Monday, March 10, 2014
By Anne Mahle
In the middle of the summer, when the sun is hot overhead, lobster done on the beach, on the grill or in an outdoor pot is the only way to go.
But now that our nights are becoming cooler, the thought of turning the stove top or oven on for a little bit is actually quite appealing.
And while school is now fully under way and my neighbors have already begun to put up their mountain of Halloween decorations, we can still hold on to the remnants of summer in one fashion.
Shedders are still available, and the price of lobster is still fairly low.
As a source of protein, it's a healthy one. As a way of supporting our neighbors and our state, it's also economically healthy.
Especially since I know you've got tons of vegetables still bursting from your garden (and/or the farmers market is still overflowing with vegetable goodness), I know that these silky, creamy dishes, pairing so perfectly as they do with the light, easy taste of lobster, will be combined in your household with bright, nutrient-rich salads and steamed veggies.
It's one last nod to the lazy days of summer. Treat yourself; you all deserve it.
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
3 cups diced celery, 4 stalks celery
3 cups diced onions; about 2 medium onions
2 teaspoons salt
Several grinds of fresh white pepper
1/3 cup flour
3 pounds red potatoes; about 7 red potatoes, cut into eighths or smaller
Big sprig of thyme, tied up
3 lobsters, steamed in 1 inch of salted water
1 cup white wine
6 cups lobster, clam or chicken stock
2 cups heavy cream
In a large stock pot over medium-high heat, melt the butter and add the onions, celery and thyme. Saute until the vegetables are soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in another large pot bring 1 inch of salted water to a boil and add the lobsters to the pot. Cover and cook for 10 minutes or so, or until the lobsters are entirely bright red on the outside. Remove from heat and transfer the lobsters to a large bowl to cool.
When the onions and celery are cooked through, add the salt, white pepper and flour and stir well to incorporate the flour into the butter. Add the white wine and strain the lobster stock into the pot as well. Whisk well until the flour and butter are incorporated into the wine and stock.
Add the red potatoes and bring the entire mixture to a boil. Meanwhile, remove the meat from the lobster shells, reserving any liquid. Strain the liquid into the stew and add the heavy cream. When you are ready to serve, add the picked lobster meat one or two minutes beforehand just to heat it up. Remove the thyme sprig and serve.
CREAMY LOBSTER PASTA
2 eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons heavy cream
3 tablespoons salted butter
1/2 cup minced scallions, 1/2 bunch; about 4 scallions
1 cup red pepper, julienned, about 1 pepper
1 tablespoon garlic; about 3 cloves of garlic
8 ounces lobster or crab meat, meat from about one 11/2-pound lobster
1 cup lightly packed parsley coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
Several grinds of fresh black pepper
Fettuccini for 4 people
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook fettuccini according to package instructions.
Combine in a small bowl the eggs, lemon juice and heavy cream. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Melt the butter and add the scallions and peppers. Saute scallions and peppers for 7 minutes, add the garlic for 30 seconds, then lobster, parsley, salt and pepper.
Remove from heat and transfer to a large serving bowl or platter. Add cooked pasta and the rest of the ingredients and toss quickly. The idea here is to just barely cook the egg without creating scrambled eggs, but instead a silky, smooth sauce that gently coats the pasta.
Anne Mahle of Rockland is the author of "At Home, At Sea." She can be reached at: