“Still life” by pork artist Ed Hick consumed by Hot in the Kitchen culture vultures.
One of the best fun days we had in 2014 – a bread course for 20 (3 to 5 year olds)
One of the most magnificent meals in all the World is Lobster Bisque. If you pushed me I could probably tell you where and when I have head all the ones i have ever had. The great ones because of just that and the disappointing ones because they are morally disgusting. I couldn’t tell you how many lobster carcasses are wasted each year but if Mother Nature is to be answered to there will be severe retribution for such scandalous waste.
Lobster carcasses just like their crustacean cousins are routinely binned but there is a Meal, yes, a Soup so sublimely deep and luxurious to be made from them that throwing them away should be as shameful as smoking in a car with Kids.
To do this justice takes a hack of a lot of effort and time and if you have them there are tools that can really help. This is a labour that truly pays off because if you are the type to put your self through this you will reap the rewards. This is the Cooks equivalent of Hunting, in this case Flavour ( which should go without saying ) but also texture. They are only taken with my ailing Phone but i think you can even see it in these pictures. There is nothing in this but Waste Shells, carrot, onion, tomato and a little seasoning. The lobster had been the Main Course the day before, yes they had been eaten, yes they were headed for the bin. The heat of cooking a Stock will clean anything you may be afraid of e.g. your hairy lipped Aunt Mabel’s germs but if you prefer you can fast track her one to the bin.
Now for the procedure:
Step 1. Go to a dinner party and have Lobster with 9 other people
Step 2. Say, You are not throwing those out when your host is throwing out the carcasses
Step 3. Get your booty home and in a really large pot cook shells, brains, body legs and all and some aromatics gently for 45 mins.
Step 4. Take out the shells etc. and in someone you don’t like’s blender, blend! Or in any Blender that can do Ice and Hot stuff add shells and a little liquid.
Step 5. Repeat, Repeat, Repeat…
Step 6. Place it all, blended lobsters and liquids back in the large Pan and simmer for 20 minutes.
Step 7. Pass through a Mouli’s medium blade/sieve, you could use a coarse sieve but I’m too old for that and always have been. It will be like coarse sand.
Step 8. Pass through the fine blade/sieve. It will now resemble fine but not very fine sand. Meanwhile all the soft tissue is getting worked into the liquid and this sand is doing much of the work, think polishing stones in a cement mixer.
Step 9. I use two sieves now one medium and one very fine double mesh. The idea is not to clog the second too quickly.
Step 10. Tapping the farthest part of the sieve from your hand with a ladle will greatly speed up the passing of liquid
Step 11. When you are down to a slurry roll the bottom of the ladle around in circles until the rest of the liquid has passed and the dryer paste starts to stick to the bottom of the ladle. Getting this right will clean the sieve for you, dump what sticks to the ladle.
Step 12. see step 5.
Step 13. Pass this liquid through a double layer of cheesecloth or a Muslin. You can skip this by letting it sit for enough tome fro the heaviest of the particulate to fall out of the suspension. Then you just have to make sure not to pour all of it our when you are using it, as for sediment in a bottle of Wine.
Christmas is a chance for family to get together and relax. NOT if you are the cook!
While talking to a few people recently about cooking Christmas dinner I realised how daunting a task this is for most. So I am designing a class centred on a fantastic method for cooking the Meats. I will post the outline here shortly.
Please come along or gift the class to your house’s Christmas Chef.
Where: Ballsbridge – Dublin 4
When: Contact us for details