Sunday, September 1, 2013

Lobster Pappardelle with Lobster Mushrooms, Basil and Bacon





Sometimes recipes are worth a little extra labor - in honor of Labor Day weekend, this is one of those recipes. It is actually not that difficult at all to make - and if you are having a dinner party with really lucky, and deserving friends, then this would be spectacular. The labor comes with breaking down the lobsters. You can find a great video on how to do that easily on my last lobster post (Lobster Mac and Cheese). There is nothing to me that works better than a great pair of kitchen shears - takes a lot of that labor off your hands! I took advantage of a Lobster sale ($8.99/lb) to make this dish. I splurged on Lobster Mushrooms. If you can't find them, use Shiitake.  If you do the sauce and meat a day ahead (which you can) - the rest is a snap! The result is a dish that is delicious in a way that makes you want to skip the meal before and after, just so you can have more of this. The fresh herbs balance the cream and richness of the lobster. Try it and you will add this to your recipe box for sure! Get the breakdown after the jump.


Lobster Pappardelle with Lobster Mushrooms, Basil and Bacon (Serves 4)
You will need:

  • 3 1 1/2-lb live lobsters
Stock
  • 2 T kosher salt
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 4 carrots- rough chop
  • 4 celery stalks - rough chop
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 2 T black peppercorns 
  • 5 parsley sprigs

Sauce
  • 4 T canola oil
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 slices smoked bacon
  • 1/5 lb lobster mushrooms, cleaned and sliced thin (or Shiitake)
  • 1 pint heavy/whipping cream
  • 1/3 C Sauvignon Blanc
  • 3 T white wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic - sliced thin
  • 2.5 T fresh basil - chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 T chives
  • 1 roma tomato, diced
  • 2 T parsley leaves - chopped
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 T butter - for reheating lobster
On highest heat, add all stock ingredients to a very large pot of salted water, and bring to a boil. Add lobsters, one at a time. You will want the meat slightly under done - because you will reheat and cook the meat when you do the sauce. My method for cooking lobster is boil for 3 minutes, and then turn the heat off and let them steep for 7 minutes. This 10 minute total gets perfect results.  Use sturdy tongs, and transfer each lobster to a large pan after cooking. Remember to re-boil the water between each lobster. When the lobsters are done, break them down, by removing meat from tail, knuckles and claws; place meat in a bowl, cover tightly with saran wrap and refrigerate. Using kitchen shears, cut the tail shell and body shell in half. Rinse them out thoroughly, so you remove the green insides from bodies and discard. Reserve bodies and shells.

Cook bacon on medium heat until golden brown. Remove slices and drain on a paper towel. Roughly chop. Add mushrooms to the bacon grease, and saute on medium heat for about 4 minutes. They will also continue to cook in the sauce later. Transfer to another paper towel and set aside. Heat your canola oil in heavy large pot over high heat. Add the lobster bodies and shells, so the insides are down in the pan. Cook for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low. Add your tomato paste, wine, vinegar, garlic, 1 T of the basil, mushrooms, bacon, the thyme, and 1 T parsley. Add the whipping cream; increase heat to a boil and let boil for about 3 minutes. Reduce heat again to low. Simmer, letting the lobster shells and bodies infuse the cream, add 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper. The sauce will also start to thicken dramatically. This takes about 15-20 minutes. You will know when to stop by tasting and when the sauce begins to coat the shells and spoon. Adjust seasoning to taste. Remove shells and either pour sauce into a bowl to refrigerate or keep on lowest heat.
Cut up lobster meat from 2 of the lobsters into large chunks. Add to sauce. Warm over low heat, stirring occasionally. Reserve meat from the 3rd lobster for garnish. 
At this time, bring a large pot of  salted water to boil and cook the pappardelle for about 5-6 minutes or until just tender.  Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Transfer pappardelle into the pot with the lobster sauce and stir to combine. Add the pasta water as needed if the sauce is too thick- I usually use a few tablespoons. Add remaining basil, tomatoes, parsley and all of the chives. Continue to stir about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. In a small pan, heat the butter on medium. Add meat from 3rd lobster and reheat until meat is warm. Slice or use whole claws and tails as a garnish. Enjoy!

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