Gobble, Gobble: Lobster Pie, from Seafood Purveyor Jon Alexis of TJ’s Seafood
<p class=”MsoNormal”>My fondest memories of Thanksgiving revolve around seafood. Not shocking if you know my family, but there is historical precedent for seafood on the Thanksgiving table. Most historians agree that the first Thanksgiving did not feature turkey at all…more likely goose or swan. But they do know that it definitely featured lobster, mussels, clams and oysters.
I grew up in Virginia Beach. One of my earliest Thanksgiving memories was roasting Chesapeake Bay oysters on the grill. The oysters would absorb some smokiness. Then we’d dash some Peter’s Beach BBQ sauce on top (still bottled today by the Ashman family in Virginia Beach) and slurp. They’d barely make it inside.
When we moved to Dallas, I was confused by this “cornbread stuffing” thing…where were the oysters? I’m a Texan now: I own boots, I love the Cowboys and I could retire in the Hill Country; but without plump briny oysters in there, it’s not stuffing.
And no one can remember when it started, but the Friday after Thanksgiving has always been a big lobster night at my parents’ house. Get two good turkey leftover meals in and then start steaming lobsters and melting butter immediately. Look, we Alexis’s love seafood! We’re traditionalists, patterning our meals after the real first Thanksgiving.
Just don’t count us in for any swan.
Here’s one of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes.
Thanksgiving Lobster Pie(from Maine’s famous Bar Harbor Inn)
1 ½ lbs cooked lobster meat, coarsely chopped
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter
1 cup dry sherry
2 cups heavy cream
2 tsp sweet paprika
4 tsp unsalted butter, melted
2 cups crushed oyster crackers
1. Preheat oven to 350. In a large frying pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat and sauté the lobster for 1 or 2 minutes. Pour in the sherry and stir to scrape up any cooked bits on the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat.
2. In a medium saucepan, simmer the cream until reduced by almost half. Remove from heat and stir in the lobster mixture. Pour into 4 casseroles or ramekins. In a small bowl, combine the cracker crumbs and paprika. Sprinkle the crumb mixture over each lobster pie and drizzle with melted butter. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until the mixture bubbles at the sides.
Makes 4 servings