Green Chili Tails

ON THE MENU Today: Slipper Lobster Tails stuffed with a slice of green chili over a bed of curried rice served with drawn butter and fresh lemon wedges. Serve marinated asparagus served on butter lettuce with a sweet onion and olive oil vinaigrette topped with a crunched up tortilla.

This dish was inspired by a dish served at what used to be my favorite Mexican restaurant until the owners sold the property that the restaurant was on to some developers who wanted to turn the property into an office building. It was labeled on the menu as “Camerones”, or shrimp in English, but once the dish arrived you discovered it was actually a plate of slipper lobster tails on a bed of red chili spiced rice and served with drawn butter to dip the tails in. I asked the owner why he didn’t advertise that he used lobster tails instead of shrimp and he told me that he wanted to serve shrimp but when they used to serve large shrimp instead of the slipper lobster tails he found that they didn’t lie flat on the plate when they were butterflied like the lobster tails did and the slice of green chili could be laid down the middle of the lobster tails better than the shrimp, so he kept using the lobster and no one ever complained when they got lobster instead of shrimp. I did change the bed of rice to be a curry flavored rice because I felt the nice slipper lobster tails looked nice on a bed of fluffy yellow rice. At the restaurant you were served a house salad with marinated beans and a sweet vinegar and oil dressing to begin dinner but I serve asparagus that has been steamed ahead of time and lightly dressed with a sweet onion and vinegar dressing to go along with the tails and rice.  This dish isn’t difficult, it takes a little time but not that much and once you prepare it for company and get rave reviews (as well as getting to enjoy it yourself) I think you will agree that it is worth the effort. The dishes are tailored to serve 2 people.

8 lobster tails, 2 ounces each
1 quart water
3 tablespoons  salt
2 tablespoons butter
8       slices green chilies, 1 inch long each

Slipper Lobster Tails for 2: Make the asparagus salad before starting the lobster. Then start the curried rice. Then bring water seasoned with salt to a boil.  Add lobster tails, cook 3 minutes and drain in a sieve.

Just before serving, slit the tails down the middle so they lay flat and melt 2 tablespoons butter in a frying pan over low heat and reheat the lobster and heat the 8 one inch slices of green chilies for a minute. Place the tails on a bed of curried rice and place a green chili piece down the middle of each tail. Serve accompanied by melted butter and fresh lemon slices and marinated asparagus salad.

Curried Rice for 2: 1 1/2 teaspoon butter, 1 1/2 teaspoon olive oil, 1/4 cup diced onion, 1/2 cup long grain rice, 1 1/2 cups chicken broth, 1/2 teaspoon curry powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt. In a large saucepan melt the butter with the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and then while stirring add the rice and coat with the butter. Pour in the chicken stock, curry, salt and pepper. Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Cover, turn the heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff with a fork before serving.

Asparagus Salad with Onion Vinaigrette for 2: 1/2 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed into 2 inch pieces, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon water, 1 clove minced garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 cups butter lettuce, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, ¼ cup diced sweet onions, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, 1 crisp tortilla. In a large sauté pan with a lid, on medium heat, add the asparagus, olive oil, water, and garlic. Cook for about 2 minutes uncovered, or until the water has almost evaporated. Turn off the burner and put the lid on it and let it set for about 10 minutes. Place the asparagus in a bowl and pour over it and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Place 1 cup of lettuce each on a 2 plates, place the asparagus on top, pour 2 tablespoons onion dressing on top and crumble half of a crisp tortilla on top.

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