Friday, May 14, 2010

Date Night - Lobster Ravioli and Crab Cakes!

Last week I went to Trader Joe's, and found that they carried some packages of lobster ravioli.  I obviously had to buy it, as in my head I was already imagining cooking it up with some lobster tails and a white wine garlic butter sauce!  I stuck it in the freezer, as Spring and Summer are insanely busy seasons for me, and I didn't know when I would have a chance to make it.

Luckily for all of us, the chance came this past Wednesday for date night with Gimpy.  I stopped at Stew Leonards on my way home and picked up a couple of 3oz lobster tails and some crab cakes.  The thing that I love about seafood and fresh pasta, is that it is so simple and quick to whip up, especially with a wine sauce like this one.

As promised, I have lots of photos to walk you through it. To start, heat a large sautee pan to medium, and melt in a half a stick of butter (approximately 4 Tbsp).  Do NOT use margarine.  When the butter is nice and melted, add in 3 large cloves of garlic (pushed through your garlic press or dice finely), and cook to mix.

When the butter is all melted and the garlic is nice and golden, add your lobster tails.  Stir them around the pan and cook for 5 minutes, stirring fairly constantly.  Your lobster shells will begin to take on a reddish pink color - this is what's supposed to happen!  At this point, bring the water for your pasta to a boil.  Make sure you salt the water, as this will give your pasta a little bit of extra flavor.

Add to the pan 1 1/2 cups of white wine, either Pinot Grigio or a Sauvignon Blanc (you'll learn I hate Chardonnay and won't ever use it, even for cooking).  Once you add the wine, stir a few more times, and cover the pan.  This will steam the flavor into your lobster tails.  At this time you should go ahead and pour yourself a glass of the wine.  You should always have a glass while cooking!

When your water is boiling, add your pasta, and stir.  Now is when I poured a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil into a small sautee pan, and brought it to medium heat.  With the pasta cooking, I added three fresh crab cakes to the pan.  Cook them for three minutes each side until they are nice and golden, and heated all the way through.  Drain your pasta and add to your lobster and sauce.  Toss to coat.

Meanwhile, set up some field greens on two small plates.  Add the crab cakes (I gave Gimpy two and kept one for myself!).  Put some cocktail sauce on the side of the crab cakes, and serve!

Now on to the main course!  Take two large plates, add some of the ravioli to each, and top with a lobster tail.  For the finishing touch, add some fresh parmesan cheese.  I love to take a vegetable peeler and shave off large pieces.
Now serve!  

Monday, May 10, 2010

Cinco de Mayo!

Sorry it's been so long since I've had a blog post... things have been crazy.

This week/weekend was chock full of Cinco de Mayo parties.  Wednesday night we had to go out to Viva Zapatas in Westport, amazing Mexican food, killer margaritas, and an awesome patio for drinking on.  Add that to 78 degree weather, and it is the perfect way to spend Cinco de Mayo - out drinking till midnight (Yikes!).

Friday night Gimpy's roommate had a Cinco de Mayo themed birthday party, and I made my famous queso, guacamole, and a 5 layer dip.  Queso is honestly the easiest thing to make, the worst thing for you, and the only, only, only time I will ever purchase the ghetto processed cheese food known to the world as Velveeta (I shudder to even admit I buy it). 

1 small block Velveeta
1 can rotelle
Hot sauce* optional

Melt the rotelle and the Velveeta in a pan on the stove top until melted and gooey.  Add a few dashes of hot sauce for extra spice if desired.  Serve with chips or as a topping in your burrito bar.

5 Layer Dip
1 can vegetarian refried beans
1.5 cup fat free sour cream
1/2 small can diced green chilies
1.5 cup guacamole
1.5 cup salsa of your choice
1.5 cup shredded cheese (pepper jack, cheddar, etc)\
Sliced black olives *optional

In a glass pan, layer the can of refried beans.  In a small bowl, mix the green chilies with the sour cream, and spread on top of the beans.  Layer the guacamole followed by the salsa, and then add the cheese to the top.  If desired, sprinkle sliced black olives on the top.  Serve with chips - I recommend Tostitos Scoops, because they make a yummy little bowl that gives you more per bite.

3 ripe avocado (soft to the touch but not mushy)
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/8 cup finely diced onion
1 jalapeno, seeds removed, diced finely
Cilantro, to taste, fresh, chopped
2 garlic cloves, diced or squeezed through a garlic press
Salt and pepper to taste

Blend all the ingredients with a fork, making sure to include the lemon juice.  If you do not add it, your guacamole will be a gross brown color.  Serve with chips :)

I love how easy Mexican food is... 

To reward you all for your patience, on Wednesday I am making lobster in a white wine garlic sauce over lobster ravioli for Gimpy for date night dinner, and I will take pictures along the way to ensure it is an educational blog post for you all!