Clockwise from left: roasted cauliflower, flowers from my honey, crab legs, and filet mignon
On this year's menu were Alaskan king crab legs, grilled filet mignon, and roasted cauliflower with dates. To start, we made a warm almond-crusted manchego cheese appetizer. Decadent, nutty, and unhealthy, it was the perfect way to start a romantic evening. I bought the king crab legs from Cameron's, a seafood market near my office. Don picked out the filets and decided to wrap his with bacon, obviously. The crab legs were steamed in beer, lemon, and garlic then served with melted garlic butter though they really didn't need anything. The filets were rubbed with a simple salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and olive oil mixture then grilled to medium-rare perfection.
For the appetizer recipe and meal pictures, see below.
Warm Almond-Crusted Manchego Cheese
from Food Network (Bobby Flay)
1/4 cup flour
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp water
1/4 cup panko
2 tbsp ground almonds
1 8-oz slice manchego cheese (we sliced ours into 4 wedges to maximize almond coverage)
2 tbsp + 1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
1/4 cup slivered almonds
Preheat oven to 450°.
Dip each cheese wedge first into flour (seasoned with salt and pepper), then into egg (beaten with the water), then into a panko/ground almond mixture.
Place cheese into a oven-safe dish and drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil. Bake for 5-7 minutes, or until golden brown and the cheese is soft.
Meanwhile, make the Hot Garlic Vinaigrette. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a sautépan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the sherry vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.
When the cheese comes out of the oven, drizzle with the vinaigrette and serve with warm bread or crackers. Note that I used barely any of the vinaigrette; it was already pretty oily. We also only ate a small amount of the cheese, it was so rich. The rest we saved to be used in dinner later that week (to be posted).
Is it me, or is this a little inappropriate-looking?