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Chef Robert Darrah

From Chef Robert-Darrah of the Legacy Retirement Communities

GRILLED ASPARGUS

2 bunches fresh asparagus
3 cups balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon garlic powder

Mix balsamic vinegar & garlic powder in bowl.
Wash asparagus with water, trimming off 1 inch from the bottom.
Arrange asparagus flat in bottom of baking dish, cover with marinade for 3 hours.
Place on grill using indirect heat, turning until done.

NEW ENGLAND STYLE CLAM CHOWDER

3 slices bacon cut into ¼ inch pieces
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 tbs butter
1 tbs flour
2 cups water
4 medium potatoes peeled & cut into ½ inch cubes
1 ½ tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 cups heavy cream (not whipping cream)
2 cups canned clams (reserve the liquid for later)

In large saucepan, cook bacon until crisp. Reduce heat to low and add 1tablespoon of butter & onions, then sauté until the onions are soft. DO NOT BROWN THE ONIONS.
Add flour and cook an additional two minutes
Whisk in water and remaining clam juice. Once combined, add the potatoes, salt & pepper. Increase heat to medium and bring to simmer uncovered, until the potatoes are tender.
Reduce heat again to low, add heavy cream, clams & butter. Cook slowly until thoroughly heated. Very important! Do not boil!

LOBSTER BISQUE

1lb lobster meat, freshly picked*
1 tbs minced garlic
½ cup chopped onion
½ lb butter
1 cup flour
½ cup cooking sherry
3 cups water
¼ cup lobster base
2 qts heavy cream (not whipping cream)

Heat water & add lobster base, set aside keeping hot.
In large pot, slowly heat heavy cream on low to medium heat until hot. Do not allow to boil or scorch.
In skillet, combine garlic & onion with 3 tablespoons butter & sherry. Sautee until tender. Add to heavy cream.
Melt remaining butter in microwave & combine with flour to make a roux.
Add roux to heavy cream stirring as you add, and it will become very thick.
Add heated water mixture until bisque is at desired consistency. Some like it thinner, some thinner.
Add lobster meat & simmer for 20 min.
Serve with oyster crackers

*Lobster meat can be purchased pre-cooked & ready to go. If interested in making it from scratch, see below:
Purchase 2 whole live lobsters. Fill stock pot with enough water to just cover the lobsters (do not add lobsters yet)
Bring water to a boil, then add lobsters cooking for 8-10 minutes. The lobster will be done when the tail springs back when pulled.
Remove lobsters from pot but do not discard the water.
While the lobsters are still hot, crack open all parts of the lobster reserving the meat in one dish and all shells in another.
Add shells back to the boiling water for 20 minutes. Strain and reserve liquid. This will replace the hot water/lobster base in the first step.

GRILLED SMOKED SALMON FILLET

2 large salmon fillets
2 tbs lime juice
1 tbs chopped thyme
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp sea salt
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil (depending on size of fillet)

Make a salt-water brine using lukewarm tap water & 2 ½ tablespoons plain salt. Stir until dissolved and add 4 quarts of cold water.
Place salmon skin side down in the brine for 20 minutes.
Remove salmon from brine and lightly rinse both sides to remove all salt, then gently pat dry with paper towels.
Place salmon on wire rack at room temperature for 2 hours. The salmon will develop a tacky glaze which indicates it’s ready to go.

Combine all above ingredients in bowl & mix together.
Rub the seasoning mixture on both sides of the salmon fillets, coating them well.
Place salmon fillets skin side down on a piece of aluminum foil. This will keep the salmon from sticking to the racks of your grill.
Smoke until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees.

Grill Preparation:

Make a large pouch using tinfoil.
Place woodchips into the tin foil pouch sealing all edges.
Poke several holes in the top of foil.
Heat grill on high until a good rolling smoke is coming from the pouch.
Turn grill down to medium, and place salmon fillets on rack. Avoid opening the lid too often to get the great smoke flavor

GRILLED SHRIMP KEBOBS

½ lb raw deveined shrimp
½ pint cherry tomatoes
½ pint whole mushrooms
1 medium red onion, quartered
1 medium white onion, quartered
1 bell pepper, cut into 1 inch squares
8 metal or wooden skewers*

Wash, peel & cut vegetables (excluding mushrooms) into 1 inch chunks.
In ziplock bag with your choice of marinade, add shrimp & cut vegetables. Place in refrigerator for 60 minutes turning several times. When done, discard marinade.
Thread shrimp and vegetables alternately onto skewers.
Grill kabobs for 4-7 minutes brushing often with new fresh marinade.
Serve over rice.

*If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes in advance.

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