Entries in lobster (3)


hebridean peat smoked lobster tail


last new year we spent the evening with friends and i was introduced to the hebridean smokehouse’s peat smoked lobster tail. it is an incredible product – sweet lobster tail imbued with a smoky peatiness that reminds me of  lagavulin, a favourite islay whisky.

last year we ate this on blinis. this year i made a shallot, tarragon, cream and champagne sauce which i finished cooking my pasta in (so it could absorb some of the flavours of the sauce) and then served this with the lobster on top.

so delicious and well worth the trouble of trying to source this product - it’s rarely in stock and when it does appear, the small supplies vanish quickly! i have some of their peat smoked scallops to try next.

happy new year, to you and yours.


lobster and linguine – part two


i’ve written before about the enjoyment i get from reading rowley leigh’s recipes in the ft magazine and this dish, made with the second lobster that i bought for xmas, is based on his recipe for crab spaghetti with chilli and mint.

crab linguine is something i make regularly – tinned white crabmeat is good enough that this is a store cupboard standby, for days when i want something quick and easy or for when i have very little else in. my usual version has fiery flavours – lemon juice and zest, raw chilli (and sometimes garlic) plus parsley and a healthy dose of olive oil.

rowley leigh’s recipe takes a different approach – butter is used in the place of olive oil, the chillies are charred over a flame to soften their flavour, there is no garlic, the lemon juice is added in small quantities and it’s mint rather than parsley.

i decided to try this approach with my second lobster. charred, skinned and chopped red chilli was fried in a little butter and then removed from the heat, with the lobster meat added so it heated through from the latent heat in the pan. when the pasta was ready i added it to the lobster and chilli with a little extra butter, some pasta water plus a small amount of lemon juice and finely chopped mint.

the flavours are subtle but decadent – the butter makes this a rich dish, but is balanced with the lemon juice; the chilli and mint add subtle layers of aromatic flavour. it’s an elegant dish and you can see why it is a popular dish in rowley’s restaurant. i’ll be trying with crab in due course.  

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lobster and linguine – part one

i love christmas, but not for the reasons you probably think. i don’t celebrate it at all which means i get to spend a few days on my own, doing whatever i feel like while (it feels like) the rest of the world dons its santa hat and settles in for a tradition-filled period of celebration and excess.

not having to think about traditional food xmas food and having only my foodie whims and foibles to take into account, i decided that lobster was on the menu this year. well, that and a good deal on frozen canadian lobster at lidl.

i had big plans – homemade ravioli stuffed with lobster or asian-flavoured dumplings to go in a spicy broth were my starting points. however, a stinking cold and a hefty dose of associated laziness saw those plans go out the window and i ended up falling back on that cupboard standby, dried pasta – linguine to be precise. twice.

this was my first lobster and linguine dish – cavolo nero cooked slowly in a mix of butter and smoked oil with garlic and chilli until it started to crisp up. this took about the same time as the pasta did to cook so i took it off the heat just before the pasta was ready and added the lobster plus a handful of oak-smoked tomatoes (it was their oil i was cooking everything in) to warm through. i then added the cooked pasta plus some of the cooking water and seasoning.

the flavours are quite rich and  work really well together as everything has a robust flavour, so nothing gets drowned out. i made a version of this last week, using smoked pancetta pieces, which was just as delicious, albeit a bit less indulgent.