Lobster Stew with Tomatoes and Peppers

This wax-type chile originated in Hungary and was brought to the US in the 1930’s. Yellow chiles of several different varieties are a staple in Eastern European cuisine. These chiles can be pickled, battered and fried or used in salsas and salads.Hungarian Wax chiles have alot of flavor without the bitter aftertaste that you can get from many of the green types of chile. Try substituting some of these in your chile recipes next time.

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4 (1-1/4 to 1-1/2 pound) live lobsters
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 medium Hungarian yellow wax peppers, finely chopped
1-1/2 pounds of plum tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
5 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
pinch of sugar
1/4 cup brandy
1 8oz. bottle of clam juice
1 cup water
3 garlic cloves, minced

Working in batches and using tongs, lower the lobsters into a large stockpot of rapidly boiling water. Boil for 5 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the lobsters to a platter and cool completely.

Working over a bowl to catch the juices from the lobsters, cut the tails from the lobsters using kitchen shears. Cut each tail into 3 rounds. Split open the lobster heads and bodies; remove the tomalley (green liver) and reserve (about 2 Tbsp. total). Divide each large claw into 2 pieces, cutting one side open for easy removal of the claw meat. Set aside the lobster pieces and juices.

Heat 3 Tbsp. of oil in a large deep heavy skillet or pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and peppers; saute until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, 2 Tbsp. of minced fresh parsley, bay leaf, thyme and pinch of sugar. Sprinkle with salt and bring to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the mixture thickens, about 20 minutes. Add the brandy and simmer 2 minutes longer. Add all the reserved lobster pieces and juices to the skillet and simmer for 5 minutes. Mix in the clam juice and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes longer. Add the reserved tomalley, 2 Tbsp. of minced fresh parsley and minced garlic to the skillet with the lobster pieces and simmer uncovered 5 minutes.

Transfer the lobster pieces to a bowl and the sauce to a blender. Puree until smooth, thinning with more water if desired. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer the sauce to a serving bowl and top with the lobster pieces. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 Tbsp. of parsley and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Recipe from Bon Appetit Magazine, May 2002.