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May 16, 2013 05:52 AM

What's for Dinner #217 - The Spring has Sprung Edition - Bunnies, Cicadas and Commencements (5/19/13)

Well, it seems that spring has sprung for many of us - nature is finally blossoming, cicadas will be back in the East to drive us all bonkers and Saturdays and Sundays are filled with caps and gowns.

Today, I find myself in a 7 hour computer training which is as exhilarating as you might expect. Luckily, I should be home early and so dinner will be another surf and turf this time with grass fed sirloin and lobster tails which are kind of small but I couldn't resist at Whole Foods. Can a lobster tail be too small? Hopefully in the next few weeks I will acquire some proper ginormous lobsters for a nice spring seafood dinner.

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  1. Surf and Turf! Sounds great.

    Our WF doesn't carry live lobster because it is "inhumane”. Thankfully the fish mongers around here don’t agree! Heading to ME soon and anticipating my lobster feast of the season

    11 Replies
    1. re: foodieX2

      Interesting, perhaps I'll ask them about this. I look forward to the bigger guys as the small tails are a pain in the rear to de-shell.

      1. re: foodieX2

        I thought *all* WF didn't carry lobsters because it was "inhumane" in the way they had to be killed. I always thought "well, lobsters aren't human, so how can it be inhumane?" ;-)

        1. re: LindaWhit

          Its not the killing, its the transport of and storage of a "live" animal

          <<Customers craving fresh crustaceans will have to look beyond Whole Foods Market Inc. after the natural-foods grocery chain decided Thursday to stop selling live lobsters and crabs on the grounds that it's inhumane.

          The Texas-based grocer spent seven months studying the sale of live lobsters from boat to supermarket aisle, trying to determine whether the creatures suffer along the way.

          In some stores, they experimented with "lobster condos," filling tanks with stacks of large pipes the critters can crawl inside. And they moved the tanks behind seafood counters and away from children's tapping fingers.

          Ultimately, Whole Foods management decided to immediately stop selling live lobsters and soft-shell crabs, saying they could not ensure the creatures are treated with respect and compassion.>>

          1. re: foodieX2

            They never have live lobsters or crabs but usually have lobster tails.

        2. re: foodieX2

          Totally agreeing with you and adding that WF does not carry live lobster because it is not a high profit margin item for them. But that is just what the local Manager of WF told me.

          Lobsters also do not have a nervous system which means they do not feel what we as humans know of as pain.

          WF is trying to play the "we are more sensitive" card by claiming they do not sell them because it is so terribly "inhumane" to the poor lobsters.

          1. re: Fowler

            They'd have fit seeing how the fishermen man-handle them then.

            1. re: Fowler

              Fowler - fact-check / source? I'm hearing from my in-house biology expert "of course lobsters have a nervous system!".

              1. re: MidwesternerTT

                The type of "nervous system" which is capable of letting them feel what humans know as pain?

                1. re: Fowler

                  There was a fantastic DFW essay in Gourmet many years back called "Consider the lobster". It was interesting and, of course, incredibly well-written.

                2. re: MidwesternerTT

                  I think they have a nervous system as they move, but I'm not sure if they have awareness or all of those higher level functions that us humans are blessed with..or challenged by depending on your outlook.

            2. Tonight will be the grilled ham steaks that never came to be last night. And tomorrow, this:
              I saw the pic on my facebook feed this morning, and it was like "yowza!!". I love pistachios, and can't want to give this a try.

              17 Replies
              1. re: alliegator

                Love the sound of that pasta dish - except I can't find the Mediterranean pine nuts that won't give me pine mouth. I'm going to have to renew my search (other than from

                1. re: LindaWhit

                  I really think it would be ok if you just omit. I don't have much advice for sourcing pine nuts, as I'm a huge fan. I'll report back over the weekend on the recipe :)

                  1. re: LindaWhit

                    Oh, I was just talking to a friend about this as I discussed my hate of spinach teeth.

                    1. re: LindaWhit

                      I was thinking about that myself the other day...where DOES one find pine nuts that won't give you the dreaded "pine mouth". I can't remember if Trader Joe's pine nuts cause PM or not.

                      1. re: littleflower

                        TJs pine nuts are from China, Russia and Vietnam - those are the inferior nuts, so yes - they would. And yes, they did. That's where I discovered pine mouth affects me.

                        1. re: LindaWhit

                          That is a shame...Trader Joe's needs to seriously upgrade their selection of pine nuts! They are too quality of a store to be selling an inferior product.

                          I guess the search continues... :-).

                          1. re: littleflower

                            knock on wood, i've never had pine-mouth - and i don't know enough about it to know if it's just a matter of time, or if it just happens to some and not to others (i buy mine there, and luckily have never had pine mouth)... i think if TJs sold the "good" stuff it would be even more expensive than it already is. it would be nice to have the option, though, for people who are afflicted.

                    2. re: alliegator

                      Still doing the ham steak, but I'll do some instant steamed green beans and steam in bag potatoes from the produce section. After a month of guests, the man's wreck, and some, uh, cosmetic injections to the forehead today that left me with a blinding headache, I think easy is the way to be.
                      You really can't go wrong with ham, beans & taters!!

