Help in planning a Down-East lobster dinner menu

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by mikelm, Jan 8, 2010.

  1. mikelm

    mikelm

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    Just found out I'm in co-charge of a LobsterFest for the Hinsdale Rotary Club to be held on Fridary, February 19. It was announced today in our weekly newsletter. First I'd heard about it. :rolleyes:

    We hold it in a community house which has a pretty decent commercial kitchen, so the equipment shouldn't be a problem. We'll be boiling between 60 and 80 live lobsters. We traditionally serve fried corn fritters with this (we haven't done it for about eight or ten years, so I'm a little rusty.)

    I'd like to have fried clam strips either as a side or appetizer. (I spent 4 years hanging out at the sidewalk kitchen in front of Ivar's Acres of Clams on the waterfront in Seattle, soaking up his remarkable fried clams, and I have very fond memories.) I make a mean Tartar Sauce, so that's not a problem.

    I priced FedEx-ed live Maine lobsters... :eek: :eek: :eek: so we will probably get them from a large Chicago seafood distributor, Supreme Lobster, which is conveniently nearby.

    I need other suggestions - apps and nibbles, sides, desserts, and so I have turned again to my always-reliable staff :p at ChefTalk!

    I'll appreciate your suggestions as I always do.

    Thanks

    Mike :smokin
     
  2. petalsandcoco

    petalsandcoco

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    Found this menu ...not sure how formal your going ?

    Goat cheese medallions
    Roasted olives with fennel and lemon
    Asperagus / Bacon
    Spicy scallop / cranberry jam
    Pinot Gris Pear sorbet
    Lobster with caviar mousse and dijon mustard sauce
    Dessert: Chocolate Mousse with a 3 split strawberry / mint leaf on top or

    Keller's Molten Chocolate tart.
     
  3. kcz

    kcz

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    Is this event supposed to be authentic Down-East?

    Clam chowdah.
    Steamed clams not fried (and never strips).
    Corn on the cob.
    Roasted or baked potatoes, or potato salad.
    Cole Slaw
    Rolls.
    Choc cake or brownies or strawberry shortcake.
     
  4. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    Ya beat me to it, KCZ.

    Mike, at traditional clam bakes, everything actually is steamed. So you might give some thought to that. Steaming the clams would also make the logistics a little easier, particularly if you stick with the corn fritters.

    Were it me, I'd have a New England style clam chowder as a starter. And something like an apple pan dowdy for dessert.

    Along with the whole lobsters I'd have corn on the cob, steamer clams, roasted or steamed potatoes, and lots and lots of melted butter.
     
  5. suzanne

    suzanne

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    While petals has a great menu, KCZ's is more like what I'm used to getting in New England. But I'd substitute your corn fritters for on-the-cob, since you can make them just fine with canned or frozen and what you can get on-the-cob in February is not fit to eat. :angry: And I agree about the steamed clams -- esp. if you are going to do the fritters. What with all the melted butter, you don't really want another fried dish.

    May I add Indian pudding (cornmeal, molasses, eggs, spices) as a potential dessert? :lips:

    And don't forget the whipped cream on dessert, whatever it is. :thumb:
     
  6. mikelm

    mikelm

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    Thanks, gang -

    We're off to a good start and I appreciate it all!

    Don't know why I didn't think of chowdah and Indian pudding right off the bat. Lived in and around Boston for 12 years, so I should have had it in mind. :blush:

    My wife does an excellent chowder, and I've recently made Durgin Park's recipe for Indian pudding. That will definitely be on the bill of fare. With a nice vanilla ice cream. By the way, if anybody gives you an Indian pudding recipe that calls for corn syrup, cross him off your cooking list. Only dark molasses (not blackstrap - it's too strong) is appropriate.

    Keep going! :thumb:

    Mike

    and...

    I'm with Suz'... corn on the cob ain't with it in February, and frozen - or even TJ's canned is quite good, so we'll stay with fritters, most likely.
     
  7. mikelm

    mikelm

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    KCZ-
    Sounds like you come from the right place to advise me...

    How about the steamed clams? (You may not wean me away from my beloved fried clam strips (with tartar sauce) but I'd like to think about them.

