I believe in food. I believe it brings families together; children and parents, husbands and wives, even extended family at times. But most of all, I believe that when you walk through the front door and the smell of something delectable wafts out, it means that someone inside the house cares. It means that the person preparing the meal, whomever it may be, has thought about you, and that matters. In my family I happen to be the one who enjoys cooking, but my husband has also made a meal or two. With our busy schedules I may not be able to cook every night, but once a week I try to conjure up something special. This week I was inspired by seafood. I made lobster gruyere wontons, spicy mahi on a bed of jasmine ginger rice, and for dessert an assortment of fresh fruit tarts. Below are the recipes.
Lobster Gruyere Wontons
(Recipe yields approximately 20 wontons)
- wonton wrappers (I used store bought from the produce department)
- 1 lobster tail (You can purchase pre-steamed from store or cook in the oven with butter, garlic, and salt)
- 1 cup of uncooked baby bella mushrooms
- 1/2 cups shallots chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped tarragon
- 1/2 cup of sherry
- 1/2 cup of heavy cream
- 1/2 cup of chicken stock
- 3 cloves of crushed garlic
- 1/2 cup of shredded Gruyere
- 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 2 tablespoons of oil
- Melt a tablespoon of butter and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil in pan. Heat until sizzling.
- Add shallots and garlic, cooking until golden
- Add mushrooms
- Cook mixture until almost dry.
- Add sherry to deglaze the pan.
- Add chicken stock
- When sherry and chicken stock are at a boil, add the heavy cream
- Add tarragon
- Boil until mixture is creamy
- Add cooked lobster
- Turn off heat and add the gruyere and parmesan cheese
- Let mixture cool, wrap in wontons and fry (you can refrigerate wontons until ready to fry)
Note: You can serve wontons in a party platter for a large group or in glasses or small dishes for individual dinner parties. Arugula or mixed greens make a nice bed for this appetizer.
Spicy Mahi & Jasmine Rice
(Recipe yields 4 servings)
- 4 filets of mahi (you can use swordfish as well)
- 2 cloves garlic
- juice from 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of blackening/cajun spices (I use a spice called Bruce’s spice which is sold at a local green market
- 2 tablespoons of chopped ginger
- 1 tablespoon of salt
- 1 cup for jasmine rice
- 1/4 cup of chicken stock
- 1cup of heavy cream
- Pine nuts
- 1/4 cup chopped chives
- 1 cup of white wine
Steps for Mahi
- Make sure to rinse your Mahi well.
- Add lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, and spices.
- Mix together in a baking dish or bowl. You can refrigerate for a few hours ahead of time.
- Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 12 minutes or until sizzling. For best results grill.
Mahi before grilling.
Steps for Rice
- Bring 2 cups of water and ginger to a boil.
- Add 1 cup of jasmine rice and salt.
- Lower heat.
- Cook until rice is soft and water is absorbed.
Steps for Tomato Mixture
- Toast pine nuts in a pan with olive oil until light brown. Remove promptly. Set aside.
- In pan saute chopped shallots, chives, and halved yellow tomatoes (small yellow tomatoes).
- When mixture if dry add 1 cup of whit wine.
- Add toasted pine nuts.
- Saute until mixture is almost dry.
Directions For Plating
- Use a ramekin or small bowl. Dab paper towel with some corn or canola oil and grease the inside of the ramekin.
- Pack rice tightly in the ramekin and then turn upside down in the plate for a molded bed of rice.
- Arrange Mahi on top of rice.
- Arrange tomato mixture on the plate around the rice.
(Recipe yields 4 mini tarts or one large)
- 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream
- 2 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons of corn starch
- 11/2 sticks of butter
- 4 tablespoons of vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup of confectioners sugar
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- Fresh cut berries
Steps for Crust
- Combine sugar, butter (softened), and flour in food processor until mixture forms a ball.
- In a tart pan push the crust into indentations.
- Bake crust for 10 to 12 minutes on 350.
Steps for Cream (Not your traditional pastry cream)
- Pour 4 cups heavy cream and granulated sugar in a pot and begin to boil.
- Before the mixture boils, dissolve cornstarch in remaining 1/2 cup of heavy cream and add to the heavy cream in the pot (whisk it continually) until it boils. The cream should thicken to a pudding like substance. Careful not to burn.
Putting in together
- Let tarts cool to room temp.
- Spread cream onto the tart.
- Arrange sliced fruits
- You may add a glaze. I used a store bought glaze. However, I prefer the tart without a glaze at all.