I know, I know! It’s November. It’s cold.
And therefore it’s time to eat … SOUP! (Because, really … who doesn’t like soup?)
However, if you’re like me, the very best kind of soup to eat in cold weather is CHOW-DAH!
That’s right, say it like you mean it. Say it like you’re from BAH-ston! Say it again and again. It gets better each time.
Chow-dah. CHOW-dah! CHOW-DAH!
When it comes to CHOW-dah, the best kind I know is Linda’s Fish Chow-dah. ” Damon, badly in need of Linda’s Fish Chow-dah.
Linda being my girlfriend’s mother. My girlfriend being Lorna.
Both these women hold the power to make grown men weep after spending under an hour in the kitchen. But (ahem) I digress.
Turns out, if you’re making Linda’s Fish Chow-dah, you’re best off starting with a hearty fish stock. Preferably a LOB-stah stock!
And the best recipe I know for LOB-stah stock is posted below. (Suggestions are welcome! Just send them by email. Same goes if you have a recipe of your own to share. Guest bloggers, welcome!)
And so, without further ado …
For this recipe, you’ll need:
- Bodies and shells from 2 to 4 lobsters
- 4 T. olive oil (T stands for Tablespoons, y’all)
- 2 chopped medium onions
- 2 chopped garlic cloves
- 4 chopped celery stalks
- The tops from a fennel bulb, chopped (I left this out. I don’t like fennel.)
- 4-5 chopped plum tomatoes
- 1/2 lb chopped mushrooms
- 3 chopped carrots
- 1/2 cup white wine or dry sherry
- 4 T. chopped parsley
- 4 bay leaves
- Cheesecloth for straining
Wait. WAIT! If you’re paying attention, you’ve probably already figured this out. To make this recipe, you’ve got to prepare (and presumably eat) 2 to 4 lob-stahs? I’m in!” — Damon, feeling hungry (which is redundant)
Now for the Directions
- Break the lobster shells into small pieces. Open the bodies and remove the gray, feathery gills. Remove the sand sac from between the eyes. Crush the bodies so they fit in a large stewpot.
Commentary: I know, I know. This part isn’t pretty. Just do it. (Trust me, you’ll thank me later.)
- Heat the olive oil in your stock pot. Sauté the onions, celery and carrots over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes. Add the lobster and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add the garlic, fennel and mushrooms. (Okay, like I said, I left out the fennel; I don’t like fennel).
- Mix well and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add the parsley, bay leaves and tomatoes, then the wine or dry sherry.
- Mix well and cook until the alcohol largely burns off the wine, about 3-4 minutes. Add enough water to cover everything by 2-3 inches.
- Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Simmer gently for at least 90 minutes. Add some salt and taste.
- Cook until it tastes full-flavored, then strain. Do this by turning off the heat, then grabbing all the big chunks with tongs and tossing them in the trash. Strain the rest through a fine-meshed sieve with a piece of cheesecloth set inside it.
- Pour into quart-sized Mason jars or some other container. This will keep for up to 10 days in the fridge, or 6 months in the freezer.
And don’t forget to label your lids with a date included. Like this:
That’s it! With your lob-stah stock ready, you’re prepped to make your first batch of CHOW-dah! So what are you sitting here reading this for?
Go on! You go make CHOW-DAH NOW!!!!
Get cooking. And make me proud.