Recipe of the Year

Here it finally is, the winner of the recipe of the year.  


Whoa… wrong recipe
Try this one…

Which starts out looking like this ….

(just substitute 2 lobsters for 1 cat)

I know some people might not like lobster and if you’re allergic, please don’t try this recipe or give it to anyone who is, but I’m surprised when  people tell me that risotto’s hard to make.  If you’ve ever wanted to give lobster a try this is definitely worth making.  Also, if you’ve read my bio and “Why is Diane writing about recipes” you know that I’m not crazy about spending a lot of time in the kitchen and the recipes I put up here will be not be hard.  If you’re the martyr who loves standing on your feet for 12 hours working up a sweat in the kitchen; if you get a kick out of bragging about how long it took you to find the gurnard and dragon fruit, then I think you probably took a wrong turn into this website.  Maybe google Martha and see what she’s got cooking.  I don’t mean to offend any Martha fans. I even get her magazine and have tried some of her recipes, but that woman can take a 20 minute recipe and turn it into a 24 step all day affair.  So if that’s what you’re into, go for it, we’ll catch up with you later during dessert.  This recipe only uses 1 sauce pan and 1 large, heavy skillet so you don’t have a lot of clean-up.

A few things about this recipe, which I think could be a special treat for Valentine’s Day.  Fresh lobster is important.  Right now it’s at a good price in New England – from $5.99 to $7.99/lb.  If you’re squeamish about cooking them, most supermarkets will steam them for you.  I personally like boiled lobster (7 min. for 1 ¼ lb and about 9 min. for 1 ½ lb lbs) because I think the meat comes out easier and cooks evenly.  I also like lobsters no larger than 1 ½ lbs even if you’re doubling this recipe for 4 people because the bigger guys’ shells are too hard to crack.  Save yourself some stress by prepping the lobster ahead of time.  I won’t go into the cooking instructions, but remove the meat (make sure to cut the tail in half & take out the vein), chunk it up & store in the fridge.

The other ingredients that I think are important are the cheeses.  Get a good fresh Parmesan (please do not use that stuff in the plastic shaker) and also try to get triple creme Brie.  Most supermarkets will have it, although they usually have more of the double creme.  Check the label for triple creme or 3X.  You can get by with double creme but it has less butter and just is not as smooth & creamy tasting.  As for the risotto, it really isn’t hard to make.  I don’t think you have to stir it constantly but you do have to watch over it to make sure you stir in a new ladle of stock as each gets absorbed.  You want the risotto to be firm and have a little bite to it.  Keep the stock simmering as you cook the risotto which I think cooks best when the heat is just a bit over medium as you add the stock.  Cooking at too low at temp makes the rice to mushy from sitting in the moisture for too long.  As for the wine, I don’t worry about using expensive wines.  Holland House from the supermarket works great for me & I always have on hand:  white and red wines, vermouth, marsala, and sherry.  If you happen to be drinking while cooking, go ahead & dump it in the recipe.


Cooked Lobsters: 1 to 1 ½ lbs/person (never hurts to have plenty of lobster).  Prep ahead of time.  Remove meat, cut tail in 1/2 to remove vein & chop into chunks.  Refrigerate until you’re ready to prepare the risotto.

2     Cups chicken broth
3     TBL butter
½    Cup finely chopped onion
2-3  Garlic cloves, minced
¾    Cup Arborio rice
½    Cup vermouth or white wine
½    Cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
¼    Lb triple crème Brie
Tarragon-sprinkle over the top,  about 1-2 teaspoons

– In medium saucepan, bring broth to a simmer.  Continue to simmer    while prepping rice

– In a large, heavy saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat (just a tick over medium is best).  Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 5-7 minutes.  Stir in garlic for just a minute, this cooks quickly so do not let it burn.  Add 1 more TBL of butter, melt, then stir in the rice to coat it.  Add the vermouth/wine and simmer until the wine has almost completely evaporated, about 3 minutes.  Add a ladle & 1/2 of simmering broth and stir. After about 2-5 minutes the broth should be almost completely absorbed.  Continue cooking rice by adding the broth a ladle at a time, stirring, and allowing each addition of broth to absorb before adding the next, until the rice is tender but still firm to the bite and the mixture is creamy, about 20-30 minutes total.  If you think the rice isn’t quite cooked, then add in more vermouth or cooking wine… that never seems to hurt.

– Add lobster meat for a few minutes.  Turn heat to low, add Brie cheese in chunks, stirring until it is melted and blended in then stir in the Parmesan cheese, and sprinkle with tarragon.

Remove cat from serving dish, mound the lobster risotto in dish, enjoy.