Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Little Nor'easter Dinner Party

Welcome to the first installment of July's three-part regional cuisine month! Since it's 'merica's birthday month,  I will be featuring weekly foods and crafts influenced by the diverse-ish cultures we have in America. This week we're putting on our Top-Siders and seersucker for a nautical-themed dinner. Keep in mind that even though the menu sounds pricey, it's much cheaper than getting lobster at a restaurant. I mostly decided to get all fancy because my sister came to town and we're classy broads. Now pass me that Carlo Rossi!

Eastwick Cherry Pie
Of all the fruit pies, I think cherry is my second favorite. I try to make at least one per summer. What twenty-three year old boy has a ceramic pie plate? This lucky boy! Cherry pie can be really over the top or really trashy, I'd like to think mine is somewhere between Baker's Square and those Hostess snacky-pie-devil-thingies. I am reviled by canned fruit-goo pie filling, fruit pies should always be made with fresh fruit. Unless you have a handy-dandy cherry pitter (which I don't because that's stupid), be prepared for cherry juice to stain your fingers!

You will need the following:  

(for crust) 
2.5 c flour
2 sticks cold butter
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/3 c + 1 tbsp ice water

(for filling)
1.5-2 lbs bing(er) cherries
3/4 c sugar
3 tbsp corn starch
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp pie spice

Step 1: Make the best pie crust ever by cutting little pieces of cold butter into dry ingredients. Push butter into flour until it's mostly smooth. Add little bits of cold water to bring dough together. Split dough in half and roll out two crusts. Wrap in plastic and chill. 

Step 2: Pit all your cherries by popping them in half, like so:

Step 3: Mix cherries with lemon juice, sugar, starch, spice and vanilla: 

Step 3: Fit one pie crust into pie plate: 

Step 4: Fill crust and begin building a lattice top from the second pie crust: 

Step 5: Brush top with milk and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Bake 425 for 30 mins. Remove pie and place it on a cookie sheet and reduce temp to 350. Bake 20-25 minutes longer. 

$ Baked Lobster Tails $

Nope, you're not at the Red Lobster, this is my apartment! Lobster (for two) is super simple and really not all that expensive. I got my frozen tails at the supermarket seafood counter. As long as you get cold water tails, they'll be fine. To distinguish between cold and warm water tails, look at some websites. This was my first experience with lobster in general, I used to be horribly allergic to shellfish...but after this dinner, I think I'm hooked. Sorry guys, no cheesy biscuits. 

you will need the following: 

2 (5oz) cold water lobster tails
1 stick of butter
1 lemon 
2 cloves roasted garlic

Step 1: Prepare your marinade by melting butter and skimming the fat from the top. Squeeze in roasted garlic, lemon juice and paprika. Keep warm and liquidy.

Step 2: Once your tails thaw, take a pair of scissors and cut the shell down the middle: 

Step 3: This part is gross, but pull the meat away from the membrane, careful not to disconnect it from the shell. Push the broken shell back together and set the meat on top. Remove the vein and open the meat like butterfly wings. Baste in marinade and sprinkle with paprika: 

Step 4: Fill a cake pan with one tablespoon of water and bake tails for 20 minutes at 350. Serve with butter and hot lemon slices. Lobster should be served at 140 degrees.

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