Sunday, June 5, 2011

"Peas and Carrots" - aka Lobster Pancakes of Yumminess

The last couple of posts have had a bit of a dearth of pictures.  This one is totally making up for it!

Oh, but first: the defining moment of this dinner.  Of any lobster dinner.  Perhaps of any dinner.  (prepare for some reading!)

I had to do the lobsters entirely by myself this time, unlike the last (where my husband helped me out with lobster-murder).  To cook the lobsters, you need to put them in pan, pour water to cover, pour the water off and into a pot, boil the water, then pour it over the lobsters to steep them.  This is a relatively simple process if you have two pots that can hold lobsters and enough water to steep them.

I don't.  Given this, its a bit more of a process - lobsters in the pot, pour water over using my big plastic prep container, pour as much water off as I can, fish the lobsters out, pour water back in, boil, pour boiling water into the plastic prep container, put the lobsters back into the pot, then pour the water over them.  Does this sound like a ridiculous process?  Because it is.

So, i'm pouring the water back and forth, and get to the "fish live lobsters out of the water" stage (I should mention i'm doing this on the floor, since its too heavy to do on the stove).  Its not easy, especially for someone who is squeamish about touching live lobsters that they are about to kill.  (I should also mention I have Lincoln Park blaring in the background as my 'lobster-killing' music, to theoretically bolster my chances of making it through this without crying).

After trying a couple of different methods, I try to pull a lobster out with a pair of tongs.  He bucks up, slipping out of the tongs.  I drop him on the floor.  He goes running, across the floor, waving him little lobster claws all around.  My dog checks him out through the baby gate, puzzled.  I'm too freaked out to do anything.  After collecting myself for a minute (lobsters can run!  or at least this one can!), I use a dishtowel to pick him up and set him in the box on the counter.  Lobster is ANGRY about this, and keeps bucking his tail to escape my grasp.  I get him in the box... and he starts climbing out, again waving his claws angrily.  This was a lobster seriously determined to escape death, the John McClane of lobsters.

Long story short: I won.  But I had to turn lobster-killing music up to 'insanely high' to pump myself up enough to go through with it.

The runaway lobster was truly a thing of beauty, even for someone like me who doesn't like lobster much.

Sadly, I had to chop up all of the lobster for the filling.

After cooking the lobster, I made a lobster broth using the bodies.

First I browned the bodies:

Then some herbs/aromatics:

Then I let it reduce down to a glaze.  It took a REALLY REALLY long time for it to get there, but it did.  (this is not there yet).

So... on with "peas and carrots"!

First, the "carrots":

Carrot Ginger juice - just mix some carrots and ginger in the VitaMix (or juice them, if you happen to have one of those things)

Next, reduce the juice to make a almost-puree.

Next, I took some of the reserved carrot pulp, dried it out, and ground it in the Vitamix:

(with all of this Vitamix-pushing i've been doing, they totally should have given me a free one.  You hear that Vitamix owners???)

On to the crepes!  I was so excited to make the crepes, so that I could show the world this:

My mom's crepe maker, gifted to me when my family moved last.  The thing is older than I am - and it still works!  (and doesn't it just scream 70's).

But first, needed to make crepe batter.  Usually (like I do this all the time, ha!  more accurate is: the once a year I make crepes) I just toss the batter ingredients in a blender.

This time I made it how Keller says - whisk everything together:

Strain it:

Finely mince some chives for the batter:


Oh, but truly, the moment I am sure that everyone has been waiting for... the crepe maker in action!

Since its not obvious to everyone (or at least everyone who wasn't alive during the 70's, a crowd that I belong to), the set-up is below.  I had a shallow plate that I poured batter into.  You flip over the little frying pan looking thing onto the plate with batter, and set it on the heating element.  It is super simple, so much so that it took less than 8 minutes to make a dozen crepes.  A dozen PERFECT crepes (other than the first one that I screwed up by dropping on the floor).


Next I made the filling, which consisted simply of mixing lobster pieces with cheese, salt and pepper, shallots, more chives (and I think maybe a little cream creme fraiche?  I hate blogging about this weeks after I cooked it).

As my little man would say (about chocolate - he still can't eat shellfish, so he can't take a side in the lobster wars): MMMmmmmmmmm.

And now, the annoying part - remember that lobster glaze I made, waaayyyy waaayyy above?  I kept thinking it was for a sauce, and thus ignored it while making this.  Then I realized I was supposed to add it to the filling.  After I had already filled the crepes, of course.  So, basically, I wasted three lobster bodies - no bueno.

Finally, making the pancakes!  I had a hard time figuring out exactly how to fold these, but after playing with it a little, got the lobster pancakes to look exactly like the picture (well, within reason).  To help my reader out there (thank you thank you lone commenter!), I photographed a step-by-step guide.

First, place filling in pancake:

Next, fold one side over, then a second (like you were making a triangle point):

Third, fold the third end of the "square", then fold the long end over parallel:

Fourth, fold the triangle onto the bottom:

(I know the written descriptions are terrible, so hopefully the pictures help)

Brush with butter, then these delicious morsels of fear are ready for cooking!

Done!  My pea shoots were a little small/sad, but I think it looked ok (other than that).

And how were they?  Well, i've said like a zillion times that I don't like lobster much.  I thought i'd like it even less, given my horrifying lobster experiences beforehand.  I was WRONG.  These were amazing.  The lobster filling didn't taste super lobster-y, but I imagine the glaze would have added more flavor (personally, I wasn't too upset about it, given my feelings about lobster).  Would I make this again?  AB-SO-LUTELY!  Despite the hundred pictures above, it really wasn't that hard.  It was impressive looking.  Rich, but had a little bit of vegetable to offset the butter.  Definitely a top-ten.  Maybe even a top-three?  My point: MMmmmmmm.

1 comment:

  1. Oh wow, This looks amazing! I especially like that Sunbeam Crepe maker, haha. I recently made the Banana Split recipe (banana puree filled crepes, chocolate sauce, banana ice cream, whipped cream, cherry) and I thought that I would have a hard time making crepes as it was my first time. Needless to say, it was much easier than I had thought!