnish) (optional)

Cut honeydew into quarters, remove the seed and rind.  Cut each quarter into 4 thin wedges and sprinkle with lime juice.  Wrap a slice of salmon around the center of each wedge and place 2 on individual plates.  Sprinkle with pepper and dill before serving.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus Spears
    30 medium-thin asparagus stalks
    4 oz peppered Boursin cheese, softened
    1/4 lb thinly sliced prosciutto
    1/4 c honey mustard

Trim the asparagus stalks so that the spears are 5 inches long. In a deep skillet bring 1 1/2 inches salted water to a boil and cook the asparagus until they are crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. In a colander drain the asparagus and rinse under cold water. Drain the asparagus well on paper towels.
In a bowl mash the Boursin with a fork until it is smooth. Cut 1 slice of prosciutto lengthwise into 1-inch strips and spread each strip with about 1/2 teaspoon Boursin. Spread about 1/4 teaspoon mustard over the Boursin and wrap each strip in a spiral around an asparagus spear, trimming any excess. Make more hors d’oeuvres with the remaining prosciutto, Boursin, mustard, and asparagus spears in the same manner.

Tomato and Avocado-Goat Cheese Crostini
35 -40 crostini
    1 French baguette
    1/3 c olive oil
    2 t garlic, minced
    2 ripe avocados
    4 oz mild goat cheese
    1/4 t salt
    1 1/2 c roma tomatoes, seeded, diced 1/4-inch
    1 T extra virgin olive oil
    1/2 t salt
    1/4 t black pepper
    1/4 c fresh basil, chopped
    basil leaves, for garnish

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Slice the bread into 1/4″ thick diagonal slices. In a little bowl, combine garlic and olive oil.   Brush bread slices lightly with garlic oil.   Arrange on baking sheets in single layers.   Bake crostini for 10-15 minutes, till golden brown and crisp.  Remove from oven and let cool.   These can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container.   Be sure to let cool completely before storing.  In a bowl combine avocado, goat cheese and salt.  Mix until smooth. (To make in advance, save avocado pit and bury in mixture to prevent browning.).  In a separate bowl, combine tomato, extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and basil.  To serve, spread each crostini with about 1 tablespoon of avocado mixture, then top with tomato-basil mixture.  Garnish with small basil leaves if desired.

Kath’s quote:   “A world without tomatoes is like a string quartet without violins.”-Laurie Colwin

posted under Recipes | No Comments »

Guest Blogger: Sis #3 & Spring Part 1

June14

Summer must be on the way because my friends have started to once again assemble on the K’s deck for delicious food and drink.  Last year’s monthly themes were various countries, but the kick off Happy Hour for 2010 was based on the theme of Spring.  What could be better.  The cocktails were light and refreshing, the fruit and veggies fresh and tasty.  Here are the recipes.

Spring Fever Cocktail
1-1/2 parts vodka
1/2 part Tuaca (vanilla & citrus liquor)
1 part mango juice concentrate
2-1/2 part lime juice (used limeade)
1-1/2 part  sprite
1 mango sliced
1 mango slice for garnish
 
Add all ingredients to pitcher and stir. Pour into a glass filled with ice.  Garnish with mango slice.

Fresh Fruit With Starry Strawberry Cream
Strawberry cream:
3/4  cup  sliced strawberries
1/2  cup  vanilla low-fat yogurt
1  tablespoon  1/3-less-fat cream cheese
1  teaspoon  fresh lemon juice1/2  teaspoon  powdered sugar

Place ingredients in a blender; process until smooth. Cover and chill. Serve with fresh fruit

Kath’s quote:   The strawberry: “Doubtless God could have made a better berry, but doubtless God never did.”-Dr William Butler, 17th century 

« Older EntriesNewer Entries »