NFL AFC CITIES RECIPE #3
LOBSTER STUFFED BAKED POTATO
There are so many choices when it comes to food in New England. Baked cod, apple pie, clam chowder, and of course baked beans. But the granddaddy of them all is the lobster and that is the choice for this week to represent the charming region we call New England. Lobster is of course a coastal delicacy for the area mostly known in Maine but also all the way down the Atlantic seaboard to Cape Cod. For those of us like me from the New York metro area don’t always see eye to eye with New Englanders when it comes to sports we sure tip our Yankee caps to you when it comes to lobster.
There are many ways to prepare lobster that are becoming more and more popular these days. This is something I’ve been doing for a while now and it’s a great way to do a Surf N Turf combination with steak. You can either buy a fresh lobster from your grocer or fishmonger and boil it yourself (the proper New England way), or have it steamed and place in the refrigerator until ready to use (to make a New Englander cringe), or buy pre-cooked lobster meat already shelled (immediate exile from the Massachusetts/Connecticut state lines). This dish is good enough to eat by itself for lunch or a light dinner with a salad to accompany it. Or you can serve it as a side dish with steak like I suggest. It all depends on the size of your potato.
This is a twist on twice baked potatoes. If you really want to be Boston Irish after the butter melts throw a little Irish Whisky in the pan and reduce for a minute or two before adding the potato flesh and the rest of the steps to make the filling. That is known as Dublin Lawyer back in the old country but without the potato. I guess lawyers eat better than the rest of the Emerald Isle. Across the Irish Sea is where I learned how to do a proper baked potato from the wonderful Delia Smith introduced to me by some London colleagues. They are called Jacket Potatoes in the UK and you can see that recipe and many other great delicacies on her website at www.deliaonline.com . But this is New England and nouvelle cuisine. Ay-yup, I think you will enjoy this very much.
THE RECIPE (This serves two)
2 Medium to Large Russet Potatoes scrubbed and dried thoroughly
Very coarse Salt (Kosher or Sea Salt) or Rock Salt if you can find it
Cooked Lobster Meat from a 1 ¼ to 1 ½ lb. Lobster
1 TBSP unsalted Butter
½ cup Heavy Cream
Salt to taste
Fresh ground Black Pepper to taste
1 small bunch Tarragon leaves
- Boil the Lobster ahead of time or while the Potatoes roast if using a live Lobster
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. If your oven has a bake and a roast option you want to roast the Potatoes first and then bake after stuffing.
- Meanwhile rub the Potatoes with a little Olive Oil to coat then sprinkle and/or rub in the Coarse Salt depending on which kind you use. Poke a few holes with a fork in the Potatoes to let breathe. Let sit until the oven is ready.
- Place the Potatoes directly on the middle rack in the oven and roast for 1 hour and 40 minutes
- When done remove the Potatoes from the oven and let cool for a bit until they can be handled
- Switch the oven to bake at 400 degrees F
- While the Potatoes cool shell the Lobster (if not done already) and chop into small, bite-sized pieces
- Delicately chop the Tarragon
- When the Potatoes are cool enough to handle cut an oval shape at the top of each Potato and remove. Scrape off any Potato parts from the skin you just removed and place in a medium bowl.
- Using a spoon scoop out most of the flesh from each Potato leaving the skin whole and place in the same bowl.
- In a medium frying pan melt the butter over medium low heat
- Once butter is melted put the Potato flesh from the bowl into the pan and mash the potatoes a bit
- Add the Heavy Cream and continue mashing until creamy. Don’t overmix. A few lumps are good.
- Turn off the heat and season with Salt and Pepper
- Add the Lobster Meat and season again with Salt and Pepper. Stir together.
- Put the contents of the pan back into the bowl and add the Tarragon. Mix well.
- Fill the Potato skins with the Lobster and Potato flesh mixture and place on a non-stick baking pan
- Bake for about 15 minutes until heated through
WINE PAIRING: The biggest challenge with Surf N Turf is what to drink. Steak calls for a big red like Cabernet Sauvignon while Lobster demands a sophisticated white that further depends on how its served. If not paired alongside with any meat dish go for a Pouilly-Fuisse or Montrachet from France. If not in your budget a good Chardonnay from Napa or Sonoma will suffice.