Thursday, July 15, 2010

Lobster Salad

OK, put yourself in situation: you have a date coming over, about 25€ budget for a bottle of wine and a two plates and not much time to pull something off. 

Boil 1 lobster for 7-8 minutes (or steam) using lots of salt in the water
When ready put under cold water then extract the meat carefully and try to get full pieces

While the water is boiling you can prepare two plates with romaine lettuce and andives (not too much though, this is supposed to be light), a bit of thinly sliced onions, capers, almonds (cut them up and put them in a pan at high heat for 2-3min until they golden a bit then let cool), a slice of lemon and fleur de sel.

Add extra virgin olive oil, squeeze half a lemon on top, and place the lobster pieces on the plate, as well as the legs. Serve with baguette and white wine like a Pinot Gris from Australia or Canada, or a Verdejo from the Rueda region in Spain.

Voilà... it'll work.

But if you really want to top it off prepare a bit of alioli sauce for the lobster tail pieces. 1 pressed garlic clove mixed with one egg yoke, salt, then slowly add 100 ml of extra virgin olive oil bit by bit with a turbo mix until it's thick like mayo (well, it is a mayo). You can also use your own dressing instead of olive oil and lemon juice, but don't use a creamy one, a light vinaigrette is better.

Monday, July 12, 2010


My perception of Vichyssoise is that you can serve it warm, lukewarm or cold. It's the perfect summer dish. I keep a big bowl in my fridge when I manage to get myself to prepare it. If I had kids I would have some handy during hot summer months. At 39ºC today in Madrid... it's going to be great.

So the recipe is really simple if you have about 2 hours and a lot of cold white wine to drink in the meantime, especially if your kitchen has no AC. All you really have to do is cut veggies. This is from 1080 recipes by Simone Ortega (1996, Alianza Editorial), a must for all households.

This is for about 8 people/rations, winging the quantities a bit or it's no fun:

1 big onion: you want that cut in little cubes
3 big leeks or 4 normal ones: only the white part, cut fine
about 1 kg of potatoes: I cut them in half, then slice thinly horizontally then vertically
3 cups of water and 1 cube of chicken stock (or vegetable)
Salt: here add what you like, I guide myself on the amount of potatoes
Extra virgin olive oil, Spanish is always good, or butter: Olive Oil is healthier, put enough to cook the onions and leek
250ml of milk
200ml of cooking cream
OPTIONAL: white wine and/or fresh parsley (I like white wine and the Spanish like parsley... by the way, if you are in Spain do not pay for the parsley, they give you some free with fresh fish if you ask)

Easy money:

Start onions, a bit later add leek and golden. Add potatoes, salt and stock. Slow boil for 30 to 40 min (if your potatoes are sliced thin it won't take long). Put in a ceramic or pyrex dish and cool. You can put it in the freezer for an hour. When cool, blend or process- if you want to add a bit of wine do it before first blend. Add milk, blend again, then add cream and stir it up.

Keeping it in the fridge for 12 hours before serving is better. Milk quantities really depend on how thick you want it. Parsley is used for presentation at when you're ready to serve. Cold is always a bit better.