Ok, so I’m NOT a Valentine’s Day girl….really. Really? Really.
Truth is I spent the better part of 30 years of my life not liking (caring) about the dreaded “V-day”, and instead would spend the 14th bonding (whining) with my single girlfriends about how commercial (tragic) Valentine’s Day was, how it didn’t mean anything (everything), and how we’d rather DIE than be stuck in some cheesy restaurant, with some cheesy guy eating way too much cheese (mmmmm cheese). Never. Nevernevernever. Never.
And then I met the love of my life. In a completely non-cheesy way of course – we don’t do cheese….well we like it on a board after dessert served with crackers, but otherwise nope. No cheese for us. And after a couple of forced Valentine’s Day cheesy dinner dates with N (we even technically got ENGAGED on the dreaded V-Day, something N had actually forgotten until I reminded him earlier, and of course it was the most non-cheesy engagement ever…as you’d expect from me….), I realised that the best way to spend a cold February evening with another human being you love is to stay home and cook a fantastic dinner. Screw the greeting card industry, screw very expensive red roses, screw crappy chocolates (although I will still accept all of the above – N take note). The thing you, me, and the rest of the world needs is something nice to do on a cold evening approximately halfway between New Year’s Eve and the start of spring – and when I think of something nice to do, I think of cooking delicious, rich, luxurious food and sharing it with someone equally nice. And that nice person CAN be your partner/spouse/sweetheart, but it could just as easily be your best friend or your favourite cousin. Find someone you like and make a great meal – this is an excellent excuse!
And so, I hereby re-Christen February 14th as St. Lobster Day.
I realise that I’m not in any official capacity to change holidays, and that lobsters probably aren’t saints (although they might have a patron saint – must check) but go with me here. If lobster isn’t your bag of tricks (and I’ll respect that – but I’m pretty shocked) then find something else that you wouldn’t normally cook for a Tuesday night dinner. A fantastic piece of steak, some fabulous pasta concoction with too much cream in the sauce, mussels, anything deep-fried – the point is to spoil yourself and the person you’re spending the evening with. And why not? You deserve it – because it’s St. Lobster Day!
Tonight N and I feasted on pancetta-wrapped tiger prawns (nice), mini-Yorkshire puddings with rare beef and horseradish cream (lovely), and the piece de resistance, Lobster Linguine (fantastic!). I will admit to cutting back the recipe from two lobsters to one – somewhat because at £18 a pop, it seemed a bit more fiscally responsible of me in these times of financial restraint, but also because when I got to the fish monger, he only had one lobster remaining. Shocking! I guess we’re not the only ones celebrating – happy St. Lobster Day everyone!
Lobster Fettuccine for Two
recipe courtesy of Canadian Living Magazine
We did use one lobster less than they suggested, and the results were just lovely. But heck, if you can buy two lobsters, why not go for it?!
• 2 cooked lobsters, (2 lb/1 kg total)
• 8 oz (227 g) fettuccine
• 1 tbsp (15 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 shallot, minced
• 1/2 tsp (2 ml) salt
• 1 pinch hot pepper flakes
• 1/4 cup (60 ml) dry white wine
• 1/4 cup (60 ml) finely chopped fresh parsley
• 1/4 cup (60 ml) whipping cream or double cream
Place each lobster on cutting board; twist off tail. With sharp chef’s knife, cut tail in half lengthwise; remove meat from tail and cut into chunks. Place in bowl.
Remove claws from body. With blunt side of knife, crack claws; pull apart shell and remove meat. Cut into chunks and add to bowl. Pull off back shell; remove white protein clumps and discard. Keep green or yellow tomalley (liver) and add to bowl, if desired. Reserve shells for lobster stock, if desired. (Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 hours.)
In large pot of boiling salted water, cook fettuccine until tender but firm, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup (50 ml) of the cooking liquid.
Meanwhile, in large non-stick skillet, heat oil over medium heat; fry lobster, garlic, shallot, salt and hot pepper flakes until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add wine; cook for 1 minute. Add parsley, cream, pasta and reserved cooking liquid; toss to coat and heat through.