Sunday, November 25, 2007

Oysters Rockefeller

A super-yummy Rockefeller, we generally go heavy on the spinach (good source of iron). 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup bread crumbs, Panko preferred
2 shallots, chopped
2 cups chopped fresh spinach
1/4 cup Pernod
Salt and pepper, to taste
Dash red pepper sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon chopped chervil or parsley
2 dozen oysters, on the half shell
Rock salt
Lemon wedges, for garnish
Melt butter in a skillet. Saute the garlic for 2 minutes to infuse the butter. Place the bread crumbs in a mixing bowl and add half the garlic butter, set aside. To the remaining garlic butter in the skillet, add shallots and spinach, cook for 3 minutes until the spinach wilts. Deglaze the pan with Pernod. Season with salt and pepper, add a dash of red pepper sauce. Allow the mixture to cook down for a few minutes. Finish off the bread crumbs by mixing in olive oil, Parmesan and chervil, season with salt and pepper. Spoon 1 heaping teaspoon of the spinach mixture on each oyster followed by a spoonful of the bread crumb mixture. Sprinkle a baking pan amply with rock salt. Arrange the oysters in the salt to steady them. Bake in a preheated 450 degree F oven for 10 to 15 minutes until golden. Serve with lemon wedges and red pepper sauce.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Lobster Stock & Sauce

OK, So here's what I did.  

1) have a bunch of people over for steamed lobsters and clams.  I'll post a separate recipe for that if you don't already know how easy and fun that is.  Do not throw away any of the lobster parts or clam shells.
2) sometime either beforehand, or afterward, sweat down some minced celery, carrots, onions, and add parsley at the end.  Put aside.
3) Leave the steaming water in the pot, and add the aromatics from step 2.  retain all discarded lobster and clam carcasses, and put back into the lobster steaming pot.  I packed my lobster pot pretty much full with shells, crush down with a potato masher or similar implement.  I then added water to about 1/3 to 1/2 the height of the shells.  Cover and simmer/steam for 30-45 minutes.  Leave covered, let cool and put in fridge for next day.  
4) The next morning, use tongs to get the large shell pieces out of the stock, then line a large strainer with cheese cloth, and pour the broth through.  Don't pour out the very last of it, as the sand from the clams will have fallen to the bottom, and you want to discard that.

You've now got lobster stock (and plenty of it).

Later that day, I ladled several cups of the stock into a sauce pan, and decanted the rest into a smaller container for freezing (again, leave the very last bit to make sure there's no sand.

Into the sauce, add 
1) one can tomato paste
2) 1 tsp paprika
3) 1/4 to 1/2 (I used 1/2) teaspoon of cayenne
4) 1/4 cup dry sherry (I've seen brandy as well, and will try that next time I have some).
5) raise heat and blend.  Thicken with a rue.  You can add cream as well, in which case you'll need less rue.

Done.  A very nice lobster sauce, with a little spice, and slightly buttery taste.  We'll try it on some things and get back (probably tortellini first).