Amuse Bouche: Scallop, Crab, Black Quinoa, Tomato Meyer Lemon Sauce

Amuse Bouche: Scallop, Crab, Black Quinoa, Tomato Meyer Lemon Sauce

Amuse Bouche

Scallop, Dungeness Crab, Black Quinoa, Spinach, Tomato
Heirloom-Tomato-Meyer-Lemon Sauce

Shall we begin? French for “to amuse the mouth,” an amuse bouche is a delectable morsel sent out by the chef in fine dining establishments to welcome and delight the guests. Unlike appetizers, diners don’t choose an amuse bouche from the menu. It is a lagniappe, a little something extra created by the chef, to whet their appetites for the meal to come.

For elegant entertaining at home, I think of an amuse bouche as mingling plush ingredients and pizazzy flavors in a diminutive eye-popping presentation. This scallop & crab amuse bouche was a perfect way to tickle the tastebuds at our recent sea-centric dinner party.

Scallop, Crab, Black Quinoa, Heirloom-Tomato-Meyer-Lemon Sauce Recipe

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Summer’s Chilled Soup ☆ STAR ☆

chilled summer soup for entertaining

Chilled Marcona Almond & Poblano Chile Soup with Sherry
Crab Salad Pillar with Avocado
Diced Watermelon, Feta and Mint
Borage Blossom Garnish

The 5 Star Makeover Cooking Group hosted by Natasha the 5 Star Foodie & Lazaro of Lazaro Cooks! is an outstanding monthly event for sharing ideas and creating gourmet makeovers of selected classic dishes or flavor combinations. June’s summery theme is CHILLED SOUPS.

The chilled almond & chile soup has been a favorite here for over a decade – a STAR of a cold soup that’s hot, smoky, and nutty. If fact, I entered it in a contest at the Los Angeles County Fair years ago, and it won second place. I’ve updated the soup recipe, now using sweet Spanish Marcona almonds and dry Spanish sherry. The basic soup can be simply garnished with bay shrimp or a drizzle of Mexican crema and a few cilantro leaves. Or for entertaining, go all out and build the crab pillar, your guests will be delighted.

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Stone Crabs – A Renewable Delicacy

The Stone Crab fishery is unique in that stone crabs are not killed but, rather, the legal-sized claws are removed and the crabs are returned to the water alive.

There is no better restaurant at which to enjoy Stone Crabs than Joe’s in Chicago on the corner of Grand & Rush where the ambiance and service are second to none.

Although it is lawful to harvest both of a stone crab’s claws this practice leaves the stone crab with few alternatives to defend itself from predators. Having one claw (if the other one is harvested) will enable the crab to obtain greater amounts of food in a shorter amount of time. Stone crabs (like other crustaceans) have the ability to grow back their claws, but this process requires a large amount of energy in the form of food. The quicker the crab can obtain the energy required to molt and grow its lost claw, the sooner this renewable delicacy will have another claw to replace the missing claw. Visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Institute for more information on Stone Crabs.
Good News: Stone Crab population levels are estimated to be high and no overfishing is occurring. The unique manner in which stone crab claws are harvested helps ensure the long-term sustainability of the species. Stone Crabs are a good, low-fat source of protein, selenium and magnesium. All of the stone crab claws on the market come from wild fisheries.

Joe’s Remoulade Sauce – a combination of creamy mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup, minced celery, minced parsley, lemon juice, Cajun seasoning, and minced green onion is a classic accompaniment to the crab. You can visit Joe’s website for the recipe.

My Wine Pairing Recommendation: Joe’s serves King Estate Pinot Gris by the glass. With its gorgeous tropical fruit flavors and creamy complexity, this wine is a perfect complement to the crab.

On our most recent visit, our waiter Steve B. was awesome. We were celebrating my cousin Vicki’s engagement, and not only did Steve surprise Vicki with a slice of their famous Key Lime Pie with a candle, he also brought a slice of Chocolate Fudge Pie for Geri, to honor the soon-to-be mother of the bride. And when I told him about Taste With The Eyes he graciously brought out more food to photograph. I would like to extend a special thank you to Joe’s entire waitstaff. See you soon!