beef, seafood

Day 158: A triptych of booze

June 7, 2007

This evening L and I made Shrimp Martinis and Manhattan Steaks. I’d been a little concerned about this recipe as it seemed a bit complex when I skim read it a couple of days ago, but it was really straight forward. The steaks were smeared with olive oil and sprinkled with grill seasoning before being cooked in a grill pan on a high heat. Meanwhile, the cocktail/ dipping sauce was assembled. In a pitcher, cocktail sauce, Tabasco sauce, vodka, lemon zest, chopped celery, salt and pepper were mixed together and refrigerated to cool. The martini glasses (or juice glasses if that’s all you have) were filled with ice to be chilled. The cooked jumbo shrimp were sprinkled with lemon juice and salt, and hung on the edge of the chilled glass. This is not as easy as it looks, especially when your glasses are almost too narrow to get your hands in to fish out the fallen shrimp. The glass was finally filled with the cocktail mixture.

The steak was to be served on toast points, which I assumed must be toast cut into triangles, with broccoli alongside. It seems that I mislaid the broccoli somewhere along the way this week, and we couldn’t face another trip to the grocery store. Our evening trip to pick up the shrimp and cocktail sauce was made unnecessarily complicated by a power outage, resulting in nightmarish traffic and a closed shop. So, suffice to say I substituted peas for the broccoli. It was that or cauliflower, and I thought the colour might be a welcome addition to a plate of brown food. Once the steak had cooked, it was removed from the pan and more olive oil and butter were added. Once they melted together, the shallots were sautéed for a couple of minutes. Next the vermouth and whiskey were added, and they were supposed to be set alight to burn off the alcohol. I couldn’t find matches or a lighter anywhere (behold the house of the reformed smokers), so turning up the heat to high had to suffice. Presumably  it had a similar effect, although I’m sure it was less spectacular. Finally a pat of  butter was added to the pan to add some gloss and extra cholesterol.

We served everything on one dinner plate, and just at the last moment L remembered to garnish the steak with parsley. The steak was excellent; succulent and moist with a delicious glaze. The alcohol was discernible in taste but not effect, and the overall flavour was sweet but distinctive. The shrimp martini was better than either of us anticipated. The sauce was spicy and rich just like a good Bloody Mary. The shrimp were fine to dip into the sauce, but I’m not sure that I’d want to dip the shrimp then drink the remainder of the cocktail. The toast points were a little odd, unless I’m missing something. They were fine to mop up the glaze but I’d choose a good crusty bread over sliced white bread any day. The peas were cold, which was my fault entirely. I have a fear of over-cooked peas, which often results in serving peas just this side of frozen.

Tomorrow we will be making Burly-Man-Size Chicken-Cheddar Barbecued Burgers with Spicy Coleslaw, which is at least served with fries; it’s the small things that you have to hang on to. We are going for the 4D ultrasound tomorrow morning which I am pretty excited about. Hopefully, all being well, the  last ultrasound ruled out any problems, so we are hoping that this will be a good time to just admire our 10″ long baby. We could certainly do with a stress-free morning of baby-watching to take our minds off our real estate nightmare.

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