Step by Step

“Entertaining is not about perfection; it’s about connection.”

Sometimes a table comes together on its own, drawing its inspiration from what is already there. 

fall tableThis centerpiece with colors and textures of fall has been on the table for several days, so all I have to do is work around it, an easy task.

fall tablescapeThe runner that was under the centerpiece is replaced with loosely woven placemats in a fiery orange, a perfect complement to those same tones in the  arrangement.  I love their randomness which remind me of an unfinished bird nest.

fall tableStaying right with the developing color scheme are these napkins tucked into pewter napkin rings.  I have longed for sterling silver figureals, but they have gotten very pricey, so these much less expensive ones are a good substitute.  Each of the eight I have is a different shape which makes them a very fun addition to the table.

fall tableI had thought to use black dishes, but when I opened the cabinet, these wonderful plates jumped right out.  They are so right for a fall table, and I am reminded of the special thoughtfulness of the friend who brought them.

fall tablescapeWith the table appearing so warm, comfort food is a natural for the evening meal.    I had gotten lobster from my lobster guy earlier, so I decided to make a new version of the lobster pot pie that you can find here.  It is such fun to see how many different ways lobster can be used as a main ingredient, and I can tell you anything with lobster is good.  See how you think this  sounds.

lobster pot pie Lobster Pot Pie

4 T unsalted butter
1/2 pound mushrooms (I combine several types)
1/3 cup minced shallots
1/4 cup sherry
2 T flour
1 1/2 cups seafood stock
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup frozen green peas
1/2 t salt
1/4 t freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 t cayenne pepper
1 T Herbes de Provence
1 pound cooked lobster meat, cut into bite-size pieces
2 T chopped chives

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten and mixed with 2 tablespoons water

lobster pot pieIn a heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring,  about 5 minutes. Add the shallots and cook until softened, about 1 minute. Add the sherry and cook until it is almost completely evaporated. Sprinkle the flour over the top of the mushrooms and shallots, stir to combine well, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the seafood stock and milk, and whisk until smooth. Continue to cook until thickened. Add the heavy cream, green peas, salt, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, and Herbes de Provence  and cook for 15 minutes, until sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and the flavors have come together. Set aside until cooled. Add the lobster meat and chives. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, then divide lobster mixture evenly among four 12-ounce ramekins or 6″ skillets.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

lobster pot pieOn a lightly floured work surface, roll puff pastry to a thickness of 1/8-inch. Cut the pastry into circles 3/4-inch larger than the diameter of the ramekins. Transfer the dough rounds to the top of the ramekins and press the edges around the top of the dishes. Lightly brush the top of the pastry with some of the egg yolk mixture. Cut slits in the center of the pastry to allow steam to escape.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until pastry is puffed and golden brown and sauce is bubbling hot.

I like using individual serving dishes for this, but it works just as well to use a regular baking dish or casserole.  Believe it or not, it doesn’t take long to put the lobster pot pie together, especially if you are using prepared lobster.  If you don’t have easy access to lobster as I do here in Maine, shrimp or crabmeat would work just as well.  No matter what your seafood choice, the result is sure to be tasty.


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27 thoughts on “Step by Step

  1. This is so gorgeous!! I want to come to your house for dinner!!

  2. OK, I’m going to be honest here: Once I saw that fabulous pile of lobster, I lost all train of thought where anything else was concerned!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 MAN, that looks good!!!!!!!!!! You are so fortunate to have access to fresh lobster like that! Ramon & I both love it with all our hearts, but getting our hands on it here is not so easy. It costs a fortune and who can really say how fresh it is? I envy you that!

    GREAT way to work around an existing piece of decor!!!!!!!!!!

  3. What a colorful table! And color me green with envy for the Lobster Pot Pie!

  4. You have such a great style of tablescaping. Your dinner sounds fantastic. Wish I were there.

  5. What a beautiful table setting!!

  6. Oh Linda your Fall table is gorgeous and the Lobster Pot Pie is to die for!!! Thank you so much for your sweet and kind visit and for the récipe. Enjoy your weekend.

  7. Reblogged this on Living and Lovin.

  8. Hi Lulu,
    I would love to sit at your lovely table and enjoy this beautiful Lobster Pot Pie, I would sure feel connected and entertained in a very special way. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and have a fun weekend!
    Miz Helen

  9. Joy @ Yesterfood October 11, 2013 — 1:23 pm

    Lulu, the tablescape is stunning. I do love the each-one-is-different napkin rings! I have never heard of lobster pot pie, but now I am convinced I cannot live without it! 🙂 I love baking in cast iron.

    Love, Joy

  10. Lobster Pie?!! I’ll be over tonight.

    I’ve copied the directions. Thanks.

  11. My hubby OD’d on lobster when we were in Maine…I had to stick to the wonderful Haddock as I am allergic to shellfish :(….your table looks amazing and those dishes from your friend are just perfect…and so is the quote…I will have to keep repeating that quote when I prepare for a dinner party!!!

  12. “Entertaining is not about perfection; it’s about connection” what a great quote!
    and I just love those cute measuring spoons ! And yes I’ve saved your recipe to my favourites 🙂

  13. Beautiful and perfect table setting! Thank you for the delicious Lobster Pie recipe!

  14. Lovely fall table, Linda. I love those place mats, didn’t know they came in colors.
    The lobster pot pie sounds wonderful. I do miss all the seafood available in New England…it just doesn’t taste that good here on the prairie!
    Have a wonderful week…

  15. The succulent lobster looks mouth-watering and your pot pie sounds delicious~ lucky you to have it so readily available!

  16. Beautiful! Love those leaf dishes…

  17. The lobster pie looks so yummy! Your table is beautiful, very warm almost fiery. The plates are so pretty!…Christine

  18. You made our mouths water——we went out for Mexican food after reading this and Tom ordered lobster enchiladas. :-). Seeing the plates made us smile.

  19. Oh my, your Lobster Pie looks magnificent!

    – The Tablescaper

  20. Pretty table, and my mouth is watering! That sounds soooo good. Even your uncooked ingredients, laid out on the countertop, made my mouth water. Those square plates with leaves are so perfect for Fall, and since I’ve always wanted the figural silver napkin rings, I’m going to be looking for some in pewter. I’ve never seen them in pewter. laurie

  21. Are you kidding?? A lobster guy?? I wish I had a lobster guy!! And seriously, puff pastry and lobster~ I might just faint…your table is also lovely, but you distracted me! I think I need a trip to Maine!

  22. Linda, I love your colorful table with all the pretty textures…so perfect for Fall. The lobster pot pie is calling my name! I wish I could be a guest at your table. What a wonderful pleasure that would be.

  23. Linda, That lobster pot pie looks sooooo delicious!!!! I must try to make it! And you are right–sometimes tables come together almost by themselves or at least in ways you do not expect! Linda

  24. I like your table…the textures make it very interesting, and the candles give the reds a pretty glow.

    I would love to try your recipe. First, I’ve never seen seafood stock…can I substitute Chicken?


    1. Chicken stock does not work as well with the seafood. Keep looking, I bet you find the seafood stock.

  25. What a perfectly lovely evening. Your table was so very warm and inviting ……….the lobster pie was over the top in perfection. How delightful to have dined with you. Your photography is stunning!

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