10.04.2011

lobster & shells.

When we were sort of, well, drowning in the challenges (and, of course, bliss) of the first few weeks of Mari's life, my mom made this delicious BC salad that was refreshing and such a good taste of summer - which is what we really needed in the craze of baby.
Just before our first family vacation, we made Lobster & Shells for my dear friend's baby shower, and it's as good as it is pretty, especially when accompanied by crusty herb bread and another BC favorite: Watermelon and Arugula Salad.

It's also easy; the pasta shells and the corn cook together, and you can buy the lobster in bulk, cooked and frozen (hello, Costco). Topped with fresh dill, this salad is a little taste explosion in your mouth that you will love. Promise.
Hurry up and get your tomato and corn* fix in before it gets too late.

Lobster & Shells from The Barefoot Contessa's How Easy Is That? (page 94)
Serves 8

Kosher salt
Olive oil
1/2 pound small past shells, such as Ronzoni
Kernels from 4 ears of corn (about 3 cups)
6 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
1 yellow or orange bell pepper, seeded and small-diced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 pound cooked fresh lobster meat, medium-diced
3/4 cup good mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup minced fresh dill

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon of salt and some olive oil. Add the pasta and cook it for 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente. Add the corn to the pasta and cook it for another 2 minutes, until the corn is tender. Drain the pasta and the corn together in a colander and pour them into a large mixing bowl. Add the scallions, diced pepper, tomatoes and lobster, tossing gently to combine. Allow to cool slightly.

In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper until smooth. Pour over the pasta and mix well to bind the ingredients. Stir in the dill, 4 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper.

Cover with plastic wrap and chill for up to 6 hours to allow the flavors to develop. Check the seasonings and serve chilled or at room temperature. We topped ours with a little extra fresh dill just before serving.
In her cookbook, The BC offers a couple of side notes:
+ Use small pasta shells so that the corn kernels can get stuck inside them.
+ If the sauce is too thick after it's chilled, add a few tablespoons of milk, cream or lemon juice to thin.

I've got a few more details to come on the baby shower later this week!

*A quick tip on cutting fresh corn from the cob: Place one small bowl, upside down, in a large bowl. Using the small bowl as your stage, stand cob upright and slice the corn right down into your large bowl. No more flying kernels!

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