    Can you refer me to a recipe?

    Thanks

    Mike
     
  8. gonefishin

    gonefishin

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    Hi Mike>>>

    you have a PM :thumb:

    dan


    Edit add: Wow, is everything sounding good! My wife and I drove to Maine before our first child was born. What great food we had...and the chowder. You simply can't eat without trying a bowl from each and every place!

    The party's sounding really good.
     
  9. mikelm

    mikelm

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    Hey, Dan...
    All you have to do is join the Hinsdale Rotary Club, and you can come, too!

    Mike

    We gotta get together one of these days.
     
  10. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

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    burr ridge, how far are you from STL?
    menu reads great.
    Lemon ice cream another good option, though apple crisp or pandowdie sounds wonderful too....with loads of whipped cream.
     
  11. petalsandcoco

    petalsandcoco

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    Mike,


    A few more to the list:


    Oyster crackers for your chowder
    Steamed mussels
    Crab cakes
    Crab dip


    Red potato salad
    White beans
    Green beans
    Cucumber salad
    Pasta salad
    Wild rice
    Couscous
    Sweet potato fries


    Hollandaise sauce with orange peel (maltaise sauce)
    Tomato or bell pepper puree (sabayon)
    Bearnaise sauce
    Gremolata


    Flavoured butters
    basil
    Terragon
    Citronella
    Maitre d'hotel
     
  12. mikelm

    mikelm

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    "burr ridge, how far are you from STL?"

    Not too close, Shroom' - it's at the far end of I 55, just outside Chicago. But, if you want to come up and give me a hand, let me know. :roll: We could certainly use an actual caterer!

    I'm pretty much a Missouri type, myself. Born in St. Louis; mother from Troy, and father from a farming family in Jackson, just up the road from Cape Girardeau. They met at the U of Missouri, Columbia (the only one at that time.)

    They went east, though, and I grew up in Bethesda, MD, so I'm part of that Eastern Establishment. Do my best to live it down, since I've come back and lived in flyover country since 1961, though with a 10-year hiatus on the West Coast, where I acquired a taste for Dungeness crabs...:thumb:

    Mike
     
  13. justpj

    justpj

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    Being from Maine I have been to a couple of Down East Shore Dinenrs in my life time hehe

    Quite often strawberry shortcake on a biscuit is served.

    And NEVER clam strips. hehe

    the clams and lobster should be steamed of course.

    Have also seen bean hole baked beans served in stead of cold slaw too.
     
  14. gonefishin

    gonefishin

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    yes, we do :)

    Let me know what you think of Succulent Seafood.

    dan
     
  15. mikelm

    mikelm

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    PJ-
    Obviously, I have to acknowledge your regional expertise...

    But since I'm in charge (and doing most of the cooking) by jing I'm gonna have fried clam strips! :lol: Just a little gourmetic license.

    As a matter of fact, our likely supplier, Supreme Lobster, sells prepard, battered clam strips, so I expect we will just get a bushel of these and supply the hot oil ourselves.

    Thanks for reminding me of the baked beans; another lapse of memory on my part. They're on the tentative menu now. And, the strawberry shortcake will be an excellent excuse for the large quantities of whipped cream suggested by many on this thread.

    I continue to be grateful for your interest and help. :thumb:

    Mike
     
  16. mrsbushaxe

    mrsbushaxe

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    I would go with loaded shrimp hushpuppies instead of corn fritters.
     
  17. mikelm

    mikelm

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    Interesting idea.

    Can you refer me to a recipe?

    Thanks

    Mike
     
  18. dc sunshine

    dc sunshine

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    Any thoughts on beverages? Suggestions could be handy here :) Sounds like a great feast
     
  19. kcz

    kcz

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    Clam strips??? Oh, I am in pain here. LOL, j/k.

    As to the steamed clam recipe, I don't believe there is one...you get a bunch of clams and throw them in a big pot +/- some seaweed, although I expect the latter would be hard to come by in the Midwest.
     
  20. linda5508

    linda5508

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    Oh yes, an apple crisp would be great. Another thing that I'm sure everyone would enjoy is a chicken pot pie or say a pumpkin cheesecake.