Served at the luncheon for the inauguration of the president of the Untied States in 2012, Executive Chef Shannon Shaffer utilized sustainable, artisanal ingredients for a true sea-to-fork meal, New England-style. Give this recipe for steamed lobster with New England clam chowder a decided Florida twist by using those fresh caught Florida lobster tails.
Steamed Lobster with New England Clam Chowder Sauce
- 4 each lobster tails, 4 oz.
- 1/4 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 gallon water
- 1/2 teaspoon white wine
- 3 each star anise
- 2 cups mirepoix, (medium, 1/4 inch dice of carrot, celery, onion and leek)
- 1 each large bowl of ice water
- Combine all ingredients (except lobster) in an 8-quart pot and bring to a boil.
- Place lobster tails in a another 8-quart pot, carefully pour boiling liquid over lobster tails and allow to steam for approximately 6 minutes.
- Remove tails from liquid and place in ice water for 5 minutes to stop the cooking process. Remove tails from ice and begin to remove lobster meat from the shell.
- Cut each lobster tail into 6 large pieces, place in oven-safe dish, add 2 tablespoons of water to dish and cover with lid or foil. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Reheat lobster at time of service by placing it in a 170º F oven for approximately 15 minutes.
New England Clam Chowder Sauce
- 20 each little neck clams, rinsed in cold water
- 1/4 cup shallot, minced
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 cups clam juice, canned
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 cup carrot, small dice
- 1 cup celery, small dice
- 1 cup Yukon gold potato, small dice, peeled
- 1 cup leek, small dice
- 1/2 cup onion, small dice
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- 1 pinch cracked pepper
- 1/4 cup tarragon, chop at the last minute
- Combine shallot, garlic, white wine and fish stock in a bowl.
- Place a large heavy bottom pot on high heat for 3-4 minutes.
- Carefully place clams in bottom of pot. Pour shallot liquid over clams quickly and cover with lid. The clams will begin to open after a few minutes.
- Once clams are opened, remove the pot from the heat and place clams in a bowl to cool (keep shallot liquid).
- Remove clams from shells and rough chop (these will be added to sauce at the last minute).
- Strain the shallot liquid and place into a clean sauce pot on medium heat to reduce by half (roughly 1 quart).
- In a separate sauce pot, sauté the diced vegetable in the canola oil with a pinch of salt and pepper for 3-4 minutes on medium heat.
- Add the clam liquid and heavy cream to the vegetables and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and allow sauce to reduce until your desired consistency and the vegetables are tender. The sauce should coat the back of a wooden spoon.
- Add chopped clams and chopped tarragon to the sauce.
- 8 ounces baby spinach
- 1/4 cup shallot, minced
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1 pinch cracked black pepper
- Preheat a large heavy bottom sauté pan on high heat.
- Sauté shallot in oil until tender.
- Add the baby spinach and season with salt and pepper cooking only until spinach leaves are wilted. Remove from pan and hold warm.
Sweet Potato Hay
- 1 each sweet potato, peeled, sliced thin, cut fine strips, place in cold water
- 1 quart canola oil, for frying
- Heat oil to 350º F in a 1 gallon heavy bottom pot.
- Drain sweet potato and pat dry with paper towels.
- Carefully drop a small handful of sweet potato strings in the fryer and allow to crisp and turn golden brown. Remove with a strainer and place on clean paper towels to absorb excess oil.
Photography by Brendan Hoffman.
Recipes courtesy of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.