COOKING FROM LOBSTER AT HOME BY JASPER WHITE, WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE RECIPES?
I was inspired to buy this book due to the BUZZ expressed during the July 2012 COTM nomination thread. I bought a copy used for a good price, and plan on cooking out of it as a companion thread to our revisit of FISH WITHOUT A DOUBT. I hope many of you will join me.
For those of you who already own this book, please share with us your favorites. New owners of the book, please explore along with me and post your results.
As a reminder, the usual Chowhound rule about not posting exact recipes for copyright reasons applies.
The book is chuck full of simple lobster recipes that bring out the wonderful briny flavor of lobsters many of us love, Soop. The book celebrates lobster in its many forms for those times when another rendition is desired. White seems to be able to keep the integrity of the lobster in a recipe while incorporating other seasonings such as in his justly famous Pan Roasted Lobster:
And many more. No less an authority than The Maine Lobster Council uses White's methods and timings for their lobster advise page:
I don't have the book and hypocritically, won't kill a lobster but will order it when eating out.
JW's Pan-Roasted Lobster is one of the best things I have ever eaten. Oh, that buttery sauce! I don't want to know how much butter there is per serving. It's a real treat that I don't dare have more than once in 5 years.
Hi Grey... My father loved lobster and brought them home regularly so I "grew up" with them. My brother was the same so I guess we each inherited that gene. I was a little intimidated after I got married and had to carry on the tradition without Dad but I quickly got over that and since then have never had any qualms about cooking them. I do sympathize with those folks who for whatever reason can't bring themselves to cook them, though.
I'm not sure I'll make the baked stuffed recipe. It's the one dish I Always order in a restaurant...
Agree that the the pan roast recipes are divine. I've also made the papardelle w/ lobster, mushrooms, and cream several times and a couple of versions of the lobster risotto. The lobster chowder (NE style) is excellent as is the lobster and corn chowder.
In addition to his own recipes, White includes a section of other chefs' recipes that has a slew of good-looking ones. I've tried two of those: Nina Simonds's lovely version of Lobster Cantonese and the Braised Lobster w/Charred Parsely (from the folks at Al Forno)--delicious, messy simplicity itself.
(I even once made the NE-style hot dog buns for my mother, who always missed top-split rolls, but I wouldn't bother if I could find them ready-made.
The front part of the book is a succinct lobster education, and, as someone who lives far away from lobster traps and shacks, I can say that everything I know about cooking lobsters, I learned from this book.
Lobster at Home. One of my favorite cookbooks of all time.
In addition to being a good cook, Jasper White is a bit of a geek and has put together some of the best tables for boiling lobsters of all sizes. This contribution alone is worth the price of the book.
My wife and I live in Southern New England (Sou'west shore of Long Island Sound) and routinely buy "jumbo" lobsters (in excess of two and-a-half pounds). We boil 'em according to Jasper's charts and religiously adhere to the salinity he recommends. It's taken all the guesswork out of preparation and the results are outstanding.
Other Jasper White offerings we routinely enjoy:
• Classic lobster bisque. This dish is a keeper and should be enjoyed whenever you are in a festive mood or merely wish to rail against the harsh winds of winter. it will put a smile on your face. It takes time and a bit of effort but the end result is well worth it.
• Lobster Newburg. Ah, lobster newburg and toast points. Add Champagne (the real stuff) and you have the perfect brunch. Leftovers never tasted so good.
• Lobster Thermidor. When you absolutely, positively have to impress the hell out of guests, this is the dish that will do it. Origins of this dish are found in Escoffier's Guide Culinaire. Spare no expense, White says. "Start with caviar and Champagne. Move up to a consommé made with game birds and truffles while you drink chilled dry sherry. Serve the lobster thermidor with a beautiful mix of salad greens tossed lightly with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. Drink a big, creamy white burgundy such as a Chassagne-Montrachat or Meursault with the lobster. For dessert fresh fruit." Well said.
• Lobster rolls. Iconic. Jasper White wades into the fray with a few recipes. He reminds that the rolls share the billing.
Lots of good stuff in his book. We've been cooking from it for years and have hardly scratched the surface.
Lobster Club Sandwiches (page 138)
First, you make the Tarragon Mayonnaise (page 129) which is a component of the Traditional Lobster Salad (page 128) and then you use both to make a club sandwich: top a piece of white toast with Lobster Salad, spread Tarragon Mayonnaise on another piece of white toast and put it on top of the salad mayo up, add pieces of iceberg lettuce, bacon, and tomato and top with another piece of mayo slathered toast.
This was every bit as phenomenally good as it sounds. I used Pepperidge Farm thin sliced white bread for the toast, but the pieces of bread were really too small to cut into quarters as he directs; I should have just cut the sandwiches in halves. Didn’t have any effect on the taste, just made for a sloppy presentation.
The Traditional Lobster Salad uses chopped cucumber and scallions instead of onion or celery. White says you can use either bottled mayo or use his recipe for tarragon mayo. I did the latter, and it’s a terrific mayo for cold shellfish. This is the lobster salad recipe, by the way, that he uses for his World-Famous Maine Lobster Roll. I don’t think I liked the cucumber as much as the fennel that is one of Rick Moonen’s recommendations for the Lobster Roll in Fish Without a Doubt, but I did like the tarragon mayo and suspect I wouldn’t like the two together.