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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I Love Lobster!

Yeah, I know...who doesn't, right? But I seem to find myself craving the delectable sea bug quite frequently. Heck, for my 30th birthday I hosted a "BYOL" (bring your own lobster) party. 20-some odd guests arrived at my door carrying plain brown bags from Bodean's. I had prepared corn, potatoes and Meyer lemon vanilla butter for dipping. Lobsters we cooked, Chardonnay was sipped and much fun was had by all.

One day, a few months later I was sitting at my desk thinking fondly back on those delicious bites of buttery goodness. I remembered how many people at the party had commented that they didn't know the first thing about cooking a live lobster. Enter the most fantastic perk of my job: I get to satisfy my cravings by means of a cooking class! I thought what a fantastic opportunity it was to teach people how to cook fresh, live lobsters and be able to use the entire crustacean instead of just the tail that many people are used to.

The menu was simple, yet comprehensive. A warm lobster salad with a Calvados-citrus vinaigrette would utilize the rich tail meat. Lobster Bisque would turn shells, legs and insides into something far more elegant than it's ingredients. The tender meat from the claws would fit beautifully into one of my favorite guilty pleasures...a quesadilla. Yep, I said it. A lobster quesadilla. Plenty of people look at me rather strangely at the notion of using such a meat in between a couple of tortillas, and moreso at covering it with cheese. Strangely though, it works. The cheeses I chose were simple. Queso Fresco, a crumbly Mexican cheese, and Queso Quesadilla which I sometimes refer to as "Mexico's answer to Mozzarella" due to it's stretchy meltability. For dessert, I chose a simple lemon-vanilla panna cotta, made with a rich and creamy creme fraiche.

The class sold out quickly, as did the second and third. I held a fourth and final course, yet here I am but a month later craving, well you guessed it! I guess it's time to check my calendar.

Lobster Quesadillas

½ Red Onion, Diced ½ Yellow Onions, Diced

¼ C Diced Poblano 1 Tbsp Lime juice

1/8 tsp Cayenne ¼ tsp Cumin

¼ tsp Sea Salt ½ tsp Ground Chipotle

1/3 C Queso Fresco, crumbled

Flour tortillas

1/3 C Queso Oaxaca, grated Lime wedges, for garnish

½ C cooked Lobster meat, diced 2 Tbsp Butter

¼ C Chopped Cilantro, plus more for garnish

½ C Crema Agria

Directions: Combine half of the chipotle with the crema and set aside. Heat 1 Tbsp of the butter in a skillet. Add the onions, peppers, cumin, and the other half of the chipotle. and cook until tender. Divide the mixture between half of the tortillas, and top with lobster, cheese and cilantro. Top with the remaining tortillas. Heat the remaining butter in a skillet. Cook the quesadillas on each side until tortillas are golden and cheese is melted. Alternately, melt the butter and brush on the tortillas. Bake in a 350 degree oven. Serve with chipotle crema, lime wedges and cilantro.

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