Friday, November 13, 2020

"The Finer Things Dinner"

I've been missing fine dining, so I thought I would treat myself and SOS to something we aptly named "The Finer Things Dinner". It was a splurge, and also a great challenge to cook things neither of us had attempted before. As long as you do your research, there's no need to be intimidated in the kitchen! But that's easy for me to say since I wasn't the one in charge of the oysters or lobster tails...but everything turned out incredibly well. It was even better paired with bubbly, but vodka martinis would work well too. If you'd like to have your own Finer Things Dinner, here's our menu:

Steamed Oysters - they are so much easier to shuck once steamed, and you do need an Oyster Shucker (complete with a glove!). Just steam a dozen or so over boiling water for about 3 minutes, shuck, then squeeze some fresh lemon juice on top.

Steamed Oysters - so easy to do at home. Who knew!?

Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes - Crab Cakes vary A LOT. I definitely prefer more crab to filler (obviously) and I don't really like a crispy, deep fried cake. The recipe I chose called for a ton of crab which was great, but I would suggest searing them in butter instead of canola oil, and finishing with lots of fresh lemon juice for some acid. I may try a different recipe next time, but here's what I used for this dinner. (The leftovers also make fine Crab Cake Benes for brunch the next day.)

Lobster Tails - This was a showstopper. I cannot believe this was even attempted at home. And it was outstanding. Just get two 11-ounce lobster tails no big deal(!), and brush on a mixture of melted Clarified Butter, Sweet Spanish Smoked Paprika, Garlic Powder, White Pepper and Salt. Bake them in the oven at 450 for about 16 minutes, and baste with this butter mixture halfway through. Garnish with chives, and serve with more melted clarified butter and lemon wedges. The meat is incredibly tender and these seasonings are ON POINT.
Crab Cakes and Lobster Tails, a match made in heaven.

Butterscotch Budino with Miso Caramel 
- Finding a dessert to follow all of these amazing finer things was difficult, but I rose to the challenge. I wanted something along the lines of Creme Brulee, but more exciting, and this is it. Budino is a fancy Italian word for pudding, and this Butterscotch Budino is pretty perfect. Here's the recipe I used - but note that this recipe doesn't call for you to strain the cooked custard, and YOU MUST! I also topped it with Miso Caramel as opposed to the recipe's suggested Salted Caramel, but I'm sure either would be great. Top with fresh whipped cream and call it a night.

Butterscotch Budino with Miso Caramel

I was too busy eating and cooking this week to enjoy any movies. Sorry not sorry.


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