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Lobster Medallions with Lemon Butter Sauce

By Heather Jumah

Lobster Medallions:

1-1.5 pound Lobster Tail, thaw if frozen

1 cup of dry vermouth

3 cups of water.

Add the vermouth and water to a steamer, bring to a low boil.? Add the lobster tail in the shell and steam 20 minutes.? Remove the lobster meat from the shell and slice into 1/4 inch thick medallions.? Place on? warmed plates, fanning out the medallions, drizzle with lemon butter sauce and serve immediately.? Serves 4.

Lemon Butter Sauce:

4 oz.? dry white wine

1 medium lemon, quartered, seeded?and chopped

1/2 tablespoon minced shallots

1/4 cup heavy cream

1?stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1/4?teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon?minced fresh parsley leaves

Heat the white wine, lemon?and shallots?in a medium non-reactive saucepan over medium heat.? Bring to a boil.? Reduce heat to medium low?and simmer until?reduced by one-half, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and mashing the lemons with the back of a spoon to break up into pieces Add the cream and?simmer until reduced by half, about 3-4 minutes.

Whisk in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, adding each piece before the previous one has been completely incorporated. Continue until all the butter is completely incorporated and the sauce coats the back of a spoon.? Remove?the pan from the heat periodically to prevent the sauce from getting too hot and breaking.?Season the salt and whisk to blend.

Remove from the heat and strain, pressing down with the whisk, through a fine mesh strainer, into a small bowl, taste to correct seasoning.?Stir in the parsley and drizzle lightly over the lobster medallions.

Simply Sensational Cheese Straws

Wow your guests with these tasty delights.? Cheese straws?are very simple to make using frozen puff pastry from the grocery store.? They make an elegant appetizer presentation when you stand them in a decorative glass.

I box (2 sheets) frozen puff pastry, defrosted in your refrigerator

1 egg, beaten?with 1 Tbsp. of water, in a shallow bowl

3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

3/4 cup finely grated Gruyere Cheese

2 tsp. Kosher Salt

2 grinds?of fresh black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Combine both cheeses, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl.? Roll out one sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured cutting board.? Brush the surface of?the pastry lightly with the egg.? Sprinkle half of the cheese mixture evenly over the puff pastry.? Using a rolling pin lightly roll the cheese mixture into the pastry.? Cut the pastry crosswise into 12 strips.? Twist each entire strip then place on a baking sheet.? Repeat the process with the remaining pastry and ingredients.

Bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly brown and puffy, turn each straw and bake another 2-3 minutes, do not overbake.? Serve at room temperature.? Makes 24 cheese straws.

Fabulous Creme Brulee

Creme Brulee

By Heather Jumah

Makes?4 servings.

Ingredients

3 cups whipping cream
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise or 1 tsp. best quality pure vanilla extract.?Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract, is available at most food specialty shops.
8?large egg yolks
1/2 cup plus?4 teaspoons sugar

Preparation

Preheat oven to 325?F. Place cream in heavy medium saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean (or vanilla extract); add bean. Bring to simmer over medium heat. In a?medium metal?bowl, whisk together egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar until the sugar has dissolved. ?Set bowl over saucepan of simmering water (do not allow bowl to touch water). Whisk vigorously until yolk mixture is pale yellow and hot to touch, about 3 minutes. Gradually whisk in hot cream mixture; discard vanilla bean. Using a fine strainer, strain into a large bowl, skimming off any foam or bubbles.? Divide cream mixture among?four 3/4-cup souffl? dishes or custard cups. Arrange dishes in 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Pour enough hot water into pan to come halfway up sides of dishes. Bake custards until almost set in center and light golden on top, about 35 minutes. Remove custards from water after they have cooled and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.

When ready to serve, sprinkle 1 teaspoon of sugar over each custard. For best results, use a small, hand-held torch to melt sugar. If you don’t have a torch,?preheat broiler. Place dishes?on a?small baking sheet. Broil until sugar just starts to caramelize, rotating sheet for even browning, about 2 minutes. Refrigerate custards up to three hours before serving.

Creme Brulee

Creme Brulee

Fast, Fabulous and Fun Cocktail Party

 

By Heather Juma

A Cocktail Party is the perfect way to throw a great party without all the fuss involved in planning a dinner party. Cocktail Parties are fun and glamorous, you can look like you knocked yourself out and ?wow? everyone with a quick trip to the supermarket.To keep things glamorous, serve all beverages in martini glasses or champagne flutes. Set up a self serve station for drinks and appetizers, include the basics like glasses, napkins, and plates for appetizers. Purchase high quality cocktail napkins and do not use paper plates.

If you have a beautiful table cloth, stack some books and small boxes (sturdy shoe boxes will do the trick) of varying heights on the table, cover with the table cloth. Place your best serving trays on the covered books and boxes, this will make an interesting arrangement as the serving trays will be at different levels on the table. Place flowers in a beautiful vase and light votive candles, arrange these on the serving table for a glamorous effect. A few strategically placed wine buckets with bottles of wine and champagne will add a look of elegance to the table.

You?ll want to offer a wide array of appetizers for your guests to nibble on. Crackers fanned out across a platter, bowls of olives and drained roasted red pepppers, a wide variety of nuts, ready made dips and spreads in beautiful bowls, bread sticks served upright in glasses, slice up a baguette and serve with a purchased olive oil based dipping sauce. Serve prewashed baby carrots, and quickly sliced red and green peppers with purchased dip or hummus, serve a variety of cheeses on a cutting board surrounded by grapes, figs, sliced pears or apples sprinkled with a bit of lemon to prevent discoloration. Go over the top and serve paper thin slices of salmon on crackers topped with a smidgen of herb flavored cream cheese, break out the caviar and your favorite store bought pate.

It?s best to have the bar area separate from the food area, to avoid everyone gathering in one spot. Prepare one special signature drink to offer each guest as they arrive to get the party started. Provide sparkling waters, both flavored and unflavored, a wide array of beers, wines and sodas. You?ll want to serve both white and red wines and of course your favorite champagne; add a few mixers to the bubbly like creme de cassis for a Kir Royale or a touch of peach nectar for a luscious Bellini. If you don?t want to serve as bartender all evening set up a well stocked self serve cocktail station with all the necessities and make sure to have plenty of ice!

Well it?s time to dim the lights, light some candles, play your favorite CDs or iTunes on the Ipod, slip into that slinky, sexy dress of yours and get ready to impress your guests!