10th Dinner Club Meeting: Summer Seafood Fest – Summary
It was a beautiful day and we started our evening on R’s front porch where she has a view of Lake Washington.
I had opted to bring a choice of two cocktails since the Sea Breeze is just a Cape Codder with the addition of grapefruit juice. Both drinks were refreshing but I had fresh-squeezed pink grapefruit juice which made the Sea Breezes especially wonderful! They were the group favorite. And the Seafood Margarita was also great. The mix of seafood and citrus provided a sweet/sour contrast. They tasted like summer! They looked especially festive in the footed dishes I chose to serve them in. And R’s cat Barney liked them, too! He licked up some of the seafood juice from the bottom of the dish – until it got to be too rich for him and he had the typical cat reaction. :-(
We were having such a good time with cocktails, appetizers and the great weather that R, neglected to watch the cedar plank that she’d put on the grill to preheat, as per the instructions. (See the Recipes entry.) It didn’t help that we were out front and the grill was out in back. When she finally went out to put the salmon on the plank, the plank was gone! Cedar planks will normally last for 3 or 4 grilling sessions but when you forget them on the grill, they tend to dry out and eventually just burn up. Luckily, she had another so she soaked it, we had another cocktail and then we got back around to grilling the salmon!
The salmon was really moist and full of flavor. The rub complemented without overpowering so the real taste of salmon came through. When K saw that I was bringing the Seafood Margarita as an appetizer she modified the salad recipe and opted just for crab as the seafood garnish. It was heavenly with the ripe tomatoes and blue cheese dressing. And M’s side dish of Squash Blossoms filled with Goat Cheese made both a showy and delicious accompaniment. They were really beautiful!
For the finale, V made a beautiful Baked Alaska. This one used coffee ice cream. We all held our breath as she placed it in the oven to brown the meringue – would the ice cream really not melt?? It was perfect! As she brought it to the table I requested that she sing "Hot, Hot, Hot" like they do on the cruise ships when they serve it. Being the good sport she is (or maybe it was that last round of cocktails…), she did!
We lingered over coffee but eventually had to make our way home. It was an evening we didn’t want to end.
Note: Whenever we meet at R’s house, we’ve had a little guest in the form of R’s cat, Barney. R had adopted Barney when he was a couple years old and had him for most of his 19+ years. About a month ago Barney decided it was time to go to Kitty Heaven. We will miss him at our dinners.