A Saturday night at home and thinking about what to cook… with a bottle of Felton Road Chardonnay 2008 that has already been designated for libation.
After quite a large fill at Esquina Tapas Bar last night (most impressive and part of the new mojo of Singapore, article coming) something light was in order, at the same time worthy of a good bottle. Seafood I think…
I’m a big slipper lobster fan or Morton Bay bugs as Australian’s know them, but they are also prevalent in our warm tropical waters. Bug is a good word though as they have to be the weirdest, most unattractive seafood item to look at from our subterranean planet; sort of prehistoric-like and well, ugly, and who worked out they would have 10 feet, like not 6 or 8, but 10 – don’t you just love the complexity of evolution.
I assume that it is this ugliness, or strangeness that explains why I am the only one buying slipper lobsters at the seafood counter at the local Cold Storage Great World (I must say, a pretty impressive fresh seafood offering for a supermarket), whilst they can’t keep up with restocking the
prawns, at almost 50% or more in price. Actually, the real prawns, as in wild – not farmed – are almost double the price, and here’s our slipper lobster, about as wild as they come, but nobody seems to care, or comprehend good they are.
Slipper lobsters are not closely related to true Lobsters (clawed) being closer to spiny lobsters, also known as langouste and crayfish, feeding on oysters, mussels, limpets and crustaceans with flesh that is sweeter than prawns, yet softer, perhaps less crunchy.
Anyway, I’m digressing… from a simple but satisfying meal, extracting the flesh of the slipper lobster from its shell, which is easily done by removing the head (a twist will separate) then cutting the tail in half with poultry scissors.
Pat dry the flesh, season and sear in a very hot pan for only 15 or 20 seconds each side and be careful not to crowd the pan; do in small batches.
I then deglazed the pan with some of the Felton Chardonnay, only a few slugs mind, then add a large tablespoon of Ma’s homemade Prawn Sambal (secret recipe I’m afraid, but a good Malaysian style Sambal from your Chinese food supplier will do the job). After a few minutes of simmering add a splash of freshly-squeezed lime juice – return the bugs to the pan and tossing in this sauce – plate in a shallow white bowl.
I had a Tuscan salad on the side ready, no dressing required, as the sauce and bugs will obviously do the job.
Not much point in saying anything more, other than it was perfection; the sweetness of the slipper lobster marrying beautifully with the subtle richness of the Felton Chardonnay and the Sambal picking up brilliantly with the spiciness in the wine, and the lime shaking hands with the acidity at the end.
If it wasn’t for the theatre, sometimes you wonder why you out to restaurants…
More on Felton Road Chardonnay @ http://www.thewanderingpalate.com/must-have-wines/must-have-wine-of-the-week/
To find Felton Road in your part of the world, visit www.feltonroad.com