Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Cornish Hens with Fig - Cranberry Sauce

Here is the final product, served with lobster mashed potatoes (yes, a part of a lobster tail as well!), roasted pickled cauliflower, and some fresh fig slices.

This is for two!

For the Hens:
2 Cornish Hens
Salt and Pepper
1 cup of croutons
¼ cup wheat germ
¼ cup finely chopped celery
¼ cup chicken broth
3 Tablespoons melted butter
½ teaspoon sugar

Clean the hens and pat dry with paper towel inside and out. 

Then sprinkle body cavity with salt and pepper. Twist wing tips up and back, tucking neck skin under wings to secure. In large bowl, combine croutons, wheat germ, celery, broth, 1 tablespoon melted butter, sugar, ½ teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper. 

Spoon into body cavities and tie legs and tail of each hen together. Place on rack in roasting pan and brush with melted butter. Roast, breast side up, in open roasting pan at 425 F for one hour. Brush occasionally with melted butter, then baste with the juices that collect.

For the Sauce:
Some figs, stems removed and chopped
Handful of dried cranberries
A couple of minced cloves of garlic
A shallot, finely minced
A bottle of good Porter or stout – something you enjoy

Mix everything together in a sauce pan. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer. After 30 minutes or so, use an immersion blender and roughly blend. (Don’t want a smooth consistency. Nice to have some chunks of cranberries and figs in it. This is to help thicken it.)

With 15 or so minutes left on the roasting time, coat the hens with some of the sauce, reserving the rest of the sauce to serve with the meal.

Microwaved Corn on the Cob

Wish I knew this when I was young. Of course, we did not have microwaves then.

Leave the husks on.

Remember: 2, 4, 6, 8! That is how many minutes to microwave if there are 1, 2, 3 or 4 ears.

After microwaving, wrap in a dish towel and leave for 5 minutes.

Then, cut off the stem ends, grab hold of the silks and husk at the top and just slide the corn on the cob out.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Lobster Mashed Potatoes

These are so good!

For two servings the following is needed:
½ pound of Russet Potatoes, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups cold water
Less than ¼ cup of cream (call it about 1/6 of a cup)
1-1/2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
Chunks of cooked lobster meat
Chives – if you like them
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

To cook the lobster, just take the tails out of the shells, removing any vein. I like to then brine them for 15 minutes.

To get the tails out and keep the shells whole, use a scissors and cut the membrane along the shell on each side. Then it becomes pretty easy to get the meat out. Here's some pictures showing the process.


Skewer the tails to keep them from curling when then cook. 

Place the skewered tails on a rack on a rimmed baking sheet. Then, brush the lobster with butter. Put a couple of tablespoons of water into the pan and place the pan into a 450 oven for about 3 or 4 minutes. Lobster should be white, do not overcook or it will be tough.

Place the potatoes in a sauce pan, add salt and cold water. Cover the pot and place over high heat. Bring to boil, then simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.

Drain the liquid, reserving it, leaving the potatoes in the pan.

Place pan back on heat for 1 to 2 minutes to remove excess moisture. Want the potatoes to be somewhat dry.

Pass the potatoes through a ricer into a clean mixing bowl.

Place the cream and the butter into a small sauce pan. Place over medium heat until the butter is melted, add the chunks of lobster and simmer until the cream is warm.

Fold this hot liquid into the potatoes. Add, by drops, the reserved liquid to the potatoes if the potatoes appear to be too dry.

Roasted Pickled Cauliflower

We love roasted pickled veggies. Here’s how we make cauliflower. First cut the cleaned cauliflower into bite size pieces.

Then, take these ingredients (note – better to use a glass bowl! The metal bowl ain’t the best for this.) What these ingredients are: favorite vinegar (this was a wild cherry, we love a good red wine vinegar as well), a pinch of sugar and a large pinch of salt and olive oil.

Place a few tablespoons of the vinegar into the bowl, add the sugar and salt, then start whisking in the oil until you get a good dressing consistency that you like the taste. Blanch the cauliflower in boiling water for no more than 2 minutes, until you like the softness. Then immediately toss the cauliflower into ice water to stop the cooking. Then toss the cauliflower into the wine/oil mixture and toss and let it set for at least 15 minutes.

Now place the cauliflower on a rack on a rimmed baking sheet and under the broiler until browned.