You know you’re working class when it takes you to your fifties to try lobster for the first time!
I’ve been itching to try this crustacean of the privileged for donkeys’ it always seemed such a hike for what it was. So in my local Lidl I saw a whole frozen cooked lobster going for £4.99. Bargain! Or so I thought. Well, I say bargain because the very same lobster is being sold at Tesco for £8. I just had to have it and sample it’s renowned sweetness. I’m still a bit miffed at the price as lobster especially in these waters is more prolific than ever due to the shrinking cod stocks as cod feed on lickle baby lobsters. Show me a poor lobster catcher and I’ll show you a happy Evertonian.
Anyway, I defrosted the lobster which comes in a sleeve surrounded by ice. I intended to use, as a good fabfoodblog bloke that I am, everything from the lobster and that included the ice, now water, that surrounded it to use as part of a stock to make the risotto.
So I got the lobster on the chopping board and removed the claws and took out the claw meat (you must have seen this being done!) and cut the rest of the lobster in half to remove the tail meat. Bleeding Heck! There’s not much there! It must work out around £70 a kilo for the meat.
I put the meat in the fridge for later. I made a stock with the shell of the lobster by sautéing half a onion and a clove of garlic and a stick of celery and a carrot in butter and then adding the lobster shells in a sauce pan. The classic “bisque” also has tomato purée which I added but as I had no brandy (or even whiskey, hard times indeed) I left that out. I added a pinch of cayenne pepper and covered it in the water saved from the lobster sleeve. I reduced this down on a low heat for an hour to extract as much flavour from the lobster shell as I could.
I made the risotto in the usual way, You know how to by now, using the lobster stock. When it was ready I sautéed the lobster meat in some butter along with some cockles I had in a jar (just to up the meat content) and added some chives. I would have used tarragon if I could but my crop failed this year. A scrape or two of parmesan and a twist of sea salt finished the dish.
Verdict. Utterly Loverly! We both loved it and I suppose at around £2.80 each was ok for a starter. For £5.60 I could feed an army though and that’s my problem with lobster. I’ve had it now and I’ll leave it at that. Roast Duck for tea tomorrow. There’s another dish of diminishing returns!