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1 In Lobster/ local/ pasta/ salads/ shellfish/ Shrimp/ Sides/ summer/ Uncategorized/ Vegetarian

4th of July Pasta Salad

Independence Day is one of my favorite holidays. As a little girl, school was out, everything was a little relaxed, I could stay up late to watch any and all firework displays (and in the city of brotherly love the 4th was a big deal). And it was around this time we had block parties on our street. Somehow the adults got permission to block off the street so no one could drive down it. Everyone brought their grills from the backyard to the front sidewalk. And us kids played every game we could think of like Hide & Go butter bee, Hide & Seek, Double Dutch, we’d have Uno and Acey Duecy tournaments and any other game that lends itself to 20+ kids playing together.

Food was usually a simple fare burgers, hot dogs, chicken, sometimes steamed crabs and lots of fruit. These days I love bringing vinaigrette based pasta salads. I know a lot more vegetarians and pescatarians these days and want to make sure they eat well too. And if I could find or create more recipes that taste as good as this I’d consider pescatarianism at the very least.

And the cool thing about pasta salad is you can totally personalize it. My husband hates bell peppers so they can be taken out. I love onions and garlic and tend to add them in everything. Fresh squeezed lemon juice or lemon zest brighten up everything in my opinion so it’s always an ingredient. And everyone knows I love crabs. So if it’s possible I’m adding it to a recipe. Prefer lobster or shrimp? Swap it out. The only thing you need to be aware of is having enough vinaigrette to adequately coat all the ingredients. If you stick with these ratios you should be good but you can always double or triple the vinaigrette recipe if you find your ingredients list is getting kind of big 😀

 

So make a bowl of this amazingly fresh summer pasta salad and serve at your next 4th of July bash!

Need help planning your next holiday get together?

Check out our friends at Tinselbox Holiday for awesome ideas and future subscription boxes. They help you celebrate every holiday!

Pasta Salad with King Crab
Serves 8
A wonderful summer side dish for any bbq!
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Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
1 hr
Vinaigrette
  1. 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  2. 1 tbsp whole grain mustard
  3. 1 tbsp finely chopped shallot
  4. 2 tbsp honey (we use Orange Blossom flavored local honey)
  5. 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  6. 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  7. 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  8. Salt & pepper
Salad
  1. Kosher/sea salt
  2. 2 cup fresh corn kernels
  3. 1/2 lb pasta, such as campanelle, cavatappi or tortiglioni
  4. 1 tbsp olive oil
  5. 3 oz baby spinach or arugula
  6. 1 small bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and very thinly sliced (red, yellow or orange)
  7. 1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced
  8. 4 oz crumbled feta
  9. 1lb king crab legs
  10. 2 tbsp old bay (optional)
Vinaigrette
  1. Combine lemon juice, mustard, shallots, honey and lemon zest in a bowl and set aside for 5. Whisk in extra virgin olive oil. Add in dill, and stir to combine. Season with 3/4 tsp and 1/4 tsp of pepper. Taste and adjust honey and lemon juice to your taste.
Salad
  1. Over high heat, get a large pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Put the corn in a metal strainer/small colander and dip it into the boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Remove corn,rinse under cold water, draw well and place in a bowl to let cool.
  2. *At this point you can add the crab legs to the water to heat through. I prefer to steam mine with a little old bay seasoning in a separate pot*
  3. Bring water back to a boil and add pasta. Cook to al dente. Drain well and toss with olive oil set aside to cool (if I'm really hungry, I put the pasta and corn in the fridge for 10 minutes to speed cooling)
  4. In a large bowl combine pasta, corn, spinach/arugula, and the vinaigrette. Stir to combine. Add cheese, the red onion and crabmeat and stir gently. Let stand for 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve and enjoy!
Adapted from Fine Cooking: Pasta Salad with corn, spinach and red bell pepper
Adapted from Fine Cooking: Pasta Salad with corn, spinach and red bell pepper
Tasty Tin http://tastytin.com/

 

 

2 In local/ Seasons/ Sides/ summer

Mom-Mom’s Fried Corn

If I had to think of one recipe that always makes me think of my grandmother aka ‘mom-mom’, fried corn would have to be it.  Every summer she, my mother and myself would make it over and over again.  It was my saving grace the 2 years I had braces and the orthodontist told me corn on the cob was a no-no.  And now it’s a hands down favorite for my 4 year old, who spends too much time explaining why ‘real’ food shouldn’t be on the menu today.

 

I remember telling my husband about it when we were dating.  He kept saying that I was describing creamed corn.  And I emphatically told him that no it was FRIED corn.  It’s a simple dish and uses a lot of butter 🙂 and everyone I make it for loves it.  Because every time I make it a little bit of Ella Belle, Michele and Thembi are in every serving.

 

Things to note:

  • I always use a cast iron pan.  A 12 inch one like this one from Lodge Cast Iron.
  • I’ve never made this with corn I personally didn’t cut off the cob.  Can’t say how any other corn might turn out.
  • I always make a large batch.  My family will eat fried corn with anything.  So we usually do.

