Lobster Insanity!!!September 6, 2009 at 8:52 pm | Posted in Cookbooks, Dinner | 10 Comments
So two Sunday’s ago our fun meal idea all started with this, and then it went to this:
Mr. Michael, the seafood extraordinaire, at Wegman’s really helped us out! Ned had been talking about doing lobster for a month and a half after “mind” devouring the Thomas Keller recipes in his cookbook. We finally decided that last Sunday was the day to do it! Let me just tell you, BOY ARE WE LUCKY! Driving up to Wegman’s on Sunday afternoon, what do we see? A Lobster on Sale sign! Apparently Wegman’s got some lobsters that were taken from the ocean in Maine and had them flown down and trucked up to Hunt Valley in a refridgerated Fedex truck! All that crazy traveling just so we could enjoy them. 😀
So it all started with Michael and it ended with this masterpiece:
Quite a brilliant combination of ingredients. The leek and tomato concoction was so fresh and bright and even with the beet essence, the natural flavor of the lobster was able to shine very well! And the potato crisp was just so decadent and crispily awesome. Check out this recipe and our Lobster “Mac and Cheese” below…
Here I am with a live one! My first time holding a live lobster… And boy was it weird putting a living thing in our shopping cart and on the checkout belt…
I look a little deranged, don’t I?? I think its just the excitement of eating fresh and perfectly home cooked seafood! See that is the whole reason for this undertaking. When I had lobster in the past, it had always been a little too chewy and squishy for me to like it and Ned hated that! When I had the prawns at Salt I started to realize that crustacean (excluding my sweet crabbies) could be succulent!
For this recipe, it called for a potato crisp adornment, also known as a pommes maxim and here is the uncooked potato slices alllllll laid out!
Now watch out here comes a bunch of words!
Lobster Meat Directions:
Place lobsters in a tight fitting heat proof container. Cover with cold water. Drain off the water and place it in a large pot. Bring the water to a boil and add 1/2 cup of white wine vinegar for every 8 quarts of water. Pour the boiling liquid over lobsters and let them steep for 2 minutes if using 1.5 lb lobsters. Remove the lobsters from the hot water, but do not discard the water. One at a time, using a towel or rubber gloves to hold the hot lobster, grasp its tail and twist and pull to detach it. Twist and pull off the claws and return them to the hot water for 5 minutes. Reserve the bodies.
For the tails: Hold each tail flat and twist the tail fan to one side: pull off and discard. Use your fingers to gently push the meat through the tail end (worked like a charm!) and pull the meat out through the large opening at the other end. Discard the shell. Lay the tail meat on its back and cut lengthwise in half through the middle. Remove the vein running through the top of the meat. Lay the meat on a paper towel-lined plate or platter, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
For the claws: After 5 minutes, remove the claws from the hot water. Twist off each knuckle to remove it. Hold the claw in your hand and pull down to loosen the lower pincer. Push it to either side to crack it and pull it straight off. Ideally, the cartilage from inside the claw should be attached to the pincer and claw meat should remain intact! Still holding the claw, crack the top of the shell with the heel of a knife, about 3/4 inch from the joint where the knuckle was attached. You want to go through the shell but not damage the meat. Wiggle your knife to loosen and crack the shell. If the shell does not pop off, it may be necessary to turn the claw over and repeat the procedure. Shake the claw to remove the meat. (two out of four worked for us!)
For the knuckles: Cut off the top joint of each knuckle, the one that was attached to the lobster’s body. Use scissors to cut away the shell along the smooth outside edge of the knuckle. Use your fingers to pry open the shell and remove the meat. Add knuckle and claw meat to the tail meat.
For the bodies: Pull back and discard the top shell of each lobster, including the heads and antenna, and discard. Remove the tomalley, roe, lungs, and the sac behind the head. You can reserve the dark green roe for other uses, but discard the light green tomalley, feathery lungs, and sac. You will be left with bodies and legs. Rinse them thoroughly under cold water and use immediately.
Beautiful Lobster Dinner:
For the pommes maxim: 1 large yukon gold potatoe, 1/2 cup clarified butter, kosher salt. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Peel the potato and slice it into paper thin rounds on a mandoline. Toss the rounds with the butter and coat them well! Arrange them on a silpat, overlapping the slices by half to form a large solid sheet of potatoes. Sprinkle lightly with salt! Bake the potatoes for 45 to 50 minutes!
For the red beet essence: 1 lb red beets, peeled. 3 tbsp beurre monte (see recipe below), 1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar, few drops of lemon juice. So juice the beets, make a generous cup. Reduce the beet juice slowly in a small saucepan to 2 to 3 tablespoons of glaze.
Buerre Monte: You need 1 1/2 cups of it! Bring a tablespoon of water in an appropriate sized saucepan. Reduce the heat to low and begin whisking chunks of butter into the water, bit by bit to emulsify. Once you have established the emulsion, you can continue to add pieces of butter until you have the quantity of beurre monte you need. It is important to keep the level of heat gentle and consistent in order to maintain the emulsification. Keep it in a warm place!
To complete: 1.5 cups thinly sliced leeks rounds, washed, blanched until tender, chilled in ice water and drained; 2 tbsp tomato diamonds, 2 tbsp chopped chives, 1/4 cup beurre monte, salt and pepper! Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Bring the lobster pieces to room temperature. Place them in one layer in a large saucepan and add the buerre monte. They should be almost covered. Place the over low heat and slowly poach the lobster in the butter for 5 to 6 minutes, just to heat through. Meanwhile, for the leeks, warm the leek rounds in a saucepan. Add the tomato diamonds, chives, and beurre monte. Season with salt and white pepper to taste and keep warm. Reheat the pommes maxim in the oven for 2 to 3 minutes. Bring the beet glaze to a simmer and whisk in the beurre monte, red wine vinegar, and lemon juice. Place a small spoonful of the beet essence on each plate. Top with a generous tablespoon of the leek mixture, a lobster tail, and a claw. Break off a piece of the deeeelicious pommes Maxim and place it on top of the lobster. Enjoy!!!!!!
And the next night we enjoyed the rest of our lobster meat with some “mac and cheese.” This no mac and cheese I have ever had, but it will still certainly tasty! Check out the recipe from Carol because I am far too lazy now to type up another one!
And this lobster dish had a parmesan crisp! Keller really likes pairing crispy textures with this succulent meat. I think it would have been better if the cheesey part was a little more clingy to the orzo, but the lobster stock flavor in the sauce was insane! Lobster stock is where its at! So creamy, so decadent, so not my normal idea of mac and cheese but it was deeeelicious.