22 May 2009

Lobster and bacon, together at last

Man, a month can go by so quickly! May has just flown by.

Last night I made a pleasant supper for two - my best friend came downtown to spend the evening with me. Lobsters are abundant and (relatively) inexpensive right now, so I seized the moment and made...

Lobster Linguine

cooked linguine (enough for 3 medium servings, or 2 large servings)
one 1lb cooked lobster, cracked with meat taken out and diced
two strips of bacon, diced
1/8-1/4 cup of brandy
3/4 cup frozen peas (fresh would probably be okay too, they're just not available here in May)
3/4 cup 35% whipping cream
1/2 cup half-and-half
ground sea salt and black pepper to taste
chopped fresh chives

Heat a frying pan. Add diced bacon and fry till crispy. Drain fat except for about 1 teaspoon - allow to remain in pan with bacon. Add brandy and allow to simmer for a minute or so. Add frozen peas to pan with brandy, bacon and fat, and saute for about a minute and a half, until tender. Add whipping cream and bring to a boil - allow to simmer for about 2-3 minutes. Then, add lobster and half-and-half. Bring it all up to a boil and allow to simmer for a few minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add sauce to cooked linguine and toss. Plate. Garnish with chopped chives and serve.

The pasta has a nice salty-sweet taste from the bacon, brandy, peas and lobster. The chives brighten things up a little bit. The cream isn't crazy heavy-tasting, so you wind up with a kind of business-casual supper that is quite pleasant for spring/early summer.

01 May 2009

The Spanish Sandwich

Well, it's actually no such thing... but since two of the the 5 ingredients in this toasty, melty sandwich are of Spanish extraction, and the sound of "Spanish" and "sandwich" together made my ears happy, I decided to title this post as such.

Anyway, I made this in about 10 minutes over my lunch hour yesterday. I toasted everything in the oven because I'm a bit of a stickler when it comes to things being thoroughly toasted.

2 slices bread - I used some called Country Harvest because that was what I had. It would undoubtedly be delicious with something from the bakery, like a grain bread or even just a plain white Italian loaf.
3/4 cup grated Manchego cheese
1 1/2 slices of thinly sliced Serrano ham
fig jam or tapenade (onion jam works too, and red pepper jelly might even be a nice taste)

Turn broiler on in oven (500 degrees), and position rack to middle.

Butter one side of both pieces of bread. Put into oven until desired level of toastedness is reached. Remove.

Place Serrano ham on the toasted side of one piece of bread. Spread other toasted side piece with fig jam/tapenade/whatever, and then cover bread/spread with grated Manchego. Place back in oven until cheese has melted and ham has crisped slightly. Remove.

Place two sides of bread together - sandwich them, if you will, untoasted sides out. Place back under broiler to toast one side. Flip, then toast the other.

It's salty and sweet and pretty great for a fast meal. I ate it with some tomatoes dressed with a tiny bit of balsamic.

If you're not as interested in things being perfectly toasted on every side, then doing this like a traditional grilled cheese in a pan with butter is totally fine.