Aldea - NYC
This dish is based on the shrimp alhinho that George Mendes serves at NYC’s Aldea.
- 4 lobsters, par-cooked
- 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon butter
- 1/2 onion, sliced
- 1/2 fennel bulb, sliced
- 2 ribs celery, sliced
- 5 shallots, sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 1 tablespoon saffron threads
- 1 whole star anise
- 1/2 cup brandy
- 1/2 cup Pernod or other anise liquor
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- 2 sprigs tarragon
- 2 sprigs parsley
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 4 artichoke hearts, boiled and quartered
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tablespoon pimentón or smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- Juice of 1 lemon
Remove as much meat as possible from the lobsters, reserving the shells. Roughly chop the meat and set aside.
Melt 1/4 cup of the butter in a large pot. Add the lobster shells and toast for 2 minutes. Add the onion, fennel, celery, shallots, garlic cloves, fennel seeds, saffron, and star anise. Sauté until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the brandy and Pernod, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the butter and tomato paste and cook for another 2 minutes. Add enough water to just cover the shells and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat, and add the tarragon and parsley. Let sit for 15 minutes. Remove the shells and star anise. Blend the sauce with an immersion blender and strain. Depending on how much water you used, you may want to bring the sauce to a boil and reduce it to a thick, drizzleable consistency.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium high heat. Sauté the lobster and artichoke hearts just until they are beginning to color, about 2 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside. Lower the heat and add the remaining olive oil and minced garlic. Cook the garlic slowly, stirring, until lightly golden. Add the pimentón and mix well. Return the lobster to the pan. Toss and let cook another minute. Add the parsley, cilantro, and lemon juice.
Place some of the lobster and artichoke in the center of a plate. Spoon a small amount of the garlic and olive oil over the lobster and then a spoonful of the sauce on top of and around the lobster.