Part 2: Seafood Appetizers
Maine Oysters on the Half Shell with Mignonette of Chives, Minced Cucumbers and Crushed Pink Peppercorns
· 24 small Maine Oysters
· 1 Lb. Coarse Sea Salt for presentation
· 1 cup of Moscatel or Sherry Wine Vinegar
· Small Bunch of Chives
· 1 Tablespoon of Pink Peppercorns
· One small Persian Cucumber
· 3 Medium Lemons to Make 24 Lemon Wedges
1. Sort oysters to discard any dead.
2. Wash oysters of any sand.
3. Finely chop Chives.
4. Finely mince Persian cucumbers, keeping the skin
5. Crush the Pink Peppercorns
6. Mix the Chives, Cucumbers and Crushed Pink Peppercorns with the Vinegar
7. Open Oysters, reserving all liquid.
8. Lay oysters on a bed of course salt and add the oyster liquid to the oysters.
9. Spoon a small amount of the Mignonette sauce onto each oyster shell
Serve immediately while cold with sparkling sangrias.
Lobster Claw Crostini with Fresh Pea Pureè and Lemony Hollandaise Sauce
· 20 Small Fresh Maine Lobster Claws
· 1-2 Sourdough Baguettes Sliced into ½ inch Diagonals
1 Pound of Fresh English Peas
1 Quart of Water, Vegetable or Seafood Broth, or a mix of your choice
2 Medium Shallots
¼ cup of Amontillado Sherry
1 Tablespoon Sea Salt
½ Teaspoon Ground White Pepper
Thinly slice the shallots.
Sort the peas for any withered items.
Wash the peas.
In a medium large pot, bring the water and salt to a boil.
Add the shallots and peas.
When the peas are tender and still bright green, remove them & shallots to cold water to stop the cooking and preserve the color. Reserve a cup of the cooking liquid in a measuring cup.
With a slotted spoon or spider add the cooled peas back into the cooled empty pot with the sherry and pepper.
With an immersion blender pureè the peas, shallots and sherry, adding in cooking liquid as needed, until smooth.
Season with additional sea salt & white pepper to taste, being very careful to allow for salt in the lobster and hollandaise.
Marilinda’s Hollandaise Sauce
4 free range organic egg yolks
½ cup or more of plu gras (European Style) unsalted butter
½ freshly squeezed lemon juice, or more to taste
1 Tbs. Amontillado Sherry
1/8 tsp of ground cayenne pepper
Pinch of sea salt to taste
Beat egg yolks, lemon juice, cayenne pepper and salt together.
Melt butter in a small pan over very low heat.
Slowly whisk the butter into the egg yolk mixture until it is all incorporated.
Keep whisking constantly until the egg yolks thicken the sauce to the desired consistency.
Briskly whisk in warm sherry to flavor the sauce.
Use the warm sauce immediately.
Tip: To thin and reheat congealed sauce, whisk in a tiny bit of warm water. Garnish with fresh pea shoots and tendrils.
To Assemble Crostini
Slice the baguettes.
Spread each slice with about 1-2 tablespoons of pea puree, depending on their size.
Add one claw to each pureè topped slice.
Spoon hollandaise over each of the claws
Garnish with peas shoots and/or tendrils.
Stay tuned for my next post, Part 3 of our Picnic at Coastal Maine’s Mead Meadow. It will feature the main course of cheesy portobello burgers crowned by pickled red onions, avocado mash and baby arugula. The grilled vegetable sides are asparagus, fennel and leeks, accompanied by Moroccan spiced, grilled in their husks, corn on the cob.
Part 4, the finale to the feast, is homemade Maine blueberry cheesecake ice cream popsicles with a do-it-yourself dark chocolate magic shell coating.