Thursday, February 12, 2015

A Little Valentine's Special

Valentine's Day is a very special time at The Little Dinner Party. There's a heart shaped cake, chalky hearts, lovemaking and homemade paper-craft cards. To those of you who got my Marie Antoinette Valentines this year, you're welcome, and for those of you who didn't - you know what you did. Let me eat cake I say, as I reach my fork back into another slice of chocolate-cherry cake (See Instagram). 

I think a lot of people have a huge Valentines misconception, as exemplified by those god awful overstuffed teddy bears and fake roses near the check-out at Walgreens. Also Spotify ads are slowly trying to turn Valentine's Day into the second coming of Christmas. Just because you can advertise new tires as a romantic gift, does not mean they are. I've yet to meet the woman or gay man who wants new tires as a gift. I will take a candle-lit dinner at the Waffle House though. 

I may forget to shower or take my medication, but I never miss a holiday. Holidays, no matter what they symbolize are an excuse to break your diet and eat something delicious, be it a lobster pot pie or a Whitman's Sampler. You've earned it, I bet. My mom always made Valentine's Day special and I plan to do the same thing for the kids I never plan to have. Kids wouldn't appreciate lobster pot pie anyway. If it's just the two of you this year, treat yourself to some god damned decadence. I'm not sure why I equate lobster with romance, but I do. 

Lobster Pot Pie in a Cheddar Bay Crust

This was certainly not my first attempt at making this, but this time it was actually good.  In case you find a Cosmopolitan recipe floating around out there - stay away. Cosmo's recipes are as luke warm as their sex tips. I made that for a friend in her kitchen once and it was terrible. That's why it's important to cook in your own kitchen with your own recipes. Yeah, you can get 20 pot pies for a dollar at the store, but should you? The difference between Marie Callender and homemade is the difference between high and low self esteem. While neither is good for you, one makes you more impressive to a lover. My pot pie game has really improved since working as a baker for a short stint at Bang Bang Pie Shop. This is also vegetarian if your plus-one is wishy washy and eats fish. 

you will need the following

for crust
1 c flour
1 stick butter
1/2 c grated cheddar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic salt 
1 tsp Italian herb mix
1/3 c ice water

for filling
8 oz lobster meat $$$
3 carrots (diced)
2 ribs celery (sliced)
1/2 white onion (diced)
1/2 bag frozen peas
1 clove garlic (minced)
1 c whole milk
1 c vegetable stock
1/2 c cream
1/2 stick butter
1/2 c flour 
1 tbsp dry vermouth
salt & pepper

Step 1: Make pie crust: In a large bowl, whisk dry ingredients and cheese. Chop butter in coarse pieces and add to dry mix. Using your pastry blender, fully incorporate butter with flour until it holds together. Add ice water and stir until a ball forms. Refrigerate twenty minutes. Roll out into two medium disks. Tops and bottoms. 

Step 2: Cook carrots, celery and onion (mirepoix) with thyme and a little olive oil until tender. Add minced garlic in final two minutes. 

Step 3: Ohhhh yeaah. Boil your tail about three minutes and allow to cool. Remove meat from shell and shred. 

Step 4: Making the roux is the part you will probably screw up. On LOW heat, melt butter, add flour and toast for about a minute. Once butter is absorbed, add milk and cream. Stir with a whisk until very thick. Thin out with the stock and keep stirring to avoid clumps. Never stop stirring. Finally add vermouth and keep stirring. When thickened, remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper

Step 5:  In a large bowl, add frozen peas to mirepoix. Toss in lobster meat and coat with roux. It will start to absorb and be less soupy. Allow to cool completely. 

Step 6: In the baby pot pie bowls I know you have sitting around, start making bottoms. Stuff each pie with filling all the way to the top, as much filling as you can get in your bottom. 

Step 7: Create tops, and press onto pot pies with a fork. Shape and form as you go so they look the most like a pot pie. The slits are very important to do before adhering the hats. 

Step 8: Brush with egg wash and bake for 25 minutes at 425. Let cool 5 minutes and top with sea salt before serving. 

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