Monday, December 19, 2011

Caberet Lobstah Stew

Hunny's gone. No, not permanently. But she is out in Vegas this week, cavorting around with a couple of old chums and leaving me here all alone. By myself. You know what that means, don't you? Yep. Wet towels on the bathroom floor, dirty underwear hanging from the chandelier, beer cans strewn helter skelter and most importantly, raised toilet seats. I'll tell you what else it means. Lobstah stew for me and one of my buddies.

My regular readers, those two of you who may have read part of one of my blog posts, might remember Hunny as the person who made me kill the lust-filled cricket under therefrigerator, and as the one who likes to keep her garbage in the refrigerator. There's another thing about her that you probably don't know. She hates seafood. If Hunny had her way there would be no seafood. No shrimp cocktail, no oysters on the half shell, no fish and chips, no fish sticks, no McFish sandwiches. But there would be chicken. Lots and lots of chicken. This is a problem for me. It's not that I don't like chicken, but I never signed on for 24/7 chicken. I like some variety in my food. Fortunately, last Sunday, I got to have it.

On Saturday, I went to the grocery store hungry, in hopes I'd overspend on seafood. I did. I bought enough shrimp and scallops to kill a horse, and the two lobsters were a nice touch too. I did a little prep work that evening by cooking and shelling the lobster. Here's the procedure:

First, name your lobsters as you get your pot of salted water boiling.

Next, thrust the little buggers into the rapidly boiling water head first. No, it's not that it's more merciful that way, it's just so you don't have to hear them scream.

Cook them briefly just enough so that they've stopped struggling and that they've begun to turn a lovely shade of red-green. It's important not to overcook them because they'll cook more when they're added to the stew. You're looking for a color like this:

Here's Artee on the left and cray on the right. See how Artee's trying to struggle to the surface? He almost made it, crying like a schoolgirl all the way, but I pushed his head back underwater and he eventually gave up the ghost.

Remove the lobsters from the water let sit until they're cool enough to handle.

Crack the shells, remove the meat from the tail, claws, body (yes there's body meat) and legs. It's work but it's worth it.

Refrigerate the lobster meat; retain the shells.

Chop finely one bunch of green onions and one shallot. Saute the shallot and onions in butter. Retain the chopped green onion tops for garnish.

When the shallots and onions are soft, toss in the lobster shells. If you have any other seafood shells (I had shrimp shells) add them too.

Pour in three cups of milk and three cups of half and half. I used more because I needed extra stock for the seafood linguine I was making.

Simmer on low for an hour or until Hell freezes over I've simmered for up to 2 ½ hours before and it only made the stock better.

Strain the stock and discard the veggies and shells.

Return the stock to the stove, add in the chopped and/or torn lobster and bring up to temperature.

Add one teaspoon of paprika for color; salt and pepper to taste.

Add one to two ounces of dry sherry, if desired. I desired.

Finally, add in a schlop of butter and stir in.

Ladle into bowls, garnish with the onion greens and serve.

You'll notice there are no potatoes in this stew. There are no carrots. The onions (except for the garnish) have been strained out. There is only one star, and it is the lobster. Lobster needs little help to shine. In fact, too many ingredients would only take away from what this dish has to offer. So keep it simple and remember to take your gout medicine.

By the way, we also had seafood linguine. Here's a pic. Be jealous.

And I have leftovers.

And you don't.