Friday, June 1, 2012

Lobster and Shrimp Salad with an Albariño Citrus Dressing

This recipe is an experiment; and, I have debated whether or not to post it.  The objective was to make a cold seafood salad.  I wanted to make a light dish, with lettuce, seafood and a fresh dressing. I put a lot of thought into this recipe, without referring to any recipes.  This dish would rise and fall based upon what I have learned from cooking over the past year or two.

First, there was the question of the seafood.  I wanted to use cold seafood, but the seafood has to complement each other.  The best selection involved seafood that has a relatively similar flavor and texture.  The easiest choices were shrimp and lobster.  Both can be and often are served cold.

Second, there was the question of the dressing.  My thoughts revolved around two components -- citrus juice  and wine.  I  quickly came to the conclusion to use  both lemons and limes.  However, I was a little stumped about which wine to use.  I ultimately chose a wine from a region that is closely related to seafood ... an Albariño.  This wine hails from the Rias Biaxas region, which is located in Galicia, Spain.  Galicia is well known for its seafood, so this pairing seemed to be right on target. 

A Chef Bolek Original
Serves 2-3

2 four-ounce lobster tails
1/2 pound of 16/20 count shrimp, shells removed and deveined
2 lemons
3 limes
1 tablespoon of fresh basil, chiffonade
Salt, to taste
1/4 cup of red onions, sliced thinly
1/2 cup of Albariño wine
Pepper to taste
8 ounces of Heirloom lettuce leaves or regular lettuce leaves

1.  Steam the lobster and shrimp.  Fill a steam pot with water until there is about three inches of water in the pot.  Add the juice of one lemon and one lime.  Heat the pot on high until the water is boiling and steam is being emitted from the pot.   Add the shrimp and lobster and steam both.  The shrimp should be cooked after about two minutes.  Remove the shrimp.  Continue steaming the lobster tails for about two or three minutes longer.

2.  Make the dressing.  Juice the lemon and two limes. Add the wine and stir well. Add the basil, salt and pepper.  Once the lobster and shrimp have cooled down, add them to the the dressing.  

3.  Plate the dish.  Plate the lettuce and red onions.  Add the shrimp and lobster, spooning a little of the dressing over both the seafood and the lettuce.

Overall, I think this experiment was a success.  The most notable aspect of this dish is how the lobster and shrimp absorbed the flavors of the Albariño wine.  Over all, I liked this dish a lot.

One important caveat: this dish is for adults only and it should not be served to children.  The alcohol in the wine is not cooked out, so the dish should not be served to anyone under the age of 21.  If you want to serve this at a dinner where there will be underage guests, it would be best to cook the alcohol out of the wine by first bringing the wine to a gentle boil in a saucepan and then reducing it to a simmer for about five minutes at most.  You can then let the wine cool down before adding the citrus.  I did not do that because heat can affect the taste of the wine and I wanted to keep that flavor as much as possible. 


Obviously, the use of Albariño wine makes that wine the perfect pairing for this recipe.  It is also a good choice because you will have a lot of wine left in the bottle after making the recipe.  One such wine is the following:

Pazo Serantellos -- Albariño (2010)
100% Albariño 
Rias Biaxas DO, Galicia, Spain
Flavors of apples


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