Monday April 14, 2008
corn and chipotle pancakes with grilled lobster
The aroma of brewing coffee permeates the room--a cup is delivered your way with a kiss. Soft sounds of slow, enchanting music ease you into the day. New aromas waft from the kitchen. In anticipation of something special to come, twisted sheets are smoothed out, pillows are propped up, blinds slanted to let the daylight in.
Breakfast is served and it is indeed special. On a serving tray with flowers and champagne, sit a plate of Corn and chipotle pancakes with grilled lobster and roasted corn pico de gallo topped with crema for two. A glass of champagne is poured. Now that's a Seduction Meal!
Another glorious recipe from the cookbook Mod Mex: Cooking Vibrant Fiesta Flavors at Home by Scott Linquist, executive chef of Dos Caminos---my new favorite cookbook.
While this recipe is enough to serve six, I assure you the flavors get better the next day so you will LOVE that fact that you can cook up more pancakes and have it again. For this breakfast-in-bed soiree, I highly suggest preparing everything the day before, allowing all flavors to settle in, and giving you more time to enjoy the late morning in bed before and after this memorable meal. The only thing you will have to do is make the pancakes and plate the dish.
And for those who like to dance into the wee hours, once all the elements of this dish are prepared, this can easily be served up as a truly seductive midnight snack after your night out on the town.
Basic Crema (needs to set overnight)
Makes 2/14 cups
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 canned chipoltle chiles in adobe, pureed
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
In a small saucepan, heat the cream to about 90 degrees F. Pour the cream into a bowl, whisk in the buttermilk, and cover with a cheesecloth or dry, clean towel. Set in a warm place such as a gas oven with just the pilot light on, overnight until thickened. (My pilot light isn't always on, however, I placed the bowl in my oven after having been cooking all night and this worked fine). If still not thickened in the morning, leave in for 2-4 more hours. Stir well, cover and refrigerate.
Note: Just before serving the pancakes you will combine the crema, pureed chipotle, and lime juice. Season to taste with salt.
Roasted Corn Pico de Gallo
3 cups roasted corn (use 1 cup for recipe above)
1 cup diced tomatoes
1/2 cup diced red onions
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 cup diced jalapeno chiles
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup olive oil
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and the corn and saute until the kernels are lightly browned and tender, about 5 minutes. Reserve 1 cup for the pancake batter below.
In a large bowl, mix together 2 cups of corn with the rest of the Pico de Gallo ingredients, season to taste with salt, cover and refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour.
2 cups yellow cornmeal
2 cups all-purpose-flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup milk
5 large eggs
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 Tbsp melted butter to brush on lobster and griddle
4 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 cup roasted corn (See below)
2 chipotle chiles (from a can), chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
To make the batter, in a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt.
In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, milk, eggs, 6 tablespoons of the butter, and the honey. Whisk together until smooth. Stir one cup of corn (reserved from the Pico de Gallo prep), the chipotles, and the cilantro into the buttermilk mixture, add the dry ingredients, and mix just until blended. Cover the batter and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before using.
3 1lb lobsters (I went to my seafood market and bought fresh cooked lobster meat)
If you are cooking fresh lobster, in a large pot bring at least 4 quarts of salted water to a rolling boil. Add lobsters, cover the pot, return the water to a boil and cook for about 7 minutes, or until the shells are bright red. Remove the lobsters. Let cool. Gather the tail and claw meat whole, and any remaining meat from the shells. Cut the tails in half lengthwise. Set aside.
Next Morning Seduction: Bringing it all together!
In the morning, all you have to do is heat up the lobster meat, spice up the crema, and cook the pancakes, and plate the dish.
1. Take the meat and brush lightly with melted butter, season with salt and pepper to taste. Heat up a skillet, saute briefly in the skillet to warm and slightly brown the lobster meat. Remove from heat.
2. Remove the crema from the refrigerator. Combine the crema, pureed chipotle, and lime juice. Season to taste with salt.
3. And now for the pancakes. Heat a griddle or large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Brush with a little butter and ladle on enough batter to make 3- to 4-inch rounds. (I had to add a bit more milk to make it creamy enough for a ladle). Cook the pancakes until bubbles form on the surface and the bottom is golden brown, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. (Be careful, as your skillet or griddle gets hot, this will cook faster). Turn with a spatula (press down gently), and cook the second side until golden brown. Prepare 2 pancakes for each person.
Plating the dish
On each plate, serve 2 pancakes, one garnished with half a lobster tail, and the other with a claw. Spoon on some Roasted Pico de Gallo, drizzle with Crema, garish with watercress sprigs, a bit of cilantro leaves, and serve.
It doesn't get much better than this! Thank you Scott Linquist!