Sunday, July 11, 2010


OK, so we all get a little crabby every now and then...

This past Sunday we had our 11th Annual Crab and Lobster Fest. This coming Sunday I guess we will have to call the 11.5 annual. In any case this is the one special dinner that has been without a doubt the most popular of all our themes. Everyone loves the harvest dinner in the fall. Regional French dinners suit me well and are always well attended. New Years Eve comes close only in loyalty. Many customers have bragging rights having been to every New Years at Andre's. But, let me tell you the folks are crazy for crustaceans! We had to run this dinner for two Sundays because we couldn't accommodate all of our loyal customers. Well, some people come to both.

So, I invited Rob to come and have an early dinner, and if he thought there was anything worth while he could do that thing that he does with light and time. You know, the way he bends it just so...

The first bite always evolves more than any course. You have an idea but, it needs to set the stage for what is to come. It can't be finalized until the whole menu is set. It's a tease, yet it needs to make sense in the sequence of the meal.

The first course is like the opening number of a Broadway show. You need to let the audience know that you came to kill it. But, it's just the first glimpse and it shouldn't overpower the rest of the show.

Next comes Crab Cakes. I can't say much about this. I think the proof is in the pudding, as they say. If you've had the opportunity to taste mine, it's a pretty damn good pudding.
OK if you don't want to take my word for it try for yourself.

1 # jumbo lump crab meat
1/4 cup + 1 T mayo
1/4 slowly cooked diced red bell pepper and onion
1-2 T bread crumbs
salt, pepper, Tabasco to taste

gently combine and form into patties, dip in flour, then egg, then bread crumbs. fry in 350 oil till golden brown and delicious.

Oh, I almost forgot. You have to make the mayo to.

In a blender,
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup strong mustard
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
juice from 1/2 lemon
salt, white pepper, Tabasco

with the blender running slowly pour in 2-3 cups vegetable oil until the mixture thickens. It will not be as thick as Hellman's until it is fully chilled.

So now for some soup. Lobster and Crab Curry. Coconut Milk, Ginger, Jasmine Rice...

Love 'em or hate 'em, I couldn't not, not include the Soft Shell. Personally, I can't get enough of them. In my humble, but perfect, opinion there are only two ways to truly appreciate the soft shell. The first is as a sandwich, more on that later, and the second is with some fresh pasta and really good butter.

We have been throwing this party for many years. Every year we try to pull off some kind of Chocolate Crab, or Bitter Sweet "Sebastian"-(think little mermaid). Last year was Crab in a Blender. This year, I don't know why, I decided to avoid the shtick, the play on words, and just make a nice dessert. Simple, honest and true. As I read those last few words I think it's some thing we could all use a little more of. Simple, honest, true...

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