Lobster by Night
It had been a while since the two of us had gathered at my dining room table, so I proposed a date of the domestic sort. As I began menu scheming, I turned to the stained and tattered pages of my trusted America’s Test Kitchen magazine, through which I have faithfully been working. When I saw a lobster recipe with the words “lazy man” in the title, I found that weekend’s winner!
Yes, that is frozen lobster. I love him (↓), and I love a special dinner, but I was in no way prepared to teach myself how to thwack a bright red, living thing with grabbers and claws! Sorry friends. Not this time! My other justification was this- if I am going to teach myself how to thwack a bright red, living thing with grabbers and claws, I’m not going to cut up the meat and bake it in a gratin.
The recipe had me with this opening description…
Lobster is a classic choice for an elegant dinner for two. Most people boil or steam their crustaceans and serve them whole with a side of drawn butter. While there’s nothing wrong with this simple, traditional approach, fumbling around with a cooked lobster, hammering down on shells and poking around for meat isn’t exactly a tidy affair. I wanted a refined lobster dinner for a couple that delivered the sweet, rich flavor of lobster and didn’t require a bib to eat. – Dan Zuccarello, America’s Test Kitchen Books
Lazy Man’s Lobster for Two (By Night)
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen magazine
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, minced
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme
Dash of cayenne pepper
4 teaspoons whole-wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup red wine (cabernet sauvignon)
8 oz vegetable broth
1/3 cup organic heavy cream
12 ounces lobster meat (frozen), chopped coarse
1 Tablespoon minced fresh sage
Yakima smoked salt
1 slice high quality wheat bread
3 Tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1 Tablespoon minced sage
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/8 teaspoon paprika
For the Filling
Heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering.
Add the shallot and cook until the shallot is softened, 2-3 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for 30 seconds.
Stir in the red wine and simmer until it has nearly evaporated, about 2 minutes.
Stir in the thyme and cayenne.
Whisk in the broth and cream and simmer until the liquid has thickened and reduced to ¾ cup, 10-12 minutes.
Off the heat, add the cooked lobster meat and sage. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Divide the mixture evenly between two 2-cup gratin dishes (or similar baking dish).
For the Topping
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position, and heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Pulse the bread in a food processor to coarse crumbs, about 10 pulses.
Combine the bread crumbs, the pecorino, sage, oil and paprika in a bowl.
Sprinkle the topping evenly over the gratins.
Bake until the sauce is bubbling and the topping is golden brown, about 15 minutes.
Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Goose Creek Farms Mizuna
2 champagne mangos, peeled, pitted and sliced
1 avocado, sliced
Juice from 1 honey tangerine
1 Tbs. sesame oil
1/4c low sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1Tbs. black sesame seeds
My own personal mixologist shook up one of my favorites:
Buffalo Trace bourbon
Dried cherries rehydrated with bourbon
Well, he actually shook up TWO of those for me!
Lobster by Day
The recipe said “Lazy Man’s Lobster For Two,” but that “two” would have to refer to two rather large and very hungry New Englanders as far as I can tell. Accordingly, “two” for us meant two meals, and our leftovers transformed into a delicious brunch!
Babies’ first ever poached eggs (a team effort in progress)…
Lazy Man’s Lobster For Two (By Day)
(from the bottom up)
Whole wheat bread, toasted
Cahill Irish Whiskey Cheese
Leftover Lazy Man’s Lobster (see recipe above)
Poached eggs (from local/free-range eggs)
Smoked black pepper
Leftovers are just new opportunities I say, so Happy Leftovers!
ps: That’s some leftover Post Patty’s Brunch French Toast on the other side of the plate. It was quite the morning in the dining room!