Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Fortunately, we're lucky in Brazil to have normal-size pineapples and fresh lobster tails available year round and at a reasonable price. This week at the supermarket, we bought a lovely ripe and juicy pineapple for R$2.00 (about USD $1.20) and at the fish market on the docks last week I spotted fresh lobster tails for R$40.00/kg, approximately USD $11.00/lb.
This recipe for creamed lobster and pineapple served in a pineapple "half-shell" comes to Flavors of Brazil from São Paulo restaurant Capim Santo. The name Capim Santo means "lemongrass" in Portuguese, and the restaurant is known for inventive and healthy food inspired by local Brazilian techniques and ingredients.
RECIPE - Lobster-stuffed Pineapple (Lagosta no Abacaxi)
1 ripe whole pineapple
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
3 Tbsp onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 oz. (50 ml) cachaça (tequila or vodka may be substituted)
2 Tbsp fresh basil, finely shredded
3/4 lb (300 gr) fresh or defrosted frozen lobster tail meat
juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
2 Tbsp freshly-grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Slice the pineapply in half vertically (from the leaves to the stem). Reserve half for another use. Using paring knife, cut the woody core from the pineapple half, then cut the remaining flesh into 1/2 inch (1 cm) cubes. Do not cut through the skin of the fruit. Reserve the shell.
Cut the lobster meat into small cubes, about 1/2 inch (1 cm). Place in a small bowl, then season with the lime juice and salt and pepper to taste. Reserve.
In a large frying pan, heat the oil, then add the chopped garlic and onion and cook until the onion is softened and transparent, but not browned. Add the seasoned lobster meat, the cachaça and the cubed pineapple. Continue to cook for a few minutes to burn off the alcohol, then add the crème fraîche or sour cream and the shredded basil. Cook for a few more minutes or until the lobster is tender. Remove from heat.
Place the pineapple shell on a cookie sheet or in a lasagne pan. Fill the cavity with the lobster mixture. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese over, then place under a preheated broiler for about 3 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and lightly browned.