Rocked Lobster

Tonight we bring you our main course dishes from Sunday’s Chopped Challenge. The basket for this round came to us from Sally at Bewitching Kitchen and included lobster tails, edamame, buckwheat noodles and chipotle peppers. We were a bit intimidated because if you’ve been to Sally’s blog, you know she’s always coming up with inventive dishes that look deliciously full of flavor – without fail – and we wanted to make sure we did her proud.

We were also a bit nervous and baffled about how to combine edamame and buckwheat noodles with chipotle peppers. This one was definitely throwing us. Do we go Asian or Southwestern? Ultimately we went both directions. I went towards Asian flavors and Mike embraced the Southwest. And while our dishes may not look as restaurant-worthy as the last round, these were hands down our favorite dishes of the day. Mr. N and Miss A were also very excited about the lobster. You should have heard Miss A, “Is it ready yet? Is this the lobster? Is it dead? Can I eat the lobster?” Apparently we taught them well in Maine this summer.

We started by first preparing the edamame and buckwheat noodles (or soba) according to the package directions.

We were only able to find dried chipotle peppers, so we ground them up to make a powder.

From there we went our separate ways. Don’t worry, I won’t bust out into a Journey song again. I started by preparing my coconut curry sauce by combining coconut milk, curry powder, ginger powder and some of the ground chipotle powder in a sauce pan and bringing it to a boil. I then let it simmer for about 10 minutes before adding cilantro and my cooked and peeled edamame.

Mike in the meantime prepared a chipotle rub from ground up chipotle powder, cumin and garlic powder. He then boiled the powder in salt and water along with the larger leftover pieces of dried chipotle pepper. Once boiling, he brought the sauce down to a simmer and reduced it by three-quarters.

Now onto the lobsters! I cut a part of the shell away from mine and basted it with melted butter mixed with lime juice, cilantro, a bit of chipotle powder and salt. I then broiled them for about six minutes.

Mike on the other hand basted his lobster with his chipotle rub and grilled them on the griddle shell side down for five minutes. He then flipped them and grilled them meat side down for two minutes.

As for the buckwheat noodles, I tossed mine with soy sauce and sesame oil.

Mike tossed his buckwheat noodles into the wok with shallots, roasted red peppers, garlic, ginger powder, edamame and ponzu sauce. (Okay – so maybe it’s more fusion than Southwest.) And we were then ready for the challenge. As you may well know, Mike won this round. All four of us were judges and ranked each dish based on taste, presentation and creativity. While Mike and I both scored the maximum amount of points for taste and creativity, he won for presentation. I think he may have been trying to bribe the smaller judges with his monster diablo face creation.

It worked. The kids were thrilled and Mike scored major points on presentation. The kids then also ended up docking me points. Ah well. What can you do. It was creative, that’s for sure. All that aside, Mike’s dish tasted great! It really took advantage of the smoky chipotle flavor which was complemented by the slight sweetness of the roasted red peppers.

Mike and I both gave this dish 4 spoons. The lobster was cooked to perfection. It was definitely the highlight of the dish. I never would have thought to use a chipotle rub on lobster, but it’s fantastic. Mr. N also gave Mike’s dish high marks coming in with 3 spoons. Miss A, however, didn’t enjoy the smoky chipotle flavors and gave it 1 spoon. Not to worry though, Mr. N was happy to take her portion of lobster. So there it is, your winning recipe, Chipotle Grilled Lobster over Stir Fried Buckwheat Noodles.

As for my Chopped dish, well, it received equally high marks for taste and creativity. Mike even thought my flavors worked in more of a harmony than his did. While I agreed I had some pretty awesome flavors going on, I don’t know that they worked any better than his. Truly this round was a dead heat when it came to taste. The dishes were very different, and oh so good!

I served my buckwheat noodles alongside the lime broiled lobster, topped the noodles with the coconut edamame sauce and garnished it with some freshly sliced mango. It was a sweeter dish than Mike’s, but the cilantro brought a bit of contrast and fun to the party. Miss A was definitely happy, she slurped up her noodles, wolfed up her lobster and left not a drop of mango on her plate. I even saw her pop a few edamames, an unusual occurrence. Mr. N, however, was all about dad in this round. The monster won him over and he wasn’t about to break ranks.