Tasty Tin

 

 

 

Fried Corn
Serves 8
A simple way to enjoy the bounty of summer corn.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 8-10 ears fresh corn
  2. 1 stick butter
  3. 3 tbsp flour
  4. kosher salt
  5. fresh ground pepper
  6. water
  7. sugar (optional)
Instructions
  1. Husk corn
  2. In a large bowl and using a sharp knife cut the kernels off the ears and make sure to capture all the "milk"
  3. In a 12 in cast iron skillet melt butter over medium heat
  4. When melted add corn and 1 tbsp of salt and 1 tsp of pepper
  5. Saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally
  6. Add flour and stir to coat kernels
  7. Add enough water to barely cover the corn
  8. Reduce heat to simmer for 20 minutes. Keep stirring so corn doesn't stick to bottom of the pan. add water if it's too think and burning.
  9. Season to taste with salt, pepper and sugar, if using
Notes
  1. I can not say what this dish tastes like if you don't use fresh corn straight from the cob. That's why we only make it when it's plentiful in the summer time.
  2. *If it's early in the season and the corn isn't sweet enough to stand on it's own add 1 tbsp of sugar at a time
Tasty Tin http://tastytin.com/
0 In business/ Seasons/ summer

Grilling Season is Here

grilling chicken wings

It’s Grilling Season!

Summer is here! In the south, we start getting hot weather (90°+) in April. But by now, everyone should at least be getting grilling weather, which for me is anything above freezing!

This month, we celebrate the start of summer with all the great fathers and father figures in our lives. So when thinking of this box, I simply asked my husband (and the father to our 4 year old daughter) what we wanted me to grill for him.

Grilling is my second favorite way to cook (steaming edges out the win because of my love of blue crabs). When it’s hot and I don’t want to do dishes, we grill. When I’m craving local veggies, grilling them is the first thing that comes to mind.

And grilling is simple! Any basic charcoal grill can work for the summer. I live by 4 grilling rules:

 

  • No lighter fluid! Pick up a $15 chimney starter from your local hardware store like here. You won’t have to worry about the chemical taste that lighter fluid can leave behind.
  • Always build a 2-zone fire. After your charcoal is lit and ready, pour all the coals onto one side of the grill, leaving the other half empty. The zone with the coals is called direct cooking, and the side without the coals is indirect cooking. Having an indirect area allows you to save meat or veggies from flare-ups and it’s a great place to cook things more slowly, like bone-in chicken or ribs.
  • Clean your grates before cooking. I use a $5 grill stone, which can be found at your local hardware store. After you set up your zones, put your grate on for 5 minutes with the lid down. Then clean the grates with your stone. All of the caked-on food from your last meal will come off.
  • Cook to temp not time. This is a rule for all cooking, but we’ll help you out this month with a handy-dandy meat thermometer.

 

Check out our YouTube page for some helpful videos on my 4 grilling rules to live by.

And remember to post pictures and tag us #UnlockHomemade

 

 

Happy Grilling Season,

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0 In fall/ Lobster/ local/ pasta/ Seafood/ Seasons/ shellfish/ Sides/ spring/ summer/ winter

Lobster Macaroni & Cheese

I remember first meeting my husband and discussing food and he mentioned how he only ate macaroni and cheese out of a box.  Because that is what his grandmother served.  My grandmother always made baked macaroni and cheese from scratch.  

And since I’m the cook in the family he didn’t eat macaroni and cheese for a while.

I also grew up with macaroni and cheese being a side dish.  I didn’t realize people ate it as a meal till I moved to the south. And they put extra things in it.  Things like bacon, broccoli, tomatoes, ham, chicken etc.  The only addition I will eat is lobster!  

My original mistake with making lobster macaroni and cheese is that I thought I could just add lobster meat to my grandmother’s recipe.  

After trying several lobster mac & cheese dishes at restaurants and some regular mac & cheese dishes (I only try them if they are baked).  I began to pinpoint the differences I would need to do in order to create a recipe that worked for me.

This last time, I used langostinos because I had some in my freezer and they work well as a substitute for lobster in a pinch.  

But use whatever you have.  

Like I mentioned before, what’s important are the type of cheeses used and the liquid to solid ratio.  

And just as with any recipe, play around with the ingredients.  There are so many types of cheeses out there.  Start with your favorites and go from there.  

Remember it’s basically pasta, cheese and lobster.  You really can’t go wrong with it.

 

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Lobster Macaroni & Cheese
A decadent and rich comfort food for any occasion
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
50 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 lb pasta (such as elbow, rigatoni, penne, ziti etc)
  2. 4 tbsp of butter, plus extra for baking pan
  3. 1/4 cup of flour
  4. 1/4 tsp dry mustard
  5. 1/4 tsp course ground pepper
  6. 3 1/2 cups milk, room temperature
  7. 1 cup each of 2-3 cheeses of your choice (I use gruyere, gouda and parmesan)
  8. 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  9. 1 tsp of thyme (optional)
  10. 1 lb of lobster meat, thawed if frozen
  11. 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs
  12. 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese
  13. olive oil
Breadcrumb topping
  1. whisk together, breadcrumbs, grated parmesan cheese, and 1/2 tsp of thyme if using. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350.
  3. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and put in a bowl with lobster meat and 1 cup of cheese (1/3 of each cheese). Set aside
  4. In a medium sauce pan, melt butter gently and whisk in flour. Cook for 2-3 minutes to remove the raw flour taste.
  5. Add in salt, pepper, dry mustard. Combine well.
  6. Add milk in 1/2 cup at a time while whisking constantly to remove any lumps that form. This is sometimes known as a white sauce or béchamel sauce.
  7. Once fully incorporated, let the sauce cook to thicken for 3-5 minutes.
  8. Slowly add in 2 cups of cheese (2/3 of each cheese). Whisk again to combine.
  9. Mix cheese sauce with pasta and lobster.
  10. Butter a baking dish or cast iron skillet. Gently pour macaroni and cheese into your baking dish. Top with breadcrumbs and drizzle with olive oil.
  11. Bake for 30 minutes.
  12. Let stand for 5 minutes
  13. Bon Apetit
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