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Lobster With Fennel & Ginger



Serves 2 to 3

Ingredients:


4 lobster tails (approximately 6 to 8 ounces from Maine or Canada)
1/4 cup garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh ginger, julienned
1 small fennel bulb, trimmed, thinly sliced and julienned
1 teaspoon fresh red pepper, seeds removed, chopped ( you can substitute an equal amount of dried red pepper flakes, or to taste)
1 cup of green onions, cut on the diagonal
1 cup of thinly sliced basil
1/2 cup of clarified butter, recipe below
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
several lemons cut into wedges


Method:


To cook the lobster tails, bring water to boil in a large pot with a steamer basket and steam the lobster tails for about 1 minute, or a bit less, per ounce of lobster. The time will vary with the size of the lobster tails and the method used.  A good description of the timing and the various cooking options can be found at The Cooking Fishmonger blog.


I would suggest experimenting with your timing.  I generally steam lobster tails for a bit less than 1 minute per ounce.  For example, I would steam a 7 ounce lobster tail for about 5 minutes.  But it is really your personal preference and taste that matters.


While the lobsters are steaming, add the clarified butter to a large heavy fry or saute pan saute the fennel over medium-high heat until it is crisp-tender, about 3 to 5 minutes then add the ginger,  garlic, red pepper, and a pinch of salt. Continue to cook until the garlic and ginger are fragrant, about another 2 to 3 minutes.  Add the green onions and basil to the butter sauce and cook until the basil is wilted, about 1 minute.  Remove from the heat.


Remove lobster from steamer when cooked, drizzle the butter sauce over the lobster and add some of the cooked fennel,  green onions and ginger as a garnish.


Serve with fennel risotto, sauteed baby bok choy, wilted baby spinach, roasted asparagus, steamed rice, or what ever you wish.   Enjoy!

Clarified Butter

    Clarified butter is also called drawn butter and is nothing more than unsalted butter that is simmered and slowly melted until the water evaporates. The milk solids separate and fall to the bottom of the pan and a white foam forms on the top.   The  foam is skimmed off of the top and the clear or clarified butter is carefully poured or spooned off leaving the milky solid residue in the bottom of the pan. 


    Clarified butter has a higher smoke point than regular butter and can be used for cooking at higher temperatures.  It is easy to make and can be purchased at many local markets.  Ghee is a form of clarified butter from South Asia and is also readily available in many stores.


Ginger Beurre Blanc


Beurre blanc is a very simple emulsified butter sauce that uses wine, vinegar and shallots and works well with virtually any seafood.  The ginger beurre blanc can be used as a substitute for the butter sauce in the recipe above.  If you also want to add a garnish of julienned fennel and/or ginger to the final dish, you can sauté them with some sliced garlic in the clarified butter or extra-virgin olive oil as described above.



Ingredients:

1 cup of dry white wine
1/2 cup of white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons of finely minced shallots
1 tablespoon of finely grated fresh ginger
1 pound of cold unsalted butter, cut into 1 tablespoon pieces (keep in the refrigerator until ready to use)

Method:


Heat the wine, vinegar, shallots and ginger in a heavy sauce pan until it comes to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.  Continue cooking until the wine and vinegar are reduced to about 2 tablespoons, approximately 8 to 10 minutes.  Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the butter, one piece at a time. (It is important to watch the temperature of the sauce.  It is quite delicate and will break or look curdled if it is kept over direct heat for too long.) Add the next piece of butter just before the previous one has fully melted and continue to whisk until all of the butter has been incorporated.  The sauce should be thick and creamy.   Remove from the heat and strain.   You can return the beurre blanc to a clean heavy pan and keep it warm for several minutes over very low heat.  You can also keep it warm for about 1/2 hour by placing it in a  container in hot, but not simmering, water ; or pour it into a small thermos and screw the top on.  The thermos will keep the beurre blanc warm for an hour or more.