Thursday, August 18, 2011

Steamed Lobster in Gingered Lime and Scallion Broth with Baby Bok Choy

lobster-ginger-broth (1)

My little eclair has gone mobile. No, no cell phone yet - not that kind of mobile. She started crawling (and is quickly bumping and bruising her way to walking). So when did this all begin? Oh, round about the time of my last post. (Moms reading this post are smiling right now with a note of recognition.) So instead of cooking and blogging, I've been chasing - and what fun it is. I simply adore that little tush crawling around the house - right through anything in her way.

It's taken awhile, but we're adjusting. Cabinets are locked, gates abound. She recently discovered that the handle on the oven makes a fabulous monkey bar. (Off I went to Babies R Us for an oven lock). But the kitchen's heating up as everything else settles down.

As is usually the case at this time of year in the Northeast, lobster prices are right about the same level as deli meat. So we had our share of steamed lobster and then I ventured out to try a few new recipes... This one is pretty simple to prepare and tastes great. We added more cayenne and salt and I switched the original shitake mushrooms to oyster mushrooms (hubby hates shitakes). The original calls for 6 lobsters, but I cut it down to two and kept the broth proportions about the same - that likely accounts for the lack of saltiness...

Ah and word to the wise - the veg stock used here is made from fennel, celery and onion with parsley and thyme. So don't think you can skate through with store bought stock...

Steamed Lobster in Gingered Lime and Scallion Broth with Baby Bok Choy
adapted from Fresh from the Market by Laurent Tourondel

2 live lobsters, 2 pounds each
1/2 cup Chablis or another dry white wine
3 cups Vegetable Stock (see below)
6-8 oyster mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons matchstick-size strips peeled fresh ginger
11/2 tablespoons ginger juice (see below)
6 baby bok choy
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced
4 scallions, thinly sliced on the bias
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
Zest of 2 limes
Pinch of cayenne pepper

To make the ginger juice, grate a 5-inch piece of fresh, peeled ginger onto a piece of cheese cloth, then squeeze the juice into a small dish.

Vegetable stock
1 onion, thinly sliced

3 celery stalks, thinly sliced
½ fennel bulb, thinly sliced
5 fresh thyme sprigs
1 bunch parsley stems
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

Combine the onion, celery, fennel, thyme, parsley stems, and peppercorns in a medium pot along with 2 tablespoons water and place over medium heat. Sweat the vegetables just until they begin to wilt, making sure they do not develop any color. Add 6 cups of cold water and simmer for 30 minutes, skimming the top as necessary with a ladle or spoon.

Strain the stock through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean bowl set over a bowl of ice water to cool. Discard the solids. Once the stock has cooled, transfer it to an airtight container. The stock will keep in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days or several weeks in the freezer.

Prepare the broth
Holding the lobster body in 1 hand and the tail in the other hand, twist the lobster until the body and tail separate. Repeat with the remaining lobster. Using the back of a chef’s knife, crack the claws off the lobster bodies just below the knuckles. Reserve the bodies for making lobster stock or freeze them for another use.

Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Add the lobster claws and cook until the shells become bright red and the claw meat is just barely cooked through, about 8 minutes. Transfer the claws to a bowl of ice water.

Once cool, remove the claw meat from the shells.

Using a chef’s knife, cut the lobster tails in half lengthwise and discard any intestines that may be clinging to the tail.

Leave the meat in the shells. Bring the Chablis to boil in a large saucepan. Add the lobster tails, flesh side down, and the vegetable stock. Cover and cook until the lobster meat is just barely cooked through, about 3 minutes.

Remove the tails from the broth.
Using a fine-mesh strainer, strain the broth into a clean medium saucepan over medium heat.

Add the shitake mushrooms, ginger, and ginger juice to the broth and simmer until the ginger is soft, about 3 minutes. Strain the broth again through a fine-mesh strainer and into a large saucepan, reserving the mushrooms and ginger.

Finish the broth
Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the bok choy and cook until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.
Immediately transfer the bok choy to a bowl of ice water and allow to cool.

Using an immersion blender, blend the cold butter into the strained broth until emulsified.

Return the reserved mushrooms and ginger, lobster claw meat, and blanched bok choy to the broth along with the scallions, cilantro, lime juice, lime zest, and cayenne and continue to cook over low heat for 2 minutes.

To serve
Divide the lobster tails among 6 large shallow bowls. Arrange the claw meat and 1 bok choy over each lobster tail. Spoon the sauce and vegetables over the lobster tails and claws and serve.

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