Choices. We face them every day. Some are small choices like what to wear today (although that’s never a simple choice for Miss A), some are a bit more monumental involving career, love, children, etc. One thing is certain, we make a multitude of choices each day.
A few weeks ago, you all were faced with a choice for the appetizer basket of our Chopped Challenge. Taking 39% of the vote was the Lobster, Chipotle, Fajita and Chocolate basket nominated by Eva at Kitcheninspirations.
As you know, if you followed along on our second annual Chopped adventure last Sunday, Mike chose to make a Lobster Chipotle Pizza and I went with the Lobster Mole. Our recipe choices were easy. Since I’m not a big fan of chocolate, I knew I needed to come up with something which wouldn’t feature the taste too prominently for me. Instantly I thought of a mole sauce, and the rest of the ingredients seemed to complement that choice nicely.
Mike and Mr. N ground up about 10 chipotle peppers and then tossed the ground into a large skillet with oil, garlic and water. After the water reduced by half they then added some red wine, cumin, tomato paste and salt. After cooking for about 15 to 20 minutes, they added the dark chocolate, stirring to combine.
Next they spooned the sauce over the tortilla shells, topped each with arugula and a Dubliner cheese with Irish Stout and baked them at 425F for 10 minutes. They then removed the pizzas and tossed on the chopped raw lobster tail. The pizzas were then placed in the broiler for 5 minutes, sliced and served.
As for the mole sauce, Miss A and I started by soaking ancho chiles and the chiptole in hot water for about 30 minutes. This was then blended with a bit of the soaking water to create a puree. In the meantime, we also sautéed onion and garlic with cumin, ground coriander, ground cloves, cinnamon and oregano. The sautéed mix was placed in the food processor with a tomato, raisins, almonds and toasted sesame seeds. Once mixed, we pushed the blended chiles through a sieve to separate the skins. The resulting sauce was then added to the food processor and pulsed to combine. The mole was then placed on the stove to simmer for 25 minutes.
In the meantime, Miss A and I worked on our chips and melted some chocolate using the double boiler method. The melted chocolate was then stirred into the mole sauce. For the finishing touch, we placed a dab of butter on each of the lobster tails with a bit of lime zest and sea salt. We broiled the lobster tails for about 5 minutes, removed them and chopped up the meat.
Finally the four of us sat down for our first taste test. It was a difficult choice. But as those of you with children, or that have been around children, know the most difficult of choices often comes when in the midst of a full-blown, exhaustive meltdown. Miss A had just such a meltdown yesterday when it was time to leave Grammie and BoomBoom’s (This is what Mr. N named his Grandpa. When he was one, my dad would carry him up and down steps loudly saying “BOOM!” “BOOM!” Mr. N thought it was hilarious and one day he just started to call him BoomBoom. It has since stuck with all three grandchildren.).
But back to Miss A, as her legs flailed and her arms whacked the floor up and down, she couldn’t decide if she wanted to walk or have daddy carry her. She was not happy with either choice. She wanted to stay. Ultimately it was time for the parents to make the choice for her, and Mike picked her up and carried her to the car. On the way home, Miss A was pouting in the back seat and said in her best tattling tone, “Mommy, Daddy stole my choice.”
Fortunately no one stole our choices with the appetizer basket, we got to eat both. The Lobster Chiptole Pizza came in with 4 spoons from Miss A and I, and 3 spoons from Mr. N and Mike. The Lobster Mole came in with 3-1/2 spoons from Mr. N, 3 spoons from Mike and I and 1 spoon from Miss A. While not an easy choice, as you know, the winner for the first round of our Chopped Challenge was Team Domi-Nation with the Lobster Chipotle Pizza.
Which one would you choose?
We’ll be back next week to feature our Main Course basket recipes. The dessert recipes will follow. Then it’s time for March Madness! Once we wrap up our French toast championship we’ll be back with our cooking around the world adventures. In the meantime, I’m going to be busy cataloging all of our family pictures from 2012. Digital books or printed photo albums, which ones for our frames…oh, so many choices.
Print this recipe: Lobster Chipotle Pizza
Print this recipe: Lobster Mole