Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Lobster Dinner Mess!

I was presented with the challenge of fresh lobster dinner as a New England staple to satisfy the curiosity of two lovely German tourist visiting my boyfriend. We walked the whole extend of Faneul Hall and Hay market to make it to the famed Union Oyster House of course that in it self is no challenge. Finding good creative Lobster Dinners for cheap was, further more finding that in the middle of the St Patrick's day we are talking impossible. So the ever resourceful kitchen jock I decided that we could do our own. So I ventured out in to the cold found a supermarket that carried lived lobsters and set out to prove to this Germans that we in America can be generous host. (Trying of course to make for what terrible guest we are abroad) (Uhhnmm on second thought so are the Germans "
Terrible Tourist that is") Well this ones as I mentioned were very grateful and gracious. They were even cute, mind you I am dating a Kraut as well but they are not know for being warm, cute and cuddly. (Achtung!)This two were newly wed and still linked telepathically by a series of "humms" and "hamms" that a various rhythms and pitches made complete sentences of surprising complexity and candor. Writing about this secret yet totally understandable language is quite impossible but one can only equate it to an early developmental quirk in the language acquisition phase of an infant. And perhaps this series of hums and semi-breathless squirms is what we can all trace back to the ancestry of all languages. Interesting as a theory nonetheless way to cute for my jaded self to muster. Lets call this two adorable care-bears A and C.

For C and A here is the fabled recipe of your New England Lobster Chowder and all the yummy peripherals. Hope your baby is healthy and that your cravings stop at lobster. Wouldn't want to run the city for you looking for pickles.

1 kilo of Bacon
4 Medium Size Lobsters
Salt both to taste
One Whole onion diced
One Leek Stem Cleaned and diced
1/2 Litter of Cream
Pinch of White Flour to thicken the Broth
1 Cube of Chicken Broth Concentrate
1 Glass of White Rhine Wine
1 Glass of Gin
Gin Berries (Juniper Berries) if available (8)
1/4 Kilo of Butter
One whole corn ear
One Whole Potato

Keep your lobsters in freezing cold tap water this will put them in a trance like state making them easy to handle. cut the rubber bands on the claws.

In a large and deep pot boil the lobsters in scalding hot water. Once they have turned completely red drain 1/2 the water and add to the pot the Gin and the Juniper Berries. Steam them lid closed for several minutes. They should be lightly flavored by the Gin.Save the remaining lobster water and Gin broth.
Set aside your lobsters and let cool.
Cut the corn in several chunks, save for last.
Dice the Onion, Leek and the Potato.
Fry the bacon in the bottom of the large empty pot do not fry to a crisp or burn.
Add the vegetables and sweat in the bacon grease add half the butter.
Separate the legs and torso of the lobster keep the coral (Bright orange pink substance) aside. Break open the thin legs, save all the shells. Set aside the claws and the tails.
Chop the torso.
Add to the pot of mixed vegetables and bacon; the chunks of shelled lobster and the legs, avoid small shell pieces.
Add the broth and a cube of the chicken concentrate to the mix.
Let simmer in low heat for an hour or more.
Add the Cream and corn.
Season with salt and pepper.
Thicken with a rue of flour and butter.
Serve with a sprinkling of parsley and the claws.
Save the tails for later dishes.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


So I am ready to give you all more.
Hate me because I am beautiful but do not hate me because I had to take a vacation, short but boy was it good!
But I am back sort of in the groove of things.
I am ready to face the world again!
Went to Puerto Rico as a tourist rather than as a "resident" and guess what: I had a blast!
I discovered a lot about my food culture again.
Coconut Cachapas with Bacalao (Cod)
Bacalaitos(Cod fritters)
We fry a lot of stuff, one such treats are the now popular Empanadas.
Yes we make them out of everything and anything you can imagine from Pizza to Dessert. Nonetheless we tend to stuff them with something rateher savory.
Here is my own version of them.

Empanandas de Piquito

Buy at the store "Plantillas"
(Ready made turnover dough sheets available frozen in any supermarket with a latin food section, you may try substituting them with Wonton Sheets or any such sheet of dough that is thin, wheat and not self rising)

Not available? Well make your own it may be more fun, though I can not guarantee the results!

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 Stick of Vegetable shortening or butter
1/3 cup of room temperature water
teaspoon of oil.

Make the Dough dry and plastic, play with the water but retain the oil/butter ratio
roll flat on a flour dusted flat surface and wort to a desired thickness with a roller. Cut in circles with a large cookie cutter pattern.
Keep them dusted on both sides.


Cut bell peppers red and green in small cubes very small.
Cut onions in small pieces
Chop one clove garlic
1/8 cup olive oil
1/8 cup Apple Vinegar
One ripe Banana
1/8 cup of chopped walnuts and chopped parsley Mixture.
Minced(Ground Beef) or Dry Shredded Beef (Ropa Vieja)
In a large pan fry in olive oil all the vegetables until soft.
Add salt to taste
Strain remaining oil from vegetables on a paper towel
Use the same pan to cook the Minced Beef keep loose by constantly straining extra liquid and cutting lumps with the spatula.
Mix all the vegetables and meat stirring to keep mix loose, add Vinegar, Walnuts, parsley and the banana keep stirring.
Set aside leave in the refrigerator for one hour to marinade.

Fill the Empanadas as follow:

Lay the dough sheets flat on a waxed paper
Spoon (Table spoon no more) the filler in the center.
Fold the circle in two matching all the edges
With a fork gently press the edges together to seal the filler.
Pressing too hard will break the edges and prevent them form sealing the contents.
Pass a wet finger on the edge and keep on the waxed paper until ready to fry.
You may freeze them at this stage for later use.
Deep fry them or use a large pan to fry each side carefully turning them over after about one minute in the hot oil if fresh or two minutes if frozen.

Ideally they should blister and turn golden yellow.