I decided to make a really special pasta dish with icelands frozen lobster tails for a Christmas menu. to make it extra special I used champagne in the cream sauce. we where shown a great method of cooking the lobster at the icelands #reasonstobejolly event that I went to last weekend. the event took place at their HQ just outside chester and it was such an amazing day, I never really go to any events so it was really exciting to go to this one, especially as it was a Christmas themed one. Christmas is my favourite time of the year and Christmas food has to be the best ever in my opinion. The first thing we where shown at the event after walking in and being given a smoked turkey roll and warm mulled juice was how to pan cook the lobster tails in their shells and then smoked with some hay. the smoky flavour was incredible. They served it in a taco made with avocados which you can also get frozen at Icelands. Then we where shown a few really great methods of cooking turkey. The first the traditional way cooked covered in muslin and loads of butter and then gilded with gold like the Victorians used to serve it, the second cooked and smoked on a bbq (which is a genius way to free up space in the oven) and the third baked in salt. the one baked in salt was my favourite as it was really juicy. The salt crust forms a rock hard layer that keeps all the moisture in making it the most flavourful bird I have ever eaten. Then we got to try lots of icelands amazing luxury range deserts. my favourite was the chocolate star which was really special as its designed to melt in the centre when you pour over the chocolate sauce and the other I tried was the chocolate orange choux garland. My family buy the icelands luxury range puddings every Christmas as they are always delicious and such a great price. I know what your thinking! your a food blogger why are you not cooking your own?, but in my eyes its Christmas, its time for a break from all that, and why not if you can get such a good one cheaper than you could probably cook it your self?.
making pasta is seriously my favourite and this dish would be perfect for a Christmas eve feast. the lobster and champagne make it extra special.
- 300g plain flour (or tippo 00)
- 2 eggs and 4 yolks
- tsp olive oil
- 2 uncooked lobster tails defrosted (I used these)
- 2 tbsp. butter
- olive oil
- 2 rashers of smoked bacon
- half an onion finely chopped
- 1 clove of garlic finely chopped
- 200ml champagne
- 250ml double cream
- chopped parsley and dill
- pinch of saffron
To make the pasta dough you can either use a food processor or do it by hand, to make it by hand, make a heaped pile with the flour on the worktop and make a hole in the centre and add the yolks and eggs and mix with a fork gradually bringing in the flour, once all mixed press into a ball, knead for 5 minutes and cover and let rest for 20 minutes. Cut into 4 and flour the dough and pasta machine, take one piece and flatten it and roll through a pasta machine on its widest setting, fold in half and roll through and fold again then roll through working your way through until its nice and thin. lay out the long strip and place leaves of parsley and dill with the stalks cut off on one half and fold over the other half and press together, then roll through the machine again (I would widen up the machine by two spaces) roll until thin, then cut into pasta, I did tagliatelle. Then do the same with the other three balls of dough. making sure to flour the pasta well after its cut so it doesn’t stick together. To cook boil a big pan of water and put the pasta in and cook for about 3 minutes.
cut the defrosted tails in half, I did this with some kitchen scissors. then place in a frying pan with oil and butter and pan fry for 5 to 6 minutes. remove from the pan and Sautee the onion until soft then add the garlic and chopped bacon and cook until the onions are golden. Add the champagne and deglaze the pan then add the saffron and then add the cream. chop up a handful of the herbs and stir in. season with salt and pepper and add the pasta and a little of the cooking water (a ladle full) then mix and place the lobster back in and enjoy with a grating of parmesan. Iceland’s have some in their luxury range for £2.75
(want to make it even more extra special add some of prawns too)
hay smoked lobster recipe below
we got a box of the icelands luxury range mince pies in our goodie bags after the event and they are the best ones I have tried from a supermarket. I always buy mince pies as its easier. For me Christmas is all about taking some time off cooking, don’t get me wrong I love to do some Christmas baking but I like to buy in some essential things, I went and got a few extra boxes of these to keep me going over the holidays. Plus for £1.89 a box you cant go wrong.
the range of puddings that icelands have this year is amazing, I got this choux garland to try at home and it was such a show stopper
we where served mince pie martinis which where made with
- 1/2 measure of vermouth,
- 1 measure of gin
- 1 of spiced rum,
- 1 tbsp mince pie filling
Put all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake over ice and serve in a sugared glass. we where also served a bacon infused vodka bloody maries, in our goodie bags we had little jars with vodka and bacon in to make our own at home.
there was a station showing us how to style the table for the big day. The top tip I took away from this was to make low level arrangements like these below in mini copper pans.
at the event we where also shown another great way to cook the frozen Canadian lobster tails, the method was to smoke them with hay, I have noted it below
to make the hay smoked lobsters
- 2 frozen lobster tails from icelands (defrosted over night)
- olive oil and three table spoons of butter
- hay (use pet eating hay from a pet store and not bedding hay)
in a skillet add the oil and butter and gently heat. using scissors cut the bottom part of the shell off where the little legs are exposing the meat and insert a cocktail stick into each one and place in the pan with oil and butter, cook gently turning every minute for approx. 6 minutes. remove the lobsters then add a couple handfuls of hay and put the lobsters back in then out side (so you don’t set the fire alarm off) use a blow torch to set fire to the hay, let the fire go out and smoke the lobster then serve. At the event we ate these with tacos but they would also work well in many dishes