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Thomas The Accidental Gourmet

Monday, June 29, 2009

Grilled Curried Lobster: Summertime Goodness

One day, when we've got enough time, I'll tell you the story of the best lobster ever, an epic tale of the quest to find grilled lobster in Barbuda. But today, we don't have that kind of time. Seriously.

I will tell you, however, that the idea of grilled lobster sounds great, but the execution is often lacking. We've had it a few times in the Caribbean, and it was usually too dry and lacking in flavor. The first time I made it, I followed the advice of several cookbooks and boiled the lobster until it was almost done before placing it on the grill. And I didn't make it again for years.

This weekend, however, my sister asked me to grill some lobster. Who am I to say no to my little sister?

Grilled Curried Lobster

What You Need:

4 Lobster tails (ours were 4 ounces)
3 limes
2 1/2 tsp green curry
1 tsp ground ginger
1 jicama
1 large avocado
1 mango
1/2 cup cilantro
5 roma tomatoes
1 clove garlic
1 red boiler onion
Olive oil
1 lemon

What to do with it:

Squeeze 2 1/2 limes: you should end up with about 1/2 cup of juice
Add 1 tbsp olive oil, the ginger, 2 tsp green curry and about 1/2 tsp salt. Now you have the marinade for the lobster.

Start your charcoal.

Peel and seed the tomatoes, and chop them.
Finely chop the onion and garlic.
Add this, 1/4 cup of the marinade, 1 tsp olive oil, 1/8 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp curry and the juice from the final 1/2 lime in a sauce pan on medium heat. Cook until the tomatoes are broken down, about 15 minutes. Now you have a marinara. Set this aside to cool.

While this is cooking, cut the underside of the tail lengthwise. Now spread the shell along the cut, and spoon in about 3 tsp of your marinade.

Prepare your mango and jicama by chopping (you want all the mango, and about 1 1/2 to 2 cups jicama). Slice the avocado and rub lightly with lemon juice (this keeps the avocado from turning brown). Tear up the cilantro leaves.

Your charcoal should be ready now. Place the tails on the grill, hard side down, for 3 1/2 minutes. Flip, and cook another 3 minutes. (You may need a little more time, depending on how much your tails weigh.)

Remove the tails, and plate the jicama, mango, avocado and cilantro (in that order). Ladle some marinade down the center of this. Take a butcher knife and use it to split the tails completely in half, then place them on the plate.

Serve with a weissbier. We used Weihenstephaner Vitus (a weizenbock).
(We also tried a pinot grigio, but the marinara contrasted too much with it.)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Lambsicles and Basil Mint Pesto: baa, baa tasty sheep

The rest of world calls them lamb chops, but I just like the sound of lambsicles. Plus it accurately describes how you eat them.
I've been making these for years, but I prefer to serve them by themselves.

However some people seem to think that you can't have lamb without mint. The problem is that I'm not a fan of mint jelly, so I've been on the hunt for some sort of suitable replacement.

Not too long ago, I saw a show where they made a mint pesto sauce. Sounded pretty good, so with a few modifications we were on our way.

Lambsicles and Basil Mint Pesto

What you need:

(Lamb chops)

3-4 Lamb chops per person
1/2 tsp. ground fresh rosemary per person (more is ok)
1/8 tsp. salt per person (salt to taste, however)
1 tbsp olive oil per person


2 cups chopped fresh mint (maybe chop 1/8 cup more, to add during the process in case you want a little more mint taste)
1 cup chopped fresh basil
12 roasted pecans
2 cloves garlic
3/4 cup sheeps milk feta
extra virgin olive oil
salt (I used Kosher)

What to do with it:

I highly recommend that you use a mini-prep food processor for chopping all the herbs. Otherwise, you'll be at it for a long time...

(Lamb chops)

Place the rosemary, salt and olive oil in a ziplock bag. Mix it up. Put in the lamb chops and coat them, turning the bag occasionally to keep an even marinade going. (if you're cooking a lot of chops, use a big dish, such as a roasting pan.

Once you've got the pesto made, put the lamb chops under a broiler for 4-5 minutes. You're going to cook them until they're just crispy on top, but don't go over 5 minutes. They should be a little pink.


Grind up the pecans and garlic, then set aside.
Chop the herbs in batches, until you've got the required amount, then put the herbs, cheese (crumbled), nuts and garlic in the food processor. Add about 1/4 cup olive oil, a teaspoon of salt and puree.

Check the consistency and taste. Add some more olive oil and salt, and puree again. You're not going to be adding a set amount each time. Ultimately, you want enough salt for your taste, and enough olive oil to get a consistency that allows you to spread the pesto evenly.