I grew up in a coastal Connecticut town. We had a Chart House Restaurant near by in New Haven. When I was a teenager a group of couples went there for Valentine’s Day.
There were four couples and being adolescents all of the girls (in the ladies room) decided to order “whole lobsters” We were certain that choosing “whole lobsters” would impress our dates and demonstrate that we knew “A LOT” about seafood.
Lobster being the most expensive seafood on the menu would show the boys that “we girls” were grown-up and sophisticated. We were right. The boys were impressed. We were quite proud of ourselves until the “whole lobsters” arrived. None of us had bothered to ask if any of us knew how to EAT a “whole lobster.”
This was before cell phones, so no one could go to the ladies room again, and google how to eat them. We had to wing it… and it was ugly. Lobster juice sprayed all over our new dresses and the boy’s only ties. Our dates were true gentleman who only smirked a little as they helped us crack the claws.
The other Doristas are making whole lobsters: Vanilla-Butter-Braised Lobster, but as you may have surmised I am whole lobster phobic as a result of this traumatic dining experience. Adolescent scars run deep, so I decided to make a poor man’s lobster dish that didn’t require cracking claws and squirting juices.
Langostinos are prawns that have a lobster flavor and they come de-shelled. The sauce I made has just a hint of vanilla and cardamon that are balanced with a touch of cayenne pepper.
I served this to my husband and I with Mia Rosé. This delicate, floral wine did not over power such a gently seasoned dish, and it’s the right color for Valentine’s Day!
This recipe made with langostinos was a more economical meal for a family of four, but if you decide to make this aromatic dish for two on Valentine’s Day I say go get a “whole lobster”, but google first how to eat it!
- 24 ounces of Lagostino tails frozen ( 2 bags of Trader Joes)
- 1 cup or 2 sticks of unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon of cream
- smidgen of cardamon
- dash cayenne
- dash of fresh grated vanilla bean
- salt and pepper
- Garnish: parsley, parmesan cheese.