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Maine Lobster and Peasant Bread Stuffing

Maine Lobster and Peasant Bread StuffingLooking for a rich and elegant stuffing for the holidays? Look no further.

Recipe Ingredients:

Beans:
1/2 pound flageolet beans* (soak 3 hours in water at room temperature)

Lobster:
1/2 gallon water
4 tablespoons salt
1/4 cup white distilled vinegar
2 bay leaves
2 Maine lobsters (1 1/4 pounds each)

Quick Lobster Stock:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, diced
3 sprigs of thyme
4 peppercorns
1/4 cup white wine
3 cups ice cold water

For Assembly:
1/4 pound pancetta, medium dice
6 whole shallots peeled, large dice
1/2 loaf of peasant bread - Pain de Champagne (reserve other 1/2 for eating)
1/2 cup cognac
8 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bunch flat parsley, chiffonnade
2 teaspoons fresh grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Cooking Directions:

  1. For Beans: Remove beans from soaking liquid. Place in a pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and let simmer until al-dente.
  2. Drain and let cool on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  3. For Lobster: Add the water, salt, white distilled vinegar, and bay leaves to a pot and bring to a boil. Blanch the lobsters for 3 minutes.
  4. Remove and place into ICE WATER, for 1 minute.
  5. Pick the claw, knuckle, and tail meat from the shells, save the shells. Keep the knuckles and claws whole, cut tails into medallions.
  6. For the Quick Lobster Stock: Using thick bottom sauté pan, over medium heat, cook the reserved lobster shells in a little bit of olive oil or clarified butter if you have it. Sauté the lobster shells over medium to high heat until the shells have turned red. Add the shallot, thyme, and peppercorns. Sauté for an additional minute then carefully deglaze the pan with white wine, reduce by 2/3 and add the ice-cold water. Simmer for 20 minutes strain and set aside. I recommend straining this twice.
  7. To Assemble: Using a thick bottom sauté pan over medium heat, render the pancetta until it starts to become crisp around the edges, then add your large dice of shallots and slowly caramelize them.
  8. Cut the bread into 1-inch cubes or tear it for a more rustic look, and add to the shallots and pancetta, turn up the heat and begin to toast the bread stirring constantly.
  9. Turn the heat down to low, add the cognac, 1/2 cup of the Quick Lobster Stock, and the beans. At this stage, your "dressing" should be starting to cook down.
  10. Add your lobster, herbs, seasonings, and butter. Cook for an additional 20 minutes and serve.

Makes 6 servings.

*Or substitute with navy beans or other small white beans.

Recipe and photograph provided courtesy of Maine Lobster Promotion Council.