Got a big seafood sale going on this weekend at the local grocery. I'm gonna pick up a 2 pound bag of fresh mussels (4 bucks, score!) and turn it into one of my all time favorite dishes of any genre: billi bi soup. But I'll reserve half the meat for a mixed seafood paella on the side. And for the main Memorial Day chowdown: lobster rolls! (Live lobster: $3.99/lb. Score X2!) I'll put 'em on hotdog rolls so they look appropriate for the holiday
I'll probably make up either potato or pasta salad too, Oh, I made a big batch of rice pudding in my rice maker yesterday. That, under a blob of whipped cream, should end the festivities if we have room left.
Whenever seafood is the focus, it's hard to go wrong with a nicely chilled Sancerre.
And since I'm here, check this:
Mint grows like kudzu around my house. Seriously, anybody needs a few cubic yards of the stuff I'll send a truck out. I'm always making things out of it, not so much because I like it that much, but because if I don't I won't be able to see out my window. On the second floor.
Here's what I make a lot of in the summer. Mint julep:
1. Yank a half an acre or so of mint from your yard and bring it inside and rinse well. Take 5 or 10 stalks, strip the leaves off, and bruise those leaves up with the back of a knife or cleaver. Put them in a small saucepan along with a third of a cup of water and a third of a cup of sugar. Turn the heat on and bring it to a simmer. Let it simmer for 10 - 20 minutes, adding more mint leaves out of spite every now and then if you feel like it. Now pour it through a fine strainer, pressing down on the leaves to get everything, into a ramekin or small bowl and let it sit and cool down. You've just made mint flavored simple syrup!
2. Get a bottle of bourbon, the quality depending on 1. your ability to afford it, and 2. your willingness to adulturate it. I'm a Maker's Mark man myself, but there's a lot of great bourbon out there from other distillers. The better the bourbon, the better the julep. But even harsher stuff covered in mint tastes good (well, better) this way.
3. Get a decanter, hopefully one with a good stopper.
4. Bruise up some of the remaining stalks of mint you have left. Ram them TOP SIDE FIRST down into the decanter. (You'll thank me later when you're trying to pull them back out after all the julep is all gone...which, knowing most of you, will be in about 3 hours.) Pour in the syrup you just made, then the bottle of bourbon. Shake it around real good (er, with the stopper on. Dummy
5. This is the hardest step: let the sucker sit on a shelf somewhere for at least 3 days to meld all the goodness. I know, I know. What can I say? I don't make the rules. Just do it.
6. Serve it over ice (shaved, in a metal beaker, is traditional, but...uh, yeah) and jam a couple more sprigs of mint on top as a garnish. The idea is, when you stick your face in the glass to take a swig, your nose should be buried in the leaves to get an extra blast of sensory overload mintiness via the olfactory. Works for me! (Just don't sneeze in your drink immediately afterwards. It makes it chewy. Don't ask.)
Man, after writing all that you know what? I may skip the crummy seafood and go straight for the after dinner drink!
Happy cooking, all!Edited by Sherpat - 5/26/13 at 8:54am