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Photo by @jakecohen
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I ate lobster on my wedding day. And no, not some fancy surf and turf, a whole lobster served in a tin pan with corn, potatoes, mussels and sausage. A good ‘ol Cape Cod clambake. I tore it open with my hands (lucky for me it was a soft-shell) and smelled of lobster the entire evening. It was the best day of my life. Pure romance.
My husband, on the other hand went with the steak. He’s much neater than I am, and lobster is not exactly his favorite.
But marriage is all about compromise (or maybe me getting my way?), so I set out to develop a lobster recipe he’d love. Not such an easy feat. He’s for sure not touching the shell, don’t even ask. And the antennas? Get rid of them. Tomalley? It’s a full stop for him.
However, add a little mascarpone and Parmesan cheese and serve that crustacean lazy-man-style in risotto and we’re in business. What I love about this recipe is you can stretch one lobster to feed 4 people, and you even use the shells to make a quick and easy stock to flavor the risotto. The risotto is so rich thanks to the butter and cheese, you don’t need pounds and pounds of precious lobster on top, a few luscious morsels will do just fine.
The verdict? I won (he loved it); isn’t that what Valentine’s Day is all about?
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 90 minutes
Yield: Serves or Makes 4
In a large, heavy bottomed pot, heat 4 tablespoons of butter and olive oil over medium heat. Once butter is melted add shallots and fennel and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, or until slightly softened. Meanwhile bring lobster stock to a simmer in a separate pot.
Add rice, tossing to coat in butter and oil, and cook for 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add wine and let reduce by half. Once wine has reduced, begin adding lobster stock in one cup at a time, stirring frequently until it has all absorbed. Continue adding stock 1 cup at a time, until the rice is tender (but still has a slight bite), which should take about 20-25 minutes.
Once rice is tender, add peas and lobster meat and cook for about 3 minutes, or until warmed through. Remove risotto from heat and stir in remaining butter, mascarpone, Parmesan, parsley, tarragon, lemon juice and lemon zest and red pepper flakes. Adjust seasoning and serve immediately.
In a large stock pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add all ingredients except water and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, straining off any impurities that rise to the surface while cooking.
Once stock has simmered for 30 minutes, strain through a fine mesh strainer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Use immediately or cool to room temperature and store in the fridge for up to 2 days, or in the freezer for 3 months.
*Note: If you are using homemade lobster stock, the recipe should yield exactly 8 cups. If you wind up with less, you can add in water or store bought seafood or chicken stock to make up the difference.