Disclaimer: If you were not a fan of or at least acquainted with the TV series “Lost,” you may miss some of the references in this column. The recipes are still delicious.
(Disclaimer: If you were not a fan of or at least acquainted with the TV series “Lost,” you may miss some of the references in this column. The recipes are still delicious.)
This week, a group of young attorneys joined 13 million other Americans to watch the finale of their favorite TV series. No, it wasn’t “Law & Order” but “Lost” that had their loyalty. Many had been fans of the popular show since law school days; others caught the fever from colleagues, getting up to speed on previous seasons with Netflix rentals.
The adventures of the passengers of Oceanic Flight 815 who crashed on an uncharted Pacific island in 2004 had seen them through bar exam anxiety, first year associate jitters, reams of case law research, client meetings and court appearances. (The show’s characters included physicians and scientists, teachers and terrorists, musicians and megalomaniacs — but no lawyers.) For an hour each week, the legal eagles forgot billable hours and considered the significance of the number sequence “4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42,” or a polar bear charging through a tropical undergrowth.
They approached the island’s last hurrah like football fans do Super Bowl Sunday: a two-hour pre-game retrospective, a 2 1/2-hour main event, and a 1-hour post-game analysis with Jimmy Kimmel. In place of team jerseys, the partygoers dressed in Hawaiian print shirts or khaki-colored Dharma jumpsuits. One couple, admitted non-viewers, joined the party dressed as Mr. & Mrs. Thurston Howell from their favorite Island — Gilligan’s.
The marathon event required an Island-inspired feast. Nibbling on a spread of seaweed salad, wild boar cocktail meatballs and crab dip, they moved to a main course of tilapia garnished with mango, pineapple, jalapeno and cilantro salsa, and finished with coconut cupcakes.
Wine and beer was relabeled with Dharma logos downloaded from the ABC-TV website. A lab coat-clad guest ladled out pineapple-orange-coconut rum punch. Balloons numbered with the mystical sequence floated overhead. Parting gift bags contained plastic fish, Hurley’s favorite pink-and-blue Apollo bars and nip bottles of liquor like those served on airplanes.
The guests ate, talked a little shop during commercials, but mostly it was a party atmosphere with everyone commenting on the authentic looking packaging. Someone mentioned that the Smoke Monster bore a resemblance to the BP oil leak off the Louisiana coast.
The guest who had baked the cupcakes managed to cut herself badly in the process, arriving at the party bleeding and bandaged. Throughout the night, she vehemently refused offers to drive her to the hospital until Jimmy Kimmel signed off at 1 a.m. Then she agreed to be treated with antibiotics, a neat row of stitches, and a stern lecture from a physician she nicknamed Dr. Shepherd.
Makes about 2 cups
To make this less fat and cholesterol filled, I’ve changed the traditional full-fat mayonnaise and sour cream to low fat mayo and Greek yogurt, a thick, full-flavored yogurt that tastes so close to sour cream that many people can’t tell the difference.
Dip celery sticks, cucumber rings or potato chips (if you don’t mind the calories).
2 cups fresh lump crabmeat, picked for shells and cartilage
2 tablespoons small capers in brine, drained
1/2 cup low fat mayonnaise
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
2 dashes Tabasco
3 tablespoons fresh snipped chives
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Salt, fresh ground black pepper
1. Toss crabmeat and capers together in a bowl.
2. Whisk together the mayonnaise, yogurt, Tabasco, chives and lemon zest in a separate bowl. Fold this into the crabmeat mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to blend the flavors.
VANILLA CAKE WITH COCONUT-CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
Makes a 12-portion cake
Instead of cupcakes, I offer this beautiful cake. However, the batter can be poured into paper lined muffin tins: cupcakes bake in 2/3 of the time it takes to bake a cake. Always check baked items about 5 minutes before allotted time so they do not overcook.
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups sifted unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
cream cheese frosting
1 cup flaked (sweetened) coconut
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 13-by-9-inch baking pan.
2. In a small saucepan, heat the milk and butter until scalding.
3. In the meantime, start beating eggs with an electric mixer. Add sugar; beat well until thick and foamy. With beater on low speed, gradually add the hot milk mixture and vanilla.
4. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl. With the mixer on low speed, beat this mixture into the egg mixture. Pour the batter into the buttered baking pan.
5. Bake for 30 minutes; after 25 minutes pierce with a toothpick to see if it comes out clean. Cool the cake slightly in the pan, just until it pulls away slightly from the sides. Remove from the pan; cool for one hour on a cake rack.
6. Spread the frosting over the top and sides of the cake. Sprinkle flaked coconut over the top, and pat gently onto the sides so that it adheres but is not flattened.
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Beat together the cream cheese and butter in a bowl with a mixer at medium speed until creamy. Add salt, confectioners’ sugar, milk, and vanilla, mixing until smooth.
Linda Bassett is the author of “From Apple Pie to Pad Thai: Neighborhood Cooking North of Boston.” Reach her by e-mail at KitchenCall@aol.com.