Sunday, May 22, 2011

Friday foray into Lobster and Mussels

The sun and warmth have finally arrived after a week of bone chilling rain and with that came a drop in price on  lobster. Of course this pales in comparison to the sale prices on seafood in Halifax where I used to live on the east coast of Canada. Although generously feeding our friends every Friday, my cooking partner and I weren't too keen on purchasing lobster for a gaggle of our friends (at least not at this point out lives). However, we were eager to dine on the soft flesh of these delectable crustaceans and so this week when we were a mere group of two, we took the opportunity. I mean, when life gives you lobsters on sale, make lobsters-on-sale-ade, am I right? Fortunately, I have been watching Rick Stein's Seafood Lover's Guide. I love Rick Stein's enthusiasm for sea food and how creative he gets with simple, overlooked fish.

Yes, lobster isn't exactly and 'overlooked' fish but did you know that lobster used to be the poor person's food? At least here in Canada during the days of yore, the less fortunate kids at school would have lobster sandwiches for lunch while envying the kids that were munching on their royal processed meats. Meats such as the poorly spelled bologna. Is that what being well off creates? Meat that is spelled bo-log-NA but is pronounced baloney?   At this moment, I was briefly inclined to do a little research on the history of this silly word and I'm not entirely sure why. Notice that the city of Bologna isn't pronounced Bo-lo-nee, now is it? (I would like to point out that at this point, I had come back from Wikipedia and asked myself why on Earth was I talking about bologna?)

  • Lobster
  • Mussels inspired by Rick Stein's recipe for Moules Marinière.
  • A loaf of French Bread (Home made! More on this in another post.)
Is it really 'inspired' if we followed the recipe but didn't bother to buy most of the ingredients and just used what we had?

Mussels or Moules with White Wine, Cream and Fresh Parsley

1 kg of mussels (We got Prince Edward Island mussels...the best!)
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped (Our shallot substitute)
15g butter
120 ml whipped cream
Handful of chopped Parsley

We then followed the instructions from Rick Stein's recipe using those ingredients. It turned out amazing which is not surprising since mussels boiled in salt water are amazing all on their own. Then again, one can never go wrong with a pot full of butter, cream and white wine. Amazing dipping for the bread.

I refrained from sipping the broth like a soup...

Lobster sticks to parsley
We gave them a little bath before hand.

My lobster experience goes as far as playing with them before my parents put them in a pot. They were the closest creatures we had to pets! We got our lobster cooking information from the aptly named although we mostly needed it for this chart:

For 1 pound: 5 minutes
1 1/8 pounds: 6 minutes
1 1/4 pounds: 8 minutes
1 1/2 to 2 pounds: 8 to 10 minutes

more than 2 pounds : 12 minutes 

I don't know how this one got parsley on its head.
We had already opened the wine for the mussels and were having some for ourselves when we thought, maybe the lobsters would like to have some! They had been splashing us this whole time with water (seriously, it was like the kitchen was a small water park, with a stove in it). so maybe a bit of wine would calm them down, as well as make the trip to the pot a little less daunting for them. When it came time, they were quite complacent. This also gave us an idea as to what would happen if we somehow fed the lobster wine. Would it change their flavour for the better similar to how Kobe cows are fed beer (and also massaged, but I'm not sure how massaging a crustacean would help). I have a feeling this is going to be a fairly expensive experiment.

It's seafood time, get out there and seafood!

we were both young...