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Seafood Hash with Lobster Hollandaise: LobsterFest 2012 Winner

Lobster Festival Seafood Cooking Contest 2012 Winner: Tyrrell Hunter

This year’s 1st Place Winner of the Maine Lobster Festival Seafood Cooking Contest is Tyrrell Hunter of Brunswick, ME. Tyrrell, a finalist in the 2011 cooking competition, calls this year’s win , “A lovely surprise. Really, I thought my dish might have been too simple,” she humbly says of her unusual recipe: “Seafood Hash with Lobster Hollandaise.”

Tyrrell’s seafood dish combines Maine lobster, scallops, sweet and red potatoes. The “secret” to her recipe? A melding of her delicious lobster sauce and blend of herbs parsley, tarragon, thyme, and oregano.

“I received great feedback from my entry last year, which helped me make some different decisions regarding my entry this year. I featured salmon with a lobster “moose” last year, and this year I said, ‘Lobster all the way!’ This year’s recipe is so succulent with lots of lobster meat,” says Tyrrell. “Every ingredient is somehow bathed in the flavor of lobster.” Tyrrell’s husband, daughter, and granddaughters were all in attendance for her big win this year. They helped her tweak her recipe and balance her flavors with all their taste-testing in the weeks prior to the big event.

Tyrrell’s Seafood Hash with Lobster Hollandaise was inspired by her corned beef hash she loves to make at home. The lobster sauce, she says, is a great way to use up every bit of that wonderful Maine lobster, including the lobster bodies and swimmer legs. Just par-cook the lobsters, she recommends, for ease of use in recipes. Shucking the lobsters, she says, is really the only challenging part. During the contest, Tyrrell graciously offered shucking lessons to demonstrate to audience members how to do the job right.

Red flowers and red and white checked placemats completed Tyrrell’s table setting. At her table, judges received generous portions of her Seafood Hash, which she served with complementary spicy Bloody Marys and a salad of radish and spicy greens. She said a pop of spicy flavors balances the texture and richness of her dish.

Here’s Tyrrell’s prize-winning recipe for you to try at your next brunch!

Seafood Hash with Lobster Hollandaise
Tyrrell Hunter, Brunswick, ME

Lobster Hash
4 Maine lobsters, cold water cooked method (see below), shucked, including all legs and body meat,
and after removing the tail vein, cut the tail and claws into one-inch chunks.
3 cups red potatoes, washed and cut into 1” pieces
2 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1” pieces
8 cups lobster stock (see below)
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons canola oil
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, washed, dried and chopped
1 teaspoon fresh tarragon, washed, dried and chopped
½ teaspoon fresh thyme, washed, dried and chopped
½ teaspoon fresh oregano, washed dried and chopped
1 cup onion, rough chopped in ½” pieces
10 large sea scallops, cut in half horizontally, making 20 discs
Salt and pepper (preferably Kosher salt)

Lobster Hollandaise Sauce
3/4 cup unsalted butter
3 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
5 each extra-large egg yolks, or 6 large egg yolks
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ cup Lobster meat, finely chopped (use small legs and body meat from 4 lobsters, or leftover fully cooked lobster meat from the boiled lobster dinner)

Early preparation:

Lobsters – Next time you cook lobsters, try starting them in cold, heavily salted water. Turn on heat to high (we use a gas turkey fryer outside) and bring to a rolling boil; this should take about 20-30 minutes, depending on how many lobsters are in the pot. For this recipe, you want to take 4 lobsters out as soon as they come to a boil and plunge them into cold water to stop their cooking. We cook other lobsters to eat that evening by boiling those lobsters just two more minutes for a traditional boiled lobster dinner. We use the partially cooked lobster in a variety of recipes, such as this Hash recipe, over the next few days. The beauty of the cold water method is that all the lobsters cook at the same temperature and the meat is very tender because the lobsters weren’t shocked entering hot water.

Stock – Make a stock from the lobster carcasses and shells by adding 3 ribs celery, two quartered onions, 10 peppercorns to a stock pot and add 12 cups or enough water to cover; cook for 1½ hours. Strain when cooled; reserve 8 cups and refrigerate. Freeze the rest for another recipe.

Potatoes – Add all the red and sweet potatoes to 8 cups cold lobster stock with 2 teaspoons Kosher salt in a large pot. Bring to a boil and cook until barely fork tender (15-20 minutes total cooking time). Drain and rinse with cold water, pat dry and reserve; I do this early in the day and refrigerate.

One half hour before serving:

To a large frying pan, melt 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter with 1 Tablespoon canola oil. Add cooked potatoes and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste; cook over medium heat until lightly browned and crispy on most sides, about 15-20 minutes total. In the meantime, chop herbs, slice scallops, and make the Lobster Hollandaise Sauce but don’t forget to stir the potatoes once in a while.

Lobster Hollandaise Sauce – Add egg yolks, lemon juice, cayenne, and salt in a blender; pulse three or four times to combine. Melt and heat butter to slight boil (I use the microwave for this) and slowing pour the butter into the feed tube of the blender with the blender on medium speed. The sauce should thicken within 10-20 seconds. Stop and sample the sauce for taste and thickness. Blend a few more seconds if it needs more thickening. Add the chopped lobster meat, pulse once to combine and pour into a warm pitcher (a gravy boat works well). Cover to keep warm.

Take the potatoes out of the pan. Add the remaining butter and canola oil to the frying pan and sauté the chopped onions over medium heat until translucent. Add the scallops and sauté very quickly (about 30 seconds on each side); add the lobster meat chunks, all the herbs, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste and cook for 2-3 minutes to heat the lobster. Add the potatoes and sauté for another 2-3 minutes to heat and combine the flavors. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if needed.

Serve the Seafood Hash with the Lobster Hollandaise Sauce on the side. I suggest serving a salad of spicy greens with radishes to balance the richness and texture of the main dish.

Serves 4 for entrée or 6 for brunch.

Melanie Hyatt is the editor of Maine Food & Lifestyle and the Plating Up blog.

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