A few weeks ago, we went down to our friend Jon’s beach house to enjoy one of the last weekends of the summer. Usually when we’re at the beach house, dinner is “just” hamburgers and hot dogs, but this time Jon’s wife Robin said she was in the mood for lobster. I’d never cooked lobster before, but I’d watched the lobster episode of Good Eats enough times that I thought I could pull it off. Indeed, the lobster was delicious.
The end result of a lobster dinner is always the same: a huge pile of shells and innards. I’ll admit, Jon looked at me a little funny when I scooped the whole mess into a bag and tossed it in the freezer to take home after the weekend, but I had a plan: lobster stock.
(You know, I realize I’m not sure if it’s technically a “stock” since lobsters don’t have bones. Well, whatever. Lobster broth, then.)
One onion, the remains of three lobsters, and enough water to cover simmered on the stove for about two or three hours. It smelled amazing, and the only challenge was finding enough plastic containers to store it in. Seriously, I must have made gallons of the stuff. I expect that seafood soups and chowders will be eaten all winter long at our house.
Somehow I got the idea to make a tomato-lobster broth and poach cod in it. I think it came to me in a dream. So it went like this:
I simmered about a quart of lobster broth with a drained (large) can of diced tomatoes and a pinch of saffron. (Yum.) Saffron and seafood just seem to go together perfectly, and let me tell you: nothing in this world smells better than lobster broth simmering with tomatoes and saffron.
In a wide skillet, I heated a little olive oil, and laid in several big thick filets of cod. Once they were starting to sear, I ladled on the tomato-broth mixture. If I had it to do over again, I would have skipped the oil, poured the broth into the pan, and placed the filets into the simmering broth. (The way I did it ended up being more of a braise than a poach, and it was too oily. Live and learn.) Anyway, cover and simmer.
Next up was the relish-y/salsa-y thing on top. Fresh corn (right off the cob), bell peppers, chourizo. I started with a bit of diced, dried chourizo and let it render for a bit. Then toss in the peppers, then the corn, take off the heat and add some freshly chopped parsley. Yum.
Once the fish is cooked through (10 minutes?) I tried to reduce the poaching liquid a bit. This didn’t work out quite as well as I’d have liked, I think because I used too much oil in the pan.
I served this with a little spinach sautéed in garlicky olive oil, and spooned over the corn/chourizo mixture and the reduced sauce. It may not have turned out how it looked in my head, but it was yummy.
(Fabulous photos by, as usual, Rachel.)