Gourmet Comfort Food: Lobster Pot Pie

Under the sea! Try this spin on the traditional chicken pot pie.

Crust

2½ cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. rosemary, diced fine
1 stick cold butter, cut into pieces
6 Tbsp. cold shortening
Ice water

Mix the flour, salt, and rosemary in a bowl. Add the butter and shortening and chop it into the flour with a pastry blender until the mixture is coarse and crumbly. Add 5 or 6 Tbsp. of ice water, a little at a time, until the pastry can be formed into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough gently to smooth in all the lumps of butter and shortening; do not over-knead. Divide the ball in half and then cut each half in two again, so you end with four pieces. Form each of these gently into a ball, then flatten each ball. Refrigerate for an hour, while making the filling.

Filling

2 cups chicken stock (homemade preferred)
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
½ cup clam juice
1 cup roasted corn
1 cup carrots (cut into ¼ inch disks)
1 cup sugar snap peas (cut in half diagonally)
One cup small pearl onions
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. flour
2 cooked lobster tails, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup cooked and peeled medium shrimp (cut in half)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
8 oz. tilapia
1 egg
1 tsp. water

1) Boil one cup of the stock; add the carrots and rosemary and boil for 4-5 minutes. Discard the rosemary and separate the stock and the carrots, reserving both. Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil and cook the snap peas for 30 seconds, then plunge them into ice water to stop the cooking. Fill the saucepan with water again, bring it to a boil, and then boil the onions for ten minutes. Rinse them under cool water and then peel them.

2) Put the olive oil in a saucepan and sauté the tilapia in the oil until it is cooked and a bit crispy; set the fish aside. In a saucepan, melt the butter and whisk in the flour over low to medium heat for four minutes. Slowly add the carrot liquid, the unused stock, and the clam juice, whisking constantly. Continue whisking and cook for three or four minutes, until the sauce is thickened. Get four oven-proof ceramic bowls or ramekins and put an equal measure in each of the corn, carrots, snap peas, onions, lobster, shrimp, and tilapia. Pour enough of the sauce into each bowl to fill it to near the brim, but not so much as to be soupy; hearty and chunky is the look we are going for. Refrigerate the filled bowls.

3) Roll each piece of pastry out on a floured surface to make a round big enough to cover the top of a bowl. After the bowls have cooled, whisk the egg and water together to make a kind of egg glue, and brush the outside lip of each ramekin with this glue. Transfer the pastry round to the top of each ramekin, pressing the edges down onto the glue. Trim off any irregular pieces with a knife. Then chill the dough in place in the freezer for half an hour. To cook, pre-heat oven to 475 and bake the ramekins for about 18 minutes, or until the pastry is well browned.

4) Many wines will go well with this, but a hearty white would be best. We love Rombauer, one of Napa’s really great chardonnays, widely available for around $30. Or, if you are lucky enough to have a micro-brewery nearby that will let you buy their beer in take-home jugs like the old days, when your grandfather brought beer home from the tavern down the street, this would be perfect.