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Lobster Pastas & Salad

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My absolute favorite thing in the entire world is throwing an amazing dinner party for some of my closet girlfriends. Ladies, leave your man candy at home because no boy is prepared for the things we talk about behind closed doors after an incredible meal where the wine flows like water.

Don’t have too many glasses of wine, though, or next thing you know you and your girlfriends will be reading 50 Shades of Chicken and comparing the male anatomy to crayons and Pringles cans—you know, the usual lady-like activities.

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Our dear friend Diana, the happy hostess, was kind enough to have us in her Georgetown home for a lobster bash. Lobster is simply the perfect protein to serve to guests. It is classic, elegant, fresh, sweet, savory, and above all, easy to master.

Diana and I were able to craft three delectable dishes that showcased the fresh lobster meat we received from Get Maine Lobster in a uniquely mouthwatering way. Here are the three dishes we crafted:

(1) Avocado, lobster, and grapefruit stuffed beet salad
(2) Lobster pasta with tarragon and tomato Cream Sauce
(3) Linguini with the Marcel’s famous lobster sauce

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After prepping the main courses and setting up Diana’s beautiful tablescape, we were ready to welcome our guests.  Rule No. 1 when hosting a large dinner party: Always have appetizers out while you’re waiting for all of your guests to arrive and get to know one another.

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Since you’ll still be in the kitchen putting the final touches on your masterpiece for later, it’s best to have something super simple that will take less than five minutes to prepare.

A cheese plate is the perfect solution! Make sure to include a variety of cheeses (one soft, one medium, and one hard) gourmet crackers, a drizzle of honey, and a side of nuts to complete the perfect platter.

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I also created a simple fall appetizer on a whim when I passed by the cutest lady apples at Whole Foods. Here is my recipe for walnut, cherry, and brie stuffed lady apples, the perfect winter appetizer.

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Ingredients:
– 10 lady apples
– 1 cup crushed walnuts
– 1/2 cup dried cherries
– 1/8 cup brown sugar
– 1/2 tbsp. cinnamon
– pinch of salt
– 1 tsp. lemon juice
– 10 thinly sliced squares of brie cheese (1″ x 1″ x 1/8″)

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Slice off tops of apples (about 1/4 of the apple) and reserve for decorative tops if desired.
3. Using a melon ball scooper, carve out small holes in the inside of the apple.
4. Combine the walnuts, dried cherries, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and lemon juice in a bowl.  Mix well.
5. Fill the apples with the fruit and nut mixture and top with a slice of brie.
6. Cover loosely with foil in a baking pan and bake the apples for about 15 minutes.

The next course was a simple but elegant twist on a beet salad. Instead of the traditional and highly overplayed beet and goat cheese salad (womp womp) I went with an avocado, lobster, and grapefruit stuffed beet salad.

Ingredients:
– 10 large beets, stem on (mix orange and red beet colors if you can)
– 2 grapefruits
– 3 avocados
– 3 lobster tails cooked and chopped into small chunks
– Mache lettuce

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Directions:
1. Wash beets and trim off stems.
2. Place beets in a small pan and add two tablespoons of water.
3. Cover pan with foil and roast in a 350 degrees F oven for 50 minutes or until fork tender.
4. While the beets are roasting, cut the avocados in half, remove the seeds, and carefully peel off the skin. Cut each half into small 1″ pieces. Toss the avocado pieces in the vinaigrette to prevent them from turning brown.
5. Use a large, sharp knife to slice the peel off the grapefruits (be sure to remove all the white pith), then cut between the membranes to release the grapefruit segments.  Cut the segments into small 1″ pieces.
6. Combine the avocado, grapefruit, and lobster in a bowl and mix in vinaigrette.
7. Remove the beets from oven. To test, a fork should go in easily with a little resistance.
8. Cool and peel off skins.  Cut off the tops of the beets and hollow them out with a spoon to use them as a small serving bowl for the salad.
9. Fill the beet cavities with the lobster, avocado, grapefruit mixture and place over a bed of mache lettuce.
10. Drizzle with a little vinaigrette and serve.

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Vinaigrette
-1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
-1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
-1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
-3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
-1/2 cup good olive oil

Place the mustard, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until the vinaigrette is emulsified.

For the main event, we feasted on Diana’s two amazing pasta dishes. Ladies, these are gourmet yet simple to prepare so write down this recipe and cook it next chance you get.

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Lobster with Tarragon and Tomato Cream Sauce 

Ingredients:
-2 tbsp. olive oil
-1 yellow or white onion, finely chopped
-1 large can stewed whole tomatoes
-1/3 c fresh tarragon
-salt and pepper to taste
-1 c heavy cream
-crushed red pepper or cayenne pepper
-1/2 lb lobster meat
-1 box of pasta (I used ziti)
-sprig of fresh tarragon for garnish

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Directions:
1. Saute the onion in the olive oil in a heavy saucepan (pot) until the onion is tender.
2. Drain and chop the tomatoes and add to the onions.
3. Add the tarragon and salt and pepper to taste, reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 min.
4. Remove mixture from heat and let it cool slightly. Puree in a food processor or food mill (this step is optional but if you would like a smooth sauce then go ahead and puree it).

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5. Return puree to the saucepan and add the cream. Feel free to add extra cream if you would like the sauce lighter (I did).
6. Simmer the sauce for about 15 minutes, stirring often, until it is slightly reduced.
7. Taste the sauce, add more salt and pepper if needed, and then add about 1-2 tsp. of crushed red pepper or 1/2 tsp. of cayenne, to taste.
8. Add the chopped, cooked lobster meat and cook another 5 minutes until the lobster is heated through.
9. Boil the pasta in salted water. Toss with the sauce, and garnish with the fresh tarragon.

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Marcel’s Lobster Sauce

Ingredients:
– 2 sticks of butter
– 1 cup of drained and chopped sundried tomatoes
– 1-1.5 cups of crème fraiche, depending on taste
– 1-1.5 cups chopped fresh basil
– 1 box pasta (I used spaghetti)

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Directions:
1. Melt butter in a heavy saucepan.
2. Add chopped sundried tomatoes and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
3. Add crème fraiche and simmer for another 3 minutes.
4. Boil the pasta in salted water until cooked.
5. Right before serving, add the chopped basil to the sauce and stir in.
6. Toss the sauce with the pasta, garnish with fresh basil.

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First step to making these recipes yourself is placing an order with Get Maine Lobster. The Lobster Man is our hero.

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