Thursday, March 14, 2013

Lobster Pot Pie

Pi day is a math thing.  π is 3.14, so March 14th is Pi Day.  Techie Smurf and his family observe it almost religiously.  There must be as much pie served that day as possible.  I made a Peanut-Butter Pie to use up some chometz lying around, but then I needed a main dish.

American cooking has a long history of pie.  It was common to have some form of it with nearly every meal until about a hundred years ago.  Many were sweet, but some were savory or resembled quiche.  Sweet potato pie is somewhere in-between, depending upon how much sugar you use.

With Passover rapidly approaching, and facing the inevitability of an entire week without even being able to consider the option of pie, I decided to have some for Pi Day.  I bought some lobster tails on sale a while ago and tossed them in the freezer until the appropriate time.  This was it.

Again, once you do an internet search, you realize that there is no such thing as a new idea.  I guess New Englanders eat this sort of thing all the time.  It's a lot like a chicken pot pie, and works with a variety of veggies.  This particular version I'm using as a model has a puff pastry crust.  That sounds like just the lightness a subtle meat like lobster needs.  The amount I had only made three soup-crock servings, and didn't quite fill the bowls.  I probably could have made two very full bowls.  It all depends on the size of ramekin or casserole you use.

2 lobster tails (about 8 oz) or 1-1/2 C chopped lobster meat
1 C water
1 C frozen mixed veggies such as peas, carrots, lima beans, green beans, etc
1-1/2 C sliced mushrooms
1 medium shallot, minced
3 Tb butter
1/4 C flour
1 C milk
1/4 C dry sherry or white wine
*dash paprika
*dash nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
1 egg beaten with 1 Tb water for egg wash

1.  Bring water, veggies, and lobster to a boil in a medium saucepan.  Reduce to simmer and cook until lobster shells are bright red, turning once.  Remove from heat.  Save 1/2 C of cooking liquid.  Set aside veggies.  Remove lobster meat from shells and chop into bite-sized pieces.  Discard shells.

2.  Add butter to saucepan and melt over medium heat.  Add mushrooms and shallot and cook until mushrooms are as done as you want them.  Add flour and cook until mixture is pasty.  Add cooking liquid, veggies, and sherry and cook until thickened.  Stir in milk and allow to thicken.  Add lobster meat and remove from heat.

3.  Preheat oven to 400º.  Butter rims of 3 individual 1-pint ramekins or a 1-1/2 quart casserole.  Ladle lobster stew into containers and cover with pastry.  If the pastry doesn't fit, roll out on a lightly floured board until you get the size you need.  You can choose to cut it to exact dimensions or let it drape over the sides.  Cut a vent hole, then brush with egg wash.  Bake until pastry is risen and golden brown, about 20 minutes.  Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before serving.

Serves 3

Difficulty rating :)

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