STYLE

Fresh-caught lobster, local beef and potatoes featured in PEI menu

09/03/2012 08:00 EDT | Updated 11/03/2012 05:12 EDT
Michael Creighton focused on Prince Edward Island specialties for the dinner he served when he was host on an episode of "Come Dine With Me Canada," which airs on W Network.

He started guests off with traditional gin martinis and white or red wine. The lobster he used in the appetizer and entree was caught that morning. For dessert, he concocted decadent chocolate brownies accompanied by homemade vanilla ice cream.

When hosting a dinner party, Creighton advises: "Just make sure you're attentive to your guests and you're interacting with them. Don't leave them unattended. Just be yourself and have fun."

Here are Creighton's recipes, which he has adapted to his own use over the years.

Lobster Avocado Cocktails

4 lobsters (each 500 g/1 lb), cooked, cleaned, cut into 2.5-cm (1-inch) pieces (reserve claws for garnish)

45 ml (3 tbsp) finely chopped red onion

30 ml (2 tbsp) fresh lime juice

2 large ripe avocado, pitted, peeled and coarsely chopped

45 ml (3 tbsp) coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

1 romaine heart, finely shredded (reserve small leaves for garnish)

4 lemon wedges

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Cocktail Sauce

250 ml (1 cup) ketchup

30 ml (2 tbsp) horseradish

30 ml (2 tbsp) lemon juice

5 ml (1 tsp) Worcestershire sauce

Dash hot sauce

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Lemon Remoulade

250 ml (1 cup) mayonnaise

2 lemons, juice and zest

30 ml (2 tbsp) cornichons or gherkins, minced

30 ml (2 tbsp) capers, minced

30 ml (2 tbsp) chopped parsley

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cocktail Sauce: In a small mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Lemon Remoulade: In a small mixing bowl, whisk together all ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

In a medium mixing bowl, place onion and lime juice. Let stand for a few minutes. Add avocado, diced lobster meat and cilantro. Mix together well and season with salt and pepper.

Divide shredded romaine evenly among 4 martini glasses. Top with lobster avocado salad. Top with 15 ml (1 tbsp) each of the cocktail sauce and the remoulade. Garnish with romaine leaves, lobster claw and lemon wedge.

Makes 4 servings.

———

Beef Tenderloin With Lobster Mashed Potatoes and Asparagus-Wild Mushroom Ragout

4 centre-cut beef filets (each 175 g/6 oz)

30 ml (2 tbsp) olive oil

45 ml (3 tbsp) unsalted butter

750 ml (3 cups) sliced wild mushrooms

30 ml (2 tbsp) minced shallot

10 ml (2 tsp) minced garlic

5 ml (1 tsp) chopped thyme leaves

250 ml (1 cup) beef stock

1 bunch asparagus, peeled, cut on bias into 2.5-cm (1-inch) pieces, blanched

30 ml (2 tbsp) minced fresh Italian parsley

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Lobster Mashed Potatoes (recipe follows)

In a large heavy skillet over high, heat olive oil. Season beef with salt and pepper. Sear beef in pan for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Remove from skillet and let rest.

Add butter and mushrooms to the same skillet and saute until mushrooms are browned, about 4 minutes. Add shallot, garlic and thyme and saute for 2 minutes. Add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-high and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Add asparagus and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

Divide potatoes among 4 plates. Arrange beef filets on top of potatoes. Spoon mushroom-asparagus ragout over beef and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

———

Lobster Mashed Potatoes

625 g (1 1/4 lb) lobster tail

175 ml (3/4 cup) whole milk (divided)

500 g (1 lb) russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 5-cm (2-inch) pieces

60 ml (4 tbsp) unsalted butter

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook lobster until just opaque in centre, about 7 minutes. Transfer lobster to work surface and let cool slightly. Remove lobster meat from shell. Cut meat into 2.5-cm (1-inch) pieces.

In a medium saucepan, bring 75 ml (1/3 cup) of the milk to a simmer. Add lobster meat and set aside.

To a large pot of cold, salted water, add potatoes and bring to a boil. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Drain potatoes; return to pan and mash. Add butter and remaining milk. Mix together well.

Add lobster mixture to mashed potatoes. Season with salt and pepper.

———

Outrageous Brownies

500 g (1 lb) unsalted butter

500 g (1 lb) plus 340 g (12 oz) semisweet chocolate chips

175 g (6 oz) unsweetened chocolate

6 extra-large eggs

45 ml (3 tbsp) instant coffee granules

30 ml (2 tbsp) pure vanilla extract

550 ml (2 1/4 cups) sugar

300 ml (1 1/4 cups) all-purpose flour (divided)

15 ml (1 tbsp) baking powder

5 ml (1 tsp) salt

750 ml (3 cups) chopped walnuts

Heat oven to 180 C (350 F).

Butter and flour a 30-by-46-by-2.5-cm (12-by-18-by-1-inch) baking sheet.

In a medium bowl over simmering water, melt together butter, 500 g (1 lb) chocolate chips and unsweetened chocolate. Let cool slightly.

In a large bowl, stir (do not beat) together eggs, coffee granules, vanilla and sugar. Stir warm chocolate mixture into egg mixture and let cool to room temperature.

In a medium bowl, sift together 250 ml (1 cup) of the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to cooled chocolate mixture. In a medium bowl, toss walnuts and 340 g (12 oz) chocolate chips with remaining flour, then add to chocolate batter. Pour into baking sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes, then rap the baking sheet against the oven shelf to force the air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Bake for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not overbake.

Let cool thoroughly, refrigerate and cut into large squares.

Source: Michael Creighton of Oyster Bed, P.E.I.

MORE:cpStyle