Lobstering in the Keys & Spiny Lobster Bisque

Yesterday was my first lobstering trip down near the Seven Mile Bridge in the ol’ Conch Republic. My buddy Raul took me & my friend Jen out lobstering for our first time.

IMG_3185.JPG

Me & Jen

IMG_3183.JPG

Jen & Raul looking for lobster behind the boat

IMG_3192.JPG

Our first spiny lobster!

IMG_3194.JPG

Our lobster bounty

IMG_3196.JPG

Now… For what this blog is all about. Eating! We all know the Spiny Lobster tail is amazing, but I was told, you can make a great bisque with the heads & antennae. So I decided to go for it. This bisque is not for those in a hurry. But it’s well worth the wait.

I stocked up on my ingredients.

IMG_3215.JPG

Created my stock by dropping them into boiling water. Bring back to a boil, then simmer 20 minutes.

IMG_3220.JPG

IMG_3216.JPG

Pulled the lobsters out and went to work to get all the meat out.

IMG_3235.JPG

Cracked the antennae.
IMG_3232.JPG

IMG_3234.JPG

This took some time, but there was a ton of meat!

IMG_3236.JPG

I had two tails & 5 heads with antennae.
IMG_3238.JPG

A lovely bowl of fresh lobster meat!

IMG_3240.JPG

Cleaned the shells out, then added them to 10 cups of my stock with 1 cup of tomato paste. Now we simmer an hour & half. Checking in & stirring it up.

IMG_3243.JPG

Strain the nice red stock.

IMG_3248.JPG

1.5 cups of shallots, carrots & celery, a sprig of thyme & a bit if parsley in 4 cups of original stock. 30 minutes. br />
IMG_3244.JPG

1/2 cup of tom paste to the veggies. 30 more mins! Strain that sauce thrubr />
IMG_3249.JPG

Mixing in the cream!

IMG_3252.JPG

Ready to eat!! Creamy & yum!!

IMG_3253.JPG

Famy Style Dining at Dolce Italian

Nestled inside the historical Gale Hotel, Dolce Italian serves up not only delectable dishes, but gorgeous displays of culinary excellence. These plates were just too photogenic; I couldn’t put the camera away.

Antipasti

Dolce Meatballs with creamy polenta and parmigiano.

20140319-102641.jpg

Pizza Margherita with fior di latte mozzarella and tomatoes

20140319-103748.jpg

Fritto Misto with calamari, shrimp and garlic aioli

20140319-104004.jpg

Paste

Orichiette al Bolognese with braised beef, veal and pork ragu

20140319-104901.jpg

Spaghetti Pomodoro with San Marzano tomatoes, basil and parmigiano

20140319-105426.jpg

Fonduta Ravioli poached pears and crispy speck

20140319-110212.jpg

Secondi

Seared Braziano with butternut squash, spinach and Sicilian pesto

20140319-110941.jpg

NY Strip with sliced roasted fingerling potatoes and cippolini onions

20140319-111328.jpg

Dolce

Homemade Tiramisu

20140319-111708.jpg

Budino and Key Lime Pie

20140319-111809.jpg

The Gale Hotel is absolutely gorgeous inside and out. The historical renovation is top notch and this quaint boutique hotel has it all. The Gale is a welcomed stylish oasis, located in the heart of Miami Beach’s tourist district.

20140319-113439.jpg

Crazy Pork Fest at Cochon

A was lucky enough to get comp-ed some tix to Cochon this year. It was everything I imagined it to be and more. An insane amount if pork, wine and whiskey. Pretty much a perfect day.

Some of the pics are a bit too hip and too fuzzy, but you get the idea.

20140310-093423.jpg

20140310-093601.jpg

20140310-093708.jpg

20140310-094046.jpg

20140310-094640.jpg

20140310-095222.jpg

20140310-095716.jpg

20140310-100130.jpg

20140310-103256.jpg

20140310-103345.jpg

20140310-103812.jpg

20140310-104326.jpg

20140310-110314.jpg
You can never get enough bacon!

Toki Underground, DC’s Most-slammin-est Ramen House

20131001-221844.jpg
Toki Underground: The badass-est dishes and drinks packed into the smallest upstairs-hole-in-the-wall. Not to mention the wall around the counter seats is lined in my fav wicked Toki Doki figurines, in glass vases of course. Super rad touches like this set the mood and fills the spot with a true underground feel.

I had heard so much about the brothy goodness that is Toki Underground, that despite it being 800 degrees and 300% humidity in DC in July, I ordered the Toki Classic. A spicy warm bowl of Taiwanese Ramen with Beef. (The Taipei Curry Chicken had me tempted tho).

20131001-222753.jpg
Also ordered up a side of pan-fried Dumplings. Plump and crisp.

20131001-225208.jpg
The acclaimed Toki Monster is right up my alley, a sweet Bourbon and Scotch cocktail, topped with pork belly. I sip sipped the smooth drinks and nibbled a bit of pork belly. The combo was bliss.

20131001-234721.jpg

Patio D La Morocha: Uruguayan Meats

20130922-214242.jpg

As part of our Viernes Culturales, my coworkers and I voted for Uruguayan Friday. This was my first time and had no idea what what to expect. Nelson found this little hole-in-the-wall on W. Flagler St on the edge of Little Havana, Patio D La Morocha, so we were all in to check it out. We sat down and were treated like royalty, since we were the only the second table in the restaurant. (From what I understand this place gets kickin’ on Fridays with a live Salsa band, lunch not so much.)

I ordered breaded steak with fried eggs that came out with a full plate of fries. I had no idea what I was in for and was about to order a salad, but luckily, the waitress gave me a look like I was crazy. Then informed me with her hands that my dish was going to be enormous. She wasn’t kidding. This is what came out.

20130922-214148.jpg

Several of my buddies shared the meat platters (paradilla) and I was lucky enough to get to try some. They were outstanding. Beef, chicken, pork and chicken. Tender, juicy and smokey. There’s a wood fired grill up in the front of the restaurant and you can taste the wood flavors in the meat. Also, the blood sausage was amazing.

20130922-215000.jpg

The breaded pork- excellent. the potato salad type thing- pretty good, just not my thing.

20130922-215225.jpg

20130922-215307.jpg

After we ate an insane amount of food… Our waitress brought out a gratis round of these sweet treats for the table. I’m not sure what was in it. Meringue? Cream? Crunchy sweet wafers? Definitely a cherry on top.

20130922-215740.jpg