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Butter Poached Lobster and Beet

Butter Poached Lobster and Beet

The inspiration for this dish came from Thomas Keller of French Laundry and Per Se- considered two of the best restaurants in the United States. While we don't live in Maine and can't access lobster all the time we do consider it a complete treat when we can get it. This definitely takes a little prep time but is relatively straightforward to make. One of the big bonuses of this dish is that the leftover lobster infused butter can be stored in the freezer and used for making scrambled eggs - how decadent.

We thought the dish itself might be a nice one to share coming up to the holidays when we all should find a way to treat ourselves and our loved ones. Enjoy.

Ingredients

2 live lobsters - 1 ¼ to 1 ½ pounds

2 medium red beets

1 pound unsalted butter (we're partial to KerryGold Irish Butter)

1 cup dry white wine

1 tbsp chives, finely chopped

¼ cup white vinegar

Salt

Pepper

Process

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Trim greens and root from beets so there is about ½ inch remaining, then rinse in water and pat dry.  Wrap each beet in heavy duty foil, place on small baking sheet, then roast in oven until tender, about one hour.

Bring 12 quarts of water to a boil in a large stock pot.  Place lobsters in a wide pot, so they fit tightly.  When water boils, add vinegar, stir, then pour over lobsters.  Let sit for two minutes, then remove lobsters.  Separate the legs and claws and return to the water for five more minutes.  Remove meat from tail by snapping off the whole tail and back flipper, then pushing meat through with your thumb and set aside. (The meat will look translucent as it is not completely cooked) When ready, remove legs and claws from water, then remove meat by cracking the shell and carefully removing the whole pieces. 

When beets are nearly finished, create the poaching butter for the lobster.  Chop the butter into chunks.  Set a small saucepan over medium heat, add white wine, and bring to simmer.  Reduce heat to low, then whisk in pieces of butter, one chunk as a time, until it is all melted, but still emulsified.  Whisk occasionally to keep it emulsified.

Remove beets from oven.  Remove from foil and slice the top and bottom off.  Remove skin, then slice each into four equal rounds. 

Turn up heat on butter emulsion to medium low.  Slice each lobster tail in half lengthwise, then put all lobster pieces into butter and poach until just cooked through, about 4 or 5 minutes.  Stir occasionally to be sure all pieces of lobster are submerged in liquid.  While lobster is cooking, place one beet round onto each plate and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Stack second beet round on top and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Remove lobster from butter and stack on top of beets, being careful that each portion has a claw, a tail piece and knuckle meat.  Spoon some of the butter poaching mixture over top of lobster, season to taste with salt, then sprinkle chives over the top.

 

Serve immediately.  Serves four people as an entrée.

 

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Pork, Beans and Tomato Jam

Pork, Beans and Tomato Jam

Ingredients

Pork Rib Roast - 4-6 bones

1 1/2 pounds fresh cranberry beans, shelled

1 medium onion, diced

1 basket orange cherry tomatoes

6 tbsp butter

1 garlic clove, crushed

1/4 cup mirin (Japanese cooking wine)

Salt

Pepper

Crushed red pepper (if desired)

Process

Start a charcoal fire, separating coals in piles on both sides of grill for indirect heat.  Pour hickory (or other type) of wood chips into bowl and soak with water.

In a six quart saucepan, add cranberry beans and cover with water by 2 inches and bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer so it is gently bubbling.

Cook until beans are tender, about one hour, and remove from heat and drain.

In a small saucepan over low heat, add 4 tablespoons of butter and mirin.

When butter melts, add tomatoes, garlic and red pepper (if desired).  Cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes have melted and the entire mixture thickens, about 40 minutes.  Add salt to taste.

While these are cooking, remove pork from refrigerator and pat dry.  Score the fatty side until meat is just exposed and season liberally with your favorite spice rub (for better results, do this a day ahead and wrap until using).  Place roast on grill over indirect heat and roast.  Add a handful of coals to each pile every 30 minutes while cooking to maintain heat.  Add a small handful of soaked wood chips to each pile of coals every 30 minutes for smoky flavor.  When a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion of roast (not touching the bone!) reaches 135 degrees, remove from grill and let rest.

While pork is resting, melt remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to skillet on medium low heat, add onions and cook until soft, about 15 minutes.  Add cranberry beans and continue cooking until beans are hot.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Reheat tomato mixture if needed.

Remove bones from roast and separate, then toss with some additional spice rub.  Slice pork into 1/2 inch thick steaks. 

Arrange all items on large platter and serve.  Feeds 4-6 for a main course.

