Tag Archives: thyme

SAUTÉED STUFFED SQUID with Portobello Mushrooms Risotto, Squid Tentacles and Smoked Roma Tomato Sauce

octopus

SAUTÉED STUFFED SQUID with Portobello Mushrooms Risotto, Squid Tentacles and Smoked Roma Tomato Sauce

[Serving four]

8 Squid

4 Roma tomatoes

Bunches of rose marine

Bunches of thyme

Bunches of birch bark

1 tablespoon grape seed oil

Portobello mushroom risotto

Pinches of micro bok choy

3 oz butter

Squid was not caught much in Iceland in former days, and then mostly for bait. No one thought of eating this most singular fish at that time. This has changed, so nowadays the squid is a sought-after delicacy in Icelandic cuisine.

Small squid is used for this course, both the body and the tentacles. Begin by removing the tentacles and the innards, taking care not to rupture the ink bladder. Clean both the body and the tentacles. Then stuff the squid body with Portobello mushrooms and risotto made from vegetable stock. Take care not to put too much stuffing into the body. When stuffed, close the open end with a toothpick. Sauté the stuff ed squid bodies in butter in a pan until golden brown. Do not overcook the squid, or it will become chewy. After the sautéing, remove the toothpicks.

Sauté the tentacles in grape seed oil, add strips of squid and season with salt and white pepper, adding some butter toward the end. Sauté the tentacles and strips of squid until they start curling up a bit. For the sauce, start by throwing some rose marine, thyme and birch bark on the embers in a grill. Put the tomatoes on the rack, and close the lid completely to keep the smoke inside. The tomatoes are left to cure in the smoke for an hour or so. When the tomatoes are done, peel their skin off and churn them into sauce in a mixer. Heat the sauce close to the boiling point and season to taste with salt, pepper and fresh lime juice. Finally, whip cubes of cold butter vigorously into the sauce with a hand blender till the sauce becomes somewhat frothy.

When this dish is served, the frothy smoked-tomato sauce is used to make a pool in the center of a plate. The sautéed squid is arranged in the center of the pool of sauce, and the arrangement decorated with some micro bok choy and the curled strips of squid.

In this course, which has a lot of appeal, the smoked tomato sauce goes well with the taste of the squid and the stuffing inside it. It entails a bit of work, but I have found the time taken in preparing it entirely worth while.

LOBSTER CAKE with Lemon-Infused Cream Cheese (a la Emmanuel)

lobstercake

LOBSTER CAKE with Lemon-Infused Cream Cheese (a la Emmanuel)

[Six cakes]

1 lb lobster meat

3 cloves garlic finely chopped

2 teaspoons red bell pepper, finely chopped

2 teaspoons green scallions, chopped

½ teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped

2 egg yolks

½ cup plain bread crumbs

½ cup heavy cream

1 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice

2 tablespoons of butter

1 cup cream cheese

¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Orange reduction 

Some purdie goosefoot.

For this recipe I am indebted to my good friend and coworker at the Sabor Restaurant in Grand Bahama, my Chef de Cuisine, Emmanuel Smith.

Place the meat of the lobster in a medium-sized saucepan along with one cup of orange juice, the cloves of garlic and the butter. Cover the saucepan with foil and cook the lobster for three minutes before removing the saucepan from the heat and leaving it to cool. Once cool, remove the lobster and chop it into medium-sized bits.

In a bowl make a paste of the garlic, red pepper, green scallions and the egg yolks. Mix the chopped lobster in with the paste along with the bread crumbs, which will firm up the mixture, and then spread it out onto a piece of plastic wrap forming a square about one half inch in thickness.

Put the cream cheese in a separate bowl along with the lemon juice and mix these ingredients completely until the mixture is thoroughly smooth. Put a string of the cream mixture on top of the layer of lobster mixture, reaching across it from side to side. Then wrap the lobster mixture around the string of cheese, covering it completely, so that only the ends of the string of cheese are visible. The plastic wrap is used to facilitate the roll-ing. Keep the roll in the plastic wrap, and, when ready, put it in a refrig-erator to cool and firm.The final stage in the preparation of this exquisite delicacy consists in cutting the cool and firm roll of lobster and cheese into bits about one and a half inches in length. If the roll has been cut while still in the wrap, remember to remove the plastic from each bit. The bits are put in an oven, cut end up, and baked for seven to ten minutes at about 400° F, or until they are softly golden in color.

For the arrangement on the plate, Chef de Cuisine Emmanuel recommends a pool of orange reduction. The baked lobster cake is placed in the middle of the pool and the arrangement decorated with some purdie goosefoot.

It was only around the middle of the last century that Icelanders came to appreciate lobster, but they are quick learners. I have tried Chef de Cuisine Emmanuel’s recipe for lobster cake on a few of my countrymen who have been guests at the Sabor Restaurant and I can truthfully say that they thought it marvelous – and then, why not you, too.