Saturday, July 23, 2011

Surf & Turf At The Lake

Friends Laura & Dave (Big Daddy Dave) and Laurie’s sister Bonnie and brother-in-law Bill, visiting from St. Louis, came over for dinner at the lake and we decided on a poor man’s surf & turf meal.

We started with crab cakes using a recipe we’d tried before as a taste test and enjoyed from Judy at Free Crab Cake Recipes.  I made them up that morning using the terrific Maine crab we'd brought back from our May trip, covered and stored them in the fridge, then about an hour before cooking, I removed them to warm up a little - a mistake as I had trouble keeping them together.  I preheated the pan, coated the cakes in panko, and fried until golden brown in Canola oil. 

We served them on a bed of sautéed spinach topped with some grated parmesan then topped the crab cake with Mary’s Remoulade and once again, they were delicious - I took two shots and they were both blurry but here's one that Laurie took .

The next dish was a Green Bean, Tomato, and Mozzarella Salad using this recipe from

2 cups fresh green beans, cooked til tender
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, cubed (we used fresh)
1/2 cup Italian dressing
4 tomatoes, cut up
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil 

Mix all ingredients together and chill for an hour before serving.
Bev made it using some of our green and yellow filet beans, basil, and tomatoes (Yellow Brandywine, Cherokee Purple, and Green Zebra).  It was a different kind of salad for me but I thought it was delicious and would definitely serve it again. 

For the main course, it was grilled pork tenderloin, grilled shrimp, and small potatoes boiled then fried in butter.  For the tenderloin, after trimming, I brined it for 7 hours in this brine:

1 ½ cup water
½ cup orange juice
¾ cup brown sugar
¼ cup Kosher salt 

I removed it from the brine an hour before cooking and gave it a coating of Head Country Championship Seasoning.  I grilled them indirect to a temp of 120*, then moved to direct heat and took them to 140*, turning and basting several  times with a Maple Ancho Glaze from John Dawson over at Patio Daddio BBQ.  After a 10 minute rest, I sliced and served with some additional basting sauce. I got too busy cooking and forgot to take pictures and didn’t have a designated photographer.

I thought it was cooked just right but for the second sweet dish in a row, it just didn’t match up with my taste.  Had I not added the additional glaze to the sliced meat it may have worked fine for me, based on the leftovers I had the next day for breakfast. 

While the pork was resting, I grilled the shrimp using our normal process of: spray with Pam, sprinkle with Emeril’s Essence, and baste several times with butter while grilling over high heat to ensure flare-ups and the charring this creates. They were served with a small ramekin of melted butter and seemed to be a hit with everyone.

For bread it was drop cheese biscuits using the recipe from Red Lobster and they were very good as always – plus very easy to make.  She added about 1 1/2 tbsp of minced fresh parsley to the dough as well as 1/2 tbsp to the butter for the top.  They can also be made as rolled and cut biscuits, but these are much easier.

Here’s the disappointing shot of my plate but by this point I was just ready to eat and not too worried about presentation - sorry about that.
We finished the meal off with delicious brownies and ice cream brought by Laurie and Dave.

Laurie got much better shots than I did so please hop over to Big Daddy Dave's blog for a look at them.

I know this is long, but I have to mention Bev's Sangria which she made to taste from white wine, peaches, limes, lemons, blueberries, simple syrup, peach brandy, and vodka.  It was a little sweet for me but Bill and Bev sure seemed to like it - Bev liked it a little too much.

All-in-all it was a very nice and liesurely evening helped in part by preparing and serving each course before moving on to preparing the next one - although I did have the pork cooking indirect while we ate the salad It's always fun to meet new people and while it was very hot, being on at the lake and under high preformance fans made it fairly comfortable.

All photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


  1. Sounds like the perfect party to me. Love the three colors of tomatoes.

  2. Impressive party! Sangria is just such a pretty summer drink. I might have to try that bean salad, as I have a bumper pot of basil and fresh mozarella in the fridge. That pork tenderloin sounds wonderful. Maple ancho??? yum!!!

  3. Hey, how come I wasn't invited? :) Seriously, though, talk about a nice spread for a party! You do know how to treat your guests :)

  4. I love crab cakes with remoulade - it's my favorite way to eat them! They look delicious along with everything else on your menu.

  5. Delicious meal...I love crab cakes but have never had them with remoulade...will have to try it. Sounds as though you had a great evening.

  6. Delicious meal...I love crab cakes but have never had them with remoulade...will have to try it. Sounds as though you had a great evening.

  7. You two are some of the kindest, most gracious people and hosts that I've ever known about! To be your guest would be such an honor. I love the veggie salad, and I know those 'maters were yummy! I would so love to know how Bev made her Sangria! Will she spill her secrets?

  8. Larry, Even I liked the Sangria! All that luscious fruit in it made a big difference... Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  9. This meal sounds delicious - you really know how to throw a party. lol about Bev . . . does she know you write this stuff about her? :D

  10. Hi Larry...Laurie here!

    It was a fun evening & we all enjoyed the company, conversation & the food! Drinks too! Bev's sangria was so pretty to look at & delicious! It was like we were at a resort! You & Bev out did yourselves! We had a blast! Thank you for giving such a warm welcome to my sister & brother in law. They were truly impressed!

  11. I made that same pork recipe and liked it but Alexis wasn't crazy about it. I think it is one of those you will like or really not like.


I appreciate and enjoy your comments