Summer Entertaining: Lobster Claws, Wine and Friends! Oh My!

This is a guest post from my awesome friend, Michelle!

A couple of weeks ago we decided to invite some friends over for a dinner party and right away I went into planning mode! Our friends are absolute foodies and wine lovers, so I wanted to make them something delicious and creative-but fun at the same time. Suddenly it hit me…we need to have a Lobster Boil on the grill! Originally I was going to do a regular Clam Boil, but I found a great deal on lobster at Costco. A tidbit of random information is that a Clam Bake is done directly over a fire using seaweed, whereas a Clam Boil is done in a pot.

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We invited two other couples over and decided our feast would be in the backyard, with appetizers inside (since the weather hadn’t quite cooled down yet). Originally I was going to serve a white wine because it pairs well with seafood, but decided to serve Opolo Mountain Zinfandel instead, which really brought out the flavors of the Boil. This Zin has hints of vanilla, peppers and cinnamon and really compliments the Zatarain’s seasoning! It’s a delicious wine on its own, but paired beyond perfectly with this meal. As if a delicious wine isn’t good enough, you can find it at Costco for under $14!

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I decided on a four-course meal, starting with appetizers of Caramelized Onion Ricotta Tarts, Baked Brie with Balsamic Strawberries, and Homemade Salsa (made with tomatoes from our garden) with Artisan Black Bean Chips.

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Before the main dish, we had refreshing Watermelon Gazpacho

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…and then we served the Lobster Boil which included: lobster claws, mussels, clams, kielbasa sausage, corn and potatoes. And lastly for dessert, I served Toasted Pound Cake with Citrus Cream. It was truly delicious!

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For my tablescape, I wanted something that reminded me of the sea and decided on an aqua tablecloth from Target for under $20 and white linen napkins, also from Target for under $20. I couldn’t forget the lobster crackers, which I was also lucky enough to find at Target for just $2.99! For the galvanized pales, I went to Cost Plus World Market. They were on summer clearance so I got them for less than $7 each (plus I had a $10 coupon, so they really only cost $4 with tax!). I had a big white vase and bought sunflowers from Trader Joe’s and chrysanthemums from Costco. My candleholders are all from Ikea that I already had and I made a candle using a clear round vase, small white round candle and shells we collected on our recent camping trip on the beach. It was pure perfection!

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Here’s my recipe for the perfect Lobster Boil on the grill:

Lobster Boil (Serves 6)

  • 5lbs mussels
  • 3lbs clams
  • 4lbs lobster claws
  • 4 large red potatoes, quartered
  • 3 cobs of corn, cut in half
  • 2 pkgs turkey kielbasa sausage
  • 5 cups white wine
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 packet Zatarains Crawfish-Shrimp-Crab Boil in Bag

Clean the mussels and clams! Rinse both of them under cold water and take off any beards that you can. If you find a shell that’s open, tap it gently on your sink. If it closes, then it’s still alive and ok to keep. If it doesn’t close or is broken, throw it away. Soak the clean clams and mussels in a cold-water bath with about a cup of cornmeal. The cornmeal will make the shellfish spit out any remaining sand that is inside.

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We made the Lobster Boil on the grill using a roasting pan and a large stockpot. In the stockpot add two cups of white wine and all of the mussels and clams. Cover them to boil for about 40 minutes. Place the potatoes, corn, kielbasa sausage, in the roasting pan with 3 cups of wine, about 2 cups of water and one packet of Zatarains Crawfish-Shrimp-Crab Boil in Bag. Cook for 30 minutes, then add lobster claws. Cook an additional 10-15 minutes.

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This was such an easy and fun feast! Everyone said they really enjoyed it and hadn’t been to such an event thrown by friends. I think we’ll do this again next summer! If you missed the links to the other recipes within the article, here they are again: Caramelized Onion Ricotta Tarts, Baked Brie with Balsamic Strawberries, Homemade Salsa, Watermelon Gazpacho and Toasted Pound Cake with Citrus Cream.

 

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Michelle is a wife, stepmom, law student, aviation sales professional, child advocate and most importantly a wine lover. She resides in the Bay Area and while cooking every night for her family, she enjoys discovering new wines and revisiting the ones that her palette loved! Follow her on TwitterInstagram, and Pinterest and stay tuned for more wine raves and reviews!

 

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