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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 01-23-2011, 12:28 PM   #1
TexasAggie97
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Default My wife's birthday: Needing menu suggestions

Guys, the wife is turning 30 and I am having a surprise dinner for two and then out on the town for a surprise party. I am wanting this dinner to be very special as we have just had identical twin girls last month, one of which had to spend 36 days in the neonatal intensive care unit in Nashville. Needless to say it's been a rollercoaster of emotions for her (us) and she deserves a break. So, I figured I would ask my fellow brethren for menu suggestions for our special dinner.

I know I will be grilling some big, fat, juicy ribeyes with garlic chive butter along with grilled lobster tail. I have never attempted lobster tail before so any suggestions on how to grill a kick ace tail would be appreciate as well.

So I leave it up to y'all to round out the dinner menu. What better place to ask for ideas than the home of some of the best cooks around. If you will please, fire away with suggestions, I'm all ears.

Thanks for your time brethren!

-Chris
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Unread 01-23-2011, 12:30 PM   #2
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Ahh you know what sounds like it would fit in very well as a side.
Garlic cream cheese mashed taters. They go with everything and taste great.
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Unread 01-23-2011, 12:34 PM   #3
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Some grilled asparagus with some hollandaise.
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Unread 01-23-2011, 12:40 PM   #4
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My current favorite fancy, but easy salad is a roasted pear and walnut salad.
Plate some spring mix or mesclun lettuces on each plate.
Crumble some nice blue cheese on top.
Melt a few tablespoons of butter in a sauce pan on medium or medium low heat.
Cut a pear into 8 slices and add to butter.
add 2 tbs of brown sugar.
add 1 tbs of balsamic vinegar
cook until pears just start to get softened (stir it a few times)
add a handful of walnuts and a pinch or two of salt
stir it up and pour over the lettuces (arrange the pear slices in a nice pattern)
Enjoy!!
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Unread 01-23-2011, 01:13 PM   #5
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Hi Chris,

Firstly, congratulations to your Wife for her birthday and then massive congratulations to you Both on your twin lil Ladies!
My best Mates little lad was born very, very prematurely (before the legal termination stage) 18 months ago and if you want to see a 6'3" 250lb plus guy cry then show me the photo's of him in the ICU...if you want to see the same bloke ball uncontrollably then show the same bloke holding lil Man in the ICU.
Good news is, lil Man is now a full force toddler!!!!!

So, back to the food....

Lobster Tails are the best!

What I have done is....

Grill them over a medium high heat, after the rib eyes have come off and are resting (good choice btw Fella!) shell side down....you don't want to burn the shells.

Then, once the flesh is looking just under done, if there is any liquid in the shells, drain this off to a saucepan and mix in a tiny bit of minced garlic...leave on a low heat to just warm through.

Now, check on the rib eyes...all good and rested and cool (in a good way, not a temperature way!)?

Nice, now take your lobster tails, brush the flesh side with butter or garlic butter and flash over the grill to get the cool grill marks and slight caramelisation we all like.

Drop onto a warmed plate, add the steak and sides, serve the lobster sauce on the side : )

Tuck in and enjoy knowing that you have three fantastic Ladies in your life!
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Unread 01-23-2011, 01:44 PM   #6
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Guys, thanks for the suggestions so far, they all sound good, please keep 'em coming!

LM, I know exactly what you mean. One of the girls was born with Gastroschisis. When she was born, her large and small intestine as well as her stomach were on the outside of her body. She was in surgery 2 hours after birth and after seeing her hooked up to a ventilator and numerous tubes, including a PiC line into her heart, I broke down and cried my eyes out and am not ashamed to say that. I tried to prepare myself for that moment but there's nothing you can do when you see your own child in a situation like that. But, she is home now and all is going well and she is growing like a weed. I swear to you she pointed to the BBQ sauce and smiled the other day. Wishful thinking maybe?
Anyway, thanks for the grilling tips, I will follow them and hope I don't mess it up.
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Unread 01-23-2011, 02:24 PM   #7
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You might as well add a few HUGE shrimp to the menu. Asparagus is always good as is a grilled endive or romaine with a balsamic vinegar, sugar reduction. I know my wife loves those. Then hit em with some good parm.

