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Rose Gold and Cupcakes: My Bridal Shower by the Sea

 

rose gold and cupcakes 5.3.14

It has become a bit of a family tradition (whether she likes it or not) to have all of our important life-event celebrations at my Aunt Betsy’s stunning seaside house in Kittery, Maine.  My sister’s thirtieth surprise birthday weekend, various cousin’s bridal showers, baby showers, you name it. They always involve lots of freshly caught Maine lobster and they happen at Aunt Betsy’s. There is something about being at the remote seaside location, nestled right on the edge of a point in a quiet inlet of ocean water that always feels like a special occasion.  These events, though startling markers of how fast time is passing, are also comforting reminders that some things can stay the same.

So as the youngest of all of my female cousins, the last one to marry and my wedding date rapidly approaching, I couldn’t help but dream of having my bridal shower at the seaside location too.  My future husband proposed to me about a year ago with a rose gold ring and it’s pretty color has informed all of my visions for our wedding. My cousin Ty and my sister went with this idea and  created a beautiful rose-gold themed bridal shower for me. Everything from the gold sugar crusted flutes of pink champagne, to the caught-day-of  lobster, shrimp and delicious lemon butter cream cupcakes from Cote’s Cupcakes in Eliot, ME,  matched the theme.  I couldn’t have imagined a more beautiful and delicious day!

Fresh Maine Shrimp Cocktail

Fresh Maine Shrimp Cocktail

 

 

My sweet sister

My Sweet Sister

 

flowers and Liz 5.3.14

 

lobster salad for lobster rolls

lobster salad for lobster rolls

Fresh Maine Lobster Rolls

Fresh Maine Lobster Rolls

 Maine Lobster Rolls

serves 4

1/2 pound fully cooked lobster meat
1/4 cup mayonnaise
Kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
4 New England-style hot dog bunsIn a large bowl, mix the lobster meat with the mayonnaise and season with salt and pepper.  Stuff the buns with lobster meat and serve.

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pink sparkly 5.3.14

 

lemon cupcakes with rose-colored butter cream frosting

lemon cupcakes with rose-colored butter cream frosting from Cote’s Cakes in Eliot, ME

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For the Love of Lamb: Rosemary and Anchovy Leg of Lamb with Flageolet Gratin

Photo Credit Heather Platt

Anchovy and Rosemary Roasted Lamb with Flageolet Gratin. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

There is a special place in my culinary heart for lamb. It’s a reminder that spring is almost here and we can all gather around a beautiful giant roasted leg of it, drink red wine and share in it’s gamey deliciousness. It’s allure  could be related to the fact that I did not grow up eating it, or because over the past few years at Lucques we’ve roasted an entire one on a spit in our patio in front of guests, letting that smokey lamby smell waft over most of West Hollywood. Or maybe because it’s often prepared with some of my very favorite ingredients; anchovies, garlic and rosemary. Whatever the reason, I love it.  So when faced with the task of having some women friends over for dinner recently, I had to make it.

It has been some time since I’ve have a group of ladies over for a big piece of roasted meat. In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s been awhile since 3MBB has been active. During this time of absence, I have learned two things. A) how to manage a restaurant full-time and B) planning a wedding is insanely expensive, stressful (but fun!) and also like a full time job. So that puts me at two full-time jobs…and no time for blogging. However, last week, I licked the last envelope, stuck on the last stamp and shoved a giant box of chubby, (but oh, so beautiful) cream-colored envelopes onto the counter at the US Post Office and thought, “you little guys are about to not be my problem anymore.”

A deep breath and huge sigh of relief later, it occurred to me, I’d have time to cook again. So naturally,  I invited eight girls over for lamb. Three showed up, because it’s LA and that “how we do” here, apparently. But it was lovely. And since I can no longer seem to cook anything without incorporating the genius of my favorite chef-boss,  I served the rosemary, anchovy and garlic marinated lamb over a bed of Suzanne Goin’s flageolet gratin from Sunday Supper at Lucques.

Enjoy!

Heather

Rosemary and Anchovy Leg of Lamb

serves 6

  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 7  anchovies, drained
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 (3.5lb)  leg of lamb
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper

Begin my marinating the lamb. Mince the  garlic cloves and anchovies  then place in a mortar and pestle and mash to a paste. Place the paste in a small bowl and stir together with oil and rosemary. Pat lamb dry and using a sharp knife remove all but a thin layer of fat. Transfer, fat side up, to a rack in a roasting pan. Make several small 1-inch-deep slits in lamb with a  knife, then rub marinade over entire surface of lamb, pushing some marinade into slits and inside the cavity. Tie the lamb leg with kitchen twine snugly and let marinate, loosely covered with aluminum foil, at room temperature 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Sprinkle lamb all over with Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Roast  in the middle of the oven for 60 minutes  to 1  1/4 hours for medium-rare. The meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of lamb registers 125°F . Let stand 30 minutes before slicing.

Serve with Suzanne Goin’s Flageolet Gratin from Sunday Suppers at Lucques

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Filed under Dinner, Heather Platt, In Season, Main Course, Meat, Spring, Uncategorized

Father’s Day Feasts: Grilled Filet Mignon with Anchovy Butter and Watercress

Three More Big Bites

My dad can’t cook. No offense Dad. But honestly, it’s no secret.  In fact, even being in the kitchen could make him prone to some sort of panic attack. Once in a while he would flare his nostrils and inhale loudly.

