Sunday, January 10, 2010

New Years/Decade Resolution #1

I just realized that not only is it a New Year, but it's a New decade--this makes my New's Years Resolutions that much more important.

So far I'm off to a good start:

New Years Resolution #1: To reconnect with friends I haven't seen in awhile and keep connected with my best and new ones.

So Friday night Dale and I hosted our first ever dinner party for my friend Darcie's birthday. We are currently addicted to the food network---we don't get necessarily get our recipes from there, just some good hints, and techniques. Technique and presentation has especially become very important to my husband. The morning was spent at Cava Wines and Cuisine picking out the proper wines to serve and of course adding to the wine glass collection I started him on at Christmas time.

Then, there was no way we could serve the food on our gray/green Denby plates. Food only looks good presented on white square plates, so he spent over an hour searching for the right plates---nothing at Homesense, nothing at Home Outfitters, but finally he found some at Pier One. However, he didn't go away empty handed from Home Outfitters--he was able to pick up a couple of serving platters for the dip and some tiny serving spoons to go with it. I would have just served everything on what we had--but this wasn't good enough for my new gourmet husband!

He set the table--I'm surprised he didn't search the internet for the correct way to set things--but after about a half an hour, he was satisfied with the way it looked. He was a little disappointed that we didn't have a nicer table cloth, or candles or some type of centrepiece, but I'm sure that's soon to come!

With alot of prepping throughout the day, we were finally ready when our guests arrived--there was six of us in total.

Our first dish was our appetizer: Sweet Bacon Chicken Wraps served with a sparkling Rosado wine. Apparently the sparkling wine opens up your tastebuds to get you ready for your meal. Eating a salad before a meal also achieves the same effect. This was the one dish that Dale made all by himself and it ROCKED. The taste was to die for and the chicken was so moist, it just melted in your mouth. This is one appetizer we will use again and again.

Then we moved onto the salad: Arugula, pear and Asiago cheese salad with a citrus vinaigrette. And yes, we made the vinaigrette from scratch--we even freshly squeezed the grapefruits and oranges. All the plating was done by my husband--apparently I really suck at it. Our friends liked this salad, but Dale wouldn't have it again--Arugula is very bitter and it's hard to mask that, so the only thing I would change is to probably use spring mix, rather than solely baby Arugula.

We knew our main dishes would be loved---everything here we had tasted before, so we knew it was good. I mainly did all the cooking on these ones as I was the one who had made it before, so I just knew how to do it.

Mine and Kari's Coconut Shrimp and Pineapple Curry Rice,

Pan-fried Asparagus,

And the best-ever....Stuffed Lobster Tails--this is the BEST LOBSTER I have ever tasted and I will never cook Lobster any other way ever again. I found this recipe a week ago and made it for Dale as I needed something else to go with the left-over coconut shrimp I had brought back from Kari's. He couldn't stop raving about it-- we wanted to have it again soon--thus we knew we had to do it for our dinner party. The recipe is posted below--you have to try it!

Our wine for the main meal was of course white--that's what is best with Lobster. I don't normally drink wine as I'm still trying to acquire a taste for it, but I really, really enjoyed the Bucci.

Finally to complete our meal: A simple classic Chocolate Mousse served in Martini glasses and topped with fresh whip cream, chocolate shavings and a mint sprig. I made this the night before, but accidentally bought semi-sweet chocolate instead of unsweetened chocolate--Dale wanted to redo it, but I told him to wait to see what it tasted like--it tasted quite good, so we went with it--a little sweet, so I'd like to make it again with the unsweetened chocolate to see what that's like.

It ended up being a very successful dinner party for us. Can't wait to do it again. I'm actually trying to talk my husband into doing it for me and a bunch of girlfriends, so that I can just sit and visit!

STUFFED LOBSTER TAIL --remember you may have to 1/2 or 1/4 the recipe depending on how much lobster you have.

12 lobster tails, medium sized
1 lb. fresh crabmeat or lobster meat
1/2 c. Italian bread crumbs (I used Panko crumbs)
1/3 c. olive oil plus 2 tbsp. butter
1/4 tsp. salt and pepper (or to taste)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tbsp. paprika
Sauté crabmeat or lobster with olive oil, butter and bread crumbs. Taste and adjust seasonings. Set aside.

Broil (highest setting) lobster tails for about 5 minutes.

Once warmed, split each tail in half. Place stuffing in the middle of each lobster tail, top with bread crumbs and sprinkle with paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

Broil or bake for about 15 minutes or until the lobster meat is cooked and flaky white and the crumbs are toasted.

Serve with melted butter and lemon wedges.


Karen of the KAGS said...

Anytime you wanna come me up some lobster feel free I lurve lobster!

balletbug said...