I guess that whenever one writes or reads a blog on a web site, they expect it to be funny or happy. Sometimes, it’s hard to be happy when a good friend dies unexpectedly and was so young. My friend, Andy, was my lighting guru for my catering business and led a rather stressful life. Given that we were close in age, I guess he found it easy to talk to me about his troubles. Sometimes, it’s really hard to pull yourself out of the hole that you made, especially when your heart is as big as Andy’s. He had a soft spot in his heart and had a hard time knowing when to step back or say the word “no”.
I treaded lightly and responded only when he asked for advice but found it difficult to keep my opinions to myself when I realized how troubled he had become. He always had a smile on his face and he always had a story to tell, so when we worked together on an event, his personal life melted away and we commiserated on anything and everything we shared in the service industry, a profession that we both loved and hated, all at the same time. About a year ago, I had invited Andy to my home for dinner and he had to back out the hour before he was to come because of, yet another, emergency at home. I felt so bad that night because I really wanted to treat him to a lovely dinner and the empty chair at the table broke my heart. Andy died this past month and everyone who ever knew and worked with him will miss him. The recipe below is one of the menu items on that ill-fated dinner party. To you, dear friend, rest well.
Italian Seafood Salad
2 pounds raw scallops, white parts only
2 pounds raw shrimp
1 pound cooked lobster meat
2 cups sliced celery rib
1 cup sliced red and yellow cherry tomatoes
1 pound can of jumbo lump crabmeat
1 avocado, chopped into ½ inch pieces
½ cup Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
1 cup micro sprouts, to garnish
For the Stock:
2 lemons, sliced
2 bay leaves
1 onion, chopped
1 cup white wine
1 tablespoon peppercorns
1 teaspoon salt
3 quarts water
Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette:
1/3 cup Meyer lemon juice (If Meyer lemons are not available, regular lemons are OK)
3 teaspoons honey
1 cup virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons shallots, finely diced
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
To make the Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette, put all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine. Refrigerate until ready to use.
To make the stock, place all the ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. Add the scallops and the shrimp and simmer until opaque. Remove the seafood from the stock using a slotted spoon. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and set aside. Add the celery to the reserved stock and simmer for one minute. Add to the bowl of seafood and chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours. When ready to serve, add the tomatoes, avocado, jumbo lump crabmeat and the pre-cooked lobster tail meat. Lightly combine with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette. Garnish with micro sprouts.