Lobster and Shrimp Chowder

I love a good chowder in the winter; it’s a wonderful comfort food served up with some crusty Italian bread. This fall I found a southern inspired seafood base that I wanted to try, and picked up a three-pack of Chilau Seafood Sauce (one each of original, citrus, and gumbo). This chowder will definitely become one of my staples. It has just the right amount of warm heat from the Chilau Seafood Sauce base, not a fire-breathing spiciness.

Chilau

I used lobster tail meat and Argentinian Red shrimp, which our local grocer has started stocking. One thing I am definitely missing from Charlotte is the fresh fish markets! 🙂 In this recipe I also used lobster juice. Bar Harbor sells it in 8 oz bottles; alternatively you can use seafood stock, lobster stock, or clam juice. This recipe would be equally as good with other types of seafood or fish – scallops, calamari, lump crab, halibut, etc.

Chowder1 (2)

Let’s get cooking!

3 Tbsp Kerrygold butter
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup red bell pepper, chopped
3 large Yukon Gold potatoes, chopped
2 cups corn (frozen works well if out of season)
1 cup Chilau Seafood Sauce (I used Original)
8 oz Bar Harbor Maine Lobster Juice
1 cup crushed tomatoes
3/4 cup heavy cream
Juice of one lemon
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 lb lobster tail meat
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup dry white wine

Melt butter in a dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat. Add onions and peppers and saute until soft, about 7 minutes. Add the potatoes and corn and stir well to combine. Add the seafood sauce, lobster juice, crushed tomatoes, heavy cream, lemon juice, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer until potatoes are fork tender (about 20 minutes, depending on the size of your chopped potatoes). Do not over cook.

Add the lobster, shrimp, and white wine. Cook for an additional 5 minutes until seafood is just cooked. Remove from heat.

Serve with: shaved Parmesan, quartered lemons for a hit of acid to finish, and crusty bread. Enjoy!! 🙂

 

 

 

 

Sous Vide Lobster Tails

I have been wanting to try sous vide cooking for some time, and on the recommendation of my colleagues bought myself a Sansaire for Christmas. Being one of those people who has a lot of kitchen ‘gadgets’, and very susceptible to advertising of new ones, I wanted a sous vide unit that would be easy to store. The Sansaire is just perfect. It’s a tall, black tower that you immerse partially into water for sous vide cooking. It stores easily, and doesn’t take up the room that something with a water receptacle would. For those that are curious, you can cool down bottles of wine very quickly with this baby as well. 🙂

Clean Catch had a huge selection of seafood in for the holidays, and I picked up two 10 ounce lobster tails with the rest of my order. I did some research on sous vide and cooking lobster, and it went all the way from 17 minutes to 41 minutes at 140 deg. F. Most of the articles were close to the 40 minute mark. Armed with my new toy, off I went into the kitchen.

My lobster tails came out very tender, with the entire tail cooked the same. Cooking in the water bath preserves the true taste of the lobster, which other methods don’t always do. I would cook these over and over again, and I can’t wait to try a variety of things with the Sansaire.

The Tails

2 10 oz lobster tails
4 Tbsp high quality butter; I used Plugra European Style, Kerrygold Irish works as well
2 tsp of your favorite seafood seasoning; I used Savory Spice Shop’s Cherry Creek Seafood Seasoning
Quartered lemons, for serving

In a pot big enough to hold water to be between the minimum and maximum lines on the Sansaire, fill it appropriately, keeping in mind that you will be adding food to it. Immerse the Sansaire, and set it to 140 deg. F.

Remove the meat from the lobster tails. I’ve found the easiest way to do this is to cut down the middle of the front and the back of the tail with seafood shears, and then carefully work the meat away from the shell. You can also blanch them for a minute to make the meat easier to remove.

Lobster tails.

Put the tail meat, with 1 Tbsp of butter and 1 tsp of seafood seasoning, into a Food Saver bag. If you don’t have Food Saver bags, you can use a normal plastic zip and lock bag. Remove all the air from the bag and seal it using the machine. If using a normal plastic bag, lower the bag slowly into the water. The water will displace the air in the bag. When you are near the top, zip it closed.

Lobster tails ready to be cooked.

When your bags are sealed, confirm the water temperature is at 140 deg. F., and drop them into their bath. Leave them alone for 41 minutes.

Sansaire cooking the lobster.

After the time has passed, remove them from the water and from their bags. Serve with lemon quarters and two Tbsp. drawn butter. Enjoy!!

Finished sous vide lobster tails.

It’s All About the Lobster!

Summertime is here, and to me that means the start of peak lobster time. The majority of lobsters are harvested between June and December. The warmer weather and increased tourism drive the demand for lobster higher during this timeframe. However, you can get high quality lobster any time of the year from the right fishmonger.

I picked up a pound of fresh cooked lobster meat from Clean Catch this week, craving the ultimate seafood sandwich – the lobster roll. A mixture of tail, claw and knuckle meat; this lobster was cooked perfectly and ready for any recipe. I used half of it to make my ‘Southern Lobster Rolls’, still deciding what to do with the other half. Two things make these a Southern variation – Duke’s mayonnaise and a shot of hot sauce; I choose a new hot sauce that I got at Pour OliveLeRoy’s Fiery Green Olive. Enjoy!

Southern Lobster Rolls

½ lb cooked lobster meat, chopped into nice size chunks
2 Tablespoons Duke’s Mayonnaise
Juice of ½ of a lime
1 teaspoon of your favorite hot sauce
Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
Hawaiian Red Salt to taste
2 whole wheat buns, lightly toasted and buttered

Mix all ingredients together except the lobster and buns; season to taste with salt and pepper. The lobster should be the star here, so let it shine through and don’t over season.

Add the mayonnaise mix to the lobster, and stir gently until the lobster is just coated. Be careful to not shred the lobster while mixing. Divide the lobster between the two buns, and dig in! A cool glass of Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio is a wonderful accompaniment.

Lobster Roll