Congrats all around to you.
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Unread 01-23-2011, 02:28 PM   #8
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Bob,
Could you please elaborate on the grilled endive or romaine, balsamic vin, sugar reduction?

Honestly I don't know what you are talking about, sorry.

-Chris



Quote:
Originally Posted by BobBrisket View Post
You might as well add a few HUGE shrimp to the menu. Asparagus is always good as is a grilled endive or romaine with a balsamic vinegar, sugar reduction. I know my wife loves those. Then hit em with some good parm.

Congrats all around to you.
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Unread 01-23-2011, 02:39 PM   #9
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Grilled romaine is wonderful! Ross in Ventura makes it a lot. Cut your romaine hearts in half and sprinkle with olive oil, grill until just wilting and then sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and freshly grated parmesan cheese.
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Unread 01-23-2011, 02:44 PM   #10
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Up here in Lobsta country we bow down to Jasper White of Summer Shack. Look for his recipes. I have seen cooks jam the lobsta in the head with an ice pick and then pull it apart. The legs and claws are still moving around. I have done them a bit differently, where I par-cook them to kill them and then pull them and grill. Here is an example of that: http://gonewengland.about.com/od/lob...lllobsters.htm

Careful when putting them in boiling water. Easy to overdo. I would substitute the boiling with a quick steam, where you use like 1 inch or so of wicked boiling water. Drop them in head first and cover quickly. Cook for about a minute. Should be good by then. At that point, pull and grill.
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Unread 01-23-2011, 03:13 PM   #11
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Congratulations to you and your wife on the twins and Happy Birthday to her!

For me, nothing goes better with steak than creamed spinach. Here's my recipe:

Creamed Spinach
2 pounds fresh spinach, washed and tough stems removed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup heavy cream
4oz cream cheese
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Directions
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the spinach and cook for 2 minutes. Drain in a fine mesh strainer, pressing with a large spoon to release as much water as possible. Finely chop and set aside.

Melt the butter in medium saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the cream and cream cheese, stirring constantly, until the cheese is melted and incorporated into the cream. Add the salt, pepper and nutmeg and stir. Finally, add the chopped spinach, mix well and serve.

Good luck!
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Unread 01-23-2011, 03:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquablue22 View Post
Grilled romaine is wonderful! Ross in Ventura makes it a lot. Cut your romaine hearts in half and sprinkle with olive oil, grill until just wilting and then sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Just like that. For the balsamic reduction I put about 1/3 cup or so of BV in a sauce pan and then add either honey or sugar (about 3 tbs of either) then heat the vinegar on low and stir constantly. Try to get as much of the water out. Once you pull it off the heat, it thickens as it cools. THe best of both sweet and sour worlds and makes for a killer glaze on the romaine and on other stuff like chicken and even salmon. You can even add a little cracked pepper to it.
One other thing I like to add to the romaine after I have drizzled some EVOO on it is a good coarse sea salt or Kosher salt for that salty crunch in the background.
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Unread 01-23-2011, 03:55 PM   #13
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A nice wine and a little time to sit and hold her hand would go good.
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Unread 01-23-2011, 04:03 PM   #14
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Fix what she like the most, if it bologna make her a samwitch
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Unread 01-23-2011, 04:05 PM   #15
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Nothing to be ashamed about Mate, I will stand my ground against any Man but show me a little Lad or Lady fighting, really fighting against what seems an impossible cliff face just to survive and then I am reduced to a babling wreck!
(and I don't even have Kids!!!!)

What you have achieved is amazing, whatever you do for your Wife - I'm sure will be better than having an all day, every day reservation at Nomu with service from Adrian Ferrea, Heston Blumenthal et al!

I, Sir, tip my hat to you!
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