Friday, April 23, 2010

Calcutta Lobster in Spinach and Yogurt Sauce (Page 341)

RECIPE #1146

  • Date: Saturday, April 17, 2010 -- 2pm
  • Location: Berkeley, CA
  • Kitchen: Our Temporary California Home
  • Fellow Chefs: Emilee, Brian, Sam, Ricky, Eli, Alp, and Matty
  • Recipe Rating: B-

I chose this recipe as part of the All Seafood All The Time plan. This was the first lobster recipe I made from The Book. I wasn't feeling super excited about buying live lobster at the store, bringing it home, and plunging it live into boiling water, so I recruited some friends for moral support. We ended up having quite a lobster-cooking party!

We had two lobsters. The first one seemed relatively resigned to being cooked. He was feisty in the tank, but by the time we got him home he didn't fight back too much. Here I am removing him from his box.

The look on my face in the picture below perfectly captures how I felt about dumping the lobster live into boiling water. It just didn't seem nice.

Nonetheless, in he went...

He fought back briefly -- clawing against the lid of the pot. But it wasn't as traumatizing as I had thought it would be. So I was in better spirits for lobster number two:

The second lobster was super-squirmy though, so I delegated the lobster-plunging to Ricky!

Once the lobsters were cooked they looked much more appealing:

At that point, Ricky and Eli broke down the lobsters, removing the meat, while I prepared the sauce. I cooked onion, garlic, serrano chile, ginger, and ground mustard seeds in vegetable oil. I added ground coriander, then chopped spinach and cooked until the spinach wilted. I added plain yogurt, then the lobster meat, and heated through. We served this lobster dish with some basmati rice.

The end result was only ok. The sauce had a good flavor. There were some complaints that it was too ginger-heavy, but I enjoyed the burst of ginger flavor. It definitely could have used more spinach though. The lobster wasn't bad in it, but we all agreed that we would have liked the dish better had the lobster been replaced with chicken, or beef, or lamb, or goat, or paneer... And all those things are cheaper than lobster. Somehow the lobster just didn't seem to go well in this curry spinach dish. So I definitely wouldn't make this one again, but I didn't mind eating it. And actually, I would make this again if it would cause such a gathering of friends as we had. It was such a nice afternoon, sitting outside, eating lunch!

The recipe in The Book is the same as this one, except that the one in The Book starts with live lobster rather than lobster tails.

Today was the last day of my twenties! It was a good day. I spent the day hanging out with my favorite two-year-old, Sam, who is extremely pleasant company. We went to the mini-zoo in the morning, which was a big hit until Sam got bitten by a goose. He didn't even have his hands through the fence! The goose leaned through the railing just to bite him! Sam recovered well and we headed over to Whole Foods to grocery shop for tomorrow night's birthday dinner from The Book. At some point Sam said to Emilee, "Mama, I want some fish jello!" You leave a little kid with me for a couple hours and I will have him asking for Poached Salmon in Aspic (aka fish jello). After Sam's nap we spent the rest of the afternoon at the park, which was great. The weather was perfect, Sam is super-fun to play with, and it was just very relaxing. Tonight the four of us went out for Mexican food, did some cooking for tomorrow, and relaxed with beers. It was a lovely day -- just the right way to end my twenties!


Melissa said...

Geese are evil! But swans are even worse, I got attacked by swans when I was little because I ran out of bread while feeding them.

Great post, I loved all the pictures!

Just a Guy said...

I've also been attacked by geese and swans. I hate both of them. And the crap everywhere. Disgusting animals. I hope that Sam fought back!

I got another delightful "word verification" this time: "uncure". How sweet!

Teena said...

Yeah, the goose was totally out of line. Sam didn't provoke it at all -- it was just mean! No, Sam didn't fight back. Rather he looked confused for a moment and then started to cry. I think he's traumatized. We went hiking with him in Muir Woods yesterday and every wild animal or bug we saw he would back away and say, "It bites me." :(

Just a Guy said...

Poor little guy! Why people think geese are fun is beyond me. They aren't even that tasty!