Winter has been in full swing, but down here in Tampa we never see the negative side of the thermometer. Many of us could not imagine what it is like to live in a place that gets below 50 degrees. But when it gets close to the 50 F or less mark, we react like we were in Green Bay during the month of January. So, during the three or four days of our “Tampa Blizzard,” we do like to have a hearty meal to warm our thin-blooded bones.
Growing up in Texas, I am familiar with ice storms, chilly weather and even some snow from time to time. To heat up the insides, we would make a big pot of chicken and dumplings. The rich broth and tender chicken combined with the fluffy cloud of melt-in-your-mouth dumplings would always provide me with a full stomach as well as a warm feeling inside. Now that I am in Tampa, a seafood-intense location, I have taken the same approach of this comfort meal and put a slight twist on it. Thus, Sherry Lobster and Chive Butter Dumplings was born.
This dressed up version is made with fresh lobster meat and made-from-scratch dumplings. As a side, fresh, sweet green peas topped with softened butter and kosher salt add a crisp and green flavor to the dish. This is an all-in-one meal that is sure to give you a warm feeling on a cold winter night.
Sherry Lobster with Chive Butter Dumplings Recipe
Ingredients – Sherry Lobster Stock
- Whole Lobsters – 1 lb./450g – 2 each
- Vegetable Oil – 1 oz./30g
- Whole Butter – 2 oz./60g
- Garlic, chopped – 2 oz./60g
- Yellow Onion, rough dice – 8 oz./225g
- Celery, rough dice – 8 oz./225g
- Carrots, rough dice – 8 oz./225g
- Tomato Paste – 2 oz./60g
- Sherry – 16 oz./475g
- Vegetable Stock – 32 oz./950g
- Heavy Cream – 4 oz./65g
- Bay Leaves – 4 each
- Thyme Sprigs, Fresh – 4 each
Ingredients – Dumplings
- All Purpose Flour – 16 oz./500g
- Baking Powder – 1 oz./30 g
- Fresh Eggs, beaten – 2 each
- Unsalted Butter – 1 oz./30g
- Whole Milk – 16 oz./485g
- Chives, fresh chopped – 4 oz./115g
- White Pepper – to taste
- Bring a pot of salted water to a rolling boil.
- Add the lobsters and cook thoroughly for approximately 8 minutes.
- Remove the lobsters from the pot and cool under refrigeration.
- Reserve 16 oz./450g of the cooking liquid for later use.
- When lobsters are cool, cut off the claws and tails and remove meat.
- Chop the meat into ½-inch pieces and reserve for later use.
- Using a knife, break and chop the cleaned shells and the body into large pieces.
- Add the oil and butter to a stock pot over medium-high
- When the butter is melted, add the lobster shells and bodies and sauté for about 8 minutes.
- Add the onions, celery and carrots to the pot and sauté until the onions are translucent.
- Add the tomato paste and continue to sauté for an additional 5 minutes.
- With the pot still on the heat, add the sherry and reduce the liquid volume by three-quarters.
- Add the vegetable broth, heavy cream and the reserved lobster boiling liquid to the pot and bring to a boil.
- Add bay leaves and thyme, and reduce the heat to a simmer.
- Simmer the broth for 35 minutes.
- During this time, make the dumplings.
- Thoroughly combine flour, chives and baking powder in a clean bowl.
- Add the eggs, milk and butter to the dry ingredients and mix until all components are combined.
- Set aside for future use.
- Remove the simmered broth from the stove and carefully pour liquid through a fine mesh sieve into a clean sauce pot.
- Place the pot on the stove over medium heat.
- Taste the broth for salt and pepper, and season accordingly.
- Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the liquid to a slow boil.
- Drop small spoonfuls of the dumpling batter into the slow-boiling liquid.
- Reduce the heat to medium.
- Continue to cook uncovered for 10 minutes.
- Place a tight-fitting lid on top of the pot and continue to cook for an additional 10 minutes.
- After ten minutes, remove the lid and lightly stir the mixture; careful not to break up the formed dumplings.
- Add the reserved lobster meat and reduce the heat to low.
- Heat for an additional 3 to 4 minutes just to heat through the lobster meat.
- Remove from heat and serve.
- Using a large ladle, portion the stock and lobster meat on the bottom of a main course serving bowl.
- Carefully add 3 to 5 formed dumplings on top of the stock and lobster meat.
- Top with additional lobster meat and garnish with fresh chive spears
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