I drove up to Bretagne last week for a very special day in my nephew’s racing career. We were launching his brand new trimaran. He will race it alone and try to beat more and more speed records. For the few of you who might be interested, the boat is 100 feet long and roughly 70 feet wide, capable of reaching speeds up to 65 miles an hour. This is all very exciting for François, but very scary for us.
Most people say the boat looks like a big seagull. I think it looks like a starship out of an episode of Star Trek. So I used Photoshop to remove some cables and here you go:
The Bretagne region of France is a very special place. Very romantic, almost mystical. A lot of myths in French literature are set up in Bretagne. Druids, fairies, black rivers and magical forests…
But, as I am sure you’ve guessed it, my fascination for Bretagne doesn’t have much to do with race boats or fairies hiding in the woods. All I really care about is FOOD! The food specialties of Bretagne are crêpes, salty caramel, apple cider and seafood. Eating lobster at sunset on the docks of some remote fisherman’s village is one of my favorite things to do in my French heaven!
One of my favorite ways to cook lobster is this:
- Boil your lobster in a court bouillon (see ingredients below) for 8 minutes on high heat. This if for a one pound lobster and I only start counting the minutes after the boil has resumed. The top should remain on the pot, except for the 8 minutes. During that time, you will keep a one inch opening for the steam to come out.
- While your lobster is boiling, prep a persillade in a large pan: half a pound of butter + two fist full of chopped parsley + 2 large cloves of garlic (chopped)
- Take the lobster out of the boil. Cut it in half and lay it in the persillade (meat down). Let it simmer for about 2 minutes
- Serve hot with baguette and either rice or boiled potatoes.
Note: As usual, the success of this recipe depend on the quality of your ingredients. Using really good butter here is a must! Also, please make sure you don’t overcook the lobster. Like monkfish or calamari, lobster meat can become very chewy and tough if you don’t pay attention. It is a very delicate affair…
Note: This recipe is perfect for surf & turf. All you have to do is add a perfectly grilled piece of filet to your plate. In that case though, I would serve boiled potatoes or French fries and not rice.
- 1 gallon of water
- 1L of fish stock if you have some
- 1 or 2 fist full of black peppercorn
- 1 fist full of rock salt (or two). The water should be as salty as seawater
- 1 branch of fresh bay leaves (the New Orleans kind). That’s about 15 large leaves
- 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper or some New Orleans spicy crab boil
- 1 fistful of fresh thyme
- 10 cloves of garlic
- Half a glass of Ricard or 1 fistful of star anise or a large piece of fresh fennel
- Bring to a boil and let the whole thing simmer for a little while before cooking any seafood in it
Note: when you taste your court bouillon, it should be really strong in flavor. Almost unbearable to taste on its own…