Saturday, September 10, 2005

so, whodda thought, the lobster stock made with the bodies and water with a bit o' wine was "lobsterier" to coin a Gregism than the stock I put all the fancy stuff I combined them and reduced. seven lobsters gave me about 1 quart of stock! The way I'm going, how many lobsters am I going to need to feed 200 people a shot of soup? Oh David!!!!!! :-)

Anyway, Greg was so happy to be bothered by me wanting a taster. We went through all the phases. I got a mite pissy when he dunked his beer bread into the boiling stock and left a floater!

After the stock was reduced I melted a quarter stick of butter and added some olive oil into a pot and shoved in one leek, and two honkin large Yukon Gold taters, cut up. The I decided to separate that mixture so I could experiment and to one I added some curry powder and left the other plain, save for some fresh nutmeg, sea salt and ground pepper. I sauteed the mixtures for a while and then slowly added stock to both. When the taters were tender, I blendered them and got a smooth, thick mixture...not what I want to try and pour into two hundred shot glasses.

To stem the flowability problem, I addded the rest of the stock...yikes thats a lot of stock for two potatoes. Greg tasted both and pronounced the curry infused soup the best, "hands-down" I then combined the two, added a bit more curry and stirred over low heat until heated through.

When I hurried out to the road with a sample for a passing neighbor, her comment was "its different...tastes like a lobster tamale with curry....not my cup of tea" Well, shoot! we'll see what becomes of it tomorrow after its had time to chill and meld.

Perhaps I'll just make little peanut butter and jelly sandwiches instead

Thanks to David from 3Tides, I have seven good sized lobster bodies cut into small pieces simmering on the stove right now in a brew that makes Greg's head swoon and my stomach do flip flops! I'm making lobster stock....something I will never taste as I am allergic to shell fish. The smell makes me queezy, but Greg said it was pure heaven, so I'll take his word for it.

David told me that most he has checked for making stock do so without using the head sack of the lobster...some of the sites I checked with also say to discard the head and innards before beginning, so I played it safe and snipped off the legs and the little sand digger claws and added those to the claws and the tails in a big pot with all sorts of other good junk and it has to simmer for at least an hour. I put the bodies in another pot and .....are you ready for this?.....tell me how spoiled my dogs are......I'm making them a bisque for dinner out of the bodies!

So, into the lobster stock pot goes:

1 stick butter
3/4 yellow onion chopped
2 medium leeks
3 stalks celery
3 cloves garlic
3 types of fresh herbs: sage, thyme, and lemon balm
sea salt and pepper to taste
all get sauteed until lightly brown
3 cups vegetable stock
the cut up lobster with drippings from shells
enough white wine and water to cover shells (i used almost about 3/4 bottle of wine, but then again, I'm a lush)
also added a bit of tomato sauce I had left over from lunch (optional)

So thats what simmering so far.
I've decided to try making curried potato leek soup with the stock to see how that is first and then go experimenting from there.

I'll let you know how it ends.
Thank you David!


Sunday, September 04, 2005

Greg is organizing a fashion show to benefit the local Hospice Volunteer organization. HE has enlisted the help of some local restaurants to provide nibbles for the cocktail party before the show. He asked me to make something if I want and I've thought about concocting a cold lobster vichyssoise and serving it in small shot glasses. I have to come up with a recipe, so I should experiment soon. I will keep my faithful fans (you know who you are) posted on the experimentation. My main concern is whether to make it chuncky or smooth.....any thoughts to that? I'd appreciate some comments.
Well, it happened again....Greg and I ended up driving around aimlessly, trying to figure out where to go have a cheap and cheerful meal at about 7:30 last night. We decided to try Oriental Plaza, the Chinese restaurant in East Belfast. We used to go to Oriental Plaza when it was located in the Main Street Market shopping center in Belfast. When walking in there, one could be transported to any Chinese restaurant around the country. It was surreal, because the interior decor was almost identical to the Chinese place we used to frequent in Chicago. NOW. the Plaza is located in the old Blueberry Bay restaurant/diner on Route 1. The seating area is huge and you still think that you are in a IHOP style restaurant save for the black Chinese coromandel panels on the walls. The booths and lighting fixtures are still blue and its a pretty funny experience.

Greg is standing here telling me to put in the review that the bathrooms are sticky and there is no way to get out of the bathroom without turning the handle on the door, so wear long sleeves. In my own terms, its the type of bathroom that makes you flush the toilet with your foot.

So onto the food. It was plentiful, thats for sure. We had an order of Orange beef and hot chicken curry. The amount of food that arrived would have fed four to five people, so the value was there. The curry they used tasted old and generic. It was certainly not "hot," the way I ordered it. The orange beef was really not very flavorful, but the beef was tender and tasted good. Vegetables were fresh, but as I say, the taste is not as good as Seng Thai down the street.
On a Saturday night at 7:30, there were only three tables of diners, which doesn't bode well for the place. I think most people in the know would rather go to Seng Thai, and thats where we will be headed in the future if we want Chicken curry again.

Food: C-
Service: D
Atmosphere: D
Cleanliness: F