So, you want to do a little special weeknight meal...entertaining some good friends, the boss, your special someone...and you're short on time but want to make a great impression? Here's your menu and it will only take about 45 minutes to prepare, and you can pick up all the ingredients at the grocery store on your way home from work!
I bet you've never thought of lobster as fast food, but it definitely is an I'm going to show you how to do it anytime and with ease and style!
Menu for Entertaining on a Week Night!
Sweet Iced Tea Chardonnay Wine (Unoaked is best) Cheese & baguette slices (purchased baguette slices, your favorite artisanal cheese) Grilled lobster with compound butter and fresh lemon Tossed green salad & vinaigrette (organic mixed spring greens, ready to serve from the container, favorite bottled vinaigrette) Rolls & butter (get the brown & serve kind of rolls) Vanilla ice cream with grilled pineapple (purchase fresh pineapple rings and good quality vanilla bean ice cream)
Here's your grocery list:
1 ready-to-eat baguette Your favorite cheese (don't you dare get the little cut-up squares!) Organic Salad Mix Vinaigrette Dressing Brown & Serve Dinner Rolls 1 stick butter for rolls 1 lobster (1 1/2 - 2 lbs.) per person 1/2 stick butter per lobster 1 tsp. minced garlic per stick of butter 1 small bunch of fresh basil per stick of butter 1/2 lemon per lobster Good quality vanilla bean ice cream Fresh pineapple rings (allow 1 per person) Ground cinnamon
Here is the only recipe you need:
Grilled Lobster for Four
1 lobster (about 1 1/2 - 2 lbs.) per person 1/2 stick salted butter per lobster (yes, I know this is 4 oz. per person but this IS a special meal!) 1/2 tsp. minced garlic 1 small bunch fresh basil Here is the game plan:
When you get home, put your box of lobsters in the fridge or in a cooler, put the salad in the fridge and leave the butter on the counter. Put a very large stockpot of water (heavily salted) on the stove to boil and put your pretty glass bowl for the salad in the fridge.
Take your shower or freshen up and put something FABULOUS on for the evening. Pour yourself a glass of wine (an unoaked Chardonnay will be great with this meal) and put your apron on.
The water should be boiling by now, so drop into the boiling water (head first) as many lobsters as will fit into your pot. (You might have to do this in a couple of batches, and if you do,make sure to bring the water back to a boil each time.) Make sure you have your exhaust fan going full blast....you don't want to give yourself a facial AFTER you have your makeup refreshed!
Boil each lobster for 7 minutes and then put them on a platter or baking sheet to cool on the counter.
While the lobsters are boiling, finely chop the fresh basil and stir it and the garlic into the softened butter. Set that aside on the counter.
Set the table; cut the butter for the rolls into pats and place on a plate in the fridge.
Return to the cooled lobster. Place each back-side-down on a cutting board and cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out body but leave tail and claws intact. Spread 2 T. compound butter over the meat in the tail and put 2 T. in the body cavity and leave on sheet pan on counter. (You may cover with a clean cloth or plastic wrap if you want.)
Open wine bottles and place corks part way back into bottles; place in ice & water-filled buckets to chill and artfully arrange cheese and sliced baguette on your decorative platter or beautiful wooden cutting board in a strategic location.
Turn on oven to desired temperature for browning rolls and light grill.
When your guests arrive:
Greet guests with wine or sweet tea, cheese & baguettes, a relaxed smile, and chat a bit.
Put the rolls in the oven and return to your guests for more chat.
When the rolls are finished, put them in fabric-lined baskets and set aside.
Call everyone into the kitchen and, with a flourish, unveil your beautiful red lobsters and head for the grill. Everyone will follow to watch because this is so special!
Turn the grill to medium-high and place lobsters directly over the flame with the cut side up. Close the lid and grill for 3 minutes while you entertain your guests with brilliant conversation. Turn off grill and move lobsters to top rack and navigate your guests to the wine to refill their glasses while you return to the kitchen.
Toss salad greens with vinaigrette and pile artfully onto your chilled platter. Place on the dining table with the basket of rolls and chilled pats of butter.
Assign a helper to refill wine/tea glasses while you arrange your lobster halves, wedges of lemon and basil bouquets on a pretty platter. Place on the table and be ready to take bows!
When most of your guests are half way through the lobster, excuse yourself to the kitchen. Put coffee on if you are serving that. Dredge the pineapple slices in the light brown sugar and grill on each side until heated through and caramalized, about 2 minutes per side. Place scoop of ice cream in each bowl, lean warm pineapple ring jauntily on each scoop and sprinkle with ground cinnamon. Serve and bask in the praise!
I just know my PC buddy Debbie will notice that I neglected to remind you to refill your wine glass during the course of the preparation/evening! (I bet you won't forget to do that!)