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Topic: For those cooking on NYE, whatcha got?  (Read 960 times)
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TheFanatic
« on: December 28, 2008 06:49:56 PM »

This will sound sortof lame, but my in-laws are coming over for the second year in a row.  My MiL and FiL are actually really cool.  MiL will enjoy some really good wine with me and the wife.  FiL will get hammered on Vodka rocks.  After an elaborate meal we head downstairs for a movie on my 50 inch wide screen with surround sound.  We celebrate the new year, and they drive the .6 miles home (not kidding on the .6). 

Last year we did Crab Legs as long as my arm.  This year we have four 1.5 pound lobsters on the way from Maine.  Be here on the 31st.  Gonna do a lobster boil and drawn butter.  Other than that I have no idea.  Oh, my wife makes these cheesy biscuits like the ones you can get at red lobster (about the only thing that's good at RL)...

So what are you doing if you are cooking and what should I cook with my lobsters?
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TheFanatic
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2008 07:02:14 AM »

I didn't realize that I was chatting with such a hip crowd and that all of you were going out on NYE.  Looks like I'm the only one staying in and I'm jealous!!!
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ica171
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2008 09:17:25 PM »

LOL, I'm not going out, but I don't know that I'd call what I did tonight cooking.  We just got a bunch of frozen appetizers--buffalo wings, cheese sticks, pizza rolls, taquitos, etc--and cooked those.  My mom made puppy chow.  I made chicken salad for lunch so that was available to eat, but no one did.  We also had spinach dip because I have an unhealthy love of it. 

I'm sure you've made them now, but what did you end up having with your lobster?  I hear vanilla tastes really good with lobster, but I can't think of any way to put those two together without people giving you weird looks. 
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TheFanatic
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2009 07:14:08 AM »

LOL, I'm not going out, but I don't know that I'd call what I did tonight cooking.  We just got a bunch of frozen appetizers--buffalo wings, cheese sticks, pizza rolls, taquitos, etc--and cooked those.  My mom made puppy chow.  I made chicken salad for lunch so that was available to eat, but no one did.  We also had spinach dip because I have an unhealthy love of it. 

Frozen apps sounds like a fun, low maintenance way to do it up.  We are actually having a big party tomorrow night.  Surprise birthday party for my wife's parents (both have birthdays in the next 7 days), and are basically doing the whole easy app thing to feed 50.  Ordering wings from this crappy little fried chicken place that makes the best wings in town, lil smokies, lil meat balls, some peal and eat shrimp, chips, dips, etc. Crock pots. chafing dishes, etc so we don't have to mess with it....

I'm sure you've made them now, but what did you end up having with your lobster?  I hear vanilla tastes really good with lobster, but I can't think of any way to put those two together without people giving you weird looks. 

Yes we did do the lobsters already.  And honestly, I can see where you are coming from on both fronts on the whole vanilla deal (that it would pair well and how the hell do you actually pair it!?!?).

We did roasted red potatoes, crab stuffed prawns, escargot, cheesy biscuits, drawn butter and red wine.  I was planning on cooking some Swiss Chard, but the stuff at the grocer looks horrible...
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TheFanatic
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2009 10:42:59 AM »

Well here's what I did:

I realize I am the GrillinFool, but for NYE we did not grill anything. I did not pay for the lobsters and the man that did wanted them boiled. As I was eating my lobster for free, I obliged the man with the credit card.

My menu planned on being lobsters, crab stuffed prawns, sauteed swiss chard, roasted red potatoes, cheesy potato biscuits, and clarified butter. But not all went as planned.  The swiss chard at my grocery store was downright rotten. They had very little left and what was left was pretty much not edible. The good news is though that they did have escargot ready for the oven with a butter/garlic/herb mixture already added to the shells. The crab stuff prawns were also premade at the grocery store. Remember I was going for low maintenance for this meal.

This was the first time I have ever made lobsters myself. I ran into a little problem. My largest pot is a 12 quart pot. That is not big enough for these beauties:



The lobsters were billed as being 1.5 pounds and they were every bit of that if not more. Knowing that I didn't have the hardware to handle these bad boys I went to a local wholesale restaurant supply store and picked up this 60 quart monster (my 20 pound beagle in the background for perspective):



This problem was a little bigger than the lack of greenery for the meal. While this pot would easily accommodate the four lobsters my stove could not accommodate the 15 gallon pot:



Missed it by about an inch and a half. While I was not happy about the situation, my eight month old was ecstatic:





He played in that pot for a couple of hours. He really enjoyed himself in it. I almost don't want to take the pot back, but I just can't justify keeping it considering the price. Since he likes the pot better than the horse we got him for Christmas (in the background of the first pic) I suggested to Mrs. Fanatic that we take back the horse and keep the pot. She didn't like that idea!?!

So, what to do about boiling these lobsters? We talked about firing up my grill outside and putting the big pot on that but I think it would've been hard to keep the temp up considering it was about 35 degrees and windy outside. So we pulled out my 12 quart pot and got a couple smaller pots which did the job:



The big pot took on two lobsters and the other two took a lobster each.

For the sides I cut up enough red potatoes to cover a baking sheet. I put them in a bowl, slathered them with garlic, olive oil, black pepper and a few pinches of coarse salt and put them in the oven for 45 minutes on 400:

The right third of the potatoes I added some fresh rosemary:






Here is a shot of the other two sides ready for that 400 degree oven. The prawns went in for 15 and the escargot for 10:



With 12 minutes remaining on the biscuits, the prawns in the oven, the escargot about ready to go I dropped these into the pot. Warning: picture of Dead Lobsters Walking:



Despite the lobster being very similar to the cock roach in terms of their species, I had a hard time with the notion of boiling something alive. So I split their heads in two to put them out of their misery about 10 seconds before dropping them in the pots.

For the two smaller pots all I added was a large pinch of salt to each. For the larger pot I added two large pinches and a bag of crab boil for my FiL and I. I did not sample one of the lobsters cooked in the pot without the crab boil so I have no idea if it made a big difference. I will say this that everyone said theirs was delicious so it would seem that I couldn't go wrong either way.

The smaller pots came back to a boil pretty quickly so I pulled those lobsters first. The larger pot having two lobsters dragging the temp down required a little more time. Here we have all 4 lobsters on the cutting board waiting to be plated. The ones on the right were just removed from the water:



Here are the prawns out of the oven:



And the escargot. One fell over and leaked all the butter and herbs out:



Of course we did it up right for NYE so the wife broke out the Lennox and the Waterford. Or as my FiL calls them, "the fancy eatin' plates." The wife likes to break out the fancy stuff for events like this. As long as I'm not doing the dishes, as none of this stuff can go in the dishwasher, I'm OK with that:



And yes, those are actually nut crackers that we use for lobster (and crab legs). We just don't eat it lobster or crab enough, considering we live smack in the middle of the country to, to justify the proper gear here. The nut crackers and a good fork work just fine:



And the wine pairing is one of my faves - Pierano Estates Chardonnay - which is a rich buttery chard that played off the vast sums of butter that we consumed that night beautifully:



And of course the final plating before we luxuriated in some luscious lobster meat:



The obligatory, what would I do differently the next time:

   1. I would measure the space between my stove top and the hood over my stove and get a pot that would fit in that space.
   2. I would probably add the potatoes a little earlier so that I could broil them for about 5 minutes and get a nice crunch to them. I didn't want the lobster to cool and become rubbery so I had no time for that.

Other than that I doubt I would do anything differently...Oh, and we are definitely doing lobsters again next year....
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grendelsmom
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2009 12:25:25 PM »

Fanatic, you are funny!  You can definitely boil 'em on the grill next year - look for a good-sized canning pot so you get diameter without height - there are frequently good ones at the tag sales where I live.

As for the kid - I laughed and laughed.  You took it WAY beyond "he liked the box better than the gift!"
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grendelsmom
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2009 12:27:12 PM »

p.s. - I made fondue for NYE.  Cheese fondue for the main course, then chocolate fondue for dessert.  The only tricky part was doing it in someone else's kitchen.  Friends brought salad, appetizers, and desserts (which we had a couple of hours later).  Fondue was very hard with over a dozen people - think we'll save it for a smaller crowd next time - but it was delicious.
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SewMamaLady
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« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2009 03:26:29 PM »

Okay, seriously now, your posts make me crave food I would never eat on my own. Yum!

Sweet baby!
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Homespun gifts for your friends and family!
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TheFanatic
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2009 10:52:17 AM »

Okay, seriously now, your posts make me crave food I would never eat on my own. Yum!

Sweet baby!

I do what I can!?!?!

I'll be doing a lot more seafood grilling this spring and summer
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