Thursday, April 14, 2011

Lobster, revisited

Lobster is one of my favorite dishes, lucky me living in Maine. I love eating freshly steamed lobster at the road side lobster shacks on the way to Acadia National park. Only recently, however, I discovered there is more to lobster than the delicious lobster meat – the shells! After watching old Julia Child episodes I had started to make my own stock last year, mostly with Maine shrimp shells. Especially seafood stock is incredible when home-made and used for risotto.
After I enjoyed my birthday lobster, it was time to make stock. Slow cooked, with cognac, sweet onions, herbs, and tomatoes. It is waiting now in my freezer for my next seafood risotto. 

Lobster Stock (based on Julia Child’s stock for bouillabaisse):
  • 1 sliced sweet onion
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • A heavy 8-quart kettle or casserole
  • 2 TB tomato paste
  • 3 cloves mashed garlic
  • swig of cognac
Cook the onions slowly in the olive oil for 5 minutes without browning. Take pot from flame, add in the cognac, stir, put back on heat and cook cognac off (or flambe it!). Stir in the tomato paste and garlic, and cook 5 minutes more.
  • 2½ quarts water
  • 2 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • a few juniper berries
  • a pinch of saffron 
  • a few springs of parseley and fennel (summer version)
  • A 2-inch piece or ½ tsp dried orange peel
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • shells of 2 lobsters (not the body, just tail and claws)
Add the water, herbs, seasoning, and lobster shells to the pot. Bring to boil, and cook, uncovered, at the very slow boil for 2h. Strain, correct seasoning. Set aside, uncovered, until cool. If you are not using immediately, refrigerate or freeze.
FOOD (1 of 1) lobster_broth

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