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The Luxury of Comfort Food (BLT’s & Ramen & Such)
September 5, 2009 | Frank Bonanno
My favorite meals, and the most consistently popular ones at the restaurants, are tweaked versions of ultimate comfort foods–the Lobster Mac ‘n Cheese on the Mizuna menu, the BLT I recently wrote about, the Froot Loops soft serve ice cream at Bones. A couple of years ago, a food writer asked me if I could upgrade my middle-of-the-night weakness: ramen noodles. Of course. Add lobster.
It wasn’t until Bones opened that I had the opportunity to execute lobster ramen on a menu. How great is that? I get to mix work and play all the time. I really think work is play. Life is great. But I’m getting off track.
At Bones, I poach the lobster in butter. Think about each of those words. Poach. In butter. Then it’s tossed in a miso buerre blanc with freshly made ramen. I have to admit, I tried making the ramen myself. I tried it a lot. No good. Sometimes, you just have to let go of the things you’re no good at and leave it to people who have been working through the recipes for generations. The source of the noodle itself has a back story that has to do with the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, but that’s a blog post of its own. Holy whatever–the Lobster Ramen at Bones is rich and decadent and everything a signature dish should be. If you ever find yourself home with a beautiful bottle of white wine, a living lobster and a good deal of patience I have a recipe for you, too. Make note, there are reasons the ramen costs a bit more at Bones than what you might find in a traditional ramen shop–starting with the broth, heading to the noodles and leading all the way to that red crustacean. . . If you give it your hand, though, shoot me an email or a facebook post or something and let me know how you fare. I’d love to know how we measure up!
2 cups white wine
1 shallot, sliced thin
½ cup heavy cream
¾ pound butter
Bunch organic garden scallions cut on small bias
1 ¼ pounds fresh lobster
1 cup edamame, shelled
1 cup buerre blanc
8 ounces fresh ramen noodles
1 tablespoon miso paste
4 ounces butter
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
Tools: Non-reactive sautee pan, whisk, sieve (colander lined with cheese cloth or coffee filter will work); 2 large pots, ice, lobster cracker, sharp knife; 4 serving bowls.
Place white wine, vinegar, pepper corns, and shallots in a non reactive pan and reduce until sec (dry); add heavy cream, reduce by 2/3 more. Slowly add butter, whisking constantly. Strain through fine mesh sieve and hold warm until ready to use. Clean pan to use for plating.
To Cook Lobster
Fill large pot with heavily iced water and leave in sink near a colander.
Bring large pot salted water to boil. Relieve lobster of claws and tail; place claws in one bowl and tail in another.
Pour boiling water over both to cover. Let claws cook 6 minutes, toss into colander, then plunge into ice bath while tails cook 2 minutes more (8 total). Drain tails, dip into icy bath.
Clean large pot and fill anew with salty water; set to boil for noodles. Remove cooled lobster meat from the shells; cut tail into 5 pieces. Set aside.
Cook ramen noodles in boiling water until tender (about 2 minutes). Strain; hold.
Set sauté pan over medium heat. Add butter when hot. Once butter is completely melted, add lobster, edamame, and miso. Reduce heat and cook slowly; hold warm. Toss in noodles and just warm through.
Add buerre blanc; toss well and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Divide among four bowls and garnish with scallions.
(Check out Bones online here http://www.bonesdenver.com/)