Lobster and Mango Cocktail
Black Friday has arrived...which always makes me sit up and take notice: the Christmas holidays are upon us. The Christmas trees have filled the lots on main street and the stores, bless them, have had their holiday decorations up since Halloween. It's that time, my friends....of good cheer, carol singing, happy children's faces and candy canes.
So, even before the turkey leftovers have disappeared, are you planning your next holiday meal? At least on paper? I am. I'm an inveterate list-maker. My Christmas list has been made for months and I'm nearly done. I like to finish early... no panic shopping for me.... so I can kick back and enjoy the sparkling tree lights, wrap gifts with care, cook with love, share egg nog with friends, help the less fortunate children among us with the Spirit of Giving Network, remembering what Christmas really means and taking time to enjoy the holiday.
I'm really looking forward to everyone's postings for the next few weeks...I just know you're all going to be chock full of great holiday ideas. I hope you can discover an idea or two here that will help with your planning as well.
Here's an elegant starter for a sit-down holiday dinner. I normally use lobster, but don't see any reason why you couldn't substitute shrimp or crab. I've never really cared for the Cognac addition (so unlike me!), but do a little taste test for yourself and decide. I debated about using rum instead. Next time, perhaps. It has all those lovely Caribbean flavors, doesn't it? Also, try to find a nice sweet mango. If it's unavailable where you live, you could try melon. Lots of possibilities with this appetizer.
Lobster and Mango Cocktail
From Gourmet Magazine, June 1992
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons Cognac (optional)
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste
four 1 1/2-pound live lobsters (I used lobster tails)
3 firm-ripe mangoes
1 cup finely diced celery
4 whole Belgian endives plus 12 leaves for garnish
3 tablespoons minced fresh chives plus 24 whole chives for garnish
In a small bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, the yogurt, the Cognac, the ketchup, the lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste and chill sauce, covered. Plunge the lobsters into a large kettle of boiling salted water and boil them, covered, for 10 minutes. Transfer the lobsters with tongs to a bowl and let them cool until they can be handled. Crack the shells, remove the meat, and cut it into 3/4-inch pieces. Transfer the lobster meat to a large bowl and chill it, covered. The lobster cocktail may be prepared up to this point 1 day in advance.
Halve the mangoes by cutting just to the sides of each pit and, using a 3/4-inch melon-ball cutter, scoop the flesh from the mango halves. (There should be about 2 cups.) To the lobster meat add the mango balls, the celery, the whole endives, trimmed and sliced thin crosswise, the minced chives, and the sauce and toss mixture until it is combined. Divide the lobster mixture among 12 chilled small glasses and garnish each serving with 1 of the endive leaves and 2 of the whole chives.