 

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Rock Shrimp Pasta

Rock Shrimp Pasta

INGREDIENTS

Ingredients

1 pound Rock Shrimp, deveined, rinsed and patted dry

4 tomatoes, chopped (preferably seeded and skinned)

4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

2 shallots, minced

1 cup dry white wine

2 cups dried penne pasta

2 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. butter

Salt

Pepper (preferably Aleppo pepper)

½ cup grated parmesan

¼ cup chopped Italian parsley

PREPARATION

  1. Bring six quarts of water to a boil and cook pasta using package instructions.

    Heat a large saucepan or skillet over medium heat.  Add olive oil.  When fragrant, add shallot and sauté until soft, about one minute.  Add garlic and cook for one minute while stirring.  Add fresh tomatoes and cook until melted, about five minutes.  Add white wine and return to simmer.  Add rock shrimp and cook until shrimp are cooked through, about four minutes.  Turn off heat and add butter, stirring to melt.  Drain pasta and add to saucepan.  Season with salt and pepper, then toss to combine (check seasoning) and divide into four warm bowls. 

    Sprinkle with grated Parmesan and chopped parsley.

     

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Ricotta Dumplings with Peas

Ricotta Dumplings with Peas

 

Ingredients

2 cups ricotta cheese (I like Bellwether Farms Sheep’s Milk Ricotta)

2 large egg yolks

½ cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

½ cup chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish

¼ teaspoon ground pepper

⅛ teaspoon salt

1 cup diced shallot

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 cups sliced Shiitake mushrooms

1 cup (or more) fresh or frozen peas

½ cup mascarpone cheese

½ cup vegetable stock

extra-virgin olive oil

Shaved Parmesan cheese & arugula for garnish

Preparation

  • Bring a large pot of water to a gentle boil. Dust a large baking sheet with flour. Line another baking sheet with paper towels.
  • Stir ricotta, egg yolks, flour, basil, pepper and salt together in a medium bowl until combined. Form the mixture into about 20 oblong dumplings using about 1 heaping tablespoon for each. Place them on the floured pan.  (Hint - use 2 spoons to form your dumplings into ovals. Scoop one tablespoon of the ricotta mixture from one spoon onto the other, until you end up with a smooth football-shaped dumpling.)
  • Carefully drop the dumplings into the boiling water and cook until they begin to float, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to the paper-towel-lined pan.
  • Heat one tablespoon of oil in large nonstick pan.  Add sliced mushrooms and cook stirring occasionally until water is released and they are slightly browned – about 6 minutes.  Remove from pan and set aside.
  • Heat another tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add half the dumplings and cook, turning once, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a clean plate. Repeat with another tablespoon oil and dumplings.
  • Add shallot and garlic to the skillet. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add peas, vegetable stock and marscapone. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Add reserved, cooked mushrooms and stir to combine.  Serve the dumplings with the sauce, garnished with Parmesan, arugula and more basil, if desired.
  •  

    Serves Four

     

     

     

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    Beef and Guinness Stew by Darina Allen

    Beef and Guinness Stew by Darina Allen

    INGREDIENTS

    • 900g lean stewing beef
    • 3 tablespoons oil or dripping
    • 2 tablespoons flour
    • Salt, freshly ground pepper and cayenne
    • 2 large onions (about 285g), coarsely chopped
    • 1 large garlic clove, crushed (optional)
    • 2 tablespoons tomato purée, dissolved in 4 tablespoons water or 1 tbsp of Tomato Paste
    • 300ml (½ pint) Guinness
    • 225g carrots, cut into chunks
    • Sprig of thyme
    • Chopped parsley for garnish

    PREPARATION

    1. Trim the meat of any fat or gristle, cut into cubes of 5cm and toss them in a bowl with 1 tablespoon oil. Season the flour with salt, freshly ground pepper and a pinch or two of cayenne. Toss the meat in this mixture.

      Heat the remaining oil or dripping in a wide frying pan over a high heat. Brown the meat on all sides. Add the onions, crushed garlic (if using) and tomato purée to the pan, cover and cook gently for about 5 minutes.

      Transfer the contents of the pan to a casserole, and pour some of the Guinness into the frying pan. Bring to the boil and stir to dissolve the caramelized meat juices in the pan. Pour on to the meat with the remaining Guinness; add the carrots and the thyme. Stir, taste, and add a little more salt if necessary.

      Cover with the lid of the casserole and simmer very gently until the meat is tender - 2 to 3 hours. The stew may be cooked on top of the stove or in a low oven at 150C/gas mark 2. Taste and correct the seasoning.

      Scatter with lots of chopped parsley and serve with champ, colcannon or plain boiled potatoes.

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