Lobster. I just can’t get enough of it. And, while it’s only $3.99 at Al’s Seafood in North Hampton, NH, I can get as much as I like! Heck – it’s cheaper than chicken breast right now. Of course, we’re talking new shell lobsters, which don’t pack as much meat as their less-freshly moulted brethren, but even at $4.99 for the hard-shell babies we’re talking great prices. Clayton’s been working on a friend’s landscaping up by the beach for the last couple weeks, and after finishing up yesterday he brought home 2 one-pounders for me to have my way with. And have my way I did: I got those babies drunk on whiskey and cream, and I served them up in their own shells, along with some teenie tiny roasted potatoes, grown by the man himself in our little backyard raised bed, and a frisee salad doused with warm bacon dressing. Dublin Lawyer is apparently the name of this preparation, and I have Maggie Cubbler at The Loaded Kitchen to thank for showing me this little lovely. Much appreciation, dear woman – because this was DELICIOUS!
Dublin Lawyer, Tiny Potatoes, Frisee and Maytag Bleu with Hot Bacon Dressing
2 1-1/2lb lobsters, steamed
2 tbs butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup whiskey
1 cup cream (this is half & half, but heavy would work very well)
20 or so small potatoes
1 tbs dried chives
2-3 slices bacon
1 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1 small head frisee
3-4 tbs crumbled, good quality bleu cheese
sea salt, cracked black pepper, snipped fresh chives
These are second generation potatoes, grown from sprouts picked off of potatoes bought at the store but never eaten. Although the skins are a little tougher than your store bought spuds, the miniature-ness of these home-grown babies is charming. I scrubbed them very well before dousing them in EVOO, sea salt, black pepper, and dried chives, wrapping them in foil, and chucking them on Little Red for 30-40 minutes to roast through.
Meanwhile, I twist the arms off both my lobsters, then, using my sharp chef’s knife and some kitchen shears, I split ’em up the middle of the underbelly before flipping them over and cutting through the outer tail shell and carapace, essentially separating the exoskeleton from the meat and innards.
Using a couple tablespoons of the bacon fat, I add 1/2 my minced garlic, my cup of red wine vinegar, and my honey to the pan, which I bring to a roiling boil. I add my bacon, which I’ve chopped up, back to the pan, along with 1/2 of my fresh snipped chives. I let this boil down and, voila! warm bacon dressing.
Right before service, I dump the hot dressing over my washed and dried curly endive, which will wilt slightly in it’s bath. This gets set aside for a few moments, while I bring the rest of dinner together.
…before tossing in my lobster to heat through. Since my lobsters were already steamed, I didn’t want to over-cook the meat; if they had only been par-boiled (partially cooked), I would have thrown in the lobster sooner. But over-cooked lobster is tough and chewy – not at all what these scarlet bugs deserved.
Gently simmered, succulent lobster meat swims in whiskey-soaked garlic-butter cream, and is dressed with snipped fresh chives. Tender tiny EVOO roasted potatoes help sop up the goodness, and a sharp/sweet/smokey salad of wilted frisee, bacon, and bleu cheese complements the richness on the plate. My only criticism? NOT ENOUGH! Next time, I’m using some 2 pounders, and only serving in half the shell. As it was, each bite transported me to a magical, halcyon, seaside resort, and when I’d picked all the meat out of the shells I picked them up and poured the sweetsavory cream out of them right down my gullet. Elegant, but simple. If this is what Irish barristers enjoy for their dinners, then they’ve got it mighty good.