9.16.2014

A LOBSTER BARBECUE AND ALL THE SIDES


We hosted our second annual lobster barbecue last night - a smorgusboard from the sea, including fresh oysters, mussels and lobsters on the grill, and a smattering of apps and sides. Good friends gathered, drank, laughed, ate, splashed lobster juices on each other, and ate some more.

In anticipation of feeding 15 hungry adults, menu planning was a must. I did a bit of research leading up to the night, trying to hone in on the perfect side dishes to complement the lobster. In hindsight, the lobster alone would have totally been sufficient -- but really, who doesn't love a good ol' feast every now and then!

APPETIZERS //

oysters with homemade horseradish
soft pretzels with rosemary (recipe below)
beth's homemade pickles

DINNER //

corn on the cob
stu's pineapple lobster roe fried rice
classic coleslaw (recipe below)
perfectly crusty bread (for soaking up all that delicious mussel both)
grilled lobsters

DESSERT //

a super indulgent, i can't believe i made this, ice cream sandwich cake





SOFT PRETZELS WITH ROSEMARY // makes 8

Adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups warm water
2 T brown sugar
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (1 package)
6 T unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp kosher salt
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 T fresh rosemary, chopped
oil, to grease the bowl
12 cups (3 quarts) water
2/3 cup baking soda
1 egg + 1 T cold water, beaten
kosher salt, for sprinkling

grainy or dijon mustard, for serving

What to do:

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the dough hook, combine the water, sugar, yeast and melted butter. Mix just until combined, then let sit for 5 minutes.

Continue to add the salt, flour and rosemary and mix on low speed until combined. Increase the speed to medium and continue to knead the dough until smooth, and it begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl (3-4 minutes). If the dough is too wet, add additional flour 1 T at a time.

Lightly flour a clean area of your counter. Remove the dough from the bowl, place on the floured surface and knead into a ball with your hands. Pour about 1/2 T of oil into a large bowl, and swirl the bowl to coat all sides. Add the dough ball to the bowl, cover with a clean dish towel or plastic wrap, and place in a warm spot for about an hour - until the double at least doubles in size.

Preheat oven to 425.

Remove the dough from the bowl and place it back on your lightly floured counter. Divide it into 8 equal pieces and roll each into a long rope. To form the pretzels, cross the right end over the left, twist once, then lightly press the ends (if you're struggling, helpful video here). Form all 8 pretzels.

Bring the large pot of water to boil, then slowly add the baking - be careful as the water will start to bubble rapidly! Boil the pretzels in the boiling water, 2 at a time, for 30 seconds, lightly splashing the tops with water. Use a slotted spoon to remove the pretzels and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Place 4 pretzels on each baking sheet, giving them enough room to expand in the oven (I swear mine looked more like pretzels before they went in the oven).

Brush the tops with the egg wash, season with flaky salt and transfer to the hot oven. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool completely on a wire rack before serving. Serve with mustard for dipping.


CLASSIC COLESLAW // makes a lot

Ingredients:

2 large carrot
1 small head white cabbage
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup + 2 T vegetable oil
1/2 T mustard powder
1/2 T celery salt

What to do:

In a food processor fitted with the slicing blade, chop the cabbage. Switch to the grating blade, and grate the carrots. Transfer to a large bowl, and toss with the sugar.

In a saucepan, combine the vinegar, oil, mustard powder and celery salt. Bring to a boil, stir and pour over the cabbage. Stir to combine and coat all the vegetables evenly.

Let sit for at least 30 minutes before serving to absorb all the flavours. Tastes even better a day or two later and will keep for a week.

*Note: As you eat away at the slaw, you will notice there is more liquid then you need. Feel free to keep adding shredded cabbage to the liquid over the course of the week.

Bon Appetit!

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