Friday, August 26, 2011

A Lobster Tale


What's Playing? Intuition by Jewel

picture from marthastewart.com




Lobster Corn Chowder

 
This was a really bland chowder.  There was hardly any flavor at all and to top it off, it was watery.  If you make this chowder then be prepared to sprinkle in some herbs and spices, otherwise it will be a watery mass of chunks.  Not tasty.  If you're going to spend the money on a lobster, then it should taste good.  It should not, however,be a waste of both money and calories.  There are three things in life that one is not permitted to do: 1)don't mess with my family or friends 2) don't mess with my money and 3)  don't mess with my food.  I should have eaten a cupcake instead. 


Recipe from marthastewart.com

Ingredients

Makes 6 cups; Serves 5
  • 1 whole lobster (1 3/4 pounds)
  • 4 cups fresh corn kernels (from about 7 ears of corn), cobs reserved and halved
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives

Directions

  1. Prepare an ice-water bath. Bring 8 cups water to a boil in a large pot. Reduce heat to medium-low. Plunge lobster into water headfirst, and simmer, covered, for 9 minutes. (Do not let water boil.) Transfer lobster to ice-water bath using tongs; reserve cooking liquid. Let stand for 10 minutes to cool.
  2. Crack lobster claws, knuckles, and tail, and remove meat; reserve shells and body. Coarsely chop meat. (You should have about 1 cup.) Refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Return shells and body to pot with cooking liquid. (For added flavor, chop body with a cleaver before returning to pot.) Add reserved cobs. Simmer, covered, over medium heat for 35 minutes. Strain stock through a fine sieve into a bowl; discard solids.
  4. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook corn kernels, onion, garlic, and 3/4 teaspoon salt, covered, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 20 minutes. Add 5 cups lobster stock, and cook for 15 minutes. Let cool slightly.
  5. Strain soup though sieve. Set aside 1 1/2 cups corn mixture. Working in batches, puree remaining corn mixture and strained liquid in a blender until smooth. (For safety, remove cap from hole in lid, and cover with a dish towel to prevent spattering.) Strain soup through sieve, and return to pot with reserved corn and lobster meat. Cook over medium heat until warmed through. Stir in chives, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and some pepper. Serve with lemon wedges.
From Martha Stewart Living, August 2011


Read more at Wholeliving.com: Lobster and Corn Chowder


 Lobster Salad with Greens and Citrus Vinaigrette


I over cooked the lobster a bit so the flavor was slightly lacking in all of these dishes.  However, the citrus vinaigrette really spiced things up.  Citrus and seafood have always paired nicely, I think. Overall, this was a refreshing salad.  The lobster added a nice touch to an otherwise simple green salad.

picture from marthastewart.com


Recipe from marthastewart.com

Ingredients

Serves 4
  • 2 whole lobsters (1 3/4 pounds each)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest, plus 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely grated shallot
  • Coarse salt
  • 12 cups mixed greens such as Bibb lettuce, mache, and arugula (10 ounces)
  • 1 large yellow tomato, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh tarragon, plus more for garnish

Directions

  1. Prepare an ice-water bath. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Plunge lobsters into water headfirst, and simmer, covered, for 11 minutes. (Do not let water boil.) Transfer lobsters to ice-water bath using tongs. Let stand for 10 minutes to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together oil, zests and juices, mustard, shallot, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  3. Crack lobster claws, knuckles, and tails, and remove meat. Slice tail meat 1/2 inch thick, and leave claws and knuckles whole.
  4. Combine lobster, greens, tomato, and tarragon. Drizzle with dressing, and toss to coat. Garnish with tarragon. Serve immediately.
From Martha Stewart Living, August 2011


Read more at Wholeliving.com: Lobster Salad with Greens and Citrus Vinaigrette  


Green Fruit Bowl with Frozen Grapes

While at Whole Foods I happened upon a bunch of Champagne grapes.  Don't they just sound like they'd be delicious?  I think so.  The grapes had me at "Champagne" so I set them into my cart without blinking an eye.  They had to be good, I just knew it.  And they were.  (The grapes shown below in this picture are not Champagne grapes).  Sweet and miniature, these grapes were just full of flavor.  The recipe called for green grapes but felt like being a little daring-after all it was a Thursday night (I have no idea what that is supposed to mean,lol). 

The salad was great. I have never eaten a frozen salad before so the idea of this intrigued all of us. FYI Martha, green apples are not yet in season.  I could not find them at Whole Foods.  They are available for consumption next month.  Maybe some of you lucky people can find some, but I couldn't.  To improvise I used a green pear.  And one more quick thing, a few months ago you had a passion fruit pavlova in the Living magazine but nobody was carrying the passion fruits during the winter!  I was a little frustrated.  Now that I'm thinking of it, I think I'll attempt this passion fruit pavlova soon.  We'll see.  Anyway...

picture from marthastewart.com



Martha Stewart Living, August 2011
  • Prep Time 15 minutes
  • Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces green grapes
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup lemon thyme or regular thyme sprigs, coarsely chopped
  • 1 green apple
  • 3 kiwifruits, peeled and sliced
  • 4 to 5 cups honeydew melon balls (from 2 melons)

Directions

  1. Freeze grapes on a rimmed baking sheet for 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, make the syrup: Bring water and sugar to a simmer in a medium saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, and add lemon thyme. Let stand, covered, until cooled completely. Strain syrup through a fine sieve; discard solids.
  3. Thinly slice apple. Divide apple, kiwifruits, melon, and grapes among 8 bowls. Pour syrup over tops just before serving.


Photo Gallery


For the money that we spent on three live lobsters I was a little disappointed.  First of all, I over-cooked the lobster big time. Instead of the usual red color, it was more like a washed out pink.  Since they were over cooked, they were lacking in flavor.  When you spend almost $30 per lobster (not including the other ingredients)  the last thing you want to happen is to eat bland food. 


 
I think that I kept it at a rolling boil because part of me wanted to get the "deed" done as quickly as possible.  I felt bad cooking these guys.  But, I wanted to add cooking live lobster to my list of accomplished culinary events.  I can now check this off my cooking bucket list.  Remember though, simmer-don't boil.

So here I am- totally exhausted.  By the time Ben made it home from work with the lobsters it was almost 7pm.  Let's get started, shall we? 


 
In goes one of them.  The smaller pot I used for the single lobster (for the soup).   I won't go into detail but the kids at first thought they were pets. 
Here is the larger pot( two lobsters) that were used to make the salad.
Straining the lobster.
 

Here is the lobster salad.  I added plenty of freshly cracked pepper ( I love pepper).  This was a yummy salad and the dressing really helped to bring out the flavor.
Here is the green fruit salad bowl with frozen grapes.  The thyme sugar syrup added a very unusual flavor.  I would have never thought about pairing a fruit salad with an herb such thyme, but it was interesting.  I thought that the salad was already pretty sweet so add the syrup in moderation.   
This is what the thyme infused sugar syrup looks like.
Let's not forget the soup!  The 4 cups of corn kernels came right out of the garden. 
This is what the corn looks like before I removed the kernels.  I know, what a surprise, huh?
Now it's all in the pot and ready to go.  I would add some additional spices and herbs here for extra flavor.
The corn is simmering and with a little of this and that added to it...
You get a Lobster and Corn Chowder.  Bland as hell.
Sarah wasn't really into the lobster but she loved the corn.
There's the Gabe man with his sense of humor.  This was a fun dinner to make even thought the flavor wasn't all that great.  Hey, who wouldn't want to have 3 live lobsters running around their kitchen?  Plus, they are very entertaining to small children.
~Dinner Was Served~






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