The truth is that life is delicious, horrible, charming, frightful, sweet, bitter, and that is everything. – Anatole France
That’s what actually came out of my mouth after the first taste of this dish. If you like lobster you’re going to LOVE this.
|Gnocchi before kneading.|
Picture a delicate lobster sauce with sauteed onions, mushrooms and hints of garlic. Then imagine that sauce enveloping light, creamy gnocchi…that just happen to be pan fried to a light golden brown.
Heaven, right? Sometimes my food is really good (not all the time), but then every once in a while I knock one out of the park. This night was one. Wow.
Lobster isn’t common in my repertoire. I really enjoy it, but it’s usually too expensive. I couldn’t believe my eyes the other day when one of our local groceries was selling frozen lobster tails at a deep discount. I had to grab a couple packages. I had to.
When lobster's on sale this recipe is quite affordable as a meal for four. Off and on you can get a bargain direct from lobster fishers, too. They frequent busy places around the province and sell for less than the groceries or fish shops. The other main ingredient – potatoes – are cheap as dirt.
This one’s definitely a sunday dinner kind of thing. It’s…involved. I usually cook more complex things when I’m stressed. The house sale business is really starting to bum me out and it’s being reflected in my cooking: lemon pull apart bread, baguettes, Greek pastry, etc., etc. I guess being busy in the kitchen calms my mind.
|Individual gnocchi. Pillow form. I know, it's cheating.|
Gnocchi really aren’t that difficult and can actually be made ahead and frozen. That may be something to remember. Making them will eat up an hour no problem.
Cooking the gnocchi only takes a few minutes per batch. I “gilded the lily” by pan frying them in a little olive oil. It’s optional.
The sauce itself is really quite quick. It only takes the time to fry the mushrooms, reduce cream and whisky and throw in the lobster. Don’t worry. The whisky is only a subtle flavour. Anyone eating this would be hard pressed to know it’s there – but its absence would really make a difference.
This is rich, filling stuff. Of that there is no doubt. It is also one of the best meals I have prepared in a while.
Make this for someone special. Seriously. Make this.
|The gnocchi are done after they float in the boiling water|
for about 1-2 minutes.
Lobster Gnocchi in Whisky Cream Sauce
Time: 2 hours | Cook: 20-25 min | Serves 4
2 lbs starchy potatoes, like russet
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
1 cup white flour , give or take
1 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 medium onion, diced
200 g white mushrooms, sliced
1-1/2 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup whisky
1-1/2 lbs fresh lobster meat
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
salt, as desired
grated parmesan cheese
|Yes, there are six tails, but they were quite small.|
Boil unpeeled potatoes in salted water until tender, about 30 minutes.
Let them cool slightly and then remove the skins. Break up the potatoes either with a ricer or a fork. Ensure there are no lumps.
Once the potatoes have cooled slightly (enough not to cook the egg), stir in the salt and egg. Mix well until the egg is completely incorporated.
Add 3/4 cup of flour and stir in with a fork. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead. Add more flour as required to make a soft dough that is barely no longer sticky. Too much flour will make the gnocchi tough.
Divide the dough in four and roll each out into a long cylinder. Cut individual gnocchi and toss well with flour. At this point they can be frozen until ready to use. (Freeze them in one layer. They’ll stick together if in a pile.)
|Make this for guests – or a date. It's impressive.|
When ready to cook, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the gnocchi in batches. Once they begin to float, let them cook an additional 1-2 minutes. Then remove with a slotted spoon. If desired fry in batches in a little olive oil. This step is optional.
In a deep, wide sauté pan heat the 1 tbsp of olive oil. Add the garlic, onion and mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms reduce in volume and brown slightly.
Add the cream and whisky and cook until reduced to 2/3 the original volume. Then add in the lobster and allow the sauce to reduce to half its original volume. Add the pepper and taste for salt. Adjust if desired.
Take the cooked gnocchi and add to the sauce. Toss well to coat and let them heat through.
Serve in bowls with some grated parmesan cheese.
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