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Risotto with lobster and braised fennel

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ChrisFlanders View Drop Down
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    Posted: 07 March 2012 at 05:11

One of my addictions is risotto and I make a lot of versions from my own inspiration. This is one of those experiments. A little posh this time with the lobster, perhaps even un-Italian, but hey, why not once in a while. This is my risotto with lobster and braised fennel.

I use baby lobster for this dish, sometimes fresh and alive, sometimes bought from my fishmonger already cooked. He doesn't overcook them like the ones you buy frozen in supermarkets. So I start this recipe from cooked lobster.

Make the risotto stock.

- start by splitting the cooked lobster in two. First of all, do remove the "estomach" in the head section and the digestion canal that runs around the upper backpart towards the tailsection.

- remove the meat from the tail and the claws. Keep the shells; crush the heads and cut the rest of the shells somewhat smaller if necessary.

- sweat a chopped shallot, add the lobster shells and let cook a bit. You can crush the shells and heads some more with a wooden rolling pin.

- add a small dash of pastis (or raki or ouzo...) and let cook away entirely first, then add a dash of white wine, the tops of fennelbulbs, orange peel (no whites!), parcely stalks, peppercorns, a litlle salt, 5-8 fennelseeds, half a teaspoon of tomatopaste. Add water or chickenstock to cover and let simmer for 30 minutes.

Your risotto stock is now ready. Keep it very hot, don't strain.

The risotto is made the usual way.

I always measure the rice for portioning; 1 standard coffeecup (=not a mug) is a 1 persons portion. You need double that amount of stock. I play safe and have 2,5 amount of stock ready per 1 measure of rice.

- start by sweating a finely chopped shallot without coloring it. Add the carnaroli rice, put the flame a little higher and let the rice heat up nicely.

- add a good dash of dry white wine after the rice is heated up. The wine has to steam violently away caused by the heath of the rice. Let it evaporate completely or you will have a tangy taste in your risotto.

- only now start adding the HOT lobster stock. Put a sieve over the rice and pour a ladle of stock through it (we didn't strain the stock, remember). Stir gently until the liquid has gone. Add another ladle of stock the same way and stir again until the liquid is gone. Repeat until the rice is done. It takes 20 minutes for rice to cook, but, DO start tasting repeatedly from the 15th minute, the rise has to stay "al dente", not mushy!!

- add a good tbsp worth of good butter and stir in violently, add some chopped parcely, add the lobster meat cut in chunks. Cover the preparation and leave it for a few minutes. Check for seasoning, you may also have to add a minimum of stock to loosen it to your taste. Done! Yes, no cheese at all this time.. maybe a teaspoon of mascarpone if you really insist. Serve with the split tail on top. You could add the braise fennel if you like.

Braised fennel; cut the tips off close to the bulb and use them in the lobster stock as discribed above. I never remove the outer leaves; just use a thin peeler and peel the outer fibers away! Now, cut straight through the core at the bottom towards the top of the bulb. Do that again and again, always starting from the core and make sure you always have a bit of the core hanging on each slice, the core keeps the slices together!

In a frying pan with some butter; start to fry the slices a little until nearly browned. Now add freshly squeezed orange juice until the slices are just half covered. BTW, do not stack the slices, it's a braise, so they all have to be next to each other. Cover with a sheet of aluminium paper and let simmer. Remove the aluminium after 20 minutes and let simmer until all liquid is nearly disappeared. S&P. Done. My total fennel braising time is around 30/45 minutes!!

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Marissa View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marissa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 March 2012 at 10:19
Yum! The only seafood my husband likes it lobster and crab so this might be a good chance for me to make something that I can try out some seafood.

I'm overrun with fennel right now too. I planted it in my garden 3 years ago and I basically can't kill the stuff. We even moved the veggie garden and it still makes its way through the grass and is never watered but flourishes! So I've got plenty of that.

Now...where to get lobster around here...
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pitrow View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 March 2012 at 12:09
Dang that looks delicious!!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hoser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 March 2012 at 16:25
A true work of art Chris...thanks for a great postThumbs Up
Go ahead...play with your food!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ChrisFlanders Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 March 2012 at 04:28
Thanks people! In fact it's not even hard to make. Also, the fennel made this way can be served with meat like pork and chicken, delicious!
 
@Marissa; you have a husband with an expensive taste when it comes to seafood, hahaha!
You know, Italians love wild fennel? I believe it's sold in many markets.
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Margi Cintrano View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 March 2012 at 07:51
Thanks for lovely post. Fennel, risotto and Lobster are lovely trio.
Margaux Cintrano.
Volamos a Mediterraneo, un paraiso que conquista su gente u su cocina.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 March 2012 at 04:50

Made the braised fennel last night, Chris. As spectacular as it looks it tastes even better.

Thanks for posting it.
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ChrisFlanders View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ChrisFlanders Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 March 2012 at 04:20
Glad you enjoyed it, Brook!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 March 2012 at 09:13
many thanks, chris, for posting such a delicious-looking meal, with easy-to-follow instructions. i must say again that your photography is superb, and really brings your food to life!
 
 
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Margi Cintrano View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 June 2019 at 12:59


Wow ..  This is a true masterpiece of art  ..

Too bad the photographs are no longer on the post ..  


Volamos a Mediterraneo, un paraiso que conquista su gente u su cocina.
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