Sunday, November 07, 2010

Fancy Pants Dinner #1: October (In November)

A few weeks back I asked you all to vote on what B1 and I should have for a fancy dinner. As you might recall, I had this idea so that I could actively use some of the bazillion cookbooks I own and so that I could cook a "fancier" meal once a month. I started by asking B1 to pick a protein; he chose fish. From there, I selected a few recipes for an appetizer, a main course and a dessert and created polls for each. Then you, my dear readers, decided on what we would eat....for the most part. (I switched the dessert because quite frankly, I wasn't feeling the chocolate part this weekend.)

You chose:

Appetizer: Crab Cakes w/ Tomato Ginger Jam
Main Course: Coquilles St. Jacques
Dessert: Raspberry Chocolate Pudding Cake Pineapple Foster

I have to admit that I love this idea and am excited to have these dinners once a month with my B1. It was lovely. B1 was very sweet-when I asked him if he'd like to have our nice dinner he said that he didn't know what I meant because I cook such good food all of the time, they're all nice. :) He also set the table and lit candles...such a cute boy.

Even though I had enough to cook, I decided that we needed rolls to sop up the yummy sauce from the scallops so I whipped up a batch of these lovely, soft dinner rolls. I was worried they would not work out so good because the last couple of batches of bread I've made have failed. The yeast is dying due to the way the market stored it but I was able to feed it and make it grow with some sugar and lots of love. ;)

Next, I made the crab cakes with tomato ginger jam. The crab cakes were not fantastic. B1 liked them, but I didn't care for them much. The flavor was good, but the consistency of the mixture was very moist and because they were baked, the didn't have that buttery crispness that I love. The tomato ginger jam, however, is outstanding. I really enjoyed it and am even thinking of making some for Christmas gifts this year. It went really well with the cakes and added the balance this recipe needed.

Onto the main course-Coquilles St. Jacques! It was so delicious. The creamy, rich sauce was warm and comforting and the delicate, sweet sea scallops just melted in our mouths. And nothing beats buttery, cheesy breadcrumbs on top of was just heavenly.

Lucky for B1 I couldn't finish all of my scallops. The sauce was so rich it just filled me up. But it was SO worth fact, because it's so yummy, we scraped the ramekins clean and saved the extra for dipping later on.

Initially I was going to make Cherries Jubilee for dessert because B1 has never had it and he wanted something flaming. :) I couldn't find cherries though, so I thought about doing Bananas Foster, but I didn't have any ripe bananas. Luckily we had a pineapple in the house, so I cut that up and made traditional Foster sauce (butter, brown sugar and rum) and added the pineapples. Because B1 wanted flames, I set it on fire before spooning it over the ice cream. It was, to say the least, delicious.

So thank you for voting last month-you chose well! Stay tuned for another poll to decide what we will eat for our next fancy meal!

Here is my favorite recipe from our meal. If you would like any of the other recipes, please email me.

Tomato Ginger Jam

2 T. Butter
1 Shallot, minced
1 T. Ginger, Peeled and finely chopped
1 Clove Garlic, Minced
3/4 t. Salt
1/4 t. Black Pepper
1/8 t. Red Pepper Flakes
1 T. Sugar
1 1/2 # Chopped Tomatoes
1 1/2 T. Lime Juice
2 T. Cilantro*

1. Melt Butter. Add shallots, ginger, garlic, salt and both peppers. Cook 5 minutes.
2. Add sugar and stir to dissolve.
3. Add tomatoes. Increase heat and simmer 10-15 minutes until mixture is thick and jam-like.
4. Cool to room temperature. Stir in lime juice and cilantro.

*I omitted the cilantro for this recipe as I did not think it went with the rest of our meal.
Recipe adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook


Vinny "Bond" Marini said...

I love Coquilles St. Jacques yes I do...

Even though you were not happy with the crab cakes, I know you were happy with the company!

"Lois Grebowski" said...

Pineapple foster... YUM... great twist and perfect with the meal. I love all things Foster (pun intended).

Thanks for sharing the tomato ginger jam recipe. Looking at it I immediately think of salmon... I'm not quite keen on the cilantro with that mix, either...