Seafood Stew Recipe with Lobster, Scallops and Clams
When you think of Maine you think of lobster. Shore dinners, lobster bakes, clambakes (which actually center on the lobster), lobster docks and lobster stew. Ubiquitous lobster boats, lobster buoys and lobster pots that weekend sailors spend their afternoons steering around in the summer. So, of course, living in Maine (and before that owning a vacation house here for a number of years) I have personally presided over the conversion of countless bags of "bugs" -- the lobsterman's traditional term -- into platters of steaming pleasure.
I like lobster and I like making my family and friends happy so I'm not complaining, but for a cook, boiling up pots of lobsters is boring -- especially if you have to repeat it for each successive wave of July and August visitors. Usually it's served with more boiled food: corn on the cob, which when it's fresh cannot be ignored any more than can platters of fresh homegrown tomato slices, but from the cook's point of view that's boring too.
Fortunately for me, Jasper White decided to close his trendsetting first restaurant (Jasper's, in Boston's North End) in 1995 to take a break and write Lobster at Home, among other projects. Published in 1998, this book -- though of course it deals with boiled lobster -- opens up a whole new world to the cook whose victims are clamoring for lobster.
While there are many creative and unfamiliar recipes using lobster -- ethnic-influenced, updated signature dishes of other chefs, pastas, etc. -- lot of the book is actually about the many traditional New England lobster dishes that White has spent a good part of his life researching and, since 2000, serving to crowds of happy diners at his Summer Shack restaurants in Boston, Cambridge and at the Mohegan Sun casino: chowders, lobster rolls, baked and stuffed lobsters, thermadored lobster, Newburged lobster, lobster salad.
This seafood stew was adapted from White's "Traditional Lobster Stew" -- but I hasten to add that if you want to make the real Maine lobster stew, follow his recipe to the letter. Mine has been modified to make it friendlier to healthy weight and glucose control -- primarily by reducing the butter amount and using 1-1/2% milk instead of the whole milk he calls for -- and, pretty much just on a whim that hit me when I was at the fish market -- the addition of scallops and clams. I served it with a salad of fresh greens, crusty French bread and a crisp pino grigio. Jasper suggests traditional common crackers, and some might say beer is a better pairing.
Seafood Stew with Lobster, Scallops and Clams
2 live lobsters, 1 lb each
2 - 1/2 cups 1.5% milk
1/2 lb scallop meat
1 T butter
1/2 tsp paprika
2.5 cups 1.5% milk
Cook lobsters in a gallon and a half of rapidly water and 3/8 cup salt for 4 min. Drain and cool.
Wash scallops and clams.
Remove lobster tail, claw and knuckle meat. Cut into 3/4" pieces. Reserve bodies for another use.
Melt butter in deep-sided pan. Add lobster meat and sauté for about a minute. Add paprika and toss for another couple of minutes.
Add the milk, scallops and clams. Heat slowly for 5 minutes but do not boil. Remove from heat and let rest, covered, for about 30 minutes.
Reheat gently, correct seasoning and ladle into bowls. Garnish with minced chives or parsley if desired.
Want more lobster recipes?
From Simply Recipes:
From Steamy Kitchen: