Monday, 18 May 2009

Claw and Order

Every so often, it's good to spend a little extra on food. It's an area most people try to save money on during hard times. Yet, we often forget to treat ourselves to a nice meal from time to time. When was the last time you cooked a tender Chateaubriand for yourself? Shucked fresh oysters? Compiled a decadent cheese platter for your family? Yes, these are expensive. So, everything in moderation.

A Court Bouillon is a poaching liquid that is used only to poach foods. It is not advised to use a court bouillon as stock since you add things to a court bouillon that you would not to a stock. A Fish Stock is strictly made with bones, bay leaves, peppercorns, onion, celery and leek trimmings (no carrots in this one). And it only takes about forty five minutes to make this stock (unlike beef stock which takes forever). With fish stock you can make a soup like Bouillabaisse, or a seafood risotto or use it in a sauce like beurre blanc or creamy shrimp pasta sauce. Whatever you like.

I discovered several weeks ago that many major grocers do not have fish stock in their inventory. Either it's frozen in the fresh soup area or not available at all. So, whenever you get a chance to make a stock, you may want to try it then freeze it until you need it. I find stocks can last a few months in your freezer, but once it gets freezer burnt, thaw and use quickly.

Anyways, I don't why I rambling about stock when in this recipe I use a Court Bouillon.

Poached Lobster with a Garlic Clarified Butter

1 Whole Live Lobster, named Yummy
1 Cooking Onion, roughly chopped
1 Celery, roughly chopped
A Few Black Peppercorns
1 Bay Leave
100 ml White Wine
Juice of a Lemon
100 g Butter, melted
2 Cloves of Garlic, crushed
Pinch of Sea Salt

In a tall stock pot, heat some oil and add onion and celery. Cook for one minute, add white wine and half of lemon juice. Add water to almost fill the pot. Add bay leaf and peppercorns and bring to a rapid boil. Do Yummy a favour by cooking him or her in rapid boiling water and not simmering water.

In a small pan, saute garlic in melted butter. Sprinkle with sea salt. Remove any milk solids at the top and keep warm.

For a 1.5 lb. lobster, cook for 12 - 15 minutes. Let cool for 1 minute and let the fun begin.

I usually remove the claws from the arms and crack them. The arms are a pain to eat from but considering the cost of it, you better take everything you can. Then pull the tail off, squeeze it to crack the shell. Pull it apart and the tail comes out pretty easily.

This process is so much easier to show than to write. One day, buy a lobster and just go for it.

Dip lobster into butter and enjoy.

Serves 2.

A Humble Chef's tip: keep it simple! Don't try grilling live lobster or something silly like that. Steaming live lobster can be messy too. Trust me and cook it in a Court Bouillon.

Variation: of course, the meat can be used in so many ways. In a salad, or a soup, or a pasta or even in an hors d'ouvre.

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