2 Maine lobsters (about 1 1/2 pounds each)
3 bay leaves
4 sprigs thyme
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
10 sprigs parsley
15 black peppercorns
4 lemons, plus wedges for serving
2 large pasteurized egg yolks
1 clove garlic
4 teaspoons dijon mustard
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
2 teaspoons hot sauce
2 cups canola oil
1/2 cup diced celery
2 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon
2 teaspoons minced fresh chives, plus more for serving
Butter lettuce leaves, for serving
Make the poaching liquid: Freeze the lobsters for 20 minutes. (This sedates them and makes them more manageable.) Meanwhile, combine 1 gallon water, the bay leaves, thyme, red pepper flakes, paprika, parsley and peppercorns in a large pot. Halve the 4 lemons; squeeze the juice into the pot and then add the halves. Season the liquid with salt until it tastes as salty as the ocean. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat to a simmer.
Kill the lobsters: This is the most humane method: Position the point of a knife on the middle of the back of the head; push the point straight down through the shell and lower the knife through the head. (The lobster may continue to move for a few minutes.)
Poach the tails and claws: Hold each lobster over the pot of simmering liquid and twist the tail away from the body.
Put the tails in the pot and cook 3 minutes, then twist off the large claws (with the knuckles attached), add to the pot and cook 7 more minutes.
Transfer the lobster tails and claws to a bowl with tongs; let cool to room temperature.
Make the aioli: Put the egg yolks, garlic, mustard, vinegar, hot sauce and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in a food processor; pulse to combine. With the motor running, add the canola oil in a slow, steady stream and process until thick and creamy. Scrape into a bowl and set aside.
Shell the lobsters: Stand each claw on one of its narrow edges and whack the top with a knife. Wiggle the knife until a crack runs through the claw.
Repeat on the opposite edge, if necessary, to make the crack bisect the shell. Pull the claw apart and remove the meat.
Insert the handle of a spoon into each knuckle and twist to pull out the meat.
Lay each tail on its side. Put the palm of your hand on top, then press that hand with the heel of your other hand until the shell cracks.
Hold the tail with the underside facing up. With your thumbs, grab the edges of the bottom of the shell.
Bend back the edges of the shell to crack open the underside and remove the tail meat.
Chop the lobster meat: Pull the flat piece of cartilage from the middle of each piece of claw meat and discard. Halve each tail lengthwise and clean out any visible vein or roe. Cut the claw, knuckle and tail meat into bite-size pieces.
Make the salad: Combine the lobster meat, celery, about 1/4 cup aioli, the tarragon and chives in a bowl; toss. (Cover and refrigerate the rest of the aioli for up to 4 days.) Scoop the lobster salad onto butter lettuce leaves and sprinkle with more chives. Serve at room temperature with the lemon wedges.
Sausage Kale Strata
16 ounces white mushrooms, halved
Olive oil, for drizzling and frying
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup minced fresh oregano
12 large eggs
2 pounds breakfast sausage patties
1 large bunch regular kale, torn into pieces
Butter, for greasing the lasagna pan
1 loaf crusty French bread or ciabatta, cut into cubes
2 1/2 cups freshly grated Monterey Jack cheese
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Put the mushrooms on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside.
Mix together the milk, half-and-half, oregano, eggs and some salt and pepper in a large pitcher or bowl. Set aside.
Set a large skillet over medium heat and add the sausage patties. Cook until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Set aside to cool, then chop into cubes.
In the same skillet from the sausage, heat some olive oil over medium-high heat. Throw in the kale and cook until slightly wilted, 2 minutes.
Grease a lasagna pan with some butter. Layer half the bread, half the kale, half the mushrooms, half the sausage and half the cheese in the prepared pan. Repeat with the other half of the same ingredients, ending with the cheese. Slowly pour the egg mixture all over the top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Twenty to thirty minutes before baking, remove the lasagna pan from the fridge. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Replace the plastic wrap on top of the strata with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, then remove the foil and continue to bake until the top is golden brown and slightly crisp, 10 to 15 minutes more (keep a close eye on it).
Grilled Tequila Garlic Lime Flank Steak
1 cup roughly chopped garlic (about 3 bulbs)
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 8 large limes)
1/2 cup clear tequila
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 bunch roughly chopped fresh cilantro, leaves and stems
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
1 serrano pepper, seeded and diced
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 1/2 to 2 pounds flank steak
12 corn tortillas, wrapped in foil
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 bunch radishes, cleaned, ends cut and sliced
1/3 cup grated queso fresco cheese
2 ripe avocados, seeded and sliced
3 vine ripened tomatoes, sliced in wedges
Hot sauce, for serving
Combine the garlic, lime juice, tequila, soy sauce, cilantro, peppers, cumin and black pepper in a resealable plastic gallon bag. Add the steak and let marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Remove from the refrigerator, and let marinate at room temperature another 30 to 45 minutes.
Prepare a grill to medium-high heat. Remove the steak from the marinade, reserving the marinade. Put the marinade in small saucepot and bring to a boil. Then strain and reserve.
Put the tortillas on the corner of the grill and flip the package a few times to heat through while the steak is cooking
Place the steak on the grill. Cook for 4 minutes, turn 180 degrees, and cook for 3 minutes more (to create cross grill marks). Flip over and finish cooking for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on desired doneness. Remove from the grill to a cutting board and let rest, lightly covered, for 5 minutes.
Slice against the grain, and serve immediately with the reserved marinade, garnishes, tortillas and hot sauce.
Dulce De Leche Cookie Bars
2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, diced
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup dulce de leche
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 large egg yolks
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup pecans, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9-inch-square baking dish with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides; coat the foil with cooking spray. Pulse 2 cups flour, the butter, confectioners’ sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla and the salt in a food processor until the mixture starts clumping together, about 1 minute. Press firmly and evenly in the bottom and 1/4 inch up the sides of the prepared pan. Bake until firm and lightly browned, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the dulce de leche, heavy cream, egg yolks and the remaining 1 tablespoon flour and 2 teaspoons vanilla in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth. Pour the mixture over the crust and sprinkle with the chocolate chips and pecans. Return to the oven and bake until set around the edge but slightly jiggly in the center, 20 to 25 minutes.
Transfer to the rack and let cool completely. Lift out of the pan using the overhanging foil. Remove the foil and cut into pieces.
September 13, 2020
Written By: Amanda Paige Medina