I have not yet finished my posts on France, but let me tell you that upon rentree in the States, my Mother made it clear that she wanted a p a r t y. Her birthday was New Year’s Eve, and R and I dutifully called her from Beaune on Skype with best wishes, but what she really wanted was a seafood feast when I got home. Of course….I spoil my Mom if you know me, and so tonight we had a few of her favorite foods with many of our extended family.
I prepared the entire meal in less than two hours’ time; and that involved a few stores but mostly a visit to our Chinese market, 99 Ranch Market. Here in Southern California, they have the best prices for fresh Maine lobster ($6.99/lb I have to ask Yvonne Petite Gallery how this compares), shrimp, and also live Dungeness crabs; unfortunately the steamer (free service) was en panne so I brought it all home. Thank goodness I had brought two fait-touts home from France and pressed them into service with my NYC thrift-store one; as well as a pair of skimmers also from Guy~
Is it just me, or do I feel like a chef when I cook with 19thC French copper? The lobster and crabs were prepared here quickly.
The trio of pots are going off to Peter at East Coast Tinning this week for a redo on the lining; the largest one here, far right, is 19thC and with wolfs’ teeth joinery; it is $700 NEW at Williams Sonoma, but I prefer this old one sourced from Guy in Brittany and Normandie and full of character and about $130 to retin; more on retinning old coppers later;
The ooohs and ahhs and oohs by my family, on the copper…will you soon be addicted to these pieces, as I am?
In summer these skimmers scoop tomatoes from the pot; here, the shrimp, ready to go into an ice bath~
And now to assemble a plateau; I know in NYC and Paris they use ice and the like, this is is simpler. Start with a large tray. This one I bought for my parents for their 50th; it is enorme, yes, so good for this~
I cut up the boiled lobster tail in one dish, and use prepared Dungeness Crab in another dish, set aside~
Halve several lemons and set on the platter~
Prop up several seafoods, the mostly in-edible portion of the lobster as well as the crabs on the lemons (sent home w my bro in law each year, Merry Christmas!)
I like volume…prop the lobster up a little…..
Add in the claws or cut them up with the tail; add in the cups of meat behind~
This was the quickest platter I have ever made but it was still so good~ toss boiled shrimp on top as well as a bunch of boiled whelks~
my table was a mess and we had blue willow plates and pistol handled knives set out; it was fine….
to cut the seafood, pommes frites, matchstick style; who can resist?
Baked brie and homemade graavlax for starters, I will show you later…..
Everyone was happy, it was a whipped up meal. We had dessert the next day which I will show you later.
Happy Birthday, Mom!