Lobster with Sweet Ginger
- 1 piece fresh ginger, approximately 1-inch
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 cup plum wine or Port
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
- 1 (2-pound) lobster, split lengthwise
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 scallions, cut into 3/8 inch slices
- 1 to 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 teaspoon dried hot chile flakes
- 1/2 cup fish stock, recipe follows
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon Chinese black vinegar or balsamic vinegar
- Freshly ground pepper
- Fried Spinach Leaves, recipe follows
- Fish Stock:
- 2 pounds fish skeletons, cut into pieces
- 2 tablespoons vegetable or other flavorless oil
- 1 small carrot, peeled and sliced
- 1/2 onion, sliced
- 1 small stalk celery, sliced
- 2 cups dry white wine
- 1 bouquet garni ( parsley, thyme, peppercorns and a bay leaf tied together in cheesecloth)
- 1 quart water, approximately
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
Peel the ginger, reserving the peels, and cut it into fine julienne strips. Cut the peels into coarse strips and set aside.
In a small saucepan, cook the ginger and garlic with 1/2 cup of the plum wine and the rice wine vinegar until 1 tablespoon of liquid remains. Remove from the heat and reserve.
Place a heavy heatproof 12-inch skillet over high heat until it is very hot. Add the oil and heat it almost to the smoking point. Carefully add the lobster halves, meat side down. Cook 3 minutes. Turn the lobster over and add 1 tablespoon of the butter. Continue to saute until the lobster shells get red and the butter is nutty red. Transfer the lobster to the oven for about 10 minutes, or until the lobster is just cooked. Remove from the oven, remove the lobster from the skillet and keep warm
Add the scallions, ginger peels and curry powder to the skillet. Saute the mixture lightly for 10 to 15 seconds, then whisk in the remaining plum wine and the white wine, stock, chile flakes and the vinegar. Reduce the liquid to 1/2 cup. Add the cream and reduce it by half. Add any liquid from the julienne of ginger, then whisk in the 1 tablespoon of butter. Season the sauce to taste, with salt and pepper.
Crack the lobster claws with the back of a large chef's knife.
Arrange the lobster halves on a warm oval platter, meat side up. Strain the sauce over the lobster, then sprinkle the sweet ginger on top. Garnish with Fried Baby Spinach Leaves.
Clean the fish bones under cold running water, removing the gills from the head and any traces of blood on the frames.
In a large saucepan, heat the oil. In it, sweat the fish bones and vegetables over low heat, covered, for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice to prevent them from browning.
Deglaze the pan with the wine, and then add enough water to cover the bones and vegetables by 2 inches. Add the bouquet garni and bring the liquid to a boil. Skim the froth from the surface, reduce the heat and simmer the stock for 20 to 25 minutes.
Yield: 1 quart
Note: Fish stock will keep in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days or frozen for 2 to 3 weeks.
Fried Baby Spinach Leaves: Wash some large spinach leaves, cut off the stems and dry them well. Heat peanut oil to 375 degrees F, and in it, fry the spinach until crisp and translucent. Be careful not to get splattered. Remove the leaves to paper towels to drain and salt them lightly (just like potato chips). The spinach should have a jade green color.
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