Not Your Typical Hotdog

Yesterday the weather was perfect, not a cloud in the sky. While my trusty phone app told me it was going to rain, the weather gods pulled through and gave us endless amounts of sunshine. My mom and brother came in for the day and I had to take them to Madison Square Eats. It’s only around September 27 to October 25 and it’s amazing.

There are at least 20 different food ‘stalls’ lined in rows with every type of cuisine you could imagine. My mom and I had been once before and knew to make a beeline for our two favorite stalls: Red Hook Lobster and Asia Dog. Red Hook lobster has THE BEST lobster rolls in the world. We both ordered the ‘Maine style lobster roll:’ chunks of fresh Maine lobster salad atop a toasted hot dog bun. The lobster was tender and juicy and the roll was the perfect amount of crisp. Can you say heaven?!

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We devoured those in minutes. Then it was on to Asia Dog. I’m not a huge hotdog fan but when it comes to these I can’t get enough. This isn’t you typical hotdog. Since we couldn’t each just choose one, we opted for two different Asia dogs: the Vinh and the Sidney.

You start with a base (we chose the organic beef hotdog) and then chose toppings. The Vinh is: aioli + pate + cucumbers + pickled carrot and daikon + cilantro + jalapeno. YUM. I never would have guessed these combinations of different flavors would work as a hotdog topping–it sure beats ketchup and mustard. Our second hotdog (the Sidney) was: relish with mango + cucumber + red onion + cilantro + crushed peanuts + fish sauce. Another one for the win, Asia Dog is killing it with the flavor profiles.

If you haven’t been to Madison Square Eats, I recommend you go! Just remember to go on an empty stomach, you’ll want to eat everything there (I’m not kidding). There are so many other stalls I wanted to try but my eyes were bigger than my stomach that day. If anyone has been and has tried any other glorious food, please let me know! I know I’ll be making a trip to the actual Asia Dog restaurant. But until next time, keep eating!

Delicioso Risotto!

I simply could not wait to blog about this dish. Simple Lobster Risotto from Cooking Light–that sure has a nice ring to it. I don’t make risotto often but when I do I like to go all out and treat myself. This magical dish combines tender chunks of lobster, creamy risotto infused with lobster juice, and sweet green peas. Now it doesn’t get much better than that. 

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To make this mouth-watering dish all you’ll need is: 4 cups of fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth, 3 (5oz.) American lobster tails (I used two small whole lobsters), 3 tbsp. butter, divided; 1 c. uncooked Arborio rice; and 3/4 cup frozen green peas, thawed. I love 5 ingredient recipes–just another perk of this recipe!

How to make this bowl of goodness: Bring the broth and 1 1/2 c. water to a boil in a saucepan. Then, add the lobster; cover and cook for 4 minutes. Remove the lobster from the pan and let cool for 5 minutes. Once cooled, remove the meat from the lobster tails, reserve the shells, and chop up the tender lobster meat. Next, place the shells in a plastic bag and coarsely crush them using a meat mallet. Once thoroughly crushed, add the shells back to the broth mixture. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook for 20 minutes. After that, strain the shell mixture through a sieve over a bowl, reserving the broth and discarding the shells. Then, return the broth mixture to the saucepan. (Okay I have to admit I was in a time-crunch and didn’t have time to crush and cook the shells so I just cleaned the meat from each lobster over a bowl and collected the juices that way–it’s cheating slightly but works just as well!) 

For the risotto: heat 1 tbsp. butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the rice to the pan and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in 1 c. of the broth mixture and cook for 5 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed. Don’t forget to stir constantly! Reserve 2 tbsp. of the broth mixture and add the remaining broth, 1/2 c. at a time, into the rice. Stir constantly until each portion is absorbed before adding the next (should take about 22 in.). Finally, remove from heat, stir in the lobster, the remaining 2 tbsp. broth, 2 tbsp. butter and the peas. Voila! There you have it–simple, delicious lobster risotto. YUM.

It was hard to savor this dish–I wanted to shovel it into my mouth–it took a tremendous amount of control not to do so. You will find yourself saying ‘More Please,’ or singing ‘I Just Can’t Get Enough.’ Anyways, test this recipe out and let me know what you think–I always love feedback! But until next time, keep eating!  

It’s Lobstaaa Time!

Fresh steamed lobsters? Check.  Steamed Jersey corn on the cob? Check. Melted butter for dipping lobster into? Check.  Fresh medley pie for dessert? Check.  Put all those things together and what do you get? An absolutely delicious meal.

I would eat lobster every day if I could BUT if you eat something every single day you’ll start to get sick of it and that would be devastating (it’s happened to some of my family and I’m certainly NOT taking any chances).

This meal reminds me so much of Maine. My grandmother was from there and I have vivid memories of taking a road trip up there eating fresh lobster (literally having just been brought up from their traps in the sea) and picking fresh blueberries from a field. So when my mom suggested lobster the other night for dinner, needless to say I was on board.

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The fact that this meal is super easy too, is another bonus. All you need to do is buy however many lobsters you would like at your local grocery store (and they’ll even steam them for you which saves you a step). Once you have those, you’re all set to go. For the corn simply husk it and put it in a pot large enough so that when you cover them with water and turn the heat to high, they won’t boil over.  Boil then for no longer than 10 minutes. Talk about fast. For the butter, take a stick (or two) and melt them in a measuring cup until creamy. Pour into a dish and voila, melted butter—need I say more? For the pie, if you’re a master chef and can whip up a fresh pie in no time, I commend you. As for me, I prefer to buy mine from a local market. Heat that up in the oven and serve!

Throw some newspaper on your table for an authentic Maine feel (or for an easier cleanup) and dig in. It’s a messy meal—certainly NOT a good date food, I promise you.  This makes for an awesome summer meal you must try! But until next time, keep eating!

A Lobster Kind of Summer

One of my absolute favorite meals was had sitting at a picnic table in Maine. My great-grandmother had her lobsterman friend pull up one of his traps and she steamed lobsters that had been out of the ocean for all of half an hour (talk about fresh). The richest, tenderest lobster, that you ate with your bare hands, and dipped it in this fabulous melted butter sauce. You could practically taste the salt water! It was the perfect meal on a hot summer day! Sweet, ears of corn, that had a slight crunch, as a side dish, and Maine blueberries (that we handpicked in the field earlier that day) baked in a cobbler for dessert. Simple, incredibly fresh, and outstanding! Well tonight I had a meal that reminded me of those days: Maine lobster, artichoke, and Mornay (which I had no clue WHAT that was and later figured out, with some assistance from Google, that it is a cheese sauce) flatbread that was utterly delicious.

ImageAs I took the first bite, memories of my time in Maine started to come back to me. My great-grandmother would always tells us that if you eat too much lobster, you’ll get sick of it (I would ask myself—how can anyone possibly be sick of too much lobster???) It just didn’t make sense—and honestly I love lobster too much to prove her wrong. I always associate lobster with summer. It’s so fun to sit outside on your deck, a fresh, juicy lobster in front of you and a cracker for the shells by your side—oh and of course one of those always fashionable bibs! While they aren’t much of a fashion statement they are essential when consuming lobster.

Unfortunately lobsters aren’t the most practical food to cook in an on-campus apartment with windows that don’t open—seafood in general can always be very fragrant. So I’m left dreaming of those summer nights where we have lobster for dinner (and they can’t come soon enough). If you love lobster check out the Artisan Bistro, and order the Maine lobster flatbread—and while a butter sauce doesn’t accompany the dish, it was still extremely delicious. I hope there are some people out there that share my love for lobster—but until next time, keep eating!