Well corporate America, it’s almost quittin’ time on our most hallowed of holiday weekends. And nothing’s more American than using company time to do entirely personal things on a Friday afternoon, so that’s what I’m doing here.
This recipe is obviously of the rich and famous variety (because we clearly are SO VERY both), and it is as good as you think it is. The Chef made this in honor of our last dinner with The Grosshans (while we were still official Memphians, that is), and sitting on a porch eating this with a cold glass of white wine and good company is about as close to perfection as you can get. While you’re outdoors in Memphis in June, anyway.
The freshness of the tomatoes, the sweetness of the lobster and the bite of the balsamic make this dish truly addictive. So if you’ve decided to turn in your hot dogs for fancier fare this Fourth of July, this is a recipe not to be missed. (I obviously will not be doing that because hot dogs and me are an American love affair for the ages, but it’s your life.)
2 lobster tails
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons of butter
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Season lobster with salt and pepper and dab one tablespoon of butter on each tail.
- Roast for 10 to 12 minutes.
- Once done place in a ice bath to cool.
- Once cool dice and squeeze the juice of one lemon over them.
Caprese Salad with Balsamic Reduction:
2 yellow tomatoes, diced
2 orange tomatoes, diced
2 roma tomatoes, diced
salt to taste
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
1 cup balsamic vinegar
- Take one cup of balsamic vinegar and cook in a pot on low heat for thirty minutes or until it coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Season tomatoes with salt and toss with Basil Vinaigrette.
- Top with goat cheese and lobster. Drizzle balsamic reduction over salad and serve. (Makes 4 servings)
Luxuriate. That’s the only word that does this justice. And justice is American as hell.
All pasta recipes are welcome at Nummynumnum but even better if they involve goat cheese. Below is a recipe from good friend Chef Leah. I have a feeling this will be a lot more people’s go to pasta recipe after first try. – ts
Chef Leah says: This is my go-to recipe for when I have someone over for dinner but don’t have a lot of time to prep or cook OR if I am cooking for a picky eater! You can make the sauce while the pasta and meatballs cook and then just toss and serve!
One 4 oz package goat cheese
2 oz fat free cream cheese (about 1/4 of the block)
3 garlic cloves
2-3 fresh basil leaves
1 package baby spinach, de-stemmed and coarsely chopped
1 package fresh pasta (i use fettuccine but you can use anything)
1 package frozen meatballs or turkey meatballs (you can obv make these, but SO much faster not to)
1/2 package cherry tomatoes
- Combine garlic cloves, goat cheese, cream cheese and 3-4 large handfuls of spinach and basil leaves in food processor and blend until creamy and bright green. set aside.
- Cook pasta, heat up meatballs in microwave or skillet, whatever is easier.
- While those are cooking, cut cherry tomatoes in half and put in large serving bowl with remaining spinach. Add cooked meatballs to bowl (i cut mine in 1/4’s), pasta and creamy pesto sauce. Mix, add Parmesan cheese and serve!
Chef Leah’s note: you can also add a cubed block of fresh mozzarella cheese at the end to make even more amazing. The sauce is also delicious on other meats, as a sandwich spread and as a dipping sauce.
This recipe is an exercise in self control in that you really have to just not screw up good, fresh ingredients by getting too fussy with them.
These veggies are really yummy and bright (I keep hearing people on the Food Network use that word, so I’m taking it for a spin). The red pepper and basil kick the flavor up a notch, and it’s nutritious in the make-you-feel-good way, not the hippie-tree-hugging-granola way, and that’s always a plus.
1 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and then sliced into thin half-moons
1 yellow squash, cut the same way as the zucchini
1 red bell pepper, diced small
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon of basil, chiffonade (Don’t worry it only sounds intimidating.)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 ounce olive oil
- Heat oil in a saute pan. Add garlic and saute until tender but not brown.
- Add zucchini, yellow squash, and red bell pepper. Saute until tender.
- Toss in basil and season with salt and pepper.
Like any good Southerner, I love watermelon… Mmkay, you know what? In the spirit of exhaustion and honesty this post-Music Fest week, Imma be real with you: I’m not really a fan.
I’ve choked it down at every Fourth of July catfish fry, I’ve tried it with salt (and if salt can’t help me, honey, I don’t know what can), and I’ve even had the vodka-soaked variety and frankly, I’ll leave it.
But as with so many things I’ve traditionally disliked, The Chef has found a way to make it not only palatable but actually good. Bacon, tomatoes and cheese have a hand in that, but the watermelon itself actually gets a dose of personality here, so go on and get out and proud and pretty with this one. You won’t be sorry.
2 cups watermelon, diced and seeded
2 cups assorted tomatoes, diced
2 tbsp toasted pecans
crumbled goat cheese (or mozzarella or blue cheese)
3 strips bacon, cooked and chopped
- Get mixy and then serve atop spring greens. That’s all folks.
You know how sometimes people think hot girls are automatically stupid? Like there’s no way that something can look that good on the outside and not be either dumb or awful on the inside? Well, I think this salad is that hot girl. And this one actually reads Dostoyevsky for fun and got a perfect score on her ACT.
(Incidentally, I would hate that chick.)
What I’m sayin’ is there’s substance here as well as pretty. The avocado and cheese are rich, the tomatoes are juicy and tangy, and the croutons give you the perfect amount of crunch. Dress all that up in Balsamic and drive it around town in your new convertible? It will be like Weird Science in here. And everybody wants that. (Minus Chet.)
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tsp honey
3/4 cup olive oil
juice of half a lemon
salt to taste
- Mix all ingredients except oil.
- Slowly add oil while constantly whisking until it emulsifies.
4 tomatoes, chopped
2 orange tomatoes, chopped
2 yellow tomatoes, chopped
1 ripe avocado, chopped
1.5 cups of diced mozzarella
1 cup of fresh croutons
salt to taste
1 tbsp mint or basil (optional)
- Mix together and toss in dressing.
- Eat and bask in the afterglow.
While these are not the height of sophistication nor do they require much culinary prowess, they do include 3 of my favorite things: bacon, mayo and tomatoes. Oh, and Emily’s favorite thing: Wheat Thins. (I didn’t understand how deep that love goes until I caught her eating Mama Dunny’s veggie beef soup with them. Cold, straight out of the container. Classy.)
I’d suggest making these 30 minutes before you plan to serve them at the most because the crackers can get soggy, but for 4 ingredients and a 5-minute prep time, you can’t beat ’em. The picture is of the same type of concoction on a crostini – apparently the Internets don’t know about the Wheat Thin shortcut, so we’re very cutting edge here at Triple N. (Though not cutting edge enough to have an original pic… Coming soon.)
1/4 cup mayo
4 strips of bacon, cooked and chopped
1 box Wheat Thins OR bread cut into 2-inch rounds, toasted
1 container grape tomatoes, halved
Cavender’s & chopped basil (optional)
- Mix mayo and bacon together. (Feel free to use Bacon Bits if you want to do a no-cook version. Grommet-style still tastes good.) Add Cavender’s and basil if you so desire.
- Top Wheat Thins or bread rounds with a teaspoon of the bacon mixture and one half of a grape tomato. Viola. Bites are served.