Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day in the Summer of Lobster

According to Sam Sifton, this is the tenth consecutive year of record lobster catches in Maine. Here in Canada, we think Maine lobster is the bland version of the supreme Maritime lobster, which lives in the cold waters of the Newfoundland current, rather than the warm Gulf stream of Maine. (OK, fact-checkers, come and get me.) Lobster is selling at $7 per pound here in Toronto.
Sifton may be challenged in where he buys lobster, but he has a superb recipe. As almost everybody knows, shellfish MUST be spicy, piquante spicy (Indian-hot, as we say in Toronto). And Sifton, with impeccable taste, offers us Singapore Chili Lobster, a recipe true to that great city and its great Tamil culture, but unknown there (though only because lobster is).
This being Father's Day (which Sifton was celebrating), I made Singapore lobster for lunch. I bought cooked lobster, and so modified his recipe. Here's what I did.
2 1-kilo Nova Scotia lobsters
375 ml good white wine
Small bottle of clam juice
2 tbsp chiffonade of mint
2 thinly sliced shallots
Tarragon, thyme, bay leaf, tomato paste
Good soya sauce, Sriracha sauce
1/2 cup sliced scallions, two chopped Thai birds-eye red peppers
Separate heads of lobsters, and extract meat from claws. Cut tails into 1" sections.
Put heads and claw shells in pot with wine, clam juice, sprig of thyme, sprig of tarragon, bay leaf, tbsp of tomato paste and shallot. Boil for ten minutes and strain.
Saute a couple of tablespoons each of ginger and onion, then sauté lobster. Add chiffonade of mint.
Reduce bouillon by half, add tbsp soya sauce and of tomato paste, and at least three times the amount of Sriracha sauce.
Garnish with scallions and red peppers.

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