GETTING THE PAN NICE AND HOT FOR CRAB CAKES
Last year, Jake and I started a Valentine's Day tradition of staying in and cooking a scrumptious meal together. Our menu came straight out of Food Network Magazine: Ina's Lemon Pepper Chicken, Bacon-Cheddar Mashed Potatoes, Broccoli Rabe With Cherry Peppers and Neapolitan Ice Cream Sandwiches.
Instead of creating another random menu, I decided I liked the idea of a Surf & Turf type meal. Being on a budget, however, I was pretty afraid we'd get stuck with what I call ghetto surf and turf, or skirt steak and shrimp. That's were GetMaineLobster.com and Living Social saved the day. For what I considered a fairly reasonable price, we received the following:
- 2 Crab Cakes
- Lobster Soup
- 2 Maine Lobster Tails
- 2 Cuts of Filet Mignon
- 2 Whoopie Pies
CRAB CAKES W/ HOMEMADE REMOULADE
Each package of food came with recipes and simple instructions. Plus, everything was delivered to my door in an easy-to-haul cooler. I looked up recipes for crab cake sauces only to find I didn't have dill. Remoulade is always good on any type of fish dish, so I blindly concocted my own. Using Greek yogurt, a packet of hot sauce, lemon juice, salt and pepper, I created a zesty, tangy sauce that proved addicting (we even used it on eggs the next morning).
I gave the Crab Cakes a quick sear in the skillet for a few minutes before transferring them to the oven. I honestly wasn't too sure what to expect with the first bite. Would the quality of the crab be any good? Did I burn the outside too much in my overzealous pan buttering?
In the end, the crab cakes ended up being my favorite part of the entire meal. With a crisp outside coating and a soft, tender interior, the crab was extremely fresh. The added punch from the remoulade amped up the flavor while still keeping the cake moist. I don't know if we were just really hungry, but the plane was clean after only a few minutes.
So, I've never cooked Filet Mignon before. I actually don't cook steak too often at home, so this course was kind of a shot in the dark. I let the steaks sear with light seasoning and a dash of the red wine I was drinking. I definitely overcooked my steak and didn't enjoy the texture. Jake, however, was on cloud nine. He slowly savored each bite and even ate the tail end of mine. I think I'll leave the steaks for someone else to cook next time.
IS IT READY YET?
I seasoned the Maine Lobster Tails with creole seasoning, lemon juice, garlic and butter. Putting things in the broiler scares the crap out of me, but that's what the recipe called for. I think I must have checked on the lobster at least a half dozen times.
Throughout all of this, we left the Lobster Soup simmering on the stove. Big mistake.
I added the soup to the tails before serving even though it had basically separated after being on the stove too long. The lobster tails were everything I hoped they would be and more. The meat was so tender and buttery, and the soup was perfect for dipping pieces right in. I wish I would have pulled the soup off the stove sooner, though, because the lobster chunks were completely overcooked.
Jake and I ravaged the lobster tails to the point that the shells were almost unrecognizable at the end of the meal. I honestly don't remember the last time I enjoyed lobster this much.
We didn't really have enough room for the Whoopie Pies, but we ate them anyway. The pie itself was a bit large. I preferred to take one side off and eat it that way instead, using leftover strawberry icing I had in the cabinet to coat the other side. The image above is just one of the two enormous whoopie pies we received. A few hours later we couldn't resist and dug into the second one, as well.
I'm not quite sure how we're going to top this meal next year, but one thing is for sure, I'm definitely ordering from GetMaineLobster.com again.