“Bobbie!!!” (My mom’s name is Bobbie, short for Barbara.  Adorable, I know.) “Something’s burning Bobbie!” He would scream, with a look of terror in his eyes that reflected the image of all of his assets and our post-and-beam house bursting into flames. In his defense, it was a scary thought. I think that after decades of marriage you become skilled at ignoring your spouse when they’re being ridiculous. So my mother just continued cooking. She might smile at me and roll her eyes. I however, had no tolerance for it.

“Dad. First of all, you’re standing two feet away from me so there’s really no need to scream. And…

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Suzanne Goin’s AOC Cookbook Preview: Alaskan Black Cod with Kabocha Squash, Golden Raisins, and Pedro Ximenez

Suzanne Goin's Alaskan Black Cod with Kabocha, Golden Raisins and Pedro Ximenez. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

Suzanne Goin’s Alaskan Black Cod with Kabocha, Golden Raisins and Pedro Ximenez. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

After reading through the final draft of Suzanne Goin’s  soon-to-be-published AOC cookbook, I felt a) starving and b) inspired to cook EVERY delicious recipe in it. I would scroll through it over and over again reading through the recipes obsessing and thinking, “That one sounds good….oh that sounds so good too. Wait, actually I think I have to make that one first.”

Like Sunday Suppers at Lucques, Suzanne’s AOC cookbook is conveniently divided up into seasons which helped me narrow down my culinary indecision to fall and winter recipes, recipes for which I knew I could find ingredients at the weekly farmer’s market. And as much as I wanted to make EVERYTHING all at once and eat it immediately, I couldn’t stop thinking about this one black cod recipe that involved Suzanne’s favorite of squashes, kabocha, golden raisins, and something called Pedro Ximenez, which she describes as “one of the worlds greatest uses of grapes.” Given that description and my weakness for any recipe involving golden raisins (I love snacking on them while I cook. It’s the same with Marcona almonds, which aren’t in this, but thankfully Suzanne loves Marconas too.) I had to make it. I love recipes that introduce me to new ingredients!  Or in this case, a pantry staple. Everyone should have a bottle of Pedro Ximenez sherry in their kitchen. And after an easy trip to my local wine store and  a pleasant trip to the farmer’s market, I found myself eating one of the most delicious meals I’ve ever tasted. Now the only question is, what to cook next?….

Santa Monica Farmer's Market Kabocha Squash. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

Santa Monica Farmer’s Market Kabocha Squash. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

Pedro Ximenez Sherry.Photo Credit: Heather Platt

Pedro Ximenez Sherry.
Photo Credit: Heather Platt

Alaskan Black Cod with Kabocha, Golden Raisins and Pedro Ximenez. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

Alaskan Black Cod with Kabocha, Golden Raisins and Pedro Ximenez. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

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Filed under Dinner, Fall, Fish, Gluten-free, Heather Platt, In Season, Main Course, Uncategorized, Winter

Winter Wonders: Javier’s Tomato Salsa

Javier salsa 2

It’s that time of year again.  That runny nose, sore throat, sneezing, I-never -want-to-get-out-of-bed time of year. It’s as if December was one fabulous month-long holiday party and January is the painful hangover day after.  Except, worse than a hangover, its contagious. In an attempt to combat this cold season, I’ve been stocking my kitchen with citrus fruits.  Blood oranges, cara caras, navel oranges, and the large and succulent oro blancos  are spilling out across my counter top like a still-life painting from the Italian Renaissance.   I take pride in my artillery of vitamin C. I admire these seasonal treats for their vibrant beauty and expected health-benefits. I’ll often just pick one up, give it a sniff, a little squeeze and toss it into the air and catch it.

But truth be told, my oranges and grapefruits did not save me from catching the worst cold I’ve had in years this winter. This is not to say that I’ve given up on them. In fact, this morning upon arriving at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market to tag along with the Lucques chefs, I told Chef de Cuisine Javier, “Ben (my boyfriend) has the cold now, I need to get him more citrus fruits and some orange juice from farmer Peter Shaner….” I was on a mission. Now Javier is probably the nicest chef you or I will ever meet. But when he needs to get a point across, he has the most sobering, deadpan, serious look on his face. “No. Dude. It’s chips and salsa man. You gotta make him chips and salsa.” I looked at him like he was joking. He wasn’t. Did I also mention that Javier makes the best salsa you’ll ever have in your life? Well, he does. And here’s his secret recipe for the alleged cold-buster.

Enjoy!

Heather

Nov 2012 047

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Summer Salmon: Green Harissa Salmon with Avocados and Cumin Rice

I love salmon, but I couldn’t eat it for years. My sister had the same problem. Our mother is and was an excellent cook who was always aware of the latest and greatest in food trends. I remember if not fondly, very clearly the kale phase, when I would eagerly accept an invitation to stay for dinner at my best friend Lauren’s house. “My mom’s going through a kale phase.” I announced to her parents as I happily chowed down on Lauren’s mom’s London Broil. I remember the homemade salsa phase, the chicken phase, the homemade tomato soup phase, but nothing lasted quite as long as the salmon phase in the late 90s. Eventually, my hiatus from salmon ended, and this salmon phase is much spicier! This green harissa is a wonderful summer topping for grilled fish, chicken or meats and is delicious with rice or couscous.

Enjoy!

Green Harissa

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Filed under Dinner, Fish, Heather Platt, In Season, Lunch, Main Course, Summer, Uncategorized

Happy Easter!

This Easter, we’re eating Cadbury Mini Eggs and thinking of all of you!

Cheers,

Anna and Heather

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