                      1. re: alliegator

                        Sounds like a great meal. I had its counterpart meal this week. Hamsteak, mashed taters and smothered green beans. Potatoes and green be and are great with ham.
                        I hope that your honey isn't to sore. How has he been? Hoping he is doing well.

                        1. re: suzigirl

                          Thanks so much, suzigirl. He is fine and unfazed.
                          We're looking forward to a little time alone now that the Thainamic duo has departed, and getting ready for my brother's wedding in Hawaii on June 1.
                          Yup, he's basically bleeding money--but we'll fix it. He's a positive guy, and I'm a lucky gal.

                            1. re: mariacarmen

                              That's exactly what I was thinking. What a hoot

                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                Hehe, glad you like! We had to refer to the both of them as something humorous!
                                Love and miss those girls, but Hawaii awaits. As Jay Z (I think) said "on to the next one..." I'm exhausted, but looking forward to some Hawaii food! After that, you'll find me on some tacky pool floaty drifting aimlessly in one of a bazillion Phx overly landscaped pools. Oh course hounding from the phone. I'll give that a :/ Sun good, skin cancer bad.

                          1. re: alliegator

                            Urgh, the ol' man still has not arrived. I really want to grill those purdy ham steaks, but may just broil. Plus, lots of kids in the grill area---love the apartment living!!
                            Either way will still be tasty and I can spend some time on Zillow seeing if there is an acceptable standing home 'round here.

                            1. re: alliegator

                              All of this talk about ham steaks, I might just have to ask the deli counter to cut me a hunk of black forest ham tomorrow and join the club. It's just as simple as a a few minutes of grilling or broiling? I love ham, why not a ham steak?

                          2. re: alliegator

                            Really liking that pistachio-asparagus pesto--wow. Must try.

                            1. re: ChristinaMason

                              +1! I am making that this weekend - tho will sub prosciutto for the bacon, me thinks :)

                          3. It has been SO nice here (finally!) this week, that we have been having porch meals! Last night was grilled chicken sausages with sauteed peppers and onions and mozzarella chees, oven baked fries and salad. With a couple of cold beers on the side.

                            Tonight is a no-cook meal of avocado and chickpea tacos and mango salsa. A few more beers and some lounging on the screened in porch. Enjoying the lull before the storm that is graduation next week. Yikes!

                            1. Have a already grilled chicken breast to use so I think I'm going to take the suggestion of valerie in my "what to do with this" thread and make fajitas. I've never actually made them at home before!

                              Or, I might do something with brown rice, some kind of warm brown rice salad with the chicken... I dunno. Probably will end up doing the fajitas since they'll cook quickly. We have a busy weekend planned so I need to start working on my usual weekend chores tonight.

                              7 Replies
                              1. re: juliejulez

                                Fajitas are such a fun dish to make at home. And easy!

                                1. re: juliejulez

                                  We love fajitas at home and they are so simple though I do miss that whole restaurant served on a sizzling cast iron platter show.

                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                    Yeah I guess I could eat them out of my skillet haha!

                                  2. re: juliejulez

                                    I ended up doing the fajitas, and they were delicious. I feel a little silly that I've never made them before. It wasn't something my mom made growing up and it's not something I order often in restaurants so it doesn't even pop in my head. They're a good "cooking for one" dish and are pretty low calorie too. I put some olive oil in my cast iron, threw in the onions and peppers, then seasoned with ancho chile powder, cumin, cayenne, onion and garlic powders, and some salt. I didn't have flour tortillas but they were still good with corn. Also threw on some shredded chihuahua cheese. These will probably become a normal dish for me, especially in the summer... might try doing it on the grill w/ the cast iron on the really hot days.

                                    Also put together my lunch for tomorrow... just cooked up some penne and a jarred arrabiata, and the last of the cheese stuffed chicken meatballs from the freezer.

                                    1. re: juliejulez

                                      They are so quick and delicious and a nice spin on tacos. I like to add a few diced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce if you like some heat.

                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                        Ooo that sounds good. I love heat, I should have done that, I have an open can in the fridge.

                                  3. Blackened New York strips with mushrooms seared in sherry and butter, sauteed asparagus w/parmesan cheese, Caesar salad and a nice Syrah--cooked and served on the back deck. A little weekend before the weekend.

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: flavrmeistr

                                      Steak and shrooms with asparagus and Parmesan is the most frequent go-to dinners in our house. This is quite the classic and perfect meal for us at any time. Do you use a particular blackening seasoning?

                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                        I use Paul Prudhomme's Redfish Magic with a pat of butter on each steak and a black iron griddle on the outdoor gas burner. It's so good I can't bring myself to grill a steak anymore.

                                        1. re: flavrmeistr

                                          Wow it sounds great and perhaps might work with the vent on high inside on a cast iron pan?

                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                            I wouldn't, especially if you have a sprinkler system. The average household stove burner doesn't generate enough heat, nor does the average stove vent move enough air to stay ahead of the smoke. There's a lot of smoke.

                                            Blackening, barbecuing and deep-frying are safer and better done outdoors, in my opinion.