Dining Outside the Home: Ray’s Seafood in Rye, New Hampshire! Baked stuffed lobster doesn’t get any better than this. No cracking the shell and digging for the meat. The chef at Ray’s Seafood takes care of that for you. As the server places the plate of succulent lobster chunks bathed in high-quality sherry and parmesan seasoning on the table, take note of the buttery cracker topping. It’ll makes your taste buds drool. Not what you’d expect from an ordinary fish shack. Ray’s is a cut above the rest. Go for the freshest seafood and house-caught lobster. But also go for an outstanding ocean view.
Dining Outside the Home: Hukilau Lanai in Kapaa, Kauai! Every meal becomes a special occasion with a superb wait staff who is willing to satisfy your heart’s desire. Romance, you got it. Nostalgia, no worries. Impeccable food, a given. Start things off leisurely with a crafted cocktail: Ginger Martini. Sip it deliberately. Let the Hawaiian vodka seduce your taste buds with a tangy ginger liqueur finish. Mmmm. My husband chose a Ginny Hendrick’s garnished with a fresh rosemary sprig from their very own herb garden. Feeling pampered yet? Nibble on a savory appetizer of Lobster and Goat Cheese Wonton as a prelude to an incredible Lobster Curry Bisque. Can anyone have too much lobster? Wait, this is just the beginning. The entrées are first-class, the desserts divine. Surrender your will power. Every bite is worth it.
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Daily Special: Lazy “Lobster” Wrap! When you don’t live at the ocean where lobster is in abundant supply, the next best thing is an imitation variety. Alaska pollock is not only heart-healthy, fat-free, and packed with omega-3 in every serving, it’s readily available at your neighborhood market. Amazingly, this mock lobster is a surprising alternative. Eat it now and with the money you save, you can stuff yourself with real lobster when you travel to the shore.
LAZY “LOBSTER” WRAP
7-ounce package of chunk-style imitation lobster
1 tablespoon lemon olive oil
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
cracked pepper to taste
sea salt to taste
1 pat of butter
Vidalia onion slices
1 4-ounce container of crab dip, deli-style
2 flour tortillas
Spring Mix Salad Greens
In a medium skillet, sauté imitation chunk lobster and onion slices in lemon olive oil, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. While still warm, add 1 pat of butter. Cook an additional minute to blend flavors. Remove from heat. To assemble wrap: Take a flour tortilla, spread on a layer of crab dip, top with salad greens, and add a spoonful of lobster mixture. Roll it together to form a wrap. Serve warm or cold.
Dining Outside the Home: Kintaro Japanese Restaurant in Kapaa, Kauai! When the locals recommend a place to eat, pay attention, especially if they are making reservations for a private celebration behind shoji screens with tatami mat seating. Kintaro is that good. For others, it’s first-come, first-served whether you are seated at the exotic sushi bar, a table for two in the dining room, or family-style seating around the teppan yaki table grills. For starters a plate of complimentary crispy fried wontons were served by the friendly wait staff. They were so yummy, we ordered more. And because using chop sticks is part of the experience, the filet mignon and lobster tail combo were already cut into bite-sized cubes arranged on the plate. The rest is easy. Sit back, bask in the Asian decor, and enjoy the cuisine.
Dining Outside the Home: Burger Brasserie in Las Vegas, Nevada! What happens when the French take an American classic and turn it into their own version of a sandwich? Give up? You get a number of gourmet burgers made of chicken, lamb, or beef with incredible toppings. Caramelized onions are a given. Gruyère, Bleu, and Brie cheeses are also an option, among others. And the buns…well, never mind ordinary white bread, it’s not even on the menu. After all, this is the Paris casino. Expect the best. If you’re feeling lucky, go for the $777 Burger. It’s made with Kobe beef and topped with lump Maine lobster. No worries, included is a bottle of Don Perignon Champagne. After all, this is Vegas.
Dining Outside the Home: Blue Lobster Grille in Rockport, Massachusetts! Some days it pays off to forego classic menu items and roll with the specialty of the gourmet chef, especially when it comes to seafood. Today’s feature: Stuffed Haddock in a creamy butter sauce. Agnoldo Oliveira takes his reputation seriously. Never mind that the Blue Lobster Grille affords the perfect vantage point of Rockport’s iconic Motif No. 1 as well as daily activity around Dock Square. You’ll find yourself trying not to stare at the heaping plates of those customers around you. It’s that good!
Dining Outside the Home: Petey’s Summertime Seafood in Rye, New Hampshire. The menu said “Award-Winning Clam Chowder”, just the facts sprinkled with a second helping of bragging rights. As the waitress swept by our table, balancing a tray of four steaming bowls of clam chowder surrounded by cracker packets, it left behind an amazing aroma too tempting to resist. First course decided. Next up, an incredible dish known as “Baked Stuffed Lobster Pie ‘n Butter”. When the staff recommends something they eat (often) themselves, prepare to enter Lobster Heaven. It truly does exist.
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Timeless Classics: Neufchâtel Crab Dip! Easy seafood appetizers can be prepared in no time at all. By substituting miniature phyllo dough shells for snack crackers, the results are impressively gourmet. Who doesn’t love that WOW factor?! Make this appetizer the star of your next gathering. Everyone will thank you.
NEUFCHÂTEL CRAB DIP
6-ounce can crabmeat, drained, flaked, and cartilage removed
1/2 cup lobster meat, chunk style
1 green onion, snipped
1 teaspoon dried dill weed
1 teaspoon lemon peel, finely shredded
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1/4 cup Jalapeño Confetti Jelly*
15-count package miniature phyllo dough shells
Fresh dill sprigs
Preheat oven to 350°. Arrange phyllo shells on a baking sheet. Bake 5-7 minutes until crisp. Remove and set aside. In a medium bowl, toss crabmeat, lobster, and green onion snips in dill weed, shredded lemon peel, and lemon juice. In a another bowl, combine mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, seasoned salt, and red pepper flakes. Mix well. Fold crabmeat mixture into mayonnaise mixture. Transfer dip to an oven-proof dish. Top with Jalapeño Confetti Jelly. Bake 20 minutes. Spoon warm crab dip into phyllo shells. Garnish with fresh dill sprigs. Serve warm.
*Follow the link for the recipe for Jalapeño Confetti Jelly.
Dining Outside the Home: Petey’s Summertime Seafood in Rye, New Hampshire. Sometimes you just need to go to the shack. The seafood shack, that is. Located right across the road from the beach, on the scenic route through New Hampshire, sits a casual restaurant that practically never closes. Petey’s is famous for the freshest seafood, generous portions, and the best clam strips my husband has ever eaten. If you don’t believe him, drive by sometime. The parking lot is always full. Always. I’m a lobster-lover, so I’ve tried everything from a cracked lobster dinner to lobster-on-a-stick, with drawn butter of course. The juicy, tender, bite-size chunks can almost make me swoon. They practically come from the ocean to the table. Sound like Paradise? Pinch me, I must be dreaming.