Despite the fact that my dish was chopped, it still received some pretty good spoon rankings. Mike and I both gave the Coconut Curry Soba with Cilantro and Lime Broiled Lobster 4 spoons. Miss A also gave it a 4 spoon vote. Mr. N was the lone dissenter at 1 spoon (Despite the fact he ate all the lobster!). So there you have it – two 4 spoon dishes from one crazy basket. Thank you Sally for the challenge. We now have two new lobster dishes to add to our repertoire.

If you’d like to print the recipes here you go…again the measurements are all approximate as we mostly went on gut feel.

Kristy’s “Chopped” dish: Coconut Curry Soba with Cilantro and Lime Broiled Lobster

Mike’s Winner (even if by bribery – okay, okay he won because his lobster rocked): Chiptole Grilled Lobster over Stir Fried Buckwheat Noodles

Next up…dessert!

43 thoughts on “Rocked Lobster

  1. profiterolesandponytails says:

    Your husband deserves high marks for his creative presentation. My girls would LOVE him. (My mom makes the girls an after-school snack plate with the various items shaped like a face and they race home in anticipation when my mom stays with us.) Your presentation makes me want to try the recipe!

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  2. Charles says:

    Damn I love lobster (tails). I don’t regret my ingredients not being picked – those were some fab choices, and “inspired edibles” (to steal Kelly’s blog name 😀 ). Both looking good but yeah – I can see why Mike was the winner… who could chop a dish presented like that? 😀

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  3. Caroline says:

    Haha!! Mike’s presentation is hysterical. Both of the dishes seriously look amazing though, I would have called this a tie. 😉 That diablo face is pretty fantastic though..

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  4. Kay aka Babygirl says:

    Oh my goodness, I absolutely love both lobster dishes. But I will say Mike did an incredible job with his presentation. I just loved it. But I would definitely love making both of these. I am excited too because I needed a great lobster recipe :).. Thanks you guys

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  5. Eva Taylor says:

    Wow, what an exciting round. Mike definitely knew his audience with that ‘creative’ presentation! Although I do love the south west flavours, I would probably lean toward the Asian flavour of your dish, Kristy. The subtle flavour of the lobster would pair beautifully with the lime and coconut milk. I think I might have made match sticks out of the mango so you can have a little piece in every bite but then again, I’m not often under the clock in a challenge either. 😉

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    • Kristy says:

      Thanks John! I don’t know what I would have done had we not been frequenting the various ethnic aisles at the grocery store this past year. This blog has opened me up quite literally to a whole new world. 🙂

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  6. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles says:

    Love the diablo face Mike! That totally rocks and works beautifully with the fire of the chipotle. I think you would have sold me on that one too 🙂 – I’m a sucker for Asian flavours and coconut curry is hard to beat… also love the addition of mango on the noodles Kristy. How yummy both of you! Now, can you actually find lobster tails at a regular supermarket? I wish I could – would love to just cook up the tails. We couldn’t find them in Maine either (at the supermarket I mean). Thanks for sparing us the Journey tune 😉

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    • Kristy says:

      They have lobster tails at nearly every store around here. They must be popular. We thought about getting live lobsters again, but then we decided we had enough cooking going on to add that to the mix – though it would have been fun with the kids again. 😉 And you’re welcome, but you never know when I’ll bust into song again. 😉

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  7. spicegirlfla says:

    These look restaurant quality to me!! You’ve both done a great job; I would have been intimated by those ingredients for sure! You have the experience of cooking so many different cuisines that really helped you both pull together very interesting dishes!! Congrats to Mike!!

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    • Kristy says:

      The around the world cooking was definitely helpful with this basket. It’s amazing how much we’ve learned in the last year. I never would have come up with this dish otherwise. 🙂

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  8. sallybr says:

    WOW! What a great job you both did! I think the chipotle rub was a great idea, and your coconut approach very creative too

    now Phil wants us to make a dish too, so we might come up with something using the same basket, which, when I sent to you, as you know, I said “I am glad I won’t be the one having to cook from it!” 😉

    Great post! I look forward to the dessert finale!

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    • Kristy says:

      I have no doubt the two of you could come up with something fantastic for this basket! Thanks so much for the ideas. These were truly our two favorite recipes of the day – and the kids too!

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  9. smartfoodandfit says:

    Great job guys! I think they both look like winners! My kids love lobster too, wish it wasn’t so darn expensive I’d make it more often! I love Mikes blend of flavors, lime, chipotle, and cilantro but the chipotle can be a bit overpowering.
    Kristy, I like your combination of flavors too, very refreshing and your presentation with the edame looks almost like a face with the lobster being the big ears with edamame tentackles! lol

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