Monthly Archive for August, 2012

Pairing Good Lobster and Good Wine

Well to start off with most reds do not pair well with lobster. The reason being that the iodine in lobster does not react well with the tannins found in red wine, also the saltiness of seafood tends to bring out the bitterness of reds. Lobster is delicate and we want to accentuate the flavors, so a white it is! We want a white that has more mineral and vegetable notes and less fruity ones. Also, the manner in which the lobster is prepared will influence the choice of wine. You basically want to match bigger wines with richer dishes.

lobsterWine Pairing Good Lobster and Good Wine

Fresh Seafood, especially anything spicy, goes best with white wines.  The exception being, light reds or blush wines like Pinot Noir, Gamay, Sangrio Vese, Grenache and Rose. These light red wines are fine with Spaghetti with clam sauce, octopus, swordfish and tuna steaks, and salmon. Spicy seafood compliments full white wines with sweetness like Marsanne, Rousanne or Riesling.

Pair these wines with your lobster to start:

– A Chablis’ unoaked and flint notes pair extremely well with lobster in many preparations.
Req: Chablis 2007, Première Cuvée Les Pargues, Domaine Servin

– A Chardonnay’s vanilla notes pair well with lobster as vanilla is a natural compliment to lobster and a classic in french cooking.
Req:Chardonnay 2004, Alamos Ridge Argentine

– An Albarino turns out to be an unconventional but amazing pairing for lobster and any seafood in general. This is not surprising considering the fishing culture in the region where this wine is produced.
Req: Albarino 2004, Pazo de Senorans

Here more wines that go great with a lobster dinner.  Dry crisp white wines, as Vinho Verde from Portugal, or Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio from France go well with lobster and all lean white fish, raw clams and oysters. Full white wines as Italian Vermentino, Greek Assyrtiko, Chardonnay, Fume Blanc, Viognier and Pinot Gris pair well with lobster, crabs and oysters.  Lobster, scallops and all shellfish taste delicious with Albarino and Verdelho (not to be confused with the red wine verdelho tinto) wines grown both domestic in California and in Spain and Portugal.

In addition to the above wines that go well with delicious seafood dishes, the following list also has excellent matches:Alsace’s Riesling, a light yellow green wine, best served young and has a fruity taste. Bordeaux Graves white, grown in France in soil rich with gravel, clay and sand, and is fruity and dry. Burgundy’s Chablis from the Chardonnay grape, grown in limestone rich soil with fossils and oysters; golden in color and has a nose smell of green apple and lemon and a mouth aroma of vanilla, lemon and linden.

Sparkling wines are best with all fried seafood.  A bubbling Toso Brut from Argentina will cut through weighty foods like tempura and beer battered fish. Light and refreshing, it offers aromas of lemon and apple. Shrimp dishes, whether steamed, grilled, sautéed or in a cocktail go very nicely with a Spanish dry Fino Sherry.

fresh lobster delivery Pairing Good Lobster and Good Wine
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Maine Lobster Bake on the Beach or at Home

A classic lobster bake prepared the old-fashioned way is steamed in seaweed and ocean water. Food writer, Craig Clairborne called the lobster bake “…the most colorful, joyous and festive of American feasts.” Lobster bakes are fun, memorable, and informal. It’s also a lot of work!

The tradition of the clambake goes way back to our Native Americans who taught the settlers the art of steaming fresh seafood on the shores of New England. The New England clambake is generally credited to the Wampanoag Indians, indigenous to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The Wampanoag generally did not eat lobster, but used it as bait to catch local fish. Native oysters,  scallops, sea clams and locally cultivated corn and squash would all key ingredients to their clam bake.  A typical modern clambake  consists of lobster, clams, mussels, potatoes, and corn. Fish, sausage, chicken, are also commonly used by bakemasters.  Today this ancient cooking form is enjoyed wherever there is blue ocean, sandy beaches, and live Maine lobsters.

Lobster Bake Beach Maine Lobster Bake on the Beach or at Home

Traditional Clambake

The art of preparing a traditional pit-dug clam bake is still practiced by a few local bakemasters. It takes a lot of hard work and patience since it’s  a day long affair. If you own your own beach, or there are no local restrictions for open fires you are in luck. Clam bakes have become popular culinary experience because they feature seafood lovers favorite entrée–Maine lobster.

Clam Bake Ingredients

The main ingredients for a traditional clam bake, besides live Maine lobsters, include: fresh clams or mussels, corn in the husks, new potatoes, onions, and even sausages (such as kielbasa or chorizo). For the clam bake you will also need fire wood, smooth rocks, rockweed seaweed, a canvas, tarp or potato sacks to trap the steam.

STEP 1: Walk the beach in the early morning with friends and gather up some fresh seaweed, drift wood to build your fire, and rocks to line the bottom of your pit.

STEP 2: Dig your pit and line the bottom with large rocks. Top your rocks with your drift wood.

STEP 3: Build a fire on top of the stones. Tend to your fire until the rocks become red hot.  Make sure the stones are hot enough to glow or at least spit back ocean water.

STEP 4: Rake off  as much ash off the rocks as possible, and pile a layer of seaweed on the rocks.

STEP 5: Layer the rocks with potatoes, corn, onion, clams, and live lobsters. Top with more seaweed and cover with a tarp or a potato sack drenched in seawater.

STEP 6: Bake your seafood for at least two hours. A good sign the food is cooked to perfection is to check the potatoes first. If they are soft, your clam bake is done.

Gather with friends and family and dig in. Serve your steamed seafood and bright red lobsters with melted butter and fresh lemon wedges. Don’t forget the lobster crackers and seafood forks.

Clam Bake at Home

No beaches near you? No problem.  You can have a mini bake in your backyard on the grill. No fire permits necessary and you don’t have to dig a hole and start a big wood fire. It is  faster and more convenient to heat up charcoal briquettes than rocks in the sand! Besides if your not a bakemaster, getting all your food cooked evenly on an open fire takes a lot of practice.

You can bake a combination of lobsters, clams, ears of corn, and red potatoes.

First, soak some seaweed in a bucket of water. Next, wrap your fresh seafood in a cheese cloth with a layer of seaweed and a splash of water. Wrap this up tight in a packet of aluminum foil. Cook on the grill at medium heat for approximately 40 minutes with the cover closed. When your potatoes are soft, your lobster bake is done!

Some good choices for dessert include watermelon slices, strawberry shortcake or blueberry cobbler.

 

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