Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Pesto and Lobster... a match made in grilling heaven!

I decided to try grilling lobster in its shell for the first time over the weekend. So while I was in the local store I tried to figure what I would combine it with... and decided to make a pesto. This pesto however includes sunflower seeds and spinach... a slight twist on a classic. This would be equally delicious with shrimp...enjoy!

4 large cloves of garlic, minced
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
large handful basil, stems removed
equally large handful spinach, stems removed
juice of 2 lemons
sea salt and ground pepper to season

in a mini chopper blend your minced garlic with the pine nuts and sunflower seeds. you'll notice that it becomes a thick, gray paste... don't worry. add some of the lemon juice, and continue the blending. then include your basil leaves, add more lemon juice. add the spinach and more of the lemon juice. season with the salt and pepper. No need for oil - your nuts have enough to give this a creamy texture - but still retain a thickness.

Spread over the lobster halves, not too much so that it doesn't fall between the grill... once you turn the lobster over onto it's shell you'll be able to baste the meat with more of the pesto. cook until done, about 20 minutes.

the lobster, along with some good olive bread and fresh corn on the cobb made a perfectly delicious meal...a simple twist on a lobster feast!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Peanut butter cookies with a twist

Everyone loves a good peanut butter cookie - but today I decided to try it with a twist. Rather than using peanut butter I decided to use pure hazelnut butter and almond butter... resulting in moist and rich tasting cookies. With very simple ingredients, these cookies will be a hit with nut lovers. Enjoy my twist on an old classic!

1/3 cup hazelnut butter
1/3 cup almond butter
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup brown sugar
1 egg white
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. vanilla extract
¼ cup dark semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients with a handheld mixer (or with a wooden spoon).

I combined everything except the chocolate chips and baked the first dozen cookies for 15 minutes in mini cupcake molds - creates a chewy, moist 2 bite brownie style cookie.

Meanwhile I added the chocolate chips to the remaining batter. Mix well by hand. Bake for 12 minutes on a tray lined with wax paper (no need to grease the tray - the hazelnut and almond butter both contain enough oil so as not to stick).

Remove from tray (and pan) and allow to cool on a rack.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.