Lobster always reminds me of a restaurant i use to go to with my grandparents as a pre-teen, called “Red Baron.” Red Baron had a lobster tail and steak special, followed by a “palete cleanser” of raspberry sorbet. I remember the raspberry sorbet distinctly, as this was one my favorite parts of the special.
When i would hop into my grandmothers mammoth, powder blue Ford Malibu, to ride the five minute drive to Red Baron; i would always day dream about the lobster dinner i was about to indulge in.
Next, use the shells of the lobster tails and include prawn shells (if you don’t have enough lobster shells, as i did-see above photo), which is the base for the shellfish stock.
I always try to purchase my prawns with the heads and shells on. When i deveine and shell the prawns, i keep the shells, put them in a plastic bag and freeze them. So i can use them later for a seafood stock.
The final ingredients for this “one pot” dish are: butter, thyme, parsley, whole peppercorn, bay leaf, sherry vinegar (optional- but really makes the dish), tomato, cream and lemon. This dish uses one pot, takes about 1 hour and you are done.
The cooking time is about 45 minutes for the stock and 15 minutes for prep. However, if you buy the stock pre-made and the mirepoix pre-cut, you have reduced your prep time to about 5 minutes. Note: you can substitute any other seafood for this dish.
Now for the recipe for Lobster Chowder.
- Shellfish Stock
- 4 tablespoons of butter
- 4 lobster shell tails - lobster meat removed (and/or 2 cups prawn shells)
- ½ large yellow onion, chopped
- ½ carrot, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- several sprigs parsley
- 1 bay leaf
- 8 whole peppercorns
- 4 cups water
- 3 cups shellfish stock (see above)
- 1 cup plum tomatoes, chopped
- 2 springs of thyme, chopped
- ⅓ cup heavy cream or milk
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar (optional)
- 4 lobster tails, chopped
- smoked paprika to taste (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
- squeeze of lemon
- chopped parsley for garnish
- Shellfish Stock
- Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in heavy stockpot over medium heat
- Add all ingredients to the stock pot. Bring to a boil and lower heat to a simmer. Allow to simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes.
- To finish, place a fine mesh strainer over a medium bowl. Pour the stock into the strainer, allowing the liquid to pour through. Discard the solids.
- Heat the remaining butter in stockpot over medium heat. Add the chopped thyme and tomatoes, saute for 1 minute.
- Add the stock, bring to a boil, reduce the heat.
- Add sherry vinegar, milk or cream and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.
- Add the shellfish to the liquid. Cover and simmer for five minutes until the fish is just cooked. Gently stir in the lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with chopped parsley leaves and smoked paprika.
2. Substitute any shellfish or seafood you prefer.
3. Store bought stock or vegetable stock may be substituted.
4. Do ahead: the stock can be made weeks in advance. Freeze stock if you do not plan to use it right away. Store in an air tight container, in the freezer for up to 3 months.