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May 11, 2014

Mother's Day Lobster: Revisited

Mother's Day. What a nice day. A chance to let Mom have a day that is specially for her. This is pretty similar to what I did before but there were subtle changes this time around. I really enjoy making dinner for my parents (when I can). Here's the journey of a road I've traveled once before.

I call the the "Bend Test" for asparagus. Now before I go any further, this particular spear is one that founds its way into the dishwater. So needless to say, that piece was the sacrificial lamb. If you're wondering where you should cut the asparagus, I have your solution. As a rule, I generally cut 2" to 3" from the bottom and one I'd call safe (those end pieces won't cook since they're too hard). The "Bend Test" is what it implies. Take the spear, holding it from the bottom, and try to bend it (I bend against the counter top). Wherever it snaps, that's where you can cut it and give you a guide on where to cut the rest.  This has worked for me and serves as a reference point. 

As usual, asparagus. I chopped about 2" off on the average. I got a little ambitious today. My Dad and I were grilling steaks (filet mignon, which are seen below). I began cooking these as I normally do, in some boiling water but only did it for about 6 minutes (versus the normal 10 minutes). Then I kept it simple, adding salt, pepper and grape seed oil. After doing that, I took them outside to the grill and finished them there, cooking them for about 3 minutes. The result was good. 

These are the steaks Dad and I did on the grill. I put the bigger pieces on direct heat for about  8-10 minutes per side. The smaller piece was done not quite as direct (just off the coals) for fear of overcooking it. I prefer my steaks medium rare but can live with medium. My Dad marinated them overnight. So before grilling, I placed the meat at room temperature for about 30 minutes. I patted the marinate the meat dry with a paper towel once the meat reached room temperature. I've noticed that since I do that, my steaks have turned out much better. They seem to cook more evenly. 

Now above are the grilled asparagus I finished on the grill. Cooked fork tender and didn't overcook them. I was VERY happy with how they turned out.  Now you notice the sausage? That's andouille sausage I bought locally. Now even though I live in the Chicago area, the place I got them from is legit. They were just as good as some of the mail order sausage I've bought. My folks, who ate fresh andouille in New Orleans, they liked it very much as well. I figured since I had the grill out, I would cook them. I'm deciding on what dish I'll make with it and probably decide over the next couple of days.

Here is the lobster. On the left is the uncooked, thawed version. Since I'm allergic, Dad did this part. The place he gets them from arrive in the morning and chances are, sold out by the end of the day (between retail and restaurant customers). If you click the picture, you'll notice that the meat is absolutely flawless. the raw version has no spots, blemishes or discoloring. The reputable sellers do not tamper with them at all (e.g., solutions, phosphates, etc). This is a cold water lobster tail. As I understand, cold water lobsters tend to be much sweeter in taste. Unlike warm water lobster, they also don't have a "fishy" taste. They're also more expensive but you do get what you pay for. On the right is the finished version. The result of cooking at 375 degrees F (or 190 degrees C) for about 30 minutes. My Dad kept it simple as it relates to seasoning, using only salt, pepper and accent. 

After some hard work, the finished product! My Mom's special Mother's Day dinner is complete. Here is the lobster, all 1.6 lbs of it (served with mashed potatoes and asparagus). Dad & I had steak off the grill (see below). I added sour cream on my potatoes. I got two pieces of meat (which I ate one later), Dad ate one and decided to give the last piece of steak to my Uncle (his brother; my grandmother and he live in the same town). 

My Dad knocked it out of the part with the lobster. He normally goes to one of the best places to get the top seafood. He'll buy these 2 to 3 times each year and this is one of those times. She prefers staying in and having what she wants instead of going out someplace and possibly having the meal messed up. That's before adding the melee of the crowds, and overlapped or completely wrong reservations. I still have my Mom as well as both grandmothers (ages 92 and 96 respectively). My parents insisted that I learn how to cook and I did at a young age. I'm glad they did because I'm amazed how many PEOPLE (MALE and FEMALE) that can't do it. I understand and appreciate having them in my life because many I know aren't so lucky. What a lucky man I am. Saying thank you to my Mom wouldn't scratch the surface. 
Taken from

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