PHILIPPA Davis, the adventurous travelling chef from Shaftesbury, has now finished her month in Boston. She had intended her final postcard would be about night fishing – but the photographs didn’t work!
She says: Maybe I should have thought it through a little better? I had visited Harvard a few days prior to this and had even been told, “Hey lady, you’re pretty smart” as I helped some small guy with thick rimmed glasses, no doubt a mathematical genius, who had turned himself crimson frantically trying to go through a ‘push’ door that said ‘pull.’
I felt rather smug with myself until I almost made a complete hash of working out the ticketing system for the T line (the Boston tube system) to get back into town.
Lobster is incredibly cheap here ($4.99 /£2.94 a lb in some places) and I even heard that it wasn’t that long ago that servants in houses would have it written into their contracts that they would refuse to eat lobster any more than once a week!
Nutritionally lobster meat is rich in zinc and omega 3 fatty acids (good for improving brain functionality) low in fat and high in protein. Before coming here I confess I was always rather nonchalant about lobster, often finding it lacked flavour and its texture wasn’t always that desirable, but now I admit I am truly smitten.
For those of you who drooled over the smoked ribs and chicken from the last post, then had to get yourselves a smoker, next time you fire it up throw a few lobsters in there – incredible! The meat turns out wildly tender and outrageously juicy and with a short(ish) smoking time, roughly 40 minutes, the meat has the perfect balance of smokiness without masking the lobster flavour. I have given some tips on how to do this at the end.
So for my final recipe from Boston I will give you a dish we made when we had some left over lobster from a party. What made it particularly good was cooking the pasta in a stock made from the shells, which added huge amounts of flavour.
Lobster linguini with courgette, cream and chopped rocket
Meat from 2 x small cooked lobsters roughly chopped (240g approx) – you can use less, as a little lobster can go a long way as you will get lots of flavour from the stock. Keep the shells for the stock.
2 small courgettes finely sliced into strands (I used 1 yellow and 1 green)
100ml double cream
1 teaspoon chopped dill
100g rocket, roughly chopped
1 small pinch of dried red chilli
zest and juice of 1 lemon
3 litres of lobster stock **
Bring the lobster stock to the boil then taste, it needs to be salty to cook the pasta, season accordingly.
Cook the lingue as per instructions till al dente
Add the strands of courgettes into the stock with the lingueni and cook for 1 more minute then strain.
Immediately return to the pasta and courgettes to the saucepan then add the cream, chilli, chopped rocket and lemon, check for seasoning then serve.
** I recommend popping the lobster shells, a few peppercorns, a few stalks of parsley and a medium tomato chopped in half into a saucepan with 4 litres of cold water, bringing it to a boil then turning it down to simmer for 30 minutes before straining (if you leave it for too long the stock tastes bitter).
For more on lobsters and more of Philippa’s postcard recipes, please visit www.philippadavis.com