Recently, each time I opened the freezer, a container of frozen lobster meat kept calling to me. Now that we have a stockpile of frozen scallops, it was time to use up the lobster meat. Using lobster this way becomes a simple, but elegant weeknight dinner, with minimal prep work involved. It is also a recipe that I made up as I went along in my little Torrey Hill Kitchen. Disclaimer: all measurements are approximate, in fact everything is approximate.
On a recent trip to Trader Joe’s, I picked up a package of TJ’s lobster ravioli. I liked the colors-just call me an IMPULSE SHOPPER. I’ll justify by saying that a brief thought passed through my scattered mind that I could use the ravioli plus the lobster meat and make up some sauce to go with it. Feeling inspired, and trying to think ahead, I took the lobster meat out of the freezer and let sit in the fridge for a day.
Lobster – Lobster Ravioli
1 ½ cups lobster meat – thawed and drained or fresh
4 cloves roasted garlic or 4 cloves fresh- smashed
1 package of TJ’s lobster ravioli (approximately 8 large ravs)
3-4 cups fresh spinach
Olive oil, dry Sherry, Italian seasonings
Step 1 – Before leaving for work –
Pour some olive oil in a sauté pan – enough to coat the bottom. Add 4 cloves roasted garlic* or 4 smashed fresh cloves. The roasted garlic will fall apart easily and you don’t want too many little bits in the oil. Be careful while stirring it around in the pan. You will be removing most of the garlic pieces. *The garlic was roasted over the weekend-made the house smell heavenly.
Warm the oil with the garlic and add a pinch or two of Italian seasonings – a little basil or oregano or both – not too much. This process is to just lightly flavor the oil. Stir until warmed through and then turn off. Remove 3 garlic cloves and any pieces broken off from the roasted garlic, leaving one clove in the oil. Leave the pan to sit for the day. Taste the oil with the tip of your finger and adjust, if necessary. It should have just a hint of garlic and seasoning.
Step 2 – After work -this takes about 10 minutes to throw together
Pick over the spinach (you could do this in the a.m. if you have time)
Remove the thawed lobster from the fridge and place in a colander over a bowl. You want to save the juice. I freeze my lobster meat in milk – so the juice was milky.
Set the water to boil for the ravioli
Open the ravioli package
Grate your Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
Step 3 – Goes quickly-have everything ready
After water is boiling, throw in the ravioli – boil 4-6 minutes or per package instructions
Have another small sauté pan with a pat of butter heated in it. Put the lobster meat in that pan, just to warm it. Add a small drop of dry sherry to that pan. Heat on high quickly, turn the meat and then turn off the heat. Set aside.
Remove last garlic clove from seasoned oil mixture and start to heat. Add lobster juice (drained off liquid) or just add a little milk or cream to the oil. Add about 1 tablespoon of dry sherry. Heat on high and stir.
Remove ravioli from the water with a slotted spoon, place on a plate and set aside.
Turn off the oil, lobster juice and sherry mixture. Add spinach and toss-it wilts quickly. Plate the wilted spinach and immediately add drained lobster raviolis and some of the lobster meat to the pan, gently moving it around to season the ravioli and lobster.
Add a few raviolis and the warmed lobster pieces on top of the wilted spinach and sprinkle with grated cheese.
The sherry adds a depth of flavor and compliments the lobster meat. Do not use regular “cooking sherry” – it will ruin the dish. Use the good stuff.
Hubby says, “pretty elegant dining for a weeknight.”
Final note: Remember, lobster is a delicate meat and can be easily over- shadowed by strong flavors-such as garlic. You want to be able to taste the lobster meat, but feel the sensation of the flavorings and textures around it. I hope you